News that Gets My Goat:
-Just in time for Memorial day, House Republicans defeated a bill that would have increased bonus pay for US servicemen and women serving “under hostile fire’ or “in imminent danger” from $225 to $325 per month.
-The House also defeated an amendment to the fiscal year 2012 Military Budget that would have given President Obama 60 days to improve on his plan to begin troop withdrawals from Afghanistan beginning this July, and to set a date for completing the withdrawal. The vote on the amendment was 204 for and 215 against. That’s a six-vote margin. Just think, if we had defeated just six Republican or Tory Democrat candidates last November, thousands more US troops would be home for Christmas. Shame on us.
-The Daily Beast ran a column last week by retired Army Colonel and Boston University Professor Andrew Bacevich titled “How America Screws Its Soldiers.” In it, he makes the same point that Sebastian Junger did in his Afghanistan book “War,” that “for some reason, the closer you are to combat the less inclined you are to question it, but someone must. That evaluation, ongoing and unadulterated by politics, may be the one thing a country absolutely owes the soldiers who defend its borders.”