We awake this morning to find the military once again front and center in today’s news.
Today we learn that President Obama, tired of the machinations of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, has ordered US military leaders to plan on pulling all combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The president has tried repeatedly to get Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement that would allow the US to maintain a residual security force in country. The Afghan parliament approved the agreement last November. But the always corrupt Karzai has refused to sign the agreement, hoping to leverage it against further concessions (payoffs) from the US. Neo-cons say the pull-out sends a message that America will quit when times get tough.
Earlier this week we learned that the Obama administration is preparing a defense budget that would reduce the size of our military to pre-WWII levels. Critics fear that these significant cuts will jeopardize national security.
Regardless of which side of this debate you are on, you can be certain of one thing. Any discussion involving national security is certain to prompt Dick Cheney to emerge from the shadows.
Appearing on FOXNEWS, Cheney was eager to weigh in on the President’s decision to cut the military budget: “He’d much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”
As he has so often in the past, the former Vice President got it wrong.
Evidently Dick is unaware that a 2013 Defense Department review determined that more military families were reliant on food stamps last year than in any previous year. Military grocery stores saw over $100 million in food stamp spending. Quoting Alan Pyke, ThinkProgress’ Deputy Economics editor: “Food stamp usage at stores has more than quadrupled since 2007 as the recession compounded the already difficult situation faced by military families.”
900,000 military veterans currently depend on food stamps. But Dick isn’t concerned about them. In Dicks’ eyes military personnel are simple pawns to be used to brandish US military might while cementing his tough guy image in history. Once they have left the battlefield they are all but forgotten.
At the very worst Dick Cheney is a war monger, a traitor and a war criminal who lied to the American people.
At the very least he is the Vice President under whose watch our enemies perpetrated the worst terrorist attack on US soil in our history and whose bad judgment took us into an unnecessary war that cost the lives of thousands of Americans and over a million innocent civilians.
Dick got it wrong once again.
Thankfully this time no one got hurt.