Are American Soldiers 'Stuck in Iraq?'
According to the report, he stated to the students:
'He then said: "You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well.Apparently, this wasn't the intended lines in his speech. Per a Kerry spokesman, the lines should have been:
"If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.'
"I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq."Tony Snow, the President's Press Secretary did not hesitate to jump all over Senator Kerry's mis-statement. He stated:
"This is an absolute insult," Snow said at a daily press briefing. "Senator Kerry not only owes an apology to those who are serving, but also to the families of those who've given their lives in this."But was Senator Kerry wrong to say what he said?
Kerry fought back:
"I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq."Sometimes we can speak the truth by saying something we never intended to say at all!
He further expressed disgust with "Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country."
Kerry added that President Bush and Vice President Cheney "owe our troops an apology" because they "misled America into war."
Bush and Cheney "have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it," the senator said.
As early as 2004, during the last Presidential campaign, John Kerry recognized that our soldiers were getting "stuck" in Iraq! He pointed out:
"In a speech June 3, 2004, in Independence, Mo., Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry said, "The administration's answer has been to put Band-Aids on the problem. They have effectively issued a stop-loss policy as a back-door draft."Today, the 'stop-loss' policy continues to keep our soldiers stuck in a conflict where thousands have lost their lives. As recently reported:
"September 26, 2006So Americans soldiers are getting stuck in Iraq....longer than their scheduled tours of duty!
WASHINGTON -- The Army is again extending the combat tours of thousands of soldiers in Iraq beyond the expected 12 months -- the second such move since August.
Soldiers of the First Brigade, First Armored Division had been expecting to return to their home base in Germany in mid-January. Instead, they will stay an extra 46 days in Iraq, the Pentagon said yesterday. The soldiers are operating in western Anbar Province, one of the most violent parts of Iraq.
The Pentagon also said the Fourth Brigade, First Cavalry Division will deploy to Iraq 30 days earlier than scheduled, starting in late October. The announcement did not say why the speedup was deemed necessary."
And what about the idea that students who don't succeed might need to turn to the military for jobs or further training? That really isn't so far-fetched as the Republicans would like to make Senator Kerry sound.
As reported in June, 2005, the military is turning more and more to those young men and women who have problems with the traditional educational system:
"WASHINGTON, June 10 - The Army is having to turn to more high school dropouts and lower-achieving applicants to fill its ranks, accepting hundreds of recruits in recent months who would have been rejected a year ago, according to Army statistics."Further evidence that financial and educational pressures may lead to a young person's turning to the military career is reported:
""A lot of the high recruitment rates are in areas where there is not as much economic opportunity for young people," said Anita Dancs, research director for the NPP, based in Northampton, Mass.So Senator Kerry, you don't have to apologize to us!
Senior Pentagon officials say the war has had a clear impact on recruiting, with a shrinking pool of candidates forcing the military to accept less qualified enlistees -- and presumably many for whom military service is a choice of last resort. In fiscal 2005, the Army took in its least qualified group of recruits in a decade, as measured by educational level and test results. The war is also attracting youths driven by patriotism, including a growing fringe of the upper class and wealthy, but military sociologists believe that greater numbers of young people who would have joined for economic reasons are being discouraged by the prolonged combat."
America knows that you know as a real veteran and a real decorated military hero who knows what war is really about! You know how young people who may not have other opportunities may be forced into military service due to economic pressures. You know that our patriotic soldiers have found themselves "stuck" in Iraq by the poorly planned policies, the misrepresentations, and the misexecution of a botched military plan! And you know that this Administration, through its misrepresentations that led us into this unnecessary war threatens the viability of the all-volunteer army as well!
America deserves better! You may not have stayed exactly on message in your speech but you once again spoke truth to an America that is starting to listen!
Keep on coming John! We have got your back!