On supporting our troops

To the Democratic leadership in Congress:

Consider the following statements from your Republican colleagues.

“You can support the troops but not the president”
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

“[The] President…is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation’s armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy.”
-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

“American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy.”
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

“If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy.”
-Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W. Bush

“I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning…I didn’t think we had done enough in the diplomatic area.”
-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

“Well, I just think it’s a bad idea. What’s going to happen is they’re going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years”
-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

“I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today”
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

“Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?”
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

“This is President Clinton’s war, and when he falls flat on his face, that’s his problem.”
-Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

“Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly.”
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

These statements were all made in the context of the 1999 U.S. interventions to stop the genocide in Kosovo. As you can see, the Republican class of 1999 had absolutely no interest in the sort of fanatical “support our troops” rhetoric in which they so love to wallow today. Was the news media of 1999 full of SCANDLE!!! and OUTRAGE!!! over Tom Delay’s inappropriate questioning of the president in the middle of a war, or over the Republican leadership’s complete and utter failure to “support our troops”? Was Republican disloyalty the big story of 1999?

To borrow a phrase from one of my favorite blogs: Sadly, no. In 1999, our “liberal media” were extremely busy. They had spent several years already working closely with the right wing OUTRAGE!!! machine to take down a popular second-term president in a journalism-major circle-jerk of unimaginable proportions, culminating in the president’s acquittal in his impeachment trial. As Sally Quinn’s November 1998 editorial in the Washington Post (entitled “Not in Their Back Yard”) made perfectly clear, the Washington politico-journalistic establishment regarded the Clintons as low-class hillbilly interlopers in their genteel and rarified world. They needed to make an example of these crackers, lest the great unwashed west of the Potomac get the notion that just anybody can come to Washington. They were defending their class interests, and had no time at all for silly distractions like supporting America’s troops.

My, how the times have changed.

Here’s my point: Stop depending on the approval of the major news media outlets. Institutions like the Washington Post and the New York Times have openly and brazenly declared their loyalty to this administration and their hostility to any Democrat left of Joe Lieberman. The press corps as a whole stand revealed as a clique of middlebrow “cool kids” more interested in access and popularity than in stodgy, old-fashioned concepts like “truth” and “investigation”.

More crucially: Never forget that the men of the Republican Leadership don’t give a tinker’s damn about our troops. They didn’t give a damn in 1999, and they don’t give a damn today. They let our lunatic president send thousands of them to their deaths in a war with no good plan, no clear goal, no exit strategy, and no price tag. They have allowed him to underfund and overextend our armed forces to the point that we can only pray that an actual war doesn’t break out somewhere. Every time they open their braying cry-holes to howl and screech about patriotism and supporting our troops, it is nothing but a cynical ploy to distract the people from the gross incompetence and open corruption of this Republican government.


Every time they start cranking up the OUTRAGE!!! machine, remind them of Tom Delay’s words:

“You can support the troops but not the president”

Stop letting them punk you. Stand up, fight back, fight hard, and don’t stop fighting until we’ve taken this country back from this gaggle of cut-rate cleptocrats who have brought nothing but dishonor to our great nation.


4 Responses to “On supporting our troops”

  1. blue girl Says:

    Hey Res, great post. I’ve always wondered why no one’s ever zeroed in on these old quotes….I remember when they were making them!

    I tried to ping you! Let me know if it worked. Your site works different than mine.

    Good post, again.

  2. res publica Says:

    Hi blue girl! Okay, I’m going to show my ignorance here, but what do you mean, you pinged me? The only pinging I know anything about is the little network testing utility in most TCP/IP stacks, but I’m guessing you’re talking about something else. Feel free to enlighten my retarded ass. I’m off to eat mass quantities at my mom’s house, but I’ll be back this evening. Cheers!

  3. blue girl Says:

    Hi Res, it’s when another blogger writes about something that relates to what you’ve written about, or just wants their readers to see what you’ve written and “connects” back to your specific post.

    It’s supposed to let you know via email that it’s been done — did you get an email?

    I’m not sure how it works with blogspot — I couldn’t find a “trackback” link —

    Hmmmm. Not sure.

  4. blue girl Says:

    Ok, Res….I’m at:


    Go there and look beneath one of his posts. See “trackback?” — You can do it somehow — it’s a link that will enable people to connect back to you.

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