Tuesday, November 20, 2007


It reads like a Monty Python sketch at first glance -- and it would almost be funny, if it weren't so damned tragic. Facing unprecedented enlistment shortages because of the bloody, bungled debacle in Iraq, the Army has taken in the past few years to offering big bonuses -- up to $30,000 in some cases -- to soldiers willing to re-enlist and go back to Iraq and Afghanistan. News now comes that some of those soldiers who took the Army up on the offer are being asked to return some portion of those bonuses when they are injured in the line of duty and can't complete their tours.

It's sick, isn't it? Unbelievable and completely unconscionable -- and absolutely par for the course for this administration.

The report out of Pittsburgh cites the case of one Jordan Fox, who re-upped and received $10,000 for his commitment. He was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, is now home recuperating -- due to his wounds, including complete loss of vision in his right eye, he cannot fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer -- and because his tour was cut short by three months, the Army is asking him to return $3000 of his bonus.

Had this happened under a Democratic administration, there'd be no end to the pissing and moaning of right-wing pundits and bloggers about how the Dems don't support the troops, how all liberals are traitors and on and on and on. Savage and Malkin and Coulter and Hannity and Limbaugh, et al, would rail on endlessly, and we'd be hearing about it for weeks or months on end. But for some reason, most of the corporate media has so far ignored this story under the Bush regime. Don't expect to see this on Fox News any time soon.

(And why aren't the Democrats raising holy hell about this? One Congressman, Democrat Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, has introduced a measure calling for all servicemen to receive their bonuses regardless of whether or not their tours are cut short by injury -- which sounds, again, like something out of the Python playbook. But that shouldn't be necessary, should it? It shouldn't even be a question. Jesus!)

Tell me again how the Republicans are the ones who "support the troops." Then explain to me why any serviceman or -woman in his or her right mind would ever vote for another Republican after this.
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