Sometimes I wonder if our so-called "leaders" in Washington get up every morning and drink a great big glass of hypocrisy just to get them prepared for their day's work.
How else can you explain the fact that, while Bush and the congressional leaders of both parties are always speechifying about how much they honor the men and women on the front lines of America's war machine - then cynically shortchange these very troops at budget time? Military spending is now nearly $400 billion a year - yet only a pittance of that goes to outfit the grunts who do the dirty and deadly work of, for example, rooting out terrorist forces.
The infantry, on whom the White House must depend to pursue its war adventures, has been left "cash-poor and ill-equipped," according to senior army officers, who are disgusted that the politicians and top brass stiff our ground troops. Army investigators report that the underfunding is so bad that GIs in Afghanistan had to buy their own gloves, cushioned socks, cargo belts, flashlights, and other basic equipment!
Where are the billions for defense going? To huge corporate contractors that make high-tech, razzle-dazzle weaponry - and that make fat campaign contributions to Mr. Bush and the other politicians. While the grunts - who don't make campaign donations - have to buy their own socks in Bush's war against terrorism, the corporate contractors routinely overcharge and defraud us taxpayers for techno-weapons that are absurdly expensive and often don't work or aren't even needed.
"The New York Times" reports that just this year's $690 million cost overrun on the problem-plagued and unnecessary F-22 jet would pay for brand new boots, fatigues, helmets, weapons, ammo, flak vests, and other necessary needs of 87,000 ground troops. But, said the Army's chief of infantry sarcastically, "We've chosen to do other things."
We shouldn't pay a dime in cost overruns to the military profiteers until our soldiers are fully outfitted.