National Security Network (http://www.nsnetwork.org) – 2007-05-02 23:47:55
WASHINGTON (May 2, 2007) —Top military brass expressed outrage today at the President’s veto of the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health, and Iraq Accountability Act.
With this veto, the president has doomed us to repeating a terrible history. President Bush’s current position is hauntingly reminiscent of March 1968 in Vietnam. At that time, both the Secretary of Defense and the President had recognized that the war could not be won militarily — just as our military commanders in Iraq have acknowledged.
But not wanting to be tainted with losing a war, President Johnson authorized a surge of 25,000 troops. At that point, there had been 24,000 U.S. troops killed in action. Five years later, when the withdrawal of U.S. troops was complete, we had suffered 34,000 additional combat deaths.
— Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (USA Ret.)
Almost 5 years ago, Congress trusted the President enough to give him the power to transform Iraq. Bush violated that trust and deceived us with a misuse of force. Today, the President violated the trust of the American people, our troops, and their families by vetoing this bill and not choosing to do what is right. He has let us down.
— Brigadier General John Johns (USA, Ret.)
The rhetoric of Congress not supporting our troops is pure “hogwash.”.The real non-support of our troops is the Presidential Veto. Vetoing this Bill sends a message to our troops, that the President will fund them to fight but is not concerned about returning them to their families.
— Maj. Gen. Mel Montano (USANG, Ret)
By vetoing this bill and failing to initiate an immediate and phased withdrawal, the President has effectively gone AWOL, deserting his duty post, leaving American forces with an impossible mission, suffering wholly unnecessary casualties.”
— Lt. Gen. William E. Odom (USA, Ret.)
These remarks are only the latest in a long list of former military leaders expressing dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration’s handling of the war:
“Daily, we hear from military leaders disappointed and outraged with the President’s actions. Clearly, the commander in chief is not listening to the Generals.” said Moira Whelan, communications director of the National Security Network. “His veto is simply the latest blatant disregard for the American people, the Iraq Study Group. and the men and women who command our military forces. President Bush is marching in the wrong direction.”
Two top military leaders who commanded troops in Iraq expressed their outrage shortly after the veto occurred yesterday.
The President vetoed our troops and the American people. His stubborn commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq is incomprehensible. He committed our great military to a failed strategy in violation of basic principles of war. His failure to mobilize the nation to defeat world wide Islamic extremism is tragic. We deserve more from our commander-in-chief and his administration.
— Maj. Gen. John Batiste, USA, Ret.
This administration and the previously Republican controlled legislature have been the most caustic agents against America’s Armed Forces in memory. Less than a year ago, the Republicans imposed great hardship on the Army and Marine Corps by their failure to pass a necessary funding language. This time, the President of the United States is holding our Soldiers hostage to his ego. More than ever apparent, only the Army and the Marine Corps are at war — alone, without their President’s support.
— Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, USA, Ret.
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