McCain's mouthpiece, Lindsey Graham went on Face the Nation and used every talking point to support the war in Iraq, but can't come up with an explanation why McCain will not support Webb's new GI benefits Bill. It's for the welfare of our troops that have been ordered into this nightmare situation in the middle east, and as strong war advocates, you'd think McCain and Graham would be first on the list of the Senator's who have signed to show how committed they are to our troops. Graham has a lot of words to say about everything else and goes off topic because he doesn't have a good answer. Supporting the troops is nothing but a talking point for McCain and Graham it would appear.
WEBB: Yes. Well, there are too many people in the Pentagon who are seeing a good GI bill as affecting retention rather than rewarding service, and we need to get those -- politics aside, we need to get to those issues to help our troops.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Graham, Senator Webb has introduced this legislation to provide the same GI bill benefits to Iraq War veterans that veterans of World War II got. Neither you nor Senator McCain have co-sponsored that bill. More than 50 senators have. Why not? (transcript below the fold via ABC News)
GRAHAM: Well, number one, the first term enlistee gets the same benefits as somebody who'd been there for 20 years. I'd like to do two things. One, I'd like to work with Jim to enhance benefits, but the focus on retention and recruiting and to improve benefits. I worked with Senator Clinton to provide military health care to every guard and reserve member, so sign me up for sitting down with Jim. But one thing I want -- a point of agreement. Iraq is not an island. I've never looked at it that way.
The reason we need to win in Iraq, because the outcome in Iraq, winning or losing affects our national security interests. I do not want to leave Iraq as an extension of Iranian theocracy in the south. I don't want to leave Iraq where Anbar province is occupied by Al Qaida, where there is a war between the Turks and the Kurds in the north. There is a tremendous amount of reconciliation, politically and militarily, that has been achieved since the surge. In July of '08, there will be 140,000 troops. In January of '07, there was 140,000 troops. We had a surge in the middle. What's happened in the middle is dramatic political and economic progress that's been brought about by better security.↓ Story continues below ↓
We want a wining outcome in Iraq so that when we do leave, we're going to leave behind a country that's part of the solution, not the problem. That is why people reenlist. That is why I support this new strategy. The old strategy was failing. The new strategy is producing results, and I hope we'll stay with it.
WEBB: I've got to take 30 seconds to respond to what Lindsey said, because I can't let that hang out there. You know, people don't reenlist because of the war in Iraq. People reenlist because they love their country and they have family traditions and they love to soldier. And they'll fight in Iraq, they'll fight in Afghanistan, or they'll serve anywhere they are called upon to serve.
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