John Soltz, Co-Founder and Chair of, writes: Last week's Republican convention sure made every superficial effort to come off as pro-T
September 9, 2008


John Soltz, Co-Founder and Chair of, writes:

Last week's Republican convention sure made every superficial effort to come off as pro-Troop and pro-Veteran. And, of course, the media ate it up, not challenging a single thing. But to those of us who did serve, it was offense after offense after offense. ... Maybe because it's because he has a terrible record, but not once in John McCain's speech did he talk about taking care of those who served their nation in the military. With exploding rates of PTSD, suicide, homelessness among veterans. With ridiculous wait times for veterans seeking care, and a VA that every major vets group says is woefully underfunded. With administrators dumping vets out of the veterans care system by diagnosing them with a lesser mental injury than they have. Not. A. Single. Word.

Soltz, who was an Army captain during Operation Freedom, goes on to list some of the sins Republicans don't want mentioned when it comes to their oft-mentioned "support" for servicemen and veterans. They include: Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" accusation levelled at servicemen who disagree with Bush's awful policies on Iraq and Afghanistan; their faux-outrage when General Wesley Clark pointed out that being a POW isn't a qualification for being Commander in Chief and, of course, Sarah Palin's recent violation of OPSEC by revealing her son's deployment date.

Of course, we should add Rumsfield's "we go to war with the army we have" insult. When he said that, half of all casualties in Iraq up to that point had been because of a lack of vehicle and body armor the Bush administration had been unwilling to fund. We should add their repeated robbing of the soldier's paychestto force Congress into funding the Iraq occupation. And let us not forget the original Walter Reed debacle.

But that's not where McCain and his party end on their false "support. As a diary at Booman Tribune detailed back in February, Mr Straight Talk is full of doubletalk.

McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments.

McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.

McCain voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

McCain voted to table an amendment by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322,000,000 for safety equipment for United States forces in Iraq.

McCain urged other Senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.

McCain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650,000,000.

When it comes to their claim to support the troops, John McCain and his party are flat-out liars. The message is simple - if you really support the troops, stop voting Republican.

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