Military Families Question Iraq War as Support for Bush Slips - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not too surprising, what with enduring an idiotic war, a third, fourth or fifth deployment in 5 years, lack of sufficient armor and supplies, Walter Reed et al. fiascos, Byzantine VA paperwork and pay/benefits delays, being used as background props for politicians. Still, what took them so long......

Kent Fletcher, an Iraq war veteran, says he enthusiastically voted for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Now, he is a registered Democrat who questions the need for the war, the way it has been managed and the treatment of returning veterans.

***

A Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll shows that Fletcher's skepticism about the war reflects a growing disenchantment within the broader military community, long a bastion of support for the Bush administration and Republicans. Among active-duty military, veterans and their families, only 36 percent say it was worth going to war in Iraq. This compares with an Annenberg survey taken in 2004, one year after the invasion, which showed that 64 percent of service members and their families supported the war.

The views of veterans and their families are now closer in line with overall public sentiment. The poll shows that 32 percent of the general population supports the war.


More here:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=a9eBP4ZM28G8
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#2 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 04:11 AM
 
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Every military family I know is now going to vote Democrat even if they have voted Republican their whole lives until now. But a surprisingly large number of military members and families don't vote at all, which is sad.
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#3 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 04:15 AM
 
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When people ask me what they can do to help me now that DH is deployed I say "For the love of God just don't vote Republican." I've always been a DEM - but I've seen more come to my "side" in the last four years than ever before in DH's work life (Navy).

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#4 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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Thank the gods... its about freaking time! Its like christians voting rep just cause' the reps are prolife, and ignroing al the rest of the bad crap they do (goto war, cut back on funding for the poor, etc). I just don't get it.
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#5 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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More on the LATimes/Bloomberg poll....

Patience with the war, which has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin - particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict. One-quarter say American troops should stay "as long as it takes to win." Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or "right away."

Military families are only slightly more patient: 35% are willing to stay until victory; 58% want them home within a year or sooner.

Here, too, the military families surveyed are in sync with the general population, 64% of whom call for a withdrawal by the end of next year.


More here:
http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/t...la-home-center

I can't wait to hear the Limbaughs and the Hannitys and the other Chickenhawks that litter this country's punditry start hammering at the "phony military families" and the "cut and runners" in their midst.
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#6 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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I know very few military families who whole-heartedly support the war, ours included.

Anecdotally, I do think a lot of them have a different idea on an "exit strategy", so to speak, than a lot of the general public, but it's hard to answer that on a poll...I'd bet if there was a question that said something like, "If a comprehensive exit strategy was put into place, with a definite time-frame of three years, would you be willing to stay those three years" a larger majority of military would choose that as opposed to the general public. But, again, I'm guessing the poll stated something like "As long as it takes", "immediately", and "by the end of next year", so, hard to measure. And, again, we have a president who "won't do" timelines.

One of my husband's friends called him yesterday (or Wednesday?) from Iraq. He's on his fourth deployment. When he gets home from this deployment in March/April '08, he will have been in Iraq for LITERALLY 3 years (36 mos/give or take a week or two depending on when he gets home) of the last five (first deployment was March '03). This, btw, is not unusual. His best friend (who actually got out for about 9 mos in '06, but missed the army too much and went back in this past January), is now on HIS fourth deployment. I know my husband's old unit is finishing up THEIR fourth deployment soon, as well. My DH only went twice, and then was injured seriously enough to be transferred home and transferred to a desk jockey job or he would have gone back at least for the third deployment. He has another friend who went on the first two deployments, came home in March '05, transferred to another unit in Hawai'i in April or May (can't remember) and was sent over for a year long tour within a month...so, just about back to back tours. OPTEMPO is insane with certain units of the military.
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#7 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, apparently Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell seems to think you folks kinda signed up for this.....

"I won't tell you everything is great in Iraq; it is not. But we want to keep a steady flow of funds so that we don't disrupt the military,” said McConnell. “Unfortunately, most of our friends on the other isle are having a hard time admitting things are getting better; some days I almost think the critics of this war don't want us to win. Nobody is happy about losing lives but remember these are not draftees, these are full-time professional soldiers."

From:
http://www.gcnewsgazette.com/article...ews/news86.txt

BTW, last time I checked, members of the National Guard and Reserves, who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, are not "full time" professional soldiers. But I guess Sen. McConnell, who has never served in the military in any capacity, may not be aware of this.
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#8 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Strike that. Apparently, McConnell did have a cup of coffee in the military...

"McConnell served briefly in the United States Army Reserve during the Vietnam War-era but was discharged for unknown reasons."

From:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_McConnell

Funny, he makes no mention of this service on his websites...
http://mcconnell.senate.gov/about.cfm
http://www.teammitch.com/site/c.grLS...bout_Mitch.htm
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#9 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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After my brother went to Iraq a few months ago, my mother said she'd never vote for a Republican ever again.
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#10 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RowansDad View Post
Well, apparently Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell seems to think you folks kinda signed up for this.....

"I won't tell you everything is great in Iraq; it is not. But we want to keep a steady flow of funds so that we don't disrupt the military,” said McConnell. “Unfortunately, most of our friends on the other isle are having a hard time admitting things are getting better; some days I almost think the critics of this war don't want us to win. Nobody is happy about losing lives but remember these are not draftees, these are full-time professional soldiers."

From:
http://www.gcnewsgazette.com/article...ews/news86.txt

BTW, last time I checked, members of the National Guard and Reserves, who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, are not "full time" professional soldiers. But I guess Sen. McConnell, who has never served in the military in any capacity, may not be aware of this.
I bolded a statement you wrote. I am not sure what this means. Yeah, my husband willingly signed up to serve in the air force as a pilot. Doesn't mean he likes this war, wants to be a part of it, or supports it. Does he deploy when told and support his fellow soldiers? Hell yes he does and he is a really good pilot and airman, but he thinks this war is a lost cause and he doesn't believe in the military authority that directs everything from their comfy chairs at the Pentagon.
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#11 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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Well, my husband *is* a full-time professional soldier. But, one of the reasons for so much discontent is the high OPTEMPO with some units. My husband joined in '98 when he was 17 (they had split option then, so, he did basic between junior and senior years of high school). Anyway, traditionally, you were supposed to get twice as long home as you were deployed. So, if you were deployed for six months, you got a year home before next deployment, etc.

Problem is, there aren't enough soldiers to go around, so you have many many soldiers doing back to back tours, without even a comparable amount of time home compared to time deployed. Certainly, it's not as bad as in WWII, but, then again, those were draftees, who didn't have any sort of say to begin with. Military members are voting with their feet...retention rates are dropping, esp. for mid-career...look at the enlistment bonuses they're offering to mid-career soldiers. Usually, if you could get someone to re-up after their 7/8 year mark, they were lifers...(because they'd be in until at least 10-12 years by the time reenlistment came back around, so, halfway to retirement). I know (as in, personally know), a lot of people who aren't re-upping...who *were* lifers...and I'm not talking people who decided to get out after one deployment...I'm talking who reenlisted WHILE deployed, or who gladly went through two or three deployments, but now, it's TOO much for them and their families. And I also know a lot of fast-trackers (ie..people who earned rank much more quickly than normal and were on course to hit Senior NCO or to get Major ridiculously quickly) who got out despite their promising career path...and it's a glut of middle ranking NCOs and Captains/Majors, especially the "better" ones, that is going to really hurt the military. My husband's old SSGT made E-6 in FOUR years. FOUR YEARS! He was so good they waived the minimum time in grade requirement TWICE. He got out after LITERAL back to back tours...first was March 03-Feb 04, and then July '04-Dec '05.

And I second what cardinal said. My husband might not support the war, but he will back up his buddies until his dying day.
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#12 of 14 Old 12-07-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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most of us have been questioning it since the very day the government put into it play.
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#13 of 14 Old 12-08-2007, 02:46 AM
 
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ITA on OPTEMPO - it's even crazy for units that would not make sense, funding is going down everywhere to go into the war so there are less boats in the Navy, etc. etc. and it means those fewer people deploy more.

In 1999 my DH was deployed for 80% of the year while on "sea duty" - that was average for "sea duty" submariners but we always had a 24 month "shore tour" aka. desk job somewhere. Now they are taking submariners off shore tour and sending them to Iraq with a gun - because if they want to fund more Army guys to do it the Navy would have to give up funding that is already being cut so low we are going below safe levels - so instead they push everyone in every branch of service to the breaking point.

We are "lifers" and almost got out when DH almost got sent over - instead he took another overseas billet on "shore" tour and deployed for nine months before he starts a "sea tour" that will have him deployed for most of the next two years after that. Our daughter will be six before she can count on him to be home for longer than a month.

We stayed in because he loves to lead and feels he can do good within the Submarine community - but if they send him to Iraq to fill a billet that he has no qualifications for (as they have many of his friends) we'll leave the Military faster than they can blink and all that $ they've spent training him will be their loss and not ours.

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#14 of 14 Old 12-08-2007, 02:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeca View Post
most of us have been questioning it since the very day the government put into it play.
Ditto.
Especially those who have taken JPME.

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