Beyond Politics

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Apr 022007
 
Authors: Nick Hemenway

Over the last several years I have been in a moral dilemma. I have tried to be “open-minded” and “progressive.” This week, however, my torment came to an abrupt halt.

Since the day liberals forgot about 9/11, we have heard over and over that they are against the war, while on the other hand they “support the troops.” This concept was enacted to extricate them from their actions in undermining our nation in a time of war. Because they say that they support the troops, they have given themselves free will to trivialize our war efforts to politics.

For far too long, I tried to find a way to rationalize, in my own mind, that liberals actually do support the troops. That ends today. Liberals do not support the troops. If they do in fact care about them, their actions do not at all reflect their beliefs.

In a previous article named “Turning Their Backs,” I explained to you how the Democrat Party has invested their interests into our defeat in Iraq. In following this path, the Democrats have taken their political game to the next level.

Wars cost money, and a lot of it. Defense spending is one of the few things I would encourage our government to fund to the hilt, especially when our brave soldiers are on the other side of the planet defending our freedom. Unfortunately, the Democrats in Congress are now using the funding of our war efforts like a political chess piece.

Last week, Democrats in Congress mutated an emergency appropriations bill intended to give our troops the resources they need into a political weapon. Their first act was adding requirements to the bill for an artificial timetabled withdraw of our troops from Iraq beginning in three months and concluding in one year (New York Post). This would let our enemies know that all they have to do is wait us out, and as soon as we leave, they will have free reign.

In order to get the required majority of votes to pass the measure, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi allowed $25 billion in pork spending to be attached to the bill. These earmarks range from giving $74 million for peanut storage to $25 million for spinach growers (whitehouse.gov). Is it not sad to think that Democrats are more concerned about peanut storage than giving our troops what they need?

So why are the Democrats doing this? The answer is simple. One of the most obvious reasons is they wish to exercise their non-existent power over the war by way of a political showdown. Since they cannot force Bush to withdraw troops, their last resort is to put on a grandiose spectacle in the public arena. During a speech last week, President Bush explained, “It makes no sense for politicians in Washington, D.C., to be dictating arbitrary time lines for our military commanders in a war zone 6,000 miles away.” (whitehouse.gov) However, this argument is not about making sense, it is about dirty politics.

Although the political process plays a key role in our nation’s evolution, there are limits. Playing politics with the lives of our soldiers is not only irresponsible, it is immoral and should not be tolerated at any level of government. Those who act in such a manner should be held accountable.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears every Tuesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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