Support our troops?
August 14, 2003 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Support out troops? The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, who are already contending with guerrilla-style attacks, homesickness and 120- degree-plus heat.
posted by whatever (28 comments total)
Yeah, they blew all their cash paying private companies to clean up oil fires (that didn't exist), and set up tents. I wonder if the employees of said companies are getting their pay reduced... ?
posted by zekinskia at 2:22 PM on August 14, 2003

Whatever. I bet the troops have electricity.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:27 PM on August 14, 2003

Not to mention that mystery illness.
posted by Eloquence at 2:30 PM on August 14, 2003

Color my cynical, but I would not be surprised if this was just the first step in a move to get congress to vote for more defense spending for the Iraq 'nation building' operation.
posted by dragline at 2:34 PM on August 14, 2003

There is an article at Army Times saying that the increase combat pay has bumped some families off of WIC which helps poor women with children. It's a shame that they would qualify in the first place.
posted by whatever at 2:40 PM on August 14, 2003

the work-shy tossers.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:42 PM on August 14, 2003

Terminator for President! Recall Bush! Change constitution so that one not born here can be eligible if he or she is here legally.
posted by Postroad at 2:59 PM on August 14, 2003

Can somebody who actually knows math tell me if this PDF from the Missle Defense Agency indicates that Congress is giving *more* money for Missle Defense than requested. Are they actually spending $8billion for a system that even in the best of times can be easily circumvented when they can't pay $300million to real people in real combat situations? I guess NMD is a bigger priority than keeping our troops off public assistance. If I read the doc correctly (a stretch for somebody with my limited intellect) Congress gave an additional $444million to this boondoggle, more than the pay upgrade cited in the SF Gate article.
posted by infowar at 3:13 PM on August 14, 2003

I'm conflicted. I mean, I'm heavily in favor of reducing military spending, but I certainly don't agree with punishing troops that are over in hellish heat getting picked off daily.
posted by jonson at 3:13 PM on August 14, 2003

I think combat pay should be doubled for no other reason than the camel spiders.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:33 PM on August 14, 2003

So in a war that is costing billions of dollars a week, the best way they can save money is to cut $39 million a month? This pay cut is both an insult to the soldiers in Iraq as well as a drop in the bucket in the overall cost of this war (which makes it even more of an insult). I agree with previous statements in this thread - if they are going to cut something, how about the missile defense or private contractor boondoggles.

If the democrats in the house and senate don't stand up and roll some heads over this one then I'm voting for Nader (or Ah-nold) in 2004.
posted by sreilly at 3:36 PM on August 14, 2003

Support our hired killers! Fair's fair!
posted by Hildago at 3:46 PM on August 14, 2003

The sad thing is that this is not a prominent story. I got it via email from a friend who was a former public affairs officer in the Air Force. This makes him crazy.

I'd like to see spending caps put on corporations operating in Iraq before the grunts take a hit. Some of these troops are national guard and loss of their civilian pay is a financial hardship.
posted by whatever at 3:49 PM on August 14, 2003

Why do we allow anyone to profit on war when we have people under fire in a hostile (to us) region?

Here's what we need to do to keep this profiteering out of war, and to make sure our troops, when they must be used, are not neglected and are shown our appreciation:


Everyone from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to the contractors in the military should take a pay-cut during war or 'police actions.' This would ensure that no one is making money off the tragedy and it would ensure that the war is as short as it can be. Contractors would be essentially nationalized.

I have a sneaking suspicion we wouldn't get into wars or police actions unless we absolutely had to. No one should profit from war. Not while our kids are over there (I was there during the first Gulf War) getting shot at, and their families are over here trying to make ends meet.
posted by jackspace at 4:16 PM on August 14, 2003

Not to mention that mystery illness.

as soon as i heard "pneumonia," i thought "depleted uranium." DU is linked to oh-so-many health disorders, but isn't pneumonia one of the big connections?

well, Col. Robert DeFraites says no.
the socialists aren't so sure.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:02 PM on August 14, 2003

I guess NMD is a bigger priority than keeping our troops off public assistance.

Which is funny when you consider that "not only that the program has scant chance of producing a workable missile-defense system, but that its managers know of its dim prospects."
posted by homunculus at 5:18 PM on August 14, 2003

I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't, but I can't help thinking back to all those military absentee votes that helped Bush win Florida when I try to feel sympathetic. The Bush administration is shafting poor people. Who would have thought that would happen?!?
posted by MetalDog at 5:38 PM on August 14, 2003

I would like to thank everyone for not pointing out my spelling error on the post. It should read "Support our troops?"
posted by whatever at 5:56 PM on August 14, 2003

Yeah, we figured that out troups wouldn't be getting much support any time soon, no thanks to Clinton.
posted by straight at 6:58 PM on August 14, 2003

Too bad there is no truth to this story:
No Pay Cut for Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan-Pentagon

Moving to quash a political firestorm, the Pentagon on Thursday denied that it will cut the pay of nearly 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by $225 on Sept. 30 when special military pay hikes approved by Congress are due to expire.

Undersecretary of Defense David Chu answered sharp criticism from Democratic presidential candidates over a press report that the Pentagon favored cutting the pay of combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan because it supported letting the special increases expire.

"No one ever said we wanted to reduce pay in Iraq and Afghanistan," Chu, who is in charge of military personnel and readiness, told reporters.

"We prefer other compensation powers to ensure that we target benefits on the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan," he added, citing incentive and other packages that the Pentagon is authorized to use.

Chu and Defense Department spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the Pentagon planned all along to use incentive and other measures to keep paychecks in Afghanistan and Iraq at current levels, even if danger and family separation pay went down.

"There is no intention of allowing compensation for those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to fall," Chu said.

"The premise that we would somehow disadvantage U.S. forces in combat is absurd," added Di Rita
Spin, Spin, Spin...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:41 PM on August 14, 2003

"The premise that we would somehow disadvantage U.S. forces in combat is absurd," added Di Rita, "or at least it is now that someone noticed. Wasn't Ashcroft going to take care of the press? Sheesh."
posted by davidchess at 8:50 PM on August 14, 2003

"Hang in there troops, help is on the way!" - GW Bush 2000

Wonder if that was a more serious lie than "I did not have sexual relations with that woman?" I mean, it was a lie wasn't it?
posted by nofundy at 5:51 AM on August 15, 2003

Its like the Jedi Mind Trick, but in politics.

As Mark Twain said, "Give a man a reputation as an early riser and that man can thereafter sleep until noon." The Republicans have gotten a reputation as being pro-military and anti-big government.
posted by callmejay at 8:23 AM on August 15, 2003

From the very end of Steve_at_Linnwood's link:

Chu conceded that the pay of some U.S. troops serving in other difficult areas of the world could fall if Congress did not reinstate the incentive increases, but that the Pentagon favored an end to the broad package as it constantly reviewed compensation in different deployment areas.

I wouldn't be making plans based on the extra cash. Better to get back in touch with the WIC, as whatever pointed out.
posted by magullo at 8:44 AM on August 15, 2003

Yeah Steve that partisan rag "Army News" is always spinning stories to embarrass the pentagon. No one in this administration has ever made a statement that later had to be clarified.

I feel so cheap knowing I have been duped into believing that they would reduce danger pay. I bet they are only doing this so they can pay them more than what the congress has called for. Spin indeed.

By the way, your boss called he's reducing your salary but the company is looking for other ways to make it up to you.
posted by whatever at 9:43 AM on August 15, 2003

Skallas: NMD= National Missle Defense the new, "limited", version of SDI aka Star Wars.
posted by infowar at 10:25 AM on August 15, 2003

And a fine job you were doing at it too skallas! And this compliment comes from yet another smartass.

For myself, I knew how you intended the statement.

I appreciate such humor and recognize it as a valuable contribution to conversation, much like I appreciate the Brit's humorous propensity for understatement. Gotta laugh at these bums!
posted by nofundy at 12:11 PM on August 15, 2003

People laugh at me all the time. So no problem.
posted by infowar at 7:35 PM on August 15, 2003

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