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POSTED: Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 1:13 PM
Filed Under: World
 
While Gen. Petraeus makes the case in Congress today for extending the war in Iraq, ABC News and its reporter over there, Martha Raddatz, have a story out about how the troops see the presidential race back home. The story's headlined, "Surprising Political Endorsements By U.S. Troops," and I assume this is what they meant by that.
 
The story never once mentions the M-word.
 
As in McCain. Nope. Not. Mentioned. Even. Once. But if you read the whole story, which involves actual journalism, as in talking to real people who happen to be soldiers and asking then what they think, maybe that's not really so "surprising." Why would they support a candidate who wants to keep troops like them fighting in the desert for a long, long time, when they mainly want to come home?
 
As in, come home, like, tomorrow:
Though the military is generally a more conservative group, soldiers like Sgt. Justin Sarbaum are just as eager for a pull-out as the Democratic candidates. Sarbaum said he wondered which presidential candidate would be able to better the U.S. relationship with rogue nations, such as Iran, so that soldiers are not sent off to another war.
 
"Iran is obviously a big issue," Sarbaum said, "Here in Iraq for my third time; starting another war right now — is it really necessary?"
 
Sgt. Cory Messingham from Lewisville, Texas, said he wasn't following the race, but he was concerned about candidates' paying attention to the emotional toll that the war has taken on soldiers.
 
"My biggest issue is support for the military, military funding and our deployments, not having long deployments anymore. Because [the] majority of us are doing ...15-month deployments. So, it's tough on the soldiers and tough on the soldiers' families. Those are really my biggest issues."
If you're keeping score, of the five solidiers who express a candidate preference in the article, four are backing Obama -- the man who said of Iraq in 2002 that "I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war." One backs Hillary Clinton, and then there is he who shall not be named. These soldiers/citizens/voters are concerned about the same things their like-minded Americans back home care about, like the economy and avoiding future wars that might be even more ill-advised than the one they've been sent to fight.
 
I think this article is one more layer of evidence that those of us who say we support the troops by wanting them to end this misguided mission and return safely are, well, yes, supporting the troops.
 
And yet the ABC article says that what it found was "surprising" -- leaving the reader to assume that we should all be surprised that more troops aren't backing McCain and his awesome surge. (It also notes, without any backup whatsoever, that "the military is generally a more conservative group." Maybe -- but prove it.) To me, there's only one thing "surprising" about the article.
 
That somebody asked our troops, what do you think?
Will Bunch @ 1:13 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2008, 11:50 AM
Filed Under: World

I've been on a recent kick for George W. Bush not to attend the Summer Olympics in Beijing, and now one of the presidential candidates has signed onto the cause.

And it's...Hillary Clinton!

Will Bunch @ 11:50 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 3, 2008, 1:35 PM
Filed Under: World

Does anybody really think that Bush should travel halfway around the world to clap for this thug regime?

Activist Hu Jia was on Thursday jailed for three years and six months for subversion, his lawyer said, amid what rights groups charge is a campaign by China to silence dissent before the Olympics.

The United States and the European Union immediately spoke out in defence of Hu, who became the second Chinese dissident in less than two weeks to be jailed after using the Beijing Olympics to highlight human rights problems in China.

Hu, for many years one of China's highest-profile human rights campaigners, was found guilty at a Beijing court of "incitement to subvert state power" following a one-day trial last month, lawyer Li Fangping said.

Will Bunch @ 1:35 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, March 31, 2008, 9:25 PM
Filed Under: World

"Only Nixon could go to China."
-- Spock, citing what he called an ancient Vulcan proverb in "Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country."

Presidential spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush's position is that the Olympics "should be about the athletes and not necessarily about politics."
-- Associated Press, March 20, 2008.

That's right -- the Olympics should be about the world's great athletes and not about politics. But you're a politician, Mr. Bush. So why are you going? -- when your presence, aside from giving your lame duck self a nice personal summer vacation, will also be seen as a tacit endorsement of the thug tactics of the Chinese dictators from Tibet to Tiananmen Square.

Will Bunch @ 9:25 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
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Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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