Bush: It’s not my fault

In the latest ad, Bush is going after Kerry for voting against the $87b for Iraq last year:

The commercial shows clips of soldiers and a military plane taking off. Those images are mixed in with pictures of the U.S. Capitol, the legislative chamber and a shot of Kerry.

“Few votes in Congress are as important as funding our troops at war,” the narrator says. “Though John Kerry voted in October of 2002 for military action in Iraq, he later voted against funding our soldiers.”

The narrator lists such things as body armor for troops, higher combat pay and “better health care for reservists and their families” and cites Kerry as voting “no” for each of those things.

The ad concludes with the words: “John Kerry: Wrong on defense.”

“Body armor” rings a bell — haven’t I heard something about that before? Now I remember, it was in the Washington Times on October 13, 2003:

Nearly one-quarter of the 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq still have not been issued a new type of ceramic body armor strong enough to protect against bullets fired from assault rifles.

Delays in funding, production and shipping mean it will be December before all troops in Iraq will have the vests, which were introduced four years ago, military officials say.

Congress approved $310 million in April to buy 300,000 bulletproof vests, with 30,000 destined to complete outfitting of the troops in Iraq. Of that money, however, only about $75 million has reached the Army office responsible for overseeing the manufacture and distribution of the vests, said David Nelson, who works at the office.

Angry members of Congress have denounced the Pentagon. They say up to 44,000 troops lack the vests because of sluggish supply chain, a figure significantly higher than that given by the Pentagon. Relatives of some soldiers have resorted to buying the body armor, which costs more than $1,000, and shipping it to Iraq, the lawmakers say.

“I got a letter from a young soldier in Baghdad saying that the men in his group were concerned that they had cheap armor that was incapable of stopping bullets. And they wondered why they could not have the best protection possible under the circumstances,” said Rep. Ted Strickland, Ohio Democrat.

The House version of an $86.7 billion supplemental spending request for Iraq’s reconstruction passed last week would include $251 million for body armor and for clearing unexploded munitions, although it’s not clear whether additional money would speed up the process at this point. President Bush’s original request included no additional money for body armor.

I see. Congress gives Bush money for the armor, Rumsfeld and the Pentagon are in charge of procuring the armor (note to Rumsfeld: next time, get the body armor before sending in the troops!) but fail do adequately do so. Fast-forward to 2004 and it’s John Kerry’s fault! Freakin’ amazing. This sounds exactly like what you’d expect from a “crooked, you know, lying group of people.”(*)

I only addressed the body armor. Researching the hypocrisy in the “higher combat pay” charge is left as an exercise for the reader.


P.S. I suspect that this ad is related to the Bush campaign hiring long time attack ad producer Alex ‘RatsTM brand Democrats‘ Castellanos.

(*) The quoted phrase in this context refers to those who produced and approved the latest ad, not all Republicans. Moreover it is only meant to imply that they are acting like a “crooked, you know, lying group of people.” Those who express outrage at the use of the phrase, “crooked, you know, lying group of people,” should stop associating with people who act like crooks and/or liars.