Article: In Bill’s Fine Print, Millions to Celebrate Victory

First, my comments on the following article… then click through to read what sparked these comments.

What do you mean we haven’t won!? Things are going great in Iraq… It’s that damn liberal media that only wants to talk about that occasional death squad / corrupt police force… or the fact that we have to wall off Baghdad like some kind of Warsaw ghetto [no offense is meant by mentioning the Warsaw Ghetto… I have been to Warsaw and to concentration camps and we must do everything humanly possible to never forget what happened at those places, how and why, and not to let them be repeated… the way they will ever be repeated will be if people use slogans, propaganda, lies and distortions to do things like revoke privacy laws, moves towards becoming police states, hold themselves above constitutions through signing statements, make new definitions of torture, suspend terms of international treaties… sound familiar?]… It’s going great! Just look at that green zone, it’s just dandy in there… I mean don’t even use the “i” word. There’s no insurgency, this is just the birth pangs of democracy, our form of government and the best form of government and if you won’t try it on your own then we’ll jam it down your throat… How’s that freedom taste! But, God bless ’em all. And that Hastert, he’s doing a helluva job. Now let’s celebrate and build some statues to commemorate our victory… and lets buy some more medals to hand around to each other, have some more photo opps and award some more contracts. Shit, this is great!

From the October 4, 2006, NYT:

In Bill’s Fine Print, Millions to Celebrate Victory

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — Even as the Bush administration urges Americans to stay the course in Iraq, Republicans in Congress have put down a quiet marker in the apparent hope that V-I Day might be only months away.

Tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital “for commemoration of success” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not surprisingly, the money was not spent.

Now Congressional Republicans are saying, in effect, maybe next year. A paragraph written into spending legislation and approved by the Senate and House allows the $20 million to be rolled over into 2007.

The original legislation empowered the president to designate “a day of celebration” to commemorate the success of the armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to “issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

The celebration would honor the soldiers, sailors, air crews and marines who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it would be held in Washington, with the $20 million to cover the costs of military participation.

Democrats called attention to the measure, an act that Republicans are likely to portray as an effort to embarrass them five weeks before the midterm election. The Democrats said both the original language and the extension were pushed by Senate Republicans. A spokesman for the Republican-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee said it was protocol not to identify sponsors of such specific legislation.

The overall legislation was approved in the Senate by unanimous consent and overwhelmingly in the House after a short debate.

Democrats nevertheless said they were not pleased.

“If the Bush administration had spent more time planning for the postwar occupation of Iraq, and less time planning ‘mission accomplished’ victory celebrations, America would be closer to finishing the job in Iraq,” said Rebecca M. Kirszner, communications director for Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader.

Lt. Col. Brian Maka, a Pentagon spokesman, said late Tuesday that the event was envisioned as an opportunity for “honoring returning U.S. forces at the conclusion” of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. “As the funds were not used in F.Y. 2006,” the official said, using the initials for fiscal year, “the authorization was rolled over into F.Y. 2007.”