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It’s not the time to stay silent

As the debate about how to express the outrage of America for the use of chemical weapons in Syria on its own people rages on, there really comes a time when some speaking out has to take place. Journal readers have their views, and most of them are negative about the idea of sending a bunch of Tomahawk missiles into Syria.

But how can we as a country express our outrage and make a difference?

Call us a little spineless here at The Journal about leading in the offense, but the issue changes daily, or hourly, depending how much you watch the news on the TV, read the papers, or keep up with the internet. Coming up with a statement you can put down on paper is still hard.

The tipping point wasn’t reached until the news came on the computer screen about the pay cut President Obama is planning for military personnel.

We at The Journal  are against sending missiles to Syria.

President Obama has informed Congress that instead of giving military personnel a 1.8% pay raise, he intends to give only a 1% increase in the coming year. By law, military pay raises are based on the Employment Cost Index, compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics which ties military raises to private sector pay growth (was there any?). Under these rules, the military was to get a 1.8% pay raise in January 2014.

However, the president has prerogative to change that rate “if because of national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, the president considers the pay adjustment which would otherwise be required by this section, in any year, to be inappropriate.”

Really? Our military has been involved in his wars, at his behest for years. They have fought and died for what clearly seems to many to have been un-winnable wars whose outcomes have cost the military and America untold hardships and       sorrow, made us no friends in the world, and put us into a depression which seems never to end.

Now the president wants, as a starter, to send some $200 million worth of 21st Century Tomahawk missiles into a country which lives in a society with primitive ideas about life and death, and which treats its citizens as less than human.

Being in the Dahlgren area, we all know a little about the efficiency of Tomahawk missiles and the ships and men who deal with them. So what is the president doing? Does he really think he can change the philosophy of Syria and its leaders by hurling $200 million worth of bombs on top of  the devastation which is already there?
What about all the people who have been killed around the world by others for some political reason? How many are there? Just start naming the countries whose people have been slaughtered - have you run out of fingers?

How many of our own citizens are killed each year by forces over which they have no control? No one is offering them $200 million to tip the scales. Yes, it’s horrible what has happened to the citizens of Syria as the government slaughtered its people, but it is not something that has not happened in other forms to people all over the world, and it will keep on happening.

Our country and its citizens are thinking hard about that money. How many of them can’t meet the payrolls in their businesses or live on the money they are earning now, because of the recession in this country? Obama just doesn’t understand what is going on out here, outside of the Beltway. He can spend $100 million of our money to take a trip to Africa to see all the poor folks there, and so it follows that he thinks he can spend $200 million of our money on a mission where no one can predict the outcome. This, at the same time he cuts pay raises for our military, the very people he would have to depend on if Tomahawks are not enough.

You couldn’t make that work in your business. How in the world does our Commander-in-Chief plan to get away with that? Does he really think he can expect the military to continue to put their lives on the line  for him?

Does he really expect the country to continue on the path and the road he wants us to go? It’s time to speak out and let our government know!

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