Walter B. Jones, Jr is a queer old duck. I don't mean queer as in queer, just queer- as in a queer old duck. He has been a congressman from North Carolina for twenty years. He is a Republican who was once a Democrat in his younger and more carefree days and later, as the political winds of expediency shifted markedly during the Nixon years and the ascendancy of Jesse Helms he eventually saw the light and declared for the Republicans and he is not just any Republican shade but a member of the House's "Liberty Caucus", thats how you can tell just how serious a representative is: there is the word liberty or sometimes, freedom, attached to all they do."On March 23, 2007, Jones was one of two Republicans to vote for a bill that would require President George W. Bush to bring combat troops home from Iraq by September 1, 2008. The other Republican was Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland's 1st congressional district."(Wikipedia); He has actually been kicked out of several committees and senior positions because of his stance on issues not in synch with the "Republican leadership"; He is a popular candidate with the African-American constituency in his home district; what he finds "en rapport" with his compatriots in the Liberty fringe is for you to say.
|Rep. Walter B. Jones, Jr|
His speaking out on the no COLA for Social Security recipients and our disabled vets is what drew our attention in the first place- that and the fact that I have nothing else to do today except wait for my wife to order Chinese take out for our anniversary- and he has strongly made a case that the money that we are wasting in our mis-adventures in Afghanistan (and other places?) can be better used here at home for our seniors and our disabled vets.
THE GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES -- (House of Representatives - October 20, 2015)
Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, this weekend, I learned that there would be no cost-of-living adjustment this year for those living on Social Security. Not only will Social Security recipients not see a cost-of-living increase this year but, also, disabled veterans.
There are over 131,000 veterans on disability in North Carolina who will be suffering this year. Our senior citizens and disabled veterans are having a difficult time making ends meet, and it is not fair that the Federal Government continues to waste money with failed policies like Afghanistan. It is disgraceful.
Mr. Speaker, we will be raising the debt ceiling of this Nation for years to come because of wasteful spending. This means we will be borrowing more money to continue spending more than we take in. Our annual Federal deficit is still over $400 billion a year.
The American people are sick and tired of our wasteful spending, and I know they are frustrated. Once again, our failed policy in Afghanistan is a prime example of the waste, fraud, and abuse of the American taxpayer dollar, but it continues on and on for years to come.
In the recent House-Senate conference bill, Congress included $38 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operation, which is a slush fund used to get around sequestration spending caps for the Department of Defense.
We have already spent over $685 billion in Afghanistan since 2001, and according to the Congressional Budget Office, we will be spending at least $30 billion a year in Afghanistan for the next 8 years, and Congress has never debated the policy of Afghanistan.
This slush fund goes to fund our never-ending wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. We continue to spend money on a fool's errand in the Middle East. Meanwhile, our disabled veterans at home cannot keep up with the rising costs of daily living. President Obama will be keeping 10,000 troops in Afghanistan through all of next year and at least 5,000 there after 2016.
Mr. Speaker, years ago, I reached out to a former commandant of the Marine Corps whom I knew, and I asked him to give me his advice on Afghanistan. Many times he has given me his best advice, but one that has stuck with me for years is this--and I quote the commandant:
``What do we say to the mother and father ..... the wife ..... of the last marine or soldier killed to support a corrupt government and corrupt leader in a war that cannot be won?''
Mr. Speaker, that is Afghanistan. It is a waste.
How ridiculous it is that Congress and the administration think we can change history. The history of Afghanistan has shown that no outside military force has ever changed it, from Alexander the Great, to the British, to the Russians. It is truly the graveyard of empires, and I hope we won't have a headstone there, waiting, that will read, ``Welcome, America, to the graveyard of empires.''
Mr. Speaker, this poster beside me is a reminder of the cost of war in Afghanistan. There is a little girl holding her mother's hand as they are waiting to follow a caisson down to bury the little girl's father and the wife's husband.
Congress, wake up. We are heading for collapse in this country. Let's not continue to spend and waste money, blood, and limbs in Afghanistan.
Mr. Speaker, I ask God to please bless our men and women in uniform, to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform, and, God, please bless America and please wake up the Congress before it is too late.
I wonder if Rep. Jones realized that he was almost "channeling" the young John Kerry of 44 Springs ago as the then returning decorated soldier and spokesman for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War testified before Senator William Fulbright's Senate Foreign Relations Committee asking for an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from South Vietnam.
|April 23, 1971|
"Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something the entire world already knows, so that we can't say we have made a mistake. Someone has rto die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first president to lose a war."
We are asking Americans to think about this because: how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? But we are trying to do that, and we are doing it with thousands of rationalizations..."
And whatever happened to that young man, anyway?