Who Speaks for the American Military on Iraq?

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The bias in the way in which the Media has covered the emerging presidential campaign has been evident for some months now.

The implication has been that a hawk like Rudy Giuliani speaks for the American soldiers and other military members, when he, John McCain, Fred Thompson and others, continue to parrot the Bush Administration’s line that the US must "stay the course in Iraq," as withdrawal would be a betrayal of our heroic fighting men and women.

The Media has given short shrift to Ron Paul, the only candidate among the Republicans who argues for withdrawal.

If that logic was correct, then Ron Paul must be the most hated of the candidates among those people associated with the US Military. But, is that true?

Given the means of electronic voting today, if the Bush Administration had the intestinal fortitude to do so, that hypothesis could readily be tested. The GOP was certainly keen to count the Military’s votes in the disputed election in Florida during the 2000 election.

Is there some alternative means of ascertaining the feelings of our Military with respect to the candidates and their views? As it happens, perhaps there is!

Few would argue that in politics, people and interest groups tend to put their money where their mouth is. That is, they give money to those candidates whose views reflect their own interests.

That being the case, the latest information we have about party donations is quite interesting!

Analyzing the latest finance reports, military-support for the Republican candidates, The Spin Factor broke down the donations from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and among Veterans (their figures do not include the Marines, which only slightly alters the results). The results can be easily verified by checking the reports by employer for Ron Paul and the other candidates.

Name

Total $

Army

Navy

AF

Vets

Paul
23,465

6,975

6,765

4,650

5,075

McCain
15,825

6,925

6,305

1,795

800

Romney
3,551

2,051

0

1,500

0

Giuliani
2,320

1,450

370

250

250

Hunter
1,000

0

1,000

0

Huckabee
750

250

0

500

Tancredo
350

350

0

0

Brownback
71

71

0

0

Thompson
0

0

0

0

*Note: The numbers for the last five candidates have not been thoroughly verified.

52.53%: Ron Paul
35.4%: McCain
7.9%: Romney
5.2%: Giuliani
2.2%: Hunter
2.6%: Others

Thus, more than half of the Military and Veterans donating funds to the Republican Party candidates gave their monies to one candidate, Dr. Ron Paul.

I would suggest this is about a clear an indication of the views of our Military on the positions of the Republican candidates as we are apt to get. Why doesn’t the Media offer this data to the American people?

William Marina [send him mail] is Professor Emeritus in History at Florida Atlantic University, a Research Fellow of the Independent Institute, Oakland, CA, and Executive Director of the Marina-Huerta Educational Foundation. He lives in Asheville, NC.

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