President George W. Bush released his 2008 budget on Monday, cashing in at $2.9 trillion dollars. It includes $481 billion for defense costs, plus another $142 billion to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There's another $313.4 million for the U.S. Department of Justice "to address violence against children, including sexual exploitation through the Internet," according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. More on that in Part II.
Our troops and their families who are sacrificing themselves to save us from annihilation need and deserve all the moral support we can give them and all of the resources our national budget can bear. For that reason, government officials must make sure that none of our limited resources is spent in ways that harms rather than helps our troops and their families.
Members of Congress, including some in the President's own party, oppose the war in Iraq on philosophical and political grounds, as well as monetarily.
Many continue to cite abuses at the Abu Ghraib military prison in Iraq as an excuse to oppose the war. Certainly, the abuses at Abu Ghraib must not be repeated. But that requires a lot more than re-training guards and interrogators.
Much of what is depicted in the 279 photos and 19 videos taken at Abu Ghraib resembles behavior in hard-core pornography, which is readily available to our troops via the Internet, magazines and DVDs.
Porn peddlers feign patriotic support with phony offers of free porn to the troops. Our military chaplains are faced with the fallout.
Chaplains are reporting that pornography addiction is a serious problem among our troops, even though alcohol and porn are banned for those serving in Iraq:
In Iraq, alcohol and pornography - including Internet porn - are banned for enlisted personnel out of sensitivity to adherents of the country's dominant religion, Islam. But despite the prohibitions and blocking software on military computers, Father Mark Reilly, who served as a Marine chaplain in Iraq this year, said increasing numbers of both men and women serving in Iraq have access to porn and have become addicted.
"I don't think I've ever been confronted as much face-to-face with men and women - in and out of the confessional - saying, 'I'm addicted to porn and I don't know how to get out of it,'" Father Reilly said. "They're looking for a life preserver. It's wrecking their marriages. Like any addiction, they lose control."
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