March 13, 2008
© 2008 - NewsWithViews.com
How many times do we hear politicians say how much they respect our active duty military and honor our veterans? From presidents to members of Congress since 911, it's become a staple of Washington, DC., double speak. The reality is far different. Not only have the same elected officials lied and dragged the American people into one war after another we didn't want, they have betrayed those who do come home. Three sitting presidents in a row, Bush, Sr., Clinton and Bush, Jr., have allowed the use of depleted uranium to kill not only the indigenous population of Iraq, but our own. The links at the bottom of this column tell the real story.
Our veterans coming home from these unholy invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as our freedom fighters still alive who fought in Viet Nam and other foreign wars, continue to be dumped on Washington, DC. Let me tell you the ways:
17 Feb 2008 By: Don Harribine, USN (Ret). "Shipmates, Veterans, Military Retirees and Family: We need to do some heavy work on this and contact our Congressmen and Senators before more drastic measures are taken by DoD to raise our Tricare fees. Contact your Representatives and Senators now !!!! We can not stand by and wait for this to happen. We need to act now !!!
"Comment: "I concur wholeheartedly. This has to stop. Do something about it now. ..The problem has been handing over military medical care to people in bed with civilian HMOs. They are spending more money on administration keeping the HMO's executives fed and employed then they are on direct medical care to people who, along with their families, have sacrificed to keep this country free. Contrary to Dr Chu who has never been a friend to retirees, military retirees are not the problem. The fault lies with the administration in allowing people like Chu to operate...The solution now is with you writing to Congress to instruct them to tell DOD and Chu to shove it...Once the camel gets it's nose under the tent you are going to be on the outside looking in....By the way, I think we are all taxpayers also.....Come on people, Stand up! Time is of the essence" Bob
My husband is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who served 27 years. He's retired, has cancer and advanced emphysema. John served in Viet Nam and like so many of our veterans, developed cancer decades later. We have TriCare Prime and we pay the premiums out of our own pocket. I can tell you first hand that the people I've encountered who work for TriCare/Humana are always kind, courteous and do care about serving those who served. However, the system itself is so convoluted, like the private health care industry in this country, costs continue to rise and instead of fixing it, the solution is to penalize the patient.
The justification for this proposed increase penalizing those who served is to be "more fair to the taxpayer." If this weren't such a grotesque statement one might want to laugh, but this is no laughing matter. Those who have never been in a war zone before don't have a clue what war does to the human mind and spirit on top of physical injury. Waving flags and giving speeches every election cycle about how we love our soldiers (for votes) doesn't do a single thing for our own coming home broken and maimed.
It does nothing for our soldiers dying from the use of depleted uranium and don't tell me members of Congress know nothing about the fact that we are killing our own soldiers. My, God, I can't tell you how many of us have been hounding Congress for years to stop this insanity. While Bush is over in Africa dancing and frolicking with the local population, our soldiers ARE coming home dying from the use of DU.
Each time a new director of the Department of Veterans Affairs is appointed (political appointees who are NOT qualified for the job), the promise is made that 'change' will happen. More empty words as our precious soldiers continue to die:
January 15, 2008. "Nothing has changed [at Walter Reed]. Same facility. None of the recommendations that I made have been implemented and to my knowledge they really aren't working on it." Former Army Lt. and military nurse Doug Connor sat down for an interview with Truthout reporter Geoffrey Millard to share his experience before and after the Walter Reed Medical Center scandal broke.
January 28, 2008. VA Links Poor Care to 19 Deaths in Ill. "(AP) Substandard care at a southern Illinois Veterans Affairs hospital may have contributed to 19 deaths over the past two years, a VA official said Monday as he apologized to affected families and pledged reform."
September 27, 2007. "On April 9, Spc. Jon Town was featured on the cover of The Nation, in an article that told how he was wounded in Iraq, won a Purple Heart and was then denied all disability and medical benefits. Town's doctor had concluded that his headaches and hearing loss were not caused by the 107-millimeter rocket that knocked him unconscious but by a psychological condition, "personality disorder," a pre-existing illness for which one cannot collect disability pay or receive medical care."
September 7, 2007. Dianne Feinstein's $4 billion earmark for Beverly Hills comes at the expense of America's veterans. "Move over Bridge to Nowhere. Congress is back in town, and clearly back to business even uglier than usual. It takes hard work to come up with an earmark more egregious than that infamous Alaskan bridge, but California's Dianne Feinstein is an industrious gal. Her latest pork--let's call it Rambo's View--deserves to be the poster child for everything wrong with today's greedy earmark process." Voters wanted 'change' in November 2006? I guess it depends on how you define change: March 10, 2008. Reid Won't Back Ban on Earmarks.
October 29, 2007. 'How Do You Fund A War, But Not The Casualties?' "Some veterans advocates say the VA is in such disarray that the White House has been unable to find a top-notch candidate willing to take the job, much less go through a confirmation hearing. "Who wants to come in for 15 months and take over a department that has been left in shambles?" asks Paul Sullivan, a former VA official who now heads Veterans for Common Sense. White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore declined to comment on particular candidates, but says, "We are working hard to nominate a highly qualified individual." She adds that the White House hopes to announce a nominee "soon."
"In response to criticism over the issue, President Bush unveiled new proposals last week to revamp the health-care and disability system for vets, partly by streamlining the bureaucracy. Days later, USA Today reported the results of a new internal VA study showing that the number of Iraq and Afghanistan vets diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress disorder is rising rapidly, from 29,041 a year ago to 48,559 this year. Few of these soldiers are even counted in the Pentagon's official tally of 27,753 wounded in Iraq.
"Yet a Pentagon task force recently concluded that the number of mental-health professionals available to vets is "woefully inadequate," and the average wait time for disability claims is six months. Linda Bilmes, a policy analyst at Harvard who will testify before Congress this week, calculates that over the next decade, the disability costs for vets will be at least $60 billion-more than six times the administration's official projections. The numbers coming out of government budget offices, she says, "are significantly underestimating the reality." All this has angered some vets and their families. "I would love to have the president live my life for one week to see how difficult it is," says Annette McLeod, wife of Army specialist Wendell McLeod, who is suffering from PTSD after serving in Iraq. "How do you fund a war but not fund the casualties?"
$60 BILLION BORROWED dollars that would not be necessary had Bush and his co-conspirators not lied and dragged us into this immoral, unconstitutional quagmire in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the totally incompetent, Nancy Pelosi spends time revamping the house cafeteria menu, our vets are suffering and dying.
February 5, 2008. "Veterans not entitled to mental health care, U.S. lawyers argue. Veterans have no legal right to specific types of medical care, the Bush administration argues in a lawsuit accusing the government of illegally denying mental health treatment to some troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan." Isn't that just grand from our Commander in Chief?
January 25, 2008. "A CBS news investigation in November found that 120 veterans kill themselves every week; or over 6,000 per year. CBS asked all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records for veterans and non-veterans, and found that veterans were twice as likely to commit suicide....Then there are those who become homeless because of government inaction. On any given night 200,000 veterans sleep homeless on the street. Increasingly those veterans are younger folks who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. People like Specialist James Eggemeyer, who just a few months after returning home from Iraq with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by loading the bodies of dead Iraqis into a Blackhawk helicopter. The VA took so long to process Eggemeyer's disability claim that he had to live out of his truck while he waited. The average wait time for a veteran's disability claim to be decided is now 183 days. More than 600,000 disabled vets are waiting. Tens of thousands more veterans are being totally denied medical care and disability benefits they were promised after serving abroad."
Now, tell me again how Congress and Bush care about our veterans.
The U.S. Treasury is overdrawn $9.4 TRILLION DOLLARS as I write this column. The Bush Administration - with the blessing by the U.S. Congress - is unconstitutionally writing hot checks every month to the tune of $12 BILLION BORROWED "dollars" just to Iraq alone, but providing low-cost medical insurance for our veterans is "unfair" to the American taxpayer? Our Commander in Chief who spent the Viet Nam war years getting drunk every weekend while in the National Guard can whiz away a king's ransom every month on this wasted failure in Iraq, but our returning soldiers aren't entitled to mental health care treatment? Yet, the Bush Administration with the blessing of Congress, continues to throw ship loads of money to improve military forces for foreign governments:
March 10, 2008: Bush and Polish PM see progress on missile shield deal. Poland, the biggest NATO member from the former Warsaw Pact, has demanded that Washington help upgrade its military in exchange for hosting part of the anti-missile system, which has added to strains between Washington and Moscow. "The United States recognizes the need for Polish forces to be modernized," Bush told reporters. "And we're responding."
There is ZERO authority for Congress to fund any foreign government's military or foreign aid to any country, but it's been going on for years. Sacking and looting our treasury and denying our active duty soldiers the proper equipment while forced to fight these unconstitutional invasions of non threatening countries. Instead of making sure a system is in place for taking care of our broken, sick and dying vets when they come home that works and is affordable, for decades Congress continues to dump on our vets while waving flags and wearing pins on their lapels.
Let me remind the American people of another incident that just might get them out of their self induced comas:
On April 1, 2001, the butchering Communist Chinese government allowed one of their F-8 fighter jets, playing a dangerous game, to collide with one of our U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II surveillance planes. Twenty four Americans, after a miraculous emergency landing, were then held as prisoners. Eleven days later and after thoroughly stripping down this $80 million dollar airplane and breaking our sensitive defense code, the commies released our freedom fighters and sent us back a heap of salvageable airplane parts.
Those Chinese F-8 fighters have been carrying air-to-air missiles sold to China by Israel. The U.S. government unconstitutionally gives Israel billions of borrowed dollars per year foreign aid. They then turn around and sell our mortal enemy air-to-air missiles and guess where they're pointed? During those 11 days our military personnel were being held, Americans were wringing their hands in worry. The yellow ribbons went up on trees. Rightfully so, Americans were steaming big time and the families of those 24 crew members were fearful for the well being of their children, husbands and daughters. Mr. Bush issued an apology to the widow of the pilot who shot down our plane! It was truly a miracle we didn't have 24 dead service members.
On April 2, 2001, Bush, stated the following: "Finally, we have offered to provide search and rescue assistance to help the Chinese government locate its missing aircraft and pilot. Our military stands ready to help." We're supposed to help our enemy, the ones who just caused our plane to be severely damaged, recklessly endangering our freedom fighters, to go look for one of their cowboys who brought his misfortune upon himself? And, then what do these lying curs do? They refuse to hand over our military and all but destroy our plane while it's on the ground. On April 3, 2001, Mr. Bush had this to say:
"This is an unusual situation, in which an American military aircraft had to make an emergency landing on Chinese soil. Our approach has been to keep this accident from becoming an international incident. We have allowed the Chinese government time to do the right thing. But now it is time for our servicemen and women to return home. And it is time for the Chinese government to return our plane. "This accident has the potential of undermining our hopes for a fruitful and productive relationship between our two countries. To keep that from happening, our servicemen and women need to come home."
On April 11, 2001, Bush he said: THE PRESIDENT: "Good morning. I'm pleased to be able to tell the American people that plans are underway to bring home our 24 American servicemen and women from Hainan Island. This morning, the Chinese government assured our American Ambassador that the crew would leave promptly. We're working on arrangements to pick them up and to bring them home."
While he was double dealing behind our backs:
China Seeks U.S. Military Aid. Oct. 3, 2001. "June 2001 meetings with Chinese Air Force in wake of EP-3 downing. "Newly released documents show that U.S. Air Force officials met with Chinese military officers in June 2001 to discuss U.S. possible military aid for China. "According to documents, the meetings took place inside China despite the "policy issues surrounding the (at that time unresolved) EP-3 situation."
This barbaric regime brings down one of our planes, holds our servicemen and women hostage and then has the gall to ask the people of this nation for military aid? While we were all sitting around praying for the safe return of our 24 crew members, it was business as usual.
I supported our active duty military and Coast Guard long before I met and married John. While everyday is a challenge for my husband, he came home from Viet Nam. Hundreds of thousands of veterans weren't so lucky. Our veterans were promised by liars serving in the U.S. Congress for decades that they would be taken care of for their years of service to this republic. This nonsense has to stop, but nothing will change until you replace the current incumbents in Congress.
Change cannot come with the same players. How many times are you going to ask the same member of Congress, to solve the problem only to have them go right back into office and continue with the same failed policies?
There's no money to take care of our veterans, but Bush, with the blessing of Congress, is throwing hundreds of millions of borrowed dollars to upgrade and finance foreign military. Think about that in November and then help get rid of ALL electronic voting machines AND scanners and go back to paper ballots, hand counted in front of the public and maybe we can get constitutionally qualified Americans elected to Congress.
Uranium Madness - A MUST Read
2 - Depleted Uranium is WMD
3 - U.S. Weapons Poison Europe
4 - Empty Rhetoric for our Veterans
5 - Colin Powell Confronted on Depleted Uranium
6 - Brain-Tweaking Chemical Caused Gulf War Syndrome; 1 in 3 sick
7 - After Military Suicides, Families Wait for Answers
8 - The disgraceful treatment of our veterans
9 - Mental health veterans/coming tsunami
10 - Mystery illness kills Missouri soldier
11 - Uranium killing Italian troops
12 - Depleted Uranium: A slow, silent killer
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