U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Now GOP Aims Lies at Veterans

Hey Sussex, Wisconsin native Thomas Tradewell, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Commander, where are you?

Because nothing is sacred to the Republican Party, certainly not veterans.

Chris Adams at McClatchy Newspapers reports, "While Republicans are calling a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) health planning booklet a 'death book' that encourages veterans to kill themselves or forgo care, ethicists and legal and medical experts say it's a reasonable attempt to help America's veterans plan for the end of their lives."
 
Make no mistake, the GOP will tell any lie and dishonor America's 26-million veterans for a chance to stir up its benighted base. Now, they are claiming that the DVA is encouraging veterans to kill themselves.

Does the VFW approve of these lies?

Obama’s Presidency on the Brink

And so is our country.

How President Obama reacts to three catastrophes will define his presidency.

And none is the health care crisis, as critical as that is, and as annoying as are the Republican lies about public health care.

The catastrophes are Afghanistan, Goldman Sachs, and Veterans Affairs, none of which show a clear path to an acceptable humanitarian and political resolution.

Afghanistan

“Fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia!’” said Vizzini in The Princess Bride, a brilliant film my girlfriend talked me into watching.

Or as Gregory Feifer puts it in The Great Gamble, The Soviet War in Afghanistan (HarperCollins, 2009), “The Soviet war in Afghanistan again confirmed that no power ever successfully conquered that land … [From] Cyrus the Great [to] Alexander the Great … [to] the British … foreign forces have often moved into Afghanistan with relative ease, they’ve never been able to maintain control.”

Feifer and Vizzini might have added that the difficulties of the invaders paled in comparison to the devastation wreaked upon the invaders’ Afghan victims who after all were slaughtered and maimed on a level surpassing the American imagination.

Veterans Scandal in Montana

Update: Here's a jobs program, processing veterans' claims that are pouring in (NYT). Would give veterans the respect they deserve, but I suppose the bureaucrats would rather set veteran against veteran like what the Inspector General is trying to pull off in the Robert Anthon affair out of Fort Atkinson. Just another thought, how about no war?

Here's an appalling, emerging Dept of Veterans Affairs (DVA) scandal in an agency that one would think ought to operate with the force and discipline of a Vince Lombardi-coached offensive line.

But the flag-waving and faux patriotism that is such a pervasive aspect of our culture does not translate into the DVA helping our 26 million veterans as they deserve.

See the following pieces posted over the weekend about a scandal in our neighbor to the northwest:

- VA 'Quack' Scandal in Montana May Be Worst Yet

- Massive Patient Abuse Fraud,Courageous Vets Stand Against Hospital Cover-up

Vietnam War Veterans Called Bums

Funny how the most effective and most committed veteran advocates have nothing but profane language for those veterans who wrap themselves in the flag and scream Republican and God Bless America.

Take Gordon Duff, a Vietnam War Marine combat veteran and regular contributor to Veterans Today.

What Duff [that's the crazy SOB in photo] lacks in subtlety, he makes up in commitment and candor. From Duff's latest:

Who are these folks we see, festooned in vests and ribbons, all screaming for war against someone? Are they real Vietnam vets, aging holdovers from a disastrous war? Having spent 40 years as a Vietnam veteran, I have a pretty good idea. NO! ...

I served in an elite Marine combat unit that was 100% against the war. Everyone in Vietnam was. Why?

Vietnam, McNamara and Veterans

Bob Herbert writes today in After the War Was Over that "Robert McNamara realized early on that Vietnam was a lost cause, but he kept that crucial information close to his chest. How did he ever look at himself in a mirror? ... The obscenity of war is lost on most Americans, and that drains the death of Robert McNamara of any real significance."

The obscenity continues to this day, destroying the lives of our veterans.

No matter what the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Dr. Sally Satel say from their plush offices, veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly suffer for the rest of their lives.

But the U.S.

The GOP War Against Veterans

Gordon Duff at Veterans Today has a piece on the GOP hostility to veterans.

Duff is a Marine combat veteran and a writer on political and social issues who apparently has had enough.

Wisconsin's jailed veteran, Keith Roberts, get a prominent mention.

Writes Duff:

‘Conservative’ means ‘saving money’ and ‘keeping soldiers as slaves onto death.’ Whether we are talking John McCain or Burr or Graham or two dozen others, these patriotic heroes have done nothing over the years but receive continual support from our favorite veterans groups for gutting military and veterans benefits.

With a series of ‘think tanks’ selling pseudo science, most of them got their feet wet with decades of ‘smoking and lung cancer denial,’ or similar idiocy, the American Enterprise Institute stands out as the lead in the war against American heroes.

Even more maniacal and radical than the Heritiage Foundation, private ‘rubber stamp’ for the schemes of Amway/Blackwater, Coors extremism and Richard Mellon Scaife, private funder for the failed Clinton impeachment, the AEI focuses on destroying veterans.

Their primary tool is a Doctor Sally Satel.

Veterans Blasting Dave Obey

Suffice to say that many activist veterans are not too happy with Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wausau).

Though generally regarded as a progressive, the words I most often hear from folks across the political spectrum (from small business owners to anti-war activists) describing Obey are swearwords directed at Obey's personality and several parts of his anatomy.

From a veteran's e-mail emblematic of dismay of Obey's apparent shafting of our veterans on health care:

Obey is the Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, One of his priorities is health care.

Obey has been a driving force behind doubling federal investments in medical research and in expanding access to affordable health care. He believes every American should be covered by affordable health insurance,that managed care patients need a Bill of Rights, and that Medicare should provide affordable prescription drug coverage for seniors.

And yet this individual has led the charge against mandatory funding for veterans health care.

Shafting Vets Makes the News

Not news among veterans’ advocates, but three pieces paint a sordid picture of what our country intentionally inflicts upon our veterans when it makes war.

War tends to produce results dysfunctional to future war-making so veterans and serving military personnel who point to any evidence of this truism risk a hostile government machinery.

Consider what happens when death gives a veteran a problem and the VA can’t make a fraud charge stick when a solider is diagnosed with the resulting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), here’s an alternative tactic: Ruin a soilder’s career while he’s still in the service and take away as many benefits as possible.

See Army General Improperly Kicks Out Iraq War Soldier Diagnosed with PTSD (Veterans for Common Sense).

Pardon Jailed Wisconsin Veteran

President-elect Barack Obama has tremendously more on his plate than reinventing government and restoring some semblance of accountability to Americans.

Ensuring that the world does not enter into a second depression, halting a war or two, saving the environment, formulating an industrial policy on alternative energy, one can go on; all are problems of a massive scale.

But readers of Uppity Wisconsin may notice a comment from a veteran posted this week about another veteran who is serving a four-year sentence in federal prison.

Gulf War Illness, DoD and VA Ripping Vets, as Usual

Update: Shinseki Slated to Head VA, Obama Confirms

Over 100,000 American troops in the 1990-1991 Gulf War came back and suffered an array of debilitating ailments known collectively as "Gulf War illness."

Amputations, brain and central nervous damage are among the results.

Gulf War veterans are in a word: Pissed.

A report released last month, 17 years after the first Iraq war (published under a Congressional mandate), entitled "Gulf War Illness and the Health of Gulf War Veterans," was researched in response to the U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs' (VA) inaction as 10,000s of veterans sought treatment and benefits.

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