Tag Archives: iraq

How is our government treating our troops?

What has Bush and the Republican administration done for the quality of life of our bravest in recent years?

  • They assured everyone the Iraq war would end in “weeks rather than months”.
  • VA staff ordered to avoid diagnosing returning heroes with PTSD in order to save money! [This is beyond the pale – I get a very visceral, disgusted reaction every time I think about this.]
  • 1,000 Iraq veterans attempt suicide each month. Or at least 1,000 attempts are reported – how many go unreported?
  • 18 military veterans succeed in killing themselves each day, 5 of whom are under the care of the VA.
  • Burdened troops with 3, 4, sometimes 5 deployments to combat.
  • Extended tours from 12 months to 15 months.
  • 60,000 troops who completed contractual obligations have been stop lossed, meaning forced back into involuntary service.
  • Soldiers and families have been forced to buy and ship to Iraq basic equipment like body armor and walkie-talkies because the government was too cheap to spend the money, even though they have no problem spending $800M per week on corrupt contractors.
  • Soldiers lost sign up bonuses because they weren’t valid if the soldier is injured in the first month.
  • Soldiers made responsible for paying for new helmets when old helmets were lost in battle.
  • One soldier who lost his helmet was sued for $12,000, even though he had massive brain damage.
  • Hired contractors like KBR who gouge the soldiers with $45 six-packs of Iraqi-produced coke while providing contaminated water.
  • The wholesale selling out and exploitation of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch with fabricated, pro-administration propaganda for political and recruiting gain.
  • Wounded soldiers being warehoused in the mold-infested crack den-like conditions of Walter Reed.
  • Crippling red tape for wounded soldiers needing medical benefits.
  • Parents draining life’s savings, 401(k)s going dead broke to pay for wounded soldier’s hospital care.
  • Previously healthy young men sent to their wedding severely burned and disfigured.
  • [Added 5/27] “Nearly a third of female veterans say they were sexually assaulted or raped while in the military, and 71 percent to 90 percent say they were sexually harassed by the men with whom they served.”
  • [Added 5/28 ] Service of LGBT folks worthless in the eyes of the Pentagon; two LGBT service members fired each day. But felons are serving in record numbers – who a soldier loves or sleeps with is more important to the brass than a soldier’s character.

What the hell are we asking of these people? Continue reading

“Why I’m Opposed to the War in [Insert Nation Here]”

For those of you who may not be familiar with MLK after “I Have a Dream”, it’s often surprising to know he held some radical views. This speech by King, delivered at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967, is called Why I’m Opposed to the War in Vietnam.

King’s anti-Vietnam speeches caused him to be disinvited from the White House and disallowed from giving scheduled college lectures. The mainstream turned it’s back on King and Time magazine rebuked his words as “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi” .

This speech is worth a careful watch or close read; its contemporary relevance is arresting.

Some choice excerpts:

  • Now, I’ve chosen to preach about the war in Vietnam because I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal. Continue reading

Misinformation – A Compendium

Some hawks like to think that we were lead into war with integrity.  Bullshit.

First, I challenge everyone, especially the war apologists clinging to the delusion that we were lead into war honestly, to watch Frontline: The Dark Side and Bill Moyers’s Selling the War.  Available online, the complimentary PBS docs chronicle the coordinated deceit, coercion, McCarthy-like intimidation of branding dissenters unpatriotic, Cheney’s intelligence power-grab freezing out the CIA to use his own massaged intelligence, and the press’s complicity. All this came out before George Tenet’s admission that “”[t]here was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat”.

Second, I did a brief search on YouTube and found six clips showing Bush officials directly contradicting themselves and edited them into this six-minute rough cut.  Did you know in 2001 Powell and Rice said Saddam had not developed any significant WMDs and was not a threat to his neighbors (let alone, the US)!?!

Continue reading