Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Veteran's Day

Think Progress brings us this on the Repubican controlled Congress's Veteran's Day tribute:
On Tuesday — three days before Veterans Day — House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-IN) announced that for the first time in at least 55 years, “veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.”

…The Disabled American Veterans, the “official voice of America’s service-connected disabled veterans,” just issued a scathing release calling the move “an insult to all who have fought, sacrificed and died to defend the Constitution.”

It's especially insulting coming from Steve Buyer, Republican Congressman from Indiana, whose web site bio makes a point of his service in Gulf War I, his status as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve (don't even get me started on what I think about politicians who keep reserve commissions), and boasts that…
He has been a pioneer on health issues affecting active duty military personnel, veterans, and their families. He has been the leading advocate to provide health care and assistance to Gulf War veterans who continue to suffer from yet undiagnosed illnesses.

Support the troops. Do everything you can to help boot hypocritical weekend warriors like "Lieutenant Colonel" Steve Buyer out of office.


  1. I'm speechless......this from the "support the troops" crowd. I

  2. The right wing has been notoriously weak in it's traditional role of vanguard for the soldiers over the past fifteen years or so. After Gulf War I, the attitude and mentality of the Republican party has shifted to become more interested in domestic economics than military support. They're all for supporting the guys in the field, and for spending on research and development for weapons platforms, but when the economic tradeoffs between cutting government spending and taking care of health benefits for veterans rear their ugly heads, the Republicans are quick to shift the blame, shift the focus, and shift the money to tax cuts.

    I think it's a matter of how the VA is conceived of in our society. It's massively expensive and it's a social security/health care issue. Since the Republicans and Democrats BOTH conceive of it in that manner in their public dialogue, it ends up being a Democrat-supported issue. It's one of the major ways in which the Democrats have always been pro-troop, often to the exclusion of the Republicans.

  3. It makes me so proud to be a vet in the new, streamlined, 21st century America.

  4. My mother raised me a liberal. A hippie wannabe. I had to un-brainwash myself just to get to the point where I didn't see "the troops" as traitors to an American ideal.

    Now I'm a moderate (a Democrat, but a moderate). And I'm staunchly anti-war. I believe that war is ALWAYS bad. But sometimes it's better than the alternative.

    And if there are times where war is necessary, it is always necessary to have a military.

    Now that I'm an adult in my own right, I believe that the greatest service that one can give to his or her country is to sacrafice their lives for the defense of their nation. No matter how much I may disagree with any particular war, any particular administration, or any particular foreign military policy, I have the UTMOST RESPECT for the lowest common denomenator that takes that chance on dying to defend my country. To me that means that no matter whether or not he's a dumb ass with an 80 IQ, who is incapable of understanding the difference between "red state" and "blue state", who believes that if you don't like the policies of the US government that you should "love it or leave it", and who calls people of the Middle East "Sand (insert racial epithet here)", he has STILL committed himself to a greater personal and moral sacrifice than I have.

    As a nation, I believe that the greatest measure of our moral value is what we do to protect those who are incapable of protecting themselves. After the children, I believe that our GREATEST MORAL RESPONSIBILITY is to take care of those who have sacrificed themselves for the good of the nation. There are so many who have lost limbs, lives, or their sanity in service to the protection of our country. They deserve to be taken care of in a way that HONORS them, for as long as they need us.

    I'm sorry that you're a vet, lurch. I'm sorry because only a small segment of our culture really understands and appreciates what that means. I'm sorry because, as a vet, it looks like you have a high likelihood of suffering from something horrible directly caused by your service to our country, and it looks like you're going to suffer because of your sacrifice. I'm sorry because you deserve more.

    I can hate the policies of the current administration or the Clinton administration or the Bush I or Reagan or Carter administrations, but I have the utmost respect for a Marine who is willing to die so that I can eat a cheeseburger and criticize why he died in the peace and comfort that our armed services afford us through their sacrifice. If you're ever in Baltimore, drop me a line and I'll buy you a beer. Hell, it's the least I can do.

  5. Thanks for the feedback on this issue, gang.

    Having retired with a disability for my back, I'm not the most objective observer on this issue.

    But nothing about our government makes me angrier than the promises they make to our young men and women in exchange for serving in a war or committing themselves to a career in the service, and then going back on those promises.