NeoCon Frank Gaffney: "It is regrettable that they had to die, but I believe they did have to die... I'm still delighted that we did what we did."Sure, under the George W(orst President Ever) Bush Administration Republicans repeatedly lied and claimed they cared about Veterans when the truth was the Republican Party was trying to get as many Veterans kill themselves as possible while Bush and Cheney used Veterans and active duty military members as props in their re-election campaign.
Throughout his mis-administration W(orst President Ever) repeatedly cut the budget to the VA and eliminated benefits and medical care for Veterans.
Because the only Veteran Conservatives love is a dead Veteran. Then Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity or any number of chicken hawk professional commentators can stick their perverted inhuman right-wing ideology onto the lips of the dead Veterans, as they did with Pat Tillman.
And when it turns out Pat Tillam was anti-war, was against every part of W(orst President Ever) decisions and regularly read Noam Chomsky. Right-Wing Garbage Ann Coutler can simply say, "I don't believe it." Chicken Hawk Hannity gleefully concurs, "I don't believe it either."
In 2005 the Pentagon's then undersecretary for personnel and readiness, David S. Chu outlined what the Republicans found disagreeable. Veterans benefits are hurtful to national defense,
"The amounts have gotten to the point where they are hurtful. They are taking away from the nation's ability to defend itself."So, the Republican Party under the direct leadership of Bush and Cheney began undercutting funds for Veterans.
In 2007, the Mainstream Media could no longer cover for the Criminal Bush and Cheney Regime when it revealed
In 2008 when CBS News revealed the Department of Veterans Affairs and Doctor Ira Katz the VA's head of Mental Health deliberately withheld critical information about the true suicide risk among veterans.
Additionally, in 2008 NPR reported Army officials pressured the Department of Veterans Affairs to stop helping wounded Veterans with their paperwork so Veterans wouldn't get their proper disability rating or benefits.
But, none of this absolves President Obama. I expect despicable evil from Republicans I expect better from President Obama.
The problem is America has a long and cherished history of casting aside the Veteran after the War is over.
After the Revolutionary War, Veterans found themselves at the mercy of corrupt Capitalists, who like the Hedge Fund thieves of today, swindled them out of the land grants and the promissory notes allocated specifically for Veterans. Perhaps 2000-3000 Revolutionary Veterans received a Pension.
Post Civil War homeless Union Veterans were in such abundance that in 1868 NY Governor Reuben E. Fenton claimed they "numbered in the thousands". It wasn't until the Dependent Pension Act of 1890, pushed for by Widows, Children and Veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic that every Union Veteran was eligible for a Pension. Southern States had been providing Pensions, despite terrible economic hardships, for wounded Confederate Soldiers from at least the 1880's since traitors weren't eligible for Federal Pensions.
According to Maris Vinovskis,
As a percentage of the federal budget, expenditures for Civil War veterans greatly exceeded those for veterans today (1989) which consume less than 3 percent of that budget. In 1893 veterans' benefits to former Union soldiers or their dependents constituted more than 40 percent of the overall federal budget.In 1932 the Bonus Army, Veterans of World War I, peaceably assembled to petition the US Government for a redress of grievances but Republican President Herbert Hoover first sent the Washington Police and when they failed dispatched General Douglas MacArthur and his aide-de-camp Dwight Eisenhower along with George S. Patton and 6 battle tanks to forcibly disband the Veterans.
Much like Occupy the Bonus Army was attacked, driven out of their camp sites and had their tents and possessions burned.
Herbert Hoover's policies created the First Republican Depression, in a similar way that W's policies have created the Second Republican Depression.
While the World War 2 Veteran, received praise, understanding and was cherished for his knowledge and experiences, especially in the creation of the GI Bill many WWII vets still fell through the cracks in society. Of the survivors from the Iwo Jima Flag Raising, USMC hero Ira Hayes drank himself to death in 1955. As a Pima Native American, Hayes also faced the bigotry of his era.
But, Rene Gagnon another of the 3 Flag raising survivors died in 1979 at only 54 years old an alcoholic as well. Broken, bitter and nearing the end of his life, Gagnon reportedly said,
"When someone who doesn't know me is introduced to me, they say 'That was you in The Photograph?' What the hell are you doing working here? If I were you, I'd have a good job and lots of money.'"
It took a Veteran the stature of Audie Murphy speaking out about his post-traumatic struggles, previously known as Battle Fatigue or Shell-shock, for society at large to take note.
Nowadays, Hollywood can trot out any number of cliched movies with the homeless veteran cast aside by society or the self-medicating Veteran drinking a case of beer a night or the adrenaline junkie Veteran pushing the envelope to reenact the rush of combat, but these stereo-typed cliches exist because those Veterans exist.
Now in the Phony GWoT era, Veterans were a large portion of the Ranks of Occupy, because if one group can see how the American Capitalist system chews up and spits out people, it is Veterans.
Yes, I understand Republicans have been playing fuck-fuck games with Veterans, cutting VA benefits and casting Veterans adrift without proper care and services. But, they've been this doing for years.
The main issue concerning Veterans is Money. Whose going to pay for the wounded Veteran? Or provide the food and shelter so a psychologically scared Vet slowly re-acclimate into society?
Because the Republican Party sure the hell isn't.