As you may know, all during the George W. Bush administration the White House never missed an opportunity to provide his buddies in the military-industrial empire with a hand-out. And to see that they got plenty, he provided the war in Iraq. Of course he lied to get us to invade, but no matter, the corporations got their money and contracts [or some did not even need contracts].
So, George Bush, who escaped going to Vietnam because his father pulled strings, sent hundreds of thousands of American men and women to fight a war of his making in Iraq. Testimony in Britain by Members of Parliament and staff people close to Prime Minister Tony Blair, have testified that Bush had
plans to invade Iraq before 9-11 ever happened. Thousands died. Many more thousands came home with life-changing injuries, physical and mental. So, as George Bush played like a soldier, donned a military uniform to parade around on a military ship with a sign that read "Mission Accomplished," and did not hesitate to commit these Americans to the fight that made billions for the likes of Cheney's Halliburton and also the horrible likes of Blackwater, veterans began to flood home in need of services. Then Bush suddenly changed his spots.
The former Wisconsin Veterans Affairs secretary reported what they got from the Bush administration.
"The cutback in advocacy and support for verterans' programs and services by the [national Veterans] board and agency can be traced to board meetings in July and August of 2008. During these mettings, the ...board voted down any additional outreach funds and coordinator positions."
The Bush administration had also discouraged many additional and needed programs prior to 2008. They were quick and forceful when it came to SENDING troops to fight, get injured, or die, but when it came to helping the troops when they came home in need, they stalled and cut resources.
Jacqueline "Jackie" Guthrie, reported the board commented this way [from board minutes]:
"For the record ... if we continue to ask for more and more, at what point does the public say enough is enough and then, instead of welcoming home service members with open arms and support, they're going to say we've given you so much, we don't care anymore."
And: "The American public has been very generous and accommodating to all the services that are provided to veterans and during a testy economy with expenses raised everywhere, at what point is it too much."
Is that the way you feel, dear member of the American public? Would you deny veterans their right to adequate health care? Is that an accurate portrayal of your feelings about veterans? Of course not! But that is the way the right-wing thinks in this country. Taxes, even for veterans, are bad. We have to keep taxes down, even at the expense of veterans' services. Pathetic. Health care reform is badly needed in veterans affairs as well.
It is sickening to think that Bush could push to send American men and women to fight his war in Iraq, and then have his administration inadequately support them when they come home. We must never again allow a president to be this greedy and ruthless with loyal Americans who have sacrificed so much. President Obama, correct this travesty!
*** Above quotes from an article in the "Crossroads"section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 21, 2010, page 1. "State falls short on serving veterans."