Thursday, May 22, 2014

Stop The War On Vets



It's starting to come to light just how horrible the VA system is, and how completely backwards the USA's attitude towards the military is. Who's to blame? Who's at fault? Why hasn't this system had any attention or fixes since Vietnam? This isn't a new problem at all. From mental health to physical health, the VA is supposed to be the go-to place for vets to get the care they need, earned, and deserve, yet never seem to truly get.

Many people are under the false assumption that the GOP is the 'pro-military party'. From lofty rhetoric about 'bravery, sacrifice, and duty', to the mantra that the GOP 'support our troops', it's easy to believe that, until you look at the actual funding bills that have (or have not) passed, and the records of both parties - rhetoric aside. But no, they are not 'pro-military', they are 'pro war' because war makes them massive amounts of money. Or at least they think it does.

While it is true that the GOP does vote consistently for military equipment (needed or unneeded), this money does NOT in fact go to the military. If anything, it takes money AWAY from the DoD. What do I mean? Well, if you vote for a bill that says the USA is purchasing another fleet of 100 M1-A1 Abrams tanks, a private company named Abrams makes those tanks, then sells them to the military/government. This money does not go to soldier pay, or for military social services. It goes to a CEO. Since the GOP refuse to cut back on so-called 'military spending' (read: private corporate welfare) for equipment we don't need or want (we are already WELL equipped, and over stocked for vehicles and planes), they are only helping their rich friends make more money.

And why is it that nearly every GOP administration since WWI has dragged us into a war? Again, rich pals in the weapons business. They don't vote to fund the VA, they don't vote to end wars and bring our troops home, and they certainly don't vote for peace. John McCain, who was captured and tortured, should be the first candidate to have a more pacifist attitude, having seen and experienced some of the most horrible things in warfare. Yet since Obama has been president he's called for flat out war with Iran, North Korea, Syria, Lebanon, and even Russia. Why? Because lobbyists! That's why!

During George W Bush's 'presidency' (yes, I have not forgotten that he was appointed president by the Supreme Court and his dad's appointees, not elected), Dick Cheney, the former CEO of Halliburton pushed Bush into a needless war in Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11 or al-Qaeda, and his old company broke record profits. Northrup-Grumman, Lockheed, Abrams, and Blackwater all came out like bandits.

As the Ferengi on Star Trek say "War is good for business". And the GOP is certainly 'Pro business'. 

The Democrats aren't keen to go to war. War is the last resort when all else - ALL ELSE - fails. They would rather see our vets come home to a victorious country, and get the services they were promised. But they can't pass those reforms with an opposing GOP party that refuses to vote on literally anything. They have passed maybe one or two bills the entire time Obama was in office, and every fucking time, they slip a poison pill in the bills. If the Democrats want to pass a VA spending bill? The GOP will attach approval of the Keystone Pipeline. Want to increase funding for military veteran jobs placement? GOP wants to defund 'Obamacare'. 

It is ridiculous that the GOP dares to call itself 'pro-military', yet consistently fucks them over in order to anger the president. They're basically unpatriotic traitors for doing this. It is insubordinate, detrimental to national security (because who the fuck wants to volunteer for the military if we all know they can't hold up their end of the bargain in terms of pay and benefits??), and it is just evil. These troops have America in their hearts, and they are putting their lives on the line because they believe in this country, only to have everything they've been promised fucked up by greedy and petty politicians. But it is more important to dole out corporate welfare to Northrup-Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Abrams than it is to help a guy who lost his fucking arm in battle, or someone who now suffers from PTSD.

It's plain sick that the GOP is fine sending people off to endless wars while they line their pockets with favors from lobbyists, campaign contributions from CEO's of private defense companies, all while giving the middle finger to the actual boots on the ground - the people that serve. 

Something fundamental has to change in the Republican party. They need to grow a damn heart. They need to look vets in the eyes and finally say "I will help you". They need to say they're willing to keep them off the streets, get the mental help they need, and get the medical care they EARNED. They need to stop playing chicken with President Obama and pass a fucking spending bill that doesn't just help their buddies in the industry. But then again, that's asking an awful lot. 

Here are just SOME of the bills the GOP has filibustered, just to spite Obama. (from http://pleasecutthecrap.com/reposted-375-bills-passed-by-dem-house-blocked-by-sen-filibuster-111th-congress-if-only/)

H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act – This bill would actually provide job security for veterans who are receiving medical treatment for injuries suffered while fighting in defense of their country. It would prohibit employers from terminating employees who miss work while receiving treatment for a service-related disability. Filibustered because of Obamacare.

H.R. 549 — National Bombing Prevention Act – This is the language used by the CRS to describe the bill: “Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish within the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Protective Security Coordination Division of the Office of Infrastructure Protection an Office for Bombing Prevention to enhance and coordinate U.S. efforts to deter, detect, prevent, protect against, and respond to terrorist explosive attacks in the United States.” I don’t know about you, but taking whatever measures are necessary to prevent terrorist bombings would seem to me to be pretty important. Their blockage of this bill certainly indicates that they simply don’t really care about this country’s security. (By the way, they have also blocked H.R. 553 – Reducing Over-Classification Act, which is designed to make the Department of Homeland Security more efficient and responsive, which would save taxpayers a lot of money and make us safer over the long haul. Both filibustered because of Obamacare.

H.R. 1168 — Veterans Retraining Act – This bill would provide for assistance to help veterans who are currently unemployed with their expenses while retraining for the current job market. Again, filibustered because of Obamacare.

H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization –  This bill would reauthorize programs in support of homeless veterans, to assist them with job training, counseling, and placement services through the Department of Veterans Affairs through 2014.Filibustered because of Obamacare.

They have also blocked H.R. 1172 — Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans which does nothing more than direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to include information about scholarships for veterans. Filibustered because of Obamacare.

H.R. 1293 — Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009 – There is no reason to be against this bill. This would increase the amount paid by the VA to disabled veterans for necessary home structural improvements from $4,100 to $6,800 for those who are more than 50% disabled, and from  $1,200 to $2,000 who are less than 50%, disabled. This means, if a veteran lost the use of his legs in service of his country, the country will pay for the wheelchair ramp so that he can live at home. Yet, Republicans, who have been admonishing everyone to love the troops without question, are denying them the ability to do so. By the way, the last time this ceiling was lifted was in 1992. If Republican presidents are going to start unnecessary wars, is it too much to ask to support those who actually put their bodies on the line? There isn’t even a fiscal reason for being against this bill, as the total cost of this bill, according to CBO estimates, would be a “whopping” $20 million. That’s about a quarter (25 cents) per family of four. But again, Obamacare.

H.R. 1511 – Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act – This bill designates appropriations for fiscal years 2010-2011 to assist domestic treatment centers for torture victims, including training of health care providers. Once again, what do Republicans have against helping those who need it? This is about making sure people who come here as torture victims have a shot at the American Dream, just like the rest of us. Filibustered again, becasue of Obamacare.

H.R. 1803 — Veterans Business  Center Act –  This bill would set up a Veterans Business Center program within the Small Business Administration, which would specialize in such programs as grants for service-disabled veterans, help them develop business plans and secure business opportunities. In other words, folks, it would create jobs and offer opportunities those who have fought in defense of our country.  Filibustered why? OBAMACARE!

H.R. 2611 – Authorizing the Securing the Cities Initiative of the Department of Homeland Security – Exactly what it says. You know, if Republicans really don’t want another terrorist attack, they sure have a funny way of showing it… OBAMACARE!

H.R. 2868 – Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2009, Drinking Water System Security Act of 2009 and Wastewater Treatment Works Security Act of 2009 – This bill would  enhance security at chemical plants, wastewater treatment plants and drinking water facilities, to guard against terrorism. Filibustered because Obamacare!

So I ask you, what DOES the GOP do for the military other than whisper sweet nothings into their ear? It's pretty obvious who is pro-military to me. The GOP hate the Democrats, and hate Obama SO MUCH that they are willing to just fuck everyone over to show how much they hate them. Seriously. This is the kind of petty ass shit you'd expect from a sociopath, not a goddamn patriot. 

So you know, whatever. I know there are a lot of people out there who will say "TL;DR", or flatly disagree with my position here, but I am having a very hard time finding anything positive the GOP has done for our troops, other than 'thanking them for their service', which is hollow, and meaningless to a person who lost both legs and got a shredded face who now lives in constant pain, and fear, and uncertainty.

Voting season is coming. Do your homework on your candidates to see who REALLY supports our troops.  

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