In Memoriam: ‘Shut Up and Die!’

May 26, 2008

As another Memorial Day three-day weekend draws to a close, the oratories reported given across the country by anyone remotely attached to Decider George’s government makes one want to spew junks.

In a time of war, especially with the Iraqi war so widely held to be a disaster, “a debacle,” a slaughterhouse of errors, any Memorial Day observance should be aimed not only at the past, but also the right now.
Since 2003, nearly 4,100 US GIs have been killed in Iraq.
In Afghanistan, 507 have died in combat (since October 2001).

There’s a huge veteran population in the US. There are about 23.8 million living veterans, with nearly eight million from the Vietnam era.
And these guys are dying: An average of 1,800 each day.

The memorial thrust forward by Decider George’s crew for all those vets and those still in uniform: Shut Up and Die!
Just this past week, the US Senate passed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, sometimes called the 21st Century GI Bill, with wide bipartisan support and the first real, updated overhaul of the original GI Bill of Rights since 1944.
Although Decider George whimpered about being “humbled by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice” during a speech today at Arlington National Cemetery, he plans on vetoing the bill.

The New York Times this morning jumped his ass on the possible veto:

  • He is wrong, but at least he is consistent. Having saddled the military with a botched, unwinnable war, having squandered soldiers’ lives and failed them in so many ways, the commander in chief now resists giving the troops a chance at better futures out of uniform. He does this on the ground that the bill is too generous and may discourage re-enlistment, further weakening the military he has done so much to break.
    So lavish with other people’s sacrifices, so reckless in pouring the national treasure into the sandy pit of Iraq, Mr. Bush remains as cheap as ever when it comes to helping people at home.

    The Senate version was drafted by two Vietnam veterans, Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, and Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska. They argue that benefits paid under the existing G.I. Bill have fallen far behind the rising costs of college.
    Their bill would pay full tuition and other expenses at a four-year public university for veterans who served in the military for at least three years since 9/11.

    By threatening to veto it, Mr. Bush is showing great consistency of misjudgment. Congress should forcefully show how wrong he is by overriding his opposition and spending the money — an estimated $52 billion over 10 years, a tiniest fraction of the ongoing cost of Mr. Bush’s Iraq misadventure.

    — NYT Editorial, ‘Mr. Bush and the G.I. Bill,’ nytimes.com/2008/05/26/opinion, (5/26/08)

And the White House got pissed:

  • “This editorial could not be farther from the truth about the president’s record of leadership on this issue,” White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said in a statement. She added that the newspaper’s editorial board “doesn’t let the facts get in the way of expressing its vitriolic opinions – no matter how misleading they may be.”
    Perino noted that the Pentagon has “specific concerns” about the legislation that was passed in the Senate, pointing out that the White House supports a GOP-sponsored version of the measure. In addition, she touted several steps Bush has taken to help service members and their families.

    — Klaus Marre, thehill.com/leading-the-news, (5/26/08)

Perino is some piece of work.
We especially enjoyed the word, vitriolic, which means a variety of spiteful things like hurtful, bitter, cruel, malicious, and even vicious.
One reads the Times editorial, and though the piece scores some hits, it’s far from ugly and vitriolic.
We think Perino might be a little bitter.

Decider George and his boys are scared shitless GIs will leave the service and there won’t be enough soldiers for the ongoing wars.
On Saturday, two of Decider George’s biggest assholes acted the part.
According to vetvoice.com, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Veterans Administration Secretary James Peake displayed “their opposition to — and lack of respect for — today’s newest veterans” at the Disabled American Veterans’ 19th Annual Department Convention in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Stevens let it be known the real opposition to the Webb/Hagel bill was warm bodies.
He cried about a possible “mass exodus” from the military, blubbering, “There are worries that people who are already in for two years will serve one more and leave, and there’s really no incentive to stay.”
When you face horror in Iraq over and over again — does one call that ‘incentive’?

Secretary Peake, however, revealed he’s fairly heartless. The VA is is a big, blundering machine, which like the US military itself, is coming apart at the seams.
The big clincher is the immeasurable combat stress of Iraq.
A Rand Corp. report last month revealed repeated tours in Iraq and Afghanistan caused an insane high number of psychological injuries — about 300,000 U.S. military personnel are suffering from PTSD or major depression.
Peake don’t want to hear about no PTSD, saying, “I worry about labeling all these kids coming back. Just because someone might need a little counseling when they get back, doesn’t mean they need the PTSD label their whole lives.”

Hey! Peake!
Tell that shit to the family and friends of US Marine Chad Oligschlaeger, 21, of Corpus Christi, Texas. He committed suicide this weekend at the Twenty Nine Palms base in California.

  • Byron Smith, Oligschlaeger’s uncle, told a local TV outlet, “the first tour he came back and he asked for help, and they sent him back over there. I guess that was their idea of help. He did what a marine does — he went over there.”
    His father, Eric, said, “The second tour … I don’t think he was ready to go back. I think he was fighting it. I think he was afraid to go back.”
    “We sent these kids over there, we’re putting them through things that we’ll never see in our lifetimes. Things we see in the movies that are not real, it’s real to them,” said Christine Judan, a family friend of the Oligschlaegers.

    — Greg Mitchell, huffingtonpost.com/greg-mitchell, (5/25/08)

And to top off that ugly bit of news, the top US military guy literally told GIs to shut up and die:

  • WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has written an unusual open letter to all those in uniform, warning them to stay out of politics as the nation approaches a presidential election in which the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be a central, and certainly divisive, issue.
    “The U.S. military must remain apolitical at all times and in all ways,” wrote the chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, the nation’s highest-ranking officer. “It is and must always be a neutral instrument of the state, no matter which party holds sway.”
    Admiral Mullen’s essay appears in the coming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, an official military journal that is distributed widely among the officer corps.

    “As the nation prepares to elect a new president,” Admiral Mullen wrote, “we would all do well to remember the promises we made: to obey civilian authority, to support and defend the Constitution and to do our duty at all times.”
    “Keeping our politics private is a good first step,” he added. “The only things we should be wearing on our sleeves are our military insignia.”

    — Thom Shanker, www.nytimes.com/2008, (5/26/08)

No matter the lie.

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