And, of course, today is Memorial Day 2014 as we’re supposed to honor those who died in America’s wars — although the major problem right now is treating those who returned home, whether they’re in one piece or not. President Obama tilted this year’s observance in a surprise visit yesterday to our remaining troops Afghanistan and, of course, to continue the patriotic emotion of the “terror” alarm again: In his remarks to troops, Obama noted that during his tour of Bagram he saw a picture of the twin towers of the World Trade Center that were attacked in 2001.
“So I know you don’t forget,” Obama said.
(Illustration found here).
How the fuck can we? Due to the shitty, hypocritical bullshit of the ass-fucks that control this country — now and in the immediate past — took the liberty to “start” these wars against the vaporous “terror” fright without even one thought on the consequences.
Via the Washington Post:
War can be a series of cold calculations: the distance a bullet travels, the blast radius of a bomb, the number of minutes it takes to reach a soldier bleeding out on the battlefield.
For wounded troops leaving the military, there is one more: the price paid for a broken body, a missing limb, a lost eye, a damaged brain.
The longest stretch of fighting in American history is producing disability claims at rates that surpass those of any of the country’s previous wars.
Nearly half of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are filing for these benefits when they leave the military — a flood of claims that has overwhelmed the VA and generated a backlog of 300,000 cases stuck in processing for more than 125 days.
Some have languished for more than a year.
And all are shit upon. And forgotten except for friends and family. Until something goes terribly wrong — like 10-pounds of dog-shit in a 3-pound bag.
Kelley Vlahos sums up the horror:
For the first Memorial Day in recent memory, the backdrop is not only burgers on the grill but a Veterans Affairs scandal so big that it threatens to take down the VA secretary and tarnish the president’s party.
One whistleblower after another has emerged alleging that regional VA facilities have hidden just how long vets are waiting for care.
Some veterans, they charge, have died waiting on a “secret list” before ever seeing a doctor.
As Memorial Day highlights the sacrifices of so many men and women in America’s wars abroad, longtime critics of the VA say this is a key moment for much-needed institutional transformation.
What kind of transformation is up for debate —
some say today’s VA crisis proves government-run healthcare just doesn’t work.
Others are calling for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down.
But all would agree the system is broken, and veterans deserve more than a bureaucracy bent on covering its own behind.
“In the last 15 years, this has probably been the most serious scandal that I’ve seen that’s involved the VA. But I can’t say I’m surprised,” says attorney Glenn Bergmann of Bergmann & Moore, LLC, which focuses solely on veterans’ disability claims.
He says the current system is like “shoots and ladders” — and it’s mostly “shoots” for the veterans, designed to delay disability claims, delay healthcare, and delay the medical research that leads to benefits.
“We’re talking about people who have written a check payable to the government for everything, up to including their lives,” he says.
“They’ve taken bullets, fought these battles, and they come back and say, what is this?”
This whole shebang can best be illustrated by the shit-stuff from the face-holes of the likes of Don Rumsfeld nearly a decade ago:
Mr. Rumsfeld seemed taken aback by the question and a murmur began spreading through the ranks before he silenced them.
“Now settle down, settle down,” he said.
“Hell, I’m an old man, it’s early in the morning and I’m gathering my thoughts here.”
He said all organizations had equipment, materials and spare parts of different vintages, but he expressed confidence that Army leaders were assigning the newest and best equipment to the troops headed for combat who needed it most.
Nonetheless, he warned that equipment shortages would probably continue to bedevil some American forces entering combat zones like Iraq.
“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.
Moreover, he said, adding more armor to trucks and battle equipment did not make them impervious to enemy attack.
“If you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up,” he said.
“And you can have an up-armored Humvee and it can be blown up.”
Rummy and his shit-head boss at the time should be in the stockade for all this horror — terror upon our own.
Seven years ago, Garrison Keillor bled the right stuff in a Memorial Day essay on the horrors of dumb-ass war.
It’s the last patriotic holiday that still means something, and it persists year after year despite the wooden rituals and leaden speeches.
In Central Park on Monday, an admiral with a chestful of ribbons gripped the lectern and read his lines, and the line of his that got quoted was, “Their sacrifice has enabled us to enjoy the things that we, I think in many cases, take for granted,” which does not ring, does it? No.
“Their sacrifice has enabled us to enjoy the things that many of us take for granted” would have been better, but still it’s nothing people will take home with them and ponder.
How about, “Their noble sacrifice has enabled us to see the ignobility of the leadership that sent them to their deaths”?
How about, “We have sacrificed enough of our young men and women and it is time to bring them home to enjoy the things that the rest of us take for granted”?
The Current Occupant drove over the bridge to Arlington and spoke at the Tomb of the Unknowns, a site of powerful reverence, and his speechwriter, in a hurry to finish and enjoy his weekend, gave him, “From their deaths must come a world where the cruel dreams of tyrants and terrorists are frustrated and foiled — where our nation is more secure from attack, and where the gift of liberty is secured for millions who have never known it,” a line cobbled together from scrap lumber.
Shades of “the last full measure of devotion” and “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain” but made from different cloth.
The reputation of the Gettysburg Address remains secure.
And good day to all.