High overcast and cool this early Monday on California’s north coast — time is a speeding asshole because it feels in reality like it should still be Friday afternoon.
Reality in this crazed age is relative — depends on the mood.
The resignation of VA chief, Eric Shinseki, last week is but a residue from this: Every month continues to be deadlier than the last for Iraq, as May saw 2,249 people killed and 1,953 wounded, up from 2,034 killed in April and 1,886 killed in March.
(Illustration found here).
And yesterday, the first of June (via antiwar.com): In today’s violence, at least 73 people were killed and 50 more were wounded. One police dog was also wounded.
The Iraqis also have a veterans’ problem — they die in horrible ways.
And, of course, Republicans have jumped the so-called scandal by blaming all this shit on President Obama — not to say the guy has really done much, and seemingly unaware of just how horrible the VA had become — and not paying a gnat’s attention to what got the VA in this predicament in the first place.
Paul Sracic, head of the political science department at Youngstown State University in Ohio: “If Republicans were writing a script for the summer they couldn’t have made up a better story,” said Sracic. “The last thing Democrats want is to be still talking about this after Labor Day.”
What the GOPers won’t do is bring the whole VA thingy into context — this should be what the Obama should focus on if he could, but he’s left the past for the glorious future.
Last week, Charles P. Pierce at Esquire hit the hard-ass nail on the head:
The problem with the VA system right now is that, for an entire decade, we sent people into the meat grinder of a war the architects of which conducted completely off the books.
They kept it off the books used to keep the federal budget, and they did all they could to keep it off the books of the nation’s moral conscience as well.
They lied and they cooked their estimates on everything far worse than did the likely criminals who fudged the documentation at the hospital in Phoenix.
The whole country was awash in the moral equivalent of a Ponzi scheme, all glistening and shiny and bedecked in bunting.
Meanwhile, the physical, financial, and moral cost of it all built up and built up until the scheme got bigger and more complicated and, ultimately, it became untenable.
And now, the people who launched it in the first place are tut-tutting about what happened when the whole thing finally collapsed.
The one thing to remember about a Ponzi scheme is that the people who get in first get paid off.
They got their war.
They profited from the double-entry bookkeeping they kept on the national conscience and, now, there’s a Democratic president, and a whole lot of injured veterans, who end up holding the bag.
Exactly. And all those lying, scheming assholes who put the Iraqi adventure on the table should at the very least be forced to work as orderlies at VA hospitals forever — yes I’m screaming at you George Jr., The Dick, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Judith Miller, David Addington, Paul Wolfowitz, Cindy Sheehan, Ari Fleischer, Ken Pollock, and on and on. A fuckin’ ex-president painting nudes of himself in the shower — WTF!
And in the photo above, the truth of the matter spelled-out in the screams of then-5-year-old Samar Hassan in 2005 after her parents were killed by US troops in Tal Afar, Iraq. Check Samar’s later life via the New York Times in May 2011.
How does she feel today?
The VA was attacked and swallowed whole by Iraq — now, we pay the price.
(Illustration out front found here).