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American Veterans in Crisis

Posted on Feb 1, 2008

By Aaron Glantz

Originally posted at KPFA Radio’s Web site
When young American men and women sign up to serve in the U.S. military, our government makes them a basic promise: If they are wounded in the line of duty, they will get the care they need. Unfortunately, for tens of thousands of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that’s a promise that only exists on paper.

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On Feb. 18, 2007, the headline “Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army’s Top Medical Facility” was splashed across the front page of one of the nation’s top newspapers, the Washington Post. The article, which described unsafe conditions and substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, began with the story of Army Specialist Jeremy Duncan, who was airlifted out of Iraq in February 2006 with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, “nearly dead from blood loss.”
“Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold,” the article read. “When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.”
The Washington Post’s coverage of the scandal at Walter Reed sparked outrage and finger-pointing around Washington’s official circles, but the controversy did not solve the problem of substandard care. Eight months later, in September, Sergeant GJ Cassidy died while receiving treatment for blast injuries at Fort Knox. A GAO report released at the time of his death showed half of the military’s Warrior Transition Units had “significant shortfalls” of doctors, nurses and other caregivers to treat wounded soldiers.
It’s not known how many other soldiers have died the way GJ Cassidy did—alone while allegedly seeking medical care from his government. But we do know that veterans of the Iraq war are taking their own lives as the Pentagon and the VA fail to provide adequate medical care.
A CBS News investigation in November found that 120 veterans kill themselves every week, adding up to over 6,000 per year. CBS asked all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records for veterans and non-veterans, and found that veterans were twice as likely to commit suicide [as] those who had not gone to war. Among those taking their own lives was Sergeant Brian Jason Rand, who served two tours in Iraq. On February 20, 2007, the Clarksville, Tennessee, police department found his body lying face down under an entertainment pavilion on the banks of the Cumberland River, a shotgun lying beside it.
Then there are those who become homeless because of government inaction. On any given night, 200,000 veterans sleep homeless on the street. Increasingly those veterans are younger men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
People like Specialist James Eggemeyer, who ended up homeless just a few months after returning home from Iraq with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder triggered by loading the bodies of dead Iraqis into a Blackhawk helicopter. The VA took so long to process Eggemeyer’s disability claim that he had to live out of his truck while he waited. The average wait time for a veteran’s disability claim to be decided is now 183 days. More than 600,000 disabled vets are currently waiting.
Tens of thousands more veterans are also being denied medical care and disability benefits they were promised after serving abroad.
The numbers are staggering: 11,407 U.S. soldiers have been discharged for drug abuse after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan; 6,159 have been kicked out of the military for “discreditable incidents”; 6,436 have been discharged for “commission of a serious offense”; 2,246 have been discharged for “the good of the service”; and 3,365 have been discharged for “personality disorder,” according to Pentagon data I obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Among those dishonorably discharged after honorably serving in Iraq is Specialist Shaun Manuel, who returned from a tour in Iraq to find [his son] dead of a rare genetic disease called Muscular Spinal Atrophy. Manuel said the situation was made even more painful when his superiors ordered him to begin training for a second tour in Iraq.
“My son passed away,” he told me. “You gonna send an emotionally distressed soldier to Iraq—who knows what he’s going to do? I’m ready to just blow the whole world up because I didn’t see my son being born and then he just passed away on me with no warning.”
Manuel never filed paperwork to medically excuse him from deployment. Instead, he withdrew and buried himself in alcohol. He estimates he drank three fifths of liquor a day. At one point, his wife had to call the police during a domestic disturbance. So the military expelled him with dishonorable discharge and now bars him from getting health care and disability benefits.
Even those who haven’t seen combat can be in for a fight. Private Durrell Michael threw out his back loading generators on a US military base in South Korea. He could barely walk or stand upright, but the Army tried to deploy him to Iraq anyway. When he fought back, they gave him a dishonorable discharge. Now, he’s in another fight: with the VA for medical care. 
Independent journalist Aaron Glantz is author of the book “How America Lost Iraq” (Tarcher/Penguin) and editor of the Web site, a project of KPFA Radio.


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By Conservative Yankee, February 8, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You are preaching to the Choir…

I worked at the big VA hospital in Millington New Jersey during the 70’s The way those guys (they were all guys in those days) were treated is a crime… AND that is not just an expression.  They were abused, mocked, and used as step-n-fetch-its by ward boys the same age as them. 

I’m horrified by the treatment in these (greatest country in the world) US of our poor children, our rural elderly, and our veterans ... I’m also ashamed.

Mayve we could interest McCain in addressing this subject?

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By Leefeller, February 8, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Because it said so.  Love it Mani, use 2000 year old goat herder mentality to support your excuses.

As I said before a pastor friend of mine got fired for voicing against the war.  Church was not the place to discuss such things.  They wanted comfort in their pews not truth.

All war should be defined as immoral, depends on the one doing the defining.

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By Sleeper, February 8, 2008 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

Organized Religion is about control and power.  This power is purchased with the money raised.  There are no absolutes.  The Bible contains the inspired word of God, but it is also a collection of words that have been translated, censured, and also events that most likely been embellished in order to recruit believers and financial sponsors.

Christ taught a form of Judaism not Christianity.  Godspells that were not favorable to the control of the church were delared heritical and cast aside.  Christ was killed for criticising the hypocritacal power structure of his religion.

As Bono says “My God ain’t short of cash Mister”.  Christ the man taught about a kingdom of God that was outside this world and eternal.  He said give to Ceasar that which belongs to him and give to the Father that which is his. 

Many are Blessed at the Sermon on the Mount.  None of them were in pursuit of power or Rulers.  He said Blessed are those percecuted for righteousness sake for so were the prophets percecuted before them.

This War is immoral and created by those who seek power and control over the masses.  Men who want to play God in an unjust way.

Our Vets deserve more then our corrupt politicians will ever give them.  They are too busy voting themselves raises and tax breaks to those who Contribute large sums to their campaigns.

Our Government has no Honor and our Vets have risked everything.

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By Maani, February 8, 2008 at 12:15 am Link to this comment


Yes, of course Jesus’ very ministry was de facto “political” in certain ways.  But you are deliberately playing semantics here.  You know very well what I meant.


“You cannot be saved by causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.”

Again, your theology is weak, and you add concepts that are not Scriptural.  The only one who can judge anyone else, or condemn anyone, is Christ Himself. Nor do you know “the mind of God” to be able to say (particularly with any certainty) that any particular action, or even series of actions, automatically condemns a person, or adversely affects their salvation, no matter WHAT those actions were.

Moses was a murderer, yet God used him for great purpose.  Same with David, who was both murderer and philanderer.  Same with Paul, who was complicit in the martyrdom of hundreds, perhaps thousands of early Christians.

You clearly do not understand the concepts of repentance (which is personal and private) or forgiveness, which I have explained in detail.

In this regard, Scripture would actually support the possibility that you risk equal or greater judgment (NOT loss of salvation) for your unwillingness to FORGIVE than Hillary does for her making bad decisions (for which she may well have repented, privately - since she does not owe YOU or anyone else that repentance), even if they led to unnecessary deaths.


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By Conservative Yankee, February 7, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Maani, February 7 at 12:31 pm #

“Re: Re: Wrong toad breath”


“Who would Jesus vote for?”

No one.  Jesus was apolitical.  The very IDEA that Jesus would vote for ANYONE is absurd.”

Obviously you understand NOTHING about being a rabbi. Jesus might or might not have voted, but the very nature of the rabbi is highly political,

The curing of lepers on Sunday, the sermon on the mount, The other kingdom offered as an alternative to Roman rule… Jesus was a political being….sort of like Harold Stassen. He was also a terrible failure. Now he’s a cartoon.

Oh yeah, about those money changers…..

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By Maani, February 7, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment


“Who would Jesus vote for?”

No one.  Jesus was apolitical.  The very IDEA that Jesus would vote for ANYONE is absurd.


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By Maani, February 6, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to this comment


Thank you for this.  Yes, that is the broader perspective.  And, of course, the “master plan” would already have been “written” as the “players played their parts,” including Judas.

However, since none of us know what parts we are playing, or why, this is not mutually exclusive from the fact that Judas’ “part” was written such that he (as a zealot) expected Jesus to be a “conquering” messiah, not a “suffering” one, and was therefore angry when Jesus refused to take on Rome, and to speak against violence, even against the Jews’ oppressors.

You add, “May the tragedy and suffering of these veteran situations be changed for the better, and soon, by Inspired fellow travellers of high Ideals, motivated by the Golden Rule, and by the Will to Love and Serve one another…”

To this I say, there are not enough “Amens” in the world to support that statement.


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By GrammaConcept, February 6, 2008 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

Maani, you wrote:.........“Indeed, it was Jesus’ REFUSAL to revile, chastise and even “declare war” on Caesar that made Judas betray Him.”

Or, perhaps, that is the apparent reason…..Perhaps it was all done because it was meant to be done in order to fulfill the larger plan?....All participants in this enormous Mystery had their meaning and their role ......Perhaps it was, in fact, Judas’ karmic ‘role’ to fulfill….Perhaps all was known to the Creator of this most compelling Mystery play…..Just a little deeper layer of thinking for your consideration…....

May the tragedy and suffering of these veteran situations be changed for the better, and soon, by Inspired fellow travellers of high Ideals, motivated by the Golden Rule, and by the Will to Love and Serve one another…

May all beings, without one exception,
have happiness and the causes of happiness…...
.......We Strive On…....

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By jackpine savage, February 6, 2008 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

You might want to read “House of War” by James Carroll.  Its a thick read, but its written very well; sometimes it even approaches the pacing of a novel.  It isn’t about Vets, but gives a broad and deep history of the Pentagon’s role in American politics.  And the writer’s father was the first head of the DIA.

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By Sleeper, February 6, 2008 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

I agree with Gomer.  This nation has never treated it vets with the respect they deserve.  When I was in the Corps I heard about Smeley Butler, but never anything about his book “War is a Racket”.

As long as huge profits can be made by a few then we will have continual War.  The profiteers need to be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.  When I served my time only a few were put in harms way. 

We have far more awareness to our governments denial of any accountability for its crimes today.  We have a greater awareness of how PTSD affects the Vet for the rest of their lives.  Our government has a policy of denial hoping that our vets die.  Its cheaper that way.  The gatekeepers a paid by our government to minimize the costs, truth be damned.

It is a shameful truth especially as the profiteers have Billions that cannot account for on paper.  They just are payed way to well for their sinful job.

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By Maani, February 5, 2008 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment


I am saddened by the amount of hatred and anger that you hold and express.  They are anathema to the Christian virtues of love and forgiveness (and they may well be harmful to you).  Indeed, from a Scriptural standpoint, we are taught specifically against them:

“Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”

“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

Re “judging”:

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”

“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”

“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”

Just as you added your own language to what Jesus actually said about forgiveness, you are adding your own non-Scriptural spin to “judgment.”  In this regard, I will not be “judged by the words of my mouth,” since no such concept exists in Scripture.

As for “excusing mass murder,” I have done no such thing.  I do not EXCUSE mass murder if I forgive the murderer.  Yet this point is moot, because I do not consider Hillary a murderer.  (And even if I did, a soldier on a battlefield who kills the “enemy” is as much a murderer as the one who sends him to do it.)

As for your finding it “impossible” that I am “an educated man of God,” this is not at all surprising since your theology is so utterly incorrect, and you have obviously been following it that way for quite some time, so anyone who suggests ANY alteration in your theological thinking is going to seem to you to be uneducated, blind, etc.

As Christians, we are taught to lead by example. However, your vulgarity, your anger, your hatred, your lack of forgiveness, your name-calling, your disrespect and your justifications for all of these do not set a very good example.  And before you ignore everything I have said and suggest that it is I who am not setting a good example by supporting an “ambitious,” “calculating,” “warmongering” “anti-christ,” I have already stated that, while I might agree with the first two appellations, I disagree with the latter two, and have provided clear and definitive reasons why.

Finally, you might want to consider the eleven main precepts of Jesus’ ministry - love, peace, forgiveness, compassion, humility, patience, charity, selflessness, service, justice, truth - and take stock of whether your attitudes, approaches and words actually comport with those precepts.


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By Maani, February 5, 2008 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment


“I am not Jesus, just a poor follower.”  So are we all.  But that does not mean we should not aspire and emulate to greatest degree possible.

“In my understanding of His teachings we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”

You are also told: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

This was not just some nicey-nice suggestion.  It was essentially a “command”(ment) from He whom you claim to follow.

“Why would I want anyone to elect a woman who is justifying her vote for an illicit war?”

As noted, you have every right NOT to vote for her.  But you do NOT have a right to judge her, or to withhold forgiveness.

“Have you never considered the harm that is done to all humanity with the onset of preemptive war?”

Yes, I have.  And war is wrong whether it is pre-emptive or not.

“On balance she has done more harm then good?  Are you shitting me?  WELL OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND ARE DEAD.”

Jesus did not revile Caesar, who caused FAR MORE than one hundred thousands deaths, including many of Jesus’ friends.  Indeed, he told the people to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and render to God what is God’s.”  Indeed, it was Jesus’ REFUSAL to revile, chastise and even “declare war” on Caesar that made Judas betray Him.

“I have a duty to my neighbors around the world not to elect this war mongering woman you forgive for killing hundreds of thousands of people, while you would set her lose on the world.”

If you feel it your duty not to vote for her, you have that right.  However, we must agree to disagree re “setting her loose on the world,” since I do not believe she is the “devil” you make her out to be.

“Christ said to read the signs of the times.  Would you elect this anti-christ who you apparently feel capable of overcoming the multitudes of dead and the ocean of blood spilt on her hands.”

Misusing words like “antichrist” simply shows me how little you understand of those words.  Hillary is a flawed human like all of us.  She has made both bad decisions and good.  She (among many, many others) made a particularly bad decision that led to the deaths of thousands of people, both soldiers and civilians.  However, to consider this one decision the “sum total” of what she has done or could do for the good is to deny that people can learn from their mistakes, and change.

“Full of grace are you that you’re willing to bet your soul on a warmonger?”

It is good thing that the disposition of my soul is not dependent on the decisions I make re the temporal world.  Your comment is further evidence of your lack of understanding as to how we are “saved” and what, if anything, can imperil that salvation.


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By proudlefty, February 5, 2008 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

I agree with you about what’s been written on this forum. I appears to be a “pissing contest” between some posters here and the topic is lost.

Please don’t think it’s the TruthDig site. It’s only a few idiots who are acting like schoolchildren, and they are to be blamed, not the site itself.

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By jackpine savage, February 5, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

srelf provided a link to  It unfortunately got buried.  Check it out.

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By jackpine savage, February 5, 2008 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

Actually, Mr. Chalmers, i went through pages and pages of Google searches.  I settled on that biography because he seemed like someone as full of himself as you are.

I’m not a vet either, but at least i have respect for those who’ve seen the horrors of war.  You, sir, lack anything that comes close to respect.

So tell, us, oh wise man, how it is that someone who hates all wars can defend people who start wars?  It amazes me that you have no ability to see the massive faults in your own logic.  I’ve asked that question before and you refuse to answer it…is it that you have no answer?

Finally, you rail against this WASP settler society because it seeks to annihilate anyone who gets in its way.  Funny isn’t how we come to resemble that which we hate so much.

As jokes go, i used to think you were pretty funny…now you just seem sad.

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By lodipete, February 5, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

I thought this thread was about Vet’s Care. Seems to be more of a forum where the genius intelligentsia gets to call everybody else an idiot. This TruthDig site sucks.

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By Conservative Yankee, February 5, 2008 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with your post above… When it’s your child, wife, brother, Sister, or mother, it becomes “important.” When it’s a poor rat from an Oklahoma dirt farm, or some litter-strewn ghetto everyone’s a hawk.

Gives hypocritical meaning to that worn-out old phrase “all ... created equal.”

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 4, 2008 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

#By Mike Mid-City, February 4: “...duggie your a tired moron…. unjustified, preemptive war of aggression…... while we are rocking the Christ boat…”

Your childishness is sickening in a man of your years, Mike Mid-City. And, please, don’t make excuses about valuing your country’s reputation. You are an embarrassment to it.

The person who “start(ed) a preemptive war” was your faithful commander of the armed forces and president, George W Bush - and his daddy before that as far as the never-ending war of terror against Eye-Rak is concerned.

What you don’t want to understand is your own complicity in “the depth of evil” of that and everything else you have involved yourself in as a dumb-ass US Marine willing to kill anyone, even your own citizens, on demand.

You have to be kidding me that you actually hold Hillary Clinton and no-one else, not even another Democrat responsible for all of this. It was the Republicans and the Neocons who have perpetrated “an evil that is worthy of damnation”.

But you certainly have missed it, Mike Mid-City.  No apologies, no real reason to forgive just as you are unable to forgive. The real truth is your own hypocrisy in spouting drivel you don’t understand about forgiveness and selfishly demanding contrition when it is YOU who should be contrite and asking for forgiveness.

That is as regards the fact that you “took part in a very bad thing” but your continued assigning blame to Hillary Clinton is proof that you have not even gotten over your own psychotic state never mind that you hold on to the right to judge others without being judged yourself.

The real problem is in your own irreconcilable anger and that is also something you are not entitled to as much as others, your victims, are entitled to be angry with you.  Thus you have no moral justification for your damnable war against Hillary and all the rest of your bullshit.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 4, 2008 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

#By jackpine savage, February 4: “You might not have noticed, but Mike is a Vet.  So your little speeches about war come off as pretty patronizing.  I am assuming that you are the Douglas Chalmers of the Columbia University faculty…”

There are more than 349,000 entries for “Douglas Chalmers” in a cursory Google search and I notice that you chose the first one, ha ha,  jackpine savage. You are an idiot, uhh!

No I am NOT associated with Columbia University and after that creep Bollinger ranted and raved about Ahmadinejad, I am glad of that. It was proof that Americans have no concept of manners or proper conduct and no regard for anyone but themselves and their own far too precious viewpoints.

That, of course, also applies to the US military if not to all militaries around the world who all seek to justify their abominations with garbage about “service to their country”. It is a lie! The one thing that most of you guys enjoy is a good fire-fight and especially if you have the technology and the other side doesn’t.

That is typical of the attitudes of a hegemonic power and especially of a white WASP “settler society” whose sole aim, historically, is the elimination and anihilation of anyone who gets in their way. The US military have been degrading themselves like that since the days of infamy of the American “wild west”.

No, I did NOT serve in WW2 but some of my family and inlaws did. I’ve mentioned this before a couple of times and still you lot impudently come up with the selfish assumption that only you and your precious club of fools who are always willing to “fall into line” have any right to say anything.

Again, no I am not a veteran and I am glad not to be. Others went into the Vietnam war draft and I was left out. I was lucky and I think I learned more than enough from my relative and the families of friends to know that going to war is never a wise choice.

Too bad, though, that the militaries of the world have built their traditions upon such tragedies and travesties of human conduct. The real bravery is to do whatever is necessasy to stay off the battlefied and to stop any place from being turned into a battlefied.

As it is, none of you have been able to confront that except to whine impotently. What is worse, you expect people to have been to war as soldiers before they have any rights in your eyes. You still have no respect for the civilians who are caught up in your precious wars. You are the fools and you are true idiots of the first order.

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By Maani, February 4, 2008 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment


“What don’t you understand about the depth of evil that Hillary voted for Pastor Maani?”

Are you suggesting that Christ would not even have forgiven Hitler?  You seem to be missing what TRUE forgiveness is about.  It is not about “contriteness”: Jesus didn’t wait for people to ASK for forgiveness; He offered it to them even when they did NOT ask.  The adultress did not ask for forgiveness, yet Jesus forgave her.  I am not suggesting that adultery is equal to voting for a war that caused the deaths of thousands of people.  But your point here is wrong.

Even Gandhi understood this when he not only FORGAVE Jinnah for the Muslim-on-Hindu violence he instigated - which caused thousand of deaths - but offered to make Jinnah the first president of India, and to name an all-Muslim cabinet.

“What country would Jesus vote to start a preemptive war on Reverend Maani?”

Again, you are asking the wrong question.  The question should be “Who would Jesus NOT forgive, or for what action or decision would He not forgive them?”  The ONLY people He withheld forgiveness from were the Temple Priests et al who had corrupted the spiritual teachings, and turned the temple into a marketplace.

“When exactly was it she asked for forgiveness?...No apologies, no real reason to forgive.”

Again, one does not need a “reason” to forgive; Jesus did not look for REASONS; He looked for OPPORTUNITIES.

“Isn’t that what the bible teaches us.  To forgive seven times seven if your brother/sister asks for forgiveness?”

Re what the Bible teaches, you have added language that is not there: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  No mention of ASKING for forgivness; simply PROVIDING it with or without request.

You might want to keep the following phrases in mind: “Judge not, lest ye be judged in equal measure,” “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” and “Take the log out of your own eye before you take the splinter out of another’s.”


“1.  I am angry with her for playing politics with war.”  You have every right to be, and to choose not to vote for her for that reason.

“2.  She hasn’t asked for forgiveness.”  She should not have to: your duty in trying to live a “Christ-like life” is to forgive her whether she asks for it or not.

“3.  Having had a hand in starting an immoral, unjustified war is a damnable thing.”

YOU do not decide what is “damnable” and what is not; ALL judgment is reserved to Christ.

“So not being facetious or combative either, why is it you want this woman to be the leader of our nation?  Why is it you now think she is worthy of being president?”

All people are fallible.  All people make bad - sometimes even harmful - decisions.  But I support Hillary because, on balance (in my opinion), she has done far more good than bad, and is likely to DO far more good than bad as president - indeed, I believe that, if elected, she will surprise even her most ferocious critics.


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By proudlefty, February 4, 2008 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

“...directed Douglas Mac Arthur to fire on veterans who had come to Washington seeking bonuses they were promised for their WW I service…”

And, don’t forget, Dwight D. Eisenhower was right there with Mac Arthur. Killing their fellow soldiers because the “Commander in Chief” asked them to.

Although it’s true it’s always been hard for Vets to be treated the way they should, there are some especially heinous things going on here. The list is long and growing daily.

Some things never change.

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By proudlefty, February 4, 2008 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Your name suits you.

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By proudlefty, February 4, 2008 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

I believe the comments were concerning AMERICAN contractors, not the slaves they employ (and I agree with you that their situation is abhorrent). The AMERICAN contractors are war profiteers who exploit those you speak of, and as I stated earlier, I don’t feel sorry for them (the AMERICANS). Hope that clears it up.

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By Conservative Yankee, February 4, 2008 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So Doug. you had your words pushed down your throat again.  Must be getting tiresome for you. But, let me get this right…

If one fails to genuflect to the queen of slime, they are anti woman?  But when you Atwater Obama, you are above racism;

Please Doug tell me the difference… I’m all ears.

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By Maani, February 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment


I am curious about something.  And I am honestly not being facetious or combative here.

You say you are involved with your church, apparently in some very good works.  And I get the feeling from your comments in that regard, and your recent defense of Obama’s comments on the Sermon on the Mount, that you take your faith seriously.

In this regard, how do you square your faith, and your belief in Jesus and His ministry, with the utter lack of any forgiveness that you have been expressing re Hillary’s vote on the Iraq war resolution?

Based on your comments this far, it would seem that the unnecessary deaths of U.S. soldiers (plus Iraqi soldiers and civilians) is the main reason you seem unwilling to forgive.  Yet as I have pointed out, forgiveness was as important to Jesus as peace and non-violence.  He even forgave those who brought about His own death.

So how do you reconcile your faith and your apparent lack of forgiveness?


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By jackpine savage, February 4, 2008 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

You might not have noticed, but Mike is a Vet.  So your little speeches about war come off as pretty patronizing.  I am assuming that you are the Douglas Chalmers of the Columbia University faculty.  Your BA in 1953 would suggest that you entered University in the late 40’s.  Did you serve in WWII?

If you are not a veteran, you have absolutely no right to suggest that you know something more about the nature of war than someone who’s served.

Mike doesn’t need (nor does he probably even want) me to defend him, but that isn’t my point anyhow.

And if you’re so against war in general, how do you rationalize your support for someone who supported the war?  It seems that it should be a pretty clear case of war is bad from the way you paint the picture.  But oh well, logic is only necessary when it supports your point of view, right?

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By Leefeller, February 4, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

We do not want to expect the government to take care of the troops, that would be socialism.

Opportunism, is one for one and forget the all.

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By jackpine savage, February 4, 2008 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the link.  Bookmarked.  And i’ll be signing up to volunteer.

As an aside, my girlfriends master’s thesis is the development of a training program to help families and organizations deal with Traumatic Brain Injuries.  So your link almost certainly generated two new volunteers.

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By srelf, February 4, 2008 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

These guys need assistance now. Until we can collectively get something going you might consider donating to any of the groups like the Wounded Warrior Project.

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By Conservative Yankee, February 4, 2008 at 6:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

K.B.R, and Halliburton are shanghing youths still in their teens from places like Katmandu, Somolia, and Etheopia. They have their “scouts” pick up any poor boy who will work for peanuts. These “children” are supervised by the “well paid” US folks you mention. BUT those folks do not come from Chapaqua Marin County, or Shaker Heights.

The scouts make the “prespective” pay as much as $15K up front and promise jobs in Jordan, Saudi Arabia or Europe… By the time they realize they are going to Iraq or Afganistan, their families have sold all their worldy possessions, and borrowed all they can to pay the up-front fees.

You are right… it is sure hard to feel sorry for folks beeding money so their families won’t starve… Marx said “Only the wealthy can afford conscience.”

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By Bert, February 4, 2008 at 12:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I want to know that this situation is adequately and professionally addressed, and the first step in that is just like if you were inspecting an army truck, a hospital is a much larger piece of equipment, when it’s a building, they call it a facility. What’s a facility? A facility is a place that’s set up to make a given task easier. C’est facile=that was easy,
something like that, anyway, that’s the concept. Well, if you’re over the age of 5, you’ve probably seen a show called M.A.S.H., named for Mobile Army Service Hospital, basically a tent with doctors in it, but that’s not important right now. Point is,
properly identifying and resolving whatever bona-fide
care issues there might be is a task best assigned with a full-bore inspection team with an ‘all-access backstage pass’. Send in the clowns, and let them compile and build a full report, and deliver same to the grand high whatsis at the VA, and carbon-copy Congress, and repeat the exercise on a quarterly basis. While they’re at it they can clean the REST of the corporatistas out of there, and start getting back to some fundamental Army standards. Open up another MOS school in a tent in the parking lot if they have to,and start getting soldiers trained with relevant skills as their medical specialty, and ensure that veterans’ medical services are delivered in a timely and professional fashion. Cut out the Halliburton-man and do what needs done. I think you could probably get enlistees for something like that.
I think that the VA’s problem is the same problem they have with many other aspects of the military today, which is the same problem they have with civilian ‘healthcare’, which is the aforementioned intermediaries. Too much money, not enough public accountability. Hell of a way to fight a war. Heckuva job, Whomever…

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

#By Mike Mid-City, February 3: “... I am outraged that the people who were wrong in the beginning and are now retroactively anti-war….”

How convenient then to blame it all on Hillary Clinton, Mike Mid-City. The real reason you are doing so is because she is a woman. Without that, you wouldn’t have a clear identifier from all the other Democrats who did the same. You haven’t mentioned any of them but you have accused and abused her a hundred times at least already. Basically, you are a sexist and misogynist, uhh.

A lot of people were wrong in the beginning and are now retroactively anti-war because they had doubts and were being misled and misinformed. They were also in shock and in fear. Actually, no-one had the amount of information we have easily available now. Even so, how long has it taken for most people to accept that the invasion of Iraq was wrong? I think you have forgotten that there is a progressive development and unfolding…....

#By Mike Mid-City, February 3: “Killing each other in war is not natural.  You have to twist your mind around it and then the chaplain says, “God Bless you son, go do your duty.”

So what is “duty” , then, Mike Mid-City, and who or what should it be to? Is this not the usurping of one’s inner self, one’s spiritual connection with the infinite Creator by either misleading people or by paralyzing their mental functioning enough to mislead them through fear or doubt?

Mankind was not put on this Earth to be unhappy. Nor is there any real reason for man to fear man. These are all artificial creations designed to herd and corrall people for the servitude of those who would be their masters. Now, you all have a fake version of democracy which is feeding off you, not sustaining you. Why???

As it is, you want relief from the anxieties and desperate frustrations that plague you. As such, you are easy prey for some new Pied Piper playing his tune of supposed “change”  mixed in with the opposite but familiar-sounding “I don’t oppose all wars”  version of “Support the troops!”. But can you imagine freedom???

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By proudlefty, February 3, 2008 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment

They were also promised certain things if something happened to them while deployed in the war zone. Health care was one of them. Not only are they being denied the health care they were promised and deserve, but if injured to the point of separation from service, they had been made to GIVE BACK some of their sign-on bonus! If you can give me a meaningful explanation for that bullshit, I would be happy to hear it.

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By proudlefty, February 3, 2008 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

There’s a big difference. Contractors are 1. paid handsomely for their jobs, and 2. they can quit anytime and go home.

Hard to feel sorry for war profiteers.

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By kath cantarella, February 3, 2008 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘A CBS News investigation in November found that 120 veterans kill themselves every week, adding up to over 6,000 per year.’

I cannot express what i’m feeling.

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By bachu, February 3, 2008 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey what about the military contractors - are they human flotsam? There are more contractors than there are military personnel in Iraq at this time.

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By Maani, February 3, 2008 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

MMC said, “Leefeller, why would a Hillary supporter talk about veterans?”

Let me give you at least three reasons why.

First, you may all have forgotten, but it was Hillary, as First Lady, who FIRST began the investigations into what became known as Gulf War Syndrome.  And she pushed tirelessly for - and won - legislation providing additional benefits for vets with GWS.  This was not simply politically unpopular, it was downright RADICAL, since NO ONE wanted to even DISCUSS this at the time, much less begin formal investigations.

Second, as Senator, Hillary fought successfully to prevent the military from denying vets the $50,000 bonus for “upping” for another year if they were wounded during that year.  This was the result of a young man who re-upped for a fourth tour, with the promise of a $50,000 bonus.  He lost both legs less than two months later and was sent home.  When he asked the military for his $50,000, they told him, “You didn’t complete your one-year contract.” Hillary made sure this would NEVER happen again.

Third, my roommate was in NH canvassing for Hillary for six days prior to the voting.  Among those canvassing with her was the VFW.  My roommate had many discussions with them - old and young, black and white, male and female - and asked them why they were supporting Hillary.  They told her that Hillary is “the only member of Congress who gives a s—- about veterans.”  That she had done more for vets and their rights, benefits, etc. than anyone else in Congress.  When she asked about Obama, one of them sneered and said, “Obama?  F—-er is on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, but has the worst attendance record and hasn’t done s—- for us.”

Note that these were not all NH vets, but that some of them had come in from other states to help canvass.


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By Maani, February 3, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

In actuality, Leefeller, in almost every place there is war and the consequences of war (injury, strife, disease - from Iraq to Rwanda to Darfur), often the only people you will find are Medecins Sans Frontieres and Christian missionaries who set up ramshackle churches/first aid stations to aid the wounded, sick, etc.


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By Pacrat, February 3, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even though our military is voluntary, not one of them who survive signed on for a follow up life of illness, disability, and homelessness. They knew it might happen. They also knew they might be killed.

We treat them as pawns in a game that politicans play without concern for life or limb.

Then we treat them as useless trash when they have put in their time or contributed their lives or limbs or minds for the benefit of the useless trash who run this country.

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By JohnZ, February 3, 2008 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s time to also take a long look at the lies being told to unsuspecting young people by ruthless recruiters. That’s why “Counter Recruit” was formed: to provide the truth about the consequences of serving in a military under a despotic regime.
This is a national shame!
This why I see recruiters as nothing more than one would see a local crack dealer.
Just this past year there has been revelations of recruiters involved in drug trafficking, rape and outright lies.
One way to put an end to this immoral and illegal war is to deny the regime in Washington the manpower to prosecute this senseless waste of people and money.
Father Barrigan was right in his civil disobedience.
However nothing will happen to those in control.

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By proudlefty, February 3, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

Not only are our Veterans being mistreated, Bill O’Reilly denies there are any homeless vets out there in America. This, after he wraps himself in the flag night after disgusting night, claiming no one cares about vets more than he does, while he disparages them on his program at the same time. He earns his millions on the backs of the vets he ridicules. Our veterans deserve no less than what their forbears received under the GI Bill after WWII and Korea. How come no one mentions all of this when blowhards claim that those of us on the left “don’t support the troops?” I wish they truly did.

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By Leefeller, February 3, 2008 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Apathy of you post is very real, (great post by the way), most of those who are silent or for the war have never been in one.

Maybe the draft should be reinstated, then and only then will the people will turn their heads.

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By Louise, February 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Hillary, and a lot of other “smart” people in politics voted for the war because of the “evidence” of a clear threat from Saddam.

Know what? I did not have access to that “intelligence” but knew from day one it was all bullshit! But that doesn’t make me special, my Senator felt the same way [bless her for her wisdom] as did a good many others in this country!

I didn’t have a vote. But I like to think my letters and phone calls may have played a small part in leading my Senator to vote against invading Iraq. Although I’m sure she acted based on her own smarts. Maybe folks in my area are a little smarter.

No. There were too many I encountered who were as dumb as Hillary.

Like the dedicated poet who was publishing his “patriotic” poems calling for love and obedience to the leaders of this great nation. I found him fascinating as he almost came to tears explaining the personal conviction he had that he needed to do what he could to help the American people rally round the president in this time of crisis. I was touched. So touched I asked him which division of the military he had served in. Oh, he responded, I never was in the military.

While on the other side of this thorny issue, members of the military in my family, and my veterans felt the same way I did. A growing sense of alarm at the obvious lies. A growing sense of awareness that sanity would not prevail.

As time went on it became clear those who most passionately supported invading Iraq had never been in the military. Had no family member in the military. And those veterans who passionately supported invading Iraq were the veterans who had all their limbs. A chest-full of medals and a few good “stories” to tell.

On the other hand, those veterans who walked, or not, in pain, and had seen buddies die and civilians harmed were most passionate in opposing it.

Bottom line: I think the problem was, is, we have too many civilians and not enough veterans. Too many civilians and not enough troops. Too many civilians who haven’t suffered so much as a good case of hiccups from this war, or any war we have gone plunging into.

People with small minds have tried to compare this war with WWII. The real warriors from WWII are few and usually silent. There is NO comparison. Except we are still fighting Fascism, but this time we don’t know it. This time we don’t see the real enemy. This time there will be no certain victory. Just a lot of death and destruction.

American Veterans in Crisis is a symptom of the American civilization in crisis. There will be no hope of an end to this horror until we gather up our respective gonads and let Hillary, and the other politicians who waffle around the evil they have unleashed, we wont take it any more!

That should make it pretty easy to decide who you will vote for! And even easier to decide who you WONT vote for!

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By Conservative Yankee, February 3, 2008 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“When young American men and women sign up to serve in the U.S. military, our government makes them a basic promise: If they are wounded in the line of duty, they will get the care they need. Unfortunately, for tens of thousands of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that’s a promise that only exists on paper.”

Oh pleeze…. You think this is just now? just Bush? just these wars?

My father (Served at Normandy in WW II) Said… “when the war was in its final days they began closing the VA hospitals. 

After Vietnam my best friend (who became brain damaged during service) was told his injury was “not service related” because he was able to work and function after the injury occured. They ignored the doctor’s diagnosis that the condition was “degenerative” and it would (over years result in complete loss of motor-skill coordination.

Probably the worst assault on Veterans ever was committed by the Quaker, Herbert Hoover who directed Douglas Mac Arthur to fire on veterans who had come to Washington seeking bonuses they were promised for their WW I service…  The government lies now, then, always… What’s new?

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By Leefeller, February 3, 2008 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

During world war two, both the German and English Churches at least said that god was on their side.

Seems to me Christians should be opposed to war in a big way, something to do with turning all four cheeks and all the other stuff they tout.

Mike, I know you are sincere, so I respect your belief, just not most of the hypocrites extraordinaries, the apathy toward the war is mind numbing.

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By jackpine savage, February 3, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment


I won’t lie, i’m not religious (though i have a degree in comparative religion) and i have a general disdain for “The Church”.  But i’m smart enough to know that there are many Christians who believe that the task of a Christian is to emulate Christ, not simply to get to heaven.  These people i respect deeply.  It is as Gandhi said, religions are like the spokes of a wheel; they all lead to the Truth.

Cheers to you, sir.

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By Leefeller, February 3, 2008 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

From our great nations ability to shove integrity into a closet full of skeletons, we add the Christian resolve to talk of love and care, while acting without compassion.

Why are not the churches of such greatness not screaming the horrors of war?

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By Outraged, February 2, 2008 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

These soldiers need our help, we had their’s, now lets give them ours.  I recieved an email today concerning torture.  This has everything to do with what we’re talking about.  There is a very short video, a must see, I might add.  It is about retired military people who are standing against torture.  One of the things that struck me was how one of them speaks about having OUR sons and daughters engage in this atrocity, as if its a military protocol or something.  Check it out:

Another good video, this one concerning (what a surprise) Bill O’Really and his remark about homeless vets.  Apparently Bill O’Really doesn’t HAVE reality checks.

Olberman’s follow up:

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By ocjim, February 2, 2008 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

A psychopathic personality is an emotionally and behaviorally disordered state characterized by clear perception of reality except for the individual’s social and moral obligations: the poor, the vulnerable, American fallen veterans who fought his war, the families of fallen veterans whose bodies were hidden at Dover, Katrina victims, the global warming impact on the poor, the half million or more Iraqi civilians killed in his war, unborn children harmed by increased mercury his relaxed power plant standards caused, the future of American children who pay for his debt—these are just some of the social and moral obligations a sick figurehead has never considered.

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By SaraB, February 2, 2008 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

Listen guys, I mean no one any disrespect here but I have to say you’re getting kind of scary. This article is about something really serious - something we all agree on. And only the very naive imagine it’s all going to get better if only the right man/woman wins. I can see how it would be so much better if we could just believe that and how, if it was true, you’d want to strangle anyone who couldn’t see exactly who the best man/woman is for President. But it’s not true. Trusting your vote to fix this mess is like waiting for Santa to deliver the presents - you’re going to have nothing but a sick feeling and an empty place where your hope once was. Most of us who bother with this site has got more in common that the majority of Americans right now. To hell with the candidates. What are we the people going to do about it? (And could we stop shouting at one another for starters?)

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By jackpine savage, February 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

I’ve read so many times how people just scroll past his posts.  I see why.  And i don’t doubt that a good many people who would like to express their thoughts and their opinions simply don’t even come here anymore because they’re tired of being attacked by Mr. Chalmers.  He’s like a one man Hufpo sometimes.  I don’t think that everyone needs to agree with me.  Actually, i come here because people don’t all agree with me, but they’re generally articulate and respectful…generally.

But ain’t it funny how someone who talks about how terrible war is can also be absolutely gung-ho for a candidate who’s pro war.

And i agree with everything you said above, except that my vote did “count”.

No to wait for the coming barrage of holier than thou liberalism.

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By Leefeller, February 2, 2008 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Your assumption makes sense, (assume, makes an ass out of you and me) Thanks for assuming to everyone that I voted for Bush, why would you say that? What can I expect from somone like you, my vote was one that did not get counted in 2004. I held my nose hen and voted for the Ketchup king. My preference not to have to vote for Hillary this time around, may have me pissing in the wind again.

Having the candidates field modified by several small states, manipulated by the media and and imbeciles like yourself bending to special interests seems to have the upper hand.  Hillary may win supported by war lovers like your self,  special interests,  the good old boys in the military complex may have another one tucked in the shorts, good job Douglas.

Vote for war, vote for Hillary, Yea team.

Old men send the young to war, so be it.

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By LibertyWatch, February 2, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My VA benefits are part of a contract called the GI Bill of Rights, not charity!

The VA does not honor that contract until it is forced to. It does not try to help the veteran until years of struggle take place proving that you are deserving. The veteran is a liar until he/she can prove they were injured in the military. . . after numerous request for my records I just gave up and have never once received a single copy of my military records so how do I prove things? My Congressman and my private medical records are how I became service connected!

I am a service connected disabled Vietnam veteran and have been treated at the VA for over 30 years. I have seen folks leave the hospital and kill themselves. I have seen nurses cry and career people just give up trying.

I have witness over and over again politicians using us during the election year and neglecting veterans until the next round of bullsh*t elections.

The VAMC operates on the “perception of quality” not weather there is true quality, or not, just the idea that they have it. The system burns out nurses left and right. Doctors come and go and the veterans have to fight for everything they need. Not because the VA does not want to help but because the politicians and military victimize us whenever they can because we can not fight back without loosing everything we have left.

There are two parts to the VA, the medical and the administrative. Medical does everything it can with the funds it has. The admin side does everything it can to make you disappear so they do not have to care for you.

The military does all it can to avoid recognizing they screwed you up. The VA does everything it can to drive you away with years of claims proceedings all while you are sick and loosing your wife, your home, your job. . . These folks serving today don’t even have the GI Bill of Rights that I have from my service during Vietnam.

I think anybody considering joining the military should be required to visit a VA hospital and see and hear what the vets have and do not have available.

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By GW=MCHammered, February 2, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Born in the u.s.a., I was born in the u.s.a.

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By felicity, February 2, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

One has to admit that Hillary is the master of the disclaimer.  In the end, however, she proved to have been but a hollow drum making a lot of noise as her actual vote was finally based on nothing.

In ‘02 and ‘03 there was an equal amount of information available to support the invasion of Iraq as there was against the invasion. Hillary’s excusing her vote because she didn’t have enough information means she’s either a liar, she didn’t do her homework, or her political ambition ruled the day.  I suspect the latter.

The next time I get pulled over for speeding I’ll tell the cop that I didn’t know the speed limit.  Think it’ll work?

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 2, 2008 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment

Where are the Hillary supporters -  #By Leefeller, February 2: “Notice not one of the Hillary supporters has made a comment on this post as of yet…”

Whilst you are maliciously attacking any criticism of your favorite new war president in other topics, Leefeller, what have you said of any true value here? And didn’t you vote twice for Bush as president???

While we are at it, lets also look at Hillary Clinton’s past record - her 2002 speech which was given under the duress of the circumstances of the time. She was far more averse to starting another war in Iraq and in “hunting down”  the illusory Al Qaeda and already-deceased Osama Bin Laden than your darling Barack Obama and his glee at white people spilling each others’ blood over “freeing” a few black slaves.

*Quote Hillary Clinton:  “Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster, in the belief that one more round of weapons inspections would not produce the required disarmament, and that deposing Saddam would be a positive good for the Iraqi people and would create the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East, one which could perhaps move the entire region toward democratic reform. This view has appeal to some….....

However, this course is fraught with danger. We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.

If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?

So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option. Others argue that we should work through the United Nations and should only resort to force if and when the United Nations Security Council approves it….....

This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make—any vote that may lead to war should be hard—but I cast it with conviction….... My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for uni-lateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose—all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world…”

And, while you are at it, don’t forget that Barack Obama was the one who so irresponsibly repudiated the PEACE-INSPIRING Christian teachings of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount which he derided as “...a passage that is so radical that it is doubtful whether our own Defense Department would survive its application” !!! The hell with you, then, Leefeller, uhh.

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By jackpine savage, February 2, 2008 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Chalmers,

I have tried to remain respectful of you, even in your complete disrespect for others.  Why do you continue to insist that i will vote for Sen Obama?  I did not vote for him in my primary, and i won’t vote for any of the current crop of candidates in the general.

You have been listening to yourself talk for too long sir, you’ve convinced yourself that you…and only you…are capable of being correct.

You belittle other people constantly; what does that say about your own self-esteem?

The rest of what i have to say to you is unprintable, and since i already know that you, and only you, can ever be right, it is also pointless.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 2, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

#By jackpine savage + Mike Mid-City, February 2: “For the politicians, this is a game.  For the ardent supporters of the politicians, it was just one vote….... Politicians thump their chest and vote for war, then look the other way…”

Do you guys really think you can get away with it again? Who are you going to vote for this time, huh? While you praise Barack Obama, you still ignore his glorifying “the crucible of the sword” . You two are lying to yourselves. Who did you vote for the last two times…...???

#By jackpine savage, February 2: “We don’t want to look into the eyes of the men and women without limbs.  We don’t want to be confronted by the young, melted faces.  We do not want to acknowledge the scrambled brains and the tortured souls, because they bear witness to the fact that we are complicit…”

The selfish old people who send other peoples’ sons off to war don’t either think or care what they will end up like. Just as you don’t want to be reminded that the person you vote for might not be the best choice, they don’t want to be told that their war-mongering campaigns are going to destroy young peoples’ lives. They want you to agree with them and to “support the troops” . If you disagree, then “you’re either with us or against us” !

#By Gregorio, February 1: “It’s all volunteer now - Many of these brave lads still support the president and think they just slipped through holes….  They will never understand this is what Republicanism and neoliberalism are all about, that what is happening to them is intended by the very people they support…... they could have avoided all of this if they had just listened to the vets from earlier wars who underwent the same thing….. the adventure, glamor, and honor of war, so widely celebrated in film….”

In a classroom with a flag at the front, they are indoctrinated not only into the great American dream but the great illusion that America “has God on its side” . The combination of promoting violence, justifying revenge, glorifying a murderous civil war and the myths of righteousness and goodness of “settler society” produce a crop of new crusaders to replace the old time after time. A generation of peace in between is all that it takes to make them forget.

The combination is as deadly as fast cars and alcohol. You know the stories from the 60’s and 70’s. - they are the same truths today - even with kevlar body armor and the night vision goggles…. and, as jdogg333 said, you can find the rest of the story down on skid row!

#By SaraB, February 1: “The VA is being stripped of funds to pay for the war. Ratios of doctors to patients in the hospitals have become fantastical - not possible to do the job. Hospitals fewer too…”

Well, you want a war, you have to pay for one. “User pays”  is what it is called, SaraB. The people who voted for the last federal government are now going to vote for another fantasy. “I don’t oppose all wars”  is a sick joke when you consider the consequences yet the very people who post in this topic have savagely abused any criticism of their favorite war president candidate in other topics.

The global health care situation is now at a crisis point from (a) lack of training new doctors and nurses, and (b) an overly expensive health care system based on a vetinarian style chemical control and radical surgery rather than making use of a range of therapies, and (c) the chronic draining off of essential funding for budgetary reasons. You can’t even get doctors now if you want them.

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By Leefeller, February 2, 2008 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Well you proved me wrong, as a Hillary supporter you made it to this post, me apologies.

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By Leefeller, February 2, 2008 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Notice not one of the Hillary supporters has made a comment on this post as of yet, and maybe not at all to the end.

The Russians did the same thing to their veterans from Afghanistan, our media made a big deal out of it then, but are silent now.

Has anyone heard how Blackwater treats their wounded? So we have big business making profits as mercenaries, and big politics making money keeping the people from getting medical care.  If we had social or complete medical care for everyone, the Vets could would be covered. 

Iraq should never have happened, and Afghanistan is not being handled properly.  Bush has had 7 years experience to get it right, a lot said for experience. 

We the people pay for special interests pet projects in more ways then one.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 2, 2008 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

#Quote Aaron Glantz: “So the military expelled him with dishonorable discharge and now bars him from getting health care and disability benefits…”

This IS part of the the game played by the government to legalize everything and then to victimize the individual. That is, it costs money through social security, pensions and medical treatment, etc etc. That is a burden on the state budget so the easiest way of managing it is to get rid of the individuals by denying their claims and entitlements.

It is hardest for them to fight back, first of all because they are unwell and unable to cope and, secondly, because the state has an unlimited legal budget but not the individual. In the courts, then, the individual is virtually ignored if they do not have a lawyer representing them. That IS the game of the legal system which viciously protects its own through such privileged behaviour.

Thus, your injury is not a ‘legal injury’ or your disability is not a ‘legal disability’ and so the judgement, if any is ever made, is against you if you are alone - and so are the costs. Of course, you won’t come into a court with a lawyer because you can’t afford one. If you can and you make the first hearing, you won’t be able to afford the second or the third or an appeal in a higher court. They just keep batting it on and on out of your reach.

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By jackpine savage, February 2, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

For the politicians, this is a game.  For the ardent supporters of the politicians, it was just one vote.

Some of have us lost friends to these wars.  Some of have friends and family being deployed to these wars.  All of us, except the politicians, will deal with the legacy of these wars for a generation.

Some of us comfort ourselves with the idea that these are Bush’s wars; many of us delude ourselves in the hope of shirking our responsibility.  These wars belong to all of us.  And for those of us who have been touched, personally, by them, there is no escape to the arcane manipulations of politics…there is only war and its brutal results.

We don’t want to look into the eyes of the men and women without limbs.  We don’t want to be confronted by the young, melted faces.  We do not want to acknowledge the scrambled brains and the tortured souls, because they bear witness to the fact that we are complicit.  We marched in time to the beat of the war drums, but we do not want to accept responsibility for the lives trampled under foot.

And we will never make this right until we look it square in the face.

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By jackpine savage, February 2, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Well said, man, well said.

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By weather, February 2, 2008 at 3:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ichan, Greenburg, Sackler’s(oxycotin $$ of Purdue Pharma) would take their very short arms and reach into their very long pockets and set in motion a private sector org. that augments care giving to these solider/family victims of deceit and greed w/the same energy they place on the continued creation of wealth.

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By Bert, February 2, 2008 at 3:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I vote for reform, even though I can’t vote on the Republican ballot this year, I still voice my support for Ron Paul. I think he’s a reformer, and will put an end to the war, and carry the water for the veterans and their families.

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By Gregorio, February 1, 2008 at 11:11 pm Link to this comment

Many of these brave lads still support the president and think they just slipped through holes or are victims of bureaucratic mistakes or funding shortages for medical personnel and treatment facilities.  They will never understand this is what Republicanism and neoliberalism are all about, that what is happening to them is intended by the very people they support.  It’s sad in a way, but funny too in a way, because they could have avoided all of this if they had just listened to the vets from earlier wars who underwent the same thing.  But noooooo!  That youthful death-wish, the adventure, glamor, and honor of war, so widely celebrated in film.  When will they ever learn?

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By SaraB, February 1, 2008 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

All the vest are suffering. The VA is being stripped of funds to pay for the war. Ratios of doctors to patients in the hospitals have become fantastical - not possible to do the job. Hospitals fewer too. The really bad ones are run by private contractors - or the sections that make the news are. SO the bad ones, or bad sections, (the kind that make the news)are getting more funding than the govmt rune parts. (I’m typing fast in lousy English but it’s late.) The new directive for dental care - ‘anything more than a quick filling, pull their teeth out. It’s cheaper than crowns and roots canals which we can’t afford any more.’ 100% disabled vets are now being charged for ‘medicare’ that they don’t use - it is coming off their disability checks - in fact to help pay for Medicare which is being cut this month to help defray the costs of the war. Co-pays on psych treatment, prescriptions, non VA are being laid to 100% disabled vest with no other income possible. The money just isn’t there for anything except the war itself. I can’t tell you how many are somehow’ slipping through the crack’. Funny how many, many ‘exceptional’ cases there are now. Paperwork gets lost, is mis-filed or improperly completed by someone the vet will never see.

The money is not there. It is being rerouted to the war. And the doctors and nurses and VA employees who could confirm this - and show you the evidence - are bound by their contract to the govmt to keep silent about what they know or face not only loss of employment but criminal charges. If I knew where to find the funding I’d have the documentary made in six months.

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By jdogg333, February 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Some people bleat and drone the “support the troops” mantra without paying any attention to this. With their magnets and rubber bracelets they regurgitate war propaganda without so much as a thought for the “other” troops. Perhaps someone should drag O’Reilly’s ass down to skid row so he can “find” some homeless vets. Disgusting.

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By DennisD, February 1, 2008 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army’s Top Medical Facility”

And everywhere else for that matter.

The MSM will never cover these stories. They don’t agree with the rosy Iraq “surge” scenario they’re trying so hard to sell to the dumbed down public.

I haven’t heard much from any of the stick figures that we call “candidates” as to what they’re going to do about this insult to every American, not just its military, this is a reflection on every one of us whether anyone has served or not on how we treat and care for those who have given everything for this country.

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