Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Real Disabled Veterans Scandal: Politicians Starting Wars


Without fail every Memorial Day and Fourth of July is the ultimate in flag desecration as the thoroughly dishonest chickenhawk ranks of the American political class wrap themselves in Old Glory while their actions on the other 363 days of the year defile everything that it is supposed to stand for. Being a military veteran myself there is nothing quite as repugnant as seeing a pack of swine who never had the guts to serve continue to create more disabled veterans from their cynical  games where they send other people's children to die for their own greed and political ambition. This Memorial Day the standard horseshit about honor and patriotism is spewed from the lips of those who have no concept of either is mixed in with the GOP election year attacks on the Commander in Chief over  severe problems within the Veterans Affairs system that is overwhelmed and underfunded as the wounded continue to return from the catastrophic debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Temporarily dodging the flak, the "madder than hell" President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today to visit with the troops, it is about as sincere as George W. Bush appearing with that stage prop turkey on Thanksgiving Day in Iraq back in 2003. By the very job definition every US President is a war criminal and by extension the troops are nothing more than cannon fodder. It has become even more so in the 21st century and the wars of Middle East corporate plunder and neocon dogma and today's public relations stop at Bagram Air Base is a run of the mill farce in American politics. As a story in The Guardian reports:
Air Force One landed at Bagram air field, the main US base in Afghanistan, after an overnight flight from Washington. Obama was scheduled to spend just a few hours on the base and had no plans to travel to Kabul, the capital, to meet Hamid Karzai, the mercurial president who has had a tumultuous relationship with the White House.
Obama's surprise trip comes as the US and Nato withdraw most of their forces ahead of a year-end deadline. Obama is seeking to keep a small number of US troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to train Afghan security forces and conduct counterterrorism missions. But that plan is contingent on Karzai's successor signing a bilateral security agreement that Karzai has refused to authorise.
Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said the president had not finalised the troop decision and no announcement was expected during the Afghanistan visit. But Rhodes indicated it was possible Obama could announce his decision during a foreign policy speech on Wednesday at the US Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Obama's visit also was taking place against the backdrop of growing outrage in the US over the treatment of America's war veterans. More than two dozen veterans' hospitals across the US are under investigation over allegations of treatment delays and deaths, putting greater scrutiny on the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency was already struggling to keep up with the influx of forces returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
The first thing that jumps out is Dear Leader's not meeting with Hamid Karzai with whom relations have soured as of late after quibbling over giving immunity to US troops for war crimes that was contingent on a security agreement, US troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan soon but that is bullshit - there will always be a US presence much like in Korea. Obama also may have had to answer questions on the recently revealed NSA program SOMALGET that according to reporting in The Intercept was recording all cellphone calls in the Bahamas and an unnamed country that the writers did not divulge due to concerns of violence. The other country was Afghanistan as revealed by Wikileaks the other day. This ugly revelation would not make for interesting dinner conversation between Obama and Karzai although one has to wonder why Afghanistan? What the hell is there that merits recording in that barren shithole. The only connection between the Bahamas and Afghanistan would be off shore banking in the former and drug trafficking in the latter but I am not going to go there, leave that for the pros.
The real veteran scandal is beyond the shitty way that the mentally and physically are cared for - or not cared for as the sordid tale of the Phoenix VA waiting list emerged, amazingly reported on by CNN without any connection to missing Malaysian airliner MH-370. Veterans in this ungrateful and enormously stupid country that sends them to murder abroad - too often killing innocent civilians - and to themselves be killed or maimed for life either through psychological or physical trauma have always gotten the shaft but particularly during the endless phony war on terror. Despite the long-running wars Americans go about their daily existence, shopping, watching ball games and reality TV, filling up their gas guzzlers all while ignoring any sacrifice on their part, let alone even the most basic acknowledgement of what they are engaged in. It is a national shame and that they are used for cheap political gain when tales of negligent management and incompetence at the Department of Veterans Affairs emerge only makes the exploitation of our veterans all the more disgraceful.
The platitudes and nonsense from our criminal political class will not fully erupt like a geyser of toxic shit until tomorrow on Memorial Day itself but it all brings to mind the following from Dalton Trumbo's enduring anti-war classic novel "Johnny Got His Gun":
You can always hear the people who are willing to sacrifice somebody else’s life. They’re plenty loud and they talk all the time. You can find them in churches and schools and newspapers and legislatures and congress. That’s their business. They sound wonderful. Death before dishonor. This ground sanctified by blood. These men who died so gloriously. They shall not have died in vain. Our noble dead.
 Hmmmm..
 But what do the dead say?
 Did anybody ever come back from the dead any single one of the millions who got killed did any one of them ever come back and say by god I’m glad I’m dead because death is always better than dishonor? Did they say I’m glad I died to make the world safe for democracy? Did they say that I like death better than losing liberty? Did any of them ever say it’s good to think I got my guts blown out for the honor of my country? Did any of them ever say look at me I’m dead but I died for decency and that’s better than being alive? Did any of them ever say here I am I’ve been rotting for two years in a foreign grave but it’s wonderful to die for your native land? Did any of them say hurray I died for womanhood and I’m happy see how I sing even though my mouth is choked with worms?
Nobody but the dead know whether all these things people talk about are worth dying for or not. And the dead can’t talk. So the words about noble deaths and sacred blood and honor and such are all put into dead lips by grave robbers and fakes who have no right to speak for the dead. If a man says death before dishonor he is either a fool or a liar because he doesn’t know what death is. He isn’t able to judge. He only knows about living. He doesn’t know anything about dying.
If he is a fool and believes in death before dishonor let him go ahead and die.
Tomorrow the rat bastard Obama will likely be at Arlington National Cemetery to pay lip service to all who have perished in the service of this rotten Empire as will all of the other political swine jockeying for position to assume his position in the White House come January 2017 and start contributing their own additions of dead and wounded to the pile.