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Iraq - Veterans - Taking a Stand, Or Not?

By Remy Benoit

I sat yesterday, and I watched, and I listened.

A surprise that such treatment/non-treatment is problem?

A surprise to whom?

And why a surprise?

We have a representative democracy. That means that our representatives should be protecting that democracy, and all who dwell within.

Is it a surprise that materiel is lacking for the troops? No surprise to them.

Is it is a surprise that in many cases they are not getting the training that they need? No surprise to them.

Is it a surprise that they are there for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time? No surprise to them.

Is it a surprise that the VA is underfunded, understaffed, and as Cleland pointed out 'drowning in war'?

From Tom Paine and Philip Mattera Outsourcing Walter Reed. Perhaps outsourcing our manufacturing may prove troublesome in the not too distant future also?

Where is Mr. Smith when we need him?

Perhaps he has changed his name to Mr. Webb? Born Fighting.Only time, and women and men of courage enough to walk in the shadows of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin will give us that answer. If you support Senator Webb's bill, please call your Senators and tell them that. Contacting Congress.

To say these 'contenders' for the 'prize' fit those shadows, well, perhaps that is stretching it a bit? From The Boston Globe and James Carroll Candidates' stories tell us what we've become.

The real question is twofold:

What are we allowing our country to become;

and after we hold ourselves accountable, who else do we hold accountable?

Last November the People made it quite clear where the majority of them stand on all of this.

Congress is not listening.

The Executive is not listening.

A democracy is a very fragile thing. To lose it doesn't take much: just buck passing; an ostrich complex; apathy; ignorance; and the "I have more important things to do," kind of thinking.

A democracy implies care/concern/compassion for not only those who dwell within it, but also for those with whom it comes in contact. Don't see where torture comes into play there.

We are tired of the politicking, the grandstanding, the 'my party is "righter" than your party.

We demand a Congress answering the mandate that they were sent.

We insist on an Executive that "Preserves, protects, and Defends."

We cannot tolerate anything but a balance of power between them and the Judiciary. We all know about the wantonness of absolute power and its corrupting capabilities. from World Security and Philip A. Fleming Presidential Signing Statements -- Their Use and Abuse.

It does not take a Mensa member to know what those things mean. Governance here is not supposed to be about individuals and their political careers; it is supposed to be about the welfare of this nation - just a reminder, lest we forget.

From The Washington Post, Jonathan Weisman, and MSNBC Dems alter plan to restrict Iraq war
Waiver for Bush, benchmarks sought.

From Newsweek, Richard Wolffe, Holly Bailey and Eleanor Clift, and MSNBC The Senate: The Republican Revolt
How close is Bush to losing his own party?.

From Arianna Huffington and The Huffington Post Problems of Leadership: Washington's Belated and Selective Concern for the Troops.

From the Nonpareil Online, Council Bluffs, Iowa Monday's Our View: Someone should be accountable.

From The Voice of America and Dan Robinson US Veterans, Family Members Testify on Military Medical Care.

From The Nation and Ari Berman The One in Four War.

From The Nation and Katrina Vanden Heuvel It's Time to Create a Little Shock and Awe in the Streets.

From the AP, John Heilprin, and Truthout Lawmaker Looks Beyond Walter Reed Fix.

From Paul Rieckhoff and Worst to Come at Walter Reed.

Keep in mind, it was "your" letters that turned the tide for Mr. Smith when he went to Washington.

Speak up.

Speak out.

And show the courage to take a stand.

Do we really want further huge cuts in the VA budget as is being proposed? Think about what that did to the levees.

And we just might want to consider a Just Foreign Policy.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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