Thursday, March 08, 2007

Crazy Talk About Veterans Affairs

Newsweek's Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey do well to shine some light on President Bush's handling of the Walter Reed scandal:
What a difference two years make. Back in 2004, John Kerry repeatedly raised the issue of poor care for veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Bush’s response was dismissive. In their last televised debate, Kerry said Bush “hasn’t fully funded the VA and the VA hospital [sic] is having trouble and veterans are complaining.”

Bush’s response? “Of course we’re meeting our obligation to our veterans, and the veterans know that. We’re expanding veterans’ health care throughout the country. We’re aligning facilities where the veterans live now. Veterans are getting very good health care under my administration, and they will continue to do so during the next four years.”
Unfortunately, apparently too spineless to paint the picture in the starkest terms, the reporters end on this note:
The issue of veterans’ care is one that Bush cannot take for granted, as he once did in 2004. Compared to the complexities of the Libby trial, this is a simple debate the White House cannot afford to lose.
They can win?!!

These journalists just don't seem to get it. Bush was warned about the problems with veteran's care long before 2004, but failed to act until something dramatic happened. He's already lost this one. Or at least he should have if the press were doing their jobs.

Bush has been asleep at the switch since day one, when he was warned by outgoing Clinton officials that the number one threat to U.S. security was Al Qaeda. Did he listen? No. He went off trashing international treaties and building half-baked ABM systems. And we all know what happened next.

Global warming? New Orleans levees? Iraq pre-war intelligence? Iraq post-war planning?

Bush has proven his incompetence and arrogance time after time. He never listens to advice from experts. He's an ideologue who thinks that if he prays to God, everything will magically fall into place. He's a very dangerous man who is responsible for the needless deaths of tens of thousands of people around the world.

These reporters think he can win the debate. Well, perhaps, with their help, he can.

1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

We need to be careful to differentiate between the Active Service Hospitals and the Veteran’s Administration. There are major differences.

I am currently a resident in a Veteran’s Home after having undergone treatment through the VA for PTSD and Depression, long overdue some 40 years after the Tet Offensive that cap stoned my military 2nd tour in Vietnam with a lifetime of illness.

My blog has attracted the stories of many veterans such as myself and other sufferers from PTSD who were victimized by elements of society other than the VA system of medical and mental treatment. I, for one, became trapped in the Military Industrial Complex for 36 years working on weapons systems that are saving lives today but with such high security clearances that I dared not get treated for fear of losing my career:

When my disorders became life threatening I was entered into the VA System for treatment in Minneapolis. It saved my life and I am now in complete recovery and functioning as a volunteer for SCORE, as well as authoring books and blogging the world.

When I was in the VA system I was amazed at how well it functioned and how state of the art it is for its massive mission. Below is a feature article from Time Magazine which does a good job of explaining why it is a class act:,9171,1376238,00.html

I had state of the art medical and mental care, met some of the most dedicated professionals I have ever seen and was cared for by a handful of very special nurses among the 60,000 + nursing population that make up that mammoth system. While I was resident at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis I observed many returnees from Iraq getting excellent care.

I do not say the VA system is perfect but it is certainly being run better on a $39B budget than the Pentagon is running on $494B.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read this happens please see:

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.
The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.
For more details see: