Thursday, January 27, 2005

Bush's 2005 budget slashes Veterans benefits to cut taxes for the rich

Conventional wisdom has it that military families support Bush with fervor. I've never thought this to be the case, given Bush's wussy behavior during the Vietnam war and the Republican smear machine unleashed on Kerry during the election. If they weren't mad as hell yet, they will be upon hearing what Pentagon official David Chu thinks about our vets. He says in the Wall Street Journal (1-25-05) he says supporting the vets with healthcare, pensions, VA housing, education and job training is "hurtful to national security." Yep, you read that right. Forget Bush's happy talk about the "supporting the troops," where the rubber meets the road he hates you guys.




Bush is proposing cutting BILLIONS from veterans programs. He is proposing CLOSING VA hospitals (as if the wait for care isn't long enough already.)

Of course, we'll never know how many soldiers actually voted for Bush or Kerry because the numbers just "don't exist." It seems there is no requirement for the military to report the military vote. After a good deal of networking (thanks, DU!), I was able to dig up the numbers from New Jersey -- 875 for Kerry, to 360 for Bush (more than 2 to 1 against Bush).



My sense is that the military smells a rat.

They've already been screwed with the Stop-Loss Program. Then we hear about the Try One Program, where young men and women thought they were signing up for a trial period and were promised the opportunity to leave if it didn't suit them after a year. Surprise! Grab a hunk of metal and get back in that Humvee -- we have to keep these roads safe for Halliburton to fleece and bribe their way through the war.

NOW, oh my god I can't believe this -- NOW, Bush has proposed n his 2005 budget (leaked, of course, b/c you know he "doesn't negotiate with the press) to SLASH veteran's health, education and housing benefits. He is going to "balance the budget" (i.e. find the money to send to Halliburton) on the GRAVES of young men and women young and idealistic and economically disadvantaged enough to join up.

It might seem politically-retarded that the Republicans would embark on screwing the troops -- but hey, they are drunk with "political capital." So drunk, in fact, that the House leadership recently stripped New Jersey Rep. Christopher Smith of his chairmanship of the Veterans Affairs Committee for pushing "so aggressively for veterans benefits that he at times threatened to oppose their spending plans, and President Bush's, "unless more retiree benefits were included."

See those links in the sidebar -- the ones that say "email Senators" and "email Representatives?" Use them. This is horrific.

Have a look at who we are talking about. Below are just a few men who have left behind orphans and widows and grieving families who will not have even close to the benefit to what they are entitled to for their great sacrifice.




Francis C. Obaji
Obaji died Jan. 17, 2005, in the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq.
Age: 21 Hometown: Queens Village, N.Y.
Died: 01/17/2005
Service: Army Rank: Pfc.
Unit: Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, New York, N.Y.




Brian A. Mack
Mack died Jan. 13, 2005, in Mosul, Iraq, when his military vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.
Age: 36 Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.
Died: 01/13/2005
Service: Army Rank: Sgt. 1st Class
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.



Robert W. Sweeney III
Sweeney died Jan. 10, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device hit their military vehicle.
Age: 22 Hometown: Pineville, La.
Died: 01/10/2005
Service: Army Rank: Sgt.
Unit: Army National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade, Lake Charles, La.


Christopher J. Babin
Babin died Jan. 6, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq, with six of his fellow soldiers when an improvised explosive device struck their Bradley fighting vehicle.
Age: 27 Hometown: Houma, La.
Died: 01/06/2005
Service: Army Rank: Sgt.
Unit: Army National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Lafayette, La.




Kurt J. Comeaux
Comeaux died Jan. 6, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq, with six of his fellow soldiers when an improvised explosive device struck their Bradley fighting vehicle.
Age: 34 Hometown: Raceland, La.
Died: 01/06/2005
Service: Army Rank: Sgt. 1st Class
Unit: Army National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Lafayette, La.



Huey P. L. Fassbender
Fassbender died Jan. 6, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq, with six of his fellow soldiers when an improvised explosive device struck their Bradley fighting vehicle.
Age: 24 Hometown: LaPlace, La.
Died: 01/06/2005
Service: Army Rank: Spc.
Unit: Army National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Lafayette, La.




Armand L. Frickey
Frickey died Jan. 6, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq, with six of his fellow soldiers when an improvised explosive device struck their Bradley fighting vehicle.
Age: 20 Hometown: Houma, La.
Died: 01/06/2005
Service: Army Rank: Spc.
Unit: Army National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Lafayette, La.




Alain L. Kamolvathin
Kamolvathin died Jan. 16, 2005, in Baghdad, Iraq.
Age: 21 Hometown: Blairstown, N.J.
Died: 01/06/2005
Service: Army Rank: Spc.
Unit: Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, New York, N.Y.




Jeremy W. McHalffey
McHalffey died Jan. 4, 2005, in Taji, Iraq, when an improvised explosive devise detonated near their military vehicle.
Age: 28 Hometown: Mabelvale, Ark.
Died: 01/04/2005
Service: Army Rank: Spc.
Unit: Army National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade, Little Rock, Ark.


Why stop here?

What exactly is going on Iraq. What did these men die for?



1 Comments:

Blogger Nicky said...

I don't have time to say much other than 'Excellent post, yet again Brook.'
How very sad it all is.

Friday, January 28, 2005 11:18:00 AM  

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