Friday, March 09, 2007

Shout it out: Time to get out, time to go

Having vented considerable spleen on the sorry state of the church, Saintly News Service [SNS] now focuses its ire on the state of the country and the sorry war the current administration continues to perpetuate on our citizens and the civilians of Iraq.

In this morning's Washington Post, Shailagh Murray said "Democrats Force single Voice on Iraq."

The new Senate Iraq resolution, unveiled yesterday afternoon, is the latest handiwork yet of Congress's newest "it club": the Senate Democratic war council. The inaugural meeting was called last June by Harry M. Reid (Nev.), then the minority leader. The midterm elections were nearing, and Democrats wanted to answer voters' growing concerns about the war.

The result was a nonbinding resolution offered by Sens. Jack Reed (R.I.) and Carl M. Levin (Mich.) that called for troop reductions to begin by the end of the year. It failed 60 to 39 but represented the Democrats' first major challenge to President Bush's Iraq policy since the war began ...

A nonbinding resolution. That's really telling them.

Well, it's a beginning, maybe. It will take a more cohesive voice than 60-39, in more than a nonbinding resolution, to get us out of Iraq. I feel like joining those protesters camping out at Democrat offices, reading the list of war dead.

Meanwhile, in Wednesday's Miami Herald, Lesley Clark reported Donna Shalala's ESP ( She "sensed?" As in, "I see dead people?") in "Shalala: I sense Bush's `anger.'"

University of Miami President Donna Shalala said this morning she sensed President Bush's fury over reports of shabby treatment of war veterans after she emerged from an Oval Office meeting.

She said Bush wants a speedy -- and comprehensive -- fix to problems facing wounded vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Shalala, a Democrat who served as former President Bill Clinton's secretary of health and human services, and former Republican Sen. Bob Dole, who long represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate and was wounded in World War II, were asked by Bush to chair a bipartisan panel to investigate problems at the nation's military and veterans hospitals following disclosures by The Washington Post of poor care of those wounded on the battlefield at the nation's premier military hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

''He made it very clear that if one soldier doesn't get high-quality treatment and isn't transitioned back into civilian life, or back into the military, that's unacceptable,'' Shalala told reporters outside the White House. ``You could sense his anger and his anxiousness that we move as quickly as possible. . . . It's a broad mandate and Sen. Dole and I are pleased to serve.''

She called the situation an ''embarrassment'' for the country ...

Yes, it certainly is an embarrassment. It's also an atrocity. How long has Mr. Bush been in the Oval Office? He's just now showing presidential pique about the poor treatment of returning war wounded?

The truth is, men and women who return from Iraq with physical and psychic wounds are an embarrassment to the administration, just like the returning coffins Bush & Co. would prefer no one notice. Bureaucrats who like their jobs don't push for the funds to effectively care for these returning wounded. That would only draw attention to a problem the administration would prefer not to acknowledge.

Not that this is a new problem. The same thing happened during and after Vietnam, and it's still happening to those veterans. They're lucky if they can get treatment -- it's often declined -- and indifferent, when offered.

Will the current noise be anything more than a sound bite of sound and fury, signifying nothing?

When the public gaze turns on the problem, there are promises of getting veterans proper treatment, in proper conditions, and a few cosmetic fixes go in. Then things slide back to business as usual. Nobody wants to think about it, and the administration that brought you the bloody and maimed sure don't want you thinking about it. So, no attention -- the wounded are swept back under the rug, to stagnate and suffocate.

None of this will really change without a unified voice. We have to stand up and shout "NO!"

No more to the war, no more to the sorry treatment of returning veterans who honorably served their country. Without the billions spent on this war, there will be plenty of funds to care for the wounded.


Ann said...

And think about how it is out in the rural areas where care is already thin -- no help for our vets who are wandering around wounded in spirit if not in body.

Grandmère Mimi said...

that's unacceptable,

That's his mantra. My God! We and he have been living with the unacceptable for six years, and what has he done about it but repeat his mantra?

Now if mantras produced miracles....