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Obama: “We have failed to give them the support they need “

posted by Susan Johnson

From Obama’s Memorial Day weekend address:

“Our fighting men and women – and the military families who love them – embody what is best in America,” Obama said. “And we have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us.”
“We have failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve,” the president said. “That is a betrayal of the sacred trust that America has with all who wear – and all who have worn – the proud uniform of our country.”

I think it’s good that Obama finally admits how bad the left has treated the troops while they were at war in Iraq. He’s right, they haven’t supported them or paid them the respect they deserve. They’ve not only tried to surrender in Iraq and declared defeat before the troops even got a chance to do their job but tried to defund the effort while the troops were in the middle of the battle. And made disparaging comment after comment and even dissed their commander. Maybe now that Obama is finally supporting the troops, the rest of the Democrats will as well. How about it, lefties? You loving the troops more now that they are fighting for an American you can believe in?



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Moonshadow

posted May 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm


declared defeat before the troops even got a chance to do their job
Somehow instead declaring victory shows them the proper support, then? What supplies do victorious troops require?
You loving the troops more now that they are fighting for an American you can believe in?
I don’t sense a change personally.



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Robert Morwell

posted May 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm


The Bush Administration refused to fully fund the VA for several years, and it was during their time that we saw the appalling conditions at Walter Reed. That’s supporting the troops?
It was the last Administration that opened up the most disastrous second front since Hitler invaded the USSR, sending our troops off on a criminally ill-advised invasion and catastrophically executed occuptation. I have never understood where supporters of the Iraq misadvanture get off claiming they are “supporting” the troops by sending them to struggle and sometimes die or suffer permanently debilitating wounds to their bodies and souls.
BTW, Michele, even though I opposed the Iraq war from the start, I led an effort to provide thousands of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq with phone cards so they could stay in touch with their families at home. Altogether, the effort raised over 1.3 million minutes worth of phone time, and helpd spark a nationwide effort that has raised over 13 million minutes worth of time.
I have also offered counsel to combat vets suffering from PTSD from previous wars, and I have no doubt I will do the same for the current ones. One young member of my church came back from Iraq clearly suffering from it.
Aside from writing a snide article, and once again using the stereotypical “leftie” canard (I know a very conservative retired career Army master sergeant and veteran of two wars who thinks the Iraq War was a totally misbegotten fiasco) what have you done to support the troops?



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Kauko

posted May 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm


I love how on reading Obama’s speech your first, mindless thought was to assume that Obama is talking about ‘lefties’ and can’t see the critisism as being directed toward ALL Americans as Obama intended.



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Robert R.

posted May 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm


I believe the President was referring to the appalling treatment of our troops during the Bush-Cheney years. No armor for vehicles, mothers paying for their sons’ gear with bake sales, mold and leaking roofs at Walter Reed–all the stuff you supported, Michelle. We have indeed failed to support our troops, by not throwing out the hypocrites of the right four or eight years earlier. Shame on us for not standing up to politicians of your ilk, Michelle.



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Your Name

posted May 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm


I love how on reading Obama’s speech your first, mindless thought was to assume that Obama is talking about ‘lefties’ and can’t see the critisism as being directed toward ALL Americans as Obama intended.
My thoughts exactly. I mean how obtuse can one elect be?



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Rolf

posted May 23, 2009 at 5:48 pm


So how can we find the funds to support our troops now?
Here’s an idea. If someone sat on his fat behind in quartermaster corps for twenty years, that shouldn’t qualify him, her, or it for military retirement. No retirement, no PX, no VA hospitals for any military who didn’t see combat. That should free up quite a lot for the real American heroes, not just the loudmouths who served their 22 years pushing paper.
Honor our military? Sure. Just our real military.



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Robert Morwell

posted May 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm


Rolf: I’m not sure how much money your suggestion would really free up, though I think combat veterans should receive priority care. But we need to remember that millions served as a result of being drafted. That time was essentially commandeered by Uncle Sam, and even the peacetime soldiers often had to make sacrifices with little or no choice.
My father was a combat vet, and he also felt that those who had been wounded should receive priority care from the VA. He was not among them. But the VA put him back together after he ws in a terrible plane crash after leaving the Army, I think that was both fair and a good investment.
The issue of how we would prioritze care is a very difficult one, because I think people who served do deserve some measure of care and respect, even if they served at the PX in Ft. Dix, rather than in the Battle of the Bulge, like Dad did.



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Rolf

posted May 23, 2009 at 7:19 pm


So we fix up the vet who worked at the PX, but we let the school teacher die of cancer? Or the nurse? And we let children fend for themselves, that is, until they reach age 65? Does this seem right to you?



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JanS

posted May 23, 2009 at 7:57 pm


No, no, no, Michele, you don’t get to rewrite history and not be challenged. I truly think, after reading your articles, you just try to push buttons rather than making a solid statement of your beliefs on an issue. You have every right to disagree with our current President and/or Democrats or those on the left, but do so accurately and with merit if you are ever to be taken seriously as a writer.
Referring to the “left” you state:
“They’ve not only tried to surrender in Iraq …”
Surrender to whom? Who is the entity in which the left “tried to surrender”? The Iraqi government was removed from power, so wouldn’t be them. The Iraqi people? Were we ever at war with the Iraqi people? Were they going to surrender to the insurgency that infiltrated Iraqi after our invasion? That wouldn’t make sense, would it? Who, then?
“…and declared defeat before the troops even got a chance to do their job…”
What does that mean? And what was the troop’s job? To bring down Saddam’s regime? They did that in a matter of hours at the beginning of the occupation. To find “WMD’s”? There wasn’t any to find. To get control of the oil for US contractors? They did that. To invade and occupy a country for over 6 years that posed no immediate threat to the US? They did and are doing that. To bring our troops home, and allow the new Iraqi government to proceed; would that be the so-called “defeat” the left has wanted?
“…but tried to defund the effort while the troops were in the middle of the battle.”
Do you mean we realized the cost of the war was greater than anyone expected with very little to show for it, except a few US contractors making billions and billions and billions of tax free money, and now can’t account for much of it and did shoddy work to boot, then moved their companies to a foreign land? The troops themselves were not in danger being “defunded” as they would have always gotten their combat pay as that was never part of the “funds”. Remember it was Bush and Rumsfeld who were indifferent to the fact that the troops from the beginning of the war had unsuitable safety equipment and armor.
“And made disparaging comment after comment and even dissed their commander.”
I don’t know who the “their” is in that sentence. Very few military members would ever publicly disparage or dis their commander. But the civilian citizens have every right to disparage their president for bad decisions or protest an unnecessary war. Dissidence is what made us a great country, because we can! Imagine if no one had dissented slavery or Jim Crow laws.
Michele, don’t be disingenuous with trite comments about the left “loving the troops now”. Our military is made up of members of many political views and many of those who were against the Iraq war made sacrifices by going to the war themselves or sending their loved ones into this terrible, costly war. Our family was one of them.



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Robert Morwell

posted May 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm


Rolf:
I seriously doubt the money saved would save that many school teachers, and some of those teachers worked in the PX and got their education on the GI Bill which was another program that has yielded great benefits to society.
It sure wouldn;t save enough money to help a whole lot of children.
It’s nice to believe it would. But I don’t think the numbers would add up.



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Rolf

posted May 23, 2009 at 9:12 pm


“I seriously doubt the money saved would save that many school teachers, and some of those teachers worked in the PX and got their education on the GI Bill which was another program that has yielded great benefits to society.
It sure wouldn;t save enough money to help a whole lot of children.
It’s nice to believe it would. But I don’t think the numbers would add up.”
So you’re fine with other deserving people who contribute to society being left with nothing. Don’t be surprised if some day there is a rebellion against veteran’s benefits. Especially if you have people like Michelle supporting them.



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Robert Morwell

posted May 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm


Excuse me?
I’m fine with it????
No, I’m not fine with it. I’m just looking for realistic solutions.
Show me the numbers. I’m open to persuasion, but not to unsubstiated claims. Show me you’ve done some homework on this, instead of just engaging in accusations.
Again, I point out that a great many people get their medical care thru the VA, when other medical sysems can’t or won’t help. The vet with cancern who can’t get insurance because of the current mess of a health care system we have, can at least get help thru the VA…even if they worked at the PX. Do you propose cutting them loose and having them join the ranks of the unisured and untreated? How does this help the needy?



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Rolf

posted May 23, 2009 at 11:31 pm


“Show me the numbers. I’m open to persuasion, but not to unsubstiated claims. Show me you’ve done some homework on this, instead of just engaging in accusations.”
Again, I point out that a great many people get their medical care thru the VA”
OK, follow your own rules. How many people get their medical care through the VA? How many of them do not have other coverage? The she-devil who writes this blog would say that vets who have other insurance should enver have to use it, but tell us all, how many vets have other health insurance? What are your sources?
I’m open to persuasion, too.



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Robert Morwell

posted May 24, 2009 at 12:54 am


Okay… Start with this. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1802114
SYNOPSIS: A study done of VA users who have and do not have insurance and who they are… Among veteran respondents, 6.2% reported receiving all of their health care at the VA, 6.9% reported receiving some of their health care at the VA, and 86.9% did not use VA health care. Poor, less-educated, and minority veterans were more likely to receive all of their health care at the VA. Veterans younger than age 65 who utilized the VA for all of their health care also reported coverage with either private insurance (42.6%) or Medicare (36.3%). Of the veterans younger than age 65, 8.6% (population estimate: 1.3 million individuals) were uninsured. Uninsured veterans were less likely to be able to afford a doctor or see a doctor within the last year. Veterans who utilized the VA for all of their health care were more likely to be from disadvantaged groups.
A large number of veterans who could use VA services were uninsured. They should be targeted for VA enrollment given the detrimental clinical effects of being uninsured.

Bottom line…The overwhelming percentage of vets don’t use VA at all. The uninsured ones tend to be poor, less educated, and minorities (in other words, the disadavantaged) I can tell you from personal observation that a number of them are also homeless. According to the VA here are approximately 154,000 homeless vets for whom it is a vital source of medical care. I’ve dealt with some of them, myself.
I’ve shown you mine, now you show me yours.



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MzEllen

posted May 24, 2009 at 8:38 am


Rolf, are you saying that we should not pay for health care of a loyal 20 year veteran of the military because they didn’t see combat…but we should pay for health care of a loyal 20 year teacher, who also did not see combat?
As an educator, I will have health care insurance through my employer when I retire. I believe that vets should have the same.



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Rolf

posted May 24, 2009 at 11:28 am


MzEllen, are you saying teaching in the public schools isn’t combat?



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Rolf

posted May 24, 2009 at 11:39 am


“As an educator, I will have health care insurance through my employer when I retire. I believe that vets should have the same.”
Good for you. Do you also believe the cleaning lady or the guy who plucks chickens should have insurance while they are working? And when they retire?
“Veterans younger than age 65 who utilized the VA for all of their health care also reported coverage with either private insurance (42.6%) or Medicare (36.3%).”
Thank you for digging out the facts. I can’t see requiring vets under 65 who are sick enough to be on Medicare to use their Medicare to pay for services at the VA. I can see requiring vets under 65 who have private insurance to use it at the VA–but I do think it is odd that advocates of a single-payer system promote this idea.



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MzEllen

posted May 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm


MzEllen, are you saying teaching in the public schools isn’t combat?
Yes. That is what I’m saying. If you want to have “combat pay” for some teachers and not others, depending on the school, you might be able to make a case for that. Just like you’d exclude military office workers from medical benefits as retirees, perhaps you’d like to exclude teachers from rural pre-schools from their medical benefits as retirees?
(I’ve worked in inner city high schools and the times I’ve been shot at or even been exposed to weapons by students – excluding ROTC – has been roughly…zero.)



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Rolf

posted May 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm


MzEllen, I’d like to include combat veterans, non-combat veterans, inner city high school teachers, rural pre-school teachers (whose caling seems to be more dangerous than teaching inner city high school if you go by the Pennsylvania experience), hedge fund CEO’s, you, me, and Michelle McGinty in a single-payer no-rationing system. It’s possible with resources we have, although the fact is, with perfect politics doctors will still think of new ways to save lives that cost even more money. I am truly disappointed with Obama’s waffling on this issue. This was one of the biggees I expected better from him. In the meantime, I find the claims of one group over another a tad grating. You don’t have to be annoyed just because I am. I don’t have to feel OK with what you do. Peace. Out.



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Tom M.

posted May 24, 2009 at 10:13 pm


I was discharged from the Army in 2004 and use the VA for all my health care.



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anonymous reincarnate

posted May 25, 2009 at 2:37 am


well stated, moonshadow.
it seems, michele that it is the warmongers such as yourself who now are not properly supporting the troops. cheering war is not supporting the troops, sorry.



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Your Name

posted May 25, 2009 at 1:30 pm


This is an old post, so I wonder who will read it. God gives liberty to do what we ought to do, not necessarily what we want to do. I attended a Quaker school for 10 years and was subjected to anti-war poetry, the best of which was probably Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” from the World War I. Theologically the Bible says that God is good to all, even Wilfred Owen in his trench with the gas in World War I, and that man’s sin brings the evil in the world, which is often best faced forthrightly in war. Pacifists have basically taught that man is good and God is unknowable, although man can be improved with good education. Pacifism is a pillar of Liberalism. You can hardly support the troops without supporting their mission. A soldier needs a Sovereign, active God, Who will see him through death if necessary, not an impersonal deity or evolution. This is my understanding.



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Robert R.

posted May 25, 2009 at 11:18 pm


Just letting you know you are being read, Your Name. I was raised Mennonite, and we were pacifists who very much believe man needs God and God is knowable. And while I understand how one would feel that it’s not possible to support the troops without supporting their mission, there are in fact many ways to support troops as human beings without favoring the killing of other human beings–and, believe me, a God who sees us through death is just as needed if you are a pacifist.



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