Bending Over for Bush

originally posted 2008-05-23 01:43:18-- bumped -- definitive comment by rba, cho

 

Bending Over For Bush

21 War Loving Senate Democrats Give Bush $165 Billion for More War

Michael Collins Washington, D.C.

It is now their war. Iraq has been and will be the war of every Senator and Representative who funds the madness.

Over four thousand U.S. troops have been killed in battle in Iraq. Ten times that number have major injuries. Sixty thousand have post traumatic stress disorder. Suicides among veterans are at an epidemic rate, 18 per day, particularly for those who have served in combat. Over a million Iraqis have died as a result of the lawlessness and unrest due to the Bush-Cheney invasion. There are five million Iraqi orphans. "Before it's over," the war will cost three trillion dollars, but there's no end in sight.

Yet each of these Democrats cast that all aside and voted to provide the very worst president in our history, a blatant incompetent, with $165 billion dollars to continue the war.


Democratic Hall of Shame
:
Democratic Senators voting more funding for the Bush-Cheney war.

Why would they do that? Because their president asked them to:

"The United States Congress needs to pass a responsible war funding bill that does not tie the hands of our commanders," Bush said. Reuters May 22, 2008

But wait. Weren't the Democrats swept into control of both houses of Congress in 2006 in order to obey the public will by getting us out of Iraq? Didn't they promise to stand up to the insanity of providing more money for a war that gets us into more trouble simply through its continuation?

We've come to expect this out of the lock-step Republicans who are "made men" in the culture of death. Weren't the Democrats supposed to make a difference? It is now abundantly clear that the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is still in the minority and that the people - Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have no party.

Yesterday, the United States Senate approved an additional $165 billion to continue the Iraq war opposed by about 70% of the people, at a time when over 80% think we're on the "wrong track." The people opposed the war before it started. Specifically, a majority of Republicans and Democrats stated a strong preference for weapons inspections and cooperation with other members of the United Nations before any invasion.

In addition, there was enough information well before the 2002 Iraq War Resolution for each and every politician who voted in favor of folly to know that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Politicians speaking directly into a camera telling us what a "hard decision" it was were lying without compunction. They knew much of what we weren't allowed to know and they supported the war anyway.

But over five years later, these Senators continue the death and carnage, the drain on our much needed resources, and the defamation of the citizens of the United States in the eyes of the world.

Stop the funding, include language for a six month withdrawal, and end it now. That's how you support the troops, serve the people, and end the destruction of Iraq. Anything less is collaboration. Jumping when Bush commands is positively bizarre.

Stop the war and divert funds to health, rebuilding the economy, and staving off the eco-catastrophes that await us. Impeach Bush and Cheney and hold others accountable for their reckless greed, deliberate and calibrated at each step to maximize profits and salve warped egos.

There is a great deal of political optimism about "change." How can that happen when the "opposition" party has 21 Senators who won't change the most damaging policy in memory? In essence, the Senate has a War Party majority of 70. It includes the 21 Democrats listed above plus the 49 Republican Senators.

They don't care because they don't have to. They can commit any form of public malfeasance or private outrage, yet they remain. They're like "the man who came to dinner" and burned the house down. The consequences of the real world don't apply. They are the ultimate "protected class." Their tenure is indefinite.

Congress replicates the rigged economy of socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the rest of us. The privatize elections that they funded after Florida 2000 are the perfect vehicle to perpetuate their reign. They serve The Money Party because they're a part of The Money Party.

It will never stop until the people send an overwhelming message - we do not trust you, not at all. Stop it right now. No more tortured logic. No more Senate multi millionaires club. No more indifference by the pampered who think they're a huge success because they make the rules for a game they always win.

Real people are suffering every day around the world due to the indifference of those who claim to represent us. They squander opportunity after opportunity, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory every time.

It's time to stop listening to promises for the future from any politician and demand solutions in the present. What's their function absent the results to justify their presence in our capitol?

END

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But I have a fact-check for you... your statistic 120 suicides a week for Iraq veterans should be 120 per year.
Here's a February 13th, 2008 reference from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The Army said recently that as many as 121 soldiers committed suicide last year. If all are confirmed, the number would be more than double the number reported in 2001.

Don't get me wrong, 121 Iraq veteran suicides a year is way too high (indeed, in my perspective anything > 0 is too high), and we don't have numbers for 2006 -2007. I just didn't want you to undercut your argument with inaccurate data.

Excellent writing as always!

Hi and think you for the input. It's actually more dire than I presented it. Here's a truly amazing piece of investigative reporting by CBS on suicide rates of those who served in Iraq. They were blown off by the VA on the question of suicides associated with service in Iraq. So they did their own research. I looked at it once again and and revised the sentence since the Iraq specific data is still in contention. Nevertheless, the rate among veterans, combat in particular, is "epidemic." Here's what CBS found:

And what it revealed was stunning.
CBS News http://tinyurl.com/yoo2zk

"So CBS News did an investigation - asking all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records, for veterans and non-veterans, dating back to 1995. Forty-five states sent what turned out to be a mountain of information.

"In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week, in just one year.

Snip

In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week, in just one year."

AND

"Emails suggest cover-up of Vets suicide rate
Monday, April 28th, 2008
RINF.COM http://tinyurl.com/3vsg46

Naomi Spencer | Internal emails from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) turned over to a federal district court in San Francisco this week reveal that the agency’s mental health unit saw a staggering 1,000 suicide attempts every month among veterans receiving government care last year. emails also indicated that among all US veterans, the VA was aware of a suicide rate of 6,570 per year, or 18 suicides every day on average."

AND CBS "VA Hid Suicide Risk, Internal E-Mails Show
Follow-Up Reporting On Exclusive Investigation Reveals Officials Hid Numbers"
http://tinyurl.com/6eujd6

"But in this e-mail to his top media adviser, written two months ago, Katz appears to be saying something very different, stating: "Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among veterans we see in our medical facilities."

Katz's e-mail was written shortly after the VA provided CBS News data showing there were only 790 attempted suicides in all 2007 - a fraction of Katz's estimate.

"This 12,000 attempted suicides per year shows clearly, without a doubt, that there is an epidemic of suicide among veterans," said Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense."

Here's a link that produces many of their articles.
http://tinyurl.com/69jkyy

Katayan deserves whatever the highest prize is you get for investigative reporting. This was his baby. He also had a very able public health researcher.

P.S. Thank you so much once again for promoting the recent story to the main page.

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton

Yes... I remember that... and thank you especially for digging up the information... I think the 120 suicides a week refers to all veterans... ("among veterans receiving government care last year") not just veterans of Iraq -- just wanted that difference to be clear. Your argument is a damning indictment, and I hate to see great arguments undercut by nits. So thanks again for editing your piece to reflect that the 120 a week number refers to all vets, not just vets of Iraq!

That detail doesn't challenge at all the significance of what you have written, and it's a terribly important message to get out there!

Thanks again.

(We can do a little Dr. Strangelove - Soviet Premier Dimitri dialog with "thanks")

I'm most grateful that you caught that. I revised the text her and elsewhere to reflect the general risk data. Those in combat at higher risk according to the data CBS unearthed on the overall rate plus the massive numbers of untreated PTSD. Data from natural catastrophes, which are less likely to produce trauma than "man made" catastrophes, show that once an individual meets the diagnosis for PTSD, it's remarkably persistent. What a shame to see the VA dodge and weave on providing services to vets. The condition is very treatable. Untreated, it contributes even more to this risk.

The whole scene of Congress simply passing this legislation without acknowledging the human cost is surreal.

The CBS folks deserve a lot of credit. They came up with the 120 a week for vets, which would be 6,000 a year, and then got the VA head's memo on 1,000 suicides a month. There's more to that story.

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton

but I defer to Defuning for info on complete cures.

Curious about the "man-made" trauma as more likely to produce the trauma. That certainly fits with my experiences (noted here: Treating PTSD which, in part, references the new program Sue Halpern outlined in The New Yorker).

Thanks for keeping your eye on the stuff that is getting swept off the front pages with the brouhahas about candidate X said this and candidate Y said that -- and oh my gawd, candidate Z actuallly gaffed.....

You asked why a natural disaster was less likely to produce PTSD than a man made event. With disasters, there's a collective experience. You're not "the only one." There's devastation also but it's approached as a community with a goal in mind and specific tasks. With an assault of any kind, from individual to nation - terrorist generated, there's a sense that you're targeted, you're vulnerable, and you're alone (with the exception of cities etc. being bombed). That's harder. There are fewer specific tasks, etc. Soldiers coming back lose the intensity of mission and the comradeship and have more time to ruminate. The 60,000 cases of PTSD is stunning and worrisome, particularly if VA doesn't pick up the slack. Everyone involved knows what PTSD is and how it works. There's awareness. To neglect to treat it is a deliberate act. But so was lying us into a war. If knowledge were power , we'd be doing more heavy lifting. But collective knowledge is real power. In 2004, few, except in the black community, thought the election was stolen. By 2006, two surveys, one I did (Zogby) showed huge portions of the population thought 2004 was rigged. But it's a shame so many have to suffer while this gets out (with inconsistent help from corporate media and lots of jamming).

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton

the reason I asked was back when I was reading/reviewing Penny Coleman's, Trish Woods, and Ilona's books on PTSD, there was a lot of talk about how PTSD would start to show up in the Katrina survivors.

Just curious about your research.

Thanks!

Stop the funding . .

No, start the process to repeal the Iraq AUMF ("Mission Accomplished"), and modification of the "terrorist" AUMF.

That "funding" argument was DOA, and the people making the argument knew it at the time. Had they simply demanded a full accounting, most of the Country would have been on board:

The disclosure that $1.8 billion in Iraqi assets was mishandled comes on top of an earlier finding by an independent federal oversight agency, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, that U.S. occupation authorities early in the conflict could not account for the disbursement of $8.8 billion in Iraqi oil money and seized assets. [IHT/NYT, 23 May]

Incompetence is a non-partisan, proveable charge. "Stop the funding" is just noise.

Why hasn't this become the battlecry of the AntiWar crowd "Repeal the Authorization On The Use of Military Force"??? I don't understand why this just got dropped totally by those very geniuses we elected to stop the war in the so called Democratic majority Congress. I never hear the legislation even mentioned and it makes my blood boil.

There were any number of approaches to turn this around but, to the credit of the people, they changed on their own without any leadership and without any direct media help, although the many articles that showed up once or twice with great data were very helpful.

My point, which could have been made had I focused less on the invective, is --Congress knows it's a crock. They don't get a pass simply because they aren't using the preferred PR approach. They were duty bound to vote down funding for a war without initial merit and with ongoing harm in the Nth degree.

I heard part of the debate. The Democratic speaker, Levin I believe (not sure), argued that "this bill" would finally provide the benefits that veterans need. The cruel logic of that is, in order to provide the benefits to vets at home, they're creating more assured beneficiaries by leaving vets over there in harms way. It simply becomes to grotesque to follow at some point.

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton

Seems fitting that it followed yours on the list.

Gives you a Good Idea where the monies go, They Disappear, and You Can Bet the Cabal have reaped their fair share In Billions!!!!!!!

Tell the world: My America Doesn't Torture!

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

I like to think that I give others the benefit of the doubt, but these crony crooks... well...

http://tinyurl.com/5wjcb9
BOSTON GLOBE
By Scott Allen
Globe Staff / May 27, 2008

"The night before he hanged himself with a garden hose in the basement of his parents' home, Jeffrey Lucey asked if he could sit on his father's lap. For the better part of an hour, Kevin Lucey quietly held his 23-year-old son, an Iraq war veteran who had returned depressed and deeply ashamed of what he said was his brutal treatment of Iraqis. When Kevin Lucey discovered his son's body the next night, there was a suicide note: "I am totally embarrassed at the man I have become and I hope you can remember me only as a child."
more stories like this.

"Jeffrey Lucey was not counted among the 4,082 American troops who have died in the war so far, but, yesterday, veterans groups and peace activitists remembered the Marine Reserve lance corporal along with tens of thousands of others whose deaths are attributable to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As sunbathers lolled on the grass of Christopher Columbus Park, protesters dropped a carnation into Boston Harbor for each of the 80 Massachusetts service men and women who died in the two conflicts, then tossed bouquets on the water for troubled veterans such as Lucey as well as the countless Iraqis who have died since the 2003 US invasion."

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton