Friday, August 24, 2007

White House Catches Up With the Vietnam Analogy - Well Sort of...

Well, you have to give points for creativity. After ignoring the lessons of Vietnam for years, for fear they might actually apply to Iraq, perhaps Carl Rove, in absentia, may have given the President a way to use Vietnam - an interpretation with which no one has yet voiced agreement, much less understands.

So, because, this blog has previously posted the following Vietnam-Iraq analogy several times (which appeared all over the Internet beginning in mid-2003) , it's worth repeating it again, one more time, in the failing hope that anybody inside the Beltway would have the light come on...

The Vietnam II Preflight Check:

1. Cabal of oldsters who won't listen to outside advice? Check.

2. No understanding of ethnicity's of the many locals? Check.

3. National boundaries drawn in Europe, not by the locals? Check.

4. Unshakable faith in our superior technology? Check.

5. France secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.

6. Russia secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.

7. China secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.

8. Enemy supply lines unknown? Check.

9. Sec of Def pushing a conflict the Joint Chiefs never wanted? Check.

10. Fear we'll look bad if we back down now? Check.

11. Corporate Texan in the White House? Check.

12. Land war in Asia? Check.

13. Right-wing unhappy with outcome of previous war? Check.

14. Enemy easily moves in/out of neighboring countries? Check.

15. Soldiers about to be exposed to our own chemicals? Check.

16. Daily guerrilla attacks that cannot be stopped? Check.

17. Anti-Americanism up sharply in Europe? Check.

18. B-52 bombers? Check.

19. Helicopters that clog up on the local dust? Check.

20. Infighting among the branches of the military? Check.

21. Locals that cheer us by day, hate us by night? Check.

22. Local experts ignored? Check.

23. Local politicians ignored? Check.

24. Local conflicts since before the USA has been a country? Check.

25. Much confusion over who and where the enemy is? Check.

26. Against advice, Prez won't use taxes to pay for war? Check.

27. Blue water navy ships operating in brown water? Check.

28. Use of nukes hinted at if things don't go our way? Check.

29. War unpopular at home? Check.

30. No plan in place to end involvement? Check.

Vietnam II, you


Note that almost all 30 of these were right on target four years later.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Veterans for Common Sense

Another excellent source of advocacy for veterans is Veterans for Common Sense (VCS). Check it out to see what they are doing and to get on their email list. For example:
On Monday, July 23, 2007, VCS filed a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs for the shameful delays our veterans face when trying to see a VA doctor or when seeking VA disability benefits. VCS reluctantly filed suit to force VA leaders to fix their problems now so more of our veterans don't fall through the cracks.

On Wednesday, VCS offered practical solutions to Congress as part of our testimony about how the military and VA are improperly discharging thousands of veterans with a personality disorder diagnosis instead of post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.

The same day, VA informed Congress that more than 250,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were already treated at VA hospitals, a shocking milestone the press failed to report to the public.
Based on Harvard University Linda Bilmes report on the human and financial cost of the wars, VA can reasonably expect another 500,000 war veteran patients.

Also on Wednesday, S 1606 passed the full Senate. The Wounded Warrior bill, supported by VCS, offers service members and veterans some real hope of improving the broken transition from soldier to veteran. VCS urges you to call your local Representative and ask that S 1606 be approved by the House of Representatives before they go on vacation at the end of the week.

The next day, Dan Fahey, a member of our VCS board of directors, provided Congressional testimony about depleted uranium research for Gulf War veterans. Dan remains one of the most respected and articulate pro-veteran advocates on the issue of DU.

Finally, on Friday, newspapers reported that VA will consider a recommendation by Professor Bilmes and VCS that veterans' disability claims be approved for a nominal amount for a short period of time, while the claim us under review, so that veterans don't fall through the cracks.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link