Posturing Politicians Betray Vets

Sometimes, political posturing reaches a level that makes me go from merely gritting my teeth... to wanting to puke.

That's precisely how I feel as I see the White House engaged in a vile, disgusting betrayal of America's military veterans. Yes, the very Bushites who constantly exhort you and me to "support our troops" and who crassly pose George W in front of the troops for his political gain -- these duplicitous game-players are going all out to kill legislation that would give a simple measure of fairness to some 700,000 disabled and desperate veterans.

These are front-line, career soldiers who were injured in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and other wars. Yet, under an old law, these aging veterans are having their retirement pay docked for every dollar they get in disability benefits. In short, they are forced to pay for their own disabilities, which they incurred in military service to their country.

A large, bipartisan majority in congress supports a bill to fix this, providing full pension and disability for these deserving vets. Bush himself promised in the 2000 campaign to rectify the unfairness, and he pledged just before being sworn in that "promises made to our veterans will be promises kept."

He lied. The White House now promises to veto the bill. Pentagon chief Donnie Rumsfeld even went to congress in July to tell lawmakers personally that Bush would slap the vets with the veto, declaring that the bill's five-billion-dollar-a-year cost would break the budget. The bitter unfairness and raw stupidity of that statement is breathtaking. Rumsfeld routinely throws hundreds of billions of dollars at fat-cat Pentagon contractors to make overpriced and unneeded weaponry, but when it comes to real need and doing what's right, he suddenly turns into a penny-pincher.

Let's not just puke -- let's support the vets! Call: the White House comment line: 202-454-1111.


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