Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Politics!

By Jeff Simpson

I was excoriated on my facebook page for posting this yesterday, by a couple republicans, who said that Memorial Day is not a day for politics.

Today if you attend a Memorial day parade in WI and some republican politician throws you some candy...GRAB IT. Its the only thing they have done for you in 2.5 years!

I was even told by a de facto right wing member of the legislature - " Memorial Day should never be a day of politics."   

Then I saw this picture on facebook and amazingly none of  people who were upset seemed to be upset about this picture from the Burlington Veterans Memorial Day Parade:


One of my favorite writers William Rivers Pitt had this to say about Memorial Day, and hit it perfectly on the head!

Memorial Day is set aside to honor America's veterans, those who have served and those who have given what Abraham Lincoln called the last full measure of devotion. Indeed, you will not be able to turn your head today without confronting invocations of honor and duty. While it is all well and good to do this, the reality behind what our veterans endure today obscures these pious platitudes with the hard reek of hypocrisy.

Average wait time for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans filing their first claim to receive the benefits they earned: between 316 and 327 days. Those filing for the first time in big cities wait up to twice as long: 642 days in New York, 619 days in Los Angeles, and 542 days in Chicago.

The ranks of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits grew from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 in December, an increase of more than 2,000%. The VA expected the number of veterans waiting - currently about 900,000 - to continue to increase throughout 2013 and top a million by the end of this past March.

There are, on average, 22 veteran suicides a day. “I’m not surprised at the number of us that kill ourselves,” Lincoln Capstick, an unemployed Iraq War veteran in Indiana where the average wait on new claims is 612 days, said to Time Magazine.

So today, as the politicians heap praise upon America's veterans, and as American businesses use veterans as props to boost their sales, remember what their sacrifice has truly meant...and remember that their sacrifice is ongoing, is happening right now, and will continue to happen until this country that so deeply values war finally steps up to care for he and she that has borne the battles.

A nation that does not care for its war veterans has no business making new ones

Nuff said! 


  1. America's loyal poodle Britain is treating it's veterans even worse and this may be an omen of what's in store for US victims of imperialist wars:


    Headline: Benefits crackdown ‘humiliates’ disabled Army war veterans

    "Degrading back-to-work welfare assessments that are stripping former soldiers of their benefits have been denounced by leading veterans’ charities.

    Thousands of ex-servicemen are being pushed to the breadline after being judged fit for work by the government-appointed company Atos...

    ...Lance-Corporal Mark Dryden, 35, who lost his right arm when a roadside bomb went off in Iraq, was awarded incapacity benefit in 2008 but had it withdrawn this year under the new system. He described the assessment, in which he was asked by Atos whether he was right-handed, as “totally and utterly degrading.”"
    If all sounds a bit like Fitzwalkerstan, it's because Wisconsin Republican policies are based on Thatcherism, i.e. "There is no such thing as society". How has this worked out in Britain? Today, 30% of the population is now considered as poor. This is the future of Wisconsin under the Republican Occupation Government.

  2. God damn right. I use the VA for my medical it was something I never thought I would need some 40 years ago. But the nervous system shit the bed and I became on of the many preexisting condition un-insurable. So I have been in the system some 8 or so years now. In that time I have witnessed how the system has become bogged down. Appointments are harder to get there is no walk-ins. Our clinic in Wisconsin Rapids was changed from a contracted to one that is ran and staffed by the VA. But all in all it is not all that bad, so far. But the thing is the line at the door is getting longer. Estimates are there are over 750,000 vets that are getting or will be needing care for PTSD. Let alone the numbers of injured from brain trauma to disfigurements to internal issues. Here is the shocker folks, the cost for care for all these vets will now cost more than both wars over their lifetime. When Bush started those two wars he and his then sec of VA cut money to the VA and in addition moved funds for care to bonuses for VA cronies. Now the Dems did get more funding for mental health but that was so little it almost did not matter. Now we got Ryan who for the 2nd time has a 11 billion cut to the VA. Now I will not give Obama and his Sec of VA a pass. These back logs are nothing new it has been going on for as longs as those wars have. I have only heard of lip service from Obama. No action and in the mean time every 65 mins a vet takes his or her life. And the majority are do to no health care or no financial payments for injuries. They all piss me off. There should be a draft and one with no deferments. Your number comes up, pack your bags. When watch as wars end and the assess in DC think a shit load more about going to one. But as it is the public like our politicians could really give a shit about Vets. And what it is is what it is.

  3. Ignore the critics.

    The people who run the so-called "Memorial Day" parade in Sheboygan won't let Veterans for Peace carry a casket displaying the number of fatalities of various wars. Apparently you only count as a "veteran" if you're a pawn of the military-industrial complex.

    Of course, they don't count cheerleading for endless war on Memorial Day as "politics".

    1. There was this story in the Sheboygan Press

      One hero home, 83,000 to go

      The burial of Lt. Col. Don Carlos Faith Jr. last month in Arlington National Cemetery was stirring and patriotic, as most military ceremonies are.

      Faith was an extraordinary soldier. He was a paratrooper in World War II, in the thick of the fighting in Europe. Later, for his bravery during the fatal battle in Korea - it was the pivotal Battle of Chosin Reservoir - he was awarded, posthumously, the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor.


      So I looked up what happened in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. This was another battle that ended the lives of tens of thousands for no good reason. Lieutenant Colonel Faith led a regiment, RCT-31, that was later known as "Task Force Faith" due to his leadership.


      General Douglas MacArthur ordered the Eighth Army to launch the "Home-by-Christmas Offensive." (Ironically US troops evacuated on 12/24/50)

      Regimental Combat Team 31 (RCT-31) was a hastily formed regimental combat team from the 7th Infantry Division that guarded the right flank of the Marine advance towards Mupyong-ni. Before the battle, RCT-31 was spread thin with main elements separated on the hills north of Sinhung-ni, the inlet west of Sinhung-ni, and the town of Hudong-ni south of Sinhung-ni.

      Believing that the defenders were completely destroyed at the inlet, the Chinese stopped their attacks and proceeded to loot the US positions for food and clothing. As the morning came on 28 November, the 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry counterattacked the PVA 239th Regiment at the inlet, sending the surprised Chinese back in a complete rout. In the afternoon, Almond flew into the perimeter of RCT-31, convinced that RCT-31 was strong enough to begin its attack north and deal with whatever "remnants" of Chinese forces that were in their way. Almond ordered Colonel Allan D. Maclean, the commander of RCT-31, to resume the offensive north while presenting Silver Stars to three of Maclean's officers. In disgust, Lieutenant Colonel Don C. Faith, Jr., the commander of the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, threw his medal into the snow.


      It is long overdue to stop making “heroes” out of the victims of America’s endless wars. When the cheerleading stops, the wars will soon stop thereafter.