Cruel, Callous and Uncaring in the Extreme

I’ve written a bit about Bush’s despicable abuse of our military personnel, treating them as little more than props in his juvenile cowboy fantasy. Well, it just keeps coming. Joseph L. Galloway of McClatchy Newspapers has this bit of encouraging news:

Sen. James Webb, D-Virginia, a Vietnam veteran, has been doggedly pursuing passage of a new GI Bill aimed at helping these new wartime veterans get that education by giving them much the same educational benefits that were extended to their grandfathers after WWII.

Under his bill, which has attracted three dozen other sponsors, the government would resume paying full college tuition for these veterans for a period linked to their times in uniform, but for no more than 36 months or four academic years. Every eligible college veteran also would receive a check for $1,000 a month to help cover living expenses.

This would cost the government about $2 billion a year, which is about what we’re presently spending every 36 hours in Iraq.

President George W. Bush and the Pentagon oppose any such improvement of this miserly benefit for our young veterans. Why? The president says it would cost too much and be too hard to administer, and he’s threatened to veto Webb’s bill if it ever passes.

The Pentagon says that if you offer more realistic college benefits, too many troops might decide to leave at the end of their enlistments and take advantage of it. And that, they say, would only make it even harder to find and enlist enough recruits to man our wars.

It would cost too much. What we spend every day-and-a-half on Bush’s Iraq disaster is too much to spend to ensure that those of our military personnel who survive Bush’s disaster can come home to a promise of an education. Because if they can get an education, they won’t want to re-enlist! Could it be more clear that the Pentagon is deliberately taking advantage of lower-income Americans to provide cannon fodder for Bush’s war?

As Galloway points out, more than half of the 15 million Americans who served in World War II were educated at government expense. Because President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Democratic Congress believed the country owed those who had served it in uniform. Not only were World War II veterans offered the opportunity of an education, they were also given aid for unemployment and buy a house or start a business. But Bush believes even helping with their educations is too expensive, and his Pentagon believes that people with actual opportunities in life won’t choose to risk their lives in Bush’s war. As Galloway says:

Those arguments against doing the right thing for college veterans are, in the case of our “wartime president,” about what I’ve come to expect of a man whose support for our troops has never extended past strutting through the latest photo op on a military base or an aircraft carrier.

The argument of the Pentagon bean counters – who in the best tradition of former Vietnam-era defense secretary Robert Strange McNamara know the cost of everything and the value of nothing – may be accurate.

However, it is cruel, callous and uncaring in the extreme not to give our troops any hope of a life beyond endless deployments for fear that they might opt for an education over the simple joys of killing and dying far from home.

But there’s your “compassionate conservative” in a nutshell: cruel, callous and uncaring in the extreme.

3 comments

  1. Because if they can get an education, they won’t want to re-enlist!

    And they’ll have the audacity to use the VA system for healthcare too, if they can manage it.  How dare they demand what they were promised?  

    Compassion isn’t a commodity known to the sociopaths currently running our government.

    • RiaD on February 21, 2008 at 5:28 am

    i’ve watched the benefits for our military erode for the past 30 yrs…

    its a (&^/^*@ disgrace the way our young men&women are treated! (& gha! i sound like my father~)

    at one time you got medical care~ for life! if you served your time…

    at one time you got base privleges~ for life! if you served your time…

    at one time our government valued its citizens & thought we were in it together…

  2. most of whom did join in order to derive the benefits of an education, etc.

    He has used them for “fodder” in every way and respect and has the gall to say, “Support your troops!”  And, “You’re not supporting the troops, if you defund them.”  etc., etc.

    I would love to see some bill that would actually be passed for their benefit.  But they’ve even gone so far to say that the ones suffering mental problems are not up for treatment by our government.  

    I swear, sometimes, I think “water torture” of Bush and his ilk, may be too good for them.

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