Much has been made of the surge strategy in Iraq by the McCain/Palin ticket since John McCain supported it and it should open the door to actually discuss the conduct of this God awful war and those brave soldiers who come home from it and the ones who do not. Putting personalities aside, drama aside, let us at least discuss this war. Yes, we are spending $10 billion a month on it, but what about the true human cost meaning those who have died and those who come home. Some forever broken.
In his acceptance speech before the Republican convention, there was no mention of the veterans who have served over in Iraq by John McCain. As he gave his acceptance speech a protester interrupted that speech and this is what McCain said of it, "My friends, my dear friends ... please, please don't be diverted by the ground noise and the static," in which those gathered at the convention shouted back at that protester, “USA” over and over. Let some of them walk a mile in his shoes.
Little did they know or John McCain know that this protester actually served over in Iraq and according to Iraq Veterans Against the War, his name is, Adam Kokesh who is an IVAW board member. He held up a sign stating, "McCain Votes Against Vets." Surge nothing, this patriotic American actually put on the uniform, served his country deserved some respect coming from McCain and those Republicans gathered at the convention. While they may not have know who he was, it was the sign that should have at least clued them in before they belligerently shouted him down.
According to IVAW, “McCain's record on veterans' issues is extremely poor. He received a "D" rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Disabled American Veterans reports that he voted for legislation benefiting veterans only 20% of the time.” That is one dismal record and the mainstream media should press him on it. Then again, the McCain campaign as well as those in attendance demonized the media by calling them elitists. But, the facts should be brought out none the less.
Another fact not really being talked about as reported by the IVAW, "Despite numerous mailed, faxed, and in-person invitations to meet, McCain’s office refused to send anyone to receive the briefing. When Davey, a retired Army First Sergeant and former St. Paul police officer, attempted to deliver the briefing, he was escorted off the premises." Such arrogance coming from the McCain campaign.
If McCain truly wants to be the Commander in Chief of the armed forces; shouldn’t he at least hear any grievances and concerns coming from these veterans? You would think so. Then again, he has circled the wagons where he will not allow the mainstream media to interview Sarah Palin. Obama, McCain, Biden and others have been fully vetted by the media and so should Palin.
On May 21st, 2008, The Nation reported that Senator Barack Obama slammed McCain for not supporting a GI bill sponsored by Virginia’s senator, Jim Webb and Nebraska’s senator, Chuck Hagel. This bill “would increase the amount of money given to returning vets to cover tuition, books, and a living stipend…”
Also reported by The Nation, "Today, soldiers receive only a fraction of the benefits that they used to, and the college costs covered by the military are usually only enough to cover about 60 percent of a public education, and far less at a private institution."
It was none other than Senator Barack Obama who stood up for our veterans when he said, "He is one of the few Senators (meaning McCain) of either party who oppose this bill because he thinks it's too generous. I couldn't disagree more." So Barack did not wear a flag lapel pin, but he did after all stand up in support of our veterans when it counted most.
According to Veterans for Common Sense, they do list McCain’s dismal record in his non-support of our troops and veterans.
This site reports that "John McCain skipped close to a dozen votes on Iraq, and on at least another 10 occasions, he voted against arming and equipping the troops, providing adequate rest for the troops between deployments and for health care or other benefits for veterans." Yet, yet, he wants to be the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces?
Below you will read but a few votes McCain voted against.
September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments. At the time, nearly 65% of people polled in a CNN poll indicted that "things are going either moderately badly or very badly in Iraq.
May 2006: McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.
April 2006: McCain was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.