According to today's Washington Post, the Department of Veteran Affairs predicted that just 23,533 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan would need medical treatment this fiscal year. A more realistic projection? The VA now says the number is more likely to be 103,000.
The Post also writes " Given the magnitude of claims that emerged from the Gulf War and the longstanding refusal to acknowledge by the problem of illnesses caused by U.S. weapons themselves, especially depleted uranium, on the part of the U.S. government (as well as on the part of the U.S. mainstream media ) it is not difficult to foresee that a fiscal problem of truly gargantuan problems will soon be emerging."
The Sunday herald reports that an expert report warning that the long-term health of Iraq 's civilian population would be endangered by British and US depleted uranium (DU) weapons has been kept secret. The study by three leading radiation scientists cautioned that children and adults could contract cancer after breathing in dust containing DU, which is radioactive and chemically toxic. But it was blocked from publication by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which employed the main author, Dr Keith Baverstock, as a senior radiation advisor. He alleges that it was deliberately suppressed, though this is denied by WHO.
In other words, British and American coalition forces are using depleted uranium (DU) shells in the war against Iraq and deliberately flouting a United Nations resolution which classifies the munitions as illegal weapons of mass destruction ~ and then ignoring the after effects by not acknowledging the victims as war casualties.
Why am I not shocked and surprised ~ in light of the ongoing actions of this insensitive and corrupt administration.
Once again, this is an unforgivable coverup which is finally making its way to the floor of Congress and the media.
And the Post quotes Jerry Lewis, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Chairman, as saying that the use of the bad budget numbers "borders on stupidity -- or worse. " Somebody was hoping they could hide the ball for a while and talk about it later, and frankly in this arena you can't afford to do that," Lewis said.
In that regard, here is a short editorial from The Toledo Blade ~ deep in Bush country ~ which should make the White House extremely nervous.
Excerpt: For several years now, the Bush bean counters have been slashing funds for veterans ' medical care. Playing cheap with those who have put their lives on the line would be a concern any time. Coming as the shortfall does as soldiers return home daily from war in Afghanistan and Iraq with horrific injuries, it 's a scandal...The result has been a longer wait for medical care and the closing of some VA clinics.....Such discriminatory policies clearly are out of line. The federal government cannot be all things to all of the American people, but the least it can do is to keep faith with those who kept faith with it by serving in the armed forces. "
Allen L Roland
The war against veterans
PRESIDENT Bush gives plenty of lip service to men and women in uniform. Now it 's time for the President to put his money where his mouth is and fully fund veterans ' benefits.