the troops are us

Last week, the W administration announced a plan to raise revenue on the backs of those who can least afford it and least deserve it, the nation's veterans. In yesterday's Letters to the New York Times, veterans and those who care about them respond:
To the Editor:

Veterans should do what they did in war: fight for all Americans and for the values of this country, for equality and justice.

I know of no veteran who risked his life for a tax cut for the wealthy but plenty who fought for a compassionate country that takes care of its less well off, children and the elderly.

President Bush's cynical strategy to try to use us to achieve his unconscionable domestic cuts will not work. But there is a more cynical game afoot.

The administration is raising trial balloons to pit veterans' benefits and retired pay against active-duty needs, especially the need for more, higher cost systems.

Veterans must not only fight for the disadvantaged; we must fight for the needed equipment for our troops, but not unnecessary systems.

Armor kits for Humvees are not expensive but are not being provided, while $250 million-per-copy aircraft are.

So veterans must fight a two-front war with this administration. Fortunately, we know how to fight.

Richard L. Klass
Arlington, Va., March 6, 2005
The writer, a retired Air Force colonel and aerospace marketing consultant, is president, Veterans Institute for Security and Democracy.

To the Editor:

If the president uses his proposed cuts in veterans' benefits as a "bargaining chip," it will be among the most despicable ploys used by this administration.

President Bush's bellicose approach to world politics has generated thousands of new veterans in need of medical care. Now he wants to cut back on that care almost before the veterans become eligible.

Veterans should use all the clout they have to pressure Congress to force Mr. Bush to acquire some fiscal responsibility.

Taxes should not have been cut while fighting a war. His war.

Robert W. Vitolo
Waterville, Me., March 5, 2005

To the Editor:

A strategy for veterans is to remember how this administration has treated them and those who serve.

Too few troops were sent to secure Iraq; those sent had inadequate personal and vehicle armor. Meanwhile, families scrabbled to buy survival gear for their loved ones.

Now the Republicans are establishing a $250 yearly sign-up fee for veterans wishing to use the services of the V.A. hospitals, establishing new V.A. hospital fees and increasing V.A. prescription co-payments.

Top this off with tax cuts for the rich.

Any veteran who supports this administration's treatment of serving troops and veterans is betraying the band of brothers.

Donald Edge
Cherry Hill, N.J., March 7, 2005
Support our troops?

These troops are working people, just like us. Their job is immeasurably harder than ours, not one we envy - and for many of us, not something we admire. For me, a volunteer military person is perhaps the ultimate Other. But put in this context, we have more in common than not. The only war going on here is an ancient one: the ruling class against the rest of us.


sleepybomb said...

another gleaming example of the hypocracy of the bush administration . . . sell a ton of yellow ribbon stickers to the suv weilding masses, wrap yerself in a flag and turn and ask for the boys in the trenchs to cough up for their mistakes. how does the white house sleep at night?
i feel so sorry for all those over ther, and the families too, i can't imagine.

L-girl said...

you said it.

say it and say it. we gotta keep saying it.