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Bush promotes a war but cuts veterans’ benefits

Chester McQueary

Dear Editor,

W.V. Smith’s call for a military draft on April 7 is ironic, especially since Mr. Bush and most of the warmongers surrounding him – Cheney, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz, Perle – are correctly described as belligerent draft dodgers or “chickenhawks.”

All were superhawk supporters of the Vietnam War when they were draft-age men, but all found ways to avoid putting their bodies where their mouths were.

Bush used family connections to find a spot in the Texas Air National Guard where none existed for anyone else, and then was mostly AWOL, without punishment.

Mr. Cheney says that he “had other priorities.”

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said, “So many minority youths had volunteered that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like me.”

Indeed.

Media war-drummers Rush Limbaugh, George Will, Bill O’Reilly, William Bennett and Chris Matthews all ducked. Likewise, except for U.S. Sen. Ben Campbell, all the Republican men in Colorado’s congressional delegation are bellicose no-shows, preferring to stay home and wave flags.

They should be sharply questioned at every public appearance.

Bush and crew puff and posture publicly while they quietly undermine the V.A. medical system and cut medical benefits, and refuse to recognize and treat the 200,000 veterans of the first gulf war who are suffering serious long-term ailments. Many Vietnam veterans are homeless, often afflicted with post-traumatic stress syndrome and the toxic effects of Agent Orange.

Meanwhile Bush and crew cut billion-dollar deals for their corporate buddies at Halliburton and other industries, and make sure none of their families are in military combat. Patriots, or shameless hypocrites?

Chester McQueary

Parachute


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