Monday, May 26, 2014

Top 15 Ways Republicans Have Screwed Our Soldiers and Veterans | Atlas Left

Top 15 Ways Republicans Have Screwed Our Soldiers and Veterans!
Posted by: Elisabeth Parker in Class Warfare, Crime, Idiot Republicans, The Mad Tea Party

Republicans love waging wars, but they sure don’t seem to love America’s soldiers and veterans. Whether they’re getting our soldiers killed in Iraq or cutting their food stamps here at home, here are the 15 top ways the GOP screws those who serve.

(15) The Bush administration ignored warnings about Al Qaeda. You know that whole “war on terror” thing? And the 3,000 who died in the 9/11 attacks? It never should have happened. President Bill Clinton and his administration warned George W. Bush REPEATEDLY about the threat posed by Al Qaeda. But instead of being prepared, Dubya got caught looking like a hapless deer in the headlights, while reading “My Pet Goat” to a bunch of school kids whose lunches his party plotted to take away.

Republican President George W. Bush reading "My Pet Goat" while the Twin Towers burn.
“Oh, sh*t.” Republican war crime President George W. Bush reading “My Pet Goat” while the Twin Towers burn.
(14) Republicans sent our soldiers into Iraq. Thanks to Bush II 4,486 U.S. soldiers died between
2002 and 2012, to protect the world from “weapons of mass destruction” that did not exist. Oops. Or, more likely, because their pals in the black energy industry wanted to get their grubby, grabby hands on Iraq’s oil.

(13) … Without proper combat gear. Once in Iraq, U.S. soldiers were routinely sent into combat without adequate armor and gear, causing many to be needlessly wounded and killed.  For the Koch
brothers and others who’ve bought and paid for our lawmakers, life is cheap, and congressmen are even cheaper.

Ways Republicans screw soldiers and veterans -- letting war crimes like Abu Ghraib happen.
Republicans, for letting war crimes like Abu Ghraib happen. It’s great
for our soldiers’ and veterans’ reputations and morale.
(12) The GOP has ruined our military’s reputation. The war crimes committed by George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and company have permanently damaged U.S. soldiers’ reputation abroad. When we liberated Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany back in World War II, throngs
cheered U.S soldiers in the streets. Alas, thanks to the GOP and conservative elements in the Democratic party, it’s been downhill for our military ever since.

(11) Republicans cut funding for the V.A. Repeatedly.
The Republicans and their Faux News propaganda machine are hell-bent on blaming President Barack Obama for the V.A. healthcare system scandal. But they’re the ones who keep cutting funding for the V.A. via their relentless focus on budget cuts.

(10) The GOP-led Congress ignored warnings about the V.A. The Obama administration warned about the health care delays back in 2008. But Republicans in Congress ignored these warnings, because they’d rather give tax cuts to the rich than provide health care to our veterans.

(9) GOP Governors deny 258K veterans health care. Oh, and although Republicans love wrapping themselves in the American (or, sometimes, Confederate) flag, here’s the REAL scandal about veterans. Thanks to GOP governors rejecting the ACA’s Medicare expansion, 258,000 eligible veterans are without health insurance and access to health care. How can these horrible people even sleep at night?

(8) Conservative policies leave our veterans in the cold… literally.  The National Coalition of the Homeless reports that between 130,000 and 200,000 veterans lack housing on any given night. Some are unable to find work, while many have untreated mental illnesses. America’s chronic homeless problems began during the GOP President Ronald Reagan’s tenure, when he slashed local budgets by 60%.

Homeless veteran. Thank you, Republicans.
Look, Ronald Reagan! It’s morning in America!
(7) Republicans cut food stamps for veterans, soldiers, and their families.  At least 900,000
of America’s veterans rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to — as Dubya would put it — “put food on their families.” In 2013 veterans, soldiers, and spouses redeemed $100 million in food stamps (SNAP benefits) at commissaries (special shops) on military bases.
Without food stamps, many of our veterans who are retired, unemployed – or who work for cheap sleazebag companies who don’t pay a living wage — won’t be able to eat.

(6) The GOP votes against creating jobs. 10% of veterans are unemployed, a rate that tops the general population by 3%. Many of these veterans have mental and physical disabilities, because we break them and don’t fix them. Also — despite all the promises they get from recruiters — their wartime skills and experience often don’t mesh with the needs of today’s job market. On top of that, Republicans in Congress block every single job bill Democrats put forth to revive our sluggish economy and put Americans back to work.

(5) The GOP also blocked jobs specifically for veterans. Those who’ve served struggle with the above challenges when it comes to finding work and launching their civilian careers. With CEO pay leaving businesses with razor-thin operating budgets, and intense competition for even the least skilled positions, who’s going to give a disabled vet a chance, or provide training to a former soldier with brains and potential? Republican opposition to anything that might help jobless Americans out is bad enough. But in 2012, they even blocked a bill that would have specifically created more jobs for veterans. Thanks a lot, GOP.

(4) Republicans fight for the right to deny spousal benefits to LGBT service members. The U.S. military has taken great strides since the days of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” It now recognizes gay marriages and domestic partnerships, and has also made progress in how it treats transgendered service members. But this is in spite of active, vehement opposition from the GOP at every step along the way. In states run by anti-gay conservatives, our LGBT veterans and service members still lack spousal rights to which they are entitled. For example, a lesbian couple in Idaho were denied a plot in their state-run military cemetery, because, apparently, two dead lesbians beneath hallowed ground might give the other soldiers lezzie cooties.

Republicans in Idaho don't want dead lezzie cooties. This veteran was denied a burial plot at a state-run military cemetery for herself and her wife.
in Idaho don’t want dead lezzie cooties. This veteran was denied a
burial plot at a state-run military cemetery for herself and her wife.
(3) The GOP defends rape culture in the military. Fighting enemy forces in a strange land is scary enough. But for many — especially female service members — danger can come from one’s comrades in arms as well. As more and more reports of rape in the military make news headlines, lawmakers and policy makers within the armed forces, are trying to address this issue. Unfortunately, the GOP has a hard-on for rape culture, and spare no effort in promoting and defending it. So it comes as no surprise that the appropriately-named Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) blocked a bill that would have addressed sexual assault in the military. Tailhook much?
(2) No Citizenship for immigrant soldiers. For people living in TEApublican-land, immigrants can serve our country, but shouldn’t become citizens after they’ve served. Immigrants who enlist are often children whose parents brought them here when they were very young. Although they technically are not U.S. citizens, they grew up here and America is the only home these young adults have ever known. Yet Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and other members of the GOP vehemently opposed the ENLIST act, which sought to give citizenship to these soldiers — even though the bill was introduced by a fellow Republican.

(1) Republicans promote religious bullying against our soldiers.
Too many members of the Republican party are so-called “Christians” who seek to pass laws that would force their beliefs on everyone else. Meanwhile, their legions of dominionist thugs in the military bully their fellow soldiers for Jesus. In 2005, a report on pro-Christian bullying at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs came to light. In the following years, journalists uncovered at least twenty more incidents of religious bullying. These over-zealous zealots are egged on by various evangelical Christian groups, including Officers Christian Fellowship (OFC) and the scary-sounding MIlitary Ministry of the Campus Crusade for Christ.  But of course, lawmakers haven’t screeched with outrage, like they would if Muslims were trying to coerce soldiers into Islam.


About Elisabeth Parker -

Elisabeth Parker is a writer, editor, web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, check out her Pinterest boards, and + her on Google +. For more AATTP articles by Elisabeth, click here.

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