Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Different Look at the Bailout Phenomenon – A Manifesto for Taking Care of Our Veterans by Alex Gallo

In yesterday’s Newsvine, Alex Gallo, wrote a compelling piece about the disconnect between our government’s willingness to bailout bankers, but appalling failure to “bailout” our veterans.

Alex’s argument is flawlessly reasoned and supported. Apropos of Presidents’ Day, he begins with a relevant quotation from George Washington and concludes with one equally germane by Lincoln.

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation."

- George Washington

"Any nation that does not honor its hero's will not long endure."

- Abraham Lincoln

Let me offer as an excerpt the final three paragraphs from Gallo’s fine piece:

“Instead of pushing billions to the economic giants in our society, we should use a portion of those billions to set up a world-class national traumatic brain injury and warrior mental health center. The Fallen Heroes Foundation is currently beginning the process of raising money to establish a traumatic brain injury center. While this is an extremely honorable gesture, it, once again, highlights the gap between those who serve in combat and the people they protect. Coincidentally, there is an economic term to describe this phenomenon – freeriding. We cannot allow "the people" to become disconnected from those who protect our democratic society.

The sacrifice is not over for those who are serving in our armed forces. General Odinero, the ground forces commander in Iraq, has stated that he would like to see at least 35,000 – 40,000 troops remain in Iraq (approximately the same number of troops that are currently deployed in Afghanistan) through 2015. If this occurs, then the Iraq War will have gone on longer under Obama than under Bush – putting the political responsibility to care for the health of these warriors squarely on Obama. Furthermore, Ambassador Crocker has stated that the events for which the Iraq War will be remembered have yet to happen. This powerful statement underscores the tremendous sacrifice that our troops have yet to engage in. Moreover, President Obama has decided to “double down” in Afghanistan. There is an expected increase of approximately 30,000 more troops who will be deployed to this combat zone – troops whose deployment schedule will simply be re-routed from Iraq to Afghanistan. In short, the war continues, and our troops’ honorable and selfless service continues as well.

If we, as a nation, are going to ensure the preservation of our Republic, we must heed the words of General George Washington. We must prioritize our warriors – who selflessly take on risk to protect American society – before the corporate executives – who self-interestedly take on risk for their shareholders – not to mention themselves. Failure to heed George Washington’s advice – with an emergent nuclear Russia, a nuclear North Korea, an aggressing Iran, an unresolved peace between Palestine and Israel, and a nuclear driven Salafi-extremism – will present a greater threat to our geo-political and market stability than the current economic situation.”

I suggest that you click on the link below to read the entire article and then ask the question:

“What steps can I, as a citizen, take to address and to rectify this situation of our nation failing to meet the needs of its veterans?”

Newsvine.com Link

I welcome your comments.


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