Nor as to their Responsibility, the Veterans Administration, for the very few who served them and in the long term aftermath of! As well as the Blowback from the failed policies of, the recent history the cause of growth and spread of the extremist elements, like the present this ISIL in Syria and Iraq, expanding the al Qaeda type criminal terrorism far and wide after we abandoned the missions and those sent to accomplish so quickly after 9/11!
Bob Herbert Losing Our Way : "And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness." Bill 'Moyers and Company': Restoring an America That Has Lost its Way 10 Oct. 2014
October 7, 2014 - Three years ago, reporter and former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert took to the road and traveled across the United States, chronicling in his new book, Losing Our Way, the stories of brave, hard-working men and women battered by the economic downturn. He found an America in which jobs have disappeared, infrastructure is falling apart and the “virtuous cycle” of well-paid workers spending their wages to power the economy has been broken by greed and the gap between the very rich and everyone else. read more>>>
In the just above Herbert goes discusses a couple of Veterans of these two recent, not yet paid for, long wars that he met:
BILL MOYERS: You spend a good bit of time with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. Tell me about Lieutenant Dan Berschinski.
BOB HERBERT: Dan Berschinski is one of the most inspirational figures that I've ever met. This was a 24-year-old guy graduate of West Point. Really smart kid. He graduates in 2009, I believe it was. In any event, he goes to Afghanistan. It's his first combat tour. And he's leading a platoon of young guys over there. And, you know, he stepped on one of those improvised explosive devices. And both of his legs were blown off, one way up by the hip.
He had what they call the hip disarticulation which meant that they thought that he would not even be able to walk with artificial limbs. So he came back. And I met him. I was introduced to him when he was down at Walter Reed when it was still in Washington in the early stages of his recovery. And he was adamant. He wanted to walk again with these artificial limbs. And the doctors were trying to prepare him and his family for the idea that he might be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. But he would have none of that.
And I watched his progress. And he eventually was able to walk. It took a couple of years. He went through such pain, such agony. But it was-- he never complained. He never even seemed down when I spoke with him. It was incredible. And I tell his story, because I think that most Americans don't understand the degree of suffering that individuals and their families are going through as a result of these wars that we just continue to fight wars without end, wars where, in many cases the majority of the population is not even paying attention to what's going on. And so the toll in individual lives has been staggering. The suffering for the tens of thousands of men and women who have had grotesque injuries, sometimes losing two limbs, three limbs, sometimes four limbs, terrible burns, brain injuries, and that sort of thing, none of that gets a lot of coverage.
And then the staggering costs of these wars, which are borne by the taxpayers. I mean, one of the things that was insane was that, as we're at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration cut taxes. This has never been done in American history. The idea of cutting taxes while you're going to war is just crazy. I mean, it's madness.
BILL MOYERS: And then you go on to write about Sergeant Cory Remsburg, whom I also remember. Tell us his story.
BOB HERBERT: When President Obama was giving his State of the Union Address in 2014. And you know, they cite courageous people and honor their, you know, the television cameras focus on them. And this fellow, who had been an Army Ranger was in the spotlight that night. He got blown up by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, terrible injuries, terrible brain injuries, blind in one eye. And you know, it's just a tragic situation. So there was every reason to honor this fellow at the State of the Union. And he got a standing ovation, as he should have.
PRESIDENT OBAMA at The State of the Union: Cory is here tonight. And like the army he loves, like the America he serves, Sergeant first class Cory Remsburg never gives up and he does not quit.
BOB HERBERT: But the thing that struck me and which didn't get a lot of attention at the time was that this fellow was gravely wounded in his tenth deployment to the war zone. He had been to Iraq and Afghanistan 10 times. And the reason that's the case is because we don't have enough people volunteering to fight these wars that we're constantly engaged in. So the men and women who do volunteer, they just get sent into combat over and over and over. It's like playing Russian roulette. Eventually, something terrible is going to happen.
If we're going to fight wars. You can feel however you want about the wars. But if we're going to fight wars, everybody should make a sacrifice in some sense. We should have a draft, so those who are of-- who are fit and are of combat-ready age should be subject to actually being sent into the war zone. Everybody should be paying increased taxes to pay for these wars. And we should be making other sacrifices, as Americans did in World War II.
BILL MOYERS: Why don't we?
BOB HERBERT: We don't because nobody wants to pay additional taxes. And the politicians have found out that this is the way to get electoral votes. And the politicians are interested in getting elected, in amassing power, in raising funds for-- to finance their campaigns, and whatever other benefits they get. They are interested in themselves, their lives, and the power they can accumulate. They are not interested, in most cases, in what's best for the American people.
BILL MOYERS: So you come home having found or with the conviction that we just don't want to seriously address these big challenges that you found in case by case, story by story, person by person, as you traveled the country.
BOB HERBERT: It seems to me that we don't. It's more the idea of out of sight, out of mind, which is why we don't pay close attention to the men and women who are fighting our wars, which is why we don't look closely at the implications of the continuing employment crisis, whatever those monthly jobless numbers tell us. And I think that we're not going to begin to really get out of this, to get back on the right track until individual Americans start taking it upon themselves to pay closer attention and become more civically engaged.
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!