Tag Archives: veterans

President Obama’s Exceptionally Productive Week

obama-sweatingOriginally posted at American Thinker

In the midst of America grappling with the reality that veterans are safer on the battlefield than on a VA hospital waiting list, on Memorial Day, Barack Obama, lover of all things military, flew to Kabul to surprise our U.S. servicemen and women.

After Obama arrived at the troop rally at Bagram air base, Afghani President Hamid Karzai, who in 2008 pinned a medal on George W. Bush’s chest at the presidential palace in Kabul, sent word that because it was such short notice he would not be meeting with the U.S. president.

Looking spiffy in a brown bomber jacket festooned with American flags, the guy who effectively barred veterans from entering the WWII Memorial during the sequester promised the troops that their well-being was of the utmost concern:  “We’re going to stay strong by taking care of our wounded warriors and our veterans. Because helping our wounded warriors and veterans heal isn’t just a promise, it’s a sacred obligation.”

To announce the impromptu drop-in, a press aide with the Obama administration — with exactly the level of competence you would expect — somehow forgot to remove the name of the top CIA operative in Afghanistan from the list of attendees provided to the media, putting the station chief’s life at risk.

So while Obama dazzled our servicemen and women with his awesomeness, his administration simultaneously ‘damaged intelligence operations’ and identified the person working undercover to thwart the Taliban’s plans to resume training al Qaeda.

A few days later Obama shared his vision to withdraw all 9,800 troops from Afghanistan and get those guys and gals home and onto a VA waiting list by the end of 2014, as well as by 2016 drawing down every service member remaining in the soon-to-be Taliban-repossessed country.

And if that weren’t enough action for one week, without notifying Congress and eager to get a soldier with a shady past released, the Obama administration suddenly thought it was a great time to make a ‘share the wealth’ exchange. America got back  U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, rumored to have spent five years teaching the Taliban bomb-making techniques and infantry tactics, and the Taliban got back five senior leaders from Guantanamo Bay.

Meanwhile, Iranian/American pastor Saeed Abedini sits in an Iranian prison where he’s being intermittently beaten for wanting to establish a Christian orphanage and Marine Reservist Andrew Tahmooressi remains shackled to a bed in Mexico after making a wrong turn into Tijuana with lawful guns in his truck.

Clearly, in Barack Obama’s “sacred obligation” economy, when it comes to exchanging prisoners, the value of Bowe Bergdahl outweighs the value of two men falsely imprisoned, one a Christian pastor, father, and husband, the other a dedicated veteran of two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama has not yet called Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to appeal for Tahmooressi’s release. That’s likely because the president has been so focused on freeing Taliban terrorists and bringing home a purported Taliban sympathizer that he just can’t spare the time.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-CA) and ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee James M. Inhofe (R-OK) issued a joint statement pointing out that because of the 5-for-1 trade-off, “Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk.”

Oh well!

Then, to add still more intrigue to the week of exciting events, Robert Bergdahl, Bowe’s dad, who enjoys passing along pro-Taliban anti-American “invader” tweets for Taliban spokesperson Abdulqahar Balkhi and whose Twitter feed is an odd mix of anti-American and anti-war sentiments, Bible verses, strange quotes, and hippie-dippy tree-hugging weirdness, took it upon himself to celebrate his son’s release by sending a Tweet to the spokesman for his son’s captors.  

The Tweet read: “@ABalkhi I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, Ameen [sic].” The Tweet was quickly deleted, but not before being captured on the Twitchy feed.

Bergdahl the elder’s correspondence with the Taliban’s spokesperson certainly coincides with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s alleged sentiments prior to his ‘capture.’ According to emails quoted in Rolling Stone magazine, Bowe told his parents he was “ashamed to even be American,” and that he was disgusted with the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and with the Army.

And all this drama happened the very same week Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki stepped down and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney decided to pass the baton to a more energetic lackey.

So there goes Obama, breaking the law — again — by refusing to give Congress the required 30-day notice before rescuing the soldier son of a man who appears to be Taliban-sympathetic — a soldier son who said, “The horror that is America is disgusting” and dreamt of walking to Pakistan.

To wrap up this extremely productive week, Barack Obama managed to see to it that America-hating Bowe Bergdahl was exchanged for some of the most dangerous Taliban commanders in U.S. custody. Thanks to the president, the Gitmo Five are now free to make their way west, where they can board a Greyhound bus from Mexico to Arizona, illegally join the U.S. military, or even make history next September 11th.

FLOTUS ‘Joins Forces’ with Dead Veterans

2a firstladyinsidex-largeOriginally posted at American Thinker

In the midst of the Veteran’s Administration scandal, has America forgotten that the U.S. military has a very special advocate who has worked tirelessly to help military families? And what a bang up job that woman has done.

For years now, our very own First Lady has appeared on shows like Oprah and Nightline and broadcast her undying dedication to getting military families the multifaceted support they need – none of which she’s done, but that’s beside the point. One would think that after all the effort she’s invested, at some point the FLOTUS would have caught wind that military veterans were languishing for months on waiting lists at VA hospitals without proper care.

But she didn’t.

In 2011 Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, which the first lady’s White House web page described as:

A nationwide initiative that mobilizes all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned, and to raise awareness of military families’ unique needs as pertains to employment, education and wellness. 

That same year, a humble FLOTUS told Oprah Winfrey that she is moved by military families’ “willingness to sacrifice without complaint.”

Clearly, the qualities Shelley admired hadn’t inspired her quite enough to find out what those who served this nation REALLY need, because with a minimum of effort Mrs. Obama would have uncovered the injustices being inflicted upon brave veterans by the Veterans Administration.

What better venues than the talk show circuit for the commander-in-chief’s wife to share the plight of gravely ill ex-military waiting months for the VA to provide healthcare? Instead, clueless Michelle told Oprah that it’s hard to get the message of the military out because “they never ask for help.”

With all due respect, what in God’s name does Michelle Obama think the family of veteran Thomas Breen was doing while trying for months to get an appointment with a VA primary care doctor? 

While the first lady was hosting military families at Easter egg rolls and Christmas parties, the Breen family were begging the VA for help, which didn’t arrive until one week after the Navy veteran had succumbed to Stage 4 bladder cancer.

One can’t help but wonder what it was exactly that the FLOTUS and the good Doctor (of education) Biden have been mobilizing for the last three years. Which unique need was the duo addressing while 40 or more military veterans wasted away on a VA waiting list?

Just prior to the November election in 2012, in an effort to distract everyone from her husband’s poor debate performance, Mrs. Obama shared her passion for America’s military families with Cynthia McFadden of Nightline.

The FLOTUS told McFadden, “We have to rally around for these families. We have to be that safety net for them because they’re leaving to serve us. They’re fighting for the rights and freedoms of all of us.”

Meanwhile, according to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), at the time Michelle was granting pre-election ‘I love the military’ interviews, Government Accountability Office reports dating back to 2000 had already highlighted VA treatment delays. 

If Michelle were really looking for an issue to address, maybe instead of monitoring school cafeterias, veterans’ treatment delays would have been a better place to start.

Nevertheless, Michelle told McFadden, “I think that there is just something special about people who serve… when you meet these people and you hear their stories, you just want to…make it right.”

Yet, neither Mrs. Obama nor her husband made it right.  While Michelle was busy crowing about her allegiance to military families, a Phoenix VA hospital was hiding secret waiting lists with the names of dozens of veterans who needlessly died waiting for care.

While Michelle Obama was “Joining Forces” and giving television interviews, according to Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), similar scandals where soldiers died as a result of rationing, cooked books, and inadequate care have surfaced in at least 10 states thus far.

In fairness to FLOTUS though, in her Nightline interview she did bring up healthcare. Michelle told Cynthia that she and Dr. Biden were “…looking at the overall health needs of military families. Because …most people think that military families get all their health services through the VA.”

What’s disgraceful is that despite her supposed efforts, there’s still a formidable body count made up of those soldiers whose health Michelle could have been looking out for.

Furthermore, if Mrs., Obama were “looking at the overall health needs of military families,” why did she not know there were veterans under the VA’s care in dire need of medical services they weren’t receiving?

Maybe it’s because the VA website says that “The good news is that Veterans enrolled in VA health care programs have health coverage that meets the new health care law’s standard.” The VA’s tie to the ACA certainly explains why Michelle would ignore the fact that the “integrated healthcare system” wasn’t  expand[ing] access to coverage, control[ing] health care costs and improv[ing] health care quality and care coordination.”

Recently, as part of the Philanthropy — Joining Forces Impact Pledge, Michelle announced a $102 million program for veterans and military communities called the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange.  In a statement that, quite frankly, rings hollow, Michelle Obama exhorted Americans by saying:

We cannot allow ourselves to forget [the military’s] service to their country. We have to get moving right now. We have to show that their country is here for them not just while they’re in uniform but for the long haul.

Did the FLOTUS say “long haul?” Thanks to the VA, Thomas Breen and 39 other forgotten veterans – and probably many more – will have no “long haul.”

Michelle Obama has talked about helping military veterans, but much like her husband’s promises, it’s all just talk; everything stays the same or gets worse. The first lady’s efforts and expressed sentiment regarding those in uniform past and present are, at best, calculating and disingenuous, and other than phony patriotism and shameless self-promotion have accomplished nothing.

Bipartisan Budget Backstabs the US Military

US Military

Originally posted at American Thinker

Just a few weeks after $4 million-vacation-man Barack Obama demonstrated his resentment toward the US military by preventing WWII veterans from visiting their memorial during the government shutdown, the president’s merry band of Democrat demons, together with a number of spineless Republicans in Congress, decided to pass a budget on the backs of retired and disabled veterans.

Clearly, soldiers injured while risking life and limb, as well as those who’ve dedicated their entire lives to defending this nation, are not on Washington DC career politicians’ list of priorities.  Considering the way the US military has been treated by the Obama administration, along with the manipulated RINOS who help facilitate the liberal contempt the president displays, one would think that the military is being purposely singled out for punishment.

To wit: in an effort to save $6 billion over ten years, the two-year budget deal drafted by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (predictable) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (shame on him) included COLA cuts to military pensions for retirees and disabled veterans alike.

Granted, after Barack Obama grew the national debt to $17 trillion, the budget needs to be trimmed somewhere.  However, if $6 billion is needed to cover military retiree COLA increases for 10 years, why does the government waste $7 billion destroying military equipment rather than selling it or shipping it back home from Afghanistan?

Lieutenant General Raymond Mason, Army deputy chief of staff for logistics, thinks he knows why.  According to Mason, equipment is destroyed because “We are very good at getting in, but not so good at getting out.”

Speaking of getting it in and getting it out, notwithstanding the $384,989 granted to Yale University to study the oddities of the duck penis, while soldiers with prostheses are being denied cost-of-living increases, money is also being wasted on brothels in Nevada who are being assisted via the tax code to the tune of $17.5 million.

At least there are some politicians that refused to defend the indefensible, like Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), for one. Kelly appeared visibly and publicly incensed over the military being singled out for cuts. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-ALA) agreed.  Sessions tried but failed to force a vote on an amendment that would undo the targeting of military retirees.

Sessions proposed abolishing an estimated $4.2 billion in annual spending by reining in an IRS credit that ineligible illegal immigrants find a way to benefit from by way of child tax credits.  According to Watchdog.org, in $1,000 increments, 15 percent of Additional Child Tax Credit checks are sent to illegal immigrant families with children.

Rather than using the money saved by clamping down on illegals abusing the system to fund military retirement cost-of-living increases, Democrats in the Senate unanimously voted to allow illegals to continue to bilk the system.

Together with his Democrat cohorts, rest assured the president will enthusiastically embrace the deal that Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has publicly implored him to reject if it includes cuts to military pensions. Mr. Graham should remember: the borders remain open, amnesty is in the works and, with the president’s knowledge, the WWII Memorial was barricaded.

It’s sad to say, but Barack Obama can always be counted on to err on the side of whatever benefits this nation the least.  As for his concern for the military, unless he’s firing a general or is presented with an opportunity to support a same-sex DADT couple wanting to exchange marriage vows by placing a military chaplain under duress to perform the ceremony, it’s highly unlikely Obama will express any interest in addressing the injustices directed toward the military.

Meanwhile, even though the amount of money needed to supplement cost-of-living increases for disabled and retired military is chickenfeed in comparison, President Obama chooses instead to generously bestow billions of dollars on liberal interests abroad.

Take for example the White House investing $6 billion to promote “clean energy” in Asia.  And before selling our military down the river, did Ryan and Murray even consider speaking out publicly on the outrage that is Barack Obama’s decision to resume $1.6 billion in US funding to Pakistan, a nation whose Taliban is guilty of global terrorism?

Drilling for oil is anathema here in the US, yet Barack Obama sent $2 billion to Brazil to finance offshore oil exploration.  Then there’s the $1.3 billion foreign aid package to Egypt, a country overrun by the Muslim Brotherhood, $1 billion to Syria in food and humanitarian aid, and while the American military gets no relief the offer of $6 billion to $7 billion in sanction relief  that was extended to Iran if they agree to limit their nuclear enrichment program.

According to Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Barack Obama also secretly sends untold billions to the UN in support of global warming issues, has offered $5 billion to global AIDS funding, requested $65 billion to be permanently allocated to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/European bailout crisis kitty, and on the first day of the government shutdown, here at home Barack Obama even feathered Big Bird’s PBS nest with a half-billion dollars.

And yet, while Barack Obama chooses to send $3.5 billion over three years to a global food security initiative, in order to pass a bipartisan budget, wounded warriors and elderly veterans depending on cost-of-living increases will be asked to sacrifice again.

Meanwhile, as Obama packs for vacation in Oahu, a desperate Iraqi war veteran named Bill Shephard sold his Army Achievement medal for $3,000 on eBay in order to support his hungry family.

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