War Crimes are… War Crimes

March 8, 2007

War Crimes are… well… war crimes. Blaming Surgeon General Kiley and the Secretary of the Army for the lack of proper medical treatment for our war veterans begs the real questions involved: Why do the President and the Republican Party not care about our soldiers welfare? Why does the Democratic Party not seem to care either? Until recently, until the advent of the Fisher Complex, there was no treatment for wounded National Guardsmen after initial acute care. So, soldiers were sent to war by the richest government in the world without sufficient armor, with no plan, with inadequate training, with inadequate leadership, inadequate rest, inadequate or absent pensions for disabled … the list seems endless.

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld took virtually no interest in these issues to his eternal discredit (and maybe damnation). However, he did bravely fall on his sword for his Commander-In-Chief. Apparently many of the foul-ups in Iraq were due to Paul Bremmer, the President’s choice for “most incompetent appointee of the generation,” a hotly contested award in this administration.

Nonetheless, Rumsfeld took the fall, sending soldiers to their deaths in defense of the President’s “manhood,” not the proper role of a Commander-In-Chief, but the frantic and fanatic act of an angry, spoiled adolescent. Not honoring these soldiers who have sacrificed their lives, bodies and psyches for the President is unconscionable, but worse is never taking the responsibility for gruesome mistakes, continually compounding them into more monumental errors. This is clearly such a case.

Meanwhile, only one Senator or Congressman has represented the interests of our soldiers and that man is John Murtha. Mr. Murtha is certainly not one of my favorite humans, however, he has been consistent and staunch in support of our soldiers- whether he was for the war or now against our occupation of Iraq. He has always made the same “demands,” proper armor, proper training, proper health care and proper rest for our soldiers. These are all things that the Republican Party and its Congress so proudly denied our soldiers and are still proudly denying them. Meanwhile, the Democratic Congress has carefully ignored Mr. Murtha’s requests because they might actually succeed in bringing some troops home, and they might actually have to take the responsibility for bringing them home.

Let me see- Mr. Murtha wants to enforce the law- the Republican Party and the Administration and our generals want to break the law- “War Crimes” against our own soldiers (sorry about the painfully accurate wording). The Democratic Party is afraid to uphold the law. The Patriot Act, which none of our esteemed leaders has read, is beginning to look like a Fascist version of Gingrich’s Contract with America. That, however, is a matter for an even sadder commentary.

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.