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Bring troops home and take care of them


On Feb. 7, CNN reported on a dozen U.S. generals and admirals disciplined for sex offenses, illegal gambling, drunkenness on duty, etc.

The news network also cited 100 senior military nuclear weapons personnel, investigated for cheating on their professional competency exams. One entire U.S. missile base had to stand down as a result.

The Watertown Daily Times has previously covered the resignations in disgrace of David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal, our highest-ranking generals in Iraq and Afghanistan; McChrystal also was involved in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s “friendly fire” death.

Other news media have noted that our current Congress has its lowest number ever of veterans in its membership and its highest percentage ever of millionaires, a majority. They have their own plethora of scandals for sex, drugs, bribery, etc. They and presidents are increasingly elected based on who looks better on television.

All these above have continually made the decisions of war or peace for us for a dozen years. Rich or not yet rich, many Congress members owe their stock portfolios and re-election funds to the defense industry. Have we been well served by all this so-called leadership?

Invading Iraq while still fighting in Afghanistan without a draft gave us two unwinnable wars, 42-year-old Army recruits and an economy unable to regain its footing. History will likely assess it as the stupidest military move since Hitler invaded Russia.

Don’t blame Bush alone; the cluster event was a team effort (see above). Curly, Moe and Larry, above, gave advice and consent.

We, our children and our children’s children will pay for this insanity in trillions of defense tax dollars, lost civilian jobs and a military eventually broken worse than after Vietnam. But we citizens cannot let ourselves off the hook for this until we demand — now — that our troops stop paying for others’ errors with their own blood. Let’s get them all home now and take care of them.

Roland Van Deusen


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