Support the Troops

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The Troop Support Report
A Guide for the Military and Their Families - Compiled by TV News Lies
23-October-2003 – TvNewsLies.org

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TvNewsLies.org questions the frivolous use of the term “Support the Troops.? TvNewsLies would like to point out that there is more to supporting the troops than simply saying “I support the troops.? Hanging a flag on everything that stands still long enough for you to do so, tying a yellow ribbon around your child’s baby carriage or dressing up in red white and blue, while doing no harm, do nothing to support the troops. It is our opinion that the way to support the troops is to stay informed about the issues that affect the troops. These issues are not discussed on our TV news networks. Instead the TV news networks drape their daily broadcasts with images of waving flags while they report trivial stories that have no impact on our nation, like the Scott/Laci Peterson saga or the never ending conjoined twins Sagas. CNN’s Anderson Cooper is airing a week long report on conjoined twins yet he has not reported once about the numerous budget cuts being made to the military. FOX News’ Gretta Van Sustrand has discussed Laci Peterson on over 70 episodes yet she has never dedicated time to exposing the broken promises that the Bush/PNAC administration have made to the Veterans Administration. 

We are disturbed that the troops are even an issue. Recent events have divided the nation and the world into two camps, those who did and those who did not support the invasion of Iraq. The folks who supported the invasion, in a most unpatriotic action, tossed the troops into the debate holding them hostage while falsely fusing the concepts of supporting the troops and supporting an invasion of Iraq into one non sequitur issue. By fusing the concepts of support for the troops and support for an Invasion of Iraq the pro-war movement along with the American news media falsely and unfairly accused all who questioned the illogical, misleading and hypocritical arguments for invading Iraq posed by the Bush/PNAC administration, of being anti-troop and anti-American.

 

Well, let us examine exactly what the term “I support the troops? means. Supporting the troops has become synonymous with supporting the Bush/PNAC administration and the pro-war, pro-military Republican Congress. Well, while the Bush/PNAC administration has missed no opportunity to invoke applause by tossing empty praise upon the troops in public or by jumping face first into every military photo-op, here is what they have actually been doing to support their troops.

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Action

Affected

Responsible

Consequence

*1995 decision to rescind a promise of free lifetime health care benefits for soldiers.

Soldiers, who from 1941 to 1956 had been told that if they signed up and served 20 years they and their dependents would get free care

The Bush administration's support for rescinding lifetime health benefits for World War II and Korean War veterans stand as proof, veteran leaders say, that America is more than willing to lean on its soldiers during times of war but tolerates them serving as political props in peacetime.

Veterans 65 and older have been forced to pay for benefits through Medicare, which now costs about $60 a month and pays for 80 percent of medicalcare after a $100 deductible has been paid.

*A House Budget Committee is now proposing to cut VA spending by $15 billion over 10 years,

Every American veteran

Republican controlled House Budget Committee.

This will hurt the poorest disabled veterans and cut GI Bill benefits for soldiers who are currently serving in Iraq. The plan could also mean the loss of 9,000 VA physicians in a shorthanded VA system, he says.

*The administration is proposing to cut $150 million in education spending that goes to schools with heavy concentrations of military kids. The cut represents a 15 percent reduction in the program's $1 billion budget.

Children of military personnel.

As the Bush administration is sending thousands of men and women overseas to prepare for a possible war with Iraq, President Bush wants to cut funding for the schools that many of their children attend.

The Bush administration proposal would no longer provide funding for those children whose parents live off base.

*Military Tax-Break Bill Pulled - The bill would have provided close to $500 million in tax relief for military families. They would have received capital gains tax cuts if they sold their homes, and travel expenses for military training.

Selfish interests derail a proposal to give our military families a tax break. The rich folks still get their tax breaks however.

House Republican leaders

The bill would have provided much-needed tax relief for U.S. troops but instead, many congressmen loaded it with pet projects for their home districts like tax breaks for manufacturers of fishing tackle boxes.


*Hundreds of thousands of veterans of earlier U.S. military conflicts might  no longer qualify for VA health care or might be forced out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tens of thousands of Iraq War veterans will come home and be discharged and have waiting for them 2 years worth of free health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

It used to be a lifetime guarantee.

Rules proposed by the Bush administration to relieve an overburdened system

The changes would increase veterans' out-of-pocketcosts by increasingco-payments for outpatient care and prescription drugs, as well as require many to pay a $250-a-year enrollment fee just to stay in the VA healthcare system.

*275,000 veterans are homeless on any given night and at least 500,000 are homeless at some time during the year.

Human beings who served our nation.

Nobody is addressing this problem.

You decide what the consequences are of treating our fellow human beings with such apathy.

*Proposal to double the $6,000 gratuity paid to families of troops who die on active duty.

The families of our dedicated men and women who give their life for their nation.

Bush/PNAC administration and the Republicans in Congress are fighting this.

Families of fallen soldiers continue to struggle financially.

*Proposal to roll back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger pay (from $225 to $150) and family-separation allowance (from $250 to $100) for troops getting shot at in combat zones.

Troops and families of troops in combat zones.

Bush/PNAC administration proposal.

All families of troops deployed in combat zones will feel this cutback..

*Proposed 2004 defense budget would continue higher targeted raises for some ranks, but also proposed capping raises for E-1s, E-2s and O-1s at 2 percent, well below the average raise of 4.1 percent.

Troops at the levels: E-1s, E-2s and O-1s.

Bush/PNAC proposal. The Senate version of the defense bill would provide minimum 3.7 percent raises for all and higher targeted hikes for some. But the Republican controlled House version of the bill goes along with Bush, making this an issue still to be hashed out in upcoming negotiations.

Congress voted an across the board pay raise of 4.3% for all federal workers. This does not include members of the military, whose services apparently are less valuable than civilian employees.

 

*Abolishment of Disabled Veterans Tax blocked.

Retired military personnel. 670,000 disabled military retirees.

The bill is opposed by the Bush/PNAC administration and  is hung up in Congress and looks like it may well die in committee. 82 percent of the members of the House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike support the bill. Many military retirees are, ironically, rock-ribbed conservative Republicans who are now shocked to find their president and their party standing in the doorway blocking the best chance in decades to abolish The Disabled Veterans Tax.

What the bill would have said anyone who retires after a full career of military service and draws retirement pay will have that pay reduced, dollar for dollar, for any payment received from the Veterans Administration for permanent service-connected disability.

*100 Bases Said to Be in Line for Closure - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is planning to close at least 100 of the nation's 425 military bases, more than in the four previous rounds of base closures combined,  beginning in 2005

Families of troops, local businesses.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

Of course there is more, but the point has been made.

Rep. Chet Edwards, Democrat from Texas, noted that the House passed a resolution in March pledging “unequivocal support? to service members and their families, puts it this way: “American military men and women don’t deserve to be saluted with our words and insulted by our actions.?

“Support the troops? you say. TvNewsLies does not just say we do, we do. We inform the public about the issues behind the mantras. We respect all positions as long as they are based on information and not empty mantas. Anyone can say they support the troops, we challenge you to actually support them!

  • A Vietnam Vet's Message for Iraq War Returnees: Organize - "I want [the] public ... to see what these guys have been through and to understand what's going on with them," Terry said. "The only way to drive that is to get political clout, and the only way to get political clout is to have an organization."
  • Where are ‘troop supporters’ now? - Many of us who protested the Bush Administration’s massive bombing in Afghanistan, and its all-out invasion of Iraq earlier this year, were criticized – and even physically threatened – by some in our community for not “supporting our troops.? - Now that the “war is over,? George W. Bush is enjoying an extended vacation, and Halliburton and similar giant businesses the highly profitable spoils of war, while people continue to die in Iraq. But as U.S. military personnel are still being killed by violence (and now also by disease) in Iraq, where are those who chanted “support our troops??
  • U.S. Soldiers Shout “Kill! Kill! Kill!? Outside Anti-War Priest’s House - But I was surprised the following morning to hear 75 soldiers singing, shouting and screaming as they jogged down Main Street, passed our St. Joseph’s church, back and forth around town for an hour. It was 6 a.m., and they woke me up with their war slogans, chants like “Kill! Kill! Kill!? and “Swing your guns from left to right; we can kill those guys all night.? - The screaming and chanting went on for one hour. - Suddenly, at 7 a.m., the shouting got dramatically louder. I looked out the front window of the house where I live, next door to the church, and there they were--all 75 of them, standing yards away from my front door, in the street right in front of my house and our church, shouting and screaming to the top of their lungs, “Kill! Kill! Kill!? Their commanders had planted them there and were egging them on. - TVNL Comment: These are not troops TVNL wants to support. There are bad apples in every barrel and they have to be singles out when spotted.

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