Frankly, I think it takes some nerve for Bush to go off for a photo op to San Antonio to stand with people whom HE has caused, by his war of adventure, to be maimed. More than that, does he hope that the populace might give *him* credit for this facility? The Center for the Intrepid was built from private funds FOR the military from donations collected by the Fisher House. And certainly no one can gripe about the generosity of people who donated money for this cause or that the facility exists.
But WHERE are our priorities? Why aren't TAXES paying for these types of facilities? We pour money constantly down OTHER country's sinkholes; we can't even account for all the money that we have given Iraq and at least part of that is supposed to be for rebuliding THEIR country, building hospitals, schools, etc. But we can't afford to pay for these facilities from those who are wounded fighting FOR Bush's war for AMERICANS? Bush and Congress wanted to make sure the rich got tax breaks; is THAT why we can't spend the money on facilities for the injured? We have been bribing the sheiks in Al -Anbar province and Gates has said that's the method they want to use all over Iraq. Really. So it's okay to toss money around to garner cooperation in another country but we can't come up with it for the military veterans here and have to have a private entity pay for this. I also read yesterday that the United States is going to continue to pay Pakistan money and support them, even though Musharaff has declared martial law and is running an open military dictatorship. Not only is that extremely hypocrtical on the part of Democracy-rhetoric spouting Bush, but why do we continue to PAY them? Again, shouldn't that money be going HERE? to taxpayers? UPDATE: I jsut read an article that the US Govt is granting 1 milliion dollars in civilian aid to West Bank city of Nablus. How nice. But they can't put money into our vets????
This article from the San Antonio Express is from January, 2007, and the authors ask the same questions that I do.
We ran a story last year raising the issue of why private money was funding the project. In some quarters, just daring to ask why the president and Congress didn't fund the project instead made us the bad guy, even though the question originally had been raised by a number of people around the country — not us.
But the issue is still out there. People like Clinton-era political guru Paul Begala wonder how it is that we've given huge tax cuts but left the construction of the best rehabilitation facility ever built for wounded troops to charity.
People who support Bush, the war and his domestic policies no doubt take offense at the idea that the wealthy and well-heeled are higher on the administration's priority list than wounded warriors. Yet the government that started this war in Iraq, where so many of our troops have lost their limbs, didn't step up and fund the Intrepid Center.
The politicians in Washington left the job of financing the center to generous Americans, who responded as they always do. In San Antonio, Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union contributed $500,000 and USAA another $250,000 for a pair of new Fisher Houses that will provide homes for the families of our wounded troops
It was not the Bush admnistration that did this. Bush said.
This center is a testament to our deep belief that someone wounded in the defense of America needs all the help he or she can get. The servicemen and women here have borne the burdens of battle. They have kept our country safe. We honor them and their families by helping them with all we can.
Except that he didn't. Who REALLY supports the troops?
P.S. While Bush, or as we call him here, AWOL, was there, he decided to play a virtual soldier game.
Bush saw a number of cutting edge virtual reality games that allowed recovering soldier to simulate riding a car or boat. One game simulated shooting in a Baghdad neighborhood, a game she said POTUS participated in with two other soldiers there and helped shoot the bad guys, at least virtually.
Not only does that seem in extremely bad taste to me, to be playing a shoot em up game with the wounded, but that's the closest Bush has probably ever been to real combat... in a game.