Jon Stewart takes us down the memory lane of veteran mistreatment
It is silly time in Washington DC. The false sense of righteous indignation is in vogue. Both Democrats and Republicans are slamming the president and General Eric Shinseki for a problem many of them created by succumbing to President Bush and the Neocons who were happy to spend for war. Of course they were not happy when it became time to spend to make the returning soldiers whole.
This is nothing new as Jon Stewart artfully spoofs in yet another telling skit. He reminisced to the Reagan years when mortality rates for hospitals were ordered fudged. Jon Stewart then took us further back to Vietnam. We exposed our soldiers to Agent Orange claiming there would be no harm. 20 years later the Reagan administration denied liability for Agent Orange caused illnesses as they obstructed studies.
Our mistreatment of our veterans goes back even further. In 1932, 17,000 World War I veterans marched on Washington for their promised bonuses. They along with their encampments were extricated with the infantry and cavalry supported by tanks.
“I wish breaking promises to veterans was a 20th century innovation,” Jon Stewart said. “But since we do not have time to walk through all the ways they got screwed in the 19th century, let’s just jump back to our first war.” In 1783 disgruntle revolutionary fighters took Congress hostage to try to get the money they were promised. They were sentenced to death. The sentences were later commuted.
Jon Stewart ends with a most true and insightful statement.
“So, let’s pretend that this current VA crisis is an anomaly created by one unusually callous and ineffective president,” Jon Stewart said. “But that would be just pretend. Or on this Memorial Day weekend eve, we can finally admit that America has had for over two hundred years a great bipartisan tradition of honoring those who have fought for our freedom by fucking them over once they give their guns back.”
Jon Stewart echo’s the similar Rachel Maddow’s piece on the mistreatment of our veterans a few days ago. She said,
There is a modern American dysmorphia when it comes to veterans. We see things that aren’t really there. We tell ourselves that we are doing things that we are not really doing. We have a poetry in this country about our love and respect for veterans that is not matched by the prose of how veterans are actually treated.
It should not take a VA crisis for Americans to understand our systemic mistreatment of those that fight for our freedoms. We should not just give our veterans the semblance of loyalty on Veterans Day. Our money, our taxes, our goodwill should reflect the kudos we so like to shower our veterans with when cameras are blazing. Otherwise we are no more than by standing hypocrites.