This music video is called Paul Simon & Ladysmith Black Mambazo 2. ‘African Concert – Graceland -live in Africa’.
The music video includes, as its second song, a performance of the song Homeless, by Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. For its lyrics etc. see here.
The camp of George W. Bush talks about ‘supporting US troops’. That ‘support’ means in practice: send them to Afghanistan, to Iraq, etc. to be killed. Or: send them to Afghanistan, to Iraq, etc. to come back wounded, physically and/or mentally, maybe for life. Then, let them rot in squalid situations like in the Walter Reed hospital. While chickenhawk Bush supporters vandalize crosses commemorating US soldiers fallen in Iraq. Or tear away a father’s photo of his son, who died as a soldier in Iraq; then, five chickenhawks strong, kick that father everywhere.
From the Washington Post:
Many D.C. Veterans Homeless, Study Says
Report Sounds a National Alarm
By Steve Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 8, 2007; Page B01
As many as 195,800 military veterans were homeless on any given night last year, and there are “troubling” indications that many service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan could eventually face the same fate, according to a study being released today.
The report, from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, found that veterans make up a quarter of the United States’ homeless population and that the District has a particularly high rate, with an estimated 7.5 percent of the nearly 32,000 veterans in the city living on the streets, in shelters or in assisted housing.
As the United States peace movement says: ‘Support our troops; bring them home’. Bring them home, and not to having to sleep on the street as ‘home’.
The homelessness sung about by Ladysmith Black Mambazo was, the song says, caused by storm. So by a natural disaster; though we know from Hurricane Katrina etc. that economics, politics, etc., may make ‘natural’ disasters much worse. However, the homelessness of US veterans is economical and political.
Here is an interview with US movie actor Robert Redford on US politics and his forthcoming film “Lions for Lambs”.
Canadian soldiers suffering mental-health problems after Afghanistan: here.
Undiagnosed brain injury – the hidden legacy of Iraq. [British] MoD begins study amid fears that up to 20,000 soldiers may be affected: here.
Holiday Mail Addressed to `Any Wounded Soldier’ Will Be Returned or Thrown Out, Pentagon Says: here.
DOD’s claim of 30,000 wounded in Iraq , why have 202,000 vets filed claims?
by Michael Bailey
Why would the government distort the amount of disabled veterans the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are causing? Would the true numbers persuade young men and women from volunteering, or maybe convince their parents to talk them out of it?
The way wounded are counted varies, how many were evacuated to Germany or back to the states for treatment? How many were treated and released back to duty after a few days in a field hospital or were treated by the battalion aid station and never even left the field? If it is an accident or self-inflicted wounds then DOD refuses to count them as “wounded”. Men and women taken out of Iraq (medivaced) for mental reasons (PTSD) nervous breakdowns etc., are not “wounded”.
This goes back to the old adage “figures lie and liars figure” so somewhere out there is the truth.
In a OP-ED written by the http://www.vawatchdog.org/07/nf07/nfNOV07/nf110907-1.htm“>David W. Gorman, Washington Headquarters Executive Director, of Disabled American Veterans he offers these numbers:
On Veterans Day, politicians will praise the 30,000 troops “officially wounded” in action in Iraq and Afghanistan as if this “statistic” were some kind of “fact.” In doing so, they’ll harm the men and women who carry the burden of our nation’s defense in today’s very dangerous world.
That 30,000 number is a fantasy.
David Gorman is the leader of the largest Veterans Organization in the nation, his Service Officers spread across this nation and territories deal with the compensation claims of the disabled. Their numbers do not even come close to that the Department of Defense is claiming.
Here’s the truth about the human cost borne by the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as shown by data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Of the 1.5 million troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, 720,000 (48%) are now veterans in the civilian population.
Of these, 202,000 have filed claims for VA disability benefits. The VA granted benefits in more than 90% of the cases processed so far, and will grant more upon appeal or presentation of additional evidence.
In other words, real statistics show that one out of four veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan is disabled in military service. This should shock no one as troops return to the war zones for their third, fourth, and now fifth tours of combat duty.
Of the 720,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, a quarter million have turned to the VA for treatment – more than one out of every three veterans of the combat theaters.
The figures above don’t include troops still on active duty, many of whom remain in the service after being harmed by war. They too must not be forgotten. 202,000 claims for compensation, 90% of them already approved and I imagine the other 10% are on appeal still. This is 172,000 more people claiming medical problems caused by war, than DOD publicly admits to, why?
If you knew that your chance of having to file a claim for compensation for medical problems caused by military service were going to be 1 out of 4, would you still enlist?
I think these numbers would really be a detriment to recruiting, on average for the prior wars, Vietnam, Korea, WW2 and WW1 the number of compensated veterans were all in the 9% range, so why has it jumped to 25% – better body armor, or more stress from repeated deployments?
Maybe it’s the Depleted Uranium rounds they used? Contaminated battlefields are not new, just the health effects of exposure to DU is not known yet. Just as DOD has not been able to tell the 500,000 sick Gulf War One veterans what is causing their illnesses known as Gulf War Syndrome (GWS).
The Ministry of Defense in England just this year recognized GWS as a medical problem and deserves compensation, 16 years after the war. They don’t know what caused it either, they have just admitted the men who were stricken by GWS do deserve compensation for the loss of earnings, life style etc.
The government is quick to send people to war, they are really slow to admit the full extent of the medical problems, and the veterans are now ending up doing battle with their own government to get benefits they deserve. This is one battle the recruiters never told you about when you enlisted.
That old campaign slogan from President Bush
“A Promise Made Is A Promise Kept” he lied.
also posted on Daily Kos and my blog
Disabled Army Staff Sergeant who served from 1973 thru 1982 active duty and in the National Guard from 1988 thru 1992, I served on the DMZ in Korea and served in Oman during the Gulf war.
Some Real Former Veterans Veterans’ Day Greeting
Posted by: “Bob Swartzel” email@example.com philopatrios
Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:52 am (PST)
This Email brought to you by
Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist
VVAWAI has the following points of unity:
1. VVAWAI is an anti-imperialist organization which is open to
veterans of all
eras, reservists, and active duty GIs.
2. VVAWAI has vowed to bring the lessons paid for in blood into
opposition to any wars or war preparations by the U.S. and all
powers, East or West.
3. VVAWAI upholds all resistance to imperialist war by GIs,
and the anti-war/peace movement.
4. Just as we upheld the righteous struggle of the people of South
fighting for their liberation, we uphold the just struggles of people
world as they fight for their liberation today.
5. As veterans, we know that racism and the subjugation of women are
pillars of crimes against humanity. We vow to oppose these and all
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