Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Orange crush

Slow down the Agent Orange gravy train
Date published: 8/29/2010

Read original ==>> - Orange crush - page 1 FLS

NO ONE DOES door-to-door collecting for child molesters. The biggest sucker would not lose a penny to a scam touting kitten torture. To pry the marks from their money it is shrewd to invoke the worthiest objects of benevolence: "the children," "our senior citizens," and, in the case of tens of billions of dollars in Agent Orange boodle about to be hauled as if by boxcar from the U.S. Treasury, "America's veterans."

To be sure, American military members who suffer wounds and illnesses during, or due to, their service deserve the nation's best ministrations. And Vietnam veterans pose a unique compensatory challenge to a decent nation because of the indecency many encountered: Spit, sneers, and (worst of all) stony indifference are poor substitutes for the cheers and confetti that greeted returning World War II soldiers, or the spontaneous thank-yous and orchestrated welcomes accorded U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. But no upright Vietnam vet expects to profit from another injustice--the governmental "miracle" of turning Agent Orange into bottomless casks of milk and honey for aging survivors of the Indochina war.

The two page article closes with:

The VA is poised to approve Orange benefits for three more diseases--B-cell leukemia, Parkinson's disease, and coronary heart disease, one of the most common age-related illnesses, now affecting about 18 million Americans. The VA puts payments for these ills at $42 billion over a decade. Given that Vietnam veterans are mainly past 60, however, the heart-disease-driven tab could hit $150 billion over 10 years.

Mr. Webb has set a Sept. 23 Veterans Affairs Committee hearing to probe the latest batch of NAS evidence. Let Congress be diligent. Vietnam veterans, who served faithfully in a good cause, deserve the nation's honor; they will deserve it even more if they refuse to be used to speed the nation's ruin.

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Read original ==>> - Orange crush - page 1 FLS

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