Editor's Note: Readers comment on the disgraceful mistreatment of wounded veterans, on the news media's long-time abuse of Al Gore, on the prospects for a U.S. attack on Iran, and on the Japanese government's refusal to accept blame for the World War II sexual exploitation of women from occupied countries:

Wounded Troops: Bush's Second Katrina
By Brent Budowsky
Walter Reed. Delayed disability benefits and rip-off disability certifications where wounded troops who are 80% disabled are only given 30% disability.

Under-funded local veterans care. Under-supported treatment of post-traumatic stress syndrome and serious brain injury.

Debt collectors threatening foreclosure or repossession of property of wives and husbands of underpaid troops. National Guard and Reserve units 88% unprepared. Chronic shortages of protective equipment.

Still.

This is Bush's second Katrina.

Democrats should demand and Bush should agree to naming a high-level Democrat as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Someone of high reputation. Max Cleland, Bob Kerrey, Wes Clark if he doesn't run for President. Deal with all problems in a bipartisan manner and give a new Secretary cabinet rank in the National Security Council on war issues as well as troop and veterans issues.

End the escalation. Begin a new era in the treatment of wounded heroes. Now.

Brent Budowsky is a Contributing Editor to Fighting Dems News Service and a former aide to Senator Lloyd Bentsen and the House Democratic Leadership with Bill Alexander, then Chief Deputy Whip. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.

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A Future War with Iran?

After reading several articles on your website, plus the article "Bush's Future Iran War Speech") (http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=19763 ), I've changed my mind about Bush, and come to the conclusion that Bush probably has already visualized and decided on ordering a preventative aerial and naval attack on Iran.

Frankly, the idea is so stupid, that it took me a while to believe that even Bush would dare follow such a reckless course.

The reason I am writing you is there is one best way of derailing Bush's plan to order a preventative attack on Iran.

We need to convince the Saudis that the first Iranian move would be to destroy their oil facilities.

First, Iran has preplanned to send their troops to ground in case of the US attack with orders already given for retaliatory attacks.  In other words, Iran has pre-programmed a strategy of escalation.

Second, Saudi Arabia is a known ally of the US, and they have it within their power to derail a preventative US attack on Iran by threatening an oil boycott if the US unjustifiably attacks a fellow Gulf country.  In other words, in the case of war, Iran is justified treating Saudi Arabia as an enemy.

Third, I believe not only that Iran has the military capability to destroy Saudi Arabian oil facilities, but that it would be a rational and successful strategy to derail the US war machine.

Finally, I believe that Saudi leaders, if convinced that their oil facilities will be destroyed by the Iranians in the case of a US preventative aerial and naval bombardment on Iran, will likely place great pressure on the Bush administration to rethink such a foolish idea as preventatively attacking Iran.

The best way to communicate this concept is for your website to publish an article on the subject.  I volunteer to write it, or you can charge this task to a writer you are more familiar with.

At any rate, the consequences of Bush recklessly and foolishly ordering a preventative US attack on Iran are so great (according to most experts) that every American has a great stake in preventing or derailing Bush's plans.

I predict if Bush does give the order, that it will be an order of magnitude worse of a mistake than our preventative invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Brad Arnold
Saint Louis Park, MN 

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The Cost of Goring Gore

Dowd: "Who should Al Gore blame?"

So now, after years of her famous cleverness, often at the expense of Al Gore, Maureen Dowd wonders where he will see blame for all that has happened to him and the country. And then she offers some choices of who and what to blame. Of course, none of them includes members of the bylined media. But no matter, because experience shows us that Mr. Gore is not a blamer or a whiner. So, like many other things she undoubtedly does for herself, blame is another thing she may decide alone.

And next Ms. Dowd says, "it must be excruciating..." for him to watch "the madness" visited on our country since 2000 with Bush and Cheney in charge.  I think more far apt terms for what Gore, and the rest of us must be feeling is "outrage" and "heart break."  

But as for Blame, I wonder if Dowd and any of the others who sniped for so long at Gore's heels will now show us a fraction of the courage he continues to display, and admit to their own roles in what has happened to Mr. Gore and to America.  It was due of course largely to of their shoddy and compliant work during the elections of 2000 and 2004.

Probably not, but at least History, and a less culpable news media, when it returns, will have no problem fixing blame.

Bill Bucolo

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Why US Shields Japan's WWII Denials

Excellent article. But should we be surprised? After all, Allen Dulles shielded Nazi spy chief Reinhardt Gehlen and used his apparatus to combat Soviet influence. We brought all the Nazi rocket scientists over here after the war, instead of punishing them as war criminals. The "Asia First" crowd in this country, headed by the likes of Henry Luce, drove us into conflict against China and eventually Viet Nam.

I really believe in my heart of hearts, after having studied JFK over the years, that the reason he was "removed" from office was not Cuba, as some think, but rather Viet Nam. He gave indications that he was ready for a diplomatic solution. The last straw for the China Lobby. Had JFK succeeded, billions would have been lost to the huge arms dealers, such as Brown & Root of Texas, as well as Bell Helicopter (on whose board sat ex Nazi general Walter Dornberger?) Your article makes good historical sense. But it comes as no surprise to me. Keep on writing. Keep on battling for the truth.

Tom Sciamanna
Muskegon, Michigan

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