The Commmander Cody Show
[Hi folks--your vice and virtue commission is back on the watchtower here in the "last frontier of Florida," as the land profiteers would describe us. At least we'll feel chic when the humidity and mosquitoes descend, sooner rather than later thanks to global warming.]
In the wake of the Walter Reed scandal, the above cartoon by Michael Ramirez which ran in the Birmingham News (3/13/07) is fitting.
Last night I watched the Army Vice Chief of Staff General Cody present a one-man dog and pony show as he deftly danced around issues with the balletic grace that comes only after much practice dodging things. Of course, he spoke whilst outfitted in his combat dress uniform, as befits our new Spartanized society.
Buzz words and feel-good comments about wounded soldiers receiving the best health care available composed the entirety of the speech. The talk was a cover-up that failed to address the key issues.
The fact is that the uniformed services Medical Service Programs are not configured to accept mass casualties. The services have degraded all functions of Combat Service and Combat Service Support, to include medical services, through outside budget cuts. This has been achieved through contracting services out-of-house.
The key point is that mass casualties cannot be treated with the facilities and personnel on hand. The official government party line is that the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) system will be utilized to handle mass casualties. And yes, they would, but to the exclusion of other veterans also requiring DVA services.
There is no depth to the National Command Authority's ability to handle mass casualties. That we have adequate care provisions in place for our returning troops is yet another the Big Lie of the War on Terror.
All planning for the WOT is based upon best case, versus worst case, scenarios. Although casualties are rather light by general war guidelines, the system has been so eviscerated that it is now taxed to the breaking point.
The U.S. needs to increase the military's medical capabilities. The government is trying to run a war on the cheap by not expanding their medical assets, instead trying to stretch a medical infrastructure that is peacetime-oriented to the brink. An alternate solution to such an expansion would be maximization of VA assets with infusions of personnel and money, with the VA treating the wounded.
What will happen if there are true mass casualties for any reason? Let's say, like a U.S. attack upon Iran?
After four years, it is criminal to have the sorts of problems which are emerging at Walter Reed.