Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

“I Feel Betrayed”: Iraq War Vet Dr Tony Snow on US Government Shutdown



On Tuesday, American veterans upset with the US government shutdown showed up to voice their displeasure at the World War II Memorial in DC. Thousands of veterans might not receive their disability benefits beginning 1 November. To get a better picture of the issue, VOR correspondent Crystal Park spoke to Dr Tony Rice, one of those who might be affected directly by the shutdown. Rice is a US Army veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom; he’s now a family physician practising in West Virginia. On Tuesday, he joined his fellow veterans in DC to send a message of compromise to Congress and the President.

Crystal Rice

You’re a practising physician; tell us a little bit about your thoughts on the Affordable Care Act, and about how it’s all come to be on Capitol Hill. Why did it practically shutdown our government?

Dr Tony Rice

I’m a great supporter of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. I believe that, anyway, our government can increase the ability of the American people to afford healthcare, short of completely taking over healthcare, as it’s done in many other industrialised nations in the world. It’s a good idea. Certainly, there are a lot of details in the law that I think not too many people understand, but the fact that many people will benefit, will have coverage for healthcare, for example, students in college that had previously not been eligible for healthcare under their parents after the age of 21 now have until age 26… that’s important because a lot of post-secondary students take longer than 4 years to complete their degrees now. That’s a known fact.


Let’s go back to today. The demonstration collectively called the Military Coalition Unites to End the Government Shutdown… it’s a meeting of veterans from various different coalition groups deciding to meet in front of the World War II Memorial today. Can you tell us a little bit about the scene down there? How many were gathered? What exactly was the mood down there?


There was a lot of anger, to be honest. There were a lot of different sentiments that were being expressed regarding specifically the ongoing effects on the war memorials, specifically the World War II Memorial. I think the reason that that siting was chosen is obvious when you’re there, that the fountains that are normally running there aren’t running, they have barricades surrounding it and placards that declare that unless you’re there specifically expressing your First Amendment rights, you aren’t to be there.


Where do you think the anger is being directed?


From what I’ve seen, from the different groups that were represented, I think it’s about evenly split between the President and the Congress. To me, that seems like an accurate way to place the blame on.


As a military veteran, Dr Rice, you, along with your colleagues, served this country with great honour. The fact that our own Government isn’t able to serve you at this time, how do you feel about that?


I feel betrayed, to be honest.

16 October 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

“I feel betrayed”… the Tea Party’s a dead duck. They gambled… and they lost. Money can buy a lot of things… including votes… but you can’t buy cred or restore lost “face”. The Tea Party’s lost both. Except for amongst evangelical nutters and racist loons, it’s lost traction. I’m not crying any tears over that… and neither are many others. Sic transit gloria mundi


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