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by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

Edwin Star once asked and answered, "War, huh, good God, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin'!"

My guess is that Mr. Starr and "War" lyricists, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong never expected the second Bush administration.

This week, as we mark Veteran's Day 2007, this White House continues its six year, hell bent effort to make Starr's admonition, a disheartening whopper.

There have been the heady war dividends that have fallen to Haliburton, Blackwater, and right-wing talk show hosts who use the war to split America and fill their personal war chests.

Politically speaking we need go no further than Karl Rove's caveat to GOP governors that the war would be a winner for the Republicans.

But with the war veteran groups who have benefited the most and with the WWII members dying out, the surge of eligibles for dues-paying membership couldn't come a better time. And they don't have to look any further than the streets to find the new members.

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, a new report shows the percentage of homeless veterans, numbered at 495,400, is more than twice that of the general adult population.

After using our young and men as wedge issues and cannon fodder that this administration and their apologists prop up as treasures to hide behind only to be tossed away like second, third, and fourth thoughts when they lose their political value.

Building their huge contracts on the backs of their "support" for the military, how much time do you think non-veterans O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Beck will use their Veterans Day programs to admonish the White House for their utter disregard for the soldier they force feed over and over in harm's way, let alone the returning veteran?

Oh, they'll feint tribute and patriotism and lay blame for the past six years at the doorstep of hate-America Americans. They'll slam Cindy Sheehan or Rosie O'Donnell or war veterans like Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, distracting their fans from seeing the true victims of the war: Our veterans. Whether they come home in boxes have to live in them on the streets, once the veteran has been exploited for political purpose, the war-mongers will ignore the life-long harm they have wrought on these heroes they boisterously hurrahed into an unnecessary war.

Whether it be the debacle of an ignored Walter Reed, the attempted cuts in the Veteran's Administration budget, or slighting the veteran's homeless plight, the Lords of Loud blowhards will always take the side of the Bush-made war 'cept for a rare and anemic "mistakes are always made in war." Far more excuse than a condemnation.

The rabid Lord of Loud are famous for slamming the homeless for their unwillingness to pull themselves up by their boot strings, no matter their boots be the only remnants of their glorious service .

Actually, it's really quite brilliant. A kind of Bring the Boys Home-less Program. Follow us here? Any terrorist who takes a look at the bleak outlook for our vets once they get home will think twice about wanting to follow them here.

Starr, Whitfield and Strong's lyrical contribution was meant to send a passionate message in defense of the true victims of wars: the soldier fighting them. The contribution of this White House, and the unholy alliance of those who concede to this war countless "one more chances," is an appalling legacy of an unrelenting influx of new veterans to be victimized. And if there's anything that dishonors the veteran, it is their victimization.

If we truly want to honor today's veteran, we do it by bringing them home and providing decent post-service care after they get home; no matter what when they served Leaving them homeless? Shameless.

War! It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War! It's got one friend, that's the undertaker
War has shattered many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled bitter and mean
Life is much to precious to spend fighting wars these days
War can't give life, it can only take it away

War! Huh Good God y'all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Say it again.

And on this Veteran's Day, please, please...say it again.

Steve Young is author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful...Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success" (

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Albion Monitor   November 8, 2007   (

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