The Appointment of General Eric Shinseki to be Veterans Affairs Secretary

President Elect Barack Obama has just nominated retired General Eric Shinseki, former Army Chief of Staff and decorated Vietnam War veteran, to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs in his cabinet.  Shinseki, the highest ranked Asian American in the military in American history, is a sensational choice to deal with the long ignored and much underappreciated veterans which have been the backbone of our defense in our many foreign wars, as well as peacekeeping operations around the world over many years. 

General Shinskeki was forced to retire in 2003 by the Bush Administration when he publicly made it clear that an invasion of Iraq would require several hundreds of thousands of troops, a statement which proved to be true but was ignored by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and led to the disastrous, drawn out intervention in Iraq which is now finishing its sixth year in March 2009, and has led to the total repudiation of the Bush Presidency as he is about to leave office.

General Shinseki will be a strong advocate for proper treatment of the multiple problems faced by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as those of earlier conflicts.  It has been a disgrace what has occurred under so called "patriotism" Presidents , including Ronald Reagan and both Bushes, only too willing to send soldiers off to war and then ignore their needs upon return.  It is long overdue to return dignity to our military and show respect and appreciation for their sacrifices, and President Elect Obama is certainly headed in the right direction with his latest appointment!

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