The twin scandals that enveloped our glorious military are proof of its degradation and the ineptitude of the Obama administration. First, there is the 115 day waiting period at the Phoenix, Arizona VA hospital, which officially resulted in 40 deaths (the real figure is probably in the hundreds). Seventy-one-year old Navy veteran Thomas Breen died an agonizing death from stage four bladder cancer after being thrown out of the VA hospital emergency room to make room for "more urgent patients" and told that there is a seven month waiting period.
Of course, an illegal Mexican immigrant would receive full treatment at the taxpayers' expense and be provided with a Spanish translator. Poor Mr. Breen should have went to a civilian hospital in Phoenix and gave his name as "Tomas Batista" - he would have probably be alive now.
This is the future of American medical care, my friends. Official, fake waiting periods (24 days in the Phoenix VA) and real, Soviet-like waiting periods of many months, which result in patients' agonizing, undignified deaths. Future generations of Americans will have to deal with filthy hospitals, uncaring nurses, and callous doctors all overseen by a coven of callous bureaucrats. I still remember the horror stories of my physician friend who did part of his residency in the East Orange, New Jersey VA hospital. The nurses, almost all affirmative action hires, rudely ignored his instructions, placing the patients' lives in danger and openly engaging in sabotage and insubordination.
The Bowe Bergdahl episode is also very important for understanding modern America. For the first time in this country's history, a likely deserter was honored as a prisoner of war and exchanged for several high ranking enemies. Instead of the military police taking him into custody for suspected desertion upon his release, the Pentagon brass hemmed and hawed, sounding more like social workers than military leaders. This is the current state of the American military: exchanging a likely deserter for five members of the Taliban A-team while letting veterans die in agony without getting adequate medical treatment.
When Hitler offered to exchange Stalin's older son Yakov, who was a lieutenant captured by the Wehrmacht, for Field Marshal Paulus captured in Stalingrad, Stalin replied: "We do not trade lieutenants for field marshals". His son later tragically died in a German POW camp. For all the brutality of Stalin's reply, did he not make a valid point?
Eugene Girin is a New York-based attorney and commentator.