As President-Elect, Barack Obama has made another stellar choice for his Administration, and for the American people.
In a rare Sunday press conference, Obama named retired Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki to be the new Secretary of Veterans' Affairs. This is a brilliant move on the new President-Elect's part. No one knows the anguish and heartache better associated with the current military forces than retired General Shinseki.
Shinseki rose to famous when he was basically dismissed by the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld regime back in late 2002/early 2003 for telling the truth to the Senate of the United States concerning the numbers of troops that would be needed to stabilize a soon-to-be wartorn Iraq. He very accurately stated that 'several hundred thousand' troops would be needed...
In less than a blink of an eye, the Rumsfeld machine made sure that General Shinseki--the Army Chief of Staff, was forced to retire. He told the absolute truth to the Congress and the American people--and the watching world--and was summarily punished for doing so.
History and unforgiveable tragedy has proven that Shinseki was "spot-on" with his information. The failed Rumsfeld machine could not have been further from the truth, or more dangerous. Now, more than four thousand American lives later (and countless Iraqi lives), we regret, rightfully so, not listening to this brave military man.\
General Shinseki brings great credentials to the table:
First Asian - American Four Star General in the United States Military
Viet Nam Veteran, Injured, losing part of one foot.
Former Chief of Staff, United States Army
As a military veteran (with considerably LESS credentials than Eric Shinseki), I am delighted beyond words that Obama has selected this truly great American for this position.
While the Bush Administration was very quick to release a statement saying that the "President's support for veterans has been unprecedented"---I can agree to a point: NO ONE has dismissed and ignored veterans' concerns in modern day more than the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld regime.
No administration, that I can remember anyway, has sent our brave military personnel to war without the proper equipment, and without adequate supplies of the same proper equipment. No one has ever UNDERESTIMATED the cost of war like the outgoing administration has done.
So yes, the Bush administration is right in one point--and one point only--their "ignorance" of the military needs and concerns has been unprecedented.
Hopefully, the incoming Administration will do it's best to "right the wrongs."
This appointment is a very good start.