George W. Bush will always be remembered for the catastrophic foreign wars that he blindly led our nation into, and for the thousands of American lives lost in pursuit of corporate profit and the ambitions of neo-conservative ideology. So it is especially galling to find out that the disgraced former President charged $100,000 to speak at a fundraiser for severely wounded veterans, and required them to fly him out on a $20,000 private jet. His wife, Laura Bush, also collected $50,000 for her appearance.
6,648 American soldiers lost their lives during the George W. Bush presidency. According to official totals, 52,000 Americans were wounded or injured in the line of duty- and that figure doesn’t include non-combat related injuries. Iraq War veterans also have very high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and abnormally high suicide rates. To cap it all off, Bush’s Republican cronies in Congress have been systematically slicing away at veteran’s care and making their transition to civilian life more difficult than it already is.
Which makes it downright insulting for Bush to make a profit off of the injuries, pain, and anguish of our wounded veterans. “For him to be paid to raise money for veterans that were wounded in combat under his orders, I don’t think that’s right…You [Bush] sent me to war. I was doing what you told me to do, gladly for you and our country and I have no regrets. But it’s kind of a slap in the face” says Eddie Wright, a Marine who lost both his hands in the brutal battle of Fallujah in 2004.
The war in Iraq has been a source of huge profits for Vice President Cheney, his Halliburton company, and other military industrial contractors affiliated with members of the Bush Administration. It’s no surprise that the head stooge himself, George W. Bush, is still milking it to this day. Demanding a hundred thousand dollars to look upon the faces of the men who risked their lives and lost their limbs fighting an unnecessary and fruitless war is enormously offensive. It’s a wonder he can meet their eyes at all.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.