Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Gulf War Officially Ended, But Veterans Still Fight

If you're wondering why Iraq lasted as long, claimed as many lives, this day is a good reminder of what had been forgotten about by Congress.

History:Persian Gulf War
With Iraqi resistance nearing collapse, Bush declared a ceasefire on February 28, ending the Persian Gulf War. According to the peace terms that Hussein subsequently accepted, Iraq would recognize Kuwait’s sovereignty and get rid of all its weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons). In all, an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Iraqi forces were killed, in comparison with only 300 coalition troops.

General Colin Powell

Would you describe the decision to stop the fighting?

The last day was a fascinating one. In briefing the president, I said Norm and I thought that in another couple of days we would be asking him to end the war. The Highway of Death was all over television at that point.The president said, “Well, if we've accomplished the mission, and I think we have, then what's the point of killing more people. Why not end it in the next 12 to 18 hours?”I agreed. Mr. Cheney agreed. Norm agreed. All the president's advisors agreed. And that's what we did. We gave Norm like 12 hours to stake out a line, figure out where everybody was to give up, and halt the war at that point. It was the subject of great controversy afterward.For more than 10 years, I had people asking me, “Why didn't you go to Baghdad?” I explained why, as did the president and Mr. Cheney. Then, in 2003, we went to Baghdad, and nobody asked me again.

General Norman Schwarzkopf
Despite extensive second-guessing about the conclusion of the Persian Gulf War, former Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf said the United States and its allies never seriously considered pressing the military offensive on to Baghdad.

In a radio interview and in his forthcoming autobiography, "It Doesn't Take a Hero," Schwarzkopf, the field commander during the conflict, said that taking Baghdad would have splintered the 28-nation Gulf War coalition, cost American lives and dragged the United States into a quagmire "like the dinosaur in the tar pit."
The result:Department of Veterans Affairs

Gulf War

Veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable who served in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, which includes the areas specified by regulation, but not Afghanistan, may be entitled to disability compensation for certain undiagnosed illnesses, certain diagnosable chronic disability patterns, and certain presumptive diseases ( as described below) even though these disorders did not become manifest during qualifying service. Veterans who served in Afghanistan on or after September 19, 2001, may be entitled to disability compensation for certain presumptive diseases.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Qualifying undiagnosed illnesses or diagnosable chronic disability patterns, that appeared either during a qualifying period of active service or prior to December 31, 2021, must meet the following conditions:
    • There must be no other cause for your disability or illness than service in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations.
    • your disability existed for 6 months or more, AND
    • If your disability or illness did not appear during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, then it must have appeared prior to December 31, 2021, to a degree that is at least 10-percent disabling (for VA rating purposes).
The disability must be one or more of the following:
  • Undiagnosed illnesses. These are illnesses that may include but are not limited to: abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.
  • Diagnosable functional gastrointestinal disorders. Functional gastrointestinal disorders are a group of conditions characterized by chronic or recurrent symptoms that are unexplained. These disorders may include but are not limited to irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspesia, functional vomiting, functional constipation, functional bloating, functional abdominal pain syndrome, and functional dysphagia.
  • Diagnosable Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Diagnosable Fibromyalgia
Certain presumptive diseases, which will be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated by service even if there is no evidence of such disease during active service. With three exceptions (see asterisks), one of the following must have become manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more within 1 year of the date of separation from a qualifying period of active service:
  • Burcellosis
  • Campylobacter jejuni
  • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
  • Malaria* (if not 10 percent or more within one year of separation, may be 10 percent or more at a time when standard or accepted treatises indicate that the incubation period commenced during qualifying period of service)
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis* (no time limit)
  • Nontyphoid Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Visceral leishmaniasis* (no time limit)
  • West Nile Virus
 Congress did not learn from history, and the troops were destined to repeat it. 

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