The Iraqi and Afghan people were burn pit victims too | Opinion

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The close to $700 billion appropriated in the PACT ACT for the next ten years will help alleviate some suffering caused by Halliburton’s war profiteering, but only for U.S. victims. It won’t do a thing for the people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Military veterans and their supporters camped out in front of the U.S. Capitol for close to a week after Republican senators withdrew their support for a major expansion of health care for veterans exposed to toxic “burn pits” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Formally titled, “The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022,” the PACT Act targets the Pentagon’s reliance on burn pits for disposing of the vast amounts of waste produced during the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Plumes of polluted smoke and particulates from the burn pits injured up to an estimated 3.5 million U.S. service members over the past two decades.

After blocking the bill, Senate Republicans faced withering criticism from veterans and their supporters, including renowned comedian Jon Stewart. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a situation where people who have already given so much had to fight so hard to get so little,” said Stewart, deadly serious, flanked by vets and families of veterans who died from the exposure.

Earlier, Stewart assailed the Republicans:

“Ain’t this a bitch? America’s heroes, who fought in our wars, outside, sweating their asses off, with oxygen, battling all kinds of ailments, while these motherf*****s sit in the air conditioning, walled off from any of it. They don’t have to hear it. They don’t have to see it.”

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