Archives for posts with tag: Senator Jon Tester

email header of Senator Tester’s “Veterans Newsletter”

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again—it’s an honor to serve veterans in Montana and across the country every day as Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Since taking the gavel last January, my top priority has been addressing toxic exposure in a comprehensive way. And in a way our veterans deserve.

Over the past few years we’ve made great strides in addressing military toxic exposures—from the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act to the Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act, these historic laws continue to provide long-overdue benefits and care to tens of thousands of veterans suffering as a result of their exposure.

But, our work for the men and women who’ve sacrificed so much is far from over.

That why I’m proud to announce we’re moving the needle once again for toxic-exposed veterans with the introduction of my Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act—bipartisan legislation to offer Post-9/11 combat veterans, including those suffering from conditions caused by toxic exposures, access to VA health care.

Right now, nearly one-third of the 3.5 million Post-9/11 combat veterans exposed to toxic substances are not able to access VA care—and that’s a serious problem. Without action, more veterans will pay the ultimate price while waiting for the treatment they need. That’s why this bill is so critical.

The good news is, back in Washington we’re working hard to keep up our end of the bargain. Just last week, my Committee unanimously passed the bipartisan Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act.

This kind of swift, bipartisan action is a testament to what can be accomplished when results are prioritized over politics. And I’m proud the Committee is doing its part to connect a generation of burn pit veterans with the care they need—care they can’t wait for any longer.

While this a great start—it’s only our first step in our three-step approach to deliver for all generations of veterans suffering from the conditions related to toxic exposure. This bipartisan solution is consistent with my COST of War Act, and is a priority that can garner the support it needs from across the aisle to make it to the President’s desk.

I’m committed to seeing this process through, and will continue waging this effort until we deliver quality health care and benefits to the folks who’ve earned it.

We started this fight, and together we’re going to finish it.

Or so says the mail in my box from my (nominal) USA senator from Montana. I’ve kept up a legal residence address in Montana over these past going on 15 years exile, so I suppose I could have voted if I wished to, but I see no point because the USA is a corporate-captured oligarchy. No matter which way you vote, it is a self-deceit, it is the lobbyists’ money in DC buy the lot of politicians. Senator Tester’s lip-service opposing “Citizens United” granting corporations equal rights to citizens notwithstanding, it’s colossal corporate amounts of money own us. Especially the unaccountable ‘dark money’ invested in elections by practically anyone with wealth & power, notably corporate proxy billionaires that amount to American oligarchs; Soros, the Koch brothers, Gates & too many more to count, ad nausea.) [1]

My reply to Senator Tester:

Dear Senator Tester

It’s good someone is attempting [to] bring the level of care to the veterans’ community to point of what’s fair and right. Now, how about considering the cost of the toxic exposure at its root; maintaining empire? At this point in our American history, how can it not be clear our veterans have been cannon fodder for Dow-DuPont, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, Chevron and too many more recipients of what amount to profiteering contracts; pushing armaments sales and/or geopolitical posturing/positioning at the price of not only the lives, blood and health of our soldiers but the colossal and horrific price we have put on humanity elsewhere while sacrificing immense good will towards ourselves to point of our being increasingly hated around the world as a matter of fact and expectation. As a USA veteran of our foreign wars, I want [to see] an ‘End the Toxic Exposure to American Corporate Profiteering Empire Act.’

Thank you and sincerely

Ron West

I waited all week for the reply I very much doubted would be forthcoming; from the man who swears by his loyalty to American veterans but lacks the insights and/or balls to take on the policies that basically serve as a wrecking-ball for the USA soldiers’ lives and health; in relation to the USA’s imperial behavior abroad causing immense damage to other nations peoples’ lives, health & livelihoods, and not least, the hit-job on international law that attends this USA policy of ‘exceptionalism’ that is the 21st Century’s heir to the policy of ‘Manifest Destiny.’ This policy had ruthlessly over-run North America’s indigenous nations by force of arms with attending and very much self-serving ‘color of law’ cancelling treaties as might be convenient at any given moment. There is nothing new in what we’re looking at today except for the scale & lethality have grown immensely. It’s a mentality, a mindset, a meme.

As you sow, so shall you reap

In today’s case of messing with Russia, these words could come true.




May 1st 2015 update: A year and one-half on, this is very dated material and goes to show how geopolitical circumstance can change rapidly; and not necessarily for the better. Damascus’ chemical weapons were liquidated, but ISIS has exploded onto the scene and chemical weapons use and finger pointing have not altogether ceased. The Iran tactic is refocused but Israel ally Saudi Arabia is working to undermine the possibilities with a proxy war in Yemen. And so it goes…

12 September update: On 6 September, shortly after Obama had been reported not to have agreed to anything on Syria with Putin, I’d sent this article in letter form to 150 persons, including federal legislators of four nations. It appears Russia’s Putin had suggested a plan for isolating and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons to Obama at the G-20 meeting in St Petersburg and Obama had flatly turned the offer down. The following Monday Russia made the plan public. By Tuesday, 10 September, Obama and the western powers had abruptly reversed course and agreed to the Russian proposal in principle. Meanwhile Obama has backed out of asking for a Congressional vote on attacking Syria, where these issues would have been debated. That imminent attack is forestalled is a good thing, the congressional debate called off is not.

Whoever helped to bring pressure to forestall any attack on Syria, my thanks to you all and this goes to show some people have their heads properly attached. But the issue of the USA attacking Syria is far from resolved. Corporate and national intelligence agencies continue to be a real threat to the region and those with agenda to ultimately take down Iran (with Syria as a stepping-stone) will not easily give up-


Dear Senator Tester

I am your constituent. I also happen to be a former United States Special Forces non-commissioned officer for operations & intelligence. I have been studying the circumstance in Syria for the past couple of years.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to get this one. Prior to the most recent chemical weapons incident in Syria, the USA had opened the door to its allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait to pour weapons to jihadi ‘rebels’ and then looked the other way as though it were not happening. Meanwhile Al Jazeera has a radical Sunni cleric that can reach 60,000,000 Muslims; preaching jihad and exhorting young men to fight for the ‘rebels.’ The result? Hard-line Al Nusra Islamists are the largest and most effective group of fighters in the western allies gambit to overthrow the government of Assad. A result is an entire new generation of trained, motivated and seasoned veteran Al Qaida fighters.

A previous chemical attack had implicated the so-called ‘rebels’ as perpetrators. Meanwhile western pundits ‘doubt’ the ‘rebels’ have the technical capacity to manufacture and deliver chemical attack, something any bright American university chemistry major could accomplish in reality.

The Al Nusra front in Syria is Al Qaida. Al Qaida has been running research labs on radiological, biological and CHEMICAL weapons for at least two decades. Modifying a small rocket to deliver is not any big technical feat.

Assad had gained the upper-hand in recent months and the rebels need western intervention to swing the pendulum back in their favor. Suddenly there is a chemical attack that can only benefit the rebels (Assad knows better than to do this) and the western powers go crazy in a push to punish Assad.

Was it Assad? Least likely.

Was it Al Qaida? Quite possibly.

Was it intelligence agencies on behalf of the ‘rebels’? Highly likely.

The western democracies (includes Israel) have a vested interest in taking down Syria, a stepping stone to taking down Iran. For Israel, it has to do with the obsession of Iran attaining a nuclear bomb, something Iran would be crazy NOT to do from an Iranian point of view. Iran has been under assault from the west since 1953 with the USA overthrow of it’s legitimate government and propping up the murderous Shah of Iran as a puppet/proxy .. resulting in Iran becoming radicalized and since, the USA in a cold war with the ayatollahs.  Whether Israel is a proxy of the USA or vice-versa via AIPAC, is immaterial. We created a boogey-man for both in Iran with OUR POLICIES (MOSSAD was right there with us, training the Shah’s secret police that terrorized the Iranian people.) That Iran would want the bomb as a deterrent should come as no surprise to anyone. Syria is an Iranian ally with a common border with Israel. So Syria must be taken down from the western democracies point of view.

Iran going down is in the logical progression of an ultimate goal of isolating Russia, a threat to western democracies corporate hegemony (with umbrella groups like Builderberg and Council on Foreign Relations with a plethora of subservient political action committees pulling the western democracies puppet-politicians’ strings via lobbyists and limitless corporate campaign contributions thanks to the USA’s supreme court and the decision ‘Citizens United’.)

Now, in the grand campaign to overthrow Assad, on top of having arranged, organized, armed and trained ‘rebel’ (Al Nusra/Al Qaida) forces, resulting in a sectarian war in Syria responsible for 100,000 dead and millions of refugee lives destroyed, Obama is now lobbying Congress to do Al Qaida another HUGE favor by attacking the Syrian military. John McCain is right there holding Obama’s hand in this effort, with his inserting language into the senate resolution calling for an official USA’s policy to support the ‘rebel’ overthrow of Assad.

There is a fake ‘rebel’ government in exile the USA recognizes and in fact this government in exile is fake because it has precisely ZERO control over the Al Nusra front (Al Qaida), the most powerful opposition to the regime in Syria. If Assad is overthrown, who comes into control of Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles? The most well armed, largest and effective group of fighters among the ‘rebels’ .. that is Al Qaida (Al Nusra.)

So, my question is, just what is the USA thinking, with delivering Syrian professional manufacture, military grade chemical weapons stocks into the hands of Al Qaida? Think about it. Berlin. Paris. Rome. London. Madrid. New York. Tel Aviv. Is the Senate made up of absolute idiots?

Letter sent on 6 September 2013

Senator Tester’s reply on 10 September:

Dear Ron

Thank you for contacting me about the situation in Syria.  It’s important to hear from you.

The actions of Syria’s president are abhorrent, and his efforts to remain in power are having terrible consequences for his people and the region.  However, I have serious concerns about the possibility of American military involvement in the conflict.

We are working hard to re-set our military after more than a decade of war, get our fiscal house in order, and meet our needs here at home.  In light of this, I am wary about committing more military resources to another foreign conflict.

I am pleased that the President decided to bring this matter before Congress.  We now have the opportunity to hold a long-overdue, nationwide debate about American foreign policy priorities in this troubled region.  As I gather information about the Syrian conflict and the impacts of potential U.S. involvement, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

Your input is a critical part of making sure that my work in the Senate reflects our Montana priorities.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me again if I can be of further assistance.


Jon Tester
United States Senator

Really interesting, in private mails to me, I received nearly identical responses from opposite ends of the political spectrum; examples include a nationally known (NOT neo-) conservative republican lawyer who wrote “Bravo Ron!!” and a film-maker from the radical Black left who wrote “Great job Ron!” These reactions show common sense can (and should) trump politics-



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