Veterans & Human Rights

To watch "the memo" click here .

Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

Well, it's been a very busy day.  The University of California at Los Angeles has been trying to prevent us from doing a story on the protest there against First Lady Laura Bush.  How foolish of them.  We'll have that report coming up.

And this morning I received a journalism award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington.  And I got to thinking about vets and human rights.  And that's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo.

There are close to 3 million American men and women associated with the VFW, and of course their focus is to help veterans and the current military.

But here's one interesting wrinkle.  I have never heard of a human rights group lobbying on behalf of veterans.  Now, I may have missed it, but I think it's fair to say that the hundreds of groups set up to look out for the rights of selected Americans are not much interested in the plight of military people.

Let's see, we have lobbying on behalf of the terror prisoners being held in Guantanamo, we have homeless groups, we have AIDS activists, we have welfare proponents.  There are groups looking out for the rights of convicts and the rights of alcoholics and drug addicts, even the rights of people like Andrea Yates, who killed her five little kids.

Now, I do not mean to demean Americans who champion the downtrodden.  We need homeless advocates and people to raise money to fight diseases.  We need more compassion in this country.  But we also need more perspective.

Our military people in Vietnam got a bad deal all around.  It was our government's fault.  But where were the demonstrations protesting the government's callousness on Agent Orange, for example?  Many Americans felt sorrier for the Viet Cong than they did for the draftees who came home damaged from fighting a war with no strategy.

And remember Gulf War syndrome?  The feds fought that like crazy.  Finally our government had to admit that thousands of vets were hurt by chemicals over in the Gulf.

But what human rights group promoted that cause?  I could provide you dozens more examples of the callous treatment our military people have received, but the main point is this, human rights is a subjective concern, and seems not to pertain to Americans who serve their country.

What do you think?  Will Barbara Streisand and Paul McCartney do a benefit concert for injured vets?

I was honored to be honored by the VFW.  I believe all of us make decisions in our lives, and to serve your country is a decision that demands respect.  In this time of patriotism, we are respecting our military more than we used to, but we still have some way to go.

And that's the memo.

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." 

The city of Cincinnati is having its problems with the boycott against racial profiling and all.  And now a Cincinnati juror has been sent to jail for a week for leaving in the middle of a trial and going to Mexico.

33-year-old Christine Fiorini said she needed a vacation and thought an alternate juror would take her place.  I hope that spring break was worth seven days in the pokey, Christine.  You were definitely ridiculous.

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