February 11, 2004

At Last, a Fiskable DO Column!

Man, it's been way too long since I did this. The Daily Orange editorials have actually made sense most days. Today, however, they've provided one worthy of a bit more attention, so let's take a look:

Arrogance and irresponsibility

The image refuses to fade. May 2, 2003: President George W. Bush lands on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, instantly greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of sailors eagerly anticipating his already rumored message. Shortly after noon, he delivers. "In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." The victorious commander-in-chief beams to thousands of clapping hands.

Last time I checked, occupying the enemy's capital city counted as a victory. I'm not sure where this is supposed to be going...

In response, Democratic presidential hopeful and decorated Vietnam War veteran John Kerry has concluded nearly all of his recent stump speeches with the promise that he "will show the president that I know something about aircraft carriers for real."

Since when is knowledge of aircraft carriers a prerequisite for being a successful politician?

And the Boston Globe and Associated Press have recently reported that military records from 1972, when the future president was scheduled to report for National Guard duty in Alabama, include no mention of Bush.

That's right. The DO is jumping on the AWOL story, despite the fact that it's already been debunked. And they call conservatives ideologues...

To be sure, the president served in the Guard during the early 70s, flying F-102 fighters on important test missions. Nevertheless, questions arise: did the future president, as a member of a powerful and well-connected family, use his father's ties to evade combat in Southeast Asia?

Considering members of his unit were in Vietnam at the time, I doubt it.

And, even after securing a safe position state-side, did the young Bush skirt his duties?

The fact that they're still asking this question says a lot about their need for "proof."

Yet a simpler question also appears: why should we care? Americans on the left and right seem to agree that the Vietnam War was waged for politics, not principle, and that the results were entirely negative. If Bush avoided fighting through any means, was that necessarily a bad thing?

Well, he didn't "avoid fighting by any means," so that point doesn't really matter. Do you think he was learning to fly crop dusters?

Maybe not; but it suggests a disturbing trend. The president's apparent ambivalence over matters relating to military service in the 1970s mirrors the sophomoric arrogance that has characterized his approach to foreign policy during his term.

"Sophomoric arrogance." I believe that, in English, that phrase translates to "making decisions and sticking with them." That liberal language is tricky.

I don't know about the rest of you, but "sophomoric arrogance" gives me a mental image of Bush sitting in the Oval Office throwing darts at a map to decide which country we're going to bomb. I wonder if that's what the left sees.

Similar to the way in which he "played" the Army thirty years ago...

How is the Air National Guard related to the Army, exactly?

...Bush is now prosecuting a prolonged struggle in Iraq with no measurable concern for responsibility, respect, or duty.

Oh, man, I should've put a drink alert on that one. Let's see what qualifies as irresponsible:

He began the war with what now appears to be errant intelligence.

Of course, he knew it was errant at the time, right? It was just the rest of the civilized world (and Saddam Hussein) who thought Iraq had WMD.

And he has paid only lip-service to the international community's demands for greater cooperation...

That's because the "international community" doesn't want to cooperate. It wants to coerce.

...offering the embarrassingly tiny "coalition of the willing" as a token of his alleged support for multilateralism.

Did Maureen Dowd co-author this thing? Oh, well. I guess that when you think about it, the coalition is pretty embarrassing. I mean, who's ever heard of insignificant little countries like Spain and Great Britain? What a joke!

If a younger Bush could only be counted upon to ignore responsibility and seek the road of no accountability, this Bush appears equally averse to maturity.

I just realized that he never actually explained why Bush is "immature." It seems to me that denying any evidence that refutes your position is kind of immature. Come to think of it, so is hypocrisy.

In a more peaceful time, the issue might not matter. But 500 American kids have died and thousands more injured while a thoughtless cavalier sits at the wheel.

Of course. That makes a lot of sense, because any mature, intelligent person would disregard hundreds of reports that a hostile country known to fund terrorism has chemical weapons.

Only a "thoughtless cavalier" would actually ACT on intelligence that could prevent another 9/11 and would still liberate millions of oppressed people. How immature!

Do facts still exist? It seems like they don't make a difference anymore.

Posted by CD on February 11, 2004 05:19 PM
Semi-Intelligent Comments

FACTS?!?! Who the heck cares about facts. Just because we now have payment records accounting for at least parts of those 7 months (of which you work one weekend as a reservist), that doesn't mean anything. I mean, if Bush the elder was able to 'weasel' the 'Army' into giving the younger an Honorable discharge, you think they can't dummy up fake payment records just as they are needed? I personally find it 'convenient' that they were able to produce these 'records' only "after" the 'people' requested them. Where were they before? Man, Larry is right..er correct, it IS a conspiracy.


Posted by: Tommy at February 11, 2004 06:19 PM

You think your funny, but you might be on to something! If they had the records before, why didnt AWOL prove it during the 2000 "election?" That doesnt matter anyway, because the important thing is Chimpya only went to the nattional guard because his daddy got him in and made some poor African-American with no educatien serve in his place!!! If B*sh cares about America, why didn't he serve?

Posted by: Larry the Liberal at February 11, 2004 06:36 PM

2000--the Globe all but settled the story.The Nat'l guard also counts as the military, thank you Terry, I mean Larry

Posted by: jaws at February 12, 2004 01:02 AM

I assume you're calling Bush "Chimpya" because of his supposed lack of intelligence, and no doubt you've made fun of something he's said in the past---I'd do a little grammar check on your own posts before doing that again.

Anyway, when the news came out that Clinton *left the country* during the same period--oh, "those were different times," we heard. "Can you blame him?" and all that.

Posted by: Esotericus at February 12, 2004 03:40 PM

This is why I call the pResident Chimpya. I probably have better gramer then him.

As for Clinton, how couldt he be AWOL when he wasnt in the army?

Posted by: Larry the Liberal at February 12, 2004 05:50 PM

Actually Bush's records were held by a long-time Democratic activist. Amazing how that happened. Of course I'd also like to see the media mention to the Colonel who discussed Bush's record. Of course since most Americans have no clue of how the National Guard works, this is really a debate of the liberals misrepresenting information yet again. Hey Larry, do you know how guard units drill? Do you know the mortality rate among fighter pilots? They didn't call the F102 the widow maker for humors sake. By the way, the guard routinely lets people serve with other units for work reasons--working on a political campaign was an acceptable reason, and drilling with the unit in Alabama was fine. Oh well, I'd rather have that kind of service than Kerry's support for the NVA on the Mall

Posted by: sean at February 12, 2004 07:25 PM

George Bush was a war veteran--but he was a veteran of the cold war, not of the Vietnman War. Most of the century fighters (F-100's through F-106's) were underpowered and very hard to fly. If you want to learn more about the F-102's flown by Bush, get "The Right Stuff". It was an inferior aircraft and killed a lot of young people. If Bush had been very risk-averse, he never would have accepted training as a fighter pilot. In a century-series fighter, it is easy to die without anybody firing a shot at you. Have any of you liberals out there done anything as hard, or as dangerous, as logging hundreds of hours in an F-102?

Posted by: Lyn Wilson at March 1, 2004 02:09 AM

There's a post over at my Bush campaign 'blog called Leap Year Politics, entitled This Man Wants To be President. It contains a substantial excerpt of Kerry's testimony to the Armed Services Committee. Read it. Near the end, he says:
We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service.. I wish that Kerry and the Democrats would.

Posted by: Frank DiSalle at March 2, 2004 02:13 PM
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