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19 August 2005

The Art Of War

Who do the fightin' for these rich white folks, and they wars?
No it ain't Drew Carey, Dennis Miller or stars
Fox News, Mike Savage, Bruce Willis or Rush
Won't be MSNBC, CNN or a Bush
Never Toby Keith, Hannity, O'Reilly or Clint
Ain't Clear Channel—know they ain't supportin' dissent
Ain't Blair, Kid Rock, or Tom Cruise or vows
Of James Woods, Rob Lowe, Tom Selleck or Powell
Not Arnold Schwarzenegger, he ain't gonna shoot, or
Ted Nugent cause in war the targets got weapons too
Ain't Cheney, Rumsfeld, Halliburton or Ridge
Or Ann Coulter, or Joseph Lieberman or the rich
Or any b*tch up in Congress, they just make laws
When it comes to fightin' we the ones that end up in gauze
So when you say support that murderer, I have no applause
Even if he got his jumpsuit on—we pay the cost
— Paris

This Cindy Sheehan business has done a lot to expose some of the blatant hypocrisies prevalent on the right side of the political spectrum. For many on the right, pro-life is equated only with abortion. These pre-birth pro-lifers seem perfectly accepting of death caused by wars and extreme poverty.

Likewise, wars are apparently best fought by the poor and by Democrats. That members of the elite right-wing noise machine would risk their lives for the fights they start is unthinkable. They’re too busy with strategic decisions. I’ve no problem with those who would rather venture to Canada than fight. But if you’re in favour of attacking another country, it seems only reasonable that you should be willing to sign up to fight that country. Michael Moore really nailed this in Fahrenheit 9/11 when he brought a serviceman with him to recruit the children of those in Congress.

A couple of things have been floating around lately that highlight this. The first, via Washington Rox, is a list of Democrats, Republicans, and pundits and their respective armed service records:

Democrats: (Official Armed Services Records)
* Richard Gephardt: Air National Guard, 1965-71.
* David Bonior: Staff Sgt., Air Force 1968-72.
* Tom Daschle: 1st Lt., Air Force SAC 1969-72.
* Al Gore: enlisted Aug. 1969; sent to Vietnam Jan. 1971 as an army journalist in 20th Engineer Brigade.
* Bob Kerrey: Lt. j.g. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam.
* Daniel Inouye: Army 1943-47; Medal of Honor, WWII.
* John Kerry: Lt., Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Hearts.
* Charles Rangel: Staff Sgt., Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea.
* Max
Cleland: Captain, Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam.
* Ted Kennedy: Army, 1951-53.
* Tom Harkin: Lt., Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74.
* Jack Reed: Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91.
* Fritz Hollings: Army officer in WWII; Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.
* Leonard Boswell: Lt. Col., Army 1956-76; Vietnam, DFCs, Bronze Stars, and Soldier's Medal.
* Pete Peterson: Air Force Captain, POW. Purple Heart, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.
* Mike Thompson: St! aff sergeant, 173rd Airborne, Purple Heart.
* Bill McBride: Candidate for Fla. Governor. Marine in Vietnam; Bronze Star with Combat V.
* Gray Davis: Army Captain in Vietnam, Bronze Star.
* Pete
Stark: Air Force 1955-57* Chuck Robb: Vietnam
* Howell Heflin: Silver Star
* George McGovern: Silver Star & DFC during WWII.
* Bill Clinton: Did not serve. Student deferments. Entered draft but received #311.
* Jimmy Carter: Seven years in the Navy.
* Walter Mondale: Army 1951-1953
* John Glenn: WWII and Korea; six DFCs and AirMedal with 18 Clusters.
* Tom Lantos: Served in Hungarian underground in
WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg.

Republicans -- (Official Armed Services)
* Dick Cheney: did not serve. Several deferments, the last by marriage.
* Dennis Hastert: did not serve.
* Tom Delay: did not serve.
* Roy Blunt: did not serve.
* Bill Frist: did not serve.
* Mitch McConnell: did not serve.
* Rick Santorum: did not serve.
* Trent Lott: did not serve.
* John Ashcroft: did not serve. Seven deferments to teach business.
* Jeb Bush: did not serve.
* Karl Rove: did not serve.
* Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee." The man who attacked Max Cleland's patriotism.
* Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
* Vin Weber: did not serve.
* Richard Perle: did not serve.
* Douglas Feith: did not serve.
* Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
* Richard Shelby: did not serve.
* Jon! Kyl: did not serve.
* Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
* Christopher Cox: did not serve.
* Newt Gingrich: did not serve.
* Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.
* George W. Bush: failed to complete his six-year National Guard; got assigned to Alabama so he could campaign for family friend running for U.S!. Senate; failed to show up for required medical exam, disappeared from duty.
* Ronald Reagan: due to poor eyesight, served in a non-combat role making movies.
* B-1 Bob Dornan: Consciously enlisted after fighting was over in Korea.
* Phil Gramm: did not serve.
* John McCain: Vietnam POW, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. (THE ONLY EXCEPTION!)
* Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.
* John M. McHugh: did not serve.
* JC Watts: did not serve.
* Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem," although continued in NFL for 8 years.
* Dan Quayle: Journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard.
* Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
* George Pataki: did not serve.
* Spencer Abraham: did not serve.
* John Engler: did not serve.
* Lindsey Graham: National Guard lawyer.
* Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.

Pundits, Preachers and Others Who Stood Or Still Stand For Support Of the Republican Party
* Sean Hannity: did not serve.
* Rush Limbaugh: did not serve (4-F with a "pilonidal cyst.")
* Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
* Michael Savage: did not serve.
* George Will: did not serve.
* Chris Matthews: did not serve.
* Paul Gigot: did not serve.
* Bill Bennett: did not serve.
* Pat Buchanan: did not serve.
* John Wayne: did not serve.
* Bill Kristol: did not serve.
* Kenneth Starr: did not serve.
* Antonin Scalia: did not serve.
* Clarence Thomas: did not serve.
* Ralph Reed: did not serve.
* Michael Medved: did not serve.
* Charlie Daniels: did not serve.
Secondly, via Daily Kos, we have a list of those on the right decrying warfare. Only this comes from Clinton’s term, when he committed troops to Bosnia:

"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)
Could we maybe be consistent for five minutes?

Update: Zalm rightly points out in the comments of this post that the military service records list is a bit skewed towards the left. Missing from the other side of the fence are notables like Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Colin Powell, Chuck Hagel, Tom Ridge and Richard Armitage. I still completely stand by the idea that the right is blatantly hypocritical about war, but in the interest of fairness and truth, the deck isn't quite as uneven as it probably appeared from this post.

Comments on "The Art Of War"


Blogger ninjanun said ... (8/19/2005 05:15:00 PM) : 

Where are where is the reporter who will quote George W. Bush's own words to him, and hold him accountable?

The hypocrisy on the Right is just sickening.


Blogger Chicago Jones said ... (8/19/2005 08:22:00 PM) : 

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post. This is information that I did not know but am not really that surprised to read. Could it possibly be that those who have seen war aren’t really anxious to see more? Or, at least not without a damn good reason.

P.s. Did I say thank you yet?

P.s.s. Ninjanun, I agree! Where is that damned reporter? Also, there is hypocrisy on the left too, I wish there wasn’t but sadly enough there is.


Blogger 1/2.of.matt.&.amber said ... (8/19/2005 10:45:00 PM) : 

You: did not serve, sat around and typed.

Me: did not serve, sat around and typed.


Blogger hipchickmamma said ... (8/19/2005 11:59:00 PM) : 

"Could it possibly be that those who have seen war aren’t really anxious to see more? Or, at least not without a damn good reason."

chicago, i think you're on to something!

i actually had an entire class on john wayne in undergrad and it was pretty amazing considering how many people seemed to be confused about him really being a hero in life rather than in the movies. hmmm, that would explain a lot about the republicans--image is everything, doesn't need to be real!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8/20/2005 12:33:00 AM) : 

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Blogger ninjanun said ... (8/20/2005 12:40:00 AM) : 


And I meant to say, "where OH where."


My brother is currently serving over in Iraq.

I would probably be there too, except all branches of the armed forces consider me too handicapped to serve.


Blogger Chicago Jones said ... (8/21/2005 06:17:00 PM) : 

Hipchick, Now be careful what you say about John Wayne he is my her…Crap, I’m one of those people! Sorry, I can’t help it.


Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (8/21/2005 09:46:00 PM) : 

Wonderful lists. You are a wealth of info, Mr. Wasp.


Anonymous zalm said ... (8/22/2005 08:39:00 PM) : 

I've seen these service record lists before, and I think the overall point of them could be pretty convicting. But they're also pretty clearly slanted.

For example, I'm skeptical of a list of Republicans that lists John McCain as THE ONLY EXCEPTION! Off the top of my head, they've left out Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Colin Powell, Chuck Hagel, Tom Ridge, Richard Armitage, and so on.... Plus, I'm pretty sure they've diminished Linsey Graham's record, which makes me wonder what else is skewed.

I realize these weren't your lists, so I'm not really taking you to task for their composition. But if the point is worth making, why not make it more honestly?

I'd be interested to see a list of important members of both parties (pres, vp, congressional reps, senators, members of the cabinet, and senior executive branch staff) from the last 20 or 30 years who did serve. Then we could make a clear side-by-side comparison and, at the same time, point out those who are notably absent.

Just a thought.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (8/23/2005 12:02:00 PM) : 

You're quite right, Zalm. I should have read over that list a bit more carefully. I'd also be interested in seeing side by side comparisons of the presidents, vice-presidents, and so forth. Anyone want to take a crack at it?


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