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 Saturday, August 28, 2004


Here They Are: The Greatest Military Cowards of Them All

Read here full article by Bob Herbert , "Where's The Shame?" in New York Times

"George W. Bush ought to call off his dogs.

I've interviewed several soldiers and marines who have suffered grave wounds in Iraq, including the loss of limbs.
A permanent place of honor should be reserved for them in the pantheon of American heroes.

The idea that someone some years from now may trash their service for political gain is beyond disgusting.

It's one thing to decline to serve. It's quite another to throw mud at those who did serve - or to remain silent as allies hurl the mud."
- Bob Herbert

Mr. Max Cleland, a former U.S. senator, was himself the target of vicious, unconscionable attacks by the G.O.P. slime machine when he ran for re-election in Georgia in 2002.

At a press conference under the hot Crawford sun, Mr. Cleland told reporters:

"The question is, where is George Bush's honor? Where is his shame?

Keep in mind, this president has gone after three Vietnam veterans in four years. That's got to stop."

The attacks on men who served not just honorably, but heroically, are coming from a hawkish party that is controlled by men who sprinted as far from the front lines as they could when they were of fighting age and their country was at war.

Who are these men?

1. George W.Bush, President of the United States
Mr. Bush himself, the nation's commander in chief and the biggest hawk of all. He revels in the accouterments of combat. But the story was somewhat different when he was 22 years old and eligible for combat himself.

He managed to get into the cushy confines of the Texas Air National Guard at the height of the Vietnam War in 1968 - a year in which more than a half-million American troops were in the war zone and more than 14,000 were killed.

We know the future president breezed off at some point to work on a political campaign in Alabama, skipped a required flight physical in 1972 and was suspended from flying. He supported the war in Vietnam but was never in any danger of being sent there.
2. Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States
Cheney is another fierce administration hawk. Mr. Cheney asked for and received five deferments when he was eligible for the draft. He told senators at a confirmation hearing in 1989, "I had other priorities in the 60's than military service." Many draft-age Americans had similar priorities - getting an education, getting married and starting a family.
3. John Ashcroft, Attorney-General of the United States
He is reported to have said, "I would have served, if asked."

But with the war raging in Vietnam, he received six student deferments and an "occupational deferment" based on the essential nature of a civilian job at Southwest Missouri State University - teaching business law to undergraduates.
4. Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense of the United States.
Paul Wolfowitz, is a fanatical hawk on Iraq.

He was not fanatical about Vietnam and escaped the draft with student deferments.
And there are many others.

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