a salute to veterans

I salute all our veterans, past and present, in honor of Veterans' Day. President Bush also had a salute, but of the middle-finger variety (via UggaBugga). It's not the first time that Bush has shown his "respect" for the armed forces - he recently broke a $275mil pledge to reduce backlogs at Veterans' Hospitals (causing the American Legion to react with disappointment). And Bush has reneged on promises of $340mil to fund fire departments nationwide.

The money would have been there, but for these little tax cuts, that I'm sure everyone has heard of by now. And I wonder what the armed forces about to risk their lives in Iraq think? Will their sacrifices be "rewarded" in similar fashion?

It isn't surprising that Bush is immune to compassion for the needs of those who served our country. Only the most committed partisan would deny that Bush entered the Air National Guard as a pilot to escape Vietnam duty. He was sworn in as an airman the same day he applied, despite scoring only 25% on the aptitude test (the minimum) and long waiting lists for other more qualified applicants.

And it isn't even clear if Bush even served out his National Guard duties - there is abundant evidence and press investigation to suggest he went AWOL[1]. This is the kind of behavior that the word "chickenhawk" refers to, not the strawman version proferred by Bush's defenders[2].

Bush of course made a photo-op appearance at the sacred ground of the Vietnam Memorial. "Thank you for serving," he told them. "God Bless you all." Is this an example of faith-based charity?

UPDATE: Bush is a known liar. But the media has given him a pass. This alone refutes accusations of media bias to the left - especially since Bush's lies could seriously affect the country, unlike the personal lies of Clinton or the alleged lies of Gore. I also recommend a new book, What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News, which you can pre-order on Amazon.com.

[1] Bush's 2000 campaign refused to release his service records, as Gore, Clinton, McCain, and Bradley had done.
[2] The strawman argument is this: chickenhawk means "the opinion of someone who did not serve in active duty counts less than someone who did, when it comes to issues of waging war". The real meaning of chickenhawk is:
A chickenhawk is a term often applied to public persons - generally male - who (1) tend to advocate, or are fervent supporters of those who advocate, military solutions to political problems, and who have personally (2) declined to take advantage of a significant opportunity to serve in uniform during wartime.

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