As we as a nation prepare for war in Iraq, we have to make a comitment to support the sacrifice of our troops - regardless of whether we believe the war itself to be just or not. Of course, this commitment and support must spring from within, though President Bush will no doubt echo this call in his upcoming State of the Union address.

If indeed Bush lectures the American public on supporting our armed forces, then he is again displaying his colors as a rank hypocrite. I blogged a few months ago about Bush's "salute" to veterans - which demonstrates yet again that his commitment to partisan politics (tax cuts for the rich) trumps all other concerns.

Perhaps if Bush had actually served in the military with honor, he might have a firmer moral ground to stand on. But the truth is that Bush used family political connections to avoid active duty overseas by entering the Air National Guard (itself an honorable unit) and then proceeded to be AWOL and avoid fulfilling those responsibilties. In my previous post, I have extensive references to a wide-ranging variety of sources, illuminating all the pieces of the puzzle that is AWOL Bush:

Bush at HarvardOnly 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].

The AWOL Bush saga is extensively documented at the website, AWOLBush.com, with links to scanned documents, articles in eth press, and a mountain of other information. Now, UggaBugga has done a fantastic service and comprehensively organized the salient facts into a clear chronological chart. This is a wonderful visualization tool and clearly and effectively tells the story. I can't recommend it highly enough, and i hope that Bush's supporters who read this blog will be willing to discuss this issue.

And now, the Administration has the temerity to suggest re-instating the draft? UPDATE: Glenn emails to say that Rumsfeld has renounced re-instating the draft. It was actually Rangel who led that charge. Someone explain to me, however, why we still have Selective Service mandatory registration? UPDATE 2: I now recall why I blamed this meme on Bush - it was actually first floated last year by the neocon crowd at NRO. I knew this started on Bush's side of the ideological fence!

UPDATE TROIS: Tacitus has linked, and generated a great discussion thread. Take a look.

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