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Shrub the Deserter

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  • robalini@aol.com
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com You Say Deserter, I Say More Dessert... By
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 30, 2004
      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      You Say Deserter, I Say More Dessert...
      By Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com
      January 27, 2004

      I would like to apologize for referring to George W. Bush as
      a "deserter." What I meant to say is that George W. Bush is a
      deserter, an election thief, a drunk driver, a WMD liar and a
      functional illiterate. And he poops his pants. In fact, he "shot a
      man in Reno just to watch him die."

      Actually, what I meant to say up in New Hampshire last week was
      that "We're going to have Bush for dessert come November!" I'm always
      mixing up "dessert" and "desert" - I'm sure many of you have that

      Well, well, well. As George W. would say, "It's time to smoke 'em out
      of their hole!" Thanks to my "humorous" introduction of Wesley Clark
      10 days ago in New Hampshire - and the lughead way the no-sense-of-
      humor media has covered it - there were 15 million hits this weekend
      on my website. Everyone who visited the site got to read the truth
      about Bush not showing up for National Guard duty.

      The weird thing about all this is that during my routine I never went
      into any details about Bush skipping out while in the Guard (it's not
      like it's the biggest issue on my mind or facing America these days!)
      I was just attempting my best impersonation of that announcer guy for
      the World Wrestling Federation, asking the cheering crowd if they
      would like to see a smackdown ("debate") which I called "The
      Generaaal Versus The Deserterrrr!!" (You can watch it here - hardly
      anyone in the media has shown this clip because viewers would
      suddenly see the context of my comments.)

      When the press heard me use that word "deserter," though, the bells
      and whistles went off, for this was one of those stories they knew
      they had ignored - and now it was rearing its ugly, truthful head on
      a very public stage. Without a single other word from me other than
      the d-word, they immediately got so defensive that it looked to many
      viewers like they - the press - maybe had something to hide. After
      all, when I called Bush a deserter, how did they know I wasn't
      referring to how he has deserted the 43 million Americans who have no
      health coverage? Why didn't they assume I was talking about how Bush
      is a deserter because he has deserted the working people of this
      country (who have lost 3 million jobs since he's taken office)? Why
      wasn't it obvious to them that I was pointing out how Bush had
      deserted our constitution and Bill of Rights as he tries to limit
      freedom of speech and privacy rights for law-abiding citizens?

      Instead, they have created the brouhaha over Bush's military record,
      often without telling their audience what the exact charges are. It
      seems all they want to do is to get Clark or me - or you - to shut
      up. "We have never investigated this and so we want you to apologize
      for bringing it up!" Ha ha ha.

      Well, I'm glad they have gone nuts over it. Because here we have a
      Commander in Chief - who just took off while in uniform to go work
      for some Republican friend of his dad's - now sending our kids over
      to Iraq to die while billions are promised to Halliburton and the oil
      companies. Twenty percent of them are National Guard and Reserves
      (and that number is expected to double during the year). They have
      been kept in Iraq much longer than promised, and they have not been
      given the proper protection. They are sitting ducks.

      What if any of them chose to do what Bush did back in the early 70s -
      just not show up? I've seen Republican defenders of Bush this week
      say, "Yeah, but he made up the time later." So, can today's National
      Guardsmen do the same thing - just say, when called up to go to
      Iraq, "Um, I'm not going to show up, I'll make up the time later!"?
      Can you imagine what would happen? Of course, none of them are the
      son of a Congressman, like young Lt. Bush was back in 1972.

      Today, MoveOn.org has put together its response to this issue, and I
      would love to reprint it here. It lays out all the facts about Bush
      and the remaining unanswered questions about where he went for many,
      many months:

      Here are what appear to be the known facts, laid out recently in
      considerable detail and documentation by retired pilot and Air
      National Guard First Lt. Robert A. Rogers, and in a 2003 book, "The
      Lies of George W. Bush," by David Corn.

      1. George W. Bush graduated from Yale in 1968 when the war in Vietnam
      was at its most deadly and the military draft was in effect. Like
      many of his social class and age, he sought to enter the National
      Guard, which made Vietnam service unlikely, and fulfill his military
      obligation. Competition for slots was intense; there was a long
      waiting list. Bush took the Air Force officer and pilot qualification
      tests on Jan. 17, 1968, and scored the lowest allowed passing grade
      on the pilot aptitude portion.

      2. He, nevertheless, was sworn in on May 27, 1968, for a six-year
      commitment. After a few weeks of basic training, Bush received an
      appointment as a second lieutenant - a rank usually reserved for
      those completing four years of ROTC or 18 months active duty service.
      Bush then went to flight school and trained on the F-102 interceptor
      fighter jet. Fighter pilots were in great demand in Vietnam at the
      time, but Bush wound up serving as a "weekend warrior" in Houston,
      where his father's congressional district was centered.

      A Houston Chronicle story published in 1994, quoted in Corn's book,
      has Bush saying: "I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a
      shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to
      Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly

      3. Sometime after May 1971, young Lt. Bush stopped participating
      regularly in Guard activities. According to Texas Air National Guard
      records, he had fewer than the required flight duty days and was
      short of the minimum service owed the Guard. Records indicate that
      Bush never flew after May 1972, despite his expensive training and
      even though he still owed the National Guard two more years.

      4. On May 24, 1972, Bush asked to be transferred to an inactive
      reserve unit in Alabama, where he also would be working on a
      Republican senate candidate's campaign. The request was denied. For
      months, Bush apparently put in no time at all in Guard service. In
      August 1972, Bush was grounded - suspended from flying duties - for
      failing to submit to an annual physical exam. (Why wouldn't he take
      this exam from a doctor?)

      5. During his 2000 presidential campaign, Bush's staff said he
      recalled doing duty in Alabama and then returning to Houston for
      still more duty. But the commander of the Montgomery, AL, unit where
      Bush said he served told the Boston Globe that he had no recollection
      of Bush - son of a congressman - ever reporting, nor are there
      records, as there should be, supporting Bush's claim. Asked at a
      press conference in Alabama on June 23, 2000 what duties he had
      performed as a Guardsman in that state, Bush said he could not
      recall, "but I was there."

      6. In May, June and July, 1973, Bush suddenly started participating
      in Guard activities back in Houston again - pulling 36 days at
      Ellington Air Base in that short period. On Oct. 1, 1973, eight
      months short of his six-year service obligation and scheduled
      discharge, Bush apparently was discharged with honors from the Texas
      Air National Guard (eight months short of his six-year commitment).
      He then went to Harvard Business School.

      Documents supporting these reports, released under Freedom of
      Information Act requests, appear along with Rogers' article on the

      In the absence of full disclosure by the President or his supporters,
      only the President and perhaps a few family or other close associates
      know the whole truth. And they're not talking.

      Bush was apparently absent without official leave from his assigned
      military service for as little as seven months (New York Times) or as
      much as 17 months (Boston Globe) during a time when 500,000 American
      troops were fighting the Vietnam War. The Army defines a "deserter" –
      also known as a DFR, for "dropped from rolls" - as one who is AWOL 31
      days or more.

      Well, there you have it. Someone got some special treatment. And now
      that special someone believes he has the right to conduct a war -
      using other not-so-special people's lives.

      My friends, I always call it like I see it. I don't pussyfoot around.
      Sometimes the truth is hard to take. The media conglomerates are too
      afraid to take this on. I understand. But I'm not. That's my job. And
      I'll continue to do it.

      And when I'm wrong, like the thing about Bush pooping his pants, I'll
      say so.


      January 29, 2004

      There is considerable evidence that Mr. Bush skipped all duty for a
      full year.
      Bush's War Stories Simply Don't Fly
      by Joe Conason

      George W. Bush lied about his military service record. The lie can be
      found in his own 1999 campaign autobiography (as written by Karen
      Hughes), where he dramatically describes his experience as a pilot in
      the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

      On page 34 of A Charge to Keep, Mr. Bush claims that, after learning
      to fly the F-102 fighter jet, he was turned down for Vietnam duty
      because "had not logged enough flight hours" to qualify for a combat
      assignment. Before going on to recall the "challenging moments" that
      involved close formation drills at night during poor weather, he
      adds: "I continued flying with my unit for the next several years."

      In light of what journalists and other researchers have learned since
      the publication of Mr. Bush's book, his account is unmistakably

      The issue is again relevant because Michael Moore, the author and
      filmmaker who supports Wesley Clark's Presidential campaign, recently
      impugned the President as a "deserter." During the final Democratic
      Presidential debate in New Hampshire, moderator Peter Jennings called
      Mr. Moore's statement "a reckless charge not supported by the facts,"
      and demanded that General Clark repudiate his celebrity backer.

      As the ABC newsman may (or, more likely, may not) know, the facts
      about the President's National Guard stint are complex, disputed and,
      in many respects, unflattering. To call him a "deserter" was wrong
      and inflammatory, even if Mr. Moore was joking, as he now insists.
      Although Mr. Bush may well have been absent without leave, he was
      never prosecuted for that offense, let alone desertion, and he
      eventually received an honorable discharge. But to suggest that the
      Bush record is beyond criticism, as Mr. Jennings did, is both
      misleading and biased. That bias reflects an enduring double standard
      on this topic that has protected Mr. Bush ever since he first
      declared his Presidential candidacy.

      The facts, established by Boston Globe reporter Walter Robinson in
      2000, explode the lyrical flights of fancy penned by Ms. Hughes.

      George W. Bush graduated from Yale in June 1968. After his father's
      influential friends contacted Texas Air National Guard officials,
      they awarded young George a safe berth in Houston's famed "champagne
      unit," where sons of the Texas elite avoided Vietnam. His very
      special treatment included instant admission to flight training and
      an extraordinary commission as a second lieutenant. According to his
      former superiors, Mr. Bush performed admirably as a pilot while
      patrolling the coastal waters of the United States.

      But in May 1972, only 22 months after he completed pilot training, he
      stopped flying. In August 1972, he failed to show up for his annual
      physical examination and was automatically grounded. According to The
      Times of London, a conservative newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch,
      Mr. Bush's campaign spokesman said he knew that he would be suspended
      if he missed that physical.

      He never flew a military aircraft again (or not until his flight-suit
      photo op last spring, when he briefly took the controls of an S-3B
      Viking jet before landing on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln). Instead, he
      left his Guard unit in Houston and went to Alabama to work in a
      Republican Senate campaign. He claims to have continued to serve in
      an Alabama Guard unit, but there is no evidence to support that
      assertion, and much contradictory evidence. The commanding officer of
      the Alabama Guard Unit told the Boston Globe that Mr. Bush never
      showed up for duty there. Nor is there any evidence that he sought
      duty in Vietnam.

      In fact, there is considerable evidence that Mr. Bush skipped all
      duty for a full year, until April 1973. At that point, his two
      superior officers in Houston noted in writing in an official
      document: "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the
      period of this report." They erroneously believed that he had been
      completing his duty in Alabama. Yet he somehow received an honorable
      discharge eight months before he completed his six-year commitment so
      that he could begin attending Harvard Business School.

      As the Globe noted, the "champagne unit" and others like it back then
      displayed "a tendency to excuse shirking by those with political

      So Mr. Bush's claim that he "continued flying with my unit for the
      next several years" is an unabashed falsehood. Yet the spotty
      coverage of his military record in the mainstream press - aside from
      the Globe investigation and similar efforts in the Dallas Morning
      News and the Los Angeles Times - elided that lie. Compare his soft
      treatment with the media scourging of Bill Clinton, who was held
      accountable during the 1992 campaign for every word he uttered about
      his draft record.

      What the Jennings episode validates is not Mr. Bush's strange
      military career, but the Bush method of press management. Treat
      journalists like vassals, with nicknames, cheek-pinching and -
      whenever they forget their place momentarily - sneering disdain. It
      works brilliantly.

      You may reach Joe Conason via email at: jconason@....

      This column ran on page 5 in the 2/2/2004 edition of The New York

      Joe Conason is the author of The Hunting of the President: The Ten-
      Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton
    • robalini@aol.com
      Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 6, 2004
        Please send as far and wide as possible.

        Robert Sterling
        Editor, The Konformist

        50 Reasons Not to Vote for Bush
        Order at Amazon at:

        Uncovering the `Deserter'
        By Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet
        June 28, 2004

        You might expect the UN correspondent for The Nation to pen yet
        another indictment of George Bush's disastrous foreign policy and its
        manifold consequences for the world at large. But in his latest book,
        Ian Williams decided to take on George Bush himself, connecting the
        dots between the president's National Guard record during Vietnam to
        his present-day posturing as a man in uniform. Deserter: George W.
        Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans, and His Past draws on
        extensive research on the President's still mysterious military
        career to reveal the real man inside the flight suit.

        Why look at George Bush's military record now? We all know that the
        President has been less than forthcoming about his Vietnam-era
        service in the Texas Guard, but then much the same can be said of
        pretty much every aspect of his administration.

        Since George W. Bush was a chickenhawk from the get-go, I thought his
        experiences in the National Guard -- or lack thereof -- would be
        instructive. This is a president who, after all, invokes sacrifice
        but never actually made one himself. What's more, there's probably
        only Fidel and Saddam who have worn military uniforms as often and
        with as much relish as George W.

        And while individual reporters have done wonderful work on different
        parts of Bush's "Missing in Inaction" saga, on the whole, the media
        have dropped the ball. Besides, I wanted to put the whole issue in
        its context. There are national guardsmen who have been sent to
        brutal war and occupation, and have been charged with desertion for
        refusing to return. He went AWOL and was sent to Harvard Business

        You mention psychological motivations for Bush Junior's obsession
        with all things military in the book -- his desire to emulate his
        father in form, if not in substance. Could you elaborate on that

        Bush the Elder was a genuine war hero, who actually used his family
        influence to leave high school and become the Navy's youngest pilot.
        That was when the old East Coast establishment had a sense of
        noblesse oblige. With the transplantation of the Bush clan to Texas,
        any sense of obligation has clearly been replaced by a double sense
        of entitlement.

        Dubya combines the toxic effects of both, the dynastic East Coast
        sense of entitlement and the Texas notion that you're rich and
        prosperous because God Loves You -- a Cowboy Capitalist cocktail that
        seems to dull noblesse oblige. The result is that Bush the Younger
        wanted to be a pilot like his father, but not to risk his life in the
        process -- which is why he wangled a place in the Texas Air National
        Guard and ticked the box saying "no" to overseas service.

        As you note in the book, thanks to Bush's posturing, many Americans
        actually believe that he served in the military. What are his -- or
        more accurately, Karl Rove's -- political motivations in trying so
        hard to create that impression?

        The Republican appropriation of the military has a strange and
        tangled -- but quite recent -- history. The real point is the GOP's
        appropriation of the prestige of the military in order to target all
        those in the electorate who think that the military is somewhere
        there between apple pie and motherhood, and just as sacrosanct.

        The reality, of course, is that those in the military are not
        necessarily Republican themselves. The few studies that exist out
        there show that while the officer corps tends to the GOP, junior
        ranks tend to be at least as Democratic as you'd expect from a body
        that is over 40 percent minority.

        You obviously think it is accurate to describe George Bush as
        deserter, but is what he did any different than say Dan Quayle or
        those who fled to Canada during Vietnam?

        Those who went to Canada disagreed with the war. Quayle entered the
        Guard to dodge Vietnam, but served his term. His deal was six years
        in the Guard at home, against two in the field if drafted. That makes
        Quayle an evader, as Bush was, and equally hypocritical since they
        both supported the Vietnam war -- as long as it was not their
        plutocratic butts on the line.

        Even by Quayle standards, Bush went a step further. He went missing
        in Alabama and defied orders to report for duty. Moreover, he missed
        his medical which as a pilot ensured that he was grounded. He was no
        different than those who let a shotgun off next to their ear so they
        would be deaf and medically unfit to serve.

        Others at that time were sent off on active service for failing to
        attend to their National Guard duties. But they were not in the Texas
        Air National Guard and their fathers were not Congressmen.

        How do you think his faux war hero persona will play out now that he
        is going up against a real veteran? Do you think John Kerry will be
        able to expose him for what he is when the campaign gets truly

        The real problem here is the media. Journalists who often think of
        themselves as liberal feel it would be unbalanced to actually howl
        the rafters down every time the Bush Administration lets loose one of
        its shocking lies. It is why the GOP was able to attack paraplegic
        war veteran Senator Max Cleland for his lack of patriotism, and even
        Kerry about the degree of his wounds. This president has been given
        an easy ride -- by most of the media and most of the Democrats.

        So yes, Kerry can expose Bush, if he goes at him with the same
        assiduity that they have gone after him, not least because he is on
        firmer ground. A lot of people are wondering where the ex-officer's
        killer instinct has disappeared, and hope it comes out soon!


        Soldier of Fortune
        By Ian Williams, AlterNet
        June 28, 2004

        Editor's Note: The following article is an excerpt based on Ian
        Williams' new book, "Deserter: Bush's War on Military Families,
        Veterans, and His Past."

        On a bright and clear afternoon on May 1st 2003, the U.S.S Abraham
        Lincoln cruised an hour's sailing off-shore from San Diego,
        California, with its 6,000 crew members marshaled on its four-and-a-
        half-acre deck. A Navy S-3B Viking roared past, not once, but twice,
        and then finally circled around to land on the carrier's flight deck,
        snagging the wires that stopped the plane and its participants from
        tumbling into the cold Pacific Ocean. The nominal co-pilot had
        actually been prepared for just that watery contingency -- in the
        White House swimming pool, since the Viking's precious cargo was none
        other than President George W. Bush.

        As the plane snapped to a halt, the assembled crew, and the peak time
        cable TV viewers, could see that "Navy 1" was emblazoned on the body
        of the aircraft and that just below the co-pilot's cockpit window,
        assiduous Navy sign painters had stenciled "George W. Bush Commander-
        in-Chief." In his chic olive-colored flight suit, combat booted,
        looking every inch the warrior, with his doffed helmet tucked under
        one arm, Bush raised his other in salute to the cheers of the sailors
        gathered under a huge banner declaring "Mission Accomplished."

        The Republican obsession has never been as deep or more contrived
        than under Bush, who has tried to exorcise his somewhat ethereal
        military career by appearing whenever he can in front of made-to-
        order audiences at military bases or veterans' rallies. The
        phrase "commander-in-chief" is rarely off the president's lips,
        especially when he speaks to the military. Nor does he often miss an
        opportunity to don some form of uniform to further underline his
        military title.

        In eighteen months, more than one in three of his speeches and policy
        pronouncements have been at military bases and veterans' gatherings.
        Not for him the unscripted happenstance of Town Hall meetings with
        voters or un-choreographed press conferences with inquisitive
        reporters; he is much happier surrounded by people in uniform,
        snappily saluting and calling him "Sir" and cheering dutifully
        whenever he pauses.

        President Bush's 2003 May Day flight was an outstanding, but by no
        means isolated, example of Bush's abuse-by-association of the
        military. He had tried for a double the day before, attempting to
        conscript both God and the military on his side by hosting 150
        military chaplains for a prayer breakfast in the White House. Just as
        typical was his staged ceremony on July 1 2003 at the White House,
        where he welcomed thirty reenlisting service people. "Like many
        thousands of other soldiers, sailors, airmen, coastguardsmen and
        marines who reenlist this year, these men and women are answering the
        highest call of citizenship. ... As commander-in-chief, I assure
        them, we will stay on the offensive against the enemy."

        Bush's dress-up pattern was set long ago, as far back as 1970. While
        campaigning for his father against Lloyd Bentsen, the future
        President wore his National Guard flight jacket, which is, of course,
        an uncanny precursor to that flight onto the deck of the U.S.S
        Abraham Lincoln. Dressed in military duds, he would then, as now,
        attract approbation in a way that a less sophisticated, less well-
        connected, long-haired draft evader would never do, which is why it
        is a wardrobe choice he now returns to often, from the decks of a
        battleship to the parade grounds of forts and camps all over America.

        A random trawl of the newswires and Defense Department White House
        archives produces the same dazzling pattern of military camouflage.
        On August 14 2003, the President was telling it to the Marines, at
        Miramar Marine base in California, "I am proud to be the commander-in-
        chief of such a fabulous group of men and women who wear our
        uniform." In November, he was at it again, issuing a proclamation of
        National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week, "in honor of
        employers across America who have shown their support for our
        National Guardsmen and Reservists. ... These companies have the
        gratitude of our nation, they have the gratitude of the commander-in-
        chief." Oh how he loves that title.

        His speech on the first anniversary of the beginning of the war in
        Iraq was also before a "conscripted" audience at Fort Campbell in
        Kentucky. There, 20,000 men and women of the 101st Airborne paraded
        with little handheld flags in their hands and jumbo size banners
        flying overhead, to provide a backdrop to the President's latest
        photo-op. For the occasion, the president himself, once again, wore a
        signature military jacket with "George W. Bush, commander-in chief"
        over his heart.

        Of the many military bases, Fort Hood is the president's favorite,
        more so since it is conveniently close to his dude ranch in Crawford,
        Texas. It is also the biggest base in the United States, home to over
        40,000 troops. Bush went there during the lead-up to the war in
        January 2003 to gee up the soldiery in the huge camp, while
        appropriating the title he loves so much. "Wherever you may be sent,
        you can know that America is grateful, and your commander-in-chief is
        confident in your abilities and proud of your service," he told them.

        The Department of Defense's web site says the speech produced "more
        than twenty Hoorahs" for the President, who wore a fetching olive
        green windcheater emblazoned with the Presidential seal and "Bush,
        U.S. Army" across his chest. In a way, he looked like Paddington
        Bear, who also had to be labeled in case he was lost, not least since
        the commander-in-chief blended so well with the ranks of military
        personnel dutifully lined up behind him.

        Bush was back that April, greeting returning prisoners of war and
        attending Easter Services in the Church there. That meant he missed
        the Easter Egg Roll at the White House, which was equally military in
        spirit. "The youngsters in attendance were children of military
        families, including the sons and daughters of U.S. troops fighting in
        Iraq" said the GOP news service. At the Fort Hood Easter Services,
        the "commander-in-chief" met with two recently returned POWs from
        Iraq, and threw an arm around the shoulder of one of them, Senior
        Warrant Officer David S. Williams.

        There were not as many waiting to greet him at Easter 2003 as on his
        New Year visit: By then half the 40,000 troops normally housed at the
        base were in Iraq missing their Easter eggs. When the Washington Post
        checked into the neighborhood early in 2004, thirty-five of them were
        never coming back -- all but one of them killed after the President
        had made his "formalization that tells everybody we're not engaged in
        combat anymore," the previous May.

        Unctuously, in the face of such casualties, the first lady returned
        to Fort Hood on March 8, 2004, and told a group of military wives
        that she knows what it's like "having your life turned upside-down
        because the man you love wants to serve the country he loves." At
        least she did not wear combat fatigues for the occasion.

        Since he has persuaded the majority of Americans, if not the citizens
        of any other country in the world, that Saddam Hussein was
        responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center, perhaps we
        should not be surprised at George W. Bush's success in passing
        himself off as a veteran with so many Americans, including many who
        are actually combat-seasoned veterans themselves.

        Apart from the obvious political benefits of "passing," there are
        deeply personal reasons why George Bush has wrapped himself in quasi-
        uniform, which he wears with the same grin of a six-year-old
        presented with a cowboy suit for Christmas.

        From one way of looking at it, all over the world, men and women are
        now dying and being maimed because George W. Bush had lived
        through "the war of his generation," without hearing a shot fired in
        anger. "Little Googen," as his indulgent parents called him, has been
        trying to emulate his genuinely heroic father -- without actually
        risking his life. Bush's Freudian self-delusion is apparent in Bob
        Woodward's friendly account, "Bush at War." In the days after
        September 11, Bush tells Rove, "just like my father's generation was
        called in World War II, now our generation is being called ... I'm
        here for a reason."

        Bush the Elder, however, was a genuine war hero who left school at 18
        and used his family connections to become the youngest pilot in the
        Navy. But when the government was drafting his contemporaries and
        sending them to Vietnam, his son joined the Air National Guard in
        Texas, and ticked the box saying "no" to overseas service: a choice
        denied most of his contemporaries then, who did not have the Ivy
        League connections to enter such units. (More importantly, such
        choices are denied now to the National Guardsmen who were not only
        called up for service in Iraq, but have found their terms extended
        while they were out in the desert.)

        Bush the Younger is very much the product of his family's move from
        Yale to Texas after his WWII service. In the East, you were rich
        because of family but with a concomitant sense of noblesse oblige. In
        the South, you were rich because God loved you, personally. The
        resulting combination seems to have stripped out any of old money's
        sense of obligation in favor of a doubled meme for a sense of
        entitlement, allowing him to enjoy the benefits of playing soldier
        without taking any of the risks involved in actually being one. It
        makes for a draft-dodging president who once told Woodward, "I'm the
        commander -- see, I don't need to explain -- I do not need to explain
        why I say things."

        This breathtaking arrogance exemplifies essential qualities that
        define George W. Bush: the sense of privilege for being born rich;
        the sense of exaltation that God has chosen him to be rich; and the
        sexual thrill of being commander-in-chief. To get the same
        combination of lightweight intellect and ruthless appreciation of
        power, we have to return, as so often in this administration, to
        Lewis Carroll, who seems to have anticipated our current president'
        philosophy in Humpty Dumpty: "The question is, which is to be master -
        - that's all."
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