A BuzzFlash Editorial
September 10, 2002
BuzzFlash Message to Veterans: Part V
"I am angry that so many sons of the powerful and well placed...managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units."
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
A question to our Veterans: Who said the following statements about Chickenhawks?
"I particularly condemn the way our political leaders supplied the manpower for that (the Vietnam) war. The policies -- determining who would be drafted and who would be deferred, who would serve and who would escape, who would die and who would live -- were an antidemocratic disgrace. I can never forgive a leadership that said, in effect: These young men -- poorer, less educated, less privileged -- are expendable (someone described them as "economic cannon fodder"), but the rest are too good to risk. I am angry that so many sons of the powerful and well placed and many professional athletes (who were probably healthier than any of us) managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units [e.g., George W. Bush (BuzzFlash's insertion)]. Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to our country."
-- and --
"Better-off kids beat the draft with college deferments [e.g., Dick Cheney (BuzzFlash's insertion)]."
-- and --
"Many of my generation, the career captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels seasoned in that (Vietnam) war, vowed that when our turn came to call the shots, we would not quietly acquiesce in halfhearted warfare for half-baked reasons that the American people could not understand or support. If we could make good on that promise to ourselves, to the civilian leadership, and to the country, then the sacrifices of Vietnam would not have been in vain."
Who said these words?
Colin Powell, in his autobiography, "My American Journey."
As veterans, you need to decide whether you are going to listen to the military leaders who say that a war in Iraq is ill-advised at this time, including the U.S. General who heads NATO? Are you going to listen to Colin Powell, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam (beginning in 1962)? Are you going to listen to the senior military leaders who oversaw Operation Desert Storm?
Or are you going to listen to two cowards, Bush and Cheney, the likes of whom Powell condemns in his acclaimed 1995 book?
It's easy to send men and women into battle when you've never risked your own life, when you ran away from serving your country, when you let others die in your place, but still supported the war effort.
Meanwhile, the Bush propaganda machine is now trying to make a virtue of cowardice, unleashing its think tank court academics to argue that generals are too timid to make decisions about our military capabilities, that Bush and Cheney, who ran like a yellow streak from serving in Vietnam, are better equipped to decide whether we are ready to wage war than our military leaders.
In a BuzzFlash editorial from August, we challenged the White House to notify us of any Bush or Cheney relatives who might fight in Iraq. We never heard back from the White House.
Just as in the Vietnam War, don't expect any Bushes or Cheneys to do any dying for America in Iraq. It's not their style. War is for the servants to fight.
As Colin Powell said, "It's an anti-democratic disgrace."
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the Washington Post a Lesson About Chickenhawks at
Quotations used in this editorial from "My American Journey," by Colin Powell (with Joseph E. Persico), can be found on pages 128, 144 and 145 of the Ballantine Book paperback edition.
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otherwise noted, all original