Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Few Good Men, But Not Two Women?

Over at the Corner, Jonah writes the following as part of a discussion on the Bush twins and military service:
...did it not dawn on him that perhaps having a couple dozen Secret Service agents swarming around these two girls might be more trouble than it's worth? I'm no expert, but I'd guess the Twins would make a great prize for the cut-off-their-heads crowd and maybe that alone is good enough reason not to have the daughters of the Commander-in-Chief in a combat zone.
Not only is this incredibly lazy thinking, it's a specious cop-out. I explain why in this post from a few months ago. Combat positions---and for that matter, overseas positions---are only part of what is a massive military machine. Our shortage of personnel extends from combat roles in Iraq all the way to the homeland. Military (and particularly reserve) positions on American soil are going unfilled because of recruiting problems---jobs in logistics, maintenance, communications, and computer technology among others. For the keyboard and microphone warriors, the military has jobs in media and public relations. Don't want to serve in a military role but still want to support the war effort and the troops? There are millions of documents and voice intercepts piling up at our intelligence agencies awaiting translation; start with this link. The VA is swamped and in desperate need of people; the link is here. And because of the way the war is going, unfortunately they could probably use some help over at Arlington. Not only is it unnecessary for someone who wishes to serve to do so in combat, he or she need not even leave the United States.

When I was growing up, I went to school with the son of a leader of a non-democratic nation. During vacations---while everyone else went home to sleep and party---he went home for military training, and after graduation he went on to spend several years in a military academy. I asked him about this once, and he explained that with privilege came the responsibility to set an example for his country.

Unlike him, we live in a democracy. Does that somehow obviate the part about responsibility? Why does "from those to whom much is given, much is required" not apply here, even during wartime?

70 Comments:

Blogger uptowngbv said...

The twinzzz, Marie and Antoinette, can't be bothered with Daddy's work. Booooring! It's important that they get on with their lives. Seriously, have you ever heard of a margarita bar over there in the.........well, you know......overseas?

Besides, military mothers are acting so tacky these days. How would it look if Laura spent even a fraction of her day worrying about, well, anything?

8/18/2005 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post by TCR. During World War II, much was required and much was given, including by the father of our current president. Interesting how times change.

8/18/2005 6:54 PM  
Anonymous ctbill said...

Times have indeed changed. At that point did that happen? Certainly Vietnam played a role in it.

8/18/2005 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dad served, why not his kids?

But seriously folks...If the twins don't want to join the military there's the Peace Corps and Americorp, as well. Any effort to serve our country is better than nothing.

8/18/2005 7:56 PM  
Anonymous PenDragon said...

Does your position also apply to the horde of Kennedy children who have avoided military sevice? How about Howard Dean who faked a back injury and then went skiing?

I didn't see Chelsea joing up after her daddy sent our troops into the Sudan. Where were the righteous voices then.

We all know very well where they were.

Personally, I agree that no one should send our troops into war without the benefit of the insight that comes from having served in the military, preferably in a combat role. And, since any President may, under dire circumstances, be forced to commit our troops to battle, it should be a Constitutional requirement to be President.

How many women would qualify to run for President then?

John McCain for President!

8/18/2005 9:54 PM  
Blogger Steve Sailer said...

Mayor Daley's son joined up after he got his MBA. I suspect the voters will look favorably on that in a couple of decades when he runs for mayor.

I haven't heard of any other politicians' kids joining up. How about Jeb's son, George P. Bush? He's ambitious (GWB calls him "44" as in "44th President"), but he hasn't joined.

Dynasticism is back, but noblesse oblige is dead.

8/18/2005 10:00 PM  
Anonymous grass root said...

Don't hold you breath waiting for a shred of decency from this family. The Bushes are all about war profiteering, just ask great grandpa Prescott! Soldiering is just a messy detail for other people. Oil, smelts - wherever the bucks are. Bush is getting so rich he can keep that smile off his face. Have you noticed?

8/18/2005 10:25 PM  
Blogger KS said...

Apparently Jenna Bush is working at a school in Washington D.C. Not-Jenna is having a hard time finding work since her father destroyed the economy.

8/18/2005 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the post. too damned true.

and just so pendragon knows, the active duty military hasn't been able to function without the females in the ranks since late 1979. as one of those who served at that time, and paved the way for all who followed, i can honestly say that i have earned the right to damned well demand reasons for war from our commander in chief.

far too many of the neo conservatives who seem to be driving our nation have been too busy dodging service. therefore i guess it's no surprise that the present regime act as the ruling class rather than the public servants they were sworn in as.

very sad.

8/19/2005 12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

American "royalty" doesn't think the way your friend does. For them, it is all about using other people to make money.

I know of a couple Democrats who's kids have gone to fight; I can't name one Republican.

In England, didn't Charles son join the navy.

But you are right, there are so many options. I think that picture of Bush's daughter sitting in the limo sticking her tongue out pretty much says it all how they feel about others and our country.

8/19/2005 1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow that was really insightful... rock on !

leadership is defined by a man/woman's ability to set the example... unfortunately the president doesnt share this view.

8/19/2005 2:05 AM  
Anonymous PenDragon said...

Dear Anonymous,

Name a leading Democrat that sets the example you want to follow.

All this profiteering off the war stuff is just crap. Show me any REAL proof that Bush got a dime! You libs are just living in a dream world. It is a world where evil forces keep the democrats down. If its not stealing elections in Florida or Ohio, it is an evil Darth Vader Genious, Karl Rove, who somehow hypnotizes the masses to pull that Republican lever.

Its never YOU. Its never the rejection of your ideas. Look at any map of the breakdown of the Presidential vote, district by district. Take away the inner city vote and the Dems got almost nothing. Let the next Democratic candidate honestly tell the public that he or she supports your agenda and see what happens.

Thats why your candidates don't, just in case you didn't notice.

PenDragon

8/19/2005 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lazy thinking at NR?
I'm shocked-just shocked!!

And PenDragon...You might want to look past your own assumptions to reality...
naw-why would you ever want to do that? When you know the rightousness of your view points facts don't mater.

So very sad.

8/19/2005 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jonah assumes that the twins must be protected from terrorists who see them as an important target. And that's different from being a soldier in Iraq . . . how? There's an assumption in this piece that presidential children are somehow not expected to be exposed to risk of death. Like they are somehow different than all the other kids that the White House would like to recruit. But they aren't. In Iraq, everyone is a target for insurgents.

8/19/2005 7:34 AM  
Anonymous houstonpete said...

Stopped reading NRO about a year ago b/c of this sort of thing. At the very least, I need a modicum of intellectual pretense in my bloggers. The line of reasoning you cited by Jonah does not cut it.

8/19/2005 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are these women even working these days, or nightclubbing?

What a good example. Then again, it's a symbol of so much that's changed over the past generation.

8/19/2005 9:02 AM  
Anonymous calispa said...

Can you imagine even having this discussion during WW 2?

8/19/2005 9:04 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

GWB is no TR.

I have this conspiracy theory that Cunning Realist is really a liberal media plant monitoring right-wing blogs and righteously rebuking them.

Plus, he's got a great vocab.

8/19/2005 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Scott_api said...

Pendragon-

Prove that bush got a dime? Three words - Texas Stadium Authority. Have your cronies evict people from their homes so the state can build you a stadium to make the baseball team you bought with Daddys name profitable after you run it into the ground.

8/19/2005 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

copy_editor... don't worry... we won't read your lousy blog anymore than we will read the one from the blogspot guy the day that said this same thing.

Is he YOUR twin?

8/19/2005 10:30 AM  
Anonymous totalmindmeld said...

found this blog via Andrew Sullivan, and for some reason it feels like home here. Rare these days!

8/19/2005 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither Jonah nor anyone at NR seems to have much use for anything beyond shallow thinking these days, unfortunately. Wasn't always the case. If a Dem is elected next president, I assume shallow thinking will go out of vogue.

8/19/2005 10:49 AM  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

I'll be the first one to say that anyone who supports the war should put their money (or their life) where their mouth is (so to speak), but on the other hand... Have the Bush girls made any substantive public statement in support of the war? Maybe they're not pro-war. I mean, I'm sure Jen and Babs disagree with DaddyG on a number of issues. Probably not drinking and driving, but they may differ on some things.

8/19/2005 10:49 AM  
Anonymous anon10 said...

Interesting issue. I come down on the side of setting an example for the rest of the country.

8/19/2005 11:01 AM  
Blogger David Studhalter said...

The fact that it apparently doesn't even occur to Bush's daughters, or to their parents, that in asking for sacrifice from the nation's ordinary citizens, it would be only right to see some sacrifice at the helm, is all of a piece with their overall philosophy. Favors and privilege for the wealthy and powerful, and to hell with everyone else.

8/19/2005 12:00 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

anonymouse, the one that referenced me, huh?

i know my blog is lousy, you don't have to be so cruel as to say it in some other blogger's comments field.

further, did you realize i was joking?

further, what is "the blogspot guy the day that said this same thing" supposed to mean? there are a lot of demonstrative adjectives and definite articles in that remark, but not much clarity.

lastly, if bloggers could not be repetitive, the blogosphere would shrink to about .000034% of what it is now.

oh, one more thing, post insulting comments as "anonymous" on some site on the web... that's pretty cool.

8/19/2005 12:12 PM  
Anonymous susiecal said...

At the Corner they are probably too busy talking about Star Trek or the movies. Not a lot of time for intelligent discussion like this. Like garlic and a vampire.

8/19/2005 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't one of those Bush girls a model also? Nice contribution to the war effort, huh?

8/19/2005 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how some people become paranoid and hostile when the truth is starring them in the face and they can't accept it that they have been a fool and been had by the GOP.
Let's face it the rich and powerful are only interested in lining their pocket and getting the stupid gullable once to fall for the "patriotic mush" while they take it EASY and laugh their heads off at how DUMM some americans are for falling for that crap.
Sad, truly sad, and they seem to think they can take their money with them and worst off all are also illusional that this country can survive for any length of time under these conditions.
WAKE UP!!! We will have NO chance.
China is just waiting for a chance to bounce and they will sooner rather than later.

8/19/2005 12:47 PM  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

Speaking of China, did you see this?

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/43E1FC17-6934-4A0D-9C72-C67A41756123.htm

8/19/2005 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember what Barbara Bush, President Bush's mom, said on Good Morning America in March 2003:

'Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it’s gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?'

These people are monsters.

8/19/2005 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the previous poster: did she really say that? Are you positive? link?

8/19/2005 1:55 PM  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

Dude. Google for: "Barbara Bush" "body bags" "Good Morning America". You'll come up with a ton of links.

8/19/2005 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Ms. Ery said...

Babs said it on 3/19/2003.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0429-11.htm

Guess when the "war" started?

copy editor -- do your moniker's and you can see what anon meant.

8/19/2005 2:07 PM  
Blogger owenz said...

Here's a link to Barbara's quote from a "mainstream media" outlet:

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/198719p-171525c.html

8/19/2005 2:16 PM  
Blogger Miss Bliss said...

It certainly seems that our entire country has lost the concept of privelege bringing responsibility. It seems to me that if we are at war then the entire country should be operating under war conditions. Why haven't our various factories been requested to make all this needed body armor? Why hasn't the corporation that makes Hummers for the military been asked to step up production so that our men and women in combat will have EVERYTHING they need ASAP? Why aren't we all riding buses and trains and lowering our fuel consumption so that we aren't lining the pockets of our enemies? We hasn't the country/civilians been asked to sacrifice anything? If it's not necessary then why do we keep hearing that our combat personnel do not have what they need to survive?

8/19/2005 3:41 PM  
Anonymous howard said...

well, of course, jonah can't serve himself: he's got a family to support, unlike all those serving in iraq....

and pendragon, don't be a buffoon: the issue at hand is that the military is suffering a major crisis of recruitment. People like George Bush insist that this is the central front in the war on terrorism. Why shouldn't we expect his children to play a role? If there was a draft today, the twins wouldn't get an exemption because they are bush's children. Idiot references to Sudan do nothing but prove what a small-minded little being you are.

BTW, George Bush won the states of the confederacy, all 13 of them, by 5.5M votes; he lost the other 37 states by 2.5M votes. Remember that the next time you make a moronic comment about voting patterns....

8/19/2005 4:06 PM  
Anonymous joe said...

Ah was it Teddy Rosevelts son or grandson that helped direct the Normandy invison on the beach.

8/19/2005 4:28 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Joe, I believe it was son. Google "Roosevelt family tree". TR Jr, who was really TR 3, was on Normandy. Quentin Roosevelt died in WW1

8/19/2005 4:55 PM  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. played by Henry Fonda in The Longest Day.

8/19/2005 5:53 PM  
Blogger Edge said...

It is still astonishing that a decorated war veteran lost the last election.

To PenDragon, while many leading politicians of BOTH parties never served in the military, you will at a minimum admit that John Kerry actually wore a uniform, carried a gun, and was present in Vietnam during a war. Al Gore did the same, though in a non-combat role. Jimmy Carter graduated from Annapolis and served SEVEN years on submarines. Wes Clark was first in his class at West Point and rose to four-star general.

Bush, Cheney, Tom Delay. Nothing.

8/19/2005 5:56 PM  
Blogger Antonie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/19/2005 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Antonie said...

As long as we have a voluntary army, the Bush twins should be able to make their own decisions. They are no better or worse than anyone else's kids who also decide not to join. Of course, it would be a great example if they would sign up. Of all the posts above, I agree most with Miss Bliss. Other than the soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and the 9/11 victims, who is really making a sacrifice here?

8/19/2005 9:00 PM  
Anonymous PenDragon said...

Where to begin. Lets start with the dumbest comment first:

Howard, even with your math, I still have Bush ahead by 3,000,000 votes. Did I miss something?

I guess we just shouldn't count any votes from states of the former confederacy, especially not Texas and Florida and...errr Ohio. If you take out all of the states between the Appalacians and the Rockies along with the Confereracy, Kerry won in a landslide. If you eliminate every state not called Massassachusetts, the margin goes right through the roof!

You might also say that American soldiers out there, putting their lives on the line in this war on Islamo-Fascists, shouldn't be counted either because they overwhelmingly voted for Bush also.

Scott, somehow, I just don't see the connection between financing the Texas Stadium 20 years ago and proving that Bush profited from the Iraq war. Silly me.

As for the "Chicken Hawk" crowd, daddy Bush fought in WWII. He enlisted and was the youngest Navy pilot. He even got shot down. As for Clinton's military record .... Oh well, somehow that didn't stop you from supporting him did it? Did someone say "Hypocrits." If Cheny and others are "Chicken Hawks" does that make Kennedy and Dean just plain "Chickens?"

Lastly, to those who choose believe that John Kerry was a war hero, there is nothing I can say to dispel that fantasy. Just remember the inflated body counts of enemy fighters in Vietnam and think about inflated medal counts on John Kerry's chest. If he had really earned those medals and not just showed a few scratches, he would never have thrown them away...wait, I think he sait that he did throw them away, or threw someone elses's medals away, before he actually did't throw them away.

I guess, to a Democrat, Kerry was as close as you get to a war hero.

I knew they had lost the election when they made that dubius proposition the focus of their convention.

I can't wait to see you all really get behind a real war hero, John McCain in 2008.

PenDragon

8/20/2005 7:40 AM  
Anonymous FFE_Bob said...

During WW II both of President Roosevelt's sons served on combat ships in the navy; Stalin's son served in a light artilery regiment in the Soviet Army and was captured and killed by the Germans; Hitler's nephew served the the Wehrmacht and was klled by the Russians. Quite a contrast, would you say?

8/20/2005 11:47 PM  
Blogger TheAlGuy said...

PenDragon .. have you ever been in uniform? Have you ever been shot at? I spent some time on the boats Kerry was on ... no coward made more than one trip on those boats ... how dare you bad mouth the service of any man that served and earned a Purple Heart ... you do not get to give those to yourself ... I do not give a shit which side of politics you are on ... bad mouthing a vet that was under fire is bullshit ...

8/21/2005 3:13 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

So, John Kerry wasn't a war hero, owing to the "inflated body counts of enemy fighters in Vietnam" and so on.

But John McCain, who served in the same war, is.

Now that's what I call logic.

8/21/2005 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Pendragon said...

Under the liberal view of the world, if you loose a child in Iraq, you make any number of crazy off the wall left-wing propagagada statements, without fear of criticism. If you claim to be a war hero, justified or otherwise, you are also above reproach, even if, after about 2 months of active service, you spent the next 30 years of your life undercutting the military and our men and women in uniform.

Then someone like Jake thinks that if Kerry with a couple of scratches is not a hero, McCain, who was shot down and became a POW can't be a hero either because they served in the same war! And he questions issues of logic!!!

Keep it up. 2008 may be the end of the Democratic Party as we know it.

8/22/2005 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess, to a Democrat, Kerry was as close as you get to a war hero."

Honestly, do you have any idea how dumb a remark like that makes you sound? War heroes don't come much bigger than Dan Inouye or Bob Kerrey, both of whom won the Medal of Honor, and both of whom lost parts of limbs serving their nation.

You have a problem with Kerry, OK. That's dumb, but it's a whole different league of dumb than what you just did. It'd be like slagging McCain or Hagel or Tom Ridge because GWB and Cheney were cheap little cowards.

8/23/2005 3:31 PM  
Anonymous mighty iguana said...

The bush twins have as much right not to enlist as I do. They should not be condemned to enlisting just because their daddy sent soldiers to war or because it would be good PR for the president. They are adults after all. This kind of argument reminds me of the way aristocrats would force their daughters to marry suitors for economic and political alliances.

8/23/2005 9:19 PM  
Anonymous PenDragon said...

Anonymous,

Inouye and Bob Kerry have about as much chance of getting the Democrat nominationan as I do. That's because they were real heros. Not one that got three scratches and bailed on his men like Kerry.

I know you say Bush is a coward because it fits your little (very little) agenda to do so. Bush has the guts to stand up for what he beieves is right, and run on his record despite the day in and day out drumbeat of the MSM against him.

Your kind hates him for that, because he and the American voters rubbed your noses in it.

Tell the truth, you wish he didn't have the guts to run...and win on his tough record against terrorists with no apologies.

The truth is that you libs along with Islamo-fascist terrorists all greatly underestimated this man, George Bush.

He's not done yet.

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