Bush insults vets on Veterans Day

President George W. Bush snubbed America’s 20 million veterans Sunday, hiding out at his Texas ranch on yet another vacation while sending Vice President Dick Cheney, a draft-dodger during the Vietnam War, to Arlington National Cometary for Veterans Day ceremonies.

Bush, who has spent more time on “vacation” than any President in history, made a brief trip to a local American Legion Hall near his Crawford, Texas, ranch for a ceremony honoring four Lone Star vets who have died in Iraq but skipped the traditional Presidential appearance at Arlington.

The snub was just the latest insult from a President who evaded wartime service in Vietnam by using family connection to enter the Texas Air National Guard and then failed to complete even that rudimentary service.

Bush dispatched Cheney, who used multiple determents to avoid service during the Vietnam ear, to Arlington — a move that also angers veterans who served their country in war.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Bush used his vacation and Veterans Day for political purposes.

Reports The Associated Press:

The White House had said Bush was going to also use his Veterans Day speech to scold Congress for not sending him a veterans spending bill. But the president finished without any reference to the bill or Congress.

“In their sorrow, these families need to know — and families all across our nation of the fallen — need to know that your loved ones served a cause that is good and just and noble,” Bush said. “And as their commander in chief, I make you this promise: Their sacrifice will not be in vain.”

He went to American Legion Post 121, which was honoring four Texas men who were among the more than 3,860 members of the U.S. military who have died in Iraq since 2003

Reports AFP on Cheney’s appearance at Arlington:

“America may be a country founded in revolution, but we’ve never been a warrior culture. We are a democracy, defended by volunteers,” Cheney said in a speech at Virginia’s Arlington Cemetery, hailing the armed forces as “truly extraordinary.”

“They’ve thrown back tyrants, liberated death camps, carried out heroic rescues, and kept the peace in volatile regions. Above all, they have kept us free in the land we call home,” he said.

While honoring veterans from World War I to the present conflict in Iraq, Cheney expressed hope that the US military would achieve victory from its engagement in Iraq and quoted top commander General David Petraeus as saying the troops were doing a “magnificent job.”

“The conduct of our military today, as throughout our nation’s history, makes this country very proud,” Cheney said.

“And it’s our prayer that they’ll return in victory, safely home, to live out their lives and to be here to observe many Veterans Days to come.”


  1. Victory Gin

    Thanks, Steve Horn, for the Phil Ochs reference.
    After reading it, last night I listened to my double LP of ‘Chords of Fame’ and was re-invigorated by one of America’s true patriots.
    I’ve recently lost the desire to participate in even simple discussions concerning this and damn-near any other political topic. The quiet 3 hours or so I spent with Mr. Ochs last night may pry me out of the dry mood of late.
    Thanks again.

  2. Janet

    And we’re all surprised at this WHY?

    The country is suffering from, as Bill Maher, put it F**K-Up Fatigue. It’s to the point that we don’t expect anything from this administration beyond F**k Ups.

    Just hold your breath, keep you eye on 2008 and pray that these idiots don’t start WWIII.

  3. acf

    Bush only seems to want to appear before captive audiences, guaranteed not to oppose him. In the case of the Vets, they don’t qualify, only active duty military required to be solicitous of the commander in chief by the code of military justice, need apply.

    As for Dick Cheney speaking at Arlington, he should be ashamed, what nerve.

  4. gene

    Just another sick day in the good old US of A.

    Thank God I am no longer on active duty. Serving this country (NOW!!) would be impossible for me to accept…unless of course I was a lier and a murderer, then I would fit right in with this current white house crowd.

  5. dbumRob

    I find it ironic that I tried to volunteer, with all the branches and my state National Guard Unit, and I was told no. Yet a guy returning from basic lately was arrested to serve prison time for a murder he committed before he went in.

    The army took him, but rejected me, a volunteer firefighter/EMT who is in relatively decent shape.

    Not that I expected them to. I am just outside their age limit. And it’s not that I wanted to serve in a military that is far less honorable as an institution than it once was.

    Nor do I believe in it’s current “mission”, the idiocy that thinks it’s a functional strategy, or it’s commander-in-chief. (It’s actually difficult to call him that….)

    I don’t.

    But I have the paperwork to prove that I tried, and to show that the military would rather have those with lesser mental capacities and criminal records, befitting the ones in command.

  6. Steve Horn

    Ahh .. yet another vacation. Considering the damage he does when he’s IN DC perhaps we should grant him a vacation for the duration of his term in office.

    As for Cheney – naw – mom told me that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, so I won’t comment on that fat ass. I do wonder, though, if he was singing the following to himself ….

    “Well I’m just a regular American boy
    from a regular American town
    I believe in God and senator Dodd
    and keepin’ old Castro down
    and when it came my time to serve
    I knew better dead than red
    but when I got to the draftboard buddy
    this is what I said

    Sarge I’m only eighteen
    I got a ruptured spleen
    and I always carry a purse
    I got eyes like a bat
    my feet are flat
    my asthma’s getttin’ worse
    think of my career
    my sweetheart dear
    my poor old invalid aunt
    plus I ain’t no fool
    I’m stayin’ in school
    and workin’ at a defense plant”

    Draft dodger rag – Phil Ochs



  7. Elmo

    During the last election, I had a vision of Cheney singing and dancing to a version of Phil singing this song. A friend who is pretty adept at animation/Flash was going to try to implement the idea but couldn’t find anyone who could grant permission to use the copyrighted performance.

    I got a dislocated disc and a racked-up back
    I’m allergic to flowers an bugs
    And when the bombshell hits
    I get epileptic fits
    And I’m addicted to a thousand drugs.
    I got the weakness woes
    I can’t touch my toes
    I can hardly reach my knees
    If the enemy
    Came close to me
    I’d probably start to sneeze.

    So I wish you well
    Sarge give ’em hell
    Kill me a thousand or so
    And if you ever get a war
    Without blood and gore
    I’ll be the first to go.

  8. Stratocaster

    With all of the attacks on the Constitution, I am wondering if members of the military still take the pledge to defend to their death, the Constitution of the United States of America. If they are not defending the Constitution, what are they defending?

  9. Steve Horn

    Stratocaster – as Bush is the commander in chief of the military and, apparently, is able to twist the constitution to serve his own ends, it (the constitution) doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.
    Plus, for the really unconstitutional stuff we just side step the oath by hiring private contractors (mercenaries) to do our dirty work for us and provide some level of plausable deniability …
    I took that oath once, and held it (and continue to hold it) quite dear. I take great objection to those who would ignore or trample the very foundation of the United States of America – to that end I see Bush not as a leader, but as a criminal. He should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but mamby-pamby do nothings like PeLousy won’t even consider doing the right thing and ridding this nation of Bush.
    That said, it’s up to us, the citizens of this great nation, to exercise our vote in 2008, sweep those who won’t do our bidding out of the halls of congress and out of the whitehouse and take this nation back. After all, we are a nation of laws, not personalities, not family heritage and history, not of treachery.



  10. old_curmudgeon

    That would be the “Corporation” they are defending. I separated in 1981 and even at that time the notion that we were defending the Constitution was a laugh. Will admit that upon separation I went to work for said Corporation – partly the reason I was able to retire at 55…

    I am of the mind that the “experiment” of the United States of America is over and we’re just waiting for someone to turn off the lights.

    We’re in the think of a political meltdown, an economic meltdown, a societal meltdown, a geopolitical meltdown and we have a government that has decided it doesn’t want to do anything to reverse the direction we’re heading.

    If economic disaster comes – no, when it comes you will hear the death knell of what is left of America. And then the true evil ones will come. The Postman comes. But, that’s just this old curmudgeon’s opinion…

  11. Steve Horn

    I disagree. Oh – if we throw up our hands and admit defeat then yes, it’s done, but why should we?
    Ok – so America 2.0 – the one that Bush brought about by trampling on the constitution and the one that we helped to create through apathy isn’t all it could be, but does that mean we should just resign ourselves to a slow, lingering death as a nation?

    I think not. Quite to the contrary, I believe that the developments of the past seven years should be a call to action by the citizens of this nation, to change the course.

    The “easy” thing might be to quit, but that’s also the chicken shit thing to do. America has been, for well over 200 years, a nation of people who, when they weren’t happy with the condition of the nation, did something about it. We elected true leaders.

    The time has not come to declare the patient dead, rather the time has come to improve the patients health by putting responsible, thinking people into power, true leaders, who will be willing to take the hard actions, make the hard and often unpopular choices needed to bring this nation back around. We can emerge, with the right leadership and sense of responsibility in the citizens a stronger, more powerful, more able nation.

    What we are facing now is unique in our history, as the threat is not from an outside force, it’s not an attack from a foreign power, it’s not an ecomonic collapse, but an internal threat – it comes from those whom we entrusted our nation, who have betrayed that trust and sought to define America in their own, perverse terms and have been abetted by a congress elected to bring about change who opted, for whatever reason, to not do what they were charged to do by the people. Fine – take those who would threaten our nation out of office, and replace them with people who love the concept of America, who will respect and defend the constitution, and do it soon.

    Yes, as a nation we have a cancer – it’s apathy – but that’s not a reason to bury the patient and call him dead, that’s a call to remove the cancerous tissues and bring the patient back to health. After all, there is no clear, better alternative, is there?



  12. JudyB

    In my opinion,the Bush/Cheney duo is an insult to Veterans EVERYDAY! Sending Cheney to Arlington, while he stays on his ranch is truly compounding the insult.

    My friend suggested that the right thing to do would have been to have both Bush/Cheney attending the Arlington services with the twentyone saluting guns aimed directly at them. (My friends mother never taught him to say only nice things about others)

  13. Steve Horn

    JudyB – you could have left it at “In my opinion,the Bush/Cheney duo is an insult” and been quite accurate – they’re not just an insult on Veterans day – they’re an insult to America and the world at large 24/7/365.

  14. barak

    I have been travelling abroad since 1961. I’ve been in most of the countries of Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and China, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Japan. Never have I seen an American President so despised, disliked, and thought to be totally irrational as Bush. Even Nixon was liked abroad, and Watergate thought of as something of a mistake in getting caught. Lying to the people is pretty acceptable in Asia, and even in many countries in Europe. Bush has gone way beyond that in the minds of Chinese and Thais that I have met and discussed these issues with.
    People ask me where I am from, and when I say America I get the question: “Why is Bush making war everywhere?”
    The average polite American tourist is still liked and respected by most Asians, but our country is not. The United States is seen as the warmonger and the bully slinging his weight around without regard for the lives and lands of those people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other countries around the world. This is a direct result of the Bush/Cheney foreign policy.
    A new President won’t change this poor image unless he or she brings a swift end to the Iraqi debacle. If we continue that occupation beyond elections in 2008, we will lose more face and what is left of our credibility in the world, and the dollar will continue its slide.
    Never mind saying that a lower dollar will make American products cheaper abroad. That was true when we manufactured something, anything; but we don’t manufacture much in American anymore. No textiles, not many cars, no high-tech items–we make nothing here. We shipped all that business offshore, and now are dependent on the rest of the world for most of what we consume other than food.
    To complain that Cheney was a draft dodger isn’t worthwhile. Any guy that shoots his hunting partner in the face with a shotgun and fails to kill the poor slob is not someone I would want in MY army. Hell, if Cheney had served on the side of Vietnam we might have won that war. If we are lucky he will have a massive coronary soon and be out of reach of our courts and anyone in the heavens.
    He can then claim: “The devil made me do it” and join his cohorts in Hell. He deserves that for what he and Bush did to Iraq.

  15. SEAL

    We are in a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. The planet is in peril. The dream that so many generations fought for feels as if it’s slowly slipping away. We are working harder for less. We’ve never paid more for health care or for college. It’s harder to save, and it’s harder to retire. And most of all, we’ve lost faith that our leaders can or will do anything about it.

    We were promised compassionate conservatism, and all we got was Katrina and wiretaps. We were promised a uniter, and we got a President who could not even lead the half of the country that voted for him. We were promised a more ethical and more efficient government, and instead we have a town called Washington that is more corrupt and more wasteful than it was before – the era of Scooter Libby justice, and Brownie incompetence, and Karl Rove politics. And the only mission that was ever accomplished is to use fear and falsehood to take this country to a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged.
    I am running for the Presidency of the United States of America — to offer change that we can believe in.

    I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign; they will not get a job in my White House; and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am President.

    I’m in this race to take those tax breaks away from companies that are moving jobs overseas and put them in the pockets of hard working Americans who deserve it. And I won’t raise the minimum wage every ten years — I will raise it to keep pace so that workers don’t fall behind.
    That is why I am in it. To protect the American worker. To fight for the American worker.

    I’m in this race because I want to stop talking about the outrage of 47 million Americans without health care and start actually doing something about it. I expanded health care in Illinois by bringing Democrats and Republicans together. By taking on the insurance industry. And that is how I will make certain that every single American in this country has health care they can count on. And I won’t do it twenty years from now. I won’t do it ten years from now. I will do it by the end of my first term as President of the United States of America.

    I run for President to make sure that every American child has the best education that we have to offer — from the day they are born to the day they graduate from college. And I won’t just talk about how great teachers are — as President, I will reward them for their greatness — by raising salaries and giving them more support. That’s why I’m in this race.

    I am running for President because I am sick and tired of Democrats thinking that the only way to look tough on national security is by talking, and acting, and voting like George Bush Republicans.

    When I am this party’s nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don’t like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is OK for America to torture — because it is never ok. That’s why I am in it.

    As President, I will end the war in Iraq. We will have our troops home in sixteen months.

    I will close Guantanamo.

    I will restore habeas corpus.

    I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century — nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, “You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.”

    I don’t want to pit Red America against Blue America; I want to be the President of the United States of America.

    And if those Republicans come at me with the same fear-mongering and swift-boating that they usually do, then I will take them head on. Because I believe the American people are tired of fear and tired of distractions and tired of diversions. We can make this election not about fear, but about the future. And that won’t just be a Democratic victory; that will be an American victory.

    I am not in this race to fulfill some long-held ambitions or because I believe it’s somehow owed to me. I never expected to be here. I always knew this journey was improbable. I’ve never been on a journey that wasn’t.
    I am running in this race because of what Dr. King called “the fierce urgency of now.” Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.

    I don’t want to wake up four years from now and find out that millions of Americans still lack health care because we couldn’t take on the insurance industry.

    I don’t want to see that the oceans have risen a few more inches. The planet has reached a point of no return because we couldn’t find a way to stop buying oil from dictators.

    I don’t want to see homeless veterans on the streets. I don’t want to send another generation of American children to failing schools. I don’t want that future for my daughters. I don’t want that future for your sons. I do not want that future for America.

    I’m in this race for the same reason that I fought for jobs for the jobless and hope for the hopeless on the streets of Chicago; for the same reason I fought for justice and equality as a civil rights lawyer; for the same reason that I fought for Illinois families for over a decade.

    I don’t want to see more American lives put at risk because no one had the judgment or the courage to stand up against a misguided war before we sent our troops into fight.

    The foregoing is excerpts from Barack Obama’s Address to the 9000 people who came to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, November 10, 2007 to hear him. He seems to understand what our issues are more than anyone else who wants to be president. The more I see of this guy the better I like him. He certainly beats the hell out of Clinton and Ron Paul.