Generalissimo Bush

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Never has a US President painted himself so completely as a military leader, and never has one been less qualified to do so. From day one I have found it sickening the way this Vietnam-avoiding, AWOL-from-the-National-Guard President uses the men and women of our armed services military as set dressing. He's given speech after speech in front of captive audiences at military academies and installations. Captive because no one in uniform can boo the Commander in Chief. It's prohibited. But as John Aravosis at AmericaBlog points out, it's also prohibited for any active duty or retired military member to appear in uniform at a blatantly political event -- such as a press conference denouncing a bill coming out of the Democratically led Congress.

Regarding active duty troops
It is DoD policy that:

3.1. The wearing of the uniform by members of the Armed Forces (including retired members and members of Reserve components) is prohibited under any of the following circumstances:

3.1.1. At any meeting or demonstration that is a function of, or sponsored by an organization, association, movement, group, or combination of persons that the Attorney General of the United States has designated, under Executive Order 10450 as amended (reference (c)), as totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive, or as having adopted a policy of advocating or approving the commission of acts of force or violence to deny others their rights under the Constitution of the United States, or as seeking to alter the form of Government of the United States by unconstitutional means.

3.1.2. During or in connection with furthering political activities, private employment or commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity or interest may be drawn.

3.1.3. Except when authorized by the approval authorities in subparagraph 4.1.1., when participating in activities such as unofficial public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration, which may imply Service sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or activity is conducted.
And regarding retired vets:
3.2. Former members of the Armed Forces, unless under another provision of this Instruction or
under the terms of Section 772 of title 10, United States Code (reference (d)), who served honorably during a declared or undeclared war and whose most recent service was terminated under honorable conditions may wear the uniform in the highest grade held during such war service only on the following occasions and in the course of travel incident thereto:

3.2.1. Military funerals, memorial services, weddings, and inaugurals.

3.2.2. Parades on National or State holidays; or other parades or ceremonies of a patriotic character in which any Active or Reserve United States military unit is taking part.

3.2.3. Wearing of the uniform or any part thereof at any other time or for any other purposes is prohibited.

3.3. Medal of Honor holders may wear the uniform at their pleasure except under the circumstances set forth in paragraph 3.1., above.

There's a reason for these regulations. It's to prevent exactly what is occurring under Bush; the brown-shirting of the US Military. The troops represent all of us, regardless of party affiliation or political viewpoint. They have no business being associated with Republicans, Democrats or any other party. Bush and his stage manager Rove have done everything in their power to cement the image of Bush Republicans as the embodiment of military authority. Bush has become nothing but a tin-horn dictator. You'd think they'd instigated a military coup, instead of an electoral one. Think of it. An administration of chicken-hawks with the audacity to do what Eisenhower, a former 5 star general, never did.

If he wanted to wear a uniform and hang out with the troops so damn much, why the hell didn't he do it in Vietnam when it mattered?


Librocrat said...

Seriously - "Commander in Chief?" Terrible. How about "Commander in title" or "Resident moron in power"? I think I'm most sickened that he gets that kind of credit - kind of like when you're in college and you're in charge of an honor's society, and the "Vice President" is always some idiot with a lot of friends, and you're stuck as the "treasurer" even though you do all of the work... Sigh...

Curmudgette said...

Well I like to call him Chicken-Hawk-In-Chief. It's accurate. You know there is actually some wisdom in putting the military under civilian command, even in the hands of President with no military background. In theory it should prevent exactly the type of hawkish policy that is emanating from this White House. Because the sad fact is that warriors -- like Ike, for instance -- understand far better that war should be a last resort, not a default solution to every problem.

"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." -- Douglas MacArthur