Fri Sep 7, 2012, 06:28 PM
Octafish (49,936 posts)
Mitt Romney: Draft Dodger, Chicken Hawk and Warmonger [View all]
Something's rotten at the top of the GOP mindset.
Willard Mitt Romney, far right, holding sign reading: "SPEAK OUT DON'T SIT IN"
in a protest supporting the war in Vietnam at Stanford University.
That's a rather hypocritical position to take, considering what he would go on to do...
The Flight of the Young Chicken Hawk
How Mitt Dodged the Draft
by H. BRUCE FRANKLIN
CounterPunch Sept. 7-9, 2012
May 1966. Mitt Romney is just finishing his first—and only—year at Stanford. I’m a 32-year-old ex-Strategic Air Command navigator and intelligence officer, now an associate professor in Stanford’s English Department and something of an anti-Vietnam War activist.
About a quarter of a million young American men are already being abducted each year to fight the rapidly-escalating Vietnam War. Many college students, however, are protected by their 2S student deferments, which blatantly discriminate against all those millions of other young men unable to afford college. As if this privileging of the relatively privileged were not sufficient, an outcry about “inequity” arises from administrations of some elite universities. Since the 2S deferment is contingent on relatively high class rank (meaning, of course, academic class rank), they argue that this unfairly discriminates against some of the “best” students, i. e., all those attending schools like Stanford. A man in the bottom quarter at an elite university might end up being drafted, even though he might be more “intelligent” than a man in the top quarter of some state college.
To address such claims of injustice, the Selective Service was rolling out that month the College Qualification Test, a.k.a. the Selective Service Examination, an “objective” assessment of each test taker’s verbal and mathematical skills, to be used by local draft boards, together with college grades and class rank, to determine who was entitled to that precious 2S deferment and who should be shipped off to Vietnam. But this deferment test actually spotlighted the true inequities of the draft. It also offered an opportunity for direct action against the war itself, right on the college campus.
One of the many myths that have buried the true history of the Vietnam War is that the anti-war movement was motivated by selfish desire, especially among college students, to avoid the draft (a view that conveniently ignores the movement’s throngs of female participants, whose gender automatically exempted them from the draft). Quite to the contrary, students demonstrating against the draft deferment tests were specifically undermining and targeting their own privileges and exemptions, which, as they passionately argued, came at the expense of poor and working class people. At Stanford, a number of people actually disrupted the test. The young men involved thus proved that their goal was not to avoid the draft but to end it, since they had been explicitly warned that their actions would jeopardize their own deferments. When students filed in to take the Selective Service test, other demonstrators handed them the SDS “alternative test” on the history of U.S.-Vietnam relations. About ninety students organized a sit-in in the President’s office. In a manifesto issued from the sit-in they denounced their own privileged status: “We oppose the administration of the Selective Service Examination . . . because it discriminates against those who by virtue of economic deprivation are at a severe disadvantage in taking such a test. . . . (The) less privileged, Negroes, Spanish-Americans, and poor whites, must fight a war in the name of principles such as freedom and equality of opportunity which their own nation has denied them.” “Conscription,” they declared, has throughout American history “invariably been biased in favor of the wealthy and privileged.”
Enter young Mitt Romney, right on cue, waving a sign denouncing the anti-war students. He, like his fellow almost all-male participants in this pro-war demonstration, fervently argued in support of the war and the draft. But not, of course, for himself.
Mitt Romney was OK with others going in his place to kill and die.
If it weren't for Corporate McPravda, I'd find it odd that so few veterans seem to know that.
Mitt Romney, draft dodger, has wide support of military veterans
By DJ Pangburn 102 days ago
It’s rather well-known by now amongst those who care for matters political that Mitt Romney conveniently received a Vietnam War deferment for Mormon missionary work in Paris, France. This detail wouldn’t be so interesting if it were not for Romney’s pro-Vietnam war position activities in 1968, in which he staged a counter-protest to demonstrations against Stanford University’s draft-status tests.
Indeed, if he was so gung-ho about the anti-communist effort in Vietnam, why didn’t he simply bypass the draft and enlist? For Romney, religion was a convenient shelter. He was not ultimately interested in the blood and gore of battle but in the wars launched by men in boardrooms against other companies and, indeed, common people.
So it is with some wonder that a recent poll indicates Romney enjoys wide support from military veterans.
According to a Gallup poll, veterans account for 13% of the U.S. population, though it is mostly comprised of older men. “U.S. veterans… support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama for president by 58% to 34%, while nonveterans give Obama a four-percentage-point edge,” reports Gallup, which added, “Those younger than 50 are roughly as likely to support Romney as are those 60 and older.”
Perhaps the current veteran support for Romney is simply a function of many military folk traditionally voting Republican. The GOP is quite open about a robust defense budget, which signals (at least symbolically) no shortage of work for warriors. However, one is left wondering if the GOP’s penchant for war-making ever enters the veteran thought process. And when one considers the fact that President Obama has hardly cut the defense budget — indeed, he has maintained it — the bafflement only grows.
Hypocrisy is a very solidly conservative value. So's greed. Odd how quick such are to call another person "queer."
Romney’s Defense-Budget Growth Tops Cold War Pace: BGOV Insight
By Rob Levinson and Cameron Leuthy - Aug 29, 2012 4:12 AM ET
Governor Mitt Romney’s national security policies reflect the Oliver-Twistian mindset of the Republican establishment on defense issues. They want some more. How Romney obliges that impulse illustrates the dilemma of trying to satisfy a military-industrial complex whose business models and profit margins are based on fixed diets.
Candidate Romney has set a goal of a base Pentagon budget that’s equal to 4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. That’s about where defense spending will be in the coming year, assuming a decline in spending for the war in Afghanistan. Depending on how the economy behaves during the next four to eight years, a President Romney’s 4 percent solution may prove welcome to the party’s traditional defense hawks yet face real pushback from deficit hawks.
The problem with tying defense spending to economic performance is that GDP fluctuations don’t always line up with changes in threats or military requirements. If the economy is weak and threats are high, more spending might be justified. The opposite -- a strong economy in relative peacetime -- could also be true.
Romney estimates that under his policies GDP will grow by about 4 percent a year, a rate somewhat lower than many forecasts. Still, if the economy grows as he predicts and he gradually ramps up defense spending to his goal of 4 percent of GDP by the end of his first term, the nation would spend about $400 billion more on defense in Romney’s first term than Obama currently plans in his second.
"We will strengthen our security by building missile defense, restoring our military might, and standing by and strengthening our intelligence officers." -- Willard Mitt Romney
The size of his 401(k) and his various Swiss bank accounts tell me it's not worth asking if Mitt's been brought into the fold.
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Mitt Romney: Draft Dodger, Chicken Hawk and Warmonger [View all]
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