29 May 2008

Not My President

President Bush and U.S. Air Force Academy graduate Theodore
Shiveley
of Plano, Texas, bump chests after Shiveley received
his diploma at the
AFA graduation ceremony on May 28,
2008. (AP | Charles Dharapak)


President Bush and United States Air Force Academy graduate
Michael Riddick, from Aiken, S.C., flex their biceps during a
graduation ceremony, Wednesday, May 28, 2008.
(AP | Charles Dharapak)


These pictures are from a story in The Denver Post and they make me nauseous. I wonder whether either Riddick or Shiveley themselves wonder what W did during his military service? I wonder if they wonder what idiotic missions they will be compelled to undertake in the vain effort to salvage BushCo's disastrous foreign wars? I doubt it. But the adolescent posing and acting out are especially pathetic. And, frankly, the bottom picture makes me think of nothing so much as the images of Sabrina Harmon, et. al. grinning and posing over prisoners at Abu Ghriab. That is Bush's legacy to the nation. Every time I see a member of the American military wearing a goofy smile in a sort of 'thumbs up' pose I'll be looking for the humiliated, abused - yes tortured - prisoners. Riddick and Shiveley and the other graduates may be well intentioned, dedicated young men and women. But this president is a disgrace. And all the stupid poses in the world won't diminish the extent to which the adjective applies to him. How many days left?
__________
Thanks to Jörg Colberg for calling my attention to these.

Labels:

11 Comments:

Blogger Stan B. said...

Acting the fool- the very least of his offenses...

30 May, 2008 01:24  
Blogger L said...

if only it was an act

30 May, 2008 16:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with you. How many sacrafices have you made? I suppose you sit on a couch next to a computer trying to find things you don't agree with not knowing what people are doing for you to live with freedom. You accept priviledges and give nothing in return. How boring...What is your passion? Humiliation, stupidity, disgrace, ignorance,.....again, no substance, not backbone....nothing.Blah.....

30 May, 2008 19:36  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Anon,

Let's be clear. Bush and Company have made the U.S. less safe (even Saint Petreaus refused to say that the Iraq fiasco had made us safer!); they have made it less free. And in the process they have squandered thousands upon thousands of lives.

For what? The war in Iraq has NOTHING to do with keeping America safe; NONE of the bullshit - yes bullshit - that Bush and his minions spewed to get us into the war, and to rationalize their folly since, has turned out to be remotely true. No WMD, no Hussein-bin Laden connection, no Iraq-al Queda links. Just facts there my friend.

In prosecuting the war Bush and his minions have flaunted or broken domestic and international law on a regular basis. Feel more free? I do not.

And, of course, the whole lot of them are hypocrites, having found multiple and repeated ways to avoid military service themselves when it was asked of them.

So, please. Be so kind as to explain how anything they have done protects my freedom. Undermining the constitution at home? Sowing hatred and conflict abroad?

Finally, as for this: "How boring...What is your passion? Humiliation, stupidity, disgrace, ignorance,.....again, no substance, not (sic) backbone.... nothing. Blah....." - how incredibly articulate! Bye now!

30 May, 2008 20:56  
Blogger Lee said...

Actually i was in the uk forces myself, and as someone from outside the US i can say that the US is considered the greatest threat to world peace, without wishing to offend anyone i am interested to know if you are one of only 25% of American citizens the actually have a passport, if not i suggest you venture from your own borders and experience the opinion of the rest of the world.

31 May, 2008 15:33  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Lee,

Thanks for the advice. But I have traveled quite a bit and my passport doesn't expire for a couple of years yet. In fact, I will be heading to England later this week ...

Regrading threats to world peace, I am not sure that the U.S. is "the greatest," but it is clearly a significant contributor.

31 May, 2008 19:07  
Blogger Lee said...

Jim sorry my comment was directed at the anon poster not to you, sorry about the misunderstanding.

31 May, 2008 19:14  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Lee - No problem ... my misunderstanding; but your advice is good!

31 May, 2008 19:27  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Hi Lee, Jim and Anon,
Just thought I'd drop my two cents in for consideration. I have to agree with Lee that it's important for Americans to travel outside the borders of the country. Awareness of our global neighbors is of the utmost importance as we attempt to sort out the various recent mistakes of our American "leadership." I just hope that our global neighbors know how trying the American government makes it for average American citizens to navigate the bureaucratic seas of passport ownership (not to mention pay the hefty fees), and how little our government does to encourage such understanding and curiosity in young people today.
As for Anon's comments, I'd like to offer a response as a SSgt in the USAF. I believe that what Jim is doing - we could label it dissidence or just "calling a spade a spade" - is both invaluable to democracy AND patriotic.
And as for our tough guy president, I believe he's acting like an ass. Luckily we only have to tolerate this behavior for 7 more months.

14 June, 2008 16:46  
Blogger Zach said...

I know this is an old post, but I just stumbled across this while surfing the web and have to share my take on this.

All of this talk about politics and policy is irrelevant. Bush's foreign and domestic policy has nothing to do with these pictures. I can guarantee you that the poses were the cadets' ideas, remember they are young and fresh out of college...and despite all of their training, they like to have fun just like every other young adult. I think the fact that President Bush posed with the cadets reflects highly on him. Here at the Academy, the most beloved leaders are the ones who aren't afraid to have fun and get down in the dirt and mud with the people he or she leads. I can guarantee you that the rest of the Cadet Wing shares my opinion on this.

-Cadet, Class of 2012, USAFA

22 October, 2008 15:58  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Zach,

Thanks for your comment. Really. I appreciate your candor. I hope you'll appreciate my frank reply.

I stick by my post. "I wonder whether either Riddick or Shiveley themselves wonder what W did during his military service? I wonder if they wonder what idiotic missions they will be compelled to undertake in the vain effort to salvage BushCo's disastrous foreign wars? I doubt it." That is a failing on the part of those young officers. It will lead them to the point where Colin Powell now stands - disgraced for having lied to the public and for participating in the dishing out of torture at the behest of the Bush administration. You want honor? Then don't get into that line.

Notice that I acknowledge: "Riddick and Shiveley and the other graduates may be well intentioned, dedicated young men and women." That in no way absolves them, however, of the duty to their country that involves asking hard questions.

Fun poses are not getting "down and dirty", they are goofing off. When the hard decisions come, Bush and his minions have been systematically wrong. They have involved us in a losing war on the basis of lies. And they have implemented policies of torture that you and your fellow officers are sworn to avoid. Chest bumps and and other sorts of "fun" do nothing to obviate that.

Moreover, the resources they've expended on Iraq have systematically diverted attention and resources from the places the terrorists actually are. The outcome, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, have been disastrous.

Worst President ever. Not just for civilians like me but for military personnel like you. I truly hope you and your friends don't personally have to bear the burden of his policies.

Best,
Jim Johnson

23 October, 2008 17:57  

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