Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cheney's Military Service

I watched the Showtime movie "The World According to Dick Cheney," but was disappointed at its failure to challenge Cheney's views.  My first objection was that it did not say anything about Cheney's failure to serve in Vietnam.  It talks about how he was expelled from Yale and worked back in Wyoming as an electric lineman before resuming his education in Wyoming and then Wisconsin.  This was in the 1960s, prime time for the Vietnam draft.  His Wikipedia page and this Slate article describe how he weaseled out of the draft.  Normally a student deferment was for only four years; Cheney got more.  For his fifth deferment, he reportedly got a hardship deferment because his wife was pregnant.  Wikipedia says he told that Washington Post, "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service."

I don't think that everybody who avoided the draft was a coward, but it certainly raised questions about their patriotism.  I think that Cheney thought he was more important than America.  Maybe he thought he was destined to save America from itself.  If so, it didn't work out.  The wars have probably weakened the US militarily and damaged our image abroad.  The huge costs incurred without increasing taxes to pay for the wars damaged the US economy for years to come.

One new, unfavorable fact about Cheney that I learned from the movie was that toward the end of the Bush administration, he became seriously estranged from President Bush.  Bush thought that Cheney had led him astray on foreign policy and defense issues, and in particular had sandbagged him on the issue of illegal wiretapping by the government.

I think it is safe to say that Cheney has no regrets because he has no heart and no conscience.  While he avoided the draft as a young man, he let young men from Wyoming serve in the wasteful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although it looks like only 14 from Wyoming died in Iraq.

Dick Cheney: unpatriotic coward who undermined American greatness.

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