Dean: a draft dodger with creativity

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by jimnyc, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    33 Years Later, Draft Becomes Topic for Dean

    In the winter of 1970, a 21-year-old student from Yale walked into his armed services physical in New York carrying X-rays and a letter from his orthopedist, eager to know whether a back condition might keep him out of the military draft.

    This was not an uncommon scene in 1970, when medical deferments were a frequently used avenue for those reluctant to take part in the unpopular war in Vietnam. And this story would have little interest save that Howard Dean was the name of the young man. Now, 33 years later, he finds himself a leading Democrat in the quest for the party's nomination to be president of the United States.

    Dr. Dean got the medical deferment, but in a recent interview he said he probably could have served had he not mentioned the condition.

    "I guess that's probably true," he said. "I mean, I was in no hurry to get into the military."

    But now that he is running for president, in a race when many Democrats believe they need a candidate with strong national security credentials to challenge President Bush, the choices Dr. Dean, a former Vermont governor, made 33 years ago are providing ammunition for critics.

    Senator John Kerry and Gen. Wesley K. Clark, two of his strongest challengers for the Democratic nomination, have recently started running advertisements highlighting their military experience. And all the Democratic candidates except Carol Moseley Braun had to face the possibility of being drafted during the Vietnam War.

    In the 10 months after his graduation from Yale, time he might otherwise have spent in uniform, Dr. Dean lived the life of a ski bum in Aspen, Colo. His back condition did not affect his skiing the way the rigors of military service would have, he said, nor did it prevent him from taking odd jobs like pouring concrete in the warm months and washing dishes when it got cold.

    Even the candidate's mother, Andree Maitland Dean, said in a recent interview about his skiing after receiving a medical deferment, "Yeah, that looks bad."

    But, she said, that is the nature of his condition. It is aggravated by certain kinds of physical activity but not all kinds, she said. The condition is called spondylolysis, a low-back pain that sometimes radiates into the legs, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' online information site.

    Dr. Dean said it was the military's decision to grant him the deferment, but he also said he was eager to get it. Had he wanted to serve, he probably could have.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/22/p...00&en=a4240500ff458bcb&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE
     
  2. SLClemens
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    Good for him if he found an easy way to avoid the draft. The draft was immoral and little more than legalized slavery in a free society fighting a war for which they could have used all volunteers had they been well enough paid. What good would he have done as cannon fodder, at best perhaps spoiling his chances of getting into med school and being of service to society?
     
  3. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Have you ever used Bush avoiding going to war in any of your debates?

    I agree about the draft, but that was law at the time. He dodged what law dictated at the time, which was serving your country in it's time of need.

    My point is the irony in these events compared to how a lot of democrats bashed Bush. Dean was just a bit more creative, and at least Bush did in fact serve his country.
     
  4. SLClemens
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    Did Bush agree with the war in Vietnam?

    As for the law - the law at the time was that a middle-class white kid could often get off on a minor medical problem. He followed the law perfectly.
     
  5. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Yes, like I said, he used creativity to flaunt the law and avoid serving his country. No twisting of the facts will change that. Shit, even his own mother said "it looks bad", and the voters will think so too.

    There are soldiers fighting with FAR worse conditions than he had. It's all a matter of desire to serve the USA, which he didn't want any part of, now he does. He's basically said he'll serve the country when it suits him best. Unfortunately, voters will elect politicians that will serve THEM best.
     
  6. SLClemens
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    He didn't want to serve his country when it was doing something really bad. Good for him! If he disagreed with the war in Vietnam but served anyway out of a sense of duty I'd have much less respect for him.
     
  7. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Good God, let's hope he agrees with EVERYTHING that goes on if he gets elected! What will he do if the republicans disagree, quit his post?

    Serving your country is for the good of the people, not the good of yourself.

    It's clear you've never been around any type of military. The men and women who serve our country do so without prejudice.

    "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country."

    I don't think Kennedy had draft dodging in mind.
     
  8. DKSuddeth
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    As a former marine for 6 years from 84 to 90 and studying history as I have here are some points that should be considered.

    1) Vietnam was called a 'police action' yet was hyped and rhetorically called a war against the spread of communism

    2) Those who were drafted and served should still be proud of answering the call of their country, misguided as it may have been. Those who chose to avoid service because of a 'concientous objection' have no less reason to be proud. Only those who refused to serve for hypocritical reasons need have fear of shame. Peoples sense of honor and loyalty should never be judged unless its completely mistaken for the crap that it becomes, like hitlers officers claiming they were just following orders. We all have a communal sense of right and wrong, its the nuances that make the individual.

    3) People are allowed to have their viewpoints concerning what the vietnam war was really about but we should all remember that we eventually learned that it was less about the spread of communism and more about what personal agendas the CIA started with. Remember, it was their (CIA) war, they wanted it, they got it, and they continued it. The 'evil communists' was after all a red herring.

    4) Dissent in america needs to be tolerated, all viewpoints should at least be considered before being dismissed, and above all, NOBODY should be persecuted for not agreeing with the actions a government takes AT ANY TIME. Even in the days shortly before we had a constitution and bill of rights, the colonials who felt that we should not go to war with britain were not persecuted for their opinions, while the others continued the fight.

    5) bashing bush about his avoidance of actual combat duty really comes down to his utterance of being a combat pilot during vietnam....while technically true, he neither experienced combat nor vietnam. Those who are pro bush will stand and say that technically he didn't lie while those that do not support bush will say the opposite. Its THAT divisiveness that we should be careful of so as not to prevent us from supporting each other as americans.
     
  9. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    DKSuddeth thank you for your military service to our country. I have a question, if you don't mind answering. What where your motivations for joining the military?
     
  10. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    I wanted to serve, represent the United States to the world. To this day I'm still proud of the original ideas that this country stands for. The freedoms and liberties that the US is supposed to be all about can still be. I wanted to be part of that.
     

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