Friday, October 31

Yes, another political post........

Eric Williams, one of my coworkers and a passionate young man, sent out an email regarding Senator Barrack Obama. I agree with his statement regarding Obama's name......

"I'd like to clear up a couple of misconceptions about Senator Obama. First, PLEASE stop attacking his name. His name is rooted in Arabic/ Swahili wording (Swahili is VERY similar to Arabic, in the same way the Hindi language is). People who attack his name because of the similarity to Saddam or any other Hussein are doing so strictly from ignorance. Hussein is a widely popular name amongst Arabs, due to the name of Muhammad's grandson's name and the desire to honor him. Attacking Barack because his middle name is Hussein would be like attacking someone with the name Joseph because of Stalin."

There is plenty to cause doubt on the fitness of Senator Obama to fulfill the duties and character of the President of the United States. For some reason, several voters have decided that it is only his lack of military service that is a viable reason behind such doubt, rather than his liberal, socialistic, and executive inexperience or nature. Eric points out that Obama would not be the first President not to have military service on their resume, but he is the first to have a decisive lack of either military or governmental service in and out of conflicts that have peppered this young nation's history; from the 1676 King Philip's war in which American colonists fought on through to the 2003 Iraq war. We have had 43 Presidents serving in the White House during that time, and only 12 of those Presidents have no military experience…

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, William Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, and William (Bill) Clinton.

Every serving president since 1941 until 1992, or from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to George H. W. Bush, has served actively in the military, either in wartime or in peace. Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War 1 at age 35 and George H.W. Bush served as a pilot in the Air National Guard. Neither had any combat experience in uniform.

Ten of the twelve Presidents selected by my colleague served in a variety of political postings; Adams as an ambassador, representative from Massachusetts; Jefferson and Van Buren are the only Presidents to serve as a governor, vice-president and Secretary of State. Jefferson also served in the Contential Congress and Van Buren as a senator from New York; Quincy Adams as secretary to the Minister of Russia and the Minister of Russia himself; Taft served as negotiator for McKinley for the Spanish-American War, chief counsel for the commission to establish a government in the Philippines, Governor-general of the Philippines, and Secretary of War; Wilson served as Governor of New Jersey, as well as the President of Princeton;

Harding was a Ohio State senator, Lieutenant-Governor of Ohio, and a US Senator; Coolidge was a city councilman in Northampton, Massachusetts, State Representative, Mayor of Northampton, State Senator, Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts, Governor of Massachusetts, and Vice-President under Harding; Hoover was the Head of the US Food Administration and known as one of the Top Ten Living Americans at the conclusion of WW1 for his humanitarian efforts in feeding Europe; Franklin Roosevelt, as mentioned, was Assistant SecNav and is the only President who was elected four times.

Only two served in no government posting during the conflicts that they were eligible for military draft.

Grover Cleveland was practicing law in New York during the Civil War. The Conscription Act of 1863 required all able-bodied men to serve in the Army if called upon, or hire a substitute and Cleveland paid George Benninsky, a 32 year old Polish immigrant $150 dollars to serve in his stead. In 1870, Cleveland would serve as Sheriff of Erie County, beginning his political service after losing a bid for District Attorney in 1865. Cleveland and the law firm he started with his friends were well-known in the elite among New York's finest.

Even so, as his biographer Allan Nevins wrote, "probably no man in the country, on March 4, 1881, had less thought than this limited, simple, sturdy attorney of Buffalo that four years later he would be standing in Washington and taking the oath as President of the United States." Cleveland is the only President to win two nonconsecutive terms to the Presidency, 1885-1889 and 1893-1897.

Some may want to compare Senator Barrack Obama's rise to vie for the highest political office as a similarity of Cleveland's, whereas Obama never had realized such lofty dreams. Yet, if we compare the historical stature of Cleveland as an attorney, we find a elite, well-known man who's propelling into such national spotlight could readily be seen as uncommon, but expected. Obama has no such claim to his earlier years prior to his first run for political office, funded and supported by the more liberal and socialist political players in American politics.

William Jefferson Clinton is the most narifous of the twelve 'non-military' Presidents. After registering for the draft in 1964 and being given a 2-S deferment due to his college enrollment, Clinton faced possible induction with Johnson rescission of the exemptions in 1968. Being reclassified as 'eligible for enlistment', Clinton dodged one induction notice and brought in heavy influence to the other to beat the induction. His pre-induction physical was delayed twice as long as others and five times as long as qualified males of comparative eligibility.

Clinton would join the ROTC at University of Alabama to obtain deferment, even though Army regulations state that to be eligible the person must be enrolled at the University and be a full-time student. Clinton was a student at Oxford, and never attended ROTC, being overseas in London organizing and leading anti-war protests, traveling to Norway to meet with 'peace' organizations and winding up in Russia in December of 1969, saying that "a time of d├ętente," existed in 1969-1970, despite strained relations between the two superpowers because Russia was supplying the North Vietnamese with tools of war.

Colonel Eugene Holmes, commander of the program, admitted that there was pressure from the Hot Springs board and the office of Senator J. William Fulbright (D-AR) to admit Clinton into the program. Holmes, a decorated office in the US Army, has a stunning resume; survivor of the Bataan Death March, 3 ½ years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and awarded of the Silver Star, 2 Bronze stars, 2 Legions of Merit, and the Army commendation medal among others. He inducted both sons during the Vietnam War, one as an enlisted man and the other as a commissioned officer (the son completed ROTC).

Clinton apparently changes his mind about the draft, writing his commanding officer, Col. Holmes, in the ROTC program at UofA. "The decision not to be a resister and the related subsequent decisions were the most difficult of my life. I decided to accept the draft in spite of my beliefs for one reason only, to maintain my political viability within the system. For years I have worked to prepare myself for a political life characterized by both practical political ability and concern for rapid social progress. It is a life I still feel compelled to try to lead. I do not think our system of government is by definition corrupt, however dangerous and inadequate it has been in recent years."

Sound familiar? Obama says the same thing about his time as a 'community activist' and his associations.....often distorting his voting record.

During Clinton's administration, spanning two terms, he signed H.R. 4655 into law to institute a policy of 'regime change' against Iraq. He launched Operation Desert Fox, a four day bombing campaign against that country. The Battle of Mogadishu, in Somalia, was another conflict the Clinton Presidency experienced with a black eye as 18 soldiers were brutalized and killed by natives when two Black Hawk Helicopters fell behind enemy lines. The US was involved in stopping the ethnic cleansing of Albanians by Serbians in Kosovo with a NATO bombing campaign named Operation Allied Force.

Biden says that we can expect a President Obama to be tried by those in other nations as they bring a crisis to 'test his metal'. Even, apparently, from those nations were he would open diplomatic lines with known terrorists, countries where he is celebrated as their choice for President of our country.

Look at the twelve non-military Presidents and compare their pre-Presidential lives to that of the upcoming Senator who was labeled the Most Liberal Senator in 2007. Look at their associations and compare to Senator Obama's. Look at his non-siding, liberal voting record…….and then again marvel at his rise to fame.'

Can you really say, regardless of military inexperience, that Obama has so much more to offer as character reference to his viability as President? Other than a historical 'first'?

Vote your values, not publicity. Vote your morals, not surrender them in compromise. Vote, not for image but for the best of us to represent us. And if you don't find them on the Republican, Democrat, or even third-party tickets…..write your candidate in. Yes, some will say you are just throwing your vote away. Then throw it away for a purpose; to declare that the American people want the best leaders leading and not the savviest politician…….

Compare the past Presidents to these two future hopefuls. Compare and be warned………you get what you vote for…….

As my colleague Eric closes his email with: "That's not to say that the Obama camp is without fault. I could go on and on with a list of previous voting records, previous recorded statements, etc of things he's said that have gone against history……….Above all, vote……. Good luck to all of us, we'll need it."

Resources:
http://mazurland.typepad.com/myweblog/2007/11/military-servic.html
http://ohnestaeb.newsvine.com/_news/2008/07/09/1650176-military-service-and-the-presidency
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/896151/why_military_service_should_actually.html
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080714141446AAORINB
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Which_president_served_in_both_the_revolutionary_war_and_the_war_of_1812
http://books.google.com/books?id=xFxtqw-5NcEC&pg=PA111&lpg=PA111&dq=John+Adams+a+dove%3F&source=web&ots=Wxn-lB-0e5&sig=GYHuRQWas_Wvlq4WxxSEGZjyaYE&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=11&ct=result#PPP13,M1
Congressional Record (Page: H5550) 7/30/93 William Clinton's letter to ROTC commander at UofA.

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