Friday, August 20, 2004

Chickenhawk n. A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it; particularly when that enthusiasm is undimmed by personal experience with war; most emphatically when that lack of experience came in spite of ample opportunity in that person’s youth.

Exhibit A: VP Dick Cheney

1959: Dick Cheney became eligible for the draft.

February 1962: Cheney was 1-A (available for service), but he was at Yale.

1963: Mr. Cheney enrolled in Casper Community College, he sought his first student deferment. Transferred to University of Wyoming at Laramie, sought his second student deferment.

1964: Mr. Cheney married his high school sweetheart, Lynne. He sought his third student deferment.

1965: Mr. Cheney graduated from college, his draft status changed to 1-A. Mr. Cheney obtained his fourth deferment when he started graduate school at the University of Wyoming.

Oct. 6, 1965: the Selective Service lifted its ban against drafting married men who had no children. Nine months and two days later, Mr. Cheney's first daughter, Elizabeth, was born.

Jan. 19, 1966: his wife about 10 weeks pregnant, Mr. Cheney applied for 3-A status, the "hardship" exemption, it was granted.

1967: Mr. Cheney turned 26, no longer draft eligible.

"Five deferments seems incredible to me," said David Curry, a professor at the University of Missouri in St. Louis who has written extensively about the draft, including a 1985 book, "Sunshine Patriots: Punishment and the Vietnam Offender."

"That's a lot of times for the draft board to say O.K.," Mr. Curry said.

Of course, Republicans will attempt to use Clinton as a diversion (when don't they?), but duh, Clinton does not qualify as a "chickenhawk" (the whole point here). Clinton did not endorse nor was he "enthusiastic" about war.

(Thanks to the NY Times for the above dates and info).

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