Let’s Rewrite History

Joel Bleifuss

Gen. Jay Garner, Iraq’s supreme administrator, spoke out on Vietnam: “If President Bush had been president, we would have won.”Garner might have added that while 50,000 other young American men of George W.’s generation lost their lives in that national folly, our president was AWOL.The Web site www.awolbush.com offers a compendium of information on Bush’s military service, or lack thereof, along with information on how you could collect thousands of dollars in reward money if you witnessed Bush “performing any National Guard Service between May 1972 and October 1973, in either Alabama or Texas.”Bush’s avoidance of military service has not received much press attention. In 2001, former Clinton aide Paul Begala noted that his search of Nexis, the news story database, revealed “there were 13,641 stories about Bill Clinton ‘dodging the draft’ and there were 49 stories about Bush and the National Guard.” Howard Fineman, senior political correspondent for Newsweek explained this discrepancy by suggesting that the media did not look into this because after the Clinton scandals the press was “exhausted.” Or did he mean “embedded”?

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Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.

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