Devil5052 wrote:Totaly agreed other than my opinion that the person who will not give of themselves for a moment to provide any service back to this country, deserves little credence in advocating that others do the necessary work that he himself wont do. (Like fighting a war) It's like when Mitt Romney,strongly advocating the war in Iraq, was asked if any of his sons had performed military service & he (sheepishly) tried to convince us that their passing out his election stickers was their service to the country!..That's what I call a hypocrit who should just keep his mouth shut & has no right to push our sons & daughters towards a war that his family would never be withing 1000 miles of!
I agree if we're talking about the details of war fighting. Strategies, tactics, battle plans, etc. Direct experience has a great deal of usefulness in those kinds of decisions. However when it comes to deciding the usefulness or morality of engaging in a war, or the interest of the nation in maintaining basing in a country post-war, or of committing more or less resources (at a macro level) from a risk/reward/value perspective these are things that everyone has justified claim to voicing their opinion, and it is not "necessary" for a leader/decision maker to have direct experience for this kind of decision making. Certainly, we depend on the comments and insight of generals and soldiers and historians and the rest, but when it comes to making the decision or making the case for a particular choice, everyone has a more or less equal justification to being taken seriously. At least until you hear what they have to say and discover they are an idiot.
The recurring theme of discounting leader's or potential leader's opinions and thoughts on the Iraq War because of their children's choices smacks of... something... I don't know what it is, but I find it offensive at a deep level. Seriously, if we are to carry this out to its logical conclusion then the only people who could justifiably be in the "ruling class" in the congress and the White House are those who have served and we might give a pass to those who had children that served. This group would come from basically less than 1 or 2 percent of the population. Whatever one can say about the state of congress and the presidency in the modern age, at least we've done a fairly good job of maintaining an open system of nomination and election where people of all walks of life and personal experience and family history can join that elite ruling class.
The case of leaders who purposely avoided compulsory service during the Vietnam War (or are accused of it)... I've read and heard a great deal of opinion on this whole subject. I can understand your distaste for such a person or persons leading our nation in a war. I share in it to some extent, but having not lived through that period myself I find it difficult to get very worked up over it. And regardless of the hypocrisy that may be involved, the situation is what it is and there are plenty of people involved in the decision making process that are vets or who don't have the stain of draft dodging on their personal history so I find it has very little bearing on the lead ups to, decisions to start, and execution of the Afghanistan or Iraq wars.
As for your distaste for Romney and his position on the war(s) and his son's not being in the military (MMoore made a similar harague against congresscritters in F911), I do not understand your objections on this at all. First, parents don't send their children to the military or to war. The kids decide for themselves. Just ask the anti-war parents of children who chose the military in the past several years. Second, are we to hold the parent accountable for their children's vocational and service choices, particularly when there are a multitude of strong non-parental influences on those children as they grow up, many of which specifically advocate against militaristic service and even service in government. Third, are you sure it is Romney's sons not serving that you find objectionable, or is it simply your objection to anyone that supports or has supported the Iraq War, regardless of their personal service or that of their family?
Lastly, the kind of service his sons (and even Hillary's daughter) are putting in is precisely the kind of thing for which Obama is saying we should be giving college students tuition money: civic service. Sure, this is a self-serving form of civic service, but it is volunteer civic service none the less. Indeed, as high profile people they face a lot press, a lot of scrutiny, and if they're putting in 100% it can be a grueling, worthwhile experience. If they truly believe their father (or mother) to be the best choice for President, isn't that service laudable? I've heard this same criticism thrown at Bush because his daughters didn't chose the military either, however at least one of them has put in significant time overseas with an AIDS relief effort, again exactly the kind of thing Obama is wanting to encourage with his tuition scholarship idea.