It is high time that we dispel the myth created and fostered by macho, flag-waving right wing conservatives who imply that President Obama's foreign policy has made this country vulnerable (Dan Flather's letter, Oct. 15) while supporting "chicken hawks" who talk tough, but when it came to fighting for their country, they were absent.
Led by their leader George W. Bush, who got preferred treatment in getting into the Air National Guard to avoid Viet Nam, the list includes Dick Cheney (had other priorities); obnoxious bully Tom Delay, who had the unmitigated gall to say that there was no room in the service for "patriots" like himself because too many minorities joined the service to escape the ghetto; Karl Rove; Phil Gramm; Pat Buchanan (bad knee); Newt Gingrich; Dick Armey; John Ashcroft (eight occupational deferments); Trent Lott, who got a student deferment and waved pom poms as a cheerleader for ole Miss; and now Mitt Romney, who spent the Viet Nam years in Paris.
Conservatives do not have a monopoly on virtue and military valor. Many liberals have served honorably, such as George McGovern, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, Daniel Inouye - Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Tom Harkin, Charlie Rangle - awarded the Bronze Star, John Conyers, and Max Cleland, who despite having left two legs and an arm in Vietnam was branded a traitor by the draft-avoiding right wing Republican Saxby Chambliss who got four student deferments for a "football injury." Other lesser known liberals include Mike Thompson of California - Purple Heart, Leonard Boswell of Iowa - two distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, and the Soldier's Medal, and Pete Peterson of Florida - the Purple Heart, Silvre Star and Legion of Merit.
Of course, many conservatives have served honorably and many liberals did not and those who did not should not be excluded from the political process. The point is that those conservatives who shirked their duty would do well not to question the patriotism of those liberals who put their lives on the line for their country. Obama's foreign policy of speaking softly and carrying a big stick has served this country well and kept our country safe.
Gene Rigelon, Front Royal