July 3rd, 2006


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jimbojones
08:05 pm - our President is a disrespectful jackass
  
Yesterday, I saw yet another news clip of George W. Bush, Jr, current President of the United States of America, greeting a uniformed officer with a salute. An incredibly poorly executed salute, and an unbelievably inappropriate one.

For those of you who never spent any time in the service, please allow me to break this down:

  1. If you are in uniform, you do not either salute or return salutes while not wearing a hat. The president was not wearing a hat.

  2. If you are in civilian clothes, you neither salute nor return salutes whether wearing a hat or not. The president was in civilian clothes.

  3. When rendering a salute, in the American military you touch the tips of the index and middle finger of your right hand to your right temple, just at the edge of your eyebrow. When doing so, your arm should be perfectly parallel to the deck (ground). Your palm should be facing very slightly inward towards you while doing so, so that the underside of your hand is not visible to the person who you are saluting. The president, however, performed some bizarre gesture worse even than most Hollywood "salutes", smacking the dead center of his eyebrow with the second knuckle of his right index finger. The only way it could have been more ridiculous is if he had succeeded in poking his own eye out with his thumb, which he appeared in serious danger of doing. (Try performing the maneuver I just described, if you can't visualize it.)

  4. While some might argue that president Bush is, though Supreme Commander in Chief of the armed services, effectively a civilian and therefore excusable for flagrant ignorance of the mechanics of a salute... he was, in fact, a uniformed member of the Air National Guard in the 1970's. He served (very) briefly as an enlisted man before being (very quickly) railroaded into a commisioning program and (just as quickly) ceasing to bother even showing up at his assigned duty station. Even beyond that, the President of the United States generally has more than a sufficiency of advisors to help him realize when he's screwing protocols up badly - meaning that if he's still doing so, it's either in the face of their advice, or because he's picked advisors who won't advise him of anything that won't make him happy.


Add this in with items such as media ops in a fighter pilot's flight suit, and whether you like the man's politics or not, you've got a seriously disrespectful and ignorant jackass who doesn't care how much of a shambles he makes of basic military courtesies, or how ridiculous he makes himself (and the military with him), if it means he gets to "feel cool" like he's "one of the boys."

And I resent that pretty seriously.


 
Current Mood: resentful
Current Music: Presidents of the USA - Lump

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:



 
[User Picture] From: marys_second
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 08:37 pm
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Heh. I have a similar problem with John Kerry's salutes. They're even worse than Dubya's.



 
[User Picture] From: marys_second
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 08:39 pm
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Not that I'm excusing Dubya's lazy salutes. I think you're spot on.


 
[User Picture] From: staringgoldfish
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 09:22 pm
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Clinton threw out some pretty sloppy salutes as well. Dad used to get seriously pissed over those, for the same reasons.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 09:27 pm
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Yes. I got annoyed at those too.

Reagan was the one who started this crap - no president before Reagan ever saluted, including those who had held high military rank. Every president after Reagan has done so - presumably, after Reagan and Bush Sr. had both done it, the political analysts most likely decided that ceasing to do so would be incorrectly interpreted as a sign of disrespect to the military.

I'm far more annoyed with Bush Jr. over it in light of the combination of his own dereliction of duty with his "career" in the military, the fact that - as someone who WAS in fact commissioned as an officer, however lightly he took it - he should damned well know better, and for his blatant attempt to cast himself as a great war leader.

Even EISENHOWER distanced himself - as completely as he was able - from his military standing when serving as President, in keeping with the primacy of civilian law over the military.

Grrr. I'll stop now. But man oh man, this pisses me off.


 
[User Picture] From: aj_reloaded
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 11:15 pm
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Reagan would gun salutes, turning his body towards the NCO.


 
[User Picture] From: lauracroft
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 09:40 pm
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I don't know who you are but that is one funny icon! :-D


 
[User Picture] From: staringgoldfish
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 10:57 pm
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Yeah, I love that guy.


 
[User Picture] From: lauracroft
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 09:37 pm
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:-P

so......you're not a fan?


 
[User Picture] From: dixie_chicken
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 09:51 pm
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I believe he can be excused a sloppy salute when he is trying to hold a wriggling Scottie, because tiny dogs absolve all sins, especially Barney. But for the most part I agree.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 10:19 pm
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... you don't salute with a fucking pet in your hands!


 
[User Picture] From: dixie_chicken
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 10:25 pm
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Yes, yes, that too. I'm me, though, I'm allowed the one moment of "awwwwwwww" overwhelming "wtf?".


 
[User Picture] From: discogravy
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 03:02 am
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I'm just asking.

even if it's a military dog?


 
[User Picture] From: lindapendant
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 07:45 am
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That's what I was thinking. I think the only thing worse would have been for him to be saluting while biting into a sandwich. Which I'm now waiting to see him do.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 11:34 am
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... or possibly saluting WITH the sandwich hand.


 
[User Picture] From: staringgoldfish
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 11:46 am
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And slapping hot pastrami across his face? I think I'd tolerate one half-assed salute just to see that.


 
[User Picture] From: lindapendant
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 01:40 pm
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Bwahahahaha ! I can just see the mustard all smooshed over his eye too.


 
[User Picture] From: wanton_bliss
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 09:01 am
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I resent the outfit he's wearing in that second photo more.

Presumably he's in some sort of race and not simply numbered for the benefit of secret service who cannot believe that he (and not Dick Cheney) is their number one priority.


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 11:30 am
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Yeah, that T-shirt-tucked-into-short-shorts combination is pretty fly isn't it?


 
[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 11:31 am
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I like the way the soldier in BDU's behind him is laughing with somebody off-camera. "Can you fucking BELIEVE what the president is WEARING?"


 
From: (Anonymous)
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 01:32 pm
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[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 02:26 pm
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Yes, uniformed officers salute the president. (Although not a uniformed officer, he is technically the Commander in Chief of the armed forces as a whole, therefore outranking literally everybody in the chain of command.)

When you salute someone, you do not end your salute until they acknowledge it. From someone else in uniform (and covered, ie wearing a hat), this is typically a return salute. An acknowledgement may, however, be a simple nod.

Proper military protocol for an officer coming into the presence of the President would be to salute and hold it, then wait for the president to nod (NOT SALUTE) in acknowledgement before dropping his salute.


 
From: (Anonymous)
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 11:37 pm
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[User Picture] From: jimbojones
Date: July 4th, 2006 - 11:44 pm
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Yes, you pretty much have to salute until acknowledged. Not acknowledging a salute is a form of dressing-down: if an officer is pissed off at you about something, he'll leave you hanging for a while while he stares at you. Sort of like a civilian executive having someone shown in to his office, but not bothering to look up from his desk and whatever paperwork he's pretending to occupy himself with for a while.

In VERY extreme cases, the officer you salute may fail to return your salute at all. In that case, once his attention leaves you entirely - for example, he turns his back on you - you may drop the salute. Not having your salute returned at all is a VERY extreme show of disrespect. It generally reflects very poorly on the officer who does it - it's acceptable to leave somebody to sweat for a few seconds while you glare at them if you're angry as hell at them about something, but you really shouldn't ever FAIL to return (or acknowledge) the salute at all. The only exception would be in wartime conditions when salutes are supposed to be suspended (to avoid giving snipers an idea who to shoot at) and the lower ranked person shouldn't have saluted in the first place.

It doesn't actually matter a bit whether the president is wearing a hat or not, because he's in civilian clothes. If you're in civvies, you don't salute. I only mention the hat because it's just another example of how VERY far from actual military protocol the president saluting anybody really is.


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