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Oh, yes, the U.S. Air Force is totally ready for an air war with China over Taiwan

My family and I went to Disneyland a couple weeks ago to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We made our reservations well in advance so that we could dine at the Blue Bayou overlooking Lafitte’s Landing inside Pirates of the Caribbean. Before we got to the restaurant, we went to one of the original attractions in the park, Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, which is a faithful tribute to our 16th President, and is still a throwback to the patriotism of Walt Disney, who personally oversaw the project almost 80 years ago.

When we came out of the theater and back onto Main Street, the flag lowering ceremony was going on. The Dapper Dans were singing patriotic music, the Disneyland band was playing an inspired set of music on the Friday before Memorial Day, and the PA announcer came on and introduced a local contingent of U.S. Navy and Marines lined up on the raised platform by the train station overlooking the park. Thousands of people that had gathered there to watch applauded warmly for the service of the current men and women of those two branches, held a moment of silence for those who had given the ultimate sacrifice, and each day of Memorial Day weekend, different branches were brought in and honored.

Right before the flag lowering, the band and Dapper Dans began a medley of all of the official service songs, beginning with the Army, and asked any member, active or retired, of the Army in the audience to raise their hand and be recognized. Many did, and the Disney cast members and onlookers applauded. The same thing happened for all branches of the military. It was a very moving ceremony, and dare I say, filled me and everyone around me with actual pride to see this American tradition continued.

That’s not to say Disney should be exempt to criticism. And lately, there’s been a lot of it. They shouldn’t. They have earned all the scorn they are getting for how much they are ruining their overall brand by their embrace and championing of the gay issue. But even though Disney is all kinds of woke on all kinds of levels, and I applaud people like Ron DeSantis for pushing back on their activism when it tries to meddle in politics in a partisan way, I must profess that for the purposes of this column, not even Disney has done something as offensive as what we saw come out of the United States Air Force on Wednesday.

Yes, that’s right, the United States Air Force is embracing Pride month in June by presumably having an airman, airwoman, airBiPOC, or whatever it is we’re supposed to call people serving in the Air Force these days, saluting a rainbow flag. Disney may have gay-themed characters in movies and TV shows. Disneyland may have dudes working as apprentice fairy godmothers wearing a dress and sporting a mustache. They may have Pride nights in the park. But they still only have one flag that is saluted, above any other flag in the park – the American flag. For all its faults, Disney isn’t as woke as the United States Air Force apparently is.

The flag code of the United States Military is pretty clear. 4 USC Paragraph 9:

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

Also, from 4 USC Paragraph 7:

Let me translate this into Mandalorian for you. Imagery showing a military servicemember saluting a rainbow flag is definitely not the way.

And if you’re paying attention, notice which hand is saluting in the Air Force’s new pride slide – the left one. There’s only one reason it’s ever allowed for a salute in the military to be given left-handed. It’s only if you’ve lost your right hand or arm, or lost the use of it, presumably due to a war injury. And unless this person in silhouette is a reincarnated Bob Dole with a pen sticking out of that closed right hand, saluting a rainbow flag with the left hand is beyond reprehensible. It’s making a mockery to the very code of honor and duty of which servicemembers pledge loyalty and allegiance.

The next administration, hopefully a Republican one, will have a list a mile long of people and policies that need to be thrown on the scrap heap of history, some of them tossed out not too gently in the process. This policy and those who thought this a good use of time and resources, need to be removed.

I’m sure that given the news that exports from China have cratered, numbers that threaten their economy, really great for us, by the way, and not so much for Secretary-General Xi Jinping, this put a little pep in Xi’s step. I’m sure he is thinking to himself that there was no pushback to him cutting off one of our destroyers in the Taiwan Strait, and the Air Force now seems more worried about fashion sense than it does getting planes, pilots, bombs and air defenses to the Taiwanese in advance of a CCP invasion.

If and when the Chinese do attack, and we’re left flat-footed, this will probably be the guy they look to in the Pentagon for answers.

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John Stossel 12:40 AM | April 12, 2024
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