In a video conference last week, President Bush told U.S. troops in Afghanistan that he was: “a little envious” of them. Bush said: “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.” Bush went on to say: “It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks.”
Perhaps the President should step out of his neo-con fantasy and remember his own chance at personal involvement in ‘making history’.
It was 1968 and the war to defend Democracy against the communists in Vietnam was in full swing. It was the middle of the Tet Offensive. 16,511 US servicemen and women lost their lives ‘making history’ that year. Another 87,388 were wounded in 1968 in the effort to squelch nationalistic self-determination - otherwise known as stemming the tide of Communism in South-east Asia.
Dub-ya was just about to graduate from Yale like his daddy and granddaddy before him. (A legacy – meaning he didn’t have to earn it, just pay for it.) Knowing that he’d be eligible for the draft, did Georgie seek the ‘fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed”?
Not on your life!
He sought and found refuge in the shelter of his daddy’s political shadow, securing a safe, State-side billet with the Texas Air National Guard even though he tested in the 25th percentile, the lowest possible passing grade.
It is widely known that Georgie was frequently AWOL from guard duty. By one account, he didn't report to his guard unit for 17 months and in order to help a family friend’s political campaign he tried to finagled a re-assignment to an Alabama Air National Guard unit which HAD NO PLANES. (Just as well for young Dubya as he had been grounded for failing to take his air fitness physical.)
In September of ’72, he was ordered to report to the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery, Alabama. Bushie says he did so, but his superiors say they never saw him. There's no documentation he ever showed up, and despite rewards offered to anyone who could come forth and testify that they actually saw Georgie on duty, not a single one of the nearly seven hundred soldiers then in the unit has stepped forward to corroborate Bush's story.
When Dub-ya decided to go to business school at Harvard in the fall of 1973, he requested and got an honorable discharge eight months before his service was scheduled to end.
Just goes to show: it’s not what you know but who you know.
Now, fast forward to the present and Bush as the Commander-in-Chief, who sends National Guardsmen to Iraq and Afghanistan for a “fantastic experience… on the front lines” has the effrontery, the brass-balled gall to state, “It must be exciting… in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger.”
Have you no shame, Mr President? Have you no sense of decency?
American servicemen and women deserve better than this.
The American people deserve better than this.
The world deserves better than this.
p.s. Just for grins, check out Dub-ya’s Yale transcript (link below). We have a ‘D’ student for president! No wonder the country’s in the deep doo-doo.