Saturday, August 13, 2005

President Bush's Service

Every once in a while, you have to go back and remind people of certain facts. This is especially true when dealing with members of the DFL (Deranged Far Left). The problem is, your reminders will be forgotten again in less than two minutes- if they were heard at all.

In any case, anonymous trolls on another post of mine (LINK) were losing the running argument, so they started in with all the usual things, "blood for oil", "Bush killing dark people", and- my personal favorite- "Bush was a coward who avoided military service". It usually starts with a typical far left propaganda trick: Throw out false accusations. The more outlandish they are, the better. This way, your opponent feels compelled to argue them, putting them on the defensive and making them look guilty. An extension of this ... you'll notice that allegations with little or no evidence are more inflaming than accusations with clear and concrete evidence. Soooo... I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit the President's military service for a bit. Sound fun?

The whole Bush AWOL thing got so huge, because it was based on pure speculation. This allows people to imagine and use their "feelings" to figure out that he was AWOL, rather than discuss the facts. Furthermore, if the accusation is completely false, you can accuse the victim of withholding evidence when, in fact, none exists. This creates the impression that they're some sort of oppressive force that is holding people back from "the truth." Once the accusation is made, you can use it to justify accessing records otherwise not entitled to you. If those records prove that person's innocence, you ignore them. If they have anything to back your accusations, or better yet, suggest the possibility of some other crime that is far-fetched, you use it to imply some other scandal, giving the impression that that person is into "a lot of dirty business." (Starting to sound a lot like what they do to judicial nominees, isn't it?)

Also… the left loves using Bait and Switch, which is where they throw out these false-accusations, and when you refute them, they stop addressing them or change the subject- the extension of this is that they shrink from facts like a vampire from sunlight. This allows them to avoid your counter-arguments, which further allows them to throw out their accusations later, since they haven't admitted they're wrong. After doing this long enough, you get a laundry list of false-accusations. By throwing out 30 or so at a time, it's so hard to address each one that it doesn't matter if they're true or not. Just that people have heard of them before is enough, because it makes them sound true. A liberal will never talk about a subject long enough to admit fault. They'd rather continue throwing those accusations at you. They're like "freebies" because they piss off the target, and make them look unstable when they get upset about bringing it up again, which again makes them look guilty. Cool trick, eh?

Now… let’s move on. Since it is obvious that they know very little beyond their talking points about our President’s Air National Guard service, allow me to educate just a little bit.


We'll start with some words from someone who was there at the time.

…"George Bush and I were lieutenants and pilots in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Texas Air National Guard (ANG)…

“In the Air Guard during the Vietnam War, you were always subject to call-up, as many Air National Guardsmen are finding out today. If the 111th FIS and Lt. Bush did not go to Vietnam, blame President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, not lowly Lt. Bush.

“The winding down of the Vietnam War in 1971 provided a flood of exiting active-duty pilots for these instructor jobs, making part-timers like Lt. Bush and me somewhat superfluous. There was a huge glut of pilots in the Air Force in 1972, and with no cockpits available to put them in, many were shoved into nonflying desk jobs. Any pilot could have left the Air Force or the Air Guard with ease after 1972 before his commitment was up because there just wasn't room for all of them anymore. Sadly, few of today's partisan pundits know anything about the environment of service in the Reserves in the 1970s.

“Because of the training required, signing up for this duty meant up to 2½ years of active duty for training alone, plus a high probability of mobilization. A fighter-pilot candidate selected by the Guard (such as Lt. Bush and me) would be spending the next two years on active duty going through basic training (six weeks), flight training (one year), survival training (two weeks) and combat crew training for his aircraft (six to nine months), followed by local checkout (up to three more months) before he was even deemed combat-ready. Because the draft was just two years, you sure weren't getting out of duty being an Air Guard pilot. If the unit to which you were going back was an F-100, you were mobilized for Vietnam. Avoiding service? Yeah, tell that to those guys.

“The Bush critics do not comprehend the dangers of fighter aviation at any time or place, in Vietnam or at home, when they say other such pilots were risking their lives or even dying while Lt. Bush was in Texas. Our Texas ANG unit lost several planes right there in Houston during Lt. Bush's tenure, with fatalities. Just strapping on one of those obsolescing F-102s was risking one's life.

“Well, as for abandoning his assignment, this is untrue. Lt. Bush was excused for a period to take employment in Florida for a congressman and later in Alabama for a Senate campaign.

“Excusals for employment were common then and are now in the Air Guard, as pilots frequently are in career transitions, and most commanders (as I later was) are flexible in letting their charges take care of career affairs until they return or transfer to another unit near their new employment. Sometimes they will transfer temporarily to another unit to keep them on the active list until they can return home. The receiving unit often has little use for a transitory member, especially in a high-skills category like a pilot, because those slots usually are filled and, if not filled, would require extensive conversion training of up to six months, an unlikely option for a temporary hire.

“As a commander, I would put such "visitors" in some minor administrative post until they went back home. There even were a few instances when I was unaware that they were on my roster because the paperwork often lagged. Today, I can't even recall their names. If a Lt. Bush came into my unit to "pull drills" for a couple of months, I wouldn't be too involved with him because I would have a lot more important things on my table keeping the unit combat ready.

“Finally, the Kerrys, Moores and McAuliffes are casting a terrible slander on those who served in the Guard, then and now. My Guard career parallels Lt. Bush's, except that I stayed on for 33 years. As a guardsman, I even got to serve in two campaigns. In the Cold War, the air defense of the United States was borne primarily by the Air National Guard, by such people as Lt. Bush and me and a lot of others. Six of those with whom I served in those years never made their 30th birthdays because they died in crashes flying air-defense missions.

“While most of America was sleeping and Mr. Kerry was playing antiwar games with Hanoi Jane Fonda, we were answering 3 a.m. scrambles for who knows what inbound threat over the Canadian subarctic, the cold North Atlantic and the shark-filled Gulf of Mexico. We were the pathfinders in showing that the Guard and Reserves could become reliable members of the first team in the total force, so proudly evidenced today in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Want some more? Okay...

Bush's Honorable Air National Guard Service By Col. John H. Wambough, Jr. USAF (Ret.) September 20, 2004

"George Bush and I were fighter pilots. Lt. Bush's opportunity to fly jets and serve his country came through the Air National Guard when he was 22 years old.

"All we wanted to do as young men was to fly these magnificent flying machines (jets) and enjoy the opportunity to serve our country. (Contributing to the Air National Guard's Air Defense mission, Lt. Bush flew hundreds of hours in the F-102 -- the world's first supersonic all-weather jet interceptor aircraft; he served his country protecting the United States.)

"Lt. Bush's mission, as a squadron fighter interceptor pilot, was to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft inbound to the United States; for example, Soviet Nuclear Bombers. Remember, we were still in the Cold War in the 1970s with Air Defense a high priority mission. Today our Air Defense forces protect us against aircraft with terrorists onboard.

"I can say from my experience that flying operational fighter jets is highly dangerous. People don't strap fighter jets to their backside if they are overly concerned for their future. While in F-105 training at McConnell AFB in early 1968, we lost five aircraft in six weeks…

"Cowards (or people who lack courage) don't take on the risks that Lt. Bush did in flying Fighter Interceptor Aircraft. Flying jets in wing formation in the weather and carrying explosive ordnance on board is dangerous work. The pilots in these squadrons (including Lt. Bush) did what their country asked them to do.

"As the Vietnam conflict began to phase down around 1971, there was a surplus of hundreds of pilots in the U.S. Military, for which there were relatively few flying jobs. Thus, the active duty force as well as ANG and Reserve forces could be very accommodating to those who wanted to pursue alternative career paths (such as Lt. Bush going to Harvard Business School). In fact, these sorts of administrative actions (early releases) helped alleviate the challenges facing the services of a pilot surplus.

"The bottom line: Lt. Bush's documented Air National Guard service exceeded the requirements set forth in his Guard contract and Lt. Bush received an Honorable Discharge."


At the time, guardsmen were required to accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation. According to records released last year, Bush earned 253 points in his first year, May 1968 to May 1969 (since he joined in May 1968, his service thereafter was measured on a May-to-May basis). Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that?

Bush asked for permission to go to Alabama to work on a Senate campaign. His superior officers said OK. Requests like that were not unusual, says retired Col. William Campenni, who flew with Bush in 1970 and 1971.

“In 1972, there was an enormous glut of pilots,” Campenni says. “The Vietnam War was winding down, and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In ’72 or ’73, if you were a pilot, active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In fact, you were helping them solve their problem."

So Bush stopped flying. From May 1972 to May 1973, he earned just 56 points — not much, but enough to meet his requirement. Then, in 1973, as Bush made plans to leave the Guard and go to Harvard Business School, he again started showing up frequently. In June and July of 1973, he accumulated 56 points, enough to meet the minimum requirement for the 1973-1974 year.

Then, at his request, he was given permission to go. Bush received an honorable discharge after serving five years, four months and five days of his original six-year commitment. By that time, however, he had accumulated enough points in each year to cover six years of service.

And it should be noted in passing that john kerry personally questioned President Bush’s service, while President Bush did not question kerry’s.

A 1970 evaluation said Bush “clearly stands out as a top notch fighter interceptor pilot” and was “a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership.” A 1971 evaluation called Bush “an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot” who “continually flies intercept missions with the unit to increase his proficiency even further.” And a 1972 evaluation called Bush “an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer.”

There is a much bigger story to be told than anything related to President Bush's honorable service to our country. It is the story of a DFL element that will stoop to any depth to obtain political power to include: attacking the motives of our service members (ANG and Reserve); it is a DFL element that is willing to undermine the confidence of our fighting forces in their Commander-In-Chief in the midst of our global war on terrorism; it is a DFL element that places political power higher on their priority list than U.S. National Security. Otherwise, they would not denigrate and diminish ANG and Reserve Service in an effort to undermine the credibility of the Commander-In-Chief of our Armed Forces.

Lt. Bush put his butt on the line every time he scrambled on an Air Defense mission. He is a true hero that our soldiers and citizens should be rightfully proud of; and the service of our Guard and Reserve soldiers should never be denigrated or diminished for political purposes or to win an election -- as was done by the liberals all through the election cycle.

Like all Guard members, Lt. Bush was required to accrue a minimum of 50 points (annually) to meet Guard service requirements (a minimum of 300 points in six years). What the liberal media may not have covered in their many articles about Lt. Bush's ANG service is that Lt. Bush accumulated 954 points - exceeding the six-year Air National Guard requirement for service - threefold. Of course, everyone knows this, right? All those investigative reporters must have brought this fact out a dozen times. I just must have missed it.

Finally, please remember the basic difference between George Bush and john kerry during the campaign. George Bush did not run on his record of military service during the Vietnam War. john kerry did. kerry did not run on the basis of his recent service as an elected official. George Bush did...

...and that is why he won.



Blogger Barbara said...

I love your distinction between Bush and kerry, with upper and lower case. :)

As for Bush being a coward - some can't stand a person that stands on his own convictions, doesn't let anyone derail him and set him on another path. He keeps the 'train' going, the message the same as he started on day one! People do forget that this President got some excess baggage, when he got in office, then the 9-11 disaster.

There are so many who call him a coward - why do THEY not go try to fill the slots where they think he failed? OR, are they, too, cowards - can't do anything but bad mouth the guy?

14/8/05 15:06  
Blogger kmg said...

They have nothing else, Barbara... nothing at all... so they have to hurl whatever insult they think might stick.


14/8/05 16:32  

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