Belated but Combat Ready: Bush Says He is Envious of Soldiers Fighting on the Front Lines

In what is surely going to be fodder for months to come, President Bush responded to a briefing on the difficulties faced in Afghanistan by saying that he is envious of those able to be on the front lines. Given the controversy of his perceived avoidance of combat in Vietnam, it seems a rather curious and belated lust for battle.

Bush’s statement came in a videconference from military and civilian personnel on the front lines. His response was perfectly clueless: “I must say, I’m a little envious. 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. . . . It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks.”

The elder Bush appears far more eager to encounter the front lines than he was as a younger man. Bush signed documents twice that pledged that he would meet training commitments or face immediate active duty. He failed to fulfill both pledges.

Indeed, shortly before his deferment was to expire, Bush seemed to get special treatment in getting into the National Guard and on his application, Bush checked the box which read, “Do not volunteer for overseas service.” At the time, 350 Americans were dying each day in Vietnam.

Bush seemed to take the same view as Dick Cheney when asked about his avoidance of combat: “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.”

For the full story, click here and here.

18 thoughts on “Belated but Combat Ready: Bush Says He is Envious of Soldiers Fighting on the Front Lines”

  1. Yeah, silly me. I thought “P” (as in Prescott) Bush, Jebbie’s son, would be caught up in the ultra rightwing patriotic fervor against those dissenting leftwinger traitors and please Uncle Puppet by obtaining a commission as a second lieutenant in the Army after he graduated law school at the University of Texas. He could have experienced the romanticism of house to house combat or of a trip in a convoy with no knowledge of where or when the next roadside explosive might be detonated.

  2. Maybe if we had called it the “Guerre d’Indochine” it would have been romantic enough for Lt. Bush to show up for.

    Branding, people. Never let it be said that Afghanistan isn’t a well-branded war.

  3. So George II is “envious” of soldiers in Iraq? Oh PLEASE, does he really think the rest of us are that stupid? Oh wait, some ARE…the ultra-right morons who VOTED for him both times. So I guess he’s right in making that assumption in some cases.

  4. You can find a who’s who of the conspiracy listed in Jeffrey Toobin’s “THE NINE -Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court”.

    All of the people (folks if you prefer) who worked so hard behind the scenes to get Alito and Roberts on the court and to discredit Miers.

    As a non-lawyer, I’d recommend it. Funny, though, I always thought Toobin to be kind of a putz from his appearances on CNN.

  5. Patty C:

    It has been my observation that Pavlov’s body of work including – The Induction of Neuroses – provides the map of how we got here.

    There is not even a scintilla of doubt in my mind, that the Right Wing conspiracy that Hillary Clinton eluded to, many years ago, truly exists. It is only manifest in the forehead-can-crushing Bush-like critters but the masters are elitists right out of literature.

    Unfortunately, now some of them are her posse.

  6. “How did we get here?” has been a burning question for me, personally, for nearly eight long tumultuous years, since the beginning of time
    – the answer to which we may never fully realize or understand.

  7. Mespo – how very thoughtful of you to use the word ‘genius’ and point it in my direction without the preceding expletive I have grown accustomed.

  8. VC:
    You are on to something. I think Bush is guided by the movies. Why else would he give us a war straight out of “Wag the Dog”, and then take away our rights with threats of Armageddon like Jack Nicholson’s character ranting about the truth as he mans the battlements “up on that wall” in “A Few Good Men.” I think he gets his ideas on how to run his administration from “All the President’s Men,” and I liken his demagoguery to Broderick Crawford in “All the Kings Men.” Finally, he’s got the feel of the President in the “Dead Zone” with his pernicious fawning over military power but coupled with personal cowardice. VC, you are a genius!

  9. JT:
    Move over Harpo, Jerry Lewis, and Chaplin, America now has the best funny man of all times. LOL

  10. There are many Americans that have done very brave and unselfish things that have nothing to do with the military and everything to do with Patriotism. Some are teachers, postmen, factory workers and some found themselves deeply involved in espionage that defies comprehension and maybe relevance.

    The military is not about free thinking. The military is about achieving objectives, constant drill, preparedness and in the end, exterminating its enemies. There is nothing romantic about the military. That’s only in the movies.

    The military industrial complex is where all the sexy stuff resides. The parties, the politics and the pay-offs.

    Apparently our Chicken-Hawk-in-Chief, accidentally conflated the amorous glow of counting cash with that of counting cadence, possibly influenced by one too many alcohol-free beers.

  11. is he just trying to piss off the military now?

    i like this response.
    ” So there you have it: We’ve finally obtained empirical evidence proving that President Bush has absolutely no idea what war is all about. A Commander-in-Chief with such a child-like view of combat is in no way fit to lead America’s Armed Forces during a time of conflict. Most of us in the military have known the President was clueless on military matters, but I don’t think many of us could have foreseen his statement that “confronting danger” in Afghanistan is “in some ways romantic.” “

  12. This is just one more example of George W. Bush lying to the soldiers and to the public. As Professor Turley pointed out, he had ample opportunity as a young man to volunteer for service in Vietnam, but he skipped out on his reserve/guard duty. I guess Vietnam wasn’t as “romantic” as Iraq or Afghanistan. That statement by Bush was an insult to the veterans of the Vietnam conflict and the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But, we should be used to the Bush administration insulting the troops with his consistent cuts in aid for the veterans.

  13. There were/are many men in their fifties and sixties who suffer from a peculiar form of guilt that they didn’t participate in the Vietnam War. We see a lot of such men claiming combat or service histories they didn’t have. Something deep in masculine psychology I suppose…. Some are more militaristic than they would have been had they participated.

    See survivor-guilt, this is a variant of that for noncombatants.

  14. Kermudgeon:

    You left off “in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger.” That’s the belated part.

  15. Bush saying “I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.” is a far cry from your headline implies he said, but no doubt Olbermann will run a “special comment” about this topic…

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