Johm Kerry: Evil sez Drudge

[QUOTE=Diogenes the Cynic]
The Guard during Vietanam was not what it is today. In Bush’s day it was considered a haven from the war. There was no chance that Bush could have gone to Nam with the Texas ANG. That’s why he had his dad pull strings to jump him up on the waiting list inspite of his dismal test scores./QUOTE]

Actually, the Texas Air National Guard was in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970, as part of “Palace Alert”. It was George Bush’s unit that was directly involved here.

This article throws some light on the considerable participation of Air National Guard units in Vietnam, including the fact that Guardsman died and are missing in action there.

I think you owe some Guardsmen like Clyde Seiler, Perry H. Jefferson, Warren K. Brown, Bobby G. Neeld, Mitchell S. Lane, and Michael T. Adams a bit of an apology for mischaracterizing their service in this way.

Oh, my, UncleBill, that’s horrible! Those FitReps are positively damning about the man. I’m sure he only *wishes * his FitReps had read something more like “Lt Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report,” don’t you?

This guide to interpreting USN FitReps is interesting:

Despite the name, the site is rather critical of him, but still concludes

Per Mr. Moto’s cite, some NG units served in Vietnam, and some Guardsmen died there.

However, some numbers would add to our insight, if they exist.

How many people served in the Guard during our military involvement in Vietnam?
How many Guardsmen served in Vietnam?
How many Guardsmen didn’t make it back alive?

versus, say:

How many people were drafted into the military during our military involvement in Vietnam?
How many draftees served in Vietnam?
How many draftees didn’t make it back alive?

In Bush’s day, the Guard really was considered a haven from the war. I’m prepared to bet that if we had these numbers, they’d support that statement.

One of the men on stage was a man who’s life Kerry personally saved, while wounded and under fire. But I guess the existence of this man is some big liberal myth.

Bush’s day was my day. And I can absitively and posolutely testify that that is so. Waiting lists to get into the Nat Guard were as long as your arm. Hell, you couldn’t even enlist in the Coast Guard as the most basic seaman without a college degree and even then there was a waiting list and a 4 year committment. I know, because I tried.

If the guys I knew had known that you could simply saunter into the Texas ANG recruiting office and sign up, they would have been on the first thing smokin’ to Dallas. Of course, you couldn’t simply do that. You couldn’t. I couldn’t. GeeDubya could. And did.

Said before, say again: no big deal. If he simply said “Didn’t want to, didn’t have to, so I didn’t.” I would buy it, no questions asked. No man honors his country by aiding it in a dishonorable cause. And only a fool is shocked to hear that the rich and well-connected live different lives, by different rules, than the rest of us.

If he had simply shrugged and said “Yeah, well, I was kind of a jerk then”, that would be that. But he didn’t, and won’t, and that reflects more on his character today than it reflects on his character thirty five years ago.

I’m prepared to provide the numbers. But do you really want me to?

After all, there are thousands and thousands of Vietnam-era Reserve and Guard veterans around. Most, including my father, a steelworker, joined without the intervention of powerful parents.

I’m sure they’d love to hear about liberal Kerry supporters like yourself calling them draft dodgers.

I served in the Nave for five years, active duty. My dad was a six year Army reservist from 1966 to 1972. The government classifies his service as honorable, same as mine.

If I were you, I wouldn’t call it otherwise.

Yeah, he caught shrapnel in the right arm and the left behind.

Lots of them WERE draft dodgers, GWB included. If you really don’t know that the Guard was an escape from the war then you simply don’t know what the fuck you’re frucking talking about. Ask your dad. He’ll tell you.

Bush was given preferential treatment and bumped up the waiting list to get into the Texas ANG despite a shitty test score. He was assigned to a division which was reputedly called the “Champagne Division” as it was especially set aside for rich boys and connected kids. There was NO CHANCE that Bush could have gone to the shit. That’s why he wanted into the Guard and that’s why he was assigned to the division he was assigned to.

You sound like an ass when you keep trying to tell people who were there and who fucking REMEMBER that the NG was not a golden ticket out of the shit. That’s exactly what it was. It was FULL of draft dodgers and I really don’t give a fuck if you’re offended by that. The facts are the fucking facts.

BTW, there’s not a damn thing wrong with being a draft dodger. I don’t have a problem with Bush avoiding the war. I would have done the same thing. What I have a problem with is his contempt for the duty he was given and his disingenuous posturing as a military leader now.

Oh God, not this crap again.

Some Bush backers criticize Kerry for trotting out his Vietnam record. “Let’s not live in the past,” they argue. However, Kerry has to do this to combat the bullshit that’s being spread by the likes of Drudge and SBVT. Although, you do have to give them credit for their persistence. They don’t let things like the facts deter them in their campaign to smear Kerry as a lying, no-good, back-stabbing ( :eek: gasp!) liberal who likely obtained his three Purple Hearts, Bronze Star, and Silver Star through fraudulent means. It’s not enough for these people to disagree or even dislike someone for his politics; you have to discredit his past achievements and completely undermine his character.

I also think it’s noteworthy that over 30 years ago Nixon and the FBI tried to dig up dirt on Kerry. Tricky Dick and his gang certainly wouldn’t have hesitated to go after Kerry if they found even the slightest whiff of a rumor suggesting his combat record was puffed up or phony. The fact they didn’t find anything even then should tell you something about the substance of the SBVT’s claims.

You see, Diogenes, this is the attitude I have a real problem with.

We have to have a Guard and Reserve in this country, because they serve essential purposes. So disrespecting the men and women who serve in these organizations is counterproductive, to say the least.

I cited several pilots who died in combat in Vietnam. There were plenty more who died on the Army side, and hundreds who were wounded. And this was in a conflict that made very limited use of the Guard.

Today the circumstances are much different, and Guard members are on the front lines of fire every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are an essential part of our military’s ability to mobilize quickly and meet tasking at home and abroad.

And again, I have to ask people here, if this issue is so terribly important to them, if they voted for Bob Dole. After all, he was a Bronze Star winner and a paralyzed veteran of the Po Valley in Italy. Before that, George W. Bush was the winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the youngest combat pilot in the Navy in WWII. Their opponent was Bill Clinton, who used various sneaky ways to avoid the draft himself. George W. Bush’s honorable discharge looks positively heroic by comparison.

If you didn’t vote for these honorable war heroes over the draft dodger, but make lots of noise about it now, you’re a hypocrite.

It just warms my heart when Grudge gets hacked… :stuck_out_tongue:

Lordy, again with this? We’re talking about whether or not there is any foundation to slurs being aimed at Mr. Kerry, and Mr. Moto wants to talk about what a hypocrite Diogenes is.

Diogenes, old tovarichi, big favor, if you would? Could you make a blubbering, public confession of blatant, utter, and unredeemed hypocrisy, and throw yourself at Mr. Moto’s feet, beseeching his forgiveness? You already have a well-deserved reputation as a slut, what can this little faux confession matter?

I suspect that would buy about a week of stunned silence.

Moto, I think you misunderstanding me. I am not disparaging the Guard, nor am I disparaging anyone who seeks to avoid getting his ass shot off, nor am I trying to argue that a military record makes anyone better qualified for POTUS. I’m just saying that it was a fact of life during the Vietnam War that the Guard was considered a way to avoid getting sent to the war. GWB had the connections to take thus escape route and that’s what he did. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, i’m just saying that’s how it was.

I am also not saying that a military record is any kind of prerequisite to be a good POTUS. What DOES piss me off are the persistant attempts by the right to discredit and sneer at John Kerry’s service, not because his service is critical to his ability to be a leader but just because it’s a shitty thing to do to a veteran whether he’s a presidential candidate or whether he’s a plumber.

I didn’t vote for Bob Dole but I had a good opinion of him. I respected his service I just also respectfully disagreed with him on policy issues. One think I didn’t do was go through his military record with a fine toothed comb trying find ways to discredit his service. I don’t remember anyone else on the left doing that either.

Anyone who actually respects and cares about veterans should be dusgusted by the way John Kerry has been slandered. You don’t have to vote for him, but you can at least let it be known that the tactics discussed in the OP are beyond the pale and unworthy of an honorable campaign.

Frankly, if it wasn’t for all the slurs, I probabl;y wouldn’t talk much at all about Kerry’s war record, but crap like Unfit for Command forces me to defend the guy’s honor- not to hold up his war record as an argument to vote for him, but simply pull it back out of the sewer.

Of course. Why, do you expect me to fear the facts, just because I’m a librul? Sorry, I think that’s BushCo territory.

Your spin, hence your name-calling.

The question on the floor is: if you were a healthy, draft-age male during the Vietnam era, did or did not National Guard duty reduce your chances of seeing combat, and by how much?

Let’s look at the facts, and see what they tell us. You say you’re prepared to provide the numbers. In the words of George W. Bush, “Bring 'em on!”

If the numbers say something, and you want to spin what they say as a slam on your father, I’ll let your father know, so he can sock you in the face.

Well, it isn’t as if Mr. Moto has a lot to work with. “Hey, at least George W. Bush didn’t get shrapnel in his ass while making beer runs in the Guard!” :wink:

The simple truth is that Kerry went to 'nam, got shot at, returned in kind, and came home with all extremities still attached. Which is far more impressive than anything Bush did in that time.

Drudge is moving a mite slow, it would seem. Yesterday we were promised bombshells from that soon to be published book. This has a nugget worthy of mention, though it has been revealed in another context.

His reasoning?

So…Mr. Hibbard states that Kerry reported his wound to him, which, it is safe to presume, was standard procedure. Mr. Hibbard states that he did not regard the wound as significant, and did not initiate proceedings to award Mr. Kerry a Purple Heart. The award was nonetheless made, though Mr. Hibbard does not speculate as to how this came about. Note well: Mr. Hibbard does not speculate or insinuate that Mr. Kerry somehow brought this result about, he does not accuse Mr. Kerry of “bucking” for the award.

The sole substance of his complaint would seem to be that Mr. Kerry was awarded a medal he may not have substantively deserved. Mr. Hibbard is on record as regarding Mr. Kerry as otherwise a “most valuable” officer. And Mr. Hibbard does not state that Mr. Kerry had anything to do with the award, and yet holds him responsible, and culpable, for accepting the award. Nor does he suggest that Mr. Kerry agreed with his assessment as to his worthiness, that he accepted an award he knew he did not deserve.

What, then, is Mr. Hibbard’s complaint?

Mr. Motto, I’ll give you credit for fighting the good fight, but you attempt to equate the National Guard of the Vietnam period with the National Guard of today is flawed.

A political decision was made early on not to mobilize the NG or the Reserve for Vietnam – that decision was made as early as 1965 – and is the reason that (1) there were huge waiting lists to get into a Guard unit (it is my recollection that the Army Reserve was not taking enlistments, only people who had completed their obligated active duty, until about 1972 when the war started to crank down) and (2) those of us on active duty had to deal with substandard conscripts generated by Project One hundred Thousand. Clearly there were some Guard units mobilized early on – a fighter wing from Sioux City for example – but President Johnson was not prepared to deal with the political fire storm that a widespread mobilization would have generated. It was the unlucky Guardsman indeed who was called to active duty. It was general knowledge among college students and draft age young men that your chances of not being sent off to SE Asia to have your ass shot at and to not have your life disrupted was much, much, much better if you could find an NG slot. It was known by active duty soldiers, too, and there was no small amount of resentment when the NG outfits came rolling into active duty bases for their two weeks of playing soldier with their truck loads of beer, wooden floored tents and route step attitude. I was there. I saw it happen.

I also saw a major reform of the Guard and Reserve after Vietnam. I saw it transformed from a haven for slackers and blowhards and the bully boys used to suppress campus unrest, from an undisciplined and under equipped men’s club, into an effective and necessary part of the military establishment.

Your argument depends on a fantasy, a hallucination, and a refusal to confront cold, hard facts.

I’ll tell you one more thing, Mr. Motto, if I could have gotten a Guard or Reserve billet in 1967 I sure as hell would have. But if I had I would not send out my surrogates and running dogs to throw mud at the reputation and accomplishments of men who did actually go – and perhaps went in my place.

As I’m not Jack Kerry, I’m not sure that’s relevant here. :slight_smile:

But what is relevant is that Mr Kerry wears his Vietnam military service on his sleeve. Every time he crookedly salutes and every time he trots out “his men,” he is using that war to score political points. And to do so is to fill his coffers with the blood of our fallen. I just can’t support a man like that.

Further, after 30 years, doesn’t the mixed endorsement of the crew of PCF 66* raise at least one of your eyebrows? Some of these men, be they detractors or supporters, might have served under him in Vietnam for all of four months. After what equates to one rainy winter on a fortified speedboat, how well can any of them really know him?

  • PCF 66 was manned by a crew of six. Throughout her service in Vietnam, she lost not a single man to combat.

The argument that I have heard about George W. Bush’s service is not that the National Guard was not called into Vietnam, many units were. However certain “Champagne units” were marked as unlikely to ever go overseas, and the allegation is that Bush went out of his way to enter such a unit.

Personally I don’t care that much if George W. Bush entered a unit that was likely to stay stateside. What bothers me is what he got away with while he was in the guard, not making physicals after hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of flight training, and apparently coming and going on his own terms.

Now did any steel workers or farmer’s sons get that treatment?

Anyway, as I said with Kerry, this reflects more poorly on commander and leaders than college age men.

Nam vet chiming in. All of y’all griping about Kerry leaving the war zone after four months.

I’ll tell you to your face that 99% of the combat troops there would have just about given their right arms to leave after four months.

So you are condemning him for doing something anyone in their sane mind would have taken advantage of?

It’s easy to see his detractors have never been shot at.

The only shots Bush saw were in the bars in Houston.