May 12, 2003
Hopping out of a Navy jet onto the deck of an aircraft carrier, dressed in a flight suit for the benefit of the reporters his press secretary had assembled for the occasion, the junior President Bush told anyone who would listen, "Yes, I flew it." He went on to speak about his happy days in the Texas Air National Guard when he was a young man.
Happy? Of course. Going into the National Guard in 1968, right in the middle of the Viet Nam war, got him out of the draft and out of serving there or in any other deadly war.
Like others who pushed for this war – including Cheney & Rumsfeld – Bush never got his foot dirty on a battlefield. And, like others in this war-hungry administration, Bush avoided the draft because his family had political and social clout. He was put at the very top of a 500-man waiting list after Bush senior requested that Ben Barnes, speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, put pressure on the Guard to give Junior Bush a spot. Barnes has since testified that he got Junior the commission – despite Junior's failing score on the aptitude test, and his lack of any previous flying experience.
Once in the Guard, Junior flew planes, it's true. But he also was effectively AWOL for one whole year. This should have meant that he was inducted into the active service.
Not George W. Bush – he was never used as cannon fodder as were the sons of the working class in Viet Nam. Papa made sure of that.