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Was George W. Bush AWOL?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Why is this a fair question? Because President Bush has pushed the National Guard into new territory as the new army in Iraq with anticipated yearlong duty every 5 or 6 years. Now how can a person build a career and a life when every 5 years they have to trott off to war? That was never the original purpose of the National Guard, but the National Guard is being forced to do that due to the overextension of our regular military forces. I needn't go into why that has happen and why we are stretched beyond our resources.

But here we have a president who has placed the National Guard into a precarious position with over 500 deaths being reported, our military hospitals flooded with the maimed and wounded - who, when it was his time to serve, took the safest way out (with the obvious help from the politically connected) and then left the National Guard 8 months early to run a political campaign. Wouldn't the young people in the National Guard in Iraq like to have those very same options? So, read this article below, and judge for yourself.


http://www.tmsfeatures.com/tmsfeatur...=67&catid=1109
post #2 of 18
All I gotta say is atleast he stayed in his country during that time perid where as Clinton was running around in Canada. Who cares if he was AWOL or not. That has nothing to do with his ability to run our country. Oviously he doesn't run when it comes to confontations now does he? Unlike Clinton He does what he knows that a majority of the Citizens expect. And know is getting flack for putting the national gaurd in Iraq. Thanks to Clinton's Cuts to the military.

I for one Still believe that G.W. Bush is one of the best presidents we have had in a LONG while.
post #3 of 18
I always thought AWOL during a time of conflict was desertion! Hope you guys get a president most of you voted for this time.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by WillowsMom
All I gotta say is atleast he stayed in his country during that time perid where as Clinton was running around in Canada. Who cares if he was AWOL or not. That has nothing to do with his ability to run our country. Oviously he doesn't run when it comes to confontations now does he? Unlike Clinton He does what he knows that a majority of the Citizens expect. And know is getting flack for putting the national gaurd in Iraq. Thanks to Clinton's Cuts to the military.

I for one Still believe that G.W. Bush is one of the best presidents we have had in a LONG while.
I'm not sure if you can compare being 'confrontational' as a President to a soldier serving in a war. Bush's life is not in jeopardy as a result of his sending troops into Iraq, unless someone actually lets him fly the plane the next time that he grandstands onto an aircraft carrier. Given that he is commander-in-chief of the US Military, I think it does matter if he was in the reserves avoiding the Vietnam draft and did not take it seriously, if that turns out to be the case. The issue is whether he did not take the Guard service seriously; a lot of young men avoided the draft by going into the Guard or remaining in school, if they were able to do so.

I believe that Mr. Clinton was studying at Cambridge or Oxford University in England during the time you think he was in Canada, although I did not go back & check that.

By the way, military base closures began in the late 1980's in response to the end of the Cold War. As of early 2001, 95 major bases had been closed. 42 of those were earmarked for closure by the Department of defense in 1988 & 1991. If you include all military installations, DOD recommended closing more than 500. Approximately 230 of those were earmarked in 1998 & 1991. I guess that means that Bush the First was as bad as Mr. Clinton in his lack of support for the military.
post #5 of 18
From the article: According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a person who is AWOL for more than 30 days is guilty of desertion, with a maximum punishment of death. There is no statute of limitations.

Yes, I believe he was AWOL for the first 30 days and after that a deserter. I have read many other articles on this and am convinced that he did not serve his country as required.

I have 2 friends in the guard over in Irag right now and get so angry at the irony of this situation.
post #6 of 18
If he was AWOL he would have been Court Marshalled. The military does not make special exceptions for Court Marshalling, especially during a time of war.
post #7 of 18
AWOL is a misleading term in this discussion.

If the military gave him 'permission' to skip a chunk of months,
he would not be AWOL. (I suspect that there were any number of people who were allowed similar discretions.) People are questioning what he actually did during his NG service.
post #8 of 18
If he was granted permission then why is this a problem? If that's the case, then obviously the military was aware of it, and the reasons were good enough for them, otherwise it would have been a crime. He did at least join and serve, which is much more than Clinton could say. Bush is willing to let his payroll records out to the public, so I would think this is pretty well a moot point. No crime was committed, he served as he was required to.

You're right, AWOL is Absent Without Leave. If he had Leave from the military, then saying he was AWOL is indeed misleading.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by valanhb
If he was AWOL he would have been Court Marshalled. The military does not make special exceptions for Court Marshalling, especially during a time of war.
With respect, Heidi -- "Nonsense."

Take it from this old JAG officer, one who was privileged to serve as a military judge on both the trial court and appellate levels -- our system of military justice is, and always has been, through the whole history of our country, affected by political and other undue influences. Not any more so than is our civilian system of justice, witness the current horrifying antics of Bush, Ashcroft and The Hill, but influenced it has been nonetheless.

This 24-year veteran is distressed by witnessing our commander-in-chief assert, time and again, that the fact that he received an honorable discharge proves his innocence of the charges leveled against him in respect of his military service, or lack thereof. Any veteran of extended military service knows full well that an honorable discharge is not in every case evidence of honorable service.

In all fairness I hasten to add that in my opinion the evidence is not all in on Bush's air national guard service, and perhaps it will never all be in, but, on the other hand, I think it is fair that in view of the uncertainty a person is justified in taking into account the president's record for playing fast and loose with the truth in other areas.

And, again with respect, the term is "court-martial."

Cheers to all,

Jim
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by WillowsMom
All I gotta say is atleast he stayed in his country during that time perid where as Clinton was running around in Canada.
Mom,

We collectively challenge you to support that scandalous libel from a reliable source.

Untruths like this are inflicted on the public over and over by Bush apologists and, regrettably, they too often become accepted by an impressionable public as being fact. That being the case we are justified in disputing such statements in perhaps unkind terms.

Jim, Ann, Miss Kitty, and, soon, Samwise, from a beach in Texas
post #11 of 18
We must take this into account: If Clinton was outside of United States jurisdiction in that period of time, then it is perfectly legal. U.S. citizens who are residing outside of the U.S. are not called to the army nor serve in the army even if there is a draft.

However, if Bush was already serving and left without permission then its illegal. Or if he was drafted and he was living in the U.S. and never showed up.

Since Puerto Ricans serve in the U.S. army, many young people in the Vietnam days, who did not want to serve in the military simply went to study abroad.

Up to my understanding going to live abroad is the only legal way for a U.S. citizen to avoid a draft or selective service.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by yoviher
Up to my understanding going to live abroad is the only legal way for a U.S. citizen to avoid a draft or selective service.
And, IMO as the daughter of a Marine who was drafted and yet most honorably served his country, this is absolutely the coward's way out. Which is exactly how I feel about Clinton. He's a coward. Of course, someone who did serve and then turns around and stabs his fellow soldiers in the back by joining the Jane Fonda brigade, and then 30 years later wants to flaunt his veteran status doesn't get a whole lot of respect from me either.

Hey, turn about is fair play, after all. Obviously it doesn't matter what the facts are, most everyone participating in this and most all political threads here hate Bush and apparently everything this man has done since birth was irresponsible, politcally motivated and pretty much evil. It doesn't matter that we don't have the facts about this instance, he obviously did something illegal because he is George Bush. I'm not saying that everything this man has ever done is good and right, but come on - he's not the devil incarnate, and the people who support him are not total and complete idiots as was implied in another thread.

Sorry to interrupt your boistrous Bush Bash. I obviously have nothing to contribute.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by valanhb
this is absolutely the coward's way out.


I never said that what Clinton did was right or wrong. I simply said that it is legal, and therefore we cannot compare that with the things that are attributed to Bush. It would be comparing apples to oranges.

If its true that Bush did that (And I am not implying it is, but if it is true), then its illegal, and up to my understanding (I am not familiar with military laws) it is desertion.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by valanhb
And, IMO as the daughter of a Marine who was drafted and yet most honorably served his country, this is absolutely the coward's way out. Which is exactly how I feel about Clinton. He's a coward. Of course, someone who did serve and then turns around and stabs his fellow soldiers in the back by joining the Jane Fonda brigade, and then 30 years later wants to flaunt his veteran status doesn't get a whole lot of respect from me either.

Hey, turn about is fair play, after all. Obviously it doesn't matter what the facts are, most everyone participating in this and most all political threads here hate Bush and apparently everything this man has done since birth was irresponsible, politcally motivated and pretty much evil. It doesn't matter that we don't have the facts about this instance, he obviously did something illegal because he is George Bush. I'm not saying that everything this man has ever done is good and right, but come on - he's not the devil incarnate, and the people who support him are not total and complete idiots as was implied in another thread.

Sorry to interrupt your boistrous Bush Bash. I obviously have nothing to contribute.
Heidi, nobody is claiming that Bush is the Anti-Christ or has been a psychopathological liar since birth. So far, there has been nothing to prove or disprove that he didn't fulfill his obligations in the National Guard (payroll and dental records haven't cast much light on the matter). However, Bush's show in military regalia on the aircraft carrier, with "Mission Accomplished" banners in the background, left him wide open to criticism. McCain and Gore, both Vietnam veterans, decided not to pursue the matter in the last elections. It remains to be seen how Kerry will make use of the matter. Bush has a real credibility problem, now that his hand-picked weapons inspector, Kay, has said that he doesn't believe that Iraq has WMDs. People are also very concerned about unemployment, civil liberties, and the mindboggling budget deficit. There is also a certain amount of "payback" involved; Clinton had to go through an impeachment process because he lied about illicit sex that affected nobody other than his wife, daughter, and Monica Lewinsky. If Bush lied about Iraq's capabilities, it has affected well over 500 dead G.I.s, their families, members of the "coalition forces", and thousands of Iraqis. It is ridiculous for stalwart Bush fans to cry foul play. The Starr investigation was an absolute farce, and who insisted on it?
post #15 of 18
While not a Clinton fan, in the interest of fairness, I would like to clarify Slick Willie's efforts to avoid military service. He did NOT go to Canada. Instead, he contacted well-connected friends and had them lobby the local draft board, to keep him out of the service. In addition, he himself wrote several letters (which have been published and authenticated) to members of the draft board.

While many of his contemporaries WERE serving, Clinton was "studying" in England, participating in anti-war protests and visiting the Soviet Union.

I have no quibble with anyone who serves in the Reserves, National Guard or, even the Peace Corps, to avoid the draft. Even the concientious objectors, serving in Stateside VA hospitals have my respect. Anyone who serves, in any capacity is fulfilling one of the responsibilities, that come with freedoms.

My own grandfather served in the National Guard, during WWII. Pearl Harbor was bombed, on his 39th birthday and, between his age and the fact that he worked for the railroad (an essential service), he was excused from the draft. He didn't HAVE to serve, in the Guard - he WANTED to.

Cowards and turncoats, I have no use for.
post #16 of 18
Katl8e, I see your point perfectly about all that. I see perfectly why you say that of "cowards" or "turncoats". I disagree with you a bit on that of calling such people like that, but I understand perfectly your point and why you feel like that.

Now, there is something I want to point you out.... would the Puerto Ricans who did that be cowards??? You see, most of us who would never enter the army, and if there was a draft would be the first to grab a plane ticket out of the country... it isn't because of cowardness, nor being unpatriotic... it is because the U.S. despite the beautiful country it is, it is not our country... yes, we've got an unwanted ticket in that boat... yes, we are American citizens, but that is all in paper, the truth is much different. In other words, the reason is not because they are cowards, its the serving and possibly dying for a foreign country the reason. And don't get me wrong, I have always admired the people who serve their own country in times of need. The detail is that it isn't our own country.

Therefore, it is my belief, that despite how bad it may be for an American to do such a thing, for a Puerto Rican, it is not only a justifiable thing, but I believe it is the most correct thing to do.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by katl8e
While many of his contemporaries WERE serving, Clinton was "studying" in England, participating in anti-war protests and visiting the Soviet Union.
This makes it sound as if Clinton enrolled in a British university to avoid military service. He was a Rhodes scholar, i.e., he competed for, and was awarded, a scholarship to study at Oxford. As a former Fulbright scholar, I know that such a scholarship is hard to get - you have to have top grades, an interesting research project, great references from several professors, and go through a number of interviews, including an "oral test" given by most of the professors who taught you. You also have to work for credits at the foreign university.
And why shouldn't Clinton have taken advantage of an opportunity to visit the Soviet Union, and to see first hand how things were there? Along with roughly 60 other Fulbright scholars, I attended a conference in West Berlin around Easter, 1980. The Fulbright Commission arranged a visit to East Berlin (enemy territory) for us, and we all went. That evening, we attended a reception hosted by the U.S. ambassador to Germany. No one at the embassy seemed to think we were "traitors" for having taken the trip.
I personally prefer that any U.S. president have spent time abroad, whether as a student, soldier or businessperson, in order to be able to assess foreign policy prerogatives.
post #18 of 18
I agree... My mother traveled through almost all of the warsaw pact countries... she even enjoyed the trip... does that make her a traitor? She also visited Cuba, BTW, on a special visa.
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