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Bush "Envious" of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq

March 13, 2008

On Thursday, President Bush once again provided fodder for generations of psychology graduate students to come. For the second time in just six months, the same man whose dubious Air National Guard service kept him out of the jungles of Vietnam announced he was "envious" of U.S. troops now on the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sadly, Bush's textbook case of time-delayed overcompensation came on the very day eight people were killed and 35 wounded in a suicide bomb attack on U.S. soldiers in Kabul. Speaking via a teleconference to American military and civilian personnel in Afghanistan, Bush whimsically lamented in he couldn't be with a band of brothers fighting the Taliban:

"I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "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 some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said.

Today's episode follows Bush similarly waxing romantic about the heat of battle in Iraq. Bush, who was for all intents and purposes AWOL during stretches of his Vietnam-avoidance mission in 1972, told a group of conservative bloggers in September he wished he could be in Baghdad, guns blazing:

Responding to one of the bloggers in Iraq he expressed envy that they could be there, and said he'd like to be there but "One, I'm too old to be out there, and two, they would notice me."

An ironic statement indeed for a man that no one noticed for months at a time during his Guard days in the early 1970's. As Dan Froomkin noted four years ago:

"There are still no eyewitnesses who can reliably recall Bush performing his assigned duties with the Alabama Air National Guard."

So while 12 American troops were killed this week in a spike in violence in Iraq, George W. Bush again played pretend soldier back in Washington. Which raises the question: why does President Bush feel compelled to risk drawing attention to his own pathetic record of military service?
Dr. Freud offers one explanation.

2 comments on “Bush "Envious" of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq”

  1. It would be neat to watch what would happen if Bush were suddenly transported to the frontlines for an hour. But I guess watching a solid hour of someone weeping and screaming would be hard to do.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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