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Ear to the Ground

Bush Has No Answers for Soldiers on Redeployment Questions

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Posted on Jul 5, 2006
Stars and Stripes reader

A World War II-era soldier reads Stars and Stripes

President Bush, answering questions posed by U.S. servicemen in the military publication Stars and Stripes, said that he basically had no idea how many times servicemen could expect to be redeployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and admitted that he has yet to go to even one funeral for a soldier killed in either of those theaters.

Editor & Publisher:

When Stars and Stripes nabbed an exclusive interview with President Bush on July 4—aboard Air Force One—it devoted most of the questions to ones submitted by service members.

One, put to the commander-in-chief by the newspaper’s Jeff Schogol: Has he attended even one funeral for a fallen soldier from Iraq? No, he replied. ?Because which funeral do you go to? In my judgment, I think if I go to one I should go to all. How do you honor one person but not another?? he said.

A soldier now serving in Iraq asked how many times he would have to return to the war zone in the next five years. Bush said he did not know. ?The conditions on the ground will determine our troop levels, and one of the main conditions on the ground is the capacity for the Iraqis to take the fight to the enemy, and therefore it is very difficult for me to predict with certainty how many times this particular person would be sent back to Iraq,? Bush said, in the article published on Wednesday.




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By Vietnam Vet, July 6, 2006 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #13104 by cyr on 7/06 at 7:08 am
Nice try! But the question was how many funerals had he attended. The answer is still zero, no matter how HE tried to talk around a legitimate response. One or even a couple of symbolic attendances at a funeral would not take a secret service carnival, as you call it. He has made many speeches, in front of selected audiences of course, without a “dang secret service carnival.” And that elongated response to how many more tours would that fellow have to complete, well, he didn’t answer that question either. And, neither did your attempt to rewrite and justify his response. The serviceman’s question was about HIMSELF, not what the leadership recommends. An honest answer would have been something like: “Son, I just don’t know; I have predicted that the next administration will probably have to make that decision, so guess we will just have to wait and see.” But, I give you credit for a good spin try anyway. It’s damn hard to provide an honest answer when it does not make one look good!

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By cyr, July 6, 2006 at 7:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

E&P and their selective quoting of the S&S article rule.  One might even call it lying.

Lets look at the whole quotes, shall we?

Quote 1:

“Because which funeral do you go to? In my judgment, I think if I go to one I should go to all. How do you honor one person but not another?” he said.

The appropriate way to express his appreciation to the family members of fallen troops is to meet with them in private, he said.

—End quote—

Significantly different.  Plus from a logical perspective, if I’m a grieving family, the last thing I want at my kid’s funeral is a dang secret service carnival. 

Addition to selective Quote 2:

“In asking that question through the chain of command, the response I get is that it’s important to manage the Army flows in such a way that we can sustain our efforts, and they believe — they being the planners in the Army itself — the best way to do it is for a year. And therefore … my answer to the troop is that really depends on what the leadership recommends.”

Ok, so Bush is deferring to what the boots on the ground say they need instead of what the politicos think they need.  Wow, incredibly bad logic there, indeed. Not.

Instead of the filtered, slanted E&P article, why not give a link to the interview itself?

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