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ArtKramr July 19th 04 03:44 PM

Subject: Bush Flew Fighter Jets During Vietnam
From: (Fred the Red Shirt)
Date: 7/18/2004 10:50 PM Pacific Standard Time

(Steve Mellenthin) wrote in message
I was hoping you would have the common deceny not to remind me of it. I've
spent 60 years trying to forget it.

Arthur Kramer

Fact of life in war. I am not sure anyone could or should forget that,

when one relate ones experiences with putting bombs on target, dodging

fighters, and flying through flak. There is always another side to war

the glory and I think we all should keep that in balance.

"War is at best barbarism... it's glory is all moonshine. It is only those
who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the
wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is
hell" -- William Techumseh Sherman

Having never fired a shot I trust and respect those who did.



Except of course for the self appointed "Warrior Class" who revel in all that
crap. Save us all from the war lovers.

Arthur Kramer
344th BG 494th BS
England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany
Visit my WW II B-26 website at:

Buzzer July 19th 04 03:47 PM

On 19 Jul 2004 04:32:11 GMT, (Bill Shatzer)

Buzzer ) writes:
On 18 Jul 2004 21:58:24 GMT,
(Bill Shatzer)

He was no longer in the military and was free to exercise his first
amendment priveleges. And, clearly, he felt that the CinC had
choosen the WRONG conflict.

Wasn't he still a commissioned officer and out of uniform besides when
he testified?

Not so far as I know. He may have still been a name on a list in
the inactive reserve or whatever they called it then but he was no
longer in an active duty or in the ready reserve. It would have been
inappropriate and probably illegal for him to have appeared in uniform.

There are some interesting dates and such in his records and timelines
on the internet. Rather confusing actually.

Appears he was discharged to run for congress and within days or weeks
of getting his official discharge on Mar 1 dropped out of the race.

Then transfer to (Ready?) Naval Reserve 3 Jan 70 and Standby Reserve -
Inactive on 1 July 72.
April 23, 1971: Kerry testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations

Seems a few officers are not happy campers after being recalled for
Iraq after "they were no longer in the military."

Rules change if one is activated - assuming he was still eligible of
activation. Until that happens however, one is essentially a civilian.

Certainly he was not subject to the UCMJ.

Appears he was an ID card carrying member of the Naval Reserve at the
time. Don't know if they are subject to the UCMJ?

Ed Rasimus July 19th 04 04:00 PM

On 19 Jul 2004 08:57:38 GMT, (WalterM140) wrote:

I turned 18 in 1973. My draft lottery number was somewhere between
183 and 187. But no one was drafted from my year, the first such
year since the start of the Vietnam era draft.

I turned 18 in 1973 also. I asked my recruiter if I should register and he
said not to worry about it.


You recruiter told you to break the law and you did? It becomes
clearer with each posting why think the way you do.

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8

Ed Rasimus July 19th 04 04:03 PM

On 18 Jul 2004 23:34:06 -0700, (Fred the Red
Shirt) wrote:

(ArtKramr) wrote in message ...
Subject: Bush Flew Fighter Jets During Vietnam
From: Ian MacLure

Date: 7/10/2004 11:32 PM Pa

We won the 2000 election.
We are going to win the 2004 election.
So who's bitter?


Bush was not elected. He was appointed. We'll fix that in November.

Elected by the Congress, like all Presidents in a joint session that
most Americans regard as a formality if they know about it at all.

Sorry, Fred, but unless you are referring to the certification of the
vote of the EC, you are wrong. The President is elected by majority
vote of the Electoral College which, although it has the same number
as Representatives and Senators of the states, is NOT synonymous with
the Congress.

The EC votes in December of presidential election years, but does so
remotely and does not convene in a single location. They, by law, are
NOT the members of the Congress.

The winner must win by a majority vote, not a plurality. If no
majority, then the Presidential race goes to the house where each
Representative gets a vote and the VP race goes to the Senate where
each State gets one vote.

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8

Ed Rasimus July 19th 04 04:23 PM

On 19 Jul 2004 00:04:17 -0700, (Fred the Red
Shirt) wrote:

Ed Rasimus wrote in message . ..
On 15 Jul 2004 20:57:04 -0700,
(Fred the Red
Shirt) wrote:

Ed Rasimus wrote in message . ..

He went to Congress, stood before the
US Senate and said that you and he had been guilty of war crimes. That
you had all committed atrocities. That you were rapists, baby-killers
and violators of the Geneva convention. Would he be exhibiting
"honesty to admit it"?

What if everything he said was true? Would that not be honest and

You create a straw man. If everything he said were true, it would have
been a failure at all levels of leadership to fulfill their
obligations as officers and NCOs. If we all had committed atrocities
at all levels of command and he was the single moral voice it would be
honest and courageous. Of course, that was not the case, either in my
metaphor or in the testimony of Lt. Kerry.

No. You created teh strawman yourself with your implication that he
was speaking literally. Everyone, including yourself, knows that he
was not speaking literally.

One fervently hopes that testimony given under oath to the US Senate
is always literal. Speaking figuratively about issues, particularly
issues as important as allegations of war crimes should NEVER be done
figuratively. I take Kerry's testimony under oath as literal and I
take his statement on Face the Nation regarding his own commission of
war crimes as truth. Why would I doubt his veracity?

Abu Ghraib was reprehensible. It was clearly a failure of leadership
on site.

It was a failure of leadership from the top down. When the Secretary
of Defense re[peatedly and boldly decalres that the United States
will not honor the Geneva Conventions, when he publically scoffs
at accusations of abuse, he sends a clear message on down the line.

Once again we see the strawman. While the principle of responsibility
flowing from the top down is correct, the implication that the
President is responsible for every act of the the entire military
establishment down to the lowest enlisted individual in the field is
impossible to support. In the absence of clear written directives to
act in the manner of the Abu Ghraib guards, one must assume that the
problem was localized.

It was also an aberration. It is not and should not be
construed as representative of American behavior in combat.

Agreed. But it is an aberration that was fostered and encouraged
at the highers levels of our government.

That's an unsubstantiated assertion. There has been publication of the
legal opinion statement that suggested a level of detachment from
Geneva Convention rules, but the whole story is that the opinion did
NOT result in an acceptance of that policy.

Consider the following letter written On 4 Aug 1863, From William
Tecumseh Sherman wrote, to John Rawlins, which read in part:

"The amount of burning, stealing, and plundering done by
our army makes me ashamed of it. I would quit the service
if I could, because I fear that we are drifting to the
worst sort of vandalism. I have endeavored to repress this
class of crime, but you know how difficult it is to fix
the guilt among the great mass of all army. In this case I
caught the man in the act. He is acquitted because his
superior officer ordered it. The superior officer is acquitted
because, I suppose, he had not set the fire with his own hands
and thus you and I and every commander must go through the war
justly chargeable with crimes at which we blush.

Sherman said "war is hell." Lee, however, said "it is good that war is
so terrible, lest we come to love it too much." Aristotle said that
"war ennobles man." Putting service above self and recognizing that
there are some principles that are worth fighting and dying for is

I agree with that but disagree that is is apropos this discussion.

Well, duh! If you introduced the Sherman letter, why should the topic
of war and the relationship of warriors be inappropriate. It isn't my
dog in this hunt, it's yours.

Now, after looking up to see what sorts of things Kerry REALLY said,
and the context in which he said them, would you not consider that
context to be much the same as General Sherman's remarks?

No, I would not. Sherman spoke of an incident and a failure of an
officer to perform.

No. I do have an advantage in that I already knew that Sherman wrote
the letter as part of the correspondence he sent with three officers
(not one) he sent back for court martial for (I think) three seperate
crimes. However I also redirect your attention to the first sentence:

"The amount of burning, stealing, and plundering done by
our army makes me ashamed of it. I would quit the service
if I could, because I fear that we are drifting to the
worst sort of vandalism.

So, Sherman had sent the officers back for court-martial, in the same
manner that the Abu Ghraib perps have been brought under
investigation. Does that mean that Lincoln condoned war crimes?

Sherman was writing about what was happening through out his army,
not an isolated incident. Kerry did what Sherman said he wished
to do. Kerry quit and then renounced the drift into vandalism that
was overtaking the military in Vietnam.

The big difference is that Kerry quit (good choice of words) and then
accused the ENTIRE US military establishment from the top down and
including every warrior in the field of advocating and executing a
policy of war crimes.

There were other differences of course. Sherman was fighting for
the survival of the nation, and he was fighting and winning a war
that clearly could be won, and was being won, by military means.

Kerry not only occupied a lower station in the military, but he
also saw that the survival of the US was not at stake and that
the war in Vietnam could not be won by military means. The US
had prevailed almost to the greatest extent possible in every
military endeavor in Vietnam and still the end of the war was
no where in sight.

So, Kerry could occupy a "lower station in the military" but he could
view the global strategic picture and determine that the war could not
be won? How very prescient of him.

You state correctly that the US prevailed in every military endeavor
(the great Tet victory of the NVA for example was a huge military
defeat for them). And, the end of the war was in sight within two
weeks at any time that the likes of Kerry could be overcome and the
resolve to gain the victory could be mustered by the politicians.
Witness the rapid end to hostilities, the signing of the treaty and
the release of the POWs in less than 90 days following December '72.

Kerry spoke of a generic ignoring of the rules of
war, not only tolerated by leadership but condoned and even directed.
That was a lie.

I do not believe that it was a lie. Cite an example where an
allegattion of war crimes was promptly investigated without an
extensive, even illegal effort to cover-up or obstruct the

Calley/Medina. Or, how about the Turkestan incident since this is an
aviation group?

My real issue with Kerry is his desire to have it both ways. He sought
public approval for protesting the war vigorously. That was well
within his right to do so. Now, he seeks approval for being a great
warrior. Those are mutually exclusive positions.

No they are not mutually exclusive positions. Moreover they represent
the truth of his experience. Impetuous, even egotistical (and what
politician is not?) he first believed the bull**** and lies about
the glory of war and the righteousness of the cause, and perhaps
there was at one time some truth to that. But once he saw with his
own eyes the reality of Vietnam, and had at his disposal knowledge
gained form his fellow soliders he learned differently, came home,
and tried to fix the problem he had contributed to befor.

You state elsewhere that you turned 18 in 1973. So, you didn't see
with your own eyes the "reality" that Kerry saw. I was there in '66
and I was there again in '72-'73. I continue to associate with
literally hundreds of warriors from the period--USAF/USA/USN/USMC. Not
one of them agrees with Kerry. His view of the total corruption of the
military is his alone. Kerry's "fellow soldiers" from the Winter
Soldier testimony--the 150 accusers of war crimes--have been largely
discredited. Many have been found to be outright liars, some did not
serve at all!

Are not all great warriors anti-war in their hearts.

Actually no. I'm fortunate enough to know many warriors. They are
patriots in their hearts and they take great pride in the profession
of arms.

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8

Ed Rasimus July 19th 04 04:32 PM

On 18 Jul 2004 22:40:58 -0700, (Fred the Red
Shirt) wrote:

(B2431) wrote in message ...

The fact remains kerry accused us of all being involved with or have knowledge
of war crimes.

I disagree. That is a gross distortion of the facts, just like the
way neocons used Sherman's words form a protion of one of his letters
to 'prove' that he had confessed to war crimes.

... If what he said was true he had an obligation to take it public. He
not ONCE said the majority of vets served honourably.

Perhaps someone should point that out to him and het him to address that.

Somehow I don't think it would satisfy you if he did, even if he had
done so back then.

What Kerry said was clearly figurative speech, just like when I say
we Americans are responsible for the wrongdoing that America does
anywhere in the world today?

Here's what Kerry said (again!) on Meet the Press:

"There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes,
yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other
soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire
zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50 calibre
machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our
only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy
missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the
laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and
all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by
the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe
that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire
zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid
strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same
letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals."

-- John Kerry, on NBC's "Meet the Press" April 18, 1971

Does that sound allegorical or less than a literal admission of war

I've once gone through the litany and challenged that free fire zones,
harrassment, interdiction, .50 cal, search-and-destroy, air raids, etc
are NOT in any way violations of the Geneva Convention.

I challenged Kerry's assertion regarding .50 cal as "our only weapon
against people" comparing it to his narrative of one of his BS awards
indicating he had an M-16 which jammed so he picked up another M-16 in
the boat.

Did I just stab you in the back?

And here's from Kerry's Senate testimony (under oath):

"I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that
several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over
150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans
testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not
isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the
full awareness of officers at all levels of command. It is impossible
to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit - the emotions
in the room and the feelings of the men who were reliving their
experiences in Vietnam. They relived the absolute horror of what this
country, in a sense, made them do.

They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off
ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human
genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies,
randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of
Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and
generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the
normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which
is done by the applied bombing power of this country."

-- John Kerry, testifying before the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations, April 22, 1971

It certainly sounds like LITERAL testimony. Of course, the fact that
his "150 honorably discharged....etc" veterans turned out to not be so
makes it questionable, but let's give John the benefit of the doubt
that he didn't know it at the time.

Ghengis Khan? Poisoned food? Wires to the genitals? Gimme a break!

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8

Ed Rasimus July 19th 04 04:34 PM

On 18 Jul 2004 22:50:00 -0700, (Fred the Red
Shirt) wrote:

Having never fired a shot I trust and respect those who did.

Ahh, we have a break through in communication.

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8

Ed Rasimus July 19th 04 04:35 PM

On 19 Jul 2004 14:44:33 GMT, (ArtKramr) wrote:

Except of course for the self appointed "Warrior Class" who revel in all that
crap. Save us all from the war lovers.

Arthur Kramer

Lacking warriors you might find yourself today speaking German,
Japanese or Russian. Next year you might be doing some Quran study and
waiting for the call of muezzin.

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8

Ed Rasimus July 19th 04 04:38 PM

On 18 Jul 2004 22:30:57 -0700, (Fred the Red
Shirt) wrote:

I missed that comparison. I'll go back and look for it now.
Meanwhile, would you object to being compared to Hugh Thompson?

Wouldn't bother me in the slightest. I'd like to think that I'd have
done the same thing in those circumstances.

Similarly I'd prefer to be compared to Robin Olds rather than Jack

None of those are likely to occur.

Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot (USAF-Ret)
"When Thunder Rolled"
Smithsonian Institution Press
ISBN #1-58834-103-8

Steve Mellenthin July 19th 04 04:49 PM

Except of course for the self appointed "Warrior Class" who revel in all that
crap. Save us all from the war lovers.

Arthur Kramer

I'll be damned Art! Everyone whom I have passed your website URL to and has
looked at it sees you as squarely in the middle of those war lovers.

You appear to revel in your wartime experiences and can't even send an response
to this board without a signature block that is a mini resume of your wartime
exploits. Most of us here with combat experience rarely do anything close to
that - ever. I respectfully suggest to you that you are speaking out of both
sides of your mouth. You can't have it both ways, my friend.

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