Poor William's Almanack and Journal
Contact and Feedback
About William

Rightspeak Glossary

Privacy Statement
Search this site

May 1, 2004

Dressed for Success

Bush in flight suit landing on USS Abraham Lincoln
It was a year ago the President stepped out to strut before the carefully arranged press corps aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, there to posture and proclaim the end of "major combat" in Iraq. The banner on the carrier's island said "Mission Accomplished." Ironic, isn't it, that in April 2004 we have seen the greatest number of US military casualties (138 killed) since the ill-advised invasion of Iraq began. By the way, that one month total is more young Americans killed than the entire losses that we suffered in the First Gulf War when we had about 500,000 of our troops engaged.

Bush with Mission banner
Undaunted, the President explained that the mission he was talking about back then on Lincoln's flight deck was the toppling of the Saddam regime. It reminds one of another president who explained to us that it all depends on what your definition of "is" is. But, William is certainly not here to praise Caesar, or even to bury the fallen. The government won't allow photos of their flag-draped coffins to be shown, and one of the networks won't permit their names to be spoken aloud on TV for fear of losing favor with the Bush White House. Perhaps they should just be forgotten. After all, none of the dead have last names like Bush or Rumsfeld or Cheney or Wolfowitz.
flag-draped coffins

No, let's talk instead about the dress-up game that was played by our favorite Commander in Chief. If our President was really interested in finding out about how life goes on in a giant man-of-war like Lincoln, he might visit her in actual combat when the ship is launching and recovering strike aircraft around the clock, in heavy seas and sloppy weather. It might not make for such a good photo op, but I bet that the ship's company would appreciate it. If he wants to see what real aviation skill is about, he might try a night carrier landing on one of those pitching decks that has suddenly been reduced to postage stamp size, with poor visibility and no horizon. Carrier aircraft recoveries under such conditions have been aptly described as controlled crashes.

USS Lofberg (DD-759) underway

William had a front row seat for aircraft that failed to catch a wire, went bolter across the flight deck, or failed to get airborne. Many an hour he spent on the bridge of a tin can making holes in the ocean while searching for a downed pilot, never lucky enough to find more than a few soggy seat cushions (hardly solace for the grief of a family waiting in vain for news of a missing aviator). No, Mr. President, in my book you have not earned the right to wear a Navy flight suit. Seeing you strut for the cameras that day evoked in me some of the same emotion one can get from viewing a pimply-faced punk casually wearing an article of US military uniform clothing that he bought for a few dollars in a thrift shop.

punk jamming

A personal favor please, Mr. President; next time you feel like playing dress up combatant, do it on dry land. Better yet, when next the urge to don a flight suit overtakes you, go back to Texas, or to Alabama, and make up some of that flight time in the Air National Guard to compensate for the periods you can't seem to account for before you failed to show for your annual flight physical, and were grounded.

BACKto Journal Main Page


Almanack | Journal | Contact & Feedback | About William | Forum | Archives | Glossary | Privacy | Search


Content and graphics copyright ©2004, Will Henry.
HTML and design copyright ©2002, ABC Internet.
All rights reserved.
Last updated on June 4, 2004

ABC Mini-logo