President Bush Games with Wounded Troops; Bloggers Take Offense

November 10, 2007 -

President Bush's recent gaming session with wounded Iraq war veterans in a Texas rehab hospital is not sitting well with some liberal bloggers.

At this point, it's not known exactly which game Bush played. As reported by AFP:

President George W. Bush had a shoot-out with the "bad guys" in Iraq on Thursday, playing a computer game with war veterans that simulates a firefight in Baghdad... Bush tried his hand at the game with two soldiers during a visit to a rehabilitation center in Texas that treats veterans wounded in Iraq.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush helped "shoot the bad guys" in a Baghdad neighborhood, albeit virtually... the president saw several "cutting edge virtual reality games" that allow recovering soldiers at the center in San Antonio to simulate riding in a car or boat.

The Huffington Post's bare-bones report on the story generated a thousand comments (although, to be fair, many of those relate to a flame war among HP readers). Meanwhile Exit Stage-left really wigged out:

First, did he wear his flight suit? Just because you play a god blessed video game, you did not fight against the "bad guys" you twit.

It's an insult to the men and women you are sending in to lose limbs and their lives. You playing a video game does not make you a soldier, you giddy moron.

...For [military personnel killed in Iraq] there was no restart button, the bullets were real, you don't get any "life packs" or supercharged powers. You don't play in an air-conditioned room with tons of admirers/donors watching your every move.

GP: Let me say right up front that - my opinion - George W. Bush is a freakin' disaster as President. But c'mon. The troops - many of whom have lost limbs - were rehabbing and enjoying the game. What's the problem? Bush has plenty of real issues over which he can be criticized. Let's not manufacture one from a few moments of game play.


Yet another example of no matter how horrible, saddening, or tragic a situation, Bush will always be there to stage the most powerful photo ops ever.

Oh god FORBID Bush plays a video game. I don't care for the guy's policies, but he went out to support the troops. How is THAT a bad thing? I wish people could stop being so damn narrow-minded.

Good grief, some idiots will complain about anything. I'm no fan of the president, but for fuck's sake, don't make trouble where there isn't any. Good call, GP.

@ Saladin,

Your name and comment made me chuckle.


I think the point is that this war for Bush has always been little more than a video game, so it is more than a little ironic that he would be playing a simulation of it with soldiers that were injured in the real thing.

Anything that Bush does that pertains to this occupation is fair game(so to speak). He personally ordered an invasion that has led to the deaths of over half a million people and the displacement of 2.3 million others. He never gets to "just play a game" during a photo op and have it not be construed as something else cause he is responsible for those soldiers being in that hospital in the first place.


Hehe.. it does you know..

But then, coming from a Frenchman, you aren't exactly clean either.

I'm very liberal, I don't like Bush all that much but this blogger is a dumb ass. Bush wasn't claiming to have had the same experience that the wounded/disabled soldiers had. I've played dozens of games don't mean I claim to know what it is like to save a magical land from random evil wizard guy.

I don't think Huffington was commenting on Bush playing a game with the troops so much as he was commenting on the press's spin of the situation. It was the press column that made it sound as if Bushie was doing something heroic.

There certainly is a lot of hatred for Bush. (Well, that's an understatement.) Unfortunately, I think sometimes people let their distaste for him prevent them from thinking very clearly, and they act a bit absurd as a result. This is one of those cases, in my view.

Why the hell is it that whenever Bush does something, his opponents say it's a photo-op? I don't care whether or not you agree with him (I don't totally agree with him, personally), but he's a good man, doing what he thinks is right. Leave the guy alone. He plays a video game and all you gamers do is slam him. You should be glad we have someone this influential playing video games with this social conservative thing going around. Grow up guys, seriously.

btw, I'm really glad you guys at Gamepolitics at least admitted your anti-Bush bias. I mean, we have CNN and MSNBC totally denying it.

altho, I'm not endorsing having bias either.

Everyone has bias though. I mean, Dennis is a human, so are the other GP writers, so they can't help but have an opinion of Bush, one way or another. They usually don't report about him because he doesn't get involved in video game issues that often, so they seldom have to worry about it influencing their reporting. Wasn't the last time Bush was mentioned in an article the time Jack Thompson tried to subpeona him?

I have no problem with GP's last paragraph, though, as it was clear what their opinion was, but they kept it seperate from the rest of the article. If there were subtlely inserting digs and attacks against Bush throughout the whole story, it would be another thing.


The president played a video game.

Who gives a flying fuck

@ BlackIce, who prolly played S.T.A.L.K.E.R. too much,

I could put my entire comment to what you said in a single smiley but that would be server abuse.

Yeah, the only somewhat anti-spin politicians around here in France are right wing wacko, and we have some of the best in the "I swear I got no spin!" bussness. Sarkozy. With the other dopes not far behind.

We'll see how it goes, anyway. France had (still has?) a streak of spineless politicians.

All in all, I'd like the one current superpower in the world to become politically sane, please. (I realise that me saying that has about so much impact as, say, the "thruth" or logic and observational evidence on the brain of a guy who fughts for words with capital letters.) (Never trust a guy who fights (worse of all tries to talk you in fighting, he'll be the one taking cover while you fight for the cause) for a[some] word[s] with capital letters, best advice history can give us. Freedom is not the exeption, personal freedom is selfish so it "kinds of" works.)

Not to be the spoil sport or nothing, but while one care argue up and down about Bushs time as president, and trust me, I've had more then my fair share of issues with the man. "Cough" Amneisty "Cough". Nor am I pleased with how the war in iraq was handled. To be honest, I felt getting rid of sadam was a good think, questionable justifications not withstanding, but this thing has gone on about 4 years or more longer then I think it should.

That being said, I fail to see why this is something for them to whine about. Theres enough of a hate machine out for bushs head as it is, no need to go and add to it. The man will be out of office in a year or so.

Now the question is, if hiliary gets elected, I wonder how long it'll be before people start to look back on bushs presidancy as "the good old days".

Me, I give it six months tops. once those taxs start hitting peoples pay checks, they'll really start thinking that maybe bush wasn't so bad.

Then again, if someone else gets elected, it might be even worse. I shudder to think what some of the republican canidates might be like, Fundie jerks they are.

Ok, rant over, im done.


Calm down.. I was talking about the Crusades..

ugh. im pretty damn liberal, and i hate bush just as much as the next person whos had to live under him the last 7 years. but come on, there was nothing evil about what he did. he just played some games with soldiers. yet another reason why i dont go to those ultra-extreme-liberal-hippie blogs

Funnily enough, i'm the only person to look at it fro the Bloggers' point of view. Narrow minded? Yeah, that sums up this article.

Here's one for you: Abortion is illegal in a certain country. Woman is pregnant with a horribly disabled child. This child won't live much longer than 5 months, and it will be in horrific pain every waking moment of it's life. Woman has child aborted. She is arrested.

Who is right?

I don't really see a news story here.

One thing that has been consistent throughout his misguided presidency is the amount of concern he shows to the troops/families of troops (who have also contacted the white house about not blaming him for the deaths), and so him spending time with the wounded isn't unreasonable.

Though, with the amount of photo op PR stuff that the administration does (even if Bush isn't always aware of it), I'd not be surprised if the games that the soldiers were playing were carefully selected so that he wouldn't come under fire from conservatives for playing a controversial game.

@ BlackIce,

Oh, it was about the crusades, okay, I get it. Don't worry about me being angry at politicians, it's a default setting in most people.

I don't get your last post though. (Though I'd support the woman.) (BTW, relevant much?)

Im not a supporter of bush, i respect him since he is the president of the united states, but i dont respect what he has done for this country, but anything that he does people will always try to put a negative spin on it, honestly as someone else said what would everyone be saying if he refused to play this Iraq Simulation with the Vets, let me guess, the president doesn't want to see the horrors he has caused...

Okay, clear this up for me, what's the problem here? I don't get it.

Oh no President Bush is playing murder simulators.

If there was ever a draft reinstutitued in this country, I'd be one of the first to sign up for the Texas Air National Guard. Best follow the incredible precedent of courage that Bush established decades ago.

You can't blame Bush for at least pretending like he gives a flying shit about the people serving in Iraq; it's the least he can do for the people he sent to suffer and die in a foreign war that was inititated to stimulate certain parts of the economy. The bloggers were right to jump all over this. Bush's action is almost as distasteful as cockslapping the servicemen in the face.

@ Pandralisk,

"Least he can do" = "cockslapping", contradiction much?




@Zippy -- Let me be clear. I'm a Republican. I'm no fan of the current president. But is the liberal blogosphere so hard up for other material to bash him about that they have to get their panties in a wad over this? Really?

And EVERY wartime president has done similar photo ops. (Or, let's call them press ops back in the days before cameras were invented.)

And let's face it: if the president DIDN'T visit the troops he'd get criticized.

Damed if you do, etc. etc.


You know, as the son of a korea and vietnam viet, my father is still waiting for an apology from all the liberal activists that called him shit like "Baby killer" and vile crap like that. I don't argue that this war has been perfect, hell, i still think we should have just taken out saddam and his closet supporters and let the country chose it's own path, not stick around for 5 years or more. But to claim that bush showing support for the troops is in some way an insult to them is big words when you consider that at least bush was in the guard, easy duty though it may be, unlike clinton who dodge the draft all together.

When the left starts remembering who it is that gives them the right to Bitch, then maybe i'll listen to them bitching about bush. Till then, it's just more self important hate spewing against the man. I may have no love for bush, he's lost my support for his stance on immigration, but the left is no better. In my eyes, you will forever be far WORSE after what you did to the vietnam vets.

The only problem I see is the people who are making a big deal out of it.

The only problem I have with the article is the term "virtual reality games". WTF? So the prez and some soldiers strapped on some goggles and gloves and flailed their arms about ineffectively?

"And let’s face it: if the president DIDN’T visit the troops he’d get criticized."

Agreed one hundred percent. I am so fucking sick of these idiot liberals constantly putting Bush in a catch 22 situation. They were saying on the The View that Bush shouldn't even bother to go to California after the wildfires (because "he doesn't care". pfft.), but if he didn't go, then they'd say "WAIR TEH FUCK IS HE????"

This is just freaking pathetic. I mean yeah, GWB is one of the worst Presidents in US history. But really, he is showing respect for those who would give their lives for this country. This is the least he can do for those who died for his pointless war.

So basically these bloggers are idiots. There are much more relevant and pressing flaws in GWB Presidency that need to be brought to light. Not wasting their time with this moot bullshit.


Gotta love it when conservative posters twist premises around to make insanely flawed, almost silly, arguments. Nothing like bowing before corporate authority without question! True patriotism!!! I think by "bitch" you mean "think." Now I know this whole "thinking" idea is hard for people who derive truth solely from superstition, tradition, and authority... and I know that many conservatives are not used to evoking complex thought processes that encourage the consideration of fact and data, but please do not confuse "thinking" for "bitching." How many people are bashing Vietnam vets in this thread? -Looks around- ...Conservatives, the true masters at inventing phantom fears.

Yeah. As I said before, if you're looking to avoid going to war joining the Texas Air National Guard is one of your safest bets.


I'm sick of deluded conservatives who "support the troops," but see nothing wrong about forcing them to fight in foreign lands for the profit of a handful of US firms. Want to support the troops, conservative friends? Standing up against a handful of corportized cronies who lie to the American people would have been a great start. But, unfortunately, most conservatives allow either the Bible or fear-mongering authority figures to replace their brains in any instance where deductive reasoning is required. You've already screwed up. Getting our troops off streets where bombs go off on a daily basis would be the next logical step.

As I said before...

Wearing a lapel pin on your chest, playing a video game for five minutes, and saying "I support the troops" depicts your devotion to the troops just as much as a cockslap to the face. But hey, as long as you say you support the troops, one forth of the American public is still stupid enough to believe it.


First off: LOL.

Seriously though, generalizing all 'conservatives', as you put them, doesn't make you any better than they are. They do the same thing...just not as articulately.

Damnit, couldn't resist.

Are how crazy our far left is?

I wouldn't see any problem with this if it weren't for the stark contrast between Bush playing games with the wounded Vets and cutting funding for their future care as well as trimming down (from numbers that still haven't gone up since before the war) the number of soldiers who can receive monetary compensation for crippling damage, mental or physical or both.

Nothing wrong with bringing a moment of star-struck fun to a few recuperating soldiers; but I hope the president changes his mind about making the Veterans pay the price for his war-funding and other things, or else this will be just another ironic publicity stunt in a growing list of them.

What's with all the bashing? Just because people don't agree with your viewpoint doesn't make them "conservative/liberal" morons.

brb, going to rabble about this travesty in my liberal blog.

oh and vote ron paul plz

On second thought, maybe the UN should establish a resolution where all countries can settle their disputes over a game of Big Team Slayer on Halo 3.

*writes to Congress*

"Getting our troops off streets where bombs go off on a daily basis would be the next logical step."

Wow. That was incredibly stupid. So you want to leave the Iraqis on the streets with no real military force protecting them with these bombs going off every day? And you liberals complain about how the war is killing people. It'll be much worse when we pull out.
I want out of Iraq as much as the next liberal, but I don't want to leave in defeat; I want to leave in victory. Which, so far, is looking pretty achievable, with the new general.

And BTW, you can generalize about conservatives all you want, I don't care. I'm a libertarian.

Yet again, we have the rhetoric against Bush. Bush is commander-in-chief of the army, making him the highest military official, visiting troops who are wounded to raise overall morale is part of his duty.

In agreement with GP on this.


Wow, conservatism at work. Create an enormous problem by spewing forth an obscene amount of lies, and then support the continuation of the problem by citing reasons that are solely contingent on the problem itself.
Keep "supporting those troops" by forcing them to fight a war on behalf of US contractors and a handful of corporations with ties to the Bush admisinstration. I guess if you say, "I support the troops" and wear a lapel pin on your chest, it really doesn't matter when you read stories about your fellow countrymen getting shot in the face.

There is something seriously wrong with a Commander and Chief who sent the best people in this country to die in a foriegn land for several billion dollars in contracting and oil. The problem becomes worse when some members of the public are too stupid, submissive, or apathetic to see through the lies that were used to push us into this unwarranted and illegal war.

Watching Bush play a game that depicts modern combat, while visiting wounded veterans, is an insult to every person in this country who gives half a rat's ass about the troops. It's sick enough that Bush sent these people die for money; it's even worse when we see a tasteless and disgusting PR attempt like this. You support the troops by withdrawling them from that quagmire, not by tuning into conservative talk radio, wearing a lapel pin, playing games that depict soldiers dieing with wounded soldiers, putting a yellow ribbon on your SUV, or articulating your prima-facie concern in the form of a four word phrase on a daily basis.

I am glad this point was noted.

"Watching Bush play a game that depicts modern combat, while visiting wounded veterans, is an insult to every person in this country who gives half a rat’s ass about the troops."

Sometimes, I really, really hate the internet.


This from the man whose party spent the better part of 30 years attacking the benefits of vietnam vets by trying to give it to illigals and activits?

Hypocrite, party of one.

I will agree that it's time to bring the troops home. I no longer care if iraq tears itself apart. if my eyes, had we really wanted peace in that area, we'd have taken out it's tyrant leader and left it at that, the people would have chosen there own government.

But While one can argue up and down which party really supports the troops, the records is clear. It wasn't conservitives who spat on them coming home from nam. It was liberals.

I fall far short of being a neo con. At worst, i'm a moderate that leans towards conservitism.

But I'm also the son of a solder. Don't you dare accuse me of not supporting the troops, i've been doing that my whole fucking life you Hypocrite.

We can argue all we want about the reasoning or justification for going to iraq, or weather we should have stayed. Personally I'm not hear to argue that. I will say that it's time for the troops to leave, let iraq solve it's own problems.

But to blanket label all conservitives like you have done shows your mentally biased and permantly deluded.

Yet another victim of the Liberal media monopoly. Maybe you should listen to talk radio, least then you'd actually be able to hear both sides of an issue ,biased though it might be.

Franckly, if you nice americans didn't have any kind of stupid hope that your politicians might be doing politics for you, then there wouldn't be a problem.

The thing that bothers me most about american politics is the "cut it in two" approach, you are either a "liberal" or a "conservative" and there is no middle ground, no middle ground means no debate and then no sanity, look at the state of your politics!

I personnaly happen to quite like the Economist's eitorial stance, it is both "rightish" economicaly (but not conservative) and "leftish" for personnal freedom (in a potently not "democratic" (I mean, "democratic party", it sound way too arrogant) kind of way, more in a "do what you want as long as it doesn't blow things up" kind of way) and they frown upon things lik laws restricting freedom of speech like the nice one we have in France for exemple.

And let me tell you that the world loves to see activists complain about the US not doing enough to maintain peace AND asking for soldiers to come back home. Sorry people but you can't eat your cake, then put it back in the fridge and then sell it before putting it back in the fridge. Again.

Yet another thing, stop it with political correctness, seriously, it gets in our countries now and it's one of the most effective way to silence oposition:
A: "Well, Stalin didn't have an ouce of stategic thinking in him."
B: "Nazi apologist!"
A: "Wiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?"

You know, I think everyone is taking this thing a little out of proportion. He did what every President (except for Clinton) does. He went to see wounded GI's, talked, played games (doesn't matter if it's spades of Call of Duty) and had a photo op. As it stands, all games I've played that are story based have you fighting "bad guys". Frankly, games are like books and movies and would only confuse people if they looked at things and beyond black and white.

It's like; You see that Covenant Grunt there, he's a bad guy, shoot him before he shoots you. Not: well, I wonder if he has a family, if he really believes in what his commanders are fighting for, ect, ect. They aren't supposed to be hugs and cuddles group therapy, but rather a story to be told from the eyes of the character.

People take this way too seriously, what if they just played Uno? I can see it now: Uno shows president's desire to dominate all.

And, FYI, for the record, I did vote for him, because John Kerry scared me me more. And as it stands I don't care who becomes President next, just so long as it isn't Hillary. Frankly, my dad had it right, there should be a "None of the Above" box on the ballots.


I'll be damned.. You're the last person i'd expect to take the same side as me, but you're also the only one to have done so.

Could I possibly hate the USA any more than I do now? It's happened before.


Go watch "The War On Democracy". Can be found on the Tube of You.

You almost sympathise with Bin Laden at the end. Almost.
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