Re: OT Iowa (Gnork)
- From: who'sthat <whosthat>
- Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2008 16:07:21 -0600
On Mon, 7 Jan 2008 13:28:32 -0800 (PST), BadgerBC
On Jan 5, 9:42 pm, Gnork <gn...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Jan 5, 3:10 pm, McDuck <wallyDELETEMEMcD...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Sat, 5 Jan 2008 15:02:21 -0500, "John Fariss"
"Dano" <janeandd...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
None of which makes you hesitant to defame a fellow serviceman who
actually served...unlike the clown who sits now in the highest seat of
power. Nice. Yet you say HE sold out his fellows...by trying to bring
them home...and pull us out of another foolhardy overseas adventure. Some
people will never learn.
You idiot! He slandered us. Christ, get a clue.
Guess you had to be there.
Just about every competent historian claims that Vietnam was a
terrible mistake. And Kerry slandered you because he said the war was
a mistake? Because he said abuses occurred? Well, history is on his
side on that one.
The one to get mad at is Nixon. He knew the war was lost soon after
taking office but kept it going for years to minimize the political
cost to himself of admitting it was lost. And then the far right tried
(with success) to tar the Democrats in Congress for telling the
American people the truth about Vietnam. From that experience, Kerry
was slow to blow the whistle on Iraq. Too bad, but again it is the
Republican smearers who are at fault, or at least mostly at fault.
McDuck, I admire your approach. You are never afraid to use a phrase
like "Just about every competent historian" without any backup. Let me
ask, did you take an extended survey? Who set the standard for
"competent" historian and who determined whether or not specific
historians qualified? I'm guessing I shouldn't hold my breath waiting
for an answer.
You haven't asked me, nor has anyone else, about my specific opinions
on the war. First I would recommend reading "A Bright Shining Lie" by
Neal Sheehan which tells the story of Colonel John Paul Vann. Vann was
a great, great soldier with an incredibly screwed up private life that
began with his dirt poor upbringing in the Appalachians.
Have you read LTC John H. Nagl's _Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife:
Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam_? He's a tanker who
is the CO of 1-34AR and this is the book that's really been the
unofficial guide to COIN operations for the Army (even though the new
FM 3-24 is better than pre-2003 material, it's geared mainly toward
company grade and below). General Schoomaker ordered all field grade
and above to read the book (Nagl wrote it as a thesis when he was a
Rhodes Scholar at Oxford before he deployed as the S-3 of 1-34AR. If
you plan to read it, get the paperback version as he added some
thoughts of after his time in the sandbox). Nagl supports your view
although it wasn't just limited to JPV. And while I mostly agree with
your assessment of McNamara who just didn't get it, the senior
leadership in the Army was to blame as well. That's really well
documented and just about the only one who has been spared of much
criticism is Creighton Abrams who took over too late. While by all
accounts Westmoreland was an honorable man who cared for his men under
his command, he probably didn't get it either (and that's from various
observers who'd had done multiple tours like Powell and Walter Patrick
Lang (He was a SF then).
I don't know if you still maintain contacts within the Army but there
are similar developments now that hearken back to what had happened to
the officer corps during Vietnam. Petraeus obviously is the most
prominent COIN expert but beneath his command at TRADOC were Nagl, COL
H.R. McMaster (of 73 Eastings fame in 1991 and he wrote a book I'd
recommend strongly: _Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert
McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies That Led to Vietnam.
IMHO it's the most important book on Vietnam to come out in some
time. GEN Hugh Shelton had ordered all general officers to read it,
but I guess not many did) and LTC Paul Yingling (He was McMaster's XO
in 3ACR), etc are really the black sheep of the Army now even though
they're trying to fix this mess. H.R. McMaster gets COIN as does
Yingling (who probably destroyed his future in the Army after writing
"A Failure in Generalship" earlier this year). McMaster was just
passed over for promotion this year for the second time and I have no
doubt that was the reason why Petraeus came back to ask SecDef Gates
to shake up the promotion boards. If you can't reach the top of a
tree, you chop off the stump (like McMaster) and that probably was
what took place in June when the board passed over a guy who was not
only a top tanker of world renown (almost every tanker has heard of 73
Easting and many have studied it in detail), but someone who'd have a
teaching position at Stanford tomorrow if he chooses (He was the
national security fellow at Hoover while he was finishing his doctoral
thesis which later became _Dereliction_). And nobody who knows him
thinks he had slept with a babysitter so many think it was the usual
bureaucratic knife in the back to get at Petraeus.
It doesn't really matter what the Generals read. It's the idiot in the
White House who got us in this unwinnable mess.
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