Your Lying Eyes

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18 July 2005

General William Westmoreland, RIP

General Westmoreland, chief commander during the Vietnam War, has died. I was always struck by how Westmoreland, as life-imitating-art, was notorious for asking for more troops, just as his namesake had done in Henry V:

WESTMORELAND: O that we now had here

But one ten thousand of those men in England

That do no work to-day!

KING. What's he that wishes so?

My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.

If we are mark'd to die, we are enow

To do our country loss; and if to live,

The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

Unfortunately, LBJ, on the other hand, was no Henry V.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "right way" to conduct these "wars of liberation" seem always to be muddled. While we all agree in retrospect that Viet Nam was an utter failure, maybe Westmoreland was right in seeking enough troops to push it to conclusion. I'm just finishing (albeit long overdue) Nelson DeMille's excellent "Up Country" and while it's clear that DeMille, a Viet Nam vet, hated the war, his frustration at this country's ambivelent approach towards that war was what resulted in our ultimate failure is clear and convincing.
It would sure seem that there is a lesson to be learned that can & should be applied to Iraq. Let's either cut & run now or put in a sufficient number of troops to overrun the enemy (apparently a substanial portion of Iraqis who want to govern themselves) and get this thing over with.
Obviously, I support the former solution. Saddam is gone, there are no weapons of mass destruction. Aren't we done? Does every household need hot & cold running water and satellite TV (courtesy of American companies paid by my tax dollar) before our job is done? If the majority American population wants to bring "democracy" to this land, even though our buddies in Saudi are still a barbaric "kingdom", then let's get the bodies over there to get it done.
I note that you can now enlist up to age 42 (recent increase from 35) so sign 'um up and ship 'um out. Let's just not lanquish for years with a dozen kids a month getting picked off and no progress being made.
Where are protesting high school & college kids when you need them? Oh yeah, partying in Aruba.

July 22, 2005 7:12 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Harlem - well said. In some ways we have a mercenary army. There's a myth that blacks are disproportionately victims in this war. In fact it is poor whites - probaby the Scotch-Irish - the stock from which Andy Jackson prevailed - who are doing most of the dying. They're going to run out of recruits soon, however. Don't think there's going to be much else to take up the slack.

July 23, 2005 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


August 24, 2005 8:19 AM  

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