Lost on General Westmoreland and Secretary of Defense McNamara


December 12, 2003

Ignorance is bliss, or so they say, yet either not knowing or ignoring the facts of history can spell doom to a nation boasting of its freedom and democratic systems.

After the battle in the Ia Drang Valley in November of 1965, http://www.lzxray.com recently the focal point of the movie, We Were Soldiers, then Lt. Colonel Hal Moore was called to Saigon to confer with General William Westmoreland, commander of all forces in Vietnam and Secretary of Defense, Robert Strange McNamara.

During the course of this conference, General Westmoreland and the Secretary of Defense were congratulating Colonel Moore on his recent victory. Westmoreland indicated that because of this victory, a request had been made to President Johnson to increase the number of troops in Vietnam by 40,000. Westmoreland boasted to Colonel Moore and Secretary McNamara, that with these new troops the US military would be able to “run the little bastards back home,” referring of course to the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong.

What followed is grim history. 58,000+ Americans killed, 300,000 wounded, hundreds missing or held captive after the war, many thousands more with tormented lives that led to an untold number of suicides and families still living with the uncertainty of what happened to their loved ones. One must also consider over 1 million dead Vietnamese and the untold monetary costs of that war still being visited on American taxpayers.

Whether it is arrogance or ignorance, there are millions in this country who do not, nor apparently never will, understand the dedication of a people, in their own country, fighting for what they see as freedom from the oppression of a foreign army on their soil.

History is resplendent with facts showing the occupied throwing off the chains of oppression, even when the occupying armies are better armed and equipped. The origin of our own country is a prime example.

America, especially our Christian Community, stands fast and resolute in support of Israel, yet many know nothing of the birth of that country.

Perhaps if our public schools taught actual history, instead of politically correct social studies, our citizens would be able to look at the beginning of the State of Israel and compare that with what is happening in the Middle East today.

Zionists formed several “terror” groups to fight both the Palestinians and the occupying British. The British killed Abraham Stern, head of the Zionist terror group, Stern, in February 1942. In January 1944, two Zionist terror groups, Irgon and Stern united against British occupation. In November of the same year these terror groups assassinated British Minister, Lord Moyne.

In July of 1946, the British occupiers issued a white paper on terrorism in Palestine accusing three Zionist groups, Haganah, Stern and Irgon of “violence and destruction.”

On July 22nd, 1946, Irgon would blow up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people. Killed in the massive explosion were British, Palestinians and Jewish employees. One of the leaders of this act, which by any definition was an act of terror, would be Menachem Begin, later to become the 6th Prime Minister of Israel.

Finally, in September of 1947, the British would relent and allow the United Nations to take up the problems in Palestine. Obviously, the UN has been unable to quell the killing and destruction that is still a way of life in the region. Our continued meddling in the Middle East has done nothing to bring peace to the area, only an acceleration of terrorism and a renewed dedication to removing our influence from the region.

The failure to study history keeps from many the origin of the terrorist group Hamas. Hamas actually saw its beginning because of our military presence in Beirut, Lebanon in the early 1980’s. How many new terrorist groups will find their origin in our occupation of Iraq?

Nowhere are the lessons of the quest for empire more compelling than with the French and their experiences in both Vietnam and Algeria. Although Vietnam was lost by conventional war on the ground, Algeria set the example for many of our modern day terrorists.

In the years up until Algeria was granted her independence, over 42,000 acts of terrorism were recorded. The death toll for the continuing violence associated with the occupation of Algeria, is estimated by some to be as high as one million lives lost. The dissenting opinions about the granting of that independence fragmented the government in France at the time, causing rebellion in the French military.

Could one doubt for a minute the reasons for the years of terrorism and death in Northern Ireland was the desire of the people to be free of the domination and control of England and to have the right of self-determination? New evidence will be revealed to show to all that the government of England used acts of terrorism there to advance their own agenda, http://politics.guardian.co.uk/northernirelandassembly/story/0,9061,1103711,00.html just as our military is resorting to acts of terrorism against the citizens of Iraq.

Just think of the popularity of the movie Braveheart and what it represented. Was it not the eternal quest of those oppressed by others to use whatever means available to secure their freedoms. The culmination of the movie was William Wallace screaming the word freedom as he was about to be executed by those who sought to rule and control his land.

There are those still alive today in this world that would adhere to the words of Patrick Henry: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!'

At the heart of terrorism is the desire of people to be free from oppression and to determine their own destiny from a vastly superior force/occupier. History is resplendent with example after example of this paradigm.

Until such time as the people of this country recognize the axioms of this principle, we will continue to experience acts of terrorism here in our country and against Americans and our military in foreign countries.

What exactly is the purpose of maintaining our military in over 120 foreign countries? Would we as Americans tolerate the presence of a foreign military force in our country? How would we respond to seeing our neighbors searched, their personal property destroyed and many of them shot and killed? What if that presence was preceded by a massive bombing campaign that killed tens of thousands of our own citizens, many of them women and children? Would we politely acquiesce and adopt the will of the occupier and allow them to dictate the conduct of our lives?

Many of us now see our government as oppressive and tyrannical. Does that give some other nation the right to occupy our country and imprison our leaders? The talking plastic heads on TV continually emphasize the fact Saddam killed his own people; yet fail to see the similarities with Waco and Ruby Ridge. The argument that Saddam killed many more of his citizens than died at Waco and Ruby Ridge is irrelevant. Can one be just a little bit pregnant?

What exactly in our behavior as a nation grants us the moral superiority to tell others how they are to run their country? How can a nation that murders 4,000 unborn babies each day pretend to sit in judgment of anyone?

Others do not hate us for our freedoms; we are hated for our arrogance!

Our actions in Iraq http://www.newyorker.com/printable/?fact/031215fa_fact very closely resemble not only our actions in Vietnam but also mirror the actions of our government against the people of the South during the War Between the States and the American Indian during the latter part of the 19th century.

How difficult is it today to find a sincere abhorrence of all things government by many true Southerners and American Indians? Do we not acknowledge the acts of terror visited upon the citizens in the path of Sherman from Atlanta to Savannah, the devastation of civilians and private property by Sheridan in the Shenandoah and those state sponsored atrocities at places such as Wa!*&!@a, Sand Creek, Canyon de Chelly and Wounded Knee? Moral superiority to tell others how to live and conduct affairs of government: I think not!

Lost on General Westmoreland and Secretary of Defense McNamara and many of our government leaders and citizens of today was Colonel Hal Moore’s response to the theory that “we could run the little bastards back home.” “We will not run the little bastards back home,” Moore responded. “He is home.”

We’ll Run The Little Bastards Back Home

By Michael Gaddy

OpEds Editor


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