Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Out Of The Woodwork

Okay, I go back a ways.

When I got on WaPo this a.m. I saw Melvin Laird was doing an op-ed. In case you don't know it, you can pay to get published on WaPo.

This was the cite: The writer served as a Republican House member from 1953 to 1969 and as secretary of defense from 1969 to 1973.

Wiki: Laird succeeded in improving DoD's standing with Congress. As a highly respected congressional veteran, Laird had a head start in his efforts to gain more legislative support for Defense programs. He maintained close contact with old congressional friends, and he spent many hours testifying before Senate and House committees. Recognizing the congressional determination, with wide public support, to cut defense costs (including winding down the Vietnam War), Laird worked hard to prune budgetary requests before they went to Congress, and acceded to additional cuts when they could be absorbed without serious harm to national security. One approach, which made it possible to proceed with such new strategic weapon systems as the B-1 bomber, the Trident nuclear submarine, and cruise missiles, was agreement to a substantial cut in conventional forces. As a result, total military personnel declined from some 3.5 million in FY 1969 to 2.3 million by the time Laird left office in January 1973

As one who looks with amusement on the 'Clinton did it' meme, it's nice that some one who pared down the military even before the present administration is raising his ugly head, without admitting to his role in the disaster, WELL, hello. You were there in the beginning, and now? you want congress to bug out. Let the idjuts go on with war? Teh temptation is to ask where your think tank is getting its funding.

Now what is he saying;
The all-volunteer military needs better wages and better equipment. The troops today have what we lacked in Vietnam -- the will to win and unit cohesiveness and pride. What they don't need is a Congress that thinks it is doing them a favor by cutting off funding for Iraq. They need a Congress that makes national defense a budget priority. Even including the war in Iraq, defense spending is still a sliver of gross domestic product.'

Oh, we are bitter:
Summary: During Richard Nixon's first term, when I served as secretary of defense, we withdrew most U.S. forces from Vietnam while building up the South's ability to defend itself. The result was a success -- until Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by cutting off funding for our ally in 1975. Washington should follow a similar strategy now, but this time finish the job properly.

But even without having a dog in the fight, I object to 'the will to win and unit cohesiveness and pride' as what Vietnamese veterans lacked. I think there may be a lot of veterans out there with all of that. And from the one person I lost in that war, who was sent out into action his second day in Vietnam and was killed - you take that back, you bastard.

Some one else is responsible for every bad decision I ever made, too. Oh, yes. None of them ever caused the deaths of many sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, children of the voters who have chosen to butt out.

Finishing the job properly is not a matter of killing more people.

We cannot take over a country and destroy its existing order and then announce that we can make it right by spending more money and lives. But most especially, don't insult the men who died in that earlier war.

Give it up, GOP, you've lost the minds and hearts and it's the U.S. you've lost. The giblets are not taking any more.

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Anonymous Vicar said...

Color me confused, but his prior force trimming seems inconsistent with his stance today, including his interpretation on viet.

It's not clear how we're supposed to "win" here anyway. Perhaps the lesson not learned throughout history is that you can't rule a remote land filled with factions who hate one the UK learned about the budding US of A.

4:15 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Oh, right, and the campaign in 2000 stressed that he wasn't into
nation building. We're talking lies.

3:02 AM  

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