Happy 237th Birthday...to us.
I can't help but wonder how many more we have left...
Just finished reading a book I couldn't put down.
By General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. His autobiography, "It Doesn't Take A
I was going through some personal troubles at the time of Desert
Shield/Desert Storm. Didn't really pay much attention to what was happening in
the world then. (The crumbling of a marriage while raising a toddler have a way of narrowing one's worldly focus)
This book explains it so crystally-clear. Must reading
even for doves / liberals. It really is. But it's also riveting reading, even
if you are a dove. I had no idea that Saddam Hussein had amassed and equipped
an army much, much larger than that of our peak troop size in Vietnam, so enormous that even Schwarzkopf himself was afraid we'd be soundly crushed unless we doubled our troop strength in Saudi Arabia to help Kuwait regain its country after it was overrun by Hussein's armies.
Hussein had some 450,000 troops massed. Almost half a million. Think about that, folks. Schwarzkopf actually refused to commit to a go date unless the U.S. ramped up troop strength drastically, and we still didn't have as many troops as that number. Plus we didn't have nor would we ever use chemical weapons, as Hussein already had and would continue to use.
I didn't recall hearing any of this from the press then, and I doubt I'd recall it if I had heard it. I didn't recall that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was poised to really,
truly invade and take over Saudi Arabia, after taking over Kuwait. After that, or perhaps during that, they were going to annihilate Israel, or try to. After all, the first rockets Iraq fired--after they were hit while entrenched in Kuwait--were upon Israel.
We weren't the
only ones upset about this. Japan, the UK, the entire Arab world, Russia, everyone was against what Hussein was massing and digging in to do.
Why did we go to Vietnam? Or Korea, or Kuwait, or even Iraq, for that matter?
One South Vietnamese captain told Schwarzkopf in his first Vietnam tour, "You...come here and fight, but after a year you can go back to your peaceful homes. But this is our home and we're fighting for our survival."
If your friend came to you and said that s/he needed dire help in trying just to survive, would you turn that person down? Or would you try to help?
Even still, it isn't a rah-rah-go-army book. It's fascinating how Schwarzkopf calls out our military all throughout his career, for the bungles and stupidity enacted in Vietnam and in general. Refreshing, to say the least.
That time, 22 years ago, was probably the last time that the intense pressure of liberalism, the laissez-faire
attitudes and dishonesty of our elected politicians in this country were not allowed to hurt us. That war was planned and executed successfully by Schwartzkopf, with full support-- multiple times--by Congress, and ended in a rout of Saddam Hussein's army after 100-hours, and with ridiculously minimal US and Allied forces casualties, injuries and no POW/MIAs.
If you think you understand the United States and its military, if you think it isn't healthy to challenge and try to change a government that's doing
many wrong things and is trying to do more wrong things, then you probably should
read that book.
Especially starting today.