Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Down The Memory Hole

It was a shameful thing to ask men to suffer and die, to persevere through god-awful afflictions and heartache, to endure the dehumanizing experiences that are unavoidable in combat, for a cause that the country wouldn’t support over time and that our leaders so wrongly believed could be achieved at a smaller cost than our enemy was prepared to make us pay. No other national endeavor requires as much unshakable resolve as war. If the nation and the government lack that resolve, it is criminal to expect men in the field to carry it alone.

If you don't know who wrote that, the answer is at the very end of this piece that I wrote for The American Conservative.

Will the author of those words ever be asked about them? During a future debate, perhaps?


Blogger Tony said...

The McCain quote from Halberstam's book is eery.

Congrats on the American Conservative piece. Well done as usual.

5/23/2007 2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done, CR/WB. That Westmoreland NY Times quote is epic! What a bright light it shines on the power of our minds to see what they want to see.

It even hit home a bit, as once in the late '70s, at a small community station in Nevada City, California, I interviewed Gen. William Westmoreland on live radio. The appearance of such a big name in my small town (known tho Nevada City was/is for its outsized draw on big-city talent) was the result of the general's late-career crusade promoting some radical tax reform movement of the time, can't remember just which one. But doesn't that fit the rah-rah image you portray Westmoreland as exemplifying? Still out there selling the American individualist dream!

Your exposition of that strain of American life, through Westmoreland and others, was trenchant and illuminating. It even helps me understand my beloved if misguided Republican brother a bit better. :-)

Thanks for the chance to riff. Let's hope your fine article opens some stubborn eyes out there.

5/23/2007 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TCR..Nicely written piece..Thank you for sharing it with us.

5/23/2007 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone asks McCain he'll just tell them to back to shooting varmints. Everyone will laugh and get into Fred Thompson's little red truck.

5/23/2007 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent piece-

Question for you, and I hope you don't find it too personal, but how did you derive the pen name Wilson Burman?

5/23/2007 10:55 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Yes, excellent piece.

I'd love to see that quote read back to McCain and hear is response. I suspect that he won't see the connection.

5/23/2007 3:09 PM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Even though I don't live in Arizona, I will call McCain's office tomorrow and ask them for a comment.

5/23/2007 11:12 PM  
Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Congrats CR, that is an excellent piece of commentary.

5/23/2007 11:12 PM  
Blogger Sid Schwab said...

The points that very few people -- especially our current leaders -- really understand what war does to soldiers, and that if we go to war it ought to be all or nothing, because war ought to be the last of the last resorts, are ones I (a doctor who served in Vietnam) tried to make in a post on my blog. I humbly suggest it implied much of what McCain said.

5/24/2007 11:49 AM  

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