Following is an article by David Hackworth on a variety of political issues.  This article is included on Special Operations.Com not because of the article itself, as Special Operations.Com is a non-political website, but rather for the response that follows the article.  The response, written by Don Martin, conveys an important message to all Vietnam veterans, that they did not lose the War.  Hackworth's article, in fact, can be skipped in favor of reading only the response if you are so inclined. Just scroll down to where it says "The Response" - Tom Hunter 


TWO-STRIPERS AS CHIEFS 

by DAVID H. HACKWORTH, 

11 January 2000


Last week, Al Gore said he'd require any appointee to the U.S. armed forces Joint Chiefs of Staff to agree in advance to allow homosexuals to serve openly in our military. 

When asked about Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, here's how he responded: "I would insist before appointing anybody to the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the individual support my policy. And, yes, I would make that a requirement." 

After enduring the next 48 hours of heavy incoming fire, the vice president stumbled out of his bunker and told millions of Americans they'd misheard. He weasel-worded that he "did not mean to imply that there should ever be any kind of inquiry into the personal political opinions of the officers." 

Millions of Americans "misheard"? I don't think so.

Clearly, Gore lied. But what's new? He lied about his combat service in Vietnam when he said he'd been there and done that grunt stuff, lied about plowing the back 40 on his daddy's tobacco farm and now is lying about what your ears transmitted to our brains. 

Sure, most politicians lie. But to lie so blatantly about an issue so critical to our security and then have the chutzpah to say we got it wrong is even more insulting than usual. 

My take is that, like President Lyndon Johnson, Gore has issues with the brass. I reckon what we witnessed on television was the real Gore caught dead in the center of a subconscious slip. He's on record when he was a soldier in Vietnam for calling his officers "fascists" and driving his buddies nuts over how much he hated the Army.

Granted the Army drill must've been hard for a Harvard graduate -- an enlisted man who'd led a privileged life of servants and private schools. The son of a rich and powerful senator wouldn't exactly be thrilled with an outfit that made him get up at o'dark hundred, stand in line in the rain, eat out of a mess kit and shout "How high, sir?" when told to jump. 

Things got better once Gore got to Vietnam. There his basic weapon was a Remington typewriter, and the headquarters' snack bar was light-years away from the trenches where the daily fighting and dying occurred. He was special: the only enlisted man in Vietnam with his own bodyguard. 

Gore's senator daddy also got his son's 12-month tour cut to five by leaning on a political general. The unconnected, of course, served a minimum of 12 months unless they went out Purple Heart early on a stretcher or in a body bag.

So it's easy to see why he wants generals and admirals who'll go-along-to-get-along, advisers to expedite his political agenda and help scoop up the homosexual vote -- while finishing off our armed forces. 

But it's critical that the service chiefs and the chairman of the JC of S be their own men, not presidential lap dogs. They must be selected because they're the best in the armed forces to win wars, not because they'll be the president's personal yes men.

The chiefs were just so politicized and manipulated by LBJ during the Vietnam War. And as a result of LBJ's anti-brass paranoia, his lies to the public and the service chiefs' dereliction of duty, we lost our first war and have a black monument in Washington D.C. inscribed with the names of 58,000 sacrificial lambs. 

There's already been too much compromise and not enough standing tall by the chiefs and the rest of our brass hats. In the last seven years, not one serving senior officer has challenged the Clinton-Gore agenda -- pushing political correctness and committing our forces on wrongheaded missions -- that's led to the near destruction of our military. 

If Gore becomes the prez, I bet a six-pack not one serving admiral and general will sell his or her soul for a chief's job if it means going along with Gore's open-homosexuality-in-the-ranks scenario. There'll be an avalanche of resignations instead. And then a bunch of very liberal corporals will be brought in to take over the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Finally, the Clinton-Gore demolition job on the armed forces will be complete! 

It just might be expedient to learn Chinese.
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THE RESPONSE

 

Dear Friends:

Ref: first article, paragraph 13, I believe, in which "Hack" (he did write this didn't he?) talks about our (the USA) having lost its first war (in Vietnam).

I STRONGLY DISAGREE. We (the USA, especially the armed forces of the USA, and I was there in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) DID NOT LOSE THE WAR.

We won every major battle. We won most of the minor battles (if there is such a thing, and I doubt there is to the individual soldier being shot at).

We did not lose the war. THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH VIETNAM lost the war two years after our politicians in Washington, D. C. called us home and pulled us out of Vietnam.

The Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) lost the war despite having a much larger population, better natural resources, being better trained (or having the opportunity to be better trained, at least), being better equipped, and after having our help from between 12 to 14 years, including the sacrifice of 58,000 lives and probably ten times that many wounded, including myself.

Why? Because the North Vietnamese were "True Believers," in their cause, willing to fight to the death, to the last man, woman and child, for decades, for a hundred years if necessary. The South Vietnamese seemingly were not so inclined.

Many years ago, while in a "Bootstrap" college program shortly after my return from Southeast Asia, a wise young college professor required our class to read a book entitled "The True Believer," or Believers plural, (??) by Eric Hoffer. If you have not read the book, it is highly recommended. Mr. Hoffer, a former dock worker, longshoreman, self-taught philosopher, an immigrant to the USA (Chicago ?), as I recall, spelled out via historical example and future predictions who the winners and losers were / will be. Summing it up, it's not the folks with the most guns, bullets, natural resources, or money. It's the folks who are true believers in their cause or causes and who will sacrifice anything to make them happen who win in politics, war, or in any other arena.

Why do combat veterans of the United States continue to talk about the war we lost in Vietnam? 

Frankly speaking from this old helicopter pilot, platoon leader, company commander, paratrooper, infantryman (with enlisted, warrant and commissioned service . . . 24 years, plus 18 on the retired list) - BULLSHIT!!! We did not lose that war, and we damn' sure did not lose the war during the time I was there, which included TET '68 and a lot of other major battles and many, many "hot" excursions "across the fence" with the Green Berets! (God bless 'em.)

Thanks for listening. If you are a Vietnam Vet, you are a Winner, and thanks, and Welcome Home! De Oppresso Liber, Airborne, Above the Best.

Sincerely,


Don L. Martin, USA (retired)
Crocodile Six
Feeling like a winner, still
Member, SOA, SFA, VFW, VHPA