Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Talked with my friend Virgil today about a lot of things. We had a pretty good laugh about the military "expertise" that could be claimed by someone who served as a LTJG in the Riverine forces. Not because we don't appreciate the duty performed at that level or the often heroic actions those forces undertook, but because we know (as former junior naval officers ourselves) that when you are operating at the "weed" level you gain an intimate knowledge of the weeds and not much else.

It takes years of training and experience to get the bigger picture. That's why we have war colleges and special training for officers (and NCO's) as they move up into positions of greater responsibility.

Also had a laugh at the media coverage of the reserve and guards. It is almost unbelievable the level of apparently willing ignorance demonstrated by our talking heads. If any of them had checked with any current or former reservist or guard member the system of "points", "drills" and rescheduled drills could have cleared up a lot of blather.

Plus, we talked about the over two years of active duty the President had to put in to learn to fly the ANG jet he flew. A lot of draftees only put in two years period. Mr. Bush put in two then 4.5 more. And he flew a plane with a tainted rep as a tough bird to fly, too.

The more I read about Kerry, the more it seems obvious that he really stands for nothing. The words pompous windbag come to mind. His is a tale told by an idiot "full of sound and fury signifying nothing" (if I remember my Shakespeare).

The President pretty much nailed it with his gibe setting out the various contradictory positions taken by the Dems in the primaries- and each held by Kerry.

It's not good to be laughed at this soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Well, the Democrats have weeded out Gen. Clark and the "energizer" bunny Howard Dean. The adults left even earlier when Lieberman and Gephardt cashed in their chips. Now they have John Kerry and John Edwards.

Edwards is a sort of neighbor. He's probably a really nice guy. After a big snow storm, he once wandered through the neighborhood knocking on doors and seeing if the people inside the houses needed any help. Although he made his fortune taking 30-40% of the damages awarded to his clients, such is the system we have created. The trouble is that he has zip for experience in governing anything. As a Senator, he has gone AWOL in his representation of the people of NC. In the last couple of years he has been running for president instead of tending to the people's business. There is substantial doubt that he would be re-elected if he has decided to run.

Kerry is like some odd Vietnam post-traumatic stress flashback.

I'm amazed at how rapidly the memories of those confusing days come flooding back as the press covers his military and post military careers. To those of us who served in the Vietnam war during the "forgotten" years (after the majority of US ground troops were pulled out - 1972 in my case), we got to see the impact of what happens when a commitment is abandoned midstream.

The North Vietnamese Easter Offensive of 1972 (beaten back by incredible courage on the ground and enormous US air and seapower) was a precursor to the eventual successful invasion (where the US stood by and watched). Who could forget the horror of the South Vietnamese trying to escape what they knew was coming? I can see the pictures in my head of the US Embassy and the helicopters lifting off. And the helos being pushed off the decks of US ships as the fleeing Vietnamese made every effort to escape... And the effect on those who trusted the US but couldn't escape.

And now, Kerry, who pushed for us to break the commitment to the South Vietnamese, now pushes for us to break another commitment. He claims to have learned hard lessons in Vietnam, he seems to have learned nothing since about honoring promises made.

In fact, judging by the way he takes every possible side on the issues, he may not even understand what a commitment is...