Skip to comments.Duncan Hunter talks War: The Korean flareup, Vietnam, and Leftwing Disgraces - Interview 5/26/10
Posted on 05/27/2010 10:02:41 AM PDT by pissant
This interview is part of an ongoing 2010 series of conversations with former Congressman and conservative activist Duncan Hunter. The intent is to keep this rock ribbed conservatives ideas in the public square which will hopefully help guide his former colleagues still in office, as well as inspire the American people to embrace his Reaganesque views on American life and politics. God willing, Hunter will seek the presidency again in 2012, but for now he is concentrating on helping the GOP regain the majority in the House by campaigning for conservatives across the West.
AJM: Hello Congressman, first off, Id like to get your response to our friend Vaughn Ward, who lost yesterday.
DH: Yeah, I got the results from my brother Jim late last night. Jim is up in Idaho and he was going down to Vaughns campaign. At that point I think Vaughn was about 400 votes behind. And later Jim called and, I think about midnight, and he was substantially behind with most of the vote in, and at that point it looked like he lost.
You know, I didnt follow the mistakes that they made in the last couple of weeks, or the massive publicity the liberal newspapers gave to those campaign mistakes. But I think its very clear Ive read a couple of analyses to the effect that those mistakes made it really tough on Vaughn. I think to some degree, heavy focus on a front runner, especially a conservative one, always happens, and some of those things are the result of running a first time campaign.
Nonetheless, I support the guy who I think is the best conservative guy and I have a lot of respect for Vaughn. Hes a great combat leader. He sacrificed a lot for us in Iraq. I think hes got a great intellect and a lot of capability. I think hell be back.
My recommendation to him is to graciously accept defeat and sign on with the republican ticket, with the guy who won this thing, and help the team as they move forward. Were going to have to do that if we are to have a chance to take back the House this year.
AJM: Yeah, absolutely. If he runs again, he might need a new webmaster to run his website. That was the crux of most of his problems.
DH: Yeah, I dont know what all the details of all the problems were, but vigilance is the price of liberty. Its also the price of a successful campaign.
DH: You have got to be careful. And when a candidate is running around with a heavy schedule, he relies a lot on others. Vaughn delegated, but nonetheless whether you are in the military or in politics, you are responsible for the folks you delegate the work to what they accomplish or dont accomplish. So once again, hes got to graciously accept defeat, which Im sure hes done, and sign on with the GOP team. But hell be back.
AJM: Yep, I think so. But I want to thank you for supporting him. I did too. Id done enough research on both he and his opponent to know that Ward was, at least in my mind, a superior choice. But this Labrador fella doesnt sound too bad either, as Ive mentioned before. So hopefully things will work out.
AJM: OK. Now heres a biggie. As you know, they finally this past week or so, after much investigation, they figured out that North Korea did indeed sink the South Korean boat that killed 48 sailors. It seems now that both North and South are getting onto a war footing. What is your recommendation on what role the United States should play? Right now I think Obama is confused. But what role do you think the US should play in this drama?
DH: Actually, the last analysis that I made of North Korea and South Korea and their respective military strengths compelled the conclusion that South Korea would take down North Korea very quickly. Thats in the absence of a nuclear device being used. They have over 20 divisions; many of them are armored or mechanized. They have fairly substantial air power.
The North Koreans, if they invaded South Korea, would have to come through that heavy canyon country thats close to the DMZ. They would be concentrated and it would be fairly easy to with precision weapons, precision aerial dropped munitions to bottle up any initiative that they might undertake with respect to armor and mechanized infantry.
So the South Koreans are vastly superior on their own now that the US has built them up and trained them. They have over 20 divisions, once again, and we have less than a division in Korea. So weve got them in a position where they can handle any type of an attack the North Koreans might throw at them. And of course that is absent the utilization of a nuclear device.
Whether the North Koreans have the ability to actually deliver the nuclear device, even though theyve obviously had some tests I think their delivery capability is still questionable.
AJM: On the other side of it, even though it is questionable, it is still a risk, because we dont know that for a fact.
DH: I think the world is pretty darn risky right now.
AJM: Yes indeed. But if things dont simmer down and they get into a war, is it advisable to go ahead and have us, our military, go ahead and take out their nukes?
DH: Well, I dont think you speculate on what we are going to do. I know the United States is capable of giving the needed leverage to the South Viet .South Korean Military to be victorious.
(laughs) I almost said South Vietnamese, because right now Im studying this great history by Robert Sorley that reflected the fact that in South Vietnam, the South Vietnamese had been attacked by the North in 1972 with no American forces on the ground, and the South Vietnamese repelled them. And it wasnt until we cut them off after Watergate and the Chinese and Russians vastly increased their tonnages of material going to North Vietnam that the communist North won that war. They came down in 1975 and took the country rather quickly after we had deserted our ally.
So we do NOT want to replicate that situation on the Korean Peninsula.
AJM: No. No.
DH: But right now, theyve got more than 20 heavy divisions, and those divisions are much more capable than North Koreas divisions. And they also have some items of leverage that will allow them to wreak havoc on any North Korean invasion. So the United States should certainly have a plan which we have to enable and support South Korea. But thats not something we lay out there in this early stage and I dont think we should speculate as to whats going to happen. I think the trademark of the United States Military should be: Be prepared. Weve run a lot of Korean scenarios so we are fairly well prepared.
AJM: Yeah, but the weakest link is the guy sitting on top of the food chain.
DH: Yeah. But I think we have the ability and we have the national wherewithal to react appropriately. So lets not condemn the executive branch when we are on the verge, or we may have to make a move in the near term. The President did a pretty good job of maintaining our operations in Afghanistan. He listened to the military leadership there, for the most part. Hes shown a lot of weaknesses in a lot of other areas but if youre on the verge of a military operation, you want to presume the best for the Whitehouse, regardless of whos in charge.
AJM: That is a good point. But I will tell you this. There is a lot of grumbling about the Afghanistan Rules of Engagement, as you well know.
AJM: Aside from that, at least he seems to be putting some effort into bringing this thing to a head. Looks like we are going to move in on Kandahar pretty quick in Afghanistan.
DH: Yeah. Lets see what happens. The key to Afghanistan right now is that weve got a lot of what I would call old hands. And that is Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, and Generals who have operated in Iraq. And also lots of enlisted folks and company grade officers and NCOs who served in Iraq. A lot of them understand counter insurgency. Counter insurgency is the science of splitting off the population from the insurgents and terrorists. So weve got a lot of those folks who have learned their lessons, sometimes the hard way, in Iraq, and have the capability of applying that wisdom in Afghanistan. Thats one of Americas great resources. So I look forward to them exercising this corporate wisdom weve built up in our military leadership over the last 5 or 6 years in that theatre.
AJM: Yeah, and that is exactly where my confidence lies. In that corporate wisdom that you mentioned of our military men. I dont expect them to lose face there.
But in an area where Mr. Obama is not doing so well, Syria has basically told us to butt out of their business and that the US has blown its chance at peacemaker. Even though weve been sending people over there, including John Kerry, to grovel to Assad. The Chinese have basically told us to mind our own business as well, even though we just apologized for Arizona. My take on it is that the grovel-fest to make friends with our adversaries is not going real well.
DH: Yeah. I agree with that as a general principle. Our adversaries pocket Americas apologies very quickly and view that as a sign of weakness. Again, I think its instructive to look at the North Vietnamese communists when the post-Nixon Whitehouse, under the leadership of Gerald Ford, kept our B-52s parked in the hangar when the North Vietnamese made their first strike, a test strike, against a position in South Vietnam. They noticed that Ford never moved his bombers. At that point, they then designed the major offensive that ended up conquering South Vietnam. They said subsequently that they viewed Ford as a very weak president.
So foreign leadership, especially a foreign leadership manifested in a tyrant, like Syria or China, looks at many of these Obama gestures, which he views as conciliatory, they view them as sure signs of weakness. It is instructive for American foreign policy makers: You dont buy anything! You get a cheap applause line by condemning your own country, but you buy nothing in terms of respect from the other country. Just the opposite. And I think Obama is well beyond his quota of exercising this tactic.
AJM: Yeah, yeah. It hasnt worked in any instance that Ive seen. And that includes even with nominal allies like Turkey, who is cozying up with Iran. Theyve always been a tough ally, but theyve always been allies, and relations now with them are very poor.
DH: Well theres that old saying that nations dont have friends, they have interests. Many nations for years, who should have been our friends, voted down the line with the USSR. For one reason: they respected their brutality and they were afraid of them. Now the United States is not a brutal nation. But because we are not a brutal nation, we need to be extra strong. We are a nation with benign intentions towards other nations. We dont want to conquer anybody; we dont want to take their resources.
In fact, the reason we won in Iraq, despite then Senator Obamas efforts, is that we had these huge successes like turning around the al Qaim district in Anbar Province, and we had the Awakening in which we persuaded the Sunnis to fight on our side and against Al Qaeda. One thing that I think persuaded them, was after heavy firefights in places like Falluja, al Qaim, and Ramadi, the American Marines would turn from fighting and even before the barrels of their guns were cool, for example in Ramadi, they had open house for the entire city for medical help. For old people and young people to come in and get checked, to get medications, and have their ailments worked on by the medical platoons of our infantry battalions.
And in al-Qaim, after we had a major fight there knocking out the jihadists in 2005, Battalion 36, which was commanded by Dale Alford, held elections, national elections on Dec 15. The same guys who were fighting room to room and losing fellow Marines put up the security and delivered all of the voting materials to the schoolhouses in those border towns that before that, was called the wild west. And here these people in this part of Iraq these were people whose ancestors had been conquered by Genghis Khan they werent used to compassion. They werent used to humanity and they werent used to civilization. All the sudden they realized that the only thing the Americans wanted them to do was to determine their own future at the ballot box. So we supplied the voting materials, we supplied the security, after wiping out the bad guys. As a result of that, December 15, 2005, thousands of people in western Iraq, the so called wild west of Iraq, turned out to vote.
Thats the American Example. Part of American Exceptionalism.
AJM: Its a beautiful thing, isnt it?
DH: Its remarkable.
AJM: Now going back to something you mentioned earlier, about Mr. Ford keeping the B-52s parked while South Vietnam was being invaded, I think that is a black mark on our history. Frankly, it was disgraceful at the time, and over time, now I think its even more disgraceful.
DH: It was disgraceful! And one thing - it was clouded over until recent times there was lots of talk then about how the United States wasnt touchy-feely enough, how we didnt have a good counter insurgency. When actually Creighton Abrams, who took over for Westmoreland in 68, had introduced a lot of counter insurgency tactics that is splitting the population from the Viet Cong. In the words of Sir Robert Thompson, the British military analyst who visited Vietnam regularly, the Viet Cong were done in 1972. They had basically no allies. And the only people who really made up the structure of the Viet Cong were people who were attached largely for monetary reasons to the North Vietnamese military effort. So there wasnt some homegrown insurgency.
And later, what it amounted to was hundreds and hundreds of Russian made tanks loaded to the gills with ammunition pressing down on fire bases in 1975 where the South Vietnamese defenders were limited to a ration of 2 bullets per day, per man because the Americans had cut off their funding.
So we cut off the funding for our troops and our side, pursuant to Teddy Kennedys amendments, and pursuant to William Fulbrights, Senator Fulbrights amendments, and as anyone with a brain could have predicted, the Soviets and the Chinese doubled down. They sent 800,000 tons of war material in 1974 to their troop concentrations in South Vietnam. So we had the example of heavy armor going up against soft bodies that had run out of ammunition. That had NOTHING to do with hearts and minds. Thats why half the country tried to swim after us after the last of the Americans left.
AJM: Yeah. You left out one other name when you were mentioning some of these leftists who sabotaged our efforts. Its that asshole named Kerry from Massachusetts. I cant think of a more loathsome politician over a career than that guy.
DH: Yeah. Mr. Kerry went nuts talking about how Americans what did he say - they were cutting off ears and limbs. In a contest against one of the most brutal enemies weve ever had, the North Vietnamese communists, this knucklehead described the American soldiers as being barbaric, as the barbarians! Inexcusable! On the other hand, his fellow Swift Boat operators had the last word on that one.
AJM: (laughs) Boy, did they ever. And the current commander in chief, had a lot of the similar vocabulary, maybe not quite as extreme, but a lot of the similar sentiments, expressed on the Senate floor prior to him obtaining his current office.
DH: Its a little tough to blame Vietnam on him. We cant blame Vietnam on Obama as a toddler. (laughs)
AJM: (laughs) Thats true. But in terms of Iraq. He and some of his more leftwing cohorts pretty much did the .
DH: Obama and Biden, after President Bush announced the Surge .when the stage was set for Bush to be contrite like LBJ in 1968 and slink out of office; instead he announced the Surge. Instead of retreating he said were going to increase American forces and we are going to win. When he did that in January, Biden sponsored a resolution, cosponsored by Hillary Clinton and supported by Mr. Obama, that tried to block one of the touchdown passes of this victory in Iraq by the United States; and that was the Surge. The Surge ended up being hugely successful, dropping attacks on American forces and civilians by more than 90 percent and setting the stage for an Iraq we can proudly leave. In fact, we won in Iraq. But Obama, Biden and Mrs. Clinton, and the Democrats in bloc, came in as George Bush was getting set to throw what turned out to be a touchdown pass, and they did everything they could to block it. Fortunately, they werent successful. But there is quite a startling parallel between that and what happened in Vietnam.
Abrams came back from Vietnam, and he became Chief of Staff for the Army after setting the stage for winning in Vietnam, and he died shortly thereafter of cancer. So he never saw the cowardly total abandonment of our ally that occurred in 1974 and 1975.
Thankfully, we were able to prevent that in Iraq. The moment of truth arrived in January of 2007. President Bush stood up to the left wing of the Democrat Party, which is incidentally, solidly left wing. Because Howard Dean, whos trademark was his irrational anti-war stance, was selected to be the head of the national Democrat Party! That was a purposeful decision by the Democrats, to go with an anti-war plank as the center of their campaign to take the Senate and take the House and later, to take the Whitehouse.
AJM: And thats why I had some harsh words earlier about who our command and chief is in these perilous times. And other than maybe Afghanistan, Ive yet to see him demonstrate any good judgment. When youve got Putin in Russia, who is one slippery former KGB agent, youve got the communists still in control of China working for their own interests, and on top of that we have all the turmoil of the Middle East, we cannot afford to have Jimmy Carter II in office!
DH: Well we need to de-fang the Obama Administration, which is full of these like-minded leftists. The way to do that is to elect a Republican Congress. Its critical that we succeed. Thats what we have to redouble our efforts to do.
Incidentally, Ive got to wind up, Im going to an event right here. But let me ask you something: Are you familiar with the Castillo campaign? Tell me a little bit about him.
AJM: No, Im not familiar with the Castillo campaign. Whats he running for?
DH: Tell you what. Find out about that campaign, Jim, and give me a buzz.
AJM: I sure will. Next time I talk to you, Ill be up to snuff. Last name is Castillo , huh?
AJM: I think hes down in the 3rd district, where the Democrat incumbent, Brian Baird, is going to step out, I believe. So it should be a seat we have a shot at.
DH: Formerly you had a football player, a renowned football player who was running for that seat, as I recall.
AJM: No, no, thats for the Senate seat. Patty Murrays senate seat.
DH: No, this was against Baird, last time. When I say a football player, he was a good college athlete; I dont think he was ever in the NFL. I campaigned one time for the guy. He had been a great athlete. He was also a good speaker, good intellect, running against Baird; I think when Baird first ran.
AJM: Oh. I dont know who that could be. But Ill find out about Castillo. We do have a good football player though. I dont know if you remember Clint Didier, from the Washington Redskins?
DH: Yeah, I do.
AJM: Tight end for the Washington Redskins. Two super bowl championships back in the Reagan Era. And hes running for Patty Murrays seat, the senate seat.
AJM: Hes a fire and brimstone conservative, I tell you. Youll like him. Im trying to set him up to get him onto Free Republic as well. But Ill check into Castillo for you. When I talk to you next week, Ill give you a full report.
DH: Sounds great, my friend. Take care. Good talking to you.
AJM: Alright. Thanks for your time.
In case you missed these previous interviews!
Tradin’ with Reagan and Gaggin’ on Kagan: Duncan Hunter Interview May 17, 2010, Part II
On Knuckleheaded Apologies, Russia & Iran, and Border Politics: Duncan Hunter 5/17/10, Part I
A very, very Brief Conversation with Duncan Hunter: 5/17/10 - Chuck DeVore endorsement!
Duncan Hunter FR Exclusive: On Gunny Pop, Chuck DeVore, Car Bombers, Anchor Babies and more!!
Duncan Hunter on GOP & Tea Party Politics, Rick Perry and Ilegal Aliens
Duncan Hunter (of course) Supports Arizonas crackdown on Illegal Aliens
Duncan Hunter 4/8/10: Obamas Nuke Puke, Stimulating Russia Jobs, and that Evil Oil
Duncan Hunter Talks 4/1/10: Shooting Donkeys, Phony v. Real Protests, & McCains border security!
Duncan Hunter Takes Obama, Biden and Grahamnesty to the Woodshed & More!(Interview 3/19/10)
Duncan Hunter Interview 3-5-2010: On Obama the Apostrate, The Reagan Doctrine, and Aging Hippies
Duncan Hunter Interview 2/24/2010 McCain v Hayworth, OReilly v 2A, w/cameo from Gunny Pop
Duncan Hunter Slams the Obama Adminstration over push for Gays in the Military
Duncan Hunter Slams Obamas SOTU! 1-28-2010 Interview
Duncan Hunter Interview 1/21/2010: Mass. Miracle, Obama, Cheney, Jobs, McCain-Feingold & More!
Duncan Hunter Interview 1-8-2010: GOP Primary Politics, JD Hayworth, Panty Bomber and FOOTBALL
Duncan Hunter Interview - Dec. 18, 2009: On Christmas Blessings, the Gay Agenda, and Don Rumsfeld
Duncan Hunter Interview - Dec 8, 2009: On Huckabee, the EPA, GOP Amnesty Hacks, and Harry Reid!!
Duncan Hunter Interview 12-01-2009: Obamas Weak Speech, SEALS, ClimateGate, and Shrinking Uncle Sam
Duncan Hunter Interview 11-17-09: Terrorist Trials in NY, Amnesty, Sarah Palin and More!
Duncan Hunter Interview 11-10-09: Gunny Pop, Afghanistan, Terrorism & Political Correctness!!
Duncan Hunter Nov. 4, 2009: On the 2009 Elections, Global Warming Alarmists, and Ronald Reagan!
Duncan Hunter October 27, 2009: On ObamaCare, RomneyCare and Americans!
Duncan Hunter 10/9/09 Interview. Bomb Iran, confront China, and work to defeat Socialism!
DH New interview PING
Too bad he can’t get the publicity Sarah Palin gets. He would be my choice for President.
We’ll work on that. LOL. Maybe he can do Dancing with the Stars.
Au contraire, Mr. Hunter. They had plenty of allies, most of whom were sitting in the United States CONgre$$...assisted by Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Ted Turner, Teddy Kennedy, Ramsey Clark and of course John Eff'n sKerry.
He did get around to correcting himself. LOL
I wish something would happen.
Like what? North and South Korea going to war?
Hey now, if that happened it wouldn’t be because I said I wished something would happen...
No, I was just curious as to what you meant.
Thanks for the ping! Glad Mr. Hunter is still in the trenches, fighting for a Conservative Congress in 2010!
that he is. Will be VERY interesting to find out his post 2010 plans.
Thanks for doing this, Pissant. B4DH.
And thanks for checking in Kevmo.
I like the way his mind works.
He’d make a fine wartime Commander in Chief. (and last I checked, its wartime!)
Certainly no time for some thin skinned Marxicrat ‘Community Organizer’.
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