Skip to comments.From A Naval Academy Graduate To Senator Webb
Posted on 01/27/2007 3:28:56 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
Friday, January 26, 2007
From A Naval Academy Graduate To Senator Webb
Posted by Hugh Hewitt | 6:17 PM
An essay from an active duty officer with more than 25 years of service, addressed to his fellow USNA alum, Senator James Webb.
Senator Jim Copperhead Webb
Why did the new Democratic majority select Senator James Webb (D-VA) to give the Democratic response to the presidents State of the Union Address? Since when does this privilege fall to a freshman, even a freshman senator? Its seems that despite the bad experience with nominating John Kerry to be their standard bearer in 2004, the Democrats have learned nothing. At least they recognize that they have a serious national security credibility problem but the leadership and the base simply cannot get beyond Vietnam. Hence, they asked a US Marine officer turned novelist, turned Navy Secretary, turned Democrat to present their--well, their opposition to all things Bush, because one certainly did not hear ANY tangible plans. Senator Webb is a graduate of my alma mater, the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. He is a highly decorated Marine from Vietnam who unlike Senator Kerry actually and definitively earned his commendations for bravery and valor in combat. His novels have sold very well because he is a very talented writer. But on close inspection, something about Senator Webb is very disturbing. Perhaps it harkens all the way back to his midshipman days in Annapolis and a simple boxing match lost. You see, James Webb lost a boxing match to a man he clearly despises, Oliver North. Webb, as chronicled by Robert Timberg in his best-selling book, The Nightingales Song, was heavily favored to beat North in the Brigade boxing championships but lost. Timberg claims that Webb believed he was intentionally denied the title by poor preparation from his coach, or more accurately the boxing coach made sure Ollie was better prepared to beat him! Regardless, Webb believes he was wronged and today we can see this streak of vengeance in him. More on this later.
Senator Webb, representing the only Democratic senator with any credibility on national security policy (gained while a Republican serving as Navy Secretary for Ronald Reagan), took the president to task for his performance in office. But what exactly did he say? By the second paragraph of his speech, Webb made a gratuitous reference to the devastation of New Orleans. Now since Mr. Webb began his speech by reminding us that we are celebrating the 400 year anniversary of Jamestown, one should assume that this Virginian also knows a bit about James Madison and particularly Federalist 51 and the concept of federalism. Senator, New Orleans is a city of a state in our federated republic. The citizens of that city had a mayor whose responsibility it was to administer competently the levers of power in his city. The state of Louisiana has a chief executive known as a governor with whom resides the responsibility for the competent administration of her state. Both of these public officials, both Democrats, as New Orleans mayors and Louisiana governors long have been, showed how completely incompetent they were in the face of a predicted natural disaster. Everyone who is not blinded by Bush hatred knows that there are serious issues about the performance of local levee boards, the mayor and the governor. However, as a novelist and one further infected with get-the-presidentitis, the senator simply cannot let the facts get in the way of a good story whose fictional title is Katrina was Bushs Fault.
When giving a nationally televised speech, politicians should learn from Senator Bidens lessons about pilfering others ideas. The two Americas allegory has already been spoken for by former Senator John Edwards, Mr. Webb. One could explore the simplistic populism and allegory of evil CEOs but that might ask Mr. Webb to think about what economic populism has done for Loiusiana, Cuba, or any other place its been tried. Perhaps an even deeper intellectual trait revealed by Mr. Webbs demonizing of corporate America is treating the 21st century as if it is the beginning of the 20th century. Does he know that more Americans today are part of the investing class than at any time in our history and that the number is growing? Corporate earnings, due in part to sound management by those overpaid CEOs, are defying gravity and hence so too are government revenues which siphon off a significant portion of those profits. Governor Spitzer of New York and your colleague and fellow Democrat in the Senate, Charles Schumer, have learned this as they are proposing less restrictive regulation of firms. New Labor in Britain has learned much the same lesson about the past century but not Mr. Webb? His nostalgia for ideas that have been tested and found wanting also informs his protectionism, lamenting the dismantling of our manufacturing base and hence good American jobs. Senator Webb, the world has changed a bit since this was in vogue. America leads the world in the creation of wealth. How? We have adapted. The brick and mortar jobs you seem to long for have been transformed into information age jobs. Yes we produce automobiles and refrigerators but we have changed to creators of computer codes that create operating systems and dramatically improve peoples lives while increasing productivity.
What we are witnessing today is the return of the worst hits of the Democratic Party. Going back to the American Civil War, Democrats were against THAT war and tried mightily to undermine President Lincoln. Those Democrats became known as Copperheads or Peace Democrats and, these were labels of which they were proud. They wanted the president to negotiate a peace with the Confederates and put an end to a far more bloody war than the war in Iraq when things were going so very wrong for the Union. So there is a long history of this behavior in the Democratic Party. There was a time they could only envision defeat, not victory. This was NOT true during WW I or WW II, but now the Democrats love to bring up Vietnam and the loss suffered there, and it remains for them the measuring stick against which all US military action MUST be compared. James Webb is a product of that policy failure and he is clearly embittered by it.
I was struck by his demeanor. One announcer called him smooth. Another referred to him as cool. What I saw was a simmering cauldron of arrogance, anger and resentment. His eyes were not the eyes of a serious thinker but those of a man who is clearly very, very angry and his words bear this out. For Senator Webb this war has been mismanaged. I challenge him or any other dissenter to show me the war in history that has not at some time been mismanaged either by the military commanders or the civilians. Thucydides points out in his History of the Peloponnesian War how terribly Athens managed its war with Sparta after the death of Pericles. We can look to the American Civil War and how awfully the Union generals performed until President Lincoln fired enough of them to find General Grant. World War I was one tragic mistake after another from Germanys decision to weaken the right wing of Schlieffens Plan to the failure of France and England to recognize that the machine gun and barbed wire had overcome the offensive. When one couples that with the civilian leaderships abdication of its responsibility for grand strategy and supreme command it was a disaster. World War II saw more than its share of folly. Hitler failed to learn what Napoleon learned in Russia. He attacked Russia on the very same day! The Americans failed to recognize that Japan had every reason and intention to attack Pearl Harbor but the military failed to act appropriately. The Battle of the Bulge? The list goes on and on and on. Does mismanagement of some aspect of a war make the war wrong? Was Lincoln wrong to fight the South? Should England and France have capitulated during WW I and WW II? Could Athens have won? Could the US have won in Vietnam? Senator Webb uses history to defend his position, but hes a bit too cute. He invokes President Eisenhowers success in Korea but he ignores that all Ike did was return the Korean peninsula to the status quo ante, a previously divided state that the North Koreans violated. Using Webbs calculus, Korea was not a vital national interest and General MacArthur NEVER would have been authorized to land at Inchon. Frankly, MacArthur would never have even been brought out of retirement and Korea would be ruled today by the Great Leader.
Webb invokes his opinion and those of others who were against entering into Iraq in 2002 and 2003. They made their arguments but they were not compelling and were predicated on managing the threat by containing Saddam - but all of that changed at the World Trade Center. We were brutally attacked and most of us expected further equally violent and destructive attacks. The president took the best information he had from numerous intelligence agencies, our own and those of our allies, regarding WMD and made the tough choice. Hindsight is perfect but given what the president AND Congress HONESTLY BELIEVED to be the threat, the accusation of recklessness is a cheap shot unworthy of a former warrior. Mr. Webb opines that we have lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism. Where? When? How many plots must we foil before the Democrats will admit that we are winning the overall war on terror and Iraq is but ONE theater in that larger war? I challenge Mr. Webb to be more specific. He is long on general accusations but they cannot survive serious critical thinking and examination at least not to support the charge that the president was incompetent or reckless. Reasonable people can disagree about American Grand Strategy in the post 9/11 world, but the senator did not offer reasonable disagreements. Thus, he resorted to the recent Democratic ploy of finding one or two generals to counter what the president has done, and adopting them as oracles. The problem is that all generals are not cut from the same cloth. ALL generals are not competent warriors. Too many reach their lofty positions by being good administrators. Eliot Cohen of the Johns Hopkins School of School of Advanced International Studies has chronicled this in his recent book Supreme Command. Abraham Lincoln faced this with George McClellan; FDR faced it with Admiral Husband E.Kimmel; Truman ultimately was forced to fire MacArthur and George W. Bush has apparently faced it with Generals John Abizaid and Casey. Now he seems to have found his US Grant in General Petraeus but the Democrats dont want to give the general or presidents new strategy a chance.
Finally, Senator Webb says in one paragraph that he does not want a precipitous withdrawal but wants our troops gone in short order. Are these weasel words Senator? You are a writer. The written word is your craft. Please explain for the public the difference between precipitous withdrawal and short order. Additionally, he argues that the majority of our military are against the way the war is being executed. What has the senator been reading? Whence comes this information? Please share your data with the country. The Democrats showed once again last night why they cannot be trusted with national security. They hauled out a freshman senator who was supposed to have national security bona fides and he was found wanting. He now plays the part of General McClellan turned politician, running against Lincoln in 1864. That did not turn out too well for McClellan, and it was a dangerous moment for America. Similarly, the senator should accept that Vietnam is over. Senator, you finally beat Ollie. You have the Senate seat he could not win. I wish you could let that go as well and turn your many talents and experiences toward a more constructive purpose for America in these times that try mens souls.
The RATS are going to regret this angry, narcissistic grudge holder. Sooner or later they will cross him and then watch out. The world from his view point is all about him and any disappointment simply has to be someone else's fault.
In the meantime someone should tell Hugh he is not writing a legal brief when he is a pundit. Short sentences, short paragraphs with no cliches is the ticket to readability.
IMO Webb was picked specifically because of his vicious, ignorant statements he made to President Bush when the President asked him about his son. On that alone he was picked ,because his cohorts in the Democrat party saw what a mean and classless act he was,and they determined to use him.
Is there a film of the boxing match? If so, it's worth a whole bunch of million$
That's what I saw too.
I think Hugh just posted the essay, did not write it.
Webb should remember that his son wasn't drafted and that he VOLUNTEERED!
Hugh didn't write it.......
Because he supposedly has a military background - like Kerry, he may prove to be a "useful idiot."
From a local blog of a radio program; Victoria Taft: OPEN THREAD SOTU
[[Additionally, he argues that the majority of our military are against the way the war is being executed.]]
Another bald faced lie by the democrats meant to turn the country and the military against the commander in chief (in a time of war) purely for political gain.
Pelosi and Murtha are in Iraq at this very moment and I hope to god that some of our warriors give these two frauds a piece of their mind. The democrats are just as big of a threat to this country as Al Qeada is. They both read from the same talking points. This is a great article. I salute you.
Hewitt is not the author of the post.
This man is clearly a better writer than me. All I could see is the SEN. Webb is a turd.
Why does Webb always have to prove that he's a tough guy? Some insecurity there?
Webb is a PEDOPHILE !!!
Oh, my, I sincerely hope this is my last ping for the night.
This one's A.A.'s fault ; )
WEBB VS NORTH
Until recently, Webb was someone whose elecited some affirmation from FReepers for his service in President Reagan's administration and for his writings.
Upon closer inspection, those writings have been shown to be not readable in polite company.
But they are evidence of the nature of this man, who, while he may be an Officer, is not a Gentleman.
Anyone who would be so rude when the well-being of his son serving in Iraq was inquired upon, is not a Gentleman.
No one serving has been drafted, and the volunteer force does not get to check a box to indicate what conflicts meet their approval.
The story about Oliver North is telling.
This guy is just a crybaby.
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