Skip to comments.Flash Points (Oliver North)
Posted on 07/19/2012 5:50:00 PM PDT by jazusamo
GEORGETOWN, S.C. Taking a dozen grandchildren on vacation means that we buy cereal by the ton and milk in multiple gallons. I was in the cereal aisle, squinting at the list of ingredients on a brightly colored box of "high-fiber multigrain something," when a fellow shopper put the question to me: "So, Col. North, what's the 'October surprise' for this election?"
I almost said, "High-fructose corn syrup" the ingredient I had been instructed to avoid but settled instead for this: "Syria. Bashar Assad is likely to go down before we go to the polls, and that will change everything in the Middle East."
My response seemed to satisfy my interlocutor, but on reflection, it didn't suit me. That's because the first "October surprise" in a presidential campaign I recall affected me personally. It was 1968. Richard Nixon vs. Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Nixon had campaigned on a promise to end the war in Vietnam, and I was a newly minted U.S. Marine infantry second lieutenant with orders sending me to the widely unpopular fight shortly after the election.
On Oct. 31, just five days before Americans were to go to the polls, President Lyndon Johnson announced a halt to the "Rolling Thunder" air campaign against military targets in North Vietnam and a "breakthrough" in the "Paris peace talks" with the regime in Hanoi. Johnson's last-minute ploy to help his vice president's political fortunes had little effect on the election; Nixon won in a landslide.
Worse, Johnson's bombing halt had an adverse impact on U.S. and allied troops in Vietnam. By the time I took command of a rifle platoon along the so-called demilitarized zone later that month, North Vietnamese army troops were flooding across the border, and casualties escalated accordingly.
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Politics the way it is played by Democrat politicians trumps troops, trumps the Costitution, trumps what is good for America.
Our last great Democrat president was Harry Truman. Nothing like him has existed in the party since.
You’re smoking something if you think the Republicans haven’t and are doing the same thing. Politicians are out for themselves first and foremost and will sell their grandmother down the river to get re-elected.
Errr, Colonel, with all due respect Sir. Nixon won by a whisker in 1968. Something like 43.7 vs. 43.2 - I have NOT looked up the actual numbers - for Humphrey (George Wallace running as a southern favorite-son independent got the bulk of the remainder). In 1972 Nixon won in a landslide. So Johnson’s October Surprise actually worked to a fair extent in de-linking his VP from the war and the disgust the country felt from the Democratic convention in Chicago. Humphrey probably gained one or two points after that calculated fraud and nearly won.
Possibly because HST had been in the military himself.
It just occurred to me that Jummah Cahtah, as an Annapolis alumnus, an “officer and a gentleman” should have had at least a clue about military operations; which he obviously did not. In fact, with his apparent disdain for the military, he may have been the missfit of all time at Annapolis. My guess is that he only went there because through family connections he got accepted there and got a free education.
Nixon got 43.4%
Humphrey got 42.7%
Wallace got 13.5%
The electoral vote was not close.
Point taken and that may well be what Col. North meant. I was very involved as a volunteer in that election, even though I was too young to vote myself, and I recall it as a close run thing (Electoral College numbers aside). I would still argue that Johnson’s ploy nearly succeeded. A less than one percent change in the popular vote could have reverberated into a change in the EC results and a Humphrey presidency. Until the weekend before the election Nixon looked like a shoe in and then things tightened up in all the polls. Of course, at that time “all the polls” was Mr. Gallup.
Jimmy Carter was a submariner, I doubt he knew anything about operations on land.
Now if Iran had held the hostages under water-———
Be nice to have a Republican with military service.
Amen to that, Donna.
Romney says that his VP choice will be one in which the person is ready to step in as president should some event take the president out from serving.
First question one might ask is: what should be the criteria for being chosen as the United States President?
1. Not required in the constitution but in my opinion the person should have served the country through the military because at any time he/she could contract soldiers to give their own life. The president should have an intimate knowledge of this sacrifice.
2. A person of such integrity, that they would make me feel that my 10 year old daughter would be in the most capable hands, if they had to babysit for me.
3. They would have such love and respect for their own life that if at any time a criminal broke into their home in the deep of the night the individual would have their gun loaded and cocked in a split second pointed and ready to show the thugs that they live by a law of mutual respect for ones property and if crossed by one who does not share that respect they will not think twice in blowing away the trash.
Is this a hard criterion for most to fill? Well I have never served in the military so I am not qualified. Romney really isnt either by my criteria. But Allen West is by far qualified and would complement Romney in the highest regard.
Johnson was indeed probably the most complete combination of basest corruption and genuine raw political talent (the ability to get things done) that this country has ever seen. Clinton was a pale shadow in comparison and Obama is an Affirmative Action incompetent. Men like Johnson usually ended up running Congress or managing a presidency behind the scenes, but Johnson was too big for that and JFK needed him on the ticket in ‘60. So there he was, King Lyndon I. Nearly managed to give the White House to his successor (Humphrey was by all accounts a very decent man), although he and Nixon probably had more in common as far as political smarts and raw ambition.
I Amen your Amen!
How about Palin/West? I have a difficult time accepting the fact that not even one of Romney’s sons served in the military - not even in ROTC.
BTTT to you both.
What is BTTT mean?
BTTT means “Bump to the Top”—in the Comments, a new post goes to the top, replaced by the next post, regardless of thread.
BTTT is the way you can keep a thread refreshed, or to bring it to the attention of Freepers who come on line later in the day.
Is there some way I should make a comment go to the top when I am writing a comment on the post page?
Back To The Top, referring to a good post.
Thanks for the ping jaz.
No, your comment, when you post a reply, will go to the top of the Comments list, and it will be, for a brief time, the very most recent post made on the whole site.
It is then replaced by the next post on any active thread.
People can scan by Article, by Activity, or by Comments.
I use “Comments” because I can see what people are posting about quickly and be exposed to many articles in a short time, then deciding which posts I might wish to respond to.