(By Ray D.)
Another Top US General Blasts President’s Handling of War
The President just doesn’t seem to get it. His handling of the war is a disaster. He just doesn’t seem to understand how many grave mistakes he has made. Far too much emphasis is being placed on one front when we ought to have more troops going after the people who actually attacked us. Why can’t the President just admit his failings and concede that his critics are telling the truth, is he too stubborn or just too proud?
What’s that? You think we are being too hard on the President’s handling of the war? Well, don’t take our word for it. Here is a summary of what a top US General actually had to say:
Every mistake that supposedly intelligent men could make has been made in this war. The operation was absolutely useless, yet all the available strength of Great Britain and the United States was thrown into the task. (…) The front on which we are fighting those who actually attacked us is being “starved” and a “disaster” because the President insists on fighting on another front. Our lack of success is the “bitter fruit” of this fateful decision. The Army is being asked to do the impossible and could have been used elsewhere to secure large portions of enemy held territory. We are fighting this war just as we fought the last war, in part because the people in Washington have never actually been on the front lines.
We Germans couldn’t have agreed more with this assessment, this is what we were trying to tell you Americans all along…this really would have saved us a number of headaches had you just taken this esteemed General’s advice! And what brave General was it who had the guts to stand up and tell it to the President like it is you ask? One moment…I’m sure it was Wesley Clark…no, …then it had to be General Merrill McPeak, or maybe it was General Abizaid? No?
In fact, it was Douglas MacArthur in November 1944 and he was talking about President Roosevelt’s handling of World War II. Here is the full text:
“[MacArthur] said that every mistake that supposedly intelligent men could make has been made in this war. The North African operation was absolutely useless, yet all the available strength of Great Britain and the United States was thrown into the task.
The general, as he is depicted in the report, was full of two ideas: that the Pacific war had been “starved” in the interests of Europe, and that whereas the MacArthur-Nimitz strategy in the Pacific was skillfully to hit the enemy “where he ain’t,” the European strategy was to hammer stupidly against the enemy’s strongest points. “Patton’s army, which is trying to batter its way through the Vosges in the Luneville-Baccarat sector, can’t do it. He repeated---they can’t do it. No army could do it. … The Chinese situation is disastrous. It is the bitter fruit of our decision to concentrate our full strength against Germany. …He said that if he had been given just a portion of the force which invaded North Africa he could have retaken the Philippines in three months because at that time the Japanese were not ready. He lashed out in a general indictment of Washington, asserting that ‘they’ are fighting this war as they fought the last war. He said that most of them have never been in the front lines...”
Indeed. "More of the same" as they say…
The quotes above are historic eye-openers. They come from “The Forrestal Diaries” edited by Walter Millis and published by the Viking Press. James Forrestal was then US Secretary of the Navy and learned of MacArthur’s views through a report provided to him by Bert Andrews, the Washington correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, who had just returned from a trip to the Philippines. The quotes appear in an entry dated 22 November 1944.
Was MacArthur right in his criticism of President Roosevelt? Was Roosevelt taking "his eye off the ball" and "starving" the Pacific front to the point of "disaster" in committing so many men and resources to Europe? Was it the wrong war, wrong place, wrong time?
And given this historic example, is it right for the media to report what every critic of the President has to say without first examining the merits of the criticism? Probably not. But don't try telling that to the German media. After all, if they can't find a legitimate expert to criticize Bush, they manufacture "experts" of their own to do the dirty work. And don't ever expect to hear much from anyone arguing the merits of the President's position...we wouldn't want the German people to get both sides of the story now would we...
By the way: Don't forget to check out this article on the same subject.