2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Friday, December 28, 2012

RIP GEN H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr, 1934-2012

An American military icon has passed.  General H. "Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. passed away yesterday with him family close by in Florida from complications of pneumonia.  He was 78,

General Schwarzkopf was a soldier's general, a man that once crawled into a minefield to help save a wounded soldier while wounded himself.  A man that troops rallied around and drew inspiration from.  His legacy will ultimately be tied with the Desert Shield/Storm conflict of  1990-91, and while history will record this as a slam dunk win for the US and coalition forces, it was not always a foregone conclusion.

At the time of the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq had the 4th largest military in the world (behind, China, the Soviet Union and the US), its senior leadership and many of its regular units had been tried in tested in a decade long conflict in Iran.  It had chemical weapons and had used them in the past.  In short, it was a formidable foe on paper.  It was widely circulated that we expected tens of thousands of casualties in the first few weeks of fighting.

It lasted 4 days on the ground.

After a prolonged air campaign orchestrated by Schwarzkopf to blind and disorient the Iraqi leadership, he masterminded the great "left hook" move of having an entire division pull a "Hail Mary" attack at the flank of the Iraqi force and ultimately drove them out of Kuwait in short order while devastating their troops and armored forces in the process.

Even more importantly, Schwarzkopf, along with General Colin Powell, recognized from their experiences in Vietnam how much the media could influence the perception of the war.  He therefore went on very orchestrated briefings directly to the media showing how coalition forces were defeating the Iraqis by the use of smart weapons that could drop a single bomb down an air shaft in a building and surgically remove the threat like a delicate cancer operation. He famously showed a video of "the luckiest man in Iraq" who drove a truck over a bridge mere seconds before a smart bomb blows it up behind him.  He made us laugh at the war in a sense.  Meanwhile he hid the horrors of the tens of thousands of Iraqis that died after massive bombardments, ariel strikes and coalition ground attacks.  Not that I feel sorry for the "barbaric invaders" (as my former Kuwaiti hosts called them), but I think its important that we note how he sanitized the war for the American public and therefor kept support for it high.

After he retired he became a well known speaker, commentator and also was on the board of directors for many large corporations, including Remington Arms for those of us into that thing. 

Rest in piece General, your post here is secure.

No comments: