MEMO TO DONALD RUMSFELD:
Of all the idiotic, morale-destroying moves we have seen made by an Army general since the Vietnam war, the stupid and self-defeating decision by Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno to punish and humiliate a highly-respected battalion commander in the 4th Infantry Division for violating “political correctness” (when he tried to save his men’s lives), is one of the worst.
LTC Allen B. West ought to get a medal and promotion rather than be threatened with a “choice” of resigning his commission (three days short of retirement) or facing court martial and up to eight years at the Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks.
What was West’s “crime?” Why, he fired his pistol near – not at – near the head of a captured Iraqi terrorist to get him to “talk” about an impending guerrilla attack on American troops. If West had not resorted to that expeditious tactic, many of his men might have died as a result.
But what was “dumb-ass” Odierno concerned about? The captured prisoner’s “sensibilities,” and not the safety of our own forces. Like the serpentine Gen. Wesley Clark, Odierno “made his stars” sucking up to former President Bill “I loathe the military” Clinton. No wonder this general is trying to cashier LTC West, when he should be out catching Saddam Hussein instead.
RUMSFELD NEEDS TO GET INVOLVED – NOW!
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld could give the entire American forces in Iraq a much-needed morale boost by firing Odierno from his command and relieving the generals’ staff of moronic JAG advisors. They have done more damage to the war effort in Iraq than a dozen terrorist attacks could do.
We know there were plenty of times in Vietnam when Viet Cong prisoners were “encouraged to talk” by a lot more than a pistol round fired close to their head! Some of those same lieutenants and captains who allowed “rough treatment” to elicit vital military information, went on to become generals themselves.
Obviously Odierno wasn’t one of them. In fact, we don’t recall seeing that political sycophant anywhere in Vietnam during the years we fought there.
This general has to go. NOW! And if Rumsfeld continues to let West “twist in the wind,” maybe it’s time for President Bush to get himself a new defense secretary. This one has let his arrogance and indifference to the troops in the field reach new heights.
When Brit Hume questioned “Rummy” on Fox News Sunday as to whether he couldn’t just “overrule” Odierno’s dumb move, the defense secretary grinned his crocodile grin and allowed: “They tell me that’s the case.”
Then he shifted into his usual “double-speak” with an empty assurance that “the Army is addressing this,” promising that the case will “move along in its normal order.”
Well, isn’t that just great! One of our best battalion commanders in Iraq gets relieved and threatened with prison over some bullshit charge. The officer’s wife, a cancer-survivor, suffers in agony back home, and all Rumsfeld can do is mumble “at some point it [the case] could come to me.”
Get your head out of your butt, “Rummy.” You are acting like an utter fool. You have already cost your boss, George Bush, critical support in the veteran’s community, and if you continue to screw up, you are going to end up on the unemployment line.
AN OFFICER THE TROOPS CAN RESPECT
LTC West, an African-American and devout Christian (not the sanctimonious Jimmy Carter “born again” for political expediency type) told Art Moore of World Net Daily: “Without God and my Savior Jesus Christ, I would have cracked a long time ago.”
Well, that’s two strikes on him. His race and his religion. “Strike three” came when West showed leadership by risking his future to save his men’s lives. Shouldn’t the “pygmies” who now seek to deprive him of his career end up losing theirs?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Everyone in the U. S. armed forces and the journalistic community owe a well-deserved “salute” to Rowan Scarborough of the Washington TIMES. It was Scarborough that broke this story in the first place and then stayed with it like a bulldog. He is the best military writer in America.