Democrats, Leadership, And The Military

After the Vietnam War the United States military was in disarray. The people who were drafted for the war came from the same ranks of people who wore flowers in their hair, had multiple sexual contacts, and did a lot of drugs. The post Vietnam military was in bad shape and the military in general had a bad name. They had lost a war, mostly because of people like John Kerry and Jane Fonda, and America was not happy. As Patton said (or as George C Scott playing Patton said) America loves a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Unfortunately, the Kerry Fonda crowd never understood this idea and while they were demonstrating leadership, for the enemy, they helped to tear down and demoralize the military.

Nixon left office, Ford took over and was ineffective. His ties to the Nixon administration spelled defeat and a peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter became the President. Carter, who will go down in history as one of the most ineffective Presidents, did nothing to salvage the military. In Carter’s world, military action was not necessary because under the Carter doctrine all anyone had to do was talk to those who would do us harm, capitulate to their demands, and then sing while holding hands and all would be well. Then a radical group of Iranians took Americans hostage at the US Embassy in Iran. The current President of Iran was one of those who held Americans captive. Carter suddenly found out that the lack of a spine incites bad people to take advantage of those they presume to be weak. It was time for Carter to call on the military, an organization to which he paid little attention and to which little resources were allotted.

The ill conceived rescue plan turned disastrous when poorly trained troops tried to execute a plan for rescue. Aircraft collided and service members were killed. That event marked the end of any hope for military action. The military that was severely weakened by the leadership of Democrats like Kerry, Fonda, and Carter was not up to the task. Americans would spend 444 days in captivity because the Iranians knew the military was unable to help. The same stellar leadership that gave us an impotent military also gave us skyrocketing interest rates and a quality of life so bad that a “misery index” was devised to express how bad it really was.

Carter’s poor leadership and the inability of the Democratically controlled Congress to resolve anything or to improve the quality of life coupled with the reminder of Americans held hostage led to the election of Ronald Reagan. Republicans are strong on the military and national defense. The rest of the world realizes this and within hours of Reagan taking the oath of office, the hostages were released. Iran quickly realized that there was a new sheriff in town. Reagan submitted budgets that increased spending for the armed forces. Training was improved with the addition of advanced systems that allowed soldiers to train as they would fight. I was a brand new private at that time and had little knowledge of the military before my entry. There were many old soldiers who told me about the dark days. Vietnam vets explained what went wrong and how our leaders failed them. Under Reagan the military industrial complex flourished. We had new weapons systems and the world once again saw the America that knew how to flex its muscles when needed. The Soviet Union, our long time Cold War adversary, could not keep up and they soon fell into economic collapse. Our strength allowed the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Communist death grip. We won the cold war. We had a few little skirmishes along the way and though not perfect, the military performed well. Reagan’s leadership allowed us to succeed.

George H W Bush was elected after Reagan served two terms and Bush saw the gathering storm. A tyrant named Saddam Hussein was rattling his sabers and threatening his neighbors. When he invaded Kuwait he stepped on a hornet’s nest. H W Bush gathered an unprecedented coalition of nations in support of military action to remove Iraq from Kuwait. After the obligatory UN actions were rendered and, ignored, the coalition went to war to free Kuwait. Our military performed extremely well with new weapons systems that would never have seen the light of day if the Democrats had their way. The M1 Abrams tank was able to fight more enemy tanks and from farther away than the enemy could shoot. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle provided rapid lethal strikes against the world’s sixth largest military. In short order the fight that Hussein claimed would be “The mother of all battles” turned into the mother of all routs. Our men and women, now highly trained and supported by a strong President, were able to inflict such devastating harm on the enemy that they surrendered in droves.

A charismatic man named Bill Clinton arrived on the scene and was able to win election to the office of President making H W Bush a one term President. The man who assembled the greatest coalition in history and executed a war with minimal casualties was replaced by a man who has a genuine hatred for the military. Clinton brought a rabid wife to the mix. She is a woman who once voiced her loathe for the military and gave instructions that the White House military staff could not wear uniforms. Clinton, a draft dodger who used the ROTC as a ruse to avoid military service, began to take his hatred out on the military. He, aided by traitors like John Kerry, began to cut the military budget. Kerry voted against every major weapons system and Clinton’s budgets continually cut from the military to fund social programs and “balance” the budget. The budget was never balanced and we never had a surplus but we sure had a military that had been gutted. Clinton cut the number of active combat divisions in HALF. When Clinton used military force he did it in a politically correct way so as to keep our men and women so far from harm that they were never as effective as they could be. Aircraft had to bomb from ridiculously high altitudes and ground troops were hardly used.

Clinton used our military in the Balkans injecting our country in a civil war. We were able to accomplish some good but the idea that we were guided bu good in ending ethnic cleansing was a hollow argument given that countries with similar problems were ignored. The most abundant use of the military by Clinton was when he deployed one act or another to take attention away from whatever the latest scandal involving his administration was. He would lob a missile or two into Iraq and Americans would watch with interest as Clinton did his best to make people forget about billing records, Vincent Foster, and a blue dress with accompanying cigar. Clinton’s major accomplishment during all these bombing runs was the destruction of a medicine factory. He did however, embolden a few enemies along the way. Clinton failed to get Osama bin Laden on at least three occasions and he treated the first World Trade Center bombing like a criminal act. There were other acts of terror against our country that went unpunished while Clinton once again demonstrated that Democrats are poor leaders and weak on national defense. An attack on the USS Cole that killed about 17 sailors went unanswered and Clinton’s response to the events in Somalia after the Blackhawk down incident was to have our troops pack up and go home. Our military was of no consequence to Clinton because he hates them. Their deaths were unimportant to him and while he bit his lip and felt our pain he ignored the very threats to our way of life. Our military, gutted and bruised, was taken out of the fight in an act that emboldened OBL. The US, as far as he was concerned, was a paper tiger. Battered, bruised, and downsized, the military was looking for, and desperately needed, new leadership.

In the next installment I will look at a new war, a new leader, and speculate what life would be like if Democrats were in charge on 9/11.

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