By Ray Starmann
In 1971, Colonel David Hackworth was interviewed on ABC’s, “Issues and Answers.” During the interview, Hackworth, a career Army officer, stated in no uncertain terms that the Vietnam War was a disaster and unwinnable. Furthermore, he chastised his fellow Army officers for poor leadership and ineptness. Hackworth was a decorated combat veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, who had earned enough medals for a whole battalion. He was instantly ostracized by the defense establishment and forced to retire.
Hackworth, who later went on to a distinguished career as a journalist was a polarizing figure who was hated by the brass and loved by the troops. At the time he went on “Issues and Answers” he was being groomed for promotion to general. Hackworth was well aware that his appearance on the TV show would doom his career. He didn’t care. He knew that he had to follow his conscience and tell the public the truth about the Vietnam War.
Where is such moral courage among the Army’s senior leaders today?
It appears to be vacant, vanished, like a junked aircraft in a desert graveyard.
Today, the Army is beset by a myriad of problems ranging from readiness to doctrinal issues to crackpot feminist directives, which have been forced upon the lean green machine from civilians.
While General Odierno did testify to Congress concerning the Army’s readiness issues, I have yet to hear former Chairman of the JCS, General Martin Dempsey or any other general officer utter so much as a peep about anything controversial.
Where were the Army’s senior leaders when President Obama withdrew US forces from Iraq in December of 2011? Certainly, Dempsey and just about everyone else in the Army knew the decision was going to lead to disaster.
Where were Dempsey and the Army’s senior leaders for the last year, while Operation Inherent Resolve, the supposed air campaign against ISIS was waged? They knew the air campaign was a farce, no matter how many times Obama’s Music Man, Admiral Kirby, tapped danced through a daily Pentagon smoke and mirrors presentation. They knew. So did the Russians. Now, everyone knows.
Where were the Army’s senior leaders when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed? While most people in 2015 don’t really care about a person’s sexual orientation, open homosexuality in the military, like many of the Army’s ongoing social experiments, is just that; an experiment with unknown outcomes.
Where were the Army’s senior leaders when the Department of Defense decided to allow trans-genders to serve in the Army?
Where were the Army’s senior leaders when they were ordered to put women through Ranger School?
Where were the Army’s senior leaders as the deadline passed to ask for an exemption to place women in combat arms and special operations slots?
The Army’s senior leaders are AWOL. They are in hiding, for they know all too well that the Army is the victim of a vast cultural revolution; a purge, not from inside, but from outside forces, who are determined to reshape the Army, even if they have to destroy it.
Are we really supposed to believe that general officers who have spent their whole adult lives in mainly combat arms branches truly believe that women should serve in the combat arms and special operations units?
There is no doubt that retired Generals Dempsey and Odierno, and perhaps many senior Army officers and maybe even some junior ones, have sat around a conference table or a burn barrel or in a track and wondered how they got themselves into such a mess. Some might even support these new progressive ideas, but many do not. Though they might be opposed to this upheaval, nothing is said, for to speak is to commit a thought crime. Any utterance, any sound, any comment that is not marching in lockstep with the New Order is met with banishment, forced resignation or both.
Though he was not an Army officer, take the case of Major-General Michael Keltz, a decorated aviator who had flown over 350 combat missions. His crime, he told a junior officer at an Article 15 hearing that he was “Drunker than 10,000 Indians.”
His sentence; forced resignation and ejection into the wild blue yonder of the civilian world. Where was his commander? He was sitting at his desk, telling Keltz to pack his bags. There was no defense for this man, for to defend him would have been to destroy one’s career as well.
As of now, no Army officer on active duty has spoken out publicly against the Obama Administration’s destructive policies.
The greatest threat to the US Army right now is not Putin and his Universal Weight Machine, nor is it North Korea, the Musical, nor is it the Loonies of Teheran. The greatest danger is political correctness and militant feminism which is eating the Army alive like a horde of Amazonian ants descending upon a dead antelope carcass.
How is this all going to play out? You don’t have to be Clausewitz to know the answer. Simply put, the US Army is heading for a series of disasters not seen since the Massachusetts boys went live in 1775.
At the end of the day, the kind of courage the Army drastically needs is not the courage one shows on a battlefield, that seems to be plentiful. What the Army drastically needs is moral courage among its senior leaders. That seems to be almost non-existent now.
One may ask, why hasn’t there been another David Hackworth? History has shown that it is the rare person who has the intestinal fortitude to buck the system and to speak out.
Moral courage is something mankind has been lacking throughout history. One is reminded of Genesis in the Old Testament when God told Abraham he would not destroy Sodom, if he could find ten righteous men.
The time has come to lead gentlemen. You have sat too long and closed your eyes in hopes that the gathering storm would pass. It has not. Like all brewing crises, it has only gotten worse. It will continue to worsen until you have the moral courage to stop it.
To quote Winston Churchill in 1940, on the day he was made Prime Minister. “Pray God, we are not too late.”