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MILITARY: ‘Lessons of history’ out of context

Letter by William F. Johnston, Tacoma on Jan. 12, 2012 at 10:55 am | 56 Comments »
January 12, 2012 11:35 am

Re: “Obama, like previous presidents, forgets lessons of history with military plan” (TNT, 1-11).

Retired Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales cites “lessons of history” and gets them all wrong without proper context.

How can you reference Vietnam and Iraq as examples, when it was illogical to have fought them at all? “By 1970 our professional army … was replaced by a body of amateurs.” I was a member of that pre-1970 military and, as I recall, we were a “citizens military” made up of draftees. The “professional” army didn’t come until after 1970.

And to compare Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong and Saddam Hussein is to display complete ignorance as to the unique role each played in their country’s history. Scales claims “we cannot pick our enemies.” I would just point out to him we certainly did when we invaded Iraq for no reason whatsoever.

He goes on to be critical of President Obama’s plans to “confront China with technology rather than people.” This without considering over 40 percent of our economy is already controlled by the Chinese. Our threat from China is economic not a military one!

Scales is a man who is living in the past, wearing blinders as to the real threats in the world around us.

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