Col. David H. Hackworth, author of "Steel My Soldiers' Hearts," "Price of Honor" and "About Face," saw duty or reported as a sailor, soldier and military correspondent in nearly a dozen wars and conflicts -- from the end of World War II to the fights against international terrorism.More ↓Less ↑
“War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed
and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that
nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is
willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal
safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless
made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” – John
Bombs are certain to fall on Iraq unless Saddam Hussein backs off
and allows the UN inspectors to search for and then destroy his hidden
arsenal of weapons of mass destruction — chemical and biological for
sure and perhaps even nuclear.
Military intelligence sources say Saddam, a cunning, world-class
thug, might be leading America into another ambush.
Displaying his unique brand of courage, he may again stand tall at
the bottom of his deep, ultradeluxe bunker and let his people get
He knows as well as any green second lieutenant that bombs and
missiles alone won’t win a war or blast him from power, only soldiers on
the ground can do that –and our broken military machine isn’t up for
another Desert Storm. So when the dusts clears, Saddam will blame the
pummeling on Clinton, claiming that what the fireworks were really about
was to take the heat off his personal life.
Many of our warriors agree. They ask: Is the Iraqi crisis a Wag the
Dog scenario of the president’s own making to divert attention away from
Sexgate? They also question his ability to lead American soldiers in a
war and say the latest Clinton sex scandal involving Monica Lewinsky has
gravely weakened the president’s moral authority to be commander in chief
of our armed forces.
Sexgate also brings into focus the double standards that exist
between our politicians and warriors.
While our forces are preparing to attack, their leader is defending
himself from allegations that would instantly end the career of any
member in our armed forces, if so charged.
The irony of all this is that our warriors are frequently brought
down not by a Gennifer Flowers, a Paula Jones or a Monica Lewinsky, but
by an anonymous phone call or a “he gave me that kind of look” vague
An Army major says “We don’t give our soldiers the due process that
many are advocating for President Clinton. If they do their jobs right,
providing hard training and stern discipline, they risk disgruntled brats
calling 1-800-REVENGE and making baseless accusations of sexual
misconduct. Then the National Organization of Women and the news networks
show up to ratchet up the accusations without a trial or evidence.”
A U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who distinguished himself in Iraq
War 1 fought the charge that he “inappropriately touched” a female
captain. He won his battle, and the accuser turned out to be a serial
complainer who enjoyed making up stories about senior officers. But he’d
been tarnished and it was too late in the game for him to retrieve his
deserved star. To our great loss, he’ll soon be flying for a commercial
airline, not leading a fighter wing over Iraq.
Hundreds of naval aviators’ careers were shot down over rumors and
innuendoes during the fallout from the Tailhook sex scandal. “Just for
being in Las Vegas at the wrong time, we were found guilty and punished
by being removed from promotion lists without even a trial,” says one
pilot who might soon be flying missions over Iraq.
“President Clinton is our commander in chief and as such he is
expected to set an example for all of us,” says a Marine Sergeant. “He
and his politically correct minions have torched the careers of many
sergeants and officers for far less allegations than have been leveled at
him. Why should he be treated any differently just because he’s the
An Army officer says, “Bill Clinton is not above the law of the
land. If he’s guilty of obtaining sexual favors from a subordinate and
nothing’s done about it, the Army needs to commute the sentences of all
the Aberdeen drill sergeants. After all, the commander in chief did it!”
Clinton shouldn’t pull a Wag the Dog and fall into Saddam’s trap.
There is no burning military necessity to attack Iraq within the next few
months. The strike should go on hold until this latest scandal is put to
rest so the president can lead his warriors without suspicion as to his
Also, as a matter of fairness, President Clinton should insure in
the future that his warriors are granted the same protocol when dealing
with charges of a sexual nature that he’s invoking now to protect himself.