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NEWS: Vietnam-Era Commander Westmoreland Dies

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posted on Jul, 18 2005 @ 11:09 PM
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General William Westmoreland who commanded US forces in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968 has died at the age of 91. Westmoreland saw combat in WWII and made Colonel by the time he was 30. Rather than viewing Vietnam as a defeat, he saw it as a failure to honor a commitment. He spent the years following his retirement in 1972 speaking to veterans groups in all 50 states.
 



news.yahoo.com
Retired Gen. William Westmoreland, who commanded American troops in Vietnam — the nation's longest conflict and the only war America lost — died Monday night. He was 91.

Westmoreland died of natural causes at Bishop Gadsden retirement home, where he had lived with his wife for several years, said his son, James Ripley Westmoreland.

The silver-haired, jut-jawed officer, who rose through the ranks quickly in Europe during World War II and later became superintendent of West Point, contended the United States did not lose the conflict in Southeast Asia.

"It's more accurate to say our country did not fulfill its commitment to South Vietnam," he said. "By virtue of Vietnam, the U.S. held the line for 10 years and stopped the dominoes from falling."




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


As a Marine, I never was particularly fond of Westmoreland and his command of the war in Vietnam. He had no problem putting the Marines in I Corps, where most of the heavy fighting was, but he never let the Corps utilize fully the wealth of experience gained from fighting guerrilla wars throughout the world. He viewed Marine Corps tactics as obsolescent, despite the Corps' long history of innovation.

These complaints aside, Westmoreland was an officer who was dedicated to his men. He earned the respect of those who served under him in WWII by leading from the front. Even after his retirement, "Westy" was a tireless advocate of veterans. He led American forces during our darkest hours, under the most difficult of political situations. He is to be remembered with respect and honor. He deserves every bit of it.

Related News Links:
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[edit on 2005/7/19 by GradyPhilpott]




posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 07:30 AM
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I wish this guy had been in charge of North Vietnam troops. The US would have won the war in about a year.



posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 08:04 AM
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Jeremiah_John says:


I wish this guy had been in charge of North Vietnam troops. The US would have won the war in about a year.


Just out of couriosity, Jeremian, how old were you in the sixties -- when Mr. Philpott and I were in the military?



posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 08:38 AM
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I agree with Grady, I have heard many of many instances of how Gen. William Westmoreland utilized the Corps in Vietnam.....he used the army when he should have used the Marines and visversa. Two different doctrines on warfare.

Anyways, he was a good man and leader and held a tough position that only few could have done during the Vietnam era.......that alone was quit an achievement.



posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 09:13 AM
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My father and I had the opportunity to meet General Westmoreland in a chance-encounter at a fund-raising event in Heidelberg, Germany....

For the brief few moments we spoke, he imparted a sense of honor and a command of respect that few people I've met can ever truly exude by their mere presence alone...



posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 11:16 AM
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My condolences to General Westmorland's family.

The man was a disaster as the overall commander of forces in Vietnam. He had no spine to tell the truth to politicians, even when he knew and his grasp of strategy was terrible.

Grady, you're a more forgiving man than I.

Here is a good article about Westy's career:
news.yahoo.com.../latimests/acommandercaughtinthemireofvietnam

[edit on 19-7-2005 by Astronomer68]



posted on Jul, 19 2005 @ 06:05 PM
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Despite the General's shortcomings, he should not bear all the responsiblity for the lack of success in Vietnam. That responsiblity really should go to the anti-war movement and the media who still can't get the facts right after all these years.

All I can really say is that Vietnam was the final legacy of the "Greatest Generation" and it was a far cry from the glory delivered by a really "Great Generation," their fathers who fought WWII and masterminded the victory in WWII.

For all his shortcomings, Westmoreland was powerless against the enemy within. He's dead now. Let him rest in peace.

[edit on 2005/7/19 by GradyPhilpott]




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