by Roving Reporter, ©2021

“LVTs move toward Saipan, past bombarding cruisers, on D-Day, 15 June 1944,” (Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

(Sep. 15, 2021) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to ‘The Pulse of the Nation,’ the place to hear it here first. I’m Roving Reporter (RR) and will be your host for this episode of ‘Pulse,’ the most-watched information show in its time slot. We usually tape in the morning, grab a burger and head on back to the studio where we do the editing. Molly, our secretary, will then substitute songs for the commercials.

“I had it rather rough after the fraud of an election; I just can’t understand why our fellow citizens would trash the ballots of their neighbors. Truthfully, who in his right mind would choose Biden over Trump? And to answer some of our probing questions, we’ve invited our very own General to help us understand the military mind. Welcome to the show, General. I see you’ve brought your chalkboard on wheels.”

“Wouldn’t leave home without it, Roving. Glad to see you back.”

“Thank you, General; glad to be back. Let me ask you your basic take on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

“Very well; I take it you want an overview of the institution rather than singling out any particular sleazeball, such as General Mark Milley, is that correct?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Very well. The basic problem with the Joint Chiefs is that it is a good-old-boys’ club, meaning if you didn’t graduate from The Point or the Academy you are looked upon as a thing rather than a real honest-to-goodness human being.”

“Is that the reason why they denied Audie Murphy entry into the Point and not because he had a Purple Heart?”

“Precisely, but even more than that is that he could’ve taught those instructors how battles and skirmishes are really fought and not by neat lines of different colors drawn on a chalkboard. Take a look at my chalkboard. Now what you see is the proposed landing of the island of Saipan during WWII. Notice the timeline; neat and precise.”

“It’s really a work of art, General.”

“Now I’ll flip it over and now you see how it really went down.”

“Wow, what a mess, and from days to weeks. And from ‘minimum casualties’ to 3,426 killed and 10,364 wounded. Wow, were they ever off; not even in the ballpark, were they?”

“No, they were not. Audie could’ve taught his teachers lessons. And then there was Billy Mitchell, the General who cried wolf, but there was a wolf, a real one, the Japanese carrier force, and it struck Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.”

“I’m beginning to see a pattern here, aren’t I?”

“I’m afraid so. In Vietnam the bombers would fly the same route at the same altitude at the same time every day, so all the NVA had to do was set up SAM launch sites at known locations and fire away at precise times with missiles that could reach a particular altitude. Piece of cake.”

“But that’s insane.”

“But it made for nice neat lines on the map, with precise times. Looked real good on paper; only trouble was our boys got shot down, many killed and many captured and tortured. There’s always a downside to plans etched in concrete with no contingencies for deviation.”

“So your basic gripe with the Joint Chiefs is one of mindset; am I reading that correctly?”

“USS PENNSYLVANIA and battleship of COLORADO class followed by three cruisers move in line into Lingayen Gulf preceding the landing on Luzon. Philippines, January 1955” (National Archives)

“Indeed you are, Roving. But that’s the nature of the beast: institutions, reluctant to embrace change so as not to upset the hierarchy. It took a demonstration of one plane to drop one bomb down the smokestack of a battleship to sink her, yet even that was not enough to convince the powers-that-be that the future was in air power and not antiquated battleships.”

“And many of our people paid the ultimate price for that mistake.”

“Shamefully, true. We just witnessed the grandest military blunder of all time. Just as Biden replaced Barry Soetoro (Obama) as the worst Commander-in-Chief of all time, General Milley’s order to leave our weapons behind in Afghanistan replaced General George Pickett’s CHARGE order as the worst military order of all time. General Pickett ordered his men to charge into a wall of lead; subsequently thousands of his troops were killed and wounded, many who subsequently died of infection: it was the time before germs were understood and before Penicillin was discovered.”

“So what’s the solution?”

“The solution is to put people in command who can think on their feet. It has been my experience that the Lieutenant Colonels and Lieutenant Commanders have the greatest insightful, imaginative views of reality and, therefore, have the ability to make the correct decisions.”

“But you can’t be having Lieutenant Commanders ordering Admirals, now, can you?”

“I’m not proposing a solution, Roving; all I’m doing is stating the facts. You asked; I answered, that’s all. But I’ll say this: in the world of computers, the people in charge, the CEO’s, are more than willing to adapt to new and opposing views, unlike, as I’ve aptly demonstrated, the Joint Chiefs.”

“Yes, you have. Billy Mitchell accused his superiors of incompetence, just as Lt. Col Stuart Scheller recently did, with the same results: they fired him. Seems like the institution of the Joint Chiefs of Staff never learns; am I right?”

“Unfortunately, too right. You see, eventually Billy Mitchell became the ‘Father of the Air Force,’ but it doesn’t look like they’ll honor Lt. Col. Scheller in any way. Think about it: the very type of person, who any rational person would want in their military, and we cashier him. I’m telling you, it’s nuts and we’ll pay the price, and we have paid the price.”

“You mean our dead and maimed from Afghanistan?”

“Yes, I do. Our very own RULES OF ENGAGEMENT got our troops maimed and killed more than bullets from the enemy.”

“But that’s like saying we did it to ourselves.”

“Now you’re thinking: we did do it to ourselves, just as we did it to ourselves in Vietnam. Same mindset: political war: bring Democracy to the heathens; win ‘hearts and minds.’ Who gives a darn; just win the war and come home, just as we did in WWII. There was no talk of coddling the Germans or the Japs: kill them all and come home, or kill so many that the rest surrender.”

“But the Taliban will never surrender.”

“I gave you the solution but the Joint Chiefs of Staff refuse to listen; they embraced the political view of the ‘hearts and minds’ contingency. I’m a General and I’m telling you that an infantry’s best friend is a 500-lb. bomb dropped from one of our planes on target.”

“What about the civilians?”

“When our troops entered Germany and Japan in 1945 they weren’t shot in the back, okay?”

“Okay. So I take it that the whole antiquated mindset of the military has to be reset, and people who aren’t afraid to speak up and tell the truth, such as the before-mentioned Lt. Col. Scheller, are the very ones we need, right?”

“We need them now, more than ever. Remember, the most devastating weapon – the nuclear bomb —  has escaped our control so our enemies can do us in as we can do them in: frightening prospect, is it not?”

“And Biden is letting Iran get THE BOMB; am I right?”

“You are so right, Roving. By the way, you’re out of uniform but I’ll let it slide this one time.”

“But I’m out, General.”

“But you did take the Oath.”

“What if I consider my civilian attire my new Uniform of the Day; will that work?”

“By the way, Roving, what we need, above all else, is a Secretary of Defense who can actually do the job, and not some paper-pusher who wouldn’t know what combat is all about, who never experienced thirst so bad as to go out and kill for a drink of water, in the dead of night: do or die. We need warriors and not do-gooders who care about ‘feelings’ and what’s ‘right and wrong.’ We need people who only think of WIN-WIN-WIN.”

“I think we’ve heard that one before: WIN-WIN-WIN.”

“If the election wasn’t a fraud and if Biden had an ounce of integrity, Trump would be our Commander-in-Chief and the fiasco of Afghanistan NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.”

“And those 13 who were recently killed at the airport in Kabul would be coming home to their loved ones.”

“Goodnight.”

Roving Reporter

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