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The PJ Tatler

Bridget Johnson


March 14, 2013 - 7:52 am

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who served in the U.S. Army during the Carter administration, said at CPAC this morning that the country has stumbled on a key principle of war: “send all that you got, win and come home.”

“Vietnam was winnable, but people in Washington decided we would not win it,” the congressman said.

“When our embassy was attacked it was an act of war in 1979,” he continued. “We expected the United States to respond and we watched for three days” in his unit, but no move was made by Jimmy Carter.

“I still believe today that we have Americans dying for our country because we did not send a message in 1979,” Carter said.”…If you go to war you better mean it.”

At one point, Gohmert quipped, “John Boehner would tell you I don’t speak for him.” The congressman voted for former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) in the January vote for speaker of the House.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (3)
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Seems like we have at least two problems. First, we think we always have to "go in heavy." We get into situations where diplomats and spies and special forces might be the best solution but somehow we always end up with 30,000 Marines and Regular Army grunts occupying the country while the Navy and Air Force drop million-dollar smart munitions from billion-dollar airplanes. Why/how did Afghanistan go from CIA and Green Berets helping the Northern Alliance to a full scale invasion and occupation of the country? The same could be said for Vietnam.

Second, when we do go in heavy we are unwilling to do what's necessary to win. When you go in heavy, the purpose is to annihilate the enemy, not win hearts and minds. That means leveling Hanoi. It means leveling every village where a Taliban ambush or IED attack occurred. It means using napalm, WP, cluster bombs, land mines, and any other "terror" weapon at our disposal. It means shock and awe. It means everywhere is the Highway of Death. If we're not willing to do that, we shouldn't go in heavy.

We apparently didn't learn anything from Vietnam. We didn't learn anything from the British experience in Burma. What's wrong with us?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Back in 1980, aboard the USS Nimitz at GONZO Station, we had a saying:
“I sailed 10000 miles to smoke a Camel, but nobody would give me a light.”

I was only an E-5, but I knew a very big mistake was happening all around me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You send a message and it is received loud and clear. We won't act.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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