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General MacArthur

Posted by john h on 5/11/03 at 19:51 (118357)

Many of you are to young or perhaps never had occasion to read the address by General Douglas MacArthur to the West Point graduating class of 1962. Many of you may find this speech uplifting or you may not. It seems an appropriate time to look at it again or if you have never heard or read it to ponder his words:

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/au-24/au24-352mac.htm

Re: General MacArthur

Suzanne D on 5/11/03 at 21:17 (118370)

Thanks, John. I appreciated reading this speech. I was 10 years old when he made it and grew up with 'duty, honor, country' being much a part of what my parents believed and taught me. I had two great aunts who were members of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and who instilled in me patriotism and loyalty from a young age.

Suzanne :)

Re: General MacArthur

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/12/03 at 19:12 (118471)

John:
MacArthur was one of the greats but I remember him for his challenge to the politicization of war, the running of war by bureaucrats -- something that cost us dearly in Korea and Vietnam. His firing by Truman marked a troubling turning point which I beleive, have taught us some important lessons.
Ed

Re: General MacArthur

john h on 5/12/03 at 20:39 (118480)

MacArthur did develop a grand idea of himself. Like many great men in many professions he was not your regular bear. I think Truman was probably correct in firing him as he was challenging the Commander in Chief. Looking back if we had done what MacArthur wanted to do and that was to attack the Chinese in their own land rather than give them sanctuary during Korea, I wonder how the world would differ today. He was a brilliant man. I think he finished number one in his class and maybe had the highest scores of any Cadet ever He was somewhat like Patton. You may hate him but he could sure get the job done. I clearly remember the Old Solders Never Die, They Just Fade Away speech before Congress. I think he was born here in Little Rock at an old Army post which is now named MacArthur Park.

Re: General MacArthur

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/13/03 at 18:24 (118605)

John:
Truman, I think, as Commander in Chief had no choice but to fire MacArthur.
I am more concerned about the events that led up to the firing though. Truman made strategic choices (eg. not bombing the bridges across the Yalu river) in which political considerations may have been at odds with good military strategy. I saw that trend persist through the Vietnam era, although Vietnam may have taught us the errors inherent in that trend.
Ed