Monday, March 14, 2016

No Excuse, Sir!

It's a perfect storm of events right now.  The school district is replacing all of its copiers this week and I'm the project manager.   We're also in the midst of online testing , and I'm the project manager and the district budget process is underway.  I'm the DBA.  

That's just work.  

On the family side, the daughter caught a break and was asked to manage a music venue during South by Southwest and I was tasked with constructing some signage for that. Maybe that'll catch Barry's eye and he'll stop in.  Just kiddin'

Anyhow, I have to deliver that signage today, so gonna be a short post.

No Excuse, Sir!

Last night I finished Crew Chief, "Be he ne'er so vile" by William "Buzz" Barron.  It's never going to win the Nobel Prize in Literature or be taught in school, but I enjoyed it.  

The book is an autobiography with a little bit of growing up, schooling and enlisting in the Air Force.  Most of the book is about his time as a Crew Chief on the F-105.  He focuses primarily on his two tours to Vietnam.  

As I said, I enjoyed the book, recognizing most of the names and even some names on the sides of Airplanes, Bat Bird being one.  (Hint, Two of its pilot's pictures are on this blog's masthead).
Bat Bird is on the left.
Source

Lots of war stories, both poignant and funny.  I give it a solid "Read!"

However, the last page of the book got my dander up.  I'm still trying to determine if it actually is true.  It appears to be, but I'm sincerely hoping it's not.  It's a quote from General Piotrowski's book "Basic Airman to General" The Secret War & Other Conflicts".

Here's the quote.
"Nearly twenty years later, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk being interviewed by Peter Arnett on a CBC documentary called "The Ten Thousand Day War".
Mr. Arnett asked, "It has been rumored that the United States provided the North Vietnamese Government the names of the targets that would be bombed the following day.  Is there any truth to that allegation?"
To everyone's astonishment and absolute disgust, the former Secretary responded, "Yes.  We didn't want to harm the North Vietnamese people, so we passed the targets to the Swiss embassy in Washington with instructions to pass them to the NVN government through their embassy in Hanoi"  As we watched in horror, Secretary Rusk went on to say, "All we wanted to do is demonstrate to the North Vietnamese leadership that we could strike targets at will, but we didn't want to kill innocent people.  By giving the North Vietnamese advanced warning of the targets to be attacked, we thought they would tell the workers to stay home." 
YGBFSM! 

I've bought Piotrowski's book, but I've also bought the DVD set to watch and see if Rusk actually said those words.  Stay tuned.

19 comments:

  1. If true, would certainly fit in with the way the Vietnam War was (mis)handled by our Political Masters.

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    1. Yes, it would. And History has a way of repeating itself, unfortunately.

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  2. Checked out a few pages of that book over at Amazon. Looks like a "must read" to me. Just the mention of a few of Buzz's heroes certainly got my attention. Many readers here would recognize those names as well.

    On another note, the photo of the Bat Bird made me do some digging, found a link to Thunder Tales with some more info on that jet. Of course, as I do sometimes, I wandered around Ed Rasimus' old blog (which I didn't discover until a month or so after his passing) and wondered, should we occasionally feature one of his old posts, to keep his memory alive? Do you know any of Ras' family Juvat? I wouldn't do that without their permission. Just a thought...

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    1. I've met his widow. Very nice Lady. I'll send you what I've got via back channel.

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  3. I remember something of the same, except I thought it was messenger who spilled the beans. I always wondered how many friends I lost there because of that.

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    1. Most? How much more effective would it have been if we could've varied tactics, attacked valid strategic targets and achieved surprise. How many less Vietnamese would've died then?
      Passing LBJ's grave on the way back from Austin last night, he got an extra hand salute from me ( single finger version).

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  4. Not at all surprising....Democrats = Treachery .

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  5. Ol' Elbie Jay was the first POTUS I didn't vote for.
    That was back when voters had to be 21.
    I often wonder how things mig have been if Goldwater had won.

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    1. Who knows? Linebacker 2 executed in 1965 might have been enough to force the North to actually negotiate, and provide enough time for the ground forces to teach the ARVN well enough to defend their country. Maybe...

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  6. I do not discount the Rusk story.
    My "Bucket List" includes a wish to be well enough, someday, to piss on Nixon's grave (Kissinger's leg will do too.)
    After I read of their political duplicity before taking office . . . interjecting themselves into the Paris Peace Talks,
    I was near fit to be tied. By my rough estimate, the two of them are directly responsible for over 20,000 American deaths . . .
    to include the very last two from my unit who died up on the DMZ in the waning days of the war.

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    1. Yeah, it would suck to die in a war. It would suck worse, especially for family and friends, to die wastefully in the final hours before cessation.

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  7. Wouldn't surprise me in the least...

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  8. I vaguely remember 'rumors' to that effect... Dammit!

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  9. Hi my name is Sam and I think you have a really cool site. I run The Last Tradition blog http://www.thelasttradition.com/ and I was wondering if you’d be interested in a blog roll exchange? Check me out and if you like what you see I hope you add me to your blog roll. I’ll gladly do likewise.

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  10. Arnett was a complete scum. I don't believe Rusk ever did such a thing. Look at his interviews which are online eff 1987. There isn't a hint of that kind of man who was once a soldier doing such a thing.

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    1. "Complete scum" doesn't even BEGIN to describe Arnett, Curtis. You're slipping in your dotage.. :)

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)