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A Mean, Green Machine (David Hackworth Suddenly Changes His Tune)
SFTT.Org ^ | April 8, 2003 | David H. Hackworth

Posted on 04/10/2003 2:15:26 AM PDT by PJ-Comix

Audie Murphy would be proud. He fought with the U.S. Army’s “Rock of the Marne” 3rd Infantry Division from Africa to Sicily to Italy, and during that hard slug across France to Czechoslovakia, where finally, along with millions of other folks, he celebrated V-E Day.

By May 8, 1945, the mighty 3rd had chalked up more combat days on the front line – and sadly more casualties – than any other U.S. division during World War II. Along the way, Audie was awarded more medals than he had places to hang them.

Now the Medal of Honor recipient's outfit has broken another war record. In just more than two weeks it has roared from Kuwait to the center of Baghdad, brushing aside Iraqi defenders and following the doctrine of the master of World War II tank warfare and bold and deep penetration, Gen. George “Bypass and Haul Ass” Patton.

Hard-hitting naval, Air Force and Army aircraft attacks that sliced and diced the Iraqi Republican Guard allowed the 3rd to penetrate reputedly formidable positions with the speed of a red-hot bayonet through Army shoe polish. After a breakneck 300-mile race to the outskirts of Baghdad, the studs of the 3rd then seized that capital's airport with shock action and incredible firepower and mobility. And even before the airport was fully secured, they dispatched a strong armored reconnaissance-in-force operation into downtown Baghdad to let the Ba’ath Party know they could come-a-callin’ any time they wanted. Now they are taking and holding positions in downtown Baghdad.

The 3rd often outran its supply system, which had been repeatedly cut by serious guerrilla hit-and-run attacks deep to the rear. But it kept pushing toward the prime objective of the war – Baghdad – backed up within days by old buddies from “The Big War,” the 101st Air-Assault Division and the 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne, who quickly scratched their vertical insertion missions to rush to the rescue. Dropping in behind the 3rd, these elite troops began mopping up the Fedayeen Saddam, and soon enough the beans and bullets and fuel were once more flowing up to the forward edge.

An Army sergeant in Iraq says of the brave truck drivers who ran the guerrilla-ridden gauntlets, “I haven't seen one supply truck that didn't have at least one bullet hole.”

The outcome of this war was never in doubt. Picture Paul Bunyan going after an anthill with a 16-pound sledge. The ants – like the Iraqi army – wouldn't have a prayer. At the start of the conflict, I estimated on “Larry King Live” that it would be “a four-week war” to take down Saddam. I also said I thought it was reckless of SecDef Donald Rumsfeld to have the 3rd penetrate so deeply without the powerful 4th Mechanized Division on its flank.

But probably because soldiers who've met the elephant a whole bunch of times tend to safe-side the risks to our soldiers, I was off on the initial number of combat ground forces required. For sure I also didn't fully figure on the amazing boldness, fighting spirit and hard-hitting professionalism of the 3rd.

The media have covered the 3rd Infantry Division's brilliant maneuver in spectacular detail. Like many Americans, I've tuned in to these TV snapshots almost 19 hours a day, long enough to note with surprise that even at times when water wasn't plentiful, these warriors were shaved, their gear soldierly perfect and their tactical deployments parade-ground precise. There are no disheveled Rambos in the all-volunteer Army's “Rock of the Marne.”

This war still has a way to go – taking down Baghdad and Tikrit and cleaning up the thousands of guerrillas cut off and stretched out from Basra to Baghdad. But these splendid soldiers are more than up for the tough job ahead.

Especially with the support of smart, pinpoint weapons and the continuing heroism and skill of Marines, airmen, sailors and Special Operations warriors. And the synergy between the services – the unparalleled cooperation – seems to have rendered the inter-service rivalry that was once the name of the snafu game dead on arrival.

Over the past three weeks, we've witnessed a transformation of warfare.

And my battered steel pot is off to the proud 3rd Division, which so far has written Operation Iraqi Freedom's most compelling chapter.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: armchairgenerals; davidhackworth; iraq
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It's nice that Hackworth has changed his tune from his previous ARTICLE but his credibility is still pretty well destroyed as a result of it.
1 posted on 04/10/2003 2:15:26 AM PDT by PJ-Comix
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2 posted on 04/10/2003 2:17:02 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: PJ-Comix
Hack was wrong, but he's still a great American, motivated only by his concern for young men in harm's way and cynical of politicos - even the good ones.
3 posted on 04/10/2003 2:20:31 AM PDT by anton
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To: PJ-Comix
I agree, and have been down on Hack (and some of the Generals). But, you know what? This man and those Generals put their lives on the line and fought for us in the past. So, I say, give them a pass.
4 posted on 04/10/2003 2:20:46 AM PDT by jporcus
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To: PJ-Comix
I caught Col. Hackworth on PMSNBC last night. Can't remember the name of the show.
5 posted on 04/10/2003 2:22:23 AM PDT by kcordell
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To: PJ-Comix
I am with you on his loss of credibility. It was not just one article but many, including bad mouthing the training of the troops and that they were not as tough as prior generations. The latter is what turned me off. But it is a typical attitude of ex-military (I am one, a Navy lifer) that "When I was in, ships were made of wood and men of steel".
6 posted on 04/10/2003 2:26:12 AM PDT by KeyWest
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To: jporcus
I agree, and have been down on Hack (and some of the Generals). But, you know what? This man and those Generals put their lives on the line and fought for us in the past. So, I say, give them a pass.

Give them a pass for trying to deflate moral in the battlefield for purely partisan and vain reasons?

Sorry I disagree, these embedded tv studio generals behavior was disgusting.

7 posted on 04/10/2003 2:26:13 AM PDT by Dane
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To: PJ-Comix
Hack is a hack, for want of a better term.
8 posted on 04/10/2003 2:27:53 AM PDT by Junior (Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.)
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To: Dane
I liked the "armchair generals" who stuck to answering questions about tactics, equipment, and standard operating procedure.

Some of them even managed halfway decent force movement briefings on the map. (Shep, let's go to the screenwriter...)

The ones I didn't like were the ones who second-guessed "The Plan."
9 posted on 04/10/2003 2:30:22 AM PDT by Retrofire (Let's roll!)
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To: Retrofire
I liked the "armchair generals" who stuck to answering questions about tactics, equipment, and standard operating procedure.

I agree and thank you for clarifying that. My disgust is basically at MaCaffrey, Clark, and Hack for their grandstanding and quest for face time in the liberal media.

10 posted on 04/10/2003 2:37:13 AM PDT by Dane
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To: PJ-Comix
He is an expert
You must break it down to syllables.
Ex= has been.
Spurt = drip under preasure
11 posted on 04/10/2003 2:39:45 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ( clinton is a raping traitor!)
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To: PJ-Comix
screw hackworth
12 posted on 04/10/2003 2:53:58 AM PDT by San Jacinto
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To: PJ-Comix
Sorry to see a tribute to the 3rd from Hack because he becomes the story and not the men of the 3rd. What a great victory for an historic division! Way to go guys. My hat's off to you.
13 posted on 04/10/2003 3:00:10 AM PDT by Arkie2 (TSA ="Thousands standing around")
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To: Dane
LOVED what Cheney said yesterday about "retired Generals being EMBEDDED with the MEDIA"!!! It was a Classic!
14 posted on 04/10/2003 3:04:29 AM PDT by Claire Voyant ((visualize whirled peas))
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To: PJ-Comix
He acts not like a true American soldier, but as a Democrat, out to smear the opposition. I bet if this event happened on Clinton's watch, his attitude would have been much warmer.

Why the partisanship when it comes to our country and our military? Weird.
15 posted on 04/10/2003 3:08:58 AM PDT by Gracey
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To: PJ-Comix
Hack did himself in. He lept telling everybody to "read my book." So, guess what, a lot of us did. After reading a couple of his books you begin to realize the guy is a real leftie. That was why the media loved him. They could bring him on and pretend the were providing "balance" because he was ex-military everyone would assume he was "conservative". He did himself in. He has no one to blame but himself. How would you feel when you found out the used car you bought yesterday was a lemon. People get P.O.d when they find out they been deceived.
16 posted on 04/10/2003 3:10:14 AM PDT by wastoute
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To: Claire Voyant
Cheney is QUICK!!! "Imbedded with Media" just might become as popular as "Big Time" :-)
17 posted on 04/10/2003 3:11:52 AM PDT by Gracey
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To: wastoute
Hackworth is a washed up windbag who can continue making love in guest appearances with Larry King. That way, we know no one is watching. I salute him for his service but he is toast.
18 posted on 04/10/2003 3:15:49 AM PDT by doosee
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To: Dane
Sorry I disagree, these embedded tv studio generals behavior was disgusting.

IMO, these "EX" military brass are just as disguting as Clinton and Carter and their smearing of Bush during war time or at any time for that matter.

I've yet to see a Republican smear a Democrat when the tables were turned.

19 posted on 04/10/2003 3:16:38 AM PDT by Gracey
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To: Gracey
disguting = disgustng
20 posted on 04/10/2003 3:17:48 AM PDT by Gracey
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To: PJ-Comix
Yeah, but instead of running for cover, he did the stand-up thing and admitted he was wrong - a pretty tall order for an ego like Hack.
Subjugating one's ego for the greater good is a very American trait - good for Hack....
21 posted on 04/10/2003 4:09:13 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is a war room".)
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To: PJ-Comix
Hack is trying to get out of the hole he dug for himself. Once again, he is irrelevant as he tries to wave the flag as cover for himself. What a disgrace.
22 posted on 04/10/2003 4:13:43 AM PDT by cynicom
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To: PJ-Comix
We ain't buying it, Colonel Worthless Hack!
23 posted on 04/10/2003 4:17:32 AM PDT by KevinB
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To: Dane
Give them a pass for trying to deflate moral in the battlefield for purely partisan and vain reasons? Sorry I disagree, these embedded tv studio generals behavior was disgusting.

Ditto. Hack has zero credibility after his three weeks of pandering. I view him as little different than the democrat presidential candidates who came out against the war, hoping we would be defeated and they'd come out ahead politically. Hack displayed the same behavior in a different arena.

24 posted on 04/10/2003 4:18:15 AM PDT by NittanyLion
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To: Gracey
Cheney is awesome,I hope he runs with Bush in 2004.
25 posted on 04/10/2003 4:19:45 AM PDT by deedgirl
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To: Psalm 73
Good for future appearances and books? I salute his service but his punditry has been awful.He comes off as a know it all..and he didn't,doesn't and never will know it all.
26 posted on 04/10/2003 4:19:59 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: PJ-Comix
Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Hack been the voice of doom and gloom throughout this war?

Everybody likes to side with a winner...........:)

27 posted on 04/10/2003 4:21:43 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: PJ-Comix
Notice that after he was ****canned by all of the conservative talk shows and basically booted off FNC, he's changed his tune. I guess his agent pointed out that being a "MSNBC Military Expert" doesn't do you a lot of good when there are only 3 people and 4 poodles watching the network.

V


28 posted on 04/10/2003 4:25:04 AM PDT by Beck_isright ("QUAGMIRE" - French word for unable to find anyone to surrender to)
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To: PJ-Comix

29 posted on 04/10/2003 4:28:48 AM PDT by visagoth (If you think education is expensive - try ignorance)
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To: PJ-Comix
This is the same military that this Hack was lambasting as too weak, too out of shape, too femanized by the Clinton years? The same military whose battalion and brigade commanders either started the careers or developed under thos Clinton mandates? Now he's changing his tune, isn't he?

People talk about a Clinton military and how he destroyed it. What the last few weeks have shown is that we don't have a Clinton military or a Bush military, we have the Armed Forces of the United States. Regardless of who is in the Oval Office, no matter how much he tried to destroy it, the military continued to do it's best. It continued to crank out dedicated enlisted men and women, and highly competent commanders. So let's give them credit for the job that they have done in spite of what they had to put up with during 1992-2000.

30 posted on 04/10/2003 4:32:43 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: PJ-Comix
I read this - AND his previous articles.

At one time I admired his outlook ; then, I began to wonder.I expressed my reservations about some of what he was saying- on his SFTT message board. Silence. I expressed the same reservations here, and ignited a flame war.

How DARE I say anything critical about this hero ?

I'll say it again. Hackworth is a genuine hero, and, as such,is worthy of respect and admiration. This does NOT make him a godlike figure, whose every word must be cherished.

Hackworth's "problem" is that he is writing for a "perceived audience" : one that traditionally votes Democrat, and that is hostile to/ suspicious of the present Administration. He also seems to have some issues with the "Brass" - ( I believe the Brass had some issues with him during the Vietnam conflict, as well. )

In any event, some of his newspaper /website columns wound up sounding like Iraqi "psy-ops" : almost guaranteed to worry the typical GI reading them. I'd like to think his reason for writing these columns was genuine concern; but, looking at his archives, the over-all impression I got was one of spiteful sniping.

Now, a singular victory having been won, he seems to have reversed course, and is shouting: " Congratulations ! I was with you all the way ! "

Wonder what he'll say NEXT week ???????
31 posted on 04/10/2003 4:49:49 AM PDT by genefromjersey (Save the last 6 for pall-bearers !)
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To: PJ-Comix
Dear David,

You are a whack job. Please don't bother us any more. You made the decision to become a 'personality' instead of a person and then you became an idiot. Go away.
32 posted on 04/10/2003 4:53:42 AM PDT by mercy
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To: mercy
Everytime I see him, he sounds more effeminate. I guess it is the leftie side coming out.
33 posted on 04/10/2003 5:02:13 AM PDT by AppyPappy (Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.)
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To: PJ-Comix
Camouflaged chameleon
34 posted on 04/10/2003 5:07:23 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: MEG33
He comes off as a know it all.

Yeah, "big time", but that makes his admission of being terribly wrong that much harder.
I've never been much of a "Hack" man, (that EGO drives me nuts) but I admire anyone who can publicly say he was wrong - I doubt we will get the same from Klintons boy McCaffery....

35 posted on 04/10/2003 7:18:44 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is a war room".)
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To: PJ-Comix
It's nice that Hackworth has changed his tune from his previous ARTICLE but his credibility is still pretty well destroyed as a result of it.

His credibility was destroyed long ago - after all this is the same guy who initially came out against Desert Storm and predicted that we would lose tens of thousands of troops.

36 posted on 04/10/2003 7:30:45 AM PDT by awelliott
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To: Gracey
I've yet to see a Republican smear a Democrat when the tables were turned

It would be nice if true...but it isn't. Partisanship is universal and never stops. Even Washington despaired of it.

37 posted on 04/10/2003 7:33:10 AM PDT by liberallarry
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To: PJ-Comix
At least Hack was man enough to smile and eat his crow in front of the rest of us. For that I must give him credit. FWIW, I still hold him somewhat responsible for the death of Admiral Boorda while he displayed an unearned Ranger tab.
38 posted on 04/10/2003 8:42:42 AM PDT by wasp69 (The time has come.......)
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To: Non-Sequitur
If Bush didn't have the Reserves to pull up we never would have even tried this war with Iraq! There was a Reserve guy on MSNBC or FOX this morning who has been on active duty for 16 months. He also has a son on active duty in the war. Clinton screwed America.
39 posted on 04/10/2003 9:29:15 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Keep America safe! Thank the troops for our freedom. No slack for Iraq!)
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To: genefromjersey
You said it!

In any event, some of his newspaper /website columns wound up sounding like Iraqi "psy-ops" : almost guaranteed to worry the typical GI reading them. I'd like to think his reason for writing these columns was genuine concern; but, looking at his archives, the over-all impression I got was one of spiteful sniping.

Thanks

40 posted on 04/10/2003 9:30:27 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Keep America safe! Thank the troops for our freedom. No slack for Iraq!)
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To: Dane
Bump!
41 posted on 04/10/2003 9:31:25 AM PDT by Howlin (It's a great day to be an American -- or an Iraqi!)
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To: PJ-Comix
Gen. George “Bypass and Haul Ass” Patton

Considering the source, this was the only part worth reading.

42 posted on 04/10/2003 9:32:06 AM PDT by NorCoGOP (Appeasement of Evil Empowers Oppression)
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To: PJ-Comix
I wouldn't necessarily say that his credibility is destroyed. Remember that he is bitterly opposed to perfumed princes and to those leaders who are always planning to fight the last war over again. He probably made the assumption (quite reasonable from his experience) that the perfumed princes were still running the show and that they were planning to fight in the traditional manner all over again. When he saw that he was wrong, he had the grace to admit as much. My hat is off to him for that. That said, he really should have kept his mouth shut for a few days longer. Even I, during the brief pause in action during the sandstorm, could see that the doom and gloom naysayers were fair and far off the mark.
43 posted on 04/10/2003 9:37:20 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: jporcus
This man and those Generals put their lives on the line and fought for us in the past. So, I say, give them a pass.

I'm sorry but i cannot agree. Hackworth flirts a bit too much with the US socialist press, along with McCaffrey and Clark.

I will never pay attention to them anymore. There are plenty of other soldiers, sailors and airmen who have REMAINED PATRIOTIC.

Hackworth is guilty of "piling on" against Rumsfeld and the war effort so his motives are highly suspect. This happening when the coordinated attacks were at a fever pitch. Hackworth is a fifth columnist if you will forgive my pun.

He has been turned by the dark side and is trying to sneak back into our camp.

44 posted on 04/10/2003 9:39:29 AM PDT by chilepepper (Gnocchi Seuton!)
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To: Gracey
Hackworth was pretty tough on Clinton.
45 posted on 04/10/2003 9:43:06 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: B4Ranch
I got news for you, they called up the reserves from all branches like crazy for the first Gulf War. I wound up spending 11 months on active duty myself. The Army can't fight without the reseves providing the support and it's been that way since before Clinton was in office.
46 posted on 04/10/2003 11:13:13 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
I'm aware of that. I just think 18 months is too long for a Reservist unless we are being attacked. Thanks for your service.
47 posted on 04/10/2003 11:32:20 AM PDT by B4Ranch (Keep America safe! Thank the troops for our freedom. No slack for Iraq!)
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To: Retrofire
The ones I didn't like were the ones who second-guessed "The Plan."

I kept thinking of Tattoo from Fantasy Island.

"De PLAN, boss, DE PLAN!"

48 posted on 04/10/2003 11:33:44 AM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: B4Ranch
I would agree with you that 18 months is too long but there is more than enough blame to go around. President Bush has been in office for two years and he has done nothing to improve the situation. He has ended none of the commitments Clinton got us into but had instead added more. He has not increased the size of the military or increased the size of the reserves to spread out the workload. Until he does then reserve duty will be a full-time part-time job.
49 posted on 04/10/2003 11:53:32 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: PJ-Comix
Altough I respect and thank Mr Hackworth for his service and dedication to this country and the troops, I am afraid that he is just looking for more face time on TV. IMHO
50 posted on 04/10/2003 12:01:05 PM PDT by shotgun
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