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September 20, 2007

Don't Think You Know Better Than Haig

Here's Donald Kagan, former Dean of Yale and father of Frederick Kagan, speaking this September 11th:

[Kagan's] keynote address centered on the importance of patriotism and national unity, and Kagan decried those who support withdrawing troops from Iraq in the near future. Referencing a lecture he gave shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, he said Americans have a “moral responsibility” to support the government...

As an advocate for freedom, the U.S. has earned its share of enemies, so Kagan said it has a special need for domestic unity and patriotism.


As Congress considers a series of bills that would drastically alter the course of the Iraq war, one prominent Republican senator will be focusing his efforts on condemning a newspaper advertisement.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, will introduce a sense of the Senate resolution Thursday criticizing's recent advertisement in the New York Times. The ad called into question the credibility of Lt. General David Petraeus, suggesting the pseudonym "Betray Us."

Cornyn's amendment proclaims that the general "deserves the full support of the Senate."

Here's an ad that appeared in London newspapers about General Douglas Haig after the Battle of the Somme, during which countless British soldiers were slaughtered for no reason whatsoever:

How the Civilian May Help in this Crisis

Be cheerful....
Write encouragingly to friends at the front....
Don't repeat foolish gossip.
Don't listen to idle rumors.
Don't think you know better than Haig.

Soon afterward the British government promoted Haig to Field Marshall.

Posted at September 20, 2007 10:56 AM | TrackBack

i promise ya: back when he was a goddamn shavetail 2nd looie, his own men called him 'Betrayus.'

Posted by: konopelli/wgg at September 20, 2007 11:43 AM

AND THAT, Children, is how the west was won. ( I polished up the brass so carefully, that now I am an admiral in the Queens Navy)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at September 20, 2007 01:44 PM

Well, that confirms my sense of the Senate. And as for that ad about Haig, I think the trouble was that there were many people who were beginning to suspect that Haig didn't know any more than they did.

Posted by: Aunt Deb at September 20, 2007 02:21 PM

Thanks. I studied WWI a bit in college, but hadn't seen that ad. It reminds me of the letter from "The Little Mother" reproduced in Good-Bye to All That (I'm overdue for a post on it and related issues).

And not questioning Haig and everyone involved after the horrific Battle of the Somme is absolutely unconscionable.

Posted by: Batocchio at September 20, 2007 04:14 PM

You should not question...

Immediately sets off whistles and sirens in my mind.

Of course we should question - always, everyone, everything.

They be not gods.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™ at September 20, 2007 07:35 PM