Sen. Webb's comparison

I had a different thought when Senator Webb mentioned this:

I'm reminded of another time, with a leader who truly understood war. In 1952 General Dwight Eisenhower, who had led us to victory in Europe in World War Two, strongly condemned the conduct of the Korean War as "an appalling failure." He claimed "the old Administration cannot be expected to repair what it failed to prevent." And he gave his pledge to "review and examine every course of action open to us with one goal in view: to bring the Korean War to an early and honorable end." And you know what? When he was elected President, he did that.

I immediately remembered T. R. Fehrenbach's great history of the Korean War This Kind of War : a Study in Unpreparedness.

P 641: 
It may have been, in 1953, that the Republican leadership didn't know exactly what it was going to do about the Korean War.  ... But, more important, it had failed to enlighten the Communist world, too...

In Nevada, at Frenchman's Flat, a bright flash and ugly mushroom cloud had signified a gigantic changes in the tactical battlefield -- a change that had not come about at Hiroshima, despite statements to the contrary. In its early years the atomic cannon had remained a strategic weapon ... but of no practical use on a limited battlefield -- until is was fired from a field gun. 

P 642:  The 280mm gun was shipped to the Far East. Then, in great secrecy, atomic warheads -- it could fire either nuclear or conventional rounds -- followed, not to Korea, but to storage nearby. And with even greater secrecy, word of this shipment was allowed to fall into Communist hands.

At the same time, into Communist hands wafted a pervasive rumor, one they could neither completely verify nor scotch: that the United States would not accept a stalemate beyond the end of summer.

(Important note: in addition, other factors -- bad harvests, the death of Stalin, and restlessness in the Soviet satellites causing loss of Soviet support for the Chinese adventure -- made China suddenly amenable to a cease-fire.)

I doubt that Sen. Webb had any similar activity in mind to discourage the Iranian activities in this war (terrorism in general and the proxy war in Iraq) or its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

George Walton

If you experience technical problems, please write to