"I regret that I was not more outspoken" during the Vietnam War, the former Navy secretary said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office. "The Army generals would come in, 'Just send in another five or ten thousand.' You know, month after month. Another ten or fifteen thousand. They thought they could win it. We kept surging in those years. It didn't work."
Is that a lesson for what's going on in Iraq?
"Well, you don't forget something like that," he answers. There is a long pause, he closes his eyes and his voice gets softer. "No. You don't forget those things."
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, I guess. But what of those who make up history? Seems John Warner has something in common with John Kerry, who famously remembered "Christmas in Cambodia", and Nixon ordering him into that country -- it was "seared in his memory". Except he wasn't IN Cambodia that Chrsitmas, and Nixon wasn't president.
Well, Bill Kristol nails the Kerry-esque John Warner in a piece in the Weekly Standard, titles "A terrible Ignonimity":
In fact, John Warner was Richard Nixon's undersecretary of the Navy from 1969 to 1972, then Navy secretary until 1974. No admiral (or Army general) showed up in either his undersecretarial or secretarial office in those years to urge more troops for Vietnam--because we were then drawing down as part of Vietnamization. So Warner would seem to be making up these conversations with foolishly optimistic Army generals--unless they visited him before 1969 in his office at the law firm of Hogan and Hartson, where he was ensconced during the period of the Vietnam buildup.
Apparently, not only don't you forget stuff like that, you even remember it when IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!!!!
I had hoped that Warner could talk some sense in to Jim Webb, but it appears there's no sense in the old man anymore. When you start remembering conversations that never happened, it's time to think about that long walk into the sunset.