• http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    The problem with Ford was that he was like Johnson, he wasn’t elected. He rode the ticket in, he didn’t get vetted by the American people. Rarely has a vice president successfully taken over the job of the President elect. Teddy Roosevelt being one of the few, few breaks in the rule. Andrew Johnson after Lincoln, disaster. Johnson after JFK, disaster. Ford after Nixon, didn’t even veto Congress’s cutting funding of Vietnam. Which is being discussed once again at Neo,Neocon for those interested in guerrila warfare and historical combats.

    Historically, I don’t really care what the President is or is not. Bush senior was a great and charismatic man, with many friends even amongst his opponents let alone his proponents. But I don’t want a weakling as President, I want something that will obliterate our enemies, domestic or foreign. Ford, just didn’t cut it.

  • Trish Olsen

    Gerald Ford accomplished what was most needed at the time by healing a nation torn apart by scandal. He did the right thing in pardoning Nixon, even though it was not good for his popularity & killed his chances of ever becoming an “elected” president. Ford was a man of principle, honor & character. He was also a smart decision-maker for bringing on people like Alan Greenspan — who helped him, in just TWO years, cut America’s out-of-control inflation rate in half!
    I couldn’t agree more — that President Ford was a humble, decent man of unquestioned integrity who served this country well at a time when we were feeling very, very lost.

  • JJ

    I always have to kind of laugh at that “torn apart by scandal,” and need to get over the “national nightmare” stuff. Times change REAL fast, don’t they? Extraordinary how awful some things were in 1973, yet a mere quarter century later those same things (obstructing justice, lying to the American people, etc.) were all perfectly fine when Clinton did them.

    I guess we toughened up a lot in twenty-five years. The national psyche wasn’t nearly as fragile as it had been, eh?

  • JJ

    One perhaps interesting historical sidelight on the decency (or not) of Harry Truman, which I have debated posting, but what the hell, everybody’s long dead.

    Harry Truman made a huge amount of political capital out of an event – well, his version of the event – that happened during the Korean War when he relieved MacArthur of command of US forces in the far east.

    The (at one time) famous meeting with MacArthur on Wake Island. Protocol is that the senior member – which in this country is always the president – lands last, and is greeted formally once on the ground by everybody else. A minor thing, but a protocol thing: The president always lands last.

    Truman made hay for years out of the fact that his pilot and and MacArthur’s pilot were arguing in the air about who would land first, and would therefore have to be the greeter as opposed to the greeted. Truman always said he finally had to order MacArthur’s plane to land first. He used this as an example of how out of control MacArthur was, how MacArthur thought he was God, etc., etc. This was all part of the of the “I fired him because he wouldn’t repect the office of the presidency, not because he didn’t respect me” stuff that Truman spent the rest of his life handing out in re: relations with MacArthur. Truman made so much hay out of this story that as late as 1974 he was still retailing it in the biography Merle Miller did: “Plain Speaking.”

    The only problem with the story is, it isn’t true.

    The two senior military officers present at Wake were MacArthur himself, and Major General William Ryan, who was in charge of supplies in the Far Eastern theater – and had in fact been in charge of all suppplies routed through and in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

    In my life this particular two-star was known as Uncle Bill, and though he was not particularly fond of MacArthur himself, he always said the famous Wake Island story was absolutely untrue. He and MacArthur landed first, and were waiting on the runway when Truman’s plane landed, drawn up in full order to greet the Commander-in-Chief, as they should have been.

    But there were so few people present that Truman was able to get away with a story that is 100% invention to add to his dossier of reasons for firing MacArthur.

    I liked Truman, but not unreservedly. I’ve always had this little spot about him I’ve had to wonder about.

    Private family story. No corroboration at all, except for mentions of Uncle Bill in various history books (so you can at least discover that he existed), and if you ever visit West Point you will find the grave he shares with Aunt Mary.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    MacArthur was a fighter, and I read his own words directed in defense of himself, where he detailed the reasons that he wanted to attack China. They sounded totally consistent with Total War principles to me. MacArthur was not cut out for the limited war, let’s have a peace deal that has settled nothing for 40 years gig, that Truman wanted. I mean look at the 38th parallel for god’s sake. China was not going to let the US take over the Korean peninsula. Their support of NOrth Korea right now has proven it beyond a doubt. MacArthur believed that if you want to settle the Korean war, which ostensibly that was his purpose for war, then you had to cut the Chinese logistics directly out. That’s the kind of thinking that people are complaining about not lacking in Iraq. Not enough troops, not attacking Syrian or Iranian logistics, etc.

    But the entire second half of the 20th century “limited war” nonsense started right with Korea. Johnson used Korea as an example. Bush senior did a Korea with his “cease fire” with Saddam. The point is, these “cease fires” are temporary solutions. Our soldiers are still stationed in South Korea and Japan because of the threat of North Korea, still unresolved in the 21st century. Truman got a little weak and international after Hiroshima and Nagasaki in my view. It is like Bush. First it was you are either with us or against us (or with us and against us as with France and Germany as the case may be), then it was about “allies” and “let’s talk things over”.

    The point isn’t about seconding guessing Truman’s decisions. I’ll do with Truman what I did with Bush. I pick out and clean up what their stated objectives are, and then analyze them in comparison to what they actually did. If Truman wanted a limited war, then he should have picked some other general to command it. Picking MacArthur and expecting him to just sit on his arse while the Chinese divisions rolled over his Marines and not hit back, that’s not a mistake you would expect out of someone who conclusively ended America’s part in WWII.

    I haven’t studied this invention carping that JJ has written about, though I have heard it, so I can’t really say either way what that whole thing was about.

    If Truman thought that MacArthur owed his entire loyalty to the office of the Presidency, then Truman was a fool. Such a military weapon and national asset is loyal to his soldiers and to the Constitution. Not the Presidency. If the President unleashed MacArthur and then expected MacArthur to heel and obey without causing a ruckus while his soldiers were getting pushed back and frozen, then Truman made a serious miscalculation of human psychology.

    This seems to me simply a red herring, a distraction, from the real issues. Which were, Truman was afraid of Total War, another one at least, which would require much more devastation so he wanted and ordered it not to be so. Even if it meant America had to be a quagmire in Korea for a few decades on into the next century. The question of whether this was good and wise, or bad and foolish in light of nuclear weapons and the Cold War, is a separate issue. However, it is an issue a lot more important and which Truman should have dealt with more seriously, rather than say talking about things that didn’t really matter or exist. Of course the Generals obey civilian orders, if they didn’t, you could just fire them. If you don’t fire them, what the hell do you expect when they are ordered to do what is against their nature except protest? MacArthur’s not going to shut up like Kimmel did during WWII. If Truman was expecting that kind of gallant sacrifice, he had another thing coming for him.

  • Pingback: The Question of MacArthur and Truman « Sake White()

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    I wanted to find and give you a link of MacArthur’s speech that I was refering to. It actually turned into a longer post because of something else I found.

    You might be interested here.


    “Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found in so far as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful.

    “Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence, an improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

    But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.

    In war there is no substitute for victory.

    This is MacArthur quoting himself. Let there be no doubt, MacArthur is the student of William Tecumseh Sherman. His words echo Sherman’s, through the annals of time itself.

  • Marguerite

    Y – I had to look up recrudescence – lovely way to say renewal! I agree that the issue and the answer is of the spirit, but would like to ask MacArthur where he sees (saw?) the evidence of the improvement of human character. This is naive. Maybe he meant that we NEED to have an improvement in human character. We endlessly repeat history because the character of human beings doesn’t change from generation to generation and the flaws and hatreds that produce wars are the same as they have been forever. Am I unnecessarily pessimistic?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence, an improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

  • jg

    Marguerite, your words may be an echo of Abigail Adams, who wrote just as well as her husband. She had no great faith in the perfection of human nature either (left to the Jeffersonians).

    Bookworm’s post may make us ask: Do Americans want decent men/women/leaders in the White House? Or has Watergate made that irrelevant?

    Will the media allow a decent person? I say, no. Hugo Chavez, Jimmy Carter’s protege, would sit well with the MSM.

    Check carefully the 2008 PResidential wannabes.

  • JJ

    Back on track, jg, my own fault for wandering away. I think post #3 is a lot more relevant to DQ’s opening comment.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    My take on what MacArthur was refering to in this limited of limited quotes, is that as humanity deals with the consequences of technology and atomic weapons, we will be tested not in a physical manner but in a spiritual manner. Events will test our beliefs, our morality, our ethics, and our conduct. It will no longer be based upon industry supplying arms and munitions to armies that fight other armies on a leveled playing field, in which the victor will decide the lot of the defeated.

    MacArthur saw that in the age of nuclear weapons, the old methods of “Leagues” and “diplomacy” and what not has become, literally, obsolete and anachronic. You should read his entire speech to learn more about his purpose, but if you have not found your answers therein, then this is the conclusion of my view on things.

    Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door.

    The equitable system to me, is the American Empire. Whence ever the light of American power succedes and spreads, thus spreads joy, prosperity, and security. Wherever the light of American power recedes, darkness grows and waxes once again.

    You can call it “peaceful and equitable mutual defense agreements” or “Status of Forces acts (in Japan and occupied countries SOF are mandatory)” or simply just “liberation of the oppressed (De Oppresso Liber)”. Whatever you call it, it is the same thing, an equitable system that prevents war.

    It is interesting to see a man reconcile his wish for peace with the necessities and doctrines of Total War. Many neo-cons and Jacksonians have had to do so, after 9/11.

    The atomic bomb prevented war from being used to solve the differences between the Soviet and US superpowers. Therefore proxy wars erupted, not just nor equitable. But to liberate the oppressed, Marguerite, the oppressed in Eastern Europe. That did work, it worked to destroy one side, but not with atomic bombs, not with the destructive powers of war.

    Now the Soviet Union is once more, gone to ashes. The restraints and limitations on Total War waged by American have been lifted. And yet… and yet, total war is still not waged by America. Limited wars are still done. Limited wars, whether proxy or direct, didn’t end the Cold War. Why does anyone think it will end the threat of the Islamic Jihad?

    You need a more equitable system. And only America may be help that system be created. We are in a war, and a war requires total focus and determination to be won. All those proxy wars, Korea and Vietnam, they were not battles that were fought to win the Cold War, they were battles fought to take territory. The war was won through equitable economics and the march of all freed men. If anything is true, it is true that America has a more equitable economic system than the Soviets. Equitable systems win out over inequitable systems.

    Now we wait for the Islamic Jihad to acquire nuclear weapons. To once more take Total War away from us, as an option that ends war quickly. What foolishness is this, have we learned nothing from the pains and agonies of the Cold War with the Soviet Union? How many suffered in North Korea and Vietnam because of Limited Wars waged by America, not to the end but to the diplomatic table? How many more will suffer than would have been destroyed in Total War, at the table that Iran now sits?

    America acts in fear of her power, because her power has been so long chained. Chained by fear of absolute destruction, and the ending of the fate of civilization itself. Now that such restrictions have been lifted, America still acts with fear, with hesitancy, with obsequiousness towards the UN and other thugs that we now have the POWER to crush but do not because we “fear” international opinion.

    The battered and abused woman, who once freed of the fear of her husband, does not wish to press charges against her husband for fear of her husband. Not even when she is in a safe location, a location where the restrictions on her power have been lifted. The chains that bind you, are spiritual in nature. Therefore you must acquire the power of the spirit, to save the state of the flesh.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    By all means JJ, wander away. Truman and MacArthur are much more interesting to read about than Gerald Ford.

  • Marguerite

    Yes, I definitely meant human nature and sort of thought that ‘character’ didn’t say it quite right – thanks for that clarification. I think with jg that where the MSM is concerned, a candidate of obvious traditionally held character is to the MSM as a head of garlic is to Dracula – odious. It is as automatic a reaction as my own dismay with their darlings, Hillary or Obama – or Carter.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    He who is evil, thinks those who are good are the evildoers, Marguerite. It has always been so. Only the good see evil, as evil.

    Did you know (straight from Dick Morris’ mouth) that Hillary hired private investigators to get the goods on the women that were complaining about Bill Clinton? The private investigators would get some dirt, go to the women’s houses, and tell them straight out that if they don’t be quiet, these personal secrets will be all out on the media.

    Devious, but quite petty. Not very ruthless in my view. But then again, my view of what is ruthless may be a tad extreme compared to mainstream thoughts.

    A good counter would have been to have people watching the private investigators, or rather more safetly, the women themselves. Simply wait until a contact has been made, and then release the personal secrets to the media itself, once you are reasonably sure that the women have agreed to the devil’s bargain to keep secret. The women will see their secrets leaked on television, attribute it to Hillary’s agents, and then… well, spycraft and manipulation goes far beyond simple intimidation, people.

    The Democrats believe they are ruthless, and they act like it. But they don’t really know the real deal. That’s why they will try and fail concerning the Islamic Jihad. They might be able to get in power, they might be able to do a lot of damage with their initiatives, they might think they are getting success. But the Democrats neither have the heart, the soul, the will, the brutality, nor the ethics required to defeat such an enemy as the Islamic JIhad. They can bully women, but can they intimidate killer and those who chop up women and children? Bah, weaklings, arrogant posturing Democrat weaklings.

    Is Hillary evil? Ha, she isn’t nearly professional enough to be given such accolades. Bush is a bully, they say, *snickers*. Sure.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar


    An amusing catalogue of events. I didn’t know of Ford’s demise until after I had read Zarina’s blog. Which was after reading Don’s post.

  • T.S.

    Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq

    By Bob Woodward
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 28, 2006; Page A01

    Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. “I don’t think I would have gone to war,” he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford’s own administration.

    In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford “very strongly” disagreed with the current president’s justifications for invading Iraq and said he would have pushed alternatives, such as sanctions, much more vigorously. In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President Cheney — Ford’s White House chief of staff — and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford’s chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief.

    On July 28, 2004, former president Gerald R. Ford sat down for an interview with The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. The interview was conducted at Ford’s Beaver Creek, Colo., house; the former president agreed that his comments could be published any time after his death. Below are audio excerpts from the interview:

    # LISTEN: Ford says he does not believe the United States should intervene militarily overseas unless it is directly in America’s national interests.

    # LISTEN: Ford says that, based on the facts as he understands them, he does not think that he would have ordered the Iraq war if he had been president.

    # LISTEN: Ford says he believes that President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld erred in justifying the Iraq war as one aimed at eliminating Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.

    # LISTEN: Ford says that while he never publicly criticized the Bush administration’s war in Iraq, he does think they made a mistake in how they justified the war.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    It is amazing how the Left and their Democrat allies are able to use everything from now dead Presidents to Bush’s father himself to attack Bush and the Iraq Liberation Movement.

    I’m envious of such lockstep propaganda tentacles, really I am.

  • jg

    I agree with Y. Let’s honor Mr. Ford.

    Bob Woodward has his acre of flesh from Mr. Nixon.

    I think we’ll let him examine the sins of Iran’s President for a change.

  • http://arosebyname.wordpress.com/ Anna

    I think Ford would have been perfectly happy to stay out of the limelight. I also think he and his family paid the price of his accidental Presidency, but he still did what he had to do.

  • Trish Olsen

    To JJ: You’re right. The “torn apart by scandal” was a poor choice, a bit too maudlin & trite? Better to have used “worried about Washington credibility” which would’ve automatically included stuff like the Agnew debacle, Viet Nam not yet done, the economy in a mess etc. And yes, it IS troubling that in today’s world of politics, “scandal” just doesn’t carry the same weight it did 30-some years ago. Which, unfortunately, is reflective of our society no longer valuing traits like honesty & decency as much as it used to (with the Clintons being the the consummate example of this.)

  • T.S.

    It is amazing how the Left and their Democrat allies are able to use everything from now dead Presidents to Bush

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    I’m a Democrat. The death of a former president (or anyone else for that matter) ought not be used for political gain by either party. Because he was not elected is a silly reason to say anything negative. Everyone knows the vice president will become preisdent if the poresident cannot serve out his term. That’s the law of the land. Whether or not he should have been elected later is a matter of opinion. But this is the time to honor a man who held the highest office in the USA, and the same will be true when Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton die. So listen up. This is a time to remember and honor Gerald Ford, a Former President, and, in so doing, show unwavering solidarity and patriotism.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com/ Don Quixote

    Bravo, Helenl! Although I’m going to have to bite my tongue really hard when Carter passes on.

  • jg

    DQ, I suspect Bill and Jimmy will vanish in a puff of smoke. I may be wrong.

    Seriously, helen writes well and true. It is shameful that politics now mocks a time of grieving and remembrance.

  • T.S.


  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Everyone is on the Left, after they die, apparently given recent news.

    For example, Reagan, ally of the Left, brought communism with the help of negotiators and peace makers on the Left, dontcha know.

    The Left and their allies, legion they are. One does not need to be a Shiite, to be an ally of the Shiites.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    The point is not whether Ford or not is of the Left, the point is that it doesn’t matter. Everyone from Bush’s father to Ford to Carter (with the exception of Clinton weirdly enough) has been manipulated and distorted into a propagand aattack on Bush and his “war”.

  • jg

    “But I digress. . . Political parties dont have anything to do with Ford

  • kevin

    “So listen up. This is a time to remember and honor Gerald Ford, a Former President, and, in so doing, show unwavering solidarity and patriotism.”

    Yes Helen, Bravo!

    I absolutely agree that the office of the President should be held in the highest respect regardless of the party.