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Kostenlos ePUB My American Journey Nach Joseph E Persico –

My American Journey ExcerptPoint Two Get Mad, Then Get Over ItAQBy The Third Week In February, The Air War Had Been Going On Uninterrupted For Thirty Five Days I Wanted To Make Sure The President Understood That War Was Going To Look A Lot Different Once Fighting Began On The Ground I Took Advantage Of One Of Our Almost Daily Briefings To Paint The Contrast Once The Ground War Begins, I Said, We Don T Get These Antiseptic Videos Of A Missile With A Target In The Cross Hairs When A Battalion Runs Into A Firefight, You Don T Lose A Pilot Or Two, You Can Lose Fifty To A Hundred Men In Minutes And A Battlefield Is Not A Pretty Sight You Ll See A Kid S Scorched Torso Hanging Out Of A Tank Turret While Ammo Cooking Off Inside Has Torn The Rest Of The Crew Apart We Have To Brace Ourselves For Some Ugly Images I Also Made Sure That Cheney And The President Understood That Ground Combat Cannot Be Reported As Quickly As Air Strikes There S Going To Be Confusion You Won T Know What Is Happening For A While And So In The Early Hours, Please Don T Press Us For Situation ReportsThe Cold Bath Of Reality Was Important Notwithstanding Panama, Cheney Had Never Seen War On A Grand Scale The President Had, But Only From The Air During His Own Long Ago Fighter Pilot DaysAs The Bombing Continued, One Downside Of Airpower Started To Come Into Sharp Focus, Particularly What Happened On February That Day, Two Of Our Aircraft Scored Direct Hits On The Al Firdos Bunker In Baghdad, Which We Regarded As A Command And Control Site And Which The Iraqis Claimed Was An Air Raid Shelter Whatever Use The Structure Served, A Large Number Of Civilians Died In The Strike, Which The Whole World Witnessed On Television As Victims Were Hauled From The Smoking Rubble Schwarzkopf And I Discussed This Tragedy Did We Still Need To Pound Downtown Baghdad Over A Month Into The War How Many Times Could You Bomb The Baath Party Headquarters, And For What Purpose No One Was Sitting There Waiting For The Next Tomahawk To Hit Schwarzkopf And I Started Reviewing Targetsclosely Before Each Day S MissionsIf Nothing Else, The Al Firdos Bunker Strike Underscored The Need To Start The Combined Air Ground Offensive And End The War During A Quick Visit Cheney And I Had Made To The War Zone Between February And , Schwarzkopf Had Told Us That He Would Be Ready To Go By February As Soon As Cheney And I Got Back To Washington, We Reported This Date To An Impatient George Bush Three Days Later, However, Norm Called And Told Me That The St Was OutThe President Wants To Get On With This, I Said What Happened Walt Boomer Needstime, Schwarzkopf Answered Boomer S St And Nd Marine Divisions Were Deployed To Drive Head On From The Center Of The Line Toward Kuwait City But First They Had To Breach A Savage Complex Of Entrenchments That The Iraqis Had Spent Months Erecting The Marines Would Have To Penetrate Belts Of Antipersonnel And Antitank Mines, Tangled Rolls Of Booby Trapped Barbed Wire,minefields, And Deep Tank Traps, And Then Climb Twenty Foot High Berms And Cross Trenches Filled With Burning Oil All The While, They Would Be Under Fire From Iraqi Troops And Artillery Boomer Wanted Time To Shift His Point Of Attack Twenty Miles To The West, Where One Iraqi Defensive Position Had Been Largely Abandoned Under Air Attack And Another Line Farther Back Was Incomplete He Also Wantedairstrikes To Weaken The Enemy Defenses Before His Troops MovedIt Ll Cost A Few Days, Norm Said He Wanted To Put Off The Ground Offensive Until February Remember The Strategy, I Reminded Him The Frontal Assaults Were Intended Only To Tie Down The Entrenched Iraqis, And That Included The Marines Mission If Boomer Hits Serious Resistance, He S To Stop, I Said Having Engaged The Enemy, His Troops Would Have Accomplished Their Mission By Allowing VII Corps And XVIII Airborne Corps To Pull Off The Left Hook In The Sparsely Defended Western Desert We Don T Need To Kill A Bunch Of Kids Singing The Marines Hymn, I SaidOne Of My Fundamental Operating Premises Is That The Commander In The Field Is Always Right And The Rear Echelon Is Wrong, Unless Proved Otherwise The Field Commander Is On The Scene, Feeling The Terrain, Directing The Troops, Facing And Judging The Enemy I Therefore Advised Cheney To Accept Norm S Recommendation Cheney Reluctantly Went To The President And Got A Postponement To February I Backed Norm, Though I Thought He Was Being Overly Cautious Over The Previous Weeks, I Had Watched VII Corps, With Its Tens Of Thousands Of Troops And Hundreds Of Tanks, Pour Into Saudi Arabia We Had Secretly Moved Our Ard And Airborne Forces To Iraq S Exposed Western Flank, And We Had Been Holding Our Breath To See If The Iraqis Responded All They Did Was Send Another Undermanned Division To That Part Of The Desert That S It, I Told Myself They Had Been Sucked In By Our Moves Hinting At A Major Frontal Assault And An Amphibious Landing On Kuwait From The Persian Gulf They Had Shown Us Everything They Had, And It Was Nowhere Near Enough To Stop Our Left Hook Earlier We Had Worried That The Desert Soil On The Western Flank Might Not Be Able To Support Heavy Ard Vehicles The Engineers Had Tested The Sands, However, And Gave Us A Go We Questioned Local Bedouins, And They Confirmed The Solidness Of The TerrainThe Offensive Timetable Was Further Clouded As Mikhail Gorbachev Tried To Play Peacemaker On February , The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Tariq Aziz, Went To Moscow To Hear A Plan Under Which We Would Stop Hostilities If The Iraqis Withdrew From Kuwait President Bush Was In A Bind It Was Too Late For This Approach, He Believed After The Expenditure Of Billion And Transporting Half A Million Troops Eight Thousand Miles, Bush Wanted To Deliver A Knockout Punch To The Iraqi Invaders In Kuwait He Did Not Want To Win By A TKO That Would Allow Saddam To Withdraw With His Army Unpunished And Intact And Wait For Another Day Nevertheless, The President Could Not Be Seen As Turning His Back On A Chance For PeaceOn February , Norm Called Saying He Had Talked To His Commanders And Needed Still Another Delay, To The Th He Had The Latest Weather Report In Hand, He Said, And Bad Weather Was Predicted For The Th And Th, Maybe Clearing On The Th Bad Weather Equaled Reduced Air Support, Which Equaled Higher Casualties I Was On The Spot So Far, Cheney Had Accepted My Counsel But Now I Did Not Feel That Norm Was Giving Me Sufficiently Convincing Arguments To Take Back To Cheney And The President, First That Boomer Needed To Move His Marines, Then That The Marines Neededair Support, Then That The Weather Was Bad, And On Still Another Occasion, That The Saudi Army Was Not Ready What Should I Expect Next, A Postponement To The Th Look, I Told Norm, Ten Days Ago You Told Me The St Then You Wanted The Th Now You Re Asking For The Th I Ve Got A President And A Secretary Of Defense On My Back They Ve Got A Bad Russian Peace Proposal They Re Trying To Dodge You Ve Got To Give Me A Better Case For Postponement I Don T Think You Understand The Pressure I M UnderSchwarzkopf Exploded You Re Giving Me Political Reasons Why You Don T Want To Tell The President Not To Do Something Militarily Unsound He Was Yelling Don T You Understand My Marine Commander Says We Need To Wait We Re Talking About Marines Lives He Had To Worry About Them, He Said, Even If Nobody Else CaredThat Did It I Had Backed Norm At Every Step, Fended Off His Critics With One Hand While Soothing His Anxieties With The Other Don T You Pull That On Me I Yelled Back Don T You Try To Lay A Patronizing Guilt Trip On Me Don T Tell Me I Don T Care About Casualties What Are You Doing, Putting On Some Kind Of Show In Front Of Your Commanders He Was Alone, Schwarzkopf Said, In His Private Office, And He Was Taking As Much Heat As I Was You Re Pressuring Me To Put Aside My Military Judgment Out Of Political Expediency I Ve Felt This Way For A Long Time He Said Suddenly, His Tone Shifted From Anger To Despair Colin, I Feel Like My Head S In A Vise Maybe I M Losing It Maybe I M Losing My ObjectivityI Took A Deep Breath The Last Thing I Needed Was To Push The Commander In The Field Over The Edge On The Eve Of Battle You Re Not Losing It, I Said We Ve Just Got A Problem We Have To Work Out You Have The Full Confidence Of All Of Us Back Here At The End Of The Day, You Know I M Going To Carry Your Message, And We Ll Do It Your Way It Was Time To Break Off The Conversation Before One Of Us Threw Another Match Into The GasolineWithin Half An Hour, Norm Was Back On The Phone With The Latest Weather Update The Th And The Th Did Not Look Too Bad After All We Re Ready, He Said We Had A Go For The Th From The Hardcover EditionAgreat American Success Storyan Endearing And Well Written Book The New York Times Book ReviewThe Stirring, Only In America Story Of One Determined Man S Journey From The South Bronx To Directing The Mightiest Of Military ForcesFascinating The Washington Post Book WorldEloquent Los Angeles Times Book ReviewProfound And Moving Must Reading For Anyone Who Wants To Reaffirm His Faith In The Promise Of AmericaJack Kemp, The Wall Street JournalA Book That Is Much Like Its Subjectarticulate, Confident, Impressive, But Unpretentious And Witty Whether You Are A Political Junkie, A Military Buff, Or Just Interested In A Good Story, My American Journeyis A Book Well Worth Reading San Diego Union TribuneColin Powell S Candid, Introspective Autobiography Is A Joy For All With An Appetite For Well Written Political And Social Commentary The Detroit News