Old War Horse Tells It Like It Is
Due to the thunderous applause that I received from the far-left over the "I Am Tired" letter written by one of our troops in Iraq, I thought it prudent to follow up with one last attempt to be very specific about what I have observed and actually personally encountered during my 36 years of service to this Great Country. Unlike Bob McClellan, I will not continue to whine, twist and degrade our country's leaders on a weekly basis. Instead, this will be a one time input attempting to reach some of those who are confused by McClellan and his ilk's unethical rantings and give some insight through my personal experience as a professional military officer over the years. These examples are but a few. In real life there were many more which space and time will not allow.
As a young fighter pilot, flying F-4s in Vietnam, I was stopped in my tracks by the decisions made by Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara I was young and naive, but even then I knew their daily interference was wrong and would not allow us to win this thing and go home.
Decisions like not allowing us to strike enemy aircraft while still on the ground, keeping real targets off the target list, and allowing us to strike only rusted-out trucks made us basically a toothpick factory.
However, the big one for me came the day I saw the President Lyndon Johnson on television, forcefully lying to the American people.
I'll never forget the language, "I want to assure the American people that the United States of America has never and will never, bomb or use force inside the borders of Cambodia."
On and on he disavowed the reports that this was happening. I was amazed. Guess where I had put several F-4 loads of 750 pound general purpose bombs every day for the past five days. You guessed it, Cambodia!!!
So much for Mr. Johnson. The only question in my mind was simply, "Was it just Johnson or was it the methodology of a particular political party?" I decided to delay answering that question until more experience gave me more insight.
Years passed, and I ignored politics as much as possible, as a good military man should. Then came Jimmy Carter. Our young people don't remember 18% interest rates and 18% inflation, but I'll bet someone in your family does. That is one really bad thing Carter did for our country, but it is not the worst.
During this period, I was an F-15 Squadron Commander stationed at Langley AFB, VA. Jimmy Carter and his Democratic Party stopped spare parts procurement for almost every weapon system in our military, and diverted the funds to social programs.
The F-15 was brand new at the time with leading edge technology designed to provide air superiority anywhere in the world on a moments notice.
That was my job. I loved it, but guess what? In a two year period from 1979 to 1981, there was not one day when more that one-third of my assigned aircraft were flyable.
It is amazing the lengths we went to in those days, cannibalizing parts, expending twice the time and energy to fix every little item, and still two-thirds of the birds were always broken because of no spare parts.
Had this country faced a really serious military threat dur ing that time frame, only Montana Hunters could have saved us. The military had some equipment, but it was all broken.
Do you want to know the really bad part for me and the young fighter pilots working for me? Our flying sortie rate was so low that pilot proficiency dropped to dangerous levels. The accident rate tripled. That obviously was totally unacceptable, as we were losing expensive airplanes and highly trained young pilots at a rate comparable to losses seen in actual combat. All of a sudden, even a Texas Aggie like me began to see a trend.
Forward a few years to 1986. I am an F-16 Wing Commander at MacDill AFB, Florida, and Ronald Reagan is president. His change in attitude and policy toward the military had time to fix the spare parts problem. We were flying 26,000 flying sorties per year out of MacDill AFB, my aircraft fully mission capable rate (FMC) was above 90%, the aircraft accident rate was below 1.75 per hundred thousand flying hours, fighter pilots were flying and proficiency levels were at an all time high The United States Air Force was ready to defend this wonderful country. Proof of the pudding is simple.
Look what the USAF, and the military in general, accomplished in Iraq during Desert Storm. And, they did it in less than 100 hours. Yeah, at this point I was starting to realize there was a difference in mentality between Democrats and Republicans, or should I say, the Right and the Left.
Then, came everyone's favorite---Bill Clinton. If there ever was an individual 180 degrees out of sync with the ideals and the values of the US military, it was Clinton. He was a known draft-dodger, a military-hating, self-absorbed, unspeakingly shameless and immoral individual, whom the Left managed to elect President of the United States. Clinton's antics in the White House would have brought court martial, conviction, and dishonorable discharge had he been a military member. But we still suffer oral sex on school buses because a U.S. president told the world it wasn't real sex, and some of our children bought that. It took a lot of years, but now I am certain.
There is a big difference in the right and the left on all fronts, and for the first time I started feeling angry and shamed that the majority of the American people were actually willing to vote for such an individual as Clinton or Kennedy or the like.
Sometimes, an abstract from someone of the following type tells the story in very simple terms: Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, Benedict Arnold. The list goes on.
America, wake up! Give in to the likes of these people, and Abraham Lincoln's prediction of destruction from within just may come true. There is not a country in the world that can be considered a conventional military threat to the United States today. However, this country faces a new kind of threat---one that will not go away. It is a threat even more serious than that of WWII, because money, industry and technology will not defeat it.
It is a threat of defeat from within. It is a threat of a faltering economy because of a lack of resourcefulness, or even the simple threat of such a loss brought on by terrorism. It is a threat created by the American people trusting the inept. It is a threat created by the people understandably wanting change and perilously believing that the left can successfully deliver that change. Have you seen anything from the left that remotely resembles an answer to the Iraq situation? Have you seen anything more than continued Bush-Bashing? Is that an answer? If there was ever a need for a strong, well trained military, it is now.
THE LEFT HAS HISTORICALLY DISMANTLED OUR MILITARY IN THE NAME OF SOCIAL PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO THE REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH.
We just cannot afford to let that happen now. If we do, the entire country will be bowing to the east several times a day within the next 50 years, maybe sooner.
Now, a final thought meant to upset as many as possible on the far-left. As you might guess, I don't believe in political correctness. So, let's look at the facts, not far-left rhetoric attempting to empower the Democratic Party.
Initially, I was not a George Bush fan. I am not even a Republican. I normally vote Republican, because of my total despise of communism, socialism, and the far-left in this country. I am a Conservative.
However, during his watch, I feel President Bush just happened to stumble upon the leading edge of the greatest threat this country has ever faced. Mistakes have been made because of the newness of the threat. But overall, the president has done a superb job dealing with the threat and at the same time held off the constant ranting, raving, deceitful and malicious escapades of the far-left attempting to regain political power.
IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO COME TOGETHER AND BACK OUR PRESIDENT, IT IS RIGHT NOW. WITHOUT CONSENSUS WE ARE EMPOWERING THE TERRORIST!!!!
The far-left is totally absorbed with the power struggle and with regaining control of the legislative and executive branches. They could not care less about defeating the threat. It literally disgusts me to hear the constant disagreement with everything the president tries to do, all in the name of trying to make him look bad to the voters.
Unfortunately, by the time the American people really appreciate how bad the far-left really is, it may be too late.
What are the real facts? On the home front this country's economy is the strongest that it has been in my lifetime. Interest rates are as low as they were when I was in high school forty years ago.
Inflation does not exist for all practical purposes. The Dow is approaching 13,000. Unemployment is non-existent. Wages are at an all time high. Home ownership is at an all time high. Taxes have been lowered to an almost acceptable level.
Because of the surging economy the deficit is under control and projected to go away far ahead of schedule. The far-left is rich beyond its wildest dreams. Still, they yell "Mr. President, when are you going to 'fix' all these domestic problems?"
On the war front this country has not been touched since 2001. I remember being part of a seminar at the USAF War College in 1983 discussing the terrorist threat. There were some good minds at that table and a lot of disagreement. However, one common thought was that the US would be hit within the next five years. Answers to the terrorist threat were just as hard to come by then as they are now.
Well, it took a little longer than the projection, but the attack occurred. And for an old military guy like me, the main point here is that it has not happened again. We have suckered the bad guys into entering the fight somewhere other than in our country.
I smile every morning when I get up and realize that one of our great cities has not been blown away. And there is zero doubt in my mind that if we pull out of Iraq prematurely, that will happen within a short period of time after our departure. I don't care what you might think of President Bush personally. He has done the best he can with what he has, and this country is not smoking because of it.
So, back off, McLean and McClellan. You honestly don't have a clue to what you are talking about. Call me, and I'll gladly tell you what I really think.
I realize there are different points of view on war, and I do not believe the meek will inherit the earth, at least not in the next few hundred years. To those like McClellan, McLean, poor Eve Kyes and Sinowa Cruz, let me say, this is a strong country. It has survived the uneducated thinking of the far-left before, and I'll just bet it will again.
Regardless of who is president, the people will not tolerate mass explosions on a daily basis, as our good friends in Israel have been forced to do. To protect that position of power, even Hillary will be forced to become a true hawk. To guarantee a few more votes, Ted Kennedy may be forced to begin supporting a strong military. One more attack on America might even wipe the giddy, 'I-am-finally-somebody' grin from Nancy Pelosi's face, and make her realize that it is not about votes and personal power. IT IS ABOUT PROTECTING THIS GREAT COUNTRY FROM ALL ENEMIES, BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.
To hell with political correctness. Maybe the president can't say these things. But I surely can.
Jimmy L. Cash, Brig Gen, USAF (Ret)
BRIGADIER GENERAL JIMMY L. CASH
Retired June 1, 1991.
Brigadier General Jimmy L. Cash is vice commander, 7th Air Force, Osan Air Base, South Korea.
General Cash was born in DeKalb, Texas, in 1939, and graduated from DeKalb High School in 1958. He earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1962 and a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1970.
He completed Squadron Officer School in 1968, Armed Forces Staff College in 1975, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1976 and the Air War College in 1983.
In September 1962 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Texas A&M. General Cash completed pilot training at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, and received pilot wings in May 1965.
After completing F-102 and F-106 training, he was assigned to the 456th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., for one year.
He then transitioned to the F-4C as an aircraft commander.
In September 1967 he was assigned to the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cam Rahn Bay Air Base, Republic of Vietnam.
The general transferred to South Korea in February 1968 and was first at Kunsan Air Base, then Taegu Air Base, as an operational F-4 pilot.
In September 1968 he was assigned to the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing at George Air Force Base, Calif., as an F-4 instructor pilot.
In June 1972 he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy as air officer commanding Cadet Squadron 18.
General Cash entered the Armed Forces Staff College in January 1975 and upon completion was assigned to the 51st Composite Wing, Osan Air Base, in September 1975.
He served as an F-4E flight commander and, later, as chief of the Standardization and Evaluation Division. He was assigned to the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as chief of the Langley Consolidated Command Post in September 1976.
In March 1978 he transferred to the 27th Tactical Fighter Squadron for F-15 checkout and in June became operations officer of the 71st Tactical Fighter Squadron.
In April 1979 he assumed command of the 94th Tactical Fighter Squadron, "Hat-in-the-Ring." He was assigned as chief of the Operations Training Division with the inspector general team, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley, in March 1981.
The general was assigned as deputy commander for operations, 56th Tactical Training Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., in July 1983. He was wing vice commander from June 1984 to August 1984, when he assumed command of the 56th Tactical Training Wing.
In February 1986 the general became deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters 9th Air Force, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. He became command director, North American Aerospace Defense Command combat operations staff, Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colo., in February 1987.
He assumed his present position in September 1989.
The general is a command pilot with 4,000 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general July 1, 1988, with same date of rank.