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Posted on Jul 11, 2007 in Armchair Reading

Avoid the propaganda!

By Paul D. de Holczer

I am a big fan of Armchair General and a charter — and continuing — subscriber. I read a lot about battles and wars and conflicts as well as politics and international relations. I am a long-time member of the South Carolina Military History Club. I have travelled to some major battlefields for historical tours: Normandy, Waterloo, Bastogne, Verdun, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Antietam, Fort Sumter, New Market, Kings Mountain, Cowpens, Ninety-Six, Camden, Guilford Courthouse, Culloden.

I am writing to report that I do not at all appreciate the pro-Republican, pro-Bush propaganda your editors are so fond of.

It is simplistic, patronizing, and insulting.

I do not enjoy silly and contrived comparisons of George Bush to Abraham Lincoln.


Please refrain from politicizing military history. There is nothing wrong with honoring today’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. I share that sentiment whole-heartedly. But please do not attempt to "sell" me the current war in Iraq or the decisions of this administration in prosecuting the war in Iraq.

Patriotic and informed individuals can differ on the war in Iraq.

In fact, many miltary leaders DO differ on this war: General William Odom (ret.), former head of the National Security Agency under President Reagan; John Deutch, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency 1995-1996 and was deputy defense secretary 1994-1995; Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Carter; Melvin Laird, secretary of defense for President Richard Nixon; Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell and a retired Army colonel; Gen. Joseph P. Hoar is a retired four-star general, led the U.S. Central Command (1991-94), and commanded U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf after the 1991 war; Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan (ret.); Edward Peck, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and deputy director of President Reagan’s terrorist task force who served in World War II and Korea and then for 32 years as a diplomat; Brent Scowcroft, who served as National Security Adviser to President George H.W. Bush; Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former head of Central Command for U.S. forces in the Middle East and State Department’s envoy to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; Richard Clarke, former chief counter-terrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council for both the latter part of the Clinton Administration and early part of the George W. Bush Administration; Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who led the First Infantry Division; Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as recently as 2004 as the commander of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division; Maj. Gen. John Riggs; Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold of the Marine Corps; General Wesley Clark.

Stick to history and avoid the propaganda, please.

Thank you and best wishes!

Paul D. de Holczer

* * *

Dear Mr. de Holczer,

Thanks very much for your email to Armchair General magazine. We always appreciate readers taking the time to send us emails and letter, and want to thank you for being a charter and continuing subscriber.

Your list of military leaders contains a few ‘old friends’ from my own 36 years in uniform. I had the privilege of serving with Generals Zinni and Wes Clark when I was on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, and Gen. Bill Odom was my first Russian History professor at West Point (when he was a Major).

Best Wishes,

Jerry Morelock

Editor in Chief, Armchair General Magazine