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16 February 2011


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William R. Cumming

Hackworth and Lang! I would have liked to have seen that operation!


It will be chilling to look back on the Iraq war ten years or so out and coldly calculate the costs to Iraqis, Americans and US interests.

At least there were some public voices (not listened to) like Jim Webb's New York Times week in review "above the fold" piece ten days into the war http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/30/weekinreview/the-nation-down-and-dirty-the-war-in-iraq-turns-ugly-that-s-what-wars-do.html that ended as follows:

"Welcome to hell. Many of us lived it in another era. And don't expect it to get any better for a while."

What more can one say?

Will we ever learn?


Just last Saturday, I was reading parts of Hackworth's 1995 book. Someone had left it at the bar for someone else to pick up.

I always liked him.

Norman Rogers

Colonel Lang,

Do you have any insight or opinion as to whether or not Colonel Hackworth might receive his (posthumous) Medal of Honor one day?

I believe, if I read it correctly, that he was denied the MoH because of his ongoing blood feud with Colonel Ira Hunt in Vietnam and his overall lack of political correctness, but that he probably deserved the award.

Is it something that needs to be redressed or is it water under the bridge?


Hack and I were email pals throughout the entire Kosovo War; I think we were the only two who viewed it the same way...probably not, but it felt that way at the time. I talked to him on the phone a few times — especially after the MSM tried to trash his cogent insights during interviews — and I've still got his salty, direct, and sane missives.

You've just gone up another notch in my opinion of you, Colonel. ;-) If you were trained by him, you were trained by one of the best. Your other notch is provided by featuring Richard Sale, one of the smartest journalists, ever, in my opinion, but more than that: a wise, wise man.


Col. Hackworth was both physically and morally courageous. An honorable American who spoke truth to power. He was punished accordingly. His legacy organization Soldiers For The Truth www.sftt.org continues in that fashion to assist in equipping soldiers and marines. I hold it in high regard.



I miss Hack, bless his heart.

Mike Blackburn

Will Drumheller get to drag Tenet's sad excuse for leadership into the light of day?
We can only hope.

Jonathan Goff

I'm not much of a military guy myself, but I read Hackworth's book "About Face" cover-to-cover back when I was in college. Great book. I was sad when I heard he had passed away.



That is quite an interesting comparison Col. Lang, the concept of "service". The political hack/yahoo does as he/she is told, whereas the patriot, the soldier, serves the interests/values of the country to which they have sworn an oath, which binds them till death. You never really stop being a patriot/soldier, but then do you ever really stop being a political hack either?

Thanks for that bit of clarity.



Hackworth was a great soldier, and from what I hear,you weren't too bad yourself Colonel.

But the people(even good people, don't necessarily want to hear the truth. Be they blood thirsty Texan cowboys, God bless em'. Or the insipid liberals who show up on this blog, with their "lets hate our own country" rants).

Iraq was and is about the moolah!!!$$$$$$$$$$$$. As are most wars.No bid contracts for your friends and goooood supporters.

"Darth Vader" Cheney and Georgie "duh" Bush and Bushie Family Enterprises Inc., one way or the other both hauled a cool billion or so out of the inferno.

Its late in the day, but I'm sure the current,"CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN CROWD", are doing their damn best to feed in the death trough of Iraq and Afgan. before they dry up.

Its all part of the final looting of the nation by the elites, be they on Wall Street or J and K Street.

I think its about time, we borrow some guillotines from the French museums.



I would have loved to hear you and Hackworth talk. The truth is the truth.

Today I had some coffee and donuts at the Starbucks in the lobby of the Washington DC VA hospital. On the table were miniature American and POW/ MIA flags. I must be the only person in the world that thinks it is bizarre that the black and white flag that explicitly states our government purposely left soldiers behind in Vietnam when we withdrew, “You are not forgotten”, has become a table ornament in a government hospital. This flag was the start of the “government is evil” campaign that is right now flushing the federal government down the toilet; cutting jobs and services at a time of 17% unemployment so the wealthy can put more money in overseas bank accounts and to continue to fight two unwinnable forever wars without raising taxes.

I am getting old. Yet, I still believe you cannot fool all the people all the time. There will be blowback to this Neo-Gilded Age. North Africa is just the First Round.



By blowback you mean what's happening in Madison Wisconsin right now? Time will tell.

William R. Cumming

Jackie! Don't know you but if you picked up the stray "About Face" at a bar and read it then glad you follow this blog.

I had many talks with German [FRG] soldiers NCO's and enlisted and officers that were knowledgable about WWII and German performance. They indicated that they also knew about men like Col. Hackworth and there battlefiedl promotions, many in the Korean War. And they said that the officer attrition in WWII in the Werhmacht was often attempted to be made up by that expedient. And they concluded that those up from the ranks officers were often very effective largely because they were not distracted even by the prospect of survival or advancement. They knew they lived only by caring for their men and killing the enemy. A murdeous combination melded into any officer to be faced by any enemy. Both elements were critical and all else but fighting competence had been shed long before. Long service in the same unit also often helped although the GERMAN efforts at how units attrited in battle were far far different than the US equivalent effort. Strangely the person I remember from the ARMY that most resembled Hackworth was Emile Burket, an E-7 that led my basica training company at Ft. Leonard Wood and had fought and been award the CIB as a 17 year old in Korea. Probably overlapped David Hackworth who is fully deserving of a MoH from his nation, IMO.



The way Ray McGovern was recently treated, makes me very angry with Hillary and her bodyguards/event security.

At Clinton Speech: Veteran Bloodied, Bruised
and Arrested for Standing Silently


I always enjoyed David Hackworth speaking on TV..
There are Three things I think of with Men like You...Hack..and Farrell..
You tell it like it Is..
because someone Has too..
.Honor Indeed..Forged on the Anvil of Freedom..
To All Vets.Thank You All..
My Regards and my Respect..Always..

Roy G

Thank you for posting this, Col. I read Hack's book when I was young, and it made a big impression on me; the positive side is obvious, the negative side was about the corrosive influence of REMF culture. We could do with a lot more Langs and Hackworths in our military, displacing the 'perfumed princes' that have become predominant.


I loved Hackworth!
My brother put me onto his writings on the net.
Hadn't thought about him in a while..it's good to be reminded.
Do we have any more Hackworth's except for the Col. left?
I don't see many.

Sidney O. Smith III

Those of the Jeffrey Goldberg- John Hagee coalition have dishonored the tradition that came out of the VN war and represented by Col. Lang and Col. Hackworth.

Of course, the Pentagon has as well, arguably more so than Goldberg-Hagee.

After all some at the Pentagon in 2002 acted no different than some of those at Woodstock in 1968 -- they called General Zinni -- a Vietnam Vet -- a traitor. And they did so because he opposed what would be known as Shock and Awe.

Really tells you all you need to know, imo.


In late 2002 I ventured into deepest darkest Orange County (Ca.) to hear Col. Hackworth speak at a gathering. It was a large venue and was packed with a couple of hundred people.

He was introduced by a Marine Corps Reserve Brigadier who, when introducing him, reviewed his military career and made a reference to how unlike all the aging anti - war hippies who were protestig against the upcoming invasion of Iraq he was.

After taking the microphone, Col. Hackworth thanked the General for the introduction and noted that he was also unlike the draft - dodgers who were about to drag the country into a senseless war.

All eyes swung to the General, who sat facing the audience with a smile frozen on his face as he turned beet red.

The beaver

To all
On the topic of Iraq, has anyone been reading the "stories" of Curveball in the Guardian?


And the dreamer wants to be involved in Iraqi politics! Meh!!!

Former US secretary of state asks why CIA failed to warn him over Iraqi defector who has admitted fabricating WMD evidence

* Curveball could face jail for warmongering, says German MP
* Curveball: 'I lied about WMD to topple Saddam'
* Curveball's lies – and the consequences
* Curveball: How US was duped by Iraqi fantasist
* Q&A: our reporters answer your questions about Curveball
* Curveball's admission 'raises questions about CIA'
* Life and times of Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi


Here's one more to add the to the costs of the war -- Baghadad wants $$$s for damages from the 03 invasion through today for Humvee and blast damages.

Baghdad wants U.S. to pay $1 billion for damage to city



Here's a brief 'edited' video of the rough handling of Ray McGovern by Hillary's bodyguards/event security. Notice how both CBS and Raw Replay both try to paint Ray as a heckler with the headline "Hillary Clinton faces heckler during speech", and have edited out of the video's beginning of Ray standing quietly with his back turned to Hillary and standing in silence. Since when is 'silence', heckling? Not until 'after' Ray was unnecessarily man-handled and thuggishly removed from the room did Ray open his mouth, and that was to ask a question -- "So this is America? he asked.

Nancy K

I also was, still am. an admirer of Hackworth. I read his book and then found his website. He truly was a man of courage. I was very saddened when he died, feeling that we had lost a voice of truth.
I was very happy when I discovered this site. Thank you Col Lang.


Thanks, beaver, interesting. I always had the impression curveball was questioned in the US too. Peculiar rationalizations. Another little item that the Schroeder government somehow played both sides of the fence? The German military wasn't completely uninvolved in the war either.

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