Disability and Elderly Issues

April 2015 Motto



“Westmoreland, says a friend, is not much interested in sociology or personality; he is much more interested in facts and figures; if he had to describe your personality he would probably do it in percentages.”

–From The Best and The Brightest by David Halberstam


William Westmoreland was  was  in command of all US military operations in the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968, including during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

As Halberstam makes perfectly clear, the motto describes why William Westmoreland was the perfect choice for General who lost the Vietnam War.


One reply on “April 2015 Motto”

It is an unfair swipe at Westmoreland to call him the “general who lost the Vietnam War,” and mistaken to imply it was his personality – quantitative rather than empathic – that did it. Do you think a general more “interested in sociology or personality” would have done better? The war was not lost because of the personality of the general, but because of the disastrously short-sighted political and military policies of President Johnson. He is the one whose failure of imagination, and whose inability to understand the emotional makeup of the Vietnamese people and their leaders, led us into (and kept us in) a war we could never have won. By blaming Westmoreland’s personality, you make the same mistake Johnson made, imagining that the Vietnamese would have stopped fighting and compromised with us like reasonable fellows if only we could have put the argument to them in an appealing enough way. That’s not what the war was about.

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