General William Westmoreland has passed away. This article was selected for both its perfect headline, which I’ve happily utilized, and its content.
Retired US army General William Childs Westmoreland, who commanded American and Australian troops in the Vietnam war, has died at age 91.
Westmoreland died yesterday of natural causes at Bishop Gadsden retirement home in Charleston, where he had lived with his wife for several years, his son James Ripley Westmoreland said.
The jut-jawed officer maintained to the end that the US was not defeated by communist forces in South-East Asia.
“It’s more accurate to say our country did not fulfill its commitment to South Vietnam,” he once said. “By virtue of Vietnam, the US held the line for 10 years and stopped the dominoes from falling.”
He would later say he did not know how history would deal with him.
“Few people have a field command as long as I did,” he said. “They put me over there and they forgot about me. But I was there seven days a week, working 14 to 16 hours a day.
“I have no apologies, no regrets. I gave my very best efforts,” he said. “I’ve been hung in effigy. I’ve been spat upon. You just have to let those things bounce off.”
Thank you for your service, Gen. Westmoreland. You never let the bastards get you too down.