2008: Why I’m supporting Rudy

| January 29, 2007

I have long felt that Rudy Giuliani is our best bet for the 44th President of the United States; quite frankly, I would vote for him regardless of what party ticket he ran upon. The reasons are quite simple:

  1. We’re at war and will be for the foreseeable future.
  2. Guiliani was nearly killed in the 9/11 attacks; many people he knew and worked with were killed; and he attended funeral after funeral of those he didn’t know but who died in the line of duty; in short, he knows we’re at war.
  3. I have nine children (ten, including our semi-adopted daughter, Jeni). One has served in the Army National Guard; one is an active duty Marine who expects to be deployed to Iraq late this year or sometime next year; and one is in the process of enlisting in the Navy along with her husband (though both may switch over to the Marines instead).
  4. I also have nine grandchildren.

Those factors trump any disagreement that I might have with Giuliani over social policy. I’d love to see Condi Rice as his VP, but personally I don’t care whom he picks.

While I have never served in the military myself, I came close; my draft number was 4, and had the draft still been in effect when I returned from two years of missionary service in Central America, I would have enlisted in the Navy. Beyond that, I grew up as a Navy brat; at ages 5 through 7, I played on abandoned Japanese pillboxes in the jungle outside of Subic Bay (in the Philippine Islands) and went on a family outing to Corregidor (where we found empty bullet and shell casings) a mere 15 years after WWII had ended.

I was a Navy brat because my father, John Webster, spent 29 years in the U.S. Navy — enlisting when he was 17, in mid-1941, and retiring in February 1970. He was at Pearl Harbor and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on board the U.S.S. San Francisco; after that, he went stateside, got kicked out of OCS (for slugging a trainer), received Naval training as a radioman, trained with the Marines at the newly-established Camp Pendleton (where my son Jon is today), and then went ashore with the third wave of Marines during the U.S. invasion of Guam. At that point, he was barely 20 years old, younger than any of my children are now. (Perspective: those three actions combined lasted a total of about 24 days and cost over 7,000 American lives.) He went on to serve around the world, including two (2) tours of duty, each about a year long, over in Vietnam.

In short, my father put his life on the line repeatedly for our country and our freedom over a 30-year period. My mom and us kids likewise made our sacrifices, living for years in Naval housing, moving frequently and often long distances (I was almost born in French Morocco), and making do on Navy pay. In turn, some of my own children have chosen likewise to serve and protect our country in the Armed Forces.

Beyond all that, I am a student of history in general and military history in particular. The patterns and lessons are pretty clear, whether you study the Pelopponesian War or the Vietnam War. War is ugly, horrific, destructive, corroding and corrupting; unfortunately, at times the alternative is, in the end, even worse. Furthermore, history shows that all wars (especially the so-called “Good War” of WW II) have been filled with the blunders, stupidities, tragedies, atrocities and setbacks that have caused such hand-wringing over the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. In fact, compared to any previous US war, these last two conflicts have been better run, more humane, more professional, less bloody, less destructive, and at least a few orders of magnitude more efficient.

I recently noted to Sandra (my wife) that about the only time that I use profanities is when I’m talking about Members of Congress. I don’t know what it is about that institution, but the general history of Congress during the periods leading up to WWI and WWII, after Vietnam (with the abandonment of South Vietnam), through much of the Cold War, and now during the Century War is usually one of self-absorption, political grandstanding and/or cowardice, and overall short-sightedness. There are reasons why histories about US wars usually do not focus on how Congress helped win them — if anything, usually the opposite.

For example, go read up on Congressional rhetoric and actions to impede any US action or involvement in WW II — up until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. And Congress did so in spite of the very real possibility of the entire British Empire (England and Australia included) falling to the Axis powers (Germany, Japan, and Italy), just as the rest of Europe, key parts of China and Africa, and much of Southeast Asia and the Pacific already had. I think that much of FDR’s domestic policies and efforts were questionable and in some cases a disaster — but I thank God he was re-elected in 1940, or the world today (and quite possibly America itself) would look very different.

And so I have to depend upon the President to prosecute the Long War in spite of Congressional stupidity. I have largely agreed with Bush’s aims and strategy (including the so-called Bush Doctrine); what he has lacked, quite frankly, is the ability and willingness to inspire and lead the general populace, as well the unpleasant ruthlessness — within his own administration as well as against a determined enemy — required to prosecute a war (again, go study our successful War Presidents, in particular Lincoln and Roosevelt). Of all the declared and potential candidates, Giuliani has the best credentials and skills to do that. And so that’s who I plan to support, even if it means changing my party registration from Democrat to Republican so that I can vote for him in the primaries.

I would urge you to consider doing likewise. ..bruce..

Bruce F. Webster
Parker, Colorado

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Category: 2008 Election, Main, Military, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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