Speaking My Mind

As a Rumsfeld supporter, I Blogged a couple of days ago that the machine-signing bit has led me to say, “Enough.” Most agreed. Some didn’t.

I love dissent, this topic included. In fact, I live for dissent. But that does not preclude me from responding. I’ll bet my last Christmas present that those who think the machine-signing story is a tempest in a teapot either (1) never were on active duty in the Military or (2) surely were never in Combat. As I said above in an entirely different context, I was in I Corps Vietnam for two Christmases. And if I’d run over a mine and been sent home in a body bag … I’d have been appalled in the Afterlife if then SecDef McNamara had sent my parents a machine-signed letter. No letter is fine! A Fake letter is the Ultimate Profanity! (Hey, I drafted a couple of my Commanding Officer’s letters to families—which he tore up and made ever so deeply personal. My CO was a busy guy, and I observed him spending days on those handwritten missives.)

I think it was Napoleon who instituted the idea, a central tenet to this day, that one risks lives to retrieve the dead bodies of one’s valorous mates. We sailors & soldiers expect no less. Honoring those who have fallen is arguably the most important contributor to the morale & integrity of a fighting force. It tells the living, “When my number is up, I will have been seen to have mattered.” Shame on Rumsfeld! (That’s all I’ll say.) (And, hey, this is an apt part of a Christmas message—after all, religion is ultimately about the sanctity of the human spirit.)

Merry Christmas!

Tom Peters posted this on December 24, 2004, in Talent.
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