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Some Good Fake News For A Change

Trump on Jim Webb










Last week the internet was awash in articles claiming that former Secretary of the Navy and Democratic Senator James Webb was under consideration to be the next Secretary of Defense. This turned out to be fake news, which is the best fake news we’ve heard in a long time, because Webb would have made a terrible Secretary of Defense.

Don’t get us wrong – Webb is a real live American hero and has a reputation as a friend of the frontline soldier, sailor and marine, but he is also more of an unguided missile than a team player, and he is certainly no conservative.

Webb’s brief tenure as Secretary of the Navy ended when he resigned over a disagreement with President Ronald Reagan over how many ships the Navy needed – Webb wanted more ships than Reagan did.

As President, Ronald Reagan had a clear vision of how to defeat the Soviet Union, and a modern 600 ship Navy was one part of that vision. Webb couldn’t seem to grasp that his part of the process was to implement the vision, which was a lot bigger than the Navy and included modernizing the other service branches, engaging in direct ideological confrontation with the Soviets, clandestine operations and perhaps most importantly, merciless economic competition.

James Webb’s penchant for having his way or no way also crept into the establishment and construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Webb, wounded in combat, recipient of the Navy Cross and author of Fields of Fire, an early and well-received novel about the Vietnam War, was an early supporter of the idea of having a memorial built – until he didn’t get his way on the design.

Once the jury selected Maya Lin’s design Webb maintained ties to the fund for a few months while insisting the monument be built in white marble and placed above ground. He eventually demanded the fund remove his name from its letterhead, saying, “I never in my wildest dreams imagined such a nihilistic slab of stone.”

On the social issues that have roiled the military and have a demonstrated negative effect on unit cohesion and readiness Webb has been all over the map, but in 2014, he praised the country’s “evolution” on gay marriage and gives no evidence of supporting the President’s desire to end the military social engineering experiments of the Obama era.

One point in Webb’s favor, according to his supporters, is that Webb and President Trump have voiced similar criticisms of the wars in the Near East and Middle East arguing – correctly – that the United States needed a clear policy, or we would be there forever, and that Obama gave away too much to Iran.

The problem is that former Senator Webb and others who share that view have never articulated how America should fight the war Islam has declared on the West if we are to pull out of the Near East and Afghanistan without defeating the enemy.

Figuring out and articulating how America should fight the war Islam has declared on the West is the number one job of the next Secretary of Defense, because – after being in the Near East off and on since the early 1980s and in Afghanistan for now going on 18 years – it is obvious that what we have been doing is not working.

On the military culture side the President should find a SecDef who is prepared to carry out his orders to reverse the politically correct policies of the Obama administration: Christian chaplains are still being harassed, open homosexuality is still being accepted, even as its detrimental effects on unit cohesion have been demonstrated, gay “liberation” type events are still being held at military facilities and the Pentagon, many of the Obama gay-lib advocates are still in place at the Pentagon and undeployable transgender individuals are still being recruited, even as the need for deployable “tip of the spear” fighters has not diminished.

We are not prepared to put a name out there for Secretary of Defense just yet, but President Trump’s comment that the James Webb trial balloon was fake news was the best fake news we’ve heard all week, because – between his penchant for doing his own thing, his decidedly anti-conservative views on military culture and his lack of interest in winning the war Islam has declared on the West – Webb is almost exactly the opposite of what President Trump needs as Secretary of Defense.

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