The George C. Marshall Foundation honored Sen. John Warner at this 2007 celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Marshall Plan. Winston Churchill praised General Marshall as the “organizer of victory.” Looking at the war in Iraq, has Sen. Warner been an organizer, and has the US been victorious? No. Warner, as chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, has presided over the destruction of the US military. Too few men and women were assigned too large a task in bringing a new government to Iraq. The military has been over-stretched and under-supplied, often lacking flack jackets and armored vehicles, even for the too few troops who were set there.
Now Warner has called for pulling out 5,000 troops of the 160,000 currently there, if the President wants to. It’s almost nothing. It’s too few to be noticeable, and probably too few to make a difference one way or another. It’s symbolic, and that’s something, but it’s not much. What George Marshall did was more than symbolic. He took a small, peacetime military, much like America’s today, and transformed it into a huge fighting machine that made the difference in World War II. He made hard choices; he replaced peacetime generals with generals who could fight. He drafted millions of men; he turned America’s industrial base on its heels toward the production of military equipment. Bush and Warner kept their yes-man generals and gave huge tax breaks to the rich. They said, “Keep us in power and we’ll give you lots of money and send some worthless farm boys and ghetto kids to die in Iraq. And we’ll do it with generals who won’t rock the boat.” Their contempt for average Americans is boundless.
Warner may not be the worst politician in the Senate, but he certainly does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath with General George Marshall.