As we covered last week, Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly expressed a very specific rule for dissent during times of war: "You don’t criticize the Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a firefight. That could be construed as putting U.S. forces in jeopardy and undermining morale." Uber-patriot O'Reilly is obviously concerned about not undermining the morale of the troops -- or at least he used to be concerned, back before he was shamelessly crowbarring plugs for his latest "Killing [Random Famous Person]" book into a discussion about a very serious U.S. military engagement in the Middle East.
On Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, O'Reilly not only continued to push for the privatization of the U.S. armed forces by replacing the troops with an outsourced 25,000-man mercenary army, but he also stated point-blank that there aren't any active-duty military commanders who are capable of defeating ISIS.
We don't have any Pattons today. But I was with Henry Kissinger today and he told me that my idea of a worldwide anti-terror force paid for by coalition nations under [crosstalk] so let's win the war, and that's what George Patton would say.
First, when you're discussing war and you say "I was with Henry Kissinger and he told me" -- you've lost all credibility. Second, I wonder what Patton would say about a so-called history and military expert insisting that it was American soldiers, not Nazis, who were responsible for the Malmedy massacre during World War II. I also wonder what Patton would say about O'Reilly, who received a deferment from the Vietnam-era draft, criticizing the battlefield tenacity of the American military. Hell of a patriot, O'Reilly is. Support the troops -- unless you have a book to sell.
Incidentally, the book he's pitching is called Killing Patton. Torn from the Alex Jones playbook, it theorizes that Patton didn't die from a pulmonary embolism following a car crash, but was in fact murdered by Soviet agents operating under orders from Stalin himself, who was concerned that Patton might convince the U.S. to declare war on the Soviet Union. As with all of O'Reilly's ideas, there's little if anything by way of factual support for his theory that Patton was injected with a "traceless poison."
But you have to take into consideration that Patton was being tracked by Soviet intelligence. He had around the clock guards who were worried about the press, they weren’t worried about anybody else. His wife was in the hospital room with him. And he’s having cognac, and he’s laughing with the nurses, and he goes to sleep, and he wakes up dead. Why? [...]
Stalin had a factory that produced traceless poisons back then, but now with our advanced technology, we could see if there was something in Patton’s remains."
Patton "wakes up dead?" How the hell did he do that? Does the book suggest a Patton zombie?
So, now we're digging up Patton's corpse in order to prove Bill O'Reilly's wild, batshit hunch for which he has zero evidence. This'd be not unlike digging up Elvis Presley's corpse because you concocted a ludicrous theory that an alligator climbed through the Graceland sewage pipes into Elvis' toilet and chewed the King of Rock n' Roll to death, ass first. Get your shovels, pinheads!
Like his Civil War hero Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Patton was both a fearless military commander and an eccentric nutbag. We ought to be very, very careful about what we wish for when invoking his name in today's context. Not only would his disciplinary style, casualty rates and personal narcissism make him a pariah today, but his brand of warfare simply doesn't exist any more. Patton was effective during a very specific era and absolutely excelled through sheer determination, discipline and stubbornness. But he never once faced the guerrilla tactics of groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS, who seamlessly blend into civilian populations. No uniforms, no rank insignia, no books published by enemy commanders to expose their weaknesses. You simply do not roll into enemy fortifications with a cavalry of tanks and expect a successful outcome against ISIS who simply melt into the scenery. By the way, O'Reilly also invoked U.S. Grant, but what this dilettante (O'Reilly) forgets about the Civil War is that it might've lasted for decades had R.E. Lee not surrendered and instead dispersed his Confederate army to engage in guerrilla warfare against the federal forces. Grant's effective yet traditional strategy of attrition would've proved useless. As would Patton's against ISIS.
Bottom line here, O'Reilly doesn't know what the blue-blazes he's talking about, and he's spackling over his ignorance with ridiculous theories and nonsensical revisionist history.