RIP, Norman Schwarzkopf

Dead at 78.

82 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Was just heading over to share the news. RIP, Stormin’ Norman.

  2. 2
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational art, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that he’s a great military man.

    ETA: One of the great military disses of all time.

  3. 3
    Keith G says:

    End of December seems a bit deadly. Maybe the Mayans were onto something.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    He was your general, right? What did you think of him as a commander?

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Stormin’ Norman.

    I handed him a field telephone, once, when he was a mere one star, you know.

  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    John, you must have served under him, yes? Did you ever have a personal encounter? Any stories to share?

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Jinx, sorta.

  8. 8
    Narcissus says:

    When I was a kid I collected Desert Storm trading cards. Schwarzkopf was not my favorite.

  9. 9
    Baud says:


    Great minds…

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Keith G:

    Maybe they were all holding out to see if the Mayans were right.

  11. 11
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    He was a form of shit-kicker which endears, but the best I can say is he was a far, far better CO than Westmoreland.

  12. 12
    Davis X. Machina says:

    How did he avoid having his name tossed around as a Presidential candidate? (Powell, Clark, Petraeus…)

  13. 13
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    You do know that you are, at best, a semi-educated idiot.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    His passing is dominating Fox Nooze and preventing me from being forced to see even more “fiscal cliff” scaremongering, so, thanks, General!

  15. 15
    cathyx says:

    Is he considered a celebrity? Because they always die in 3’s, Klugman, Durning and now him.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I sort of remember that his name was mentioned in some circles as an attractive possible candidate. Just a recollection, though, and I can’t substantiate it without doing some Googling, which ain’t gonna happen tonight.

  17. 17
    Anthony says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): That’s certainly damning with faint praise.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin)

    Dude, you couldn’t even figure out that “20-foot” pole was a joke in the other thread. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s much doctors can do about a terminal lack of a sense of humor.

  19. 19
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I was away for christmas, and I have been wondering how your father is doing.

  20. 20
    John Cole says:

    @Davis X. Machina: He was too honest and blunt. While all generals are part politician, he was more soldier than politician.

  21. 21
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    And you couldn’t figure out that exaggeration (10 ft pole) is what hyperbole represents.

    There’s nothing worse than an idiot who has been programmed to think it’s smart.

  22. 22
    Linkmeister says:

    He may have been a great general, but his coining the word “attrit” is a black mark.

  23. 23
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    And, don’t call me Dude

  24. 24
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:


    I was afraid I was being too vague.

  25. 25
    shortstop says:

    Wait, Jack Klugman died?

    I don’t think George Herbert Walker is going to see New Year’s Day.

  26. 26
    Mike in NC says:

    I’m quarter of the way through Tom Ricks’ “The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today”, so I haven’t seen the chapter on ODS and Schwarkopf yet, but apparently he was considered far better than many of his contemporaries and the inept boobs who ran ithe Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    He’s doing better, thanks, and is back in his favorite easy chair watching Fox News right now, which is why I can’t bitch about it too much.

    Long-term is not great, but he’s definitely improving at the moment.

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:


    I don’t think George Herbert Walker is going to see New Year’s Day.

    Don’t tease me like that!

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Wevs, sunshine. Your friends must really enjoy having you explain to them that they’re telling the joke wrong if they change a cliche for comic effect.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Don’t call me sunshine, either, braintrust.

  33. 33
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    It’s great to hear some good news, even if it is tempered with some reality. I hope that he gets the longest term that long term can get him.

    Enjoy every minute you two can.

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    While you do shine brightly, that shine sure ain’t sunshine. Your ten pounds of dried shit in a five pound bag burns brightly, serving as a guiding beacon to your fellow firebaggers.

  34. 34
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Whatever you say, punkin.

  35. 35
    MikeJ says:

    I thought they were supposed to just fade away.

  36. 36
    cathyx says:

    @MikeJ: I think he did. I haven’t thought about him since the first war in the middle east.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Oh, he didn’t coin it. That thing has been kicking around the military for decades.

    One of my favorite militarisms is “deconflict”. As in two units claiming the same plot of land for some exercise function, and someone from higher headquarters is sent down to resolve the dispute, or “deconflict” it.

    I was in the 8th ID (Mech) in Germany when Stormin’ Norman was the assistant division commander there, and later at Fort Lewis when he was I Corps/Fort Lewis commander. Never had much contact with him, but he didn’t have a rep as an asshole in either position, which is a net plus for any general officer.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    eemom says:

    Yay! Petty internecine flame wars in a RIP thread.

    For a while there, I was afraid Teh Juice was losing its mojo.

  40. 40
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    Your fears are unfounded, as are most of your arguments. ;p

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC:

    the inept boobs who ran ithe Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    Those inept boobs were not in uniform.

  42. 42
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Why would you stick your manatee snout into the breach?

    I can only conclude you wish to be bloodied.

  43. 43
    Raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He was a lot better than that dope Franks.

  44. 44
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:


    It;s her Nym, but she’s no Hypatia, either. Her name choice is flattering, but undeserved.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    Is it bad if I say I have no particular opinion about the late General, good or bad?

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    No argument there.

  47. 47
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the dopes that insisted that the public option would have happened if only Obama had wanted it bad enough. So it does have a sense of humor.

  48. 48
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Hit me with your best shot. Fire away.

    I’ll try to keep the laughter to a minimum. Promise!

  49. 49
    Yutsano says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): Irony called. It filed a restraining order.

  50. 50
    Raven says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): When there is a General Officer that actually put his shit on the line to save the lives of his men after he was wounded it’s worth a RIP.

  51. 51
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Give me something to work with, other than flaccid snark.

  52. 52
    Oltrol says:


    Wooo! We have a Winner!

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    Fair enough.

  54. 54
    Raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He didn’t coin “unass this motherfucker” either did he?

  55. 55
    Ken says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): His passing is dominating Fox Nooze

    In a sane way, or in a “Obama gets rid of another general that could have opposed his planned takeover” way?

  56. 56
    Schlemizel says:

    @John Cole:

    There was some friction between him and the political assclowns in the WH. (That probably killed him with the goopers)

    OTOH I meet him at a conference and he did a Q&A for a group of about 60 of us. He couldn’t give a straight answer to any tough question. My impression was very much like the other Generals I had met, a consummate BS artist. That struck me as strange as his reputation, beyond the stories of him not sugar coating & going along with the politicians, was the opposite. Maybe we just caught him on a bad night

  57. 57
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Wow, what a relief. That beats the hell out of where things were when I left. So glad that you guys get more time.

  58. 58
    Raven says:

    This seals the deal:

    He also was outspoken at times, including when he described Gen. William Westmoreland, the U.S. commander in Vietnam, as “a horse’s ass” in an Associated Press interview.

    Wanna know how I felt about MY commander?

    eta, actually Abrams replaced him right before I got there.

  59. 59
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    I guess you’re good for one shot per night.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    I doubt it. I’ve heard “unass the AO” since I was a ROTC cadet.

    In the case of “attrit” he may have popularized it among Villager hangers-on, though, who wanted to sound like they were “in” with the military.

  61. 61
    Raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:


    1950s: back-formation from attrition

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:


    Reasonably sane, but we were watching the fill-in for Shep Smith, FWIW.

  63. 63
    General Stuck says:

    Stormin Norman was a good general, as generals go. It was likely the one good thing that came from the Vietnam disaster, that produced some sober lifer officers, some of which became generals later. Sober to the limits of American power, though the effect ran out with Iraq and GWB. Maybe Iraq will produce some more humble officer corp like Vietnam. Sometimes we learn, but only for awhile.

  64. 64
    bago says:

    I was unaware of his role in Iran until yesterday.

  65. 65
    Heliopause says:

    RIP Rot in Hell, mass muderer


  66. 66
    Cacti says:

    “Stormin Norman” squashed a gnat with a sledgehammer in service of the Bush crime family, and was laureled as some sort of conquering hero.

    The military fetishism of the Reagan era was pretty damned creepy.

  67. 67
    James E Powell says:


    This. The American dolchstosslegende.

  68. 68
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    So sorry to see you are having problems dealing with anything flaccid. It may have something to do with your limp personality.

    I’m sure there’s a pill for that.

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    No Sparky, I just have more important things to do. Let me assure you that when it comes to my Things To Do list, you’re right at the bottom.

    Just below “Wipe my ass”.

  69. 69
    Mike in NC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Semi-correct: deserting coward plus clowns like Tommy Franks

  70. 70
    Mike in NC says:

    @Cacti: Nothing has really changed.

  71. 71
    Mike in NC says:

    @Cacti: Nothing has really changed.

  72. 72
    Mike E says:

    Stormin’ Norman had Hussein’s posse zeroed in his RV on the Baghdad Highway when he got word from George HW Bush that Colin Powell said enough is enough. The American people didn’t want to rub it in! I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to hear him respond to that horseshit.

    Just think how different the ensuing 8 years would have been if that jackass was taken out by the general

  73. 73
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:

    Yet, Sadam beat “Stormin Norman”. The Iraqi’s got most of their best units out of Kuwait. And Norman allowed Sadam to use his attack helicopters to put down the Shiite revolt.

  74. 74
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin):

    Not according to Thomas Ricks.

  75. 75
    Liquid says:


    Not to be shallow and/or pedantic (too late) but wouldn’t you have to tack on a few extra zeros to those numbers to qualify for Mass Murderer status?

    I picture that bit from the Simpsons: You must have 1,000,000 to enter. A single change to that and you have your benchmark.

    Stalin had a few things to say about that. In my darker moments I can almost agree with his method of solving a problem. Almost.

    But then that’s just the vodka and cynicism talking.

  76. 76
    Linkmeister says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’d been out for 17 years by the time I heard Schwarzkopf use the word, so it was the first time I’d ever encountered it. I cringed.

    “Deconflict?” Really? Oy and gag!

  77. 77
    David Koch says:

    rest in peace?

    did you say rest in peace to the 100,000 iraqis he murdered on the highway of death?

    did you say rest in peace to the shia he helped massacre after Bush told them to rise up, while fatso allowed Saddam’s helicopter gunships to “operate” in fatso’s “no-fly” zone?

    you really make me laugh, Cole.

    you rail on about drooooooooooooooooones and then blow a dumb war criminal like Schwarzkopf who wanted to occupy iraq and embarrassingly campaigned for Shrub.

  78. 78
    BruinKid says:

    @cathyx: Fontella Bass, who sang “Rescue Me” (and not Aretha Franklin, as many people think) just passed away on Wednesday as well.

  79. 79
    chopper says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    While you do shine brightly, that shine sure ain’t sunshine. Your ten pounds of dried shit in a five pound bag burns brightly, serving as a guiding beacon to your fellow firebaggers.

    y’know, there’s no need in the joke for the shit to be ‘dried’. if you’re trying to impress me, you’ve failed.

  80. 80
    Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin) says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    A drive-by shooter always returns to the scene of the crime, when it thinks it safe.

  81. 81
    Cassidy says:

    @Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): Are you still on this? Go rub one out or something.

  82. 82
    Pococurante says:

    @Heliopause: You confuse aggressor with victim.

    I’m not shedding a tear for the incineration of people who invaded a country, murdered and raped unstopped for over half a year, and on their way home stripped the country’s people of the personal possessions and dragged back with them Kuwaitis as political prisoners and sex slaves.

    During the 7 month-long Iraqi occupation, the forces of Saddam Hussein looted Kuwait’s vast wealth and there were also reports of violations of human rights.[33] According to some[who?] independent organizations, about 600 Kuwaiti nationals were taken to Iraq and haven’t yet been accounted for.[34] A 2005 study revealed that the Iraqi occupation had a long-term adverse impact on the health of the Kuwaiti populace.[35]

    “Don’t want nothin’, don’t start somethin’.

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