Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

General Honore retires

You may not remember the name, but you'll remember the phrase he made famous, and elicited chuckles from those of us in the 'Sphere.

"Don't get stuck on stupid."

Yes, Lt. Gen. Russel Honore is retiring after a life of exemplary service to this nation:

The gruff, cigar-chomping general who led federal troops into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is convinced America hasn't learned its lesson from the storm.
As Lt. Gen. Russel Honore gets ready to retire from the Army and hand over his command on Friday, he says he wants to spend the rest of his life creating a "culture of preparedness" to prevent another post-disaster disaster.

"There's an attitude everywhere else that people are smarter than they are in New Orleans and in Mississippi. They're not," the 60-year-old general said at his office at Fort Gillem, just outside Atlanta. "What happened in New Orleans could have happened anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard."

During his 37-year Army career, Honore commanded troops in South Korea and prepared soldiers to fight in Iraq. After Katrina, the native of Lakeland, in Pointe Coupee Parish, led the vast relief convoy that rolled into New Orleans during its darkest hour. The 22,000-member force was one of the largest federal deployments in the South since the end of the Civil War.

With a green beret cocked to one side, a crisp, take-charge attitude and biting one-liners — "Don't get stuck on stupid!" he snapped at reporters — he impressed politicians and ordinary folks alike. At news conferences, he ended sentences with the word "over," as if transmitting over military radio.

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, for one, famously called him a "John Wayne dude."

Honore returned to Atlanta after the storm to focus on his main job as commander of the First Army, training National Guardsmen and reservists for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The devastation in his home state — the stranded residents, destroyed neighborhoods and bloated corpses — "left a passion in me to be a champion of something," he said.

His next project is still taking shape, but he wants to see civil defense classes for young people that would teach first aid and survival basics, such as how to purify water. He wants to lobby drug stores and other businesses to keep generators in case of a long power failure. He wants cities to stockpile food and water so they don't have to rely on the federal government.

It's a shame he's retiring. God knows we need more commanders like him, not only abroad but in Washington as well. He should have been the man to replace General Pace on the JCS, in my opinion. And while he does have an interesting project going, I'm wondering if any of our current GOP candidates will give him a thought when they're mulling over veep option. If I were them, I would.

Publius II


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