The Free Press, Mankato, MN


December 28, 2012

Our View: Schwarzkopf was a soldier's soldier

Thumbs up

In memory of a soldier's soldier -- Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf -- who died this week at the age of 78. A decorated combat solider in Vietnam, the sting of that loss stayed with him throughout his career, ensuring such a thing never happened again. He helped revitalize and modernize the all-volunteer force and eventually commanded the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991.

While he was known as "The Bear" and then "Stormin' Norman" for his temper, it was usually leveled at his officers or even his superiors but never at the soldiers in the field for whom he had great respect. Despite his popularity, he rejected the notion he run for office and was one of the more private generals afterwards.

He as well as others was convinced Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and approved the invasion but later regretted that decision. His postwar activities included being a national spokesman for prostate cancer awareness and for the Recovery of the Grizzly Bear, served on the Nature Conservancy board, and for many charities that helped chronically ill children.

He said once that while he will probably be remembered most as an Army general, "I'd like to think I'm a caring human being"... that you have a purpose."

Thumbs down

Publishing gun owners' names unhelpful

To the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y., for publishing an interactive map revealing the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in two area counties.

In the aftermath of the deadly Newport, Conn., school shooting, editor CynDee Royle said the newspaper's decision to publish the names was in the interest of "sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area."

Still unexplained is how that information benefits anyone. Indeed, many were outraged, saying that the decision makes legal gun owners subject to theft, or worse. Others believed the information dump was meant to hold gun-owning citizens up for public ridicule.

Public scorn, however, should be reserved for people who misuse their guns, or commit crimes with them. Perhaps the Journal News simply wanted to become a national story. In that, they succeeded.

Text Only | Photo Reprints