This past Monday, retired General William Westmoreland passed away in his sleep in Charleston, S.C. Westmoreland was well known for his leadership of the US forces during the Vietnam War, and often came under fire for his aggressive advocacy of military buildup. Near the end of Westmoreland’s tenure as commander of US forces, the success of the Tet Offensive seemed to overshadow some of his previous accomplishments, as many media commentators blamed him in part for the continuing problems in the war. As with many noted American generals throughout history, Westmoreland graduated from West Point, then moved quickly through the ranks to become a colonel by the age of 30. After President Lyndon Johnson recalled Westmoreland to Washington to serve as the US Army Chief of Staff in 1968, he stayed on active duty for four more years. For the remainder of his life, Westmoreland continued to speak to numerous Vietnam veterans’ groups around the United States and even filed a lawsuit against CBS in 1982 when a network news report implied that he had deceived President Johnson and the American people about troop strength in Vietnam.
The first link will take visitors to a Seattle Times news article from this Tuesday that offers some basic insights into the life of General Westmoreland. The second link leads to the recently published New York Times obituary of the late general. The third link will take users to an interview with Westmoreland conducted by CNN in which he answers questions about the Tet Offensive and the Vietnam War in general. The fourth link leads to a National Public Radio commentary on Westmoreland, and includes some remarks by author Stanley Karnow. The fifth link leads to a commentary on Westmoreland offered by John J. Miller of the National Review. The sixth and final link will take users to the official homepage of the Vietnam Veterans of America.