Stormin Norman, Gulf war commander dies at 78

H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the four-star Army general who led allied forces to a stunningly quick and decisive victory over Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi military in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and who became the most celebrated U.S. military hero of his generation, died Thursday in Tampa. He was 78.

US Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta confirmed the death in a statement. Gen. Schwarzkopf’s sister, Ruth Barenbaum, told the Associated Press he had complications from pneumonia.

Little known outside the U.S. military before Hussein’s Republican Guard invaded Kuwait in early August 1990, Gen. Schwarzkopf planned and led one of the most lopsided victories in modern military history.

Even before the rapid victory, the general was known as “Stormin’ Norman” for his sometimes volcanic temper.

The campaign, designed to expel Hussein’s forces and liberate Kuwait, commenced in January 1990 with a 43-day high-tech air assault on Iraq before a massive armored assault force launched a 100-hour ground offensive that inflicted swift and heavy losses on the Iraqis. Gen. Schwarzkopf commanded more than 540,000 U.S. troops and an allied force of more than 200,000 from 28 countries, plus hundreds of ships and thousands of aircraft, armored vehicles and tanks during the war.

Broadcast to the nation nonstop on CNN, the war gave the nation and the world its first look at a new American military strategy that used precision-guided bombs dropped from hundreds of aircraft and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from ships. Both Gen. Schwarzkopf and his boss at the Pentagon, Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were Vietnam War veterans who had helped rebuild this force.

Gen. Schwarzkopf was accessible to the media throughout the war and became a familiar figure addressing reporters in his desert fatigues. He spoke in plain English, instead of using military jargon.

But the adulation he received from the American public quickly gave way to second-guessing by many historians, who questioned the decision by President George H.W. Bush and senior members of his administration to end the ground war after just four days, allowing Hussein to remain in power and much of his Republican Guard to retreat from Kuwait unscathed.

In a television interview after his triumphant return to the United States, Gen. Schwarzkopf claimed that he wanted to continue the war. But his assertion was sharply contested by Richard B. Cheney, then secretary of defense, and Powell, who said that Gen. Schwarzkopf had concurred in the decision by the president and his administration to end combat in four days.

Gen. Schwarzkopf, who retired in the summer of 1991, backed off his claim in his 1992 memoir, “It Doesn’t Take a Hero,” for which he received an advance of almost $6 million. He criticized unnamed civilians in the Bush administration for trying to hastily speed commencement of the ground war.

Rick Atkinson, in his 1993 book “Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War,” described Gen. Schwarzkopf as a volcanic figure who threatened to fire numerous subordinates and often behaved like an imperial dictator. But he concluded that Schwarzkopf made “no significant error of strategy or tactic.”

Gen. Schwarzkopf does not fare nearly as well in a new book by Thomas E. Ricks, “The Generals.” Ricks faults Schwarzkopf for failing to understand strategic aspects of the war, allowing much of the Republican Guard to escape from Kuwait, and for allowing the Iraqis to fly armed helicopters over Iraq following the end of the ground campaign. Those helicopter gunships were subsequently used to attack and decimate anti-Hussein Shiite uprisings in southern Iraq and Kurdish protests in the north.

The future general was born in Trenton, N.J., on Aug. 22, 1934. His father, who was also an Army general, was named Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, but he disliked his first name so much that he refused to pass it on to his son. So he was named H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.

The elder Schwarzkopf was the founding commander of the New Jersey State Police and was in charge of the investigation that led to the 1934 arrest of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was convicted and later executed for kidnapping and killing the toddler son of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh.

From the age of 4, the younger Schwarzkopf determined that he would follow his father to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and pursue a career as a soldier. He attended a military school in New Jersey, then spent time overseas with his family from 1946 to 1951.

He spent a year in Iran, where his father trained a national police force and advised the shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, then lived in Switzerland, Germany and Italy. He spoke conversational German and French throughout his life.

After returning to the United States, he spent a year at the Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pa., before entering West Point, where he played football, wrestled and sang in the choir. Gen. Schwarzkopf, who directed a chapel choir of cadets at West Point — one of his first command positions — had a lifelong love of opera and music.

He graduated in the upper 10th of his class and entered the Army infantry. Between field assignments with airborne and infantry units, he received a master’s degree in missile engineering from University of Southern California in 1964.

After a teaching stint at West Point, he went to Vietnam in 1965 as an adviser to Vietnamese airborne troops. He returned for a second tour in 1969 commanding an infantry battalion.

He received a Silver Star and won the respect of his troops for his courageous efforts to rescue soldiers wounded by land mines. In one case, he covered a writhing soldier with his own body, reportedly saying, “Take it easy, son. It’s only broken.”

In 1970, an errant artillery shell killed a sergeant under Gen. Schwarzkopf’s command. The soldier’s parents launched an investigation, which later become the inspiration for C.D.B. Bryan’s 1976 book “Friendly Fire,” which later became a movie. The parents held Gen. Schwarzkopf responsible at first, but Bryan portrayed him as an officer of honor and compassion and concluded that the killing was accidental.

“He’s a good mud soldier,” Lt. Gen. William S. Carpenter Jr., who served with Gen. Schwarzkopf in Vietnam, told the New York Times in 1991. “The most important thing is that he cares about ground troops and he’s not about to get them chewed up.”

He received his first star as a brigadier general in 1978, then won widespread respect among military brass as deputy commander of the invasion of Grenada in 1983. He held several more high-profile jobs, became a four-star general in 1988 and was named commander of the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

In the late 1980s, with the Soviet empire collapsing, Gen. Schwarzkopf studied the likelihood of future wars and concluded that the Middle East would be the next hot spot. He planned for the possibility that the United States could become embroiled in regional disputes that crossed the borders of U.S. allies.

In July 1990, he led military troops in elaborate war games built around a theoretical invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Less than a week later, real Iraqi forces marched across the Kuwaiti border.

Gen. Schwarzkopf’s survivors include his wife of 44 years, Brenda Holsinger Schwarzkopf; three children; and his sister.

Considered a master battlefield tactician who didn’t wilt under fire, Gen. Schwarzkopf admitted that he felt fear in combat and didn’t trust any soldier who didn’t.

“Yes, I am antiwar,” he told U.S. News & World Report in 1991. “All you have to do is hold your first soldier who is dying in your arms, and have that terribly futile feeling that I can’t do anything about it. . . . Then you understand the horror of war.”

Washington post

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

    good riddens to bad rubbish. Just hope he suffered before and will suffer after dying. 

    • Patience2

       Yes … a lot like the ‘dog-poop’ running Iran now.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

    good riddens to bad rubbish. Just hope he suffered before and will suffer after dying. 

    • Patience2

       Yes … a lot like the ‘dog-poop’ running Iran now.

  • Btru2u

    Time To meet his maker. How much blood is on his hands leading this unjust war. Our dead are in heaven, your dead are in hell.

    • Constantin7

      Btru2u and Preview,

      I am not with the man or against him, he was just a soldier following orders, but to tell the truth he helped Kuwaitis regain their own country from the tyrant/invader Saddam, I am sure Kuwaitis love him and are mourning his death. “So much blood on his hands” ??? How much blood Saddam had on his hands ??? Fighting a useless war with Iran where at least a million people died, invading Kuwait because he refused to pay his debt and killing so many Kuwaitis who financed his war with Iran and helped him, killed tens of thousands of Iraki Shiaa just because they opposed his regime, killed thousands of innocent Kurds (women and children) with gas in their villages, and committed so many other atrocities, but you do not see the blood on Saddam’s hands, do you ?
      Today Irak, with all the problems they have, is a much more tolerant and democratic nation than ever and the problems that it is still facing come mostly from the Sunni fanatics who do not want to be ruled by a Shiaa majority.
      As for “your dead are in heaven and the Christians dead are in hell”, how do you know ? Did you go to heaven and/or hell and checked ? The Sahaba asked Mohammad once: “Ya Rassoul allah, are you going to heaven after your death ? ” and Mohammad answered them: ” I am human like you and Allahu Aalam “. If your prophet was not sure that he was going to heaven, how come you are so sure ? So you think a criminal like Saddam will go to Heaven and this Christian soldier who was following orders is going to Hell ? Good for you keep on believing in illusions and lies.

      Jesus was on the cross, and he had 2 criminals cruxified on his left and on his right. One of the criminals spoke to Jesus and told him: ” If you are the son of God, save yourself and save us from this certain death”. Jesus did not answer him, because he was fulfilling his mission of dying on the cross and raising from death on the 3rd day. The second criminal heard the 1st criminal and told him: “Don’t you fear God, we are criminals and we are being punished for our crimes, but this man did nothing to deserve this death”, then he turned to Jesus and told him: “Jesus pray for me when you go to heaven”. So because this second criminal confessed his crime and asked forgiveness from Jesus, Jesus, with all his love and forgiveness, answered him: “TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE”. I know that you do not believe that Jesus was cruxified in the first place, but I just wanted to give you a comparison between your prophet who did not know where he is going after death and Jesus who minutes before his death knew he was going to Paradise and saved another soul asking for his mercy.

      Just some food for thought….and Happy New Year 2013 full of light, knowledge and TRUTH.  

      • Btru2u

        Their is one truth and that is the true word of God. God did send messengers and angles to guide humanity. But mankind corrupted it to suit their own vain desires. It is not he falt of the messengers this happened and they are guaranteed paradise. The Quran is the only uncorrupted word of god that has remained in its original form since its revelation, and is memorised by millions. In this day and age their is no excuse not to have acces to this revelation. Quran tells us not to cow to oppressors, and to fight the good fight with your wealth and your bodies for Gods cause. Dying Defending your self , land family is a sprititual act which you become martyred. Martyrs (shaheeds)go to heaven. On the other hand fighting for purely worldly gains against the people of god can only bring you eternal damnation.
        The first four commandments strictly emphasise the oneness of God. That is the heart of a Muslim belief. The heart of Christians belief is the trinity, three gods in one or one god of three. Muslims call this shirk. Or sharing power with god or associating partners with him. By believing in this concept, you,have rejected the oneness of God and the first four commandments. That is pure mis guidance which will lead lead you to the fire of hell.. Jesus came to fulfill Gods law , not destroy it.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

        constantlyboring this article is about schwartzkopf NOT Saddam Hussein!!!
        OMG
        Yes i said Oh MY God :P

        • Mahdi Kenaani

          Dont you mean OMAG (Oh My Almighty God)?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         “blah blah blah he was just a soldier following orders blah blah blah and a bit more blah”

        Maybe you should look at the Nuremberg ruling regarding “soldiers following orders”! That was deemed unacceptable as an excuse to slaughter innocent children and civilians!!!!!!!!!!!
        Oh hang on maybe your religion allows that as long as you ask Jesus for forgiveness. But does he have to be on the cross when you are asking or can he be relaxing having a coffee?

        • master09

          Bla bla bla and your shit and the religion you follow is better yes. Bla bla bla . Or the brain washing is so deep you can only see black. Bla bla bla . You judge others and you are so blind and brainwashed to see how ones shit smells worse than the other. Bla bla bla. Forgiveness no I bet cutting ones head is a better way by the sword. Just like he lived by the sword he showed that is the only way for forgiveness is by death . Bla bla bla lollllllol so fn loud. Forgiveness by death.

    • Prophettttt

      Btru2u,I find your argument to be very weak and self serving. No one knows where dead people are going,and no one knows if there is anywhere for dead people to go after death,and in the event that that there is a heaven and hell, No human is qualified to make a judgment on who goes where. No one has been there,and no one can claim such knowledge.What makes it worse is that many people have different views,depending on which faith one follows,on this subject.
      No human is born with a religion, but rather brought up into a religion. 
      Here is another argument;what happens to all the human beings who were born and had died before any of the three main religions , who believe in the same God, came to existence. Don’t you think there was a God Then? Does it make any sense for God to have created millions or billions of people before He sent his message and rules to humanity,and then You God Him to judge them based on what you think is the true faith,or based on what the other guy thinks is the true faith?If Anyone believes that God would judge them based on a faith that was sent to them after their death,then God is not fair. The most basic belief about God is fairness,and your argument goes against the fairness of the creator. If one thinks that those who were born before the rules were sent, are spared judgment,then where is the justice for those who were wronged before the rules . 
      Everyone claims exclusive knowledge of God,and some play the role of God in the way they make  judgment. What have we left for God?Did He create humans in order to take his place,and make judgment on his behalf? I don’t think so.

  • Btru2u

    Time To meet his maker. How much blood is on his hands leading this unjust war. Our dead are in heaven, your dead are in hell.

    • Constantin7

      Btru2u and Preview,

      I am not with the man or against him, he was just a soldier following orders, but to tell the truth he helped Kuwaitis regain their own country from the tyrant/invader Saddam, I am sure Kuwaitis love him and are mourning his death. “So much blood on his hands” ??? How much blood Saddam had on his hands ??? Fighting a useless war with Iran where at least a million people died, invading Kuwait because he refused to pay his debt and killing so many Kuwaitis who financed his war with Iran and helped him, killed tens of thousands of Iraki Shiaa just because they opposed his regime, killed thousands of innocent Kurds (women and children) with gas in their villages, and committed so many other atrocities, but you do not see the blood on Saddam’s hands, do you ?
      Today Irak, with all the problems they have, is a much more tolerant and democratic nation than ever and the problems that it is still facing come mostly from the Sunni fanatics who do not want to be ruled by a Shiaa majority.
      As for “your dead are in heaven and the Christians dead are in hell”, how do you know ? Did you go to heaven and/or hell and checked ? The Sahaba asked Mohammad once: “Ya Rassoul allah, are you going to heaven after your death ? ” and Mohammad answered them: ” I am human like you and Allahu Aalam “. If your prophet was not sure that he was going to heaven, how come you are so sure ? So you think a criminal like Saddam will go to Heaven and this Christian soldier who was following orders is going to Hell ? Good for you keep on believing in illusions and lies.

      Jesus was on the cross, and he had 2 criminals cruxified on his left and on his right. One of the criminals spoke to Jesus and told him: ” If you are the son of God, save yourself and save us from this certain death”. Jesus did not answer him, because he was fulfilling his mission of dying on the cross and raising from death on the 3rd day. The second criminal heard the 1st criminal and told him: “Don’t you fear God, we are criminals and we are being punished for our crimes, but this man did nothing to deserve this death”, then he turned to Jesus and told him: “Jesus pray for me when you go to heaven”. So because this second criminal confessed his crime and asked forgiveness from Jesus, Jesus, with all his love and forgiveness, answered him: “TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE”. I know that you do not believe that Jesus was cruxified in the first place, but I just wanted to give you a comparison between your prophet who did not know where he is going after death and Jesus who minutes before his death knew he was going to Paradise and saved another soul asking for his mercy.

      Just some food for thought….and Happy New Year 2013 full of light, knowledge and TRUTH.  

      • Btru2u

        Their is one truth and that is the true word of God. God did send messengers and angles to guide humanity. But mankind corrupted it to suit their own vain desires. It is not he falt of the messengers this happened and they are guaranteed paradise. The Quran is the only uncorrupted word of god that has remained in its original form since its revelation, and is memorised by millions. In this day and age their is no excuse not to have acces to this revelation. Quran tells us not to cow to oppressors, and to fight the good fight with your wealth and your bodies for Gods cause. Dying Defending your self , land family is a sprititual act which you become martyred. Martyrs (shaheeds)go to heaven. On the other hand fighting for purely worldly gains against the people of god can only bring you eternal damnation.
        The first four commandments strictly emphasise the oneness of God. That is the heart of a Muslim belief. The heart of Christians belief is the trinity, three gods in one or one god of three. Muslims call this shirk. Or sharing power with god or associating partners with him. By believing in this concept, you,have rejected the oneness of God and the first four commandments. That is pure mis guidance which will lead lead you to the fire of hell.. Jesus came to fulfill Gods law , not destroy it.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         constantboring this article is about schwartzkopf NOT Saddam Hussein!!!
        OMG

        • Mahdi Kenaani

          Dont you mean OMAG (Oh My Almighty God)?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         “blah blah blah he was just a soldier following orders blah blah blah and a bit more blah”

        Maybe you should look at the Nuremberg ruling regarding “soldiers following orders”! That was deemed unacceptable as an excuse to slaughter innocent children and civilians!!!!!!!!!!!
        Oh hang on maybe your religion allows that as long as you ask Jesus for forgiveness. But does he have to be on the cross when you are asking or can he be relaxing having a coffee?

        • master09

          Bla bla bla and your shit and the religion you follow is better yes. Bla bla bla . Or the brain washing is so deep you can only see black. Bla bla bla . You judge others and you are so blind and brainwashed to see how ones shit smells worse than the other. Bla bla bla. Forgiveness no I bet cutting ones head is a better way by the sword. Just like he lived by the sword he showed that is the only way for forgiveness is by death . Bla bla bla lollllllol so fn loud. Forgiveness by death.

    • Prophettttt

      Btru2u,I find your argument to be very weak and self serving. No one knows where dead people are going,and no one knows if there is anywhere for dead people to go after death,and in the event that that there is a heaven and hell, No human is qualified to make a judgment on who goes where. No one has been there,and no one can claim such knowledge.What makes it worse is that many people have different views,depending on which faith one follows,on this subject.
      No human is born with a religion, but rather brought up into a religion. 
      Here is another argument;what happens to all the human beings who were born and had died before any of the three main religions , who believe in the same God, came to existence. Don’t you think there was a God Then? Does it make any sense for God to have created millions or billions of people before He sent his message and rules to humanity,and then You God Him to judge them based on what you think is the true faith,or based on what the other guy thinks is the true faith?If Anyone believes that God would judge them based on a faith that was sent to them after their death,then God is not fair. The most basic belief about God is fairness,and your argument goes against the fairness of the creator. If one thinks that those who were born before the rules were sent, are spared judgment,then where is the justice for those who were wronged before the rules . 
      Everyone claims exclusive knowledge of God,and some play the role of God in the way they make  judgment. What have we left for God?Did He create humans in order to take his place,and make judgment on his behalf? I don’t think so.