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US: Speech by President Bush at Fort Hood

Just after posting Siegfried Sassoon's "Christ and the Soldier" I listened to the pep talk by President Bush at Fort Hood. Quite a contrast. Bush was utterly confident. He sounded like those triumphalists who in 1914 said the war would be over by Christmas. The world wonders if Bush realizes what he may be getting it into. Perhaps he does. Perhaps not. Fort Hood, the largest military base in the US, is located near Kileen, Texas, south of Dallas/Fort Worth. The old frontier area is full of towns named "Fort.." Fort Hood, founded in during World War II, was named after Confederate General John B. Hood, who was commander of the Texan troops. He lost an arm at Gettysburg and a leg at Chickamauga. Totally crippled, he ended his life as an insurance agent in New Orleans. He must be still regarded as a hero, but I wonder if the troops who applauded Bush know much about him. I have been unable to find out after whom Fort Worth is named. Presumably another Worthy general. Siegfried Sassoon was named after Wagner's hero, who "conquered peace", just like President Bush.

Ronald Hilton - 1/4/03