“A cobra among garter snakes”
February 20, 2010 6:34 PM Subscribe
He was... "...the meanest, toughest, most ambitious S.O.B. I ever knew but he'll be a hell of a secretary of state." -- Richard NixonAlexander Meigs Haig, Jr.,, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who served US Presidents Nixon (as a military adviser, deputy assistant for national-security affairs, and chief of staff), Ford (chief of staff), and Reagan (secretary of state), has died at the age of 85. Haig commanded a batallion during the Vietnam War (where he was seriously wounded), managed the White House during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon, and was himself a former Presidential candidate.
He is also known for sparking a minor crisis, after President Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt on March 30, 1981:
When Vice President George H.W. Bush -- with whom Haig had something of a White House power struggle -- was on a plane flying back to Washington, Haig quickly seized the moment, addressing reporters: "As of now, I am in control here in the White House," he said.
In recent years, he had expressed his concerns about the growing power of the press (YT video) in our society, and their influential role in politics.
Ha'aretz published an editorial by Moshe Arens today, referring to Haig as a "good friend to Israel."
The lighter side:
Long before comedians began poking fun at George W Bush’s inventive neologisms and syntax, they were mocking Haig’s frequent “Haigisms”. He was famous for reviving Winston’s Churchill phrase “terminological inexactitude” — Haig’s offending sentence ran: “That’s not a lie. It is a terminological inexactitude. Also, a tactical misrepresentation.” On another occasion he remarked: “The warning message we sent the Russians was a calculated ambiguity that would be clearly understood.”
From the Boston Globe, Haig's Santa Claus story, which includes a link to their 1998 profile in doc format.
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