I agree with what George Ledyard has written, but I think you are missing a distinction.
In aikido, weapons practice is not intended to make anyone proficient with a weapon - in koryu bujutsu/budo, practical use may be desired.
Ledyard Sensei is correct in my opinion when he talks about subordinating the weapon to the body of the aikidoist.
I think weapons are just a form of practice to teach certain aikido principles that can be more quickly learned through use of that weapon.
Cutting motions and postures and the balance learned all go into making a more efficient nage (tori), and thrusts and yokomenuchis with jos are really large body motions of aikido techniques/movements that can enhance empty-hand practice.
But that's my main argument with the topic. Aiki weapons may be useful as weapons, but what they teach is the purpose for the use.