Monthly Archives: October 2009

Not only has he faded away but the lessons he taught have been forgotten.

When Douglas MacArthur died in 1964 Lyndon Johnson sent then Attorney General, Bobby Kennedy, to the funeral as his personal representative. During the service Landslide Lyndon called a press conference to announce that no one serving in the cabinet would be considered as his running mate in the upcoming election. It is a supreme irony that the death of this patriot should be used as the occasion of the sort of political treachery that caused his only defeat.

Having secured victory in the Pacific in 1945 and, having secured the peace in post war Japan, it was only natural that his talents should be called upon to halt the threat of communist aggression on the Korean peninsula. With his landing at Inchon he was well on the way to pushing them back across the Yalu and could have taught them the same lesson the Japs learned in 1945.

Unfortunately Give-em-Hell Harry didn’t, had forgotten that there is NO substitute for victory and listened to the left over Wilsonians, FDR’s fellow traveller’s and the outright traitors in the State Department that insisted on an American defeat. The net result has been millions enslaved for over 50 years and a tin hat Napoleon rattling his nuclear saber while we stand by emasculated by our fear of “world” opinion.

It is a good thing MacArthur was buried with full honors in a community that values his beliefs but we submit the whirring sound is not climate control but another patriot spinning in his grave!

MacArthur’s war : Korea and the undoing of an American hero      Stanley Weintraub Korean War, 1950-1953 , United States, MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964 New York : Free Press, c 2000 Hardcover. First edition and printing. xi, 385 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 361-374) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Douglas MacArthur towers over twentieth-century American history. His fame is based chiefly on his World War II service in the Philippines. Yet Korea, America’s forgotten war, was far more “MacArthur’s War” — and it remains one of our most brutal and frightening. In just three years thirty-five thousand Americans lost their lives — more than three times the rate of losses in Vietnam. Korea, like Vietnam, was a breeding ground for the crimes of war. To this day, six thousand Americans remain MIA. It was Korea where American troops faced a Communist foe for the first time, as both China and the Soviet Union contributed troops to the North Korean cause. The war that nearly triggered the use of nuclear weapons reveals MacArthur at his most flamboyant, flawed, yet still, at times, brilliant.

Acclaimed historian Stanley Weintraub offers a thrilling blow-by-blow account of the key actions of the Korean War during the months of MacArthur’s command. Our lack of preparedness for the invasion, our disastrous retreat to a corner of Korea, the daring landing at Inchon, the miscalculations in pursuing the enemy north, the headlong retreats from the Yalu River and Chosin Reservoir, and the clawing back to the 38th parallel, all can be blamed or credited to MacArthur. He was imperious, vain, blind to criticism, and so insubordinate that Truman was forced to fire him. Yet years later, the war would end where MacArthur had left it, at the border that still stands as one of history’s last frontiers between communism and freedom.

MacArthur’s War draws on extensive archival research, memoirs, and the latest findings from archives in the formerly communist world, to weave a rich tale in the voices of its participants. From MacArthur and his upper cadre, to feisty combat correspondent Maggie Higgins and her fellow journalists, to the grunts who bore the brunt of MacArthur’s decisions, for good and ill, this is a harrowing account of modern warfare at its bloodiest. MacArthur’s War is the gripping story of the Korean War and its soldiers — and of the one soldier who dominated the rest.

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Hanson brings to life the combatants who perished without a trace, and shows how the world arrived at the now time-honored way of mourning and paying tribute to all who die in war.

Lincoln called it, “the last full measure of devotion”, in his most eloquent of speeches dedicating a memorial to them. Certainly no American who has visited Arlington, or any of the dozens of cemeteries throughout the world filled with those fallen in the service of freedom, can leave without a tear shed for better men. They have stood guard while we slept, ready to visit violence on those who would harm us and they are entitled to our thanks and our respect.

Before the miracles of DNA many were lost that will never be found and while there are still the missing there are far fewer. Hanson has given us a picture of a war where all many families received was a letter of condolence from a grateful nation but typed by a bored clerk. The monuments that were built to these men, from cenotaphs to tombs, are recorded here and their importance made plain. This is a fine book for those who have losses within their families and those who mourn with them.

Unknown soldiers : the story of the missing of the First World War      Neil Hanson World War, 1914-1918 , Missing in action New York : Knopf, 2006 Hardcover. 1st American ed. xv, 474 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [435]-455) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

The First World War was a conflict of unprecedented ferocity that unleashed such demons as mechanized warfare and mass death on the twentieth century. After the last shot was fired and the troops marched home, approximately three million soldiers remained unaccounted for. Some bodies were found, but they bore no trace of identification; many more men had been blown to smithereens or had simply vanished in battlefields where as many as a hundred shells had fallen on every square yard.

An unassuming English chaplain first proposed a symbolic burial of one of those unknown soldiers in memory of all the missing dead. The idea was picked up by almost every country that had an army in the war, and each laid a body to rest amid an outpouring of national grief — in London’s Westminster Abbey, Paris’s Arc de Triomphe, Rome’s Victor Emmanuelle Monument, and, for the United States, Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In Unknown Soldiers, he offers an unflinching yet compassionate account of the reality of battle on the front lines. He focuses on three soldiers—an American, an Englishman, and a German—and narrates their war experiences through their diaries and letters. Hanson describes how each man endured the nearly unbearable conditions in the trenches and in the air and relates what is known about their deaths: all three died on the battlefields of the Somme, within gunshot sound of one another. He delves into their familial ties, the ideals they expressed in their letters, and he explains how the death of one, the American pilot George Seibold, was instrumental in the creation of the Gold Star Mothers, an organization caring for bereaved mothers, wives, and families that is still active today.

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