Archive for the ‘National Security’ Category

Germany 1930 America 2017

May 26, 2018

There is no equivalency between Germany in 1he 1930s and America today, but there are parallels. One of those parallels is religion. Germany, Austria and Hungary were among the major Christian nations in the world. No American president has more blatantly declared his Christianity than Adolf Hitler and since Hitler the faith of no politician has been so widely accepted.  Millions of Christians around the world admired him, including Americans. Some German-American Bunds taught German propaganda, as did Defenders of the Christian Faith, Knights of the White Camellia, Sentinels of the Republic and the Christian Front.  The America First Committee accepted funding from Germany.  

Christians admired Hitler for several reasons:

  After World War One he called his nation to repentance. “Providence withdrew its protection and our people fell…And in this hour we sink to our knees and beseech our almighty God that He may bless us, that He may give us the strength to carry on the struggle for the freedom, the future, the honor, and the peace of our people. So help us God.”    

His faith-based charity, “With a tenth of our budget for religion, we would thus have a Church devoted to the State and of unshakable loyalty.” 

His morality. He did not smoke or drink and he abhorred pornography and homosexuality.

His mission. “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord”…We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. . .We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press–in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess. . .”

His belief that his nation’s weakness was because  “…the watchword of German foreign policy ceased to be: preservation of the German nation by all methods; but rather: preservation of world peace by all means.” 

His certitude: “The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which, fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its will against all others.  If an idea in itself is sound and, thus armed, takes up a struggle on this earth, it is unconquerable and every persecution will only add to its inner strength.” 

His promise to end terrorism: “. . .we must not dodge this struggle, but prepare for it, and for this reason acquire armament which alone offers protection against violence.  Terror is not broken by the mind, but by terror.” 

His belief that the Ten Commandments were the foundation of Nazi Germany: “The Ten Commandments are a code of living to which there’s no refutation. These precepts correspond to irrefragable needs of the human soul.” 

His desire for birth on demand. “And marriage cannot be an end in itself, but must serve one higher goal, the increase and preservation of the species and of the race.  This alone is its meaning and its task.”

And God seemed to favor him.  “I would like to thank Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people to be allowed to wage this battle for Germany.” “I follow the path assigned to me by Providence. . .there is a God. . .And this God again has blessed our efforts during the past 13 years.”  February, 1940

Camp Larry Baxter

September 12, 2017

Camp Baxter

While in Da Nang, I thought I saw Camp Baxter. I did not yet have press credentials and the area was sealed with concertina topped with razor wire but I could see nothing worth a visit. There was never much at Camp Baxter, just a truck turnaround and loading for a trip back to Phu Bai. Even the name of Camp Baxter was gone. Back in the world people never heard of it. Those who did had perhaps forgotten, but it was named for Pfc. Larry Baxter, of Pierce City, Missouri, who drove a tanker truck carrying several thousand gallons of petroleum. It wasn’t a glamorous job like flying an F-4 Phantom over Hanoi, not the kind that brought promotions or medals. It was a job someone had to do.
Pierce City didn’t seem like the kind of town from which Baxter would have come. It was best known for an incident in 1901. A white woman was murdered and reportedly raped, and you already know how this story ends. It was a black man or men. They not only took the life of a beautiful white woman, they defiled her body. One black man was hanged, two were burned to death in their homes and 300 black citizens were banished from the town at gunpoint. Their homes, their land, their livestock, everything they were unable to carry with them, even their land, mysteriously disappeared. There was nothing for their children or grandchildren to return to in Pierce City.
I don’t know Baxter’s race or religion. I don’t know whether he was drafted or volunteered. I don’t know how he felt about the war or his country. All I know is what he did. Baxter’s tanker was hit by an RPG and set ablaze. Baxter could have jumped out of the truck and saved his life but that would have trapped the trucks and drivers behind him. Disregarding his own safety, Baxter drove the truck through intense enemy fire and despite being wounded drove the blazing truck off the road and over an embankment ensuring his own death but saving the lives of his comrades.
Baxter was posthumously awarded a Silver Star, not much of an award for one’s life. If he had thrown himself on a grenade to save a couple of buddies he would probably have received a Medal of Honor. Baxter saved more lives than that and his sacrifice wasn’t an instantaneous reaction. It was a considered plan. A motor transport depot was named for him and now that was gone, having an even shorter life than Baxter.
I don’t have many heroes left. One by one they have crumbled on feet of clay, and I am too old or wise or eccentric to consider rock musicians, athletes or actors as heroes. Larry Baxter and the CUPP Marines remain my heroes although Camp Baxter is gone and few signs of the CUPP Marines remain.
There is a footnote. I wrote a story, “Up the Street of No Joy With the Wild Bunch” about Motor Transport from Camp Baxter to the DMZ. None of the “Wild Bunch” contacted me but Larry Baxter’s family did. They wanted to know everything I knew about Baxter but I had written everything I knew about Baxter except what I know about his home town. For me, Baxter not only saved the lives of his comrades, he redeemed the reputation of his home town.

A Crack in the Dam: Will Treason Leak Out?

July 26, 2017

Suddenly there is a crack in the dam and the bottled up news of the sabotage of the 1968 peace negotiations by Republican Party Leaders may trickle out. July 12, Jonathan Martin wrote in the New York Times, “There is only one known historical parallel to the Trump campaign’s contacts with the Russians, and it involves Richard M. Nixon. Running for president in 1968, Nixon told H. R. Haldeman, his eventual White House chief of staff, to “monkey wrench” peace talks in Vietnam in order to scuttle any deal that would have handed Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, a political victory in the closing days of the election.”

It’s not a secret but it is largely unknown. Anna Chennault, the widow of Flying Tiger hero Gen. Claire Chennault, revealed her part in the treachery in her 1980 autobiography, The Education of Anna. Seymour Hersh reported it in his 1983 biography of Kissinger, The Price of Power. Bui Diem, South Vietnamese ambassador to the US, wrote about it in his books. The documentary evidence in the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library was declassified in 2008, and you can hear President Johnson say, “That’s treason,” and Republican leader Everett Dirksen reply, “I know”. However, outside of book reviews, the story has been widely ignored by the news media and historians, even histories of the Vietnam War and biographies of Lyndon Johnson.

Mr. Martin cited John Farrell’s new book, Richard Nixon: The Life. Maybe at last the truth will be known.