Category Archives: Reflection on America

Steel Storm: A Pivotal Battle Kept Secret for 53 Years

The following post is dedicated to author and good friend, Rick Biesada, a long time contributor to Federal Observer and hard-fighting and proud Marine. To you Rick – and all of your brothers. We’ll get together at Sundown. ~ Jeffrey Bennett, Publisher

“A young US Marine Corps corporal directs modern history’s largest Naval bombardment in support of ground forces, wiping out an entire Viet Cong battalion augmented by Red Chinese regular soldiers.” ~ William B. Scott

28-29 July 1965

Where the hell are you, Charlie? You’re out there. I feel it.

A rawboned, lanky U.S. Marine strained to detect movement in the inky darkness, a starless space made blacker by a rain squall that suppressed the sounds of soldiers creeping toward their objective. A few feet away, a South Vietnamese Ranger, Sergeant Thi, also patrolled, straining to spot a large Viet Cong force they knew was approaching. An attack was imminent.

As he scouted the area, Corporal Karl Lippard mentally took inventory of his dicey situation and limited assets. He was armed with an M14 rifle and four 20-round magazines. Sgt. Thi carried a .30-caliber M1 carbine, and a Colt 1911 semiautomatic pistol was tucked in his M9 shoulder holster. The Marine had stowed his map case, helmet, poncho and pack in an old French bunker near the Ca De River bridge’s north approach. A telephone land line linked the abandoned bunker to roughly 20 other Marines dug-in on the south side. All were “Raiders”, a company of U.S. Marines that had received specialized training—“rubber boat” operations and submarine insertion, for example. Raiders were elite forces, the handpicked best of each U. S. Marine Corps battalion. Continue reading

Distorting the Life of Bobby Kennedy

As the 50th anniversary of his assassination is being remembered, it is vital to have a complete and accurate picture of the complex figure of Robert F. Kennedy.

TV commentator Chris Matthews’ book, Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit, has been a best seller since it was released last October, but there’s a lot of important material that Matthews left out about Kennedy, whose assassination on June 5, 1968 is being remembered on Tuesday.

In recapping his early life, Matthews tells the story of Kennedy graduating from Harvard and going on to pursue a law degree at the University of Virginia, where he was chair of the Student Legal Forum. In that role, he invited some high profile guests to speak in Charlottesville. Continue reading

June 5, 1968: ‘Is everybody OK?

Before the shots rang out…

12:15 a.m. (PDT); June 5, 1968: I was waiting in a holding barracks for the order to embark. Several hours earlier as I sat on a bunk bed I began to write a letter to Carole. I wrote to her regarding what I was seeing on the faces of many of my cohorts also waiting for the order – fear, trepidation, concern – and I guess that some didn’t even care.

Shortly after midnight, the word came on the radio that Robert F. Kennedy had been shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after a campaign speech. It shook me hard that night for several reason. Bobby Kennedy had announced his running for the Office of the Presidency on April 1 of that year. Three days later, April 4 – Martin Luther King was assassinated. This was a tough way for a 20 year old to enter a war.

Minutes after the announcement of Kennedy’s shooting, we were ordered to embark our plane, but I wondered – was I dreaming what I had heard? No one else boarding the plane seemed to have heard a thing about the shooting in the kitchen at the Ambassador. You see – we were on a mission – a mission that no one knew whether one would return or not. Destination: the Republic of South Viet Nam.

While in the air, I asked the flight attendant (we called them ‘stewardesses‘ back then) if she could ask the pilot if there was any word about Kennedy and his condition. She returned moments later in tears as she told me that Bobby had died. I would land in Cam Ranh Bay later that same day – on the 24th anniversary of D-Day. ~ Jeffrey Bennett, Editor Continue reading

What Memorial Day Do You Honor?

Many accounts will praise the sacrifices and deeds of those who fought in the American wars. Some versions will emotionally express their thanks and respect, while others will list their heroic actions. There is another viewpoint that seldom gets the attention that it deserves. Simply put, what is the true reason that all this blood was shed and the meaning of continued torment that follows, when the guns are silenced? Some will say, we just need to revere those who served. Others may dare to ask, why and what for? Continue reading

This is one of our stories

While searching for specific information earlier in the week, I came across the following. To say the least – it left me in shock for several reasons – the first of which because Memorial day is upon us. Secondly because, next week – June 5, 2018 I will look back exactly 50 years ago to my first landing in Vietnam, where within a week I would be assigned to the 498th Medical Co. (Dust Off) – the company for which a part of the following story took place. Although I do not specifically remember David Hertle, our stories overlapped during the same time frame, to the point where we both left the company and Vietnam within two weeks of one another – but there are others….

One final note: The author makes reference within the following about his story having taken place some 30 years before his writings, which now makes this piece 20 years old.

To all of my Brothers who served in the 498th out of Lane Army Heliport – our time and story is nearing its end… I’ll see you at Sundown.

Jeffrey Bennett, Publisher/Editor Continue reading

Memorial in Perpetuity

As veterans we see the empty places in our ranks where friends once stood. We see shadows when we remember something funny with them and start to laugh realizing only you will be laughing. And we look across the table or the bar stool next to you and realize that it’s filled with another you don’t recognize because your brother hasn’t been there for a while.

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USS Arizona: December 7, 1941

~ Foreword ~
There are times when a visitor to the site lands on something that has been around for awhile. The following is such a column, and was visited in the early hours of this day of republication, but it has far greater meaning than just the title of the column. Originally published on the Federal Observer – the time has come to bring it back to the forefront of the page for your consideration. It matters not who America’s Presidents have been before, or since that “Day in Infamy” just over six years before my birth, nor does it matter who resides in the White House on this day – the games never seem to end. It matters not who wins or who loses in congressional nor presidential elections – it is ‘We the People‘ who continue to lose.

Thanks for reminding us all Granny. ~ Editor

As I read the few posts reminding us of what December 7, 1941 was I am struck by a few things.  One is that on Dec. 7, 1941 we knew it was the Japanese who were bombing our men.  I am one of those who do not believe it was a *sneak* attack but one that was well known by the White House.

I do not believe it was Al Qaeda that was behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attack in New York City.  I believe, after reading many reports and opinions, that it was another of the ENEMY WITHIN operations to keep the American people in a state of FEAR of others and to make sure they do not investigate the real enemy that resides within this OCCUPATION FORCE that controls what we call our American government. Continue reading

Know Whom You Serve: The Deadly Pride of Exceptionalism

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” ~ Matt 7:15-16

Woe to you, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. On the outside you appear righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” ~ Matt 23: 27

“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be changed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. Continue reading

After all, he was a Kennedy

Ted Kennedy: Lion or Jackal?

“Ahnd-uh – when I got baack, Mary Jo and the cah weah gone!”

On April 6, Chappaquiddick, a movie detailing the events involving Senator Ted Kennedy on Martha’s Vineyard in July 1969, was released. That incident demonstrated the depths to which the Kennedys were willing to go to salvage the political career of the last of the Kennedy sons. In subsequent years, the actions of Ted Kennedy that night were forgiven by the Democrats, as were subsequent actions as noted below.

The movie is based on a book, Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Coverup, by Leo J. Damore, who committed suicide in 1995.

Well, that is the official version, at least. The Kennedy family exerted pressure to block the making and release of the current movie. Similar pressure was reportedly put on Mr. Damore, which may have added to the issues that resulted in his death. Continue reading

The REAL Democrat Party

Surprising historical facts the Democratic Party wouldn’t want you to know

NOTE: The following is excerpted from a two-part series offered by Glenn Beck. Although we are not fans of Mr. Beck for varied reasons – every once in awhile – he STILL hits the nail on the head. Don’t believe us? Don’t believe Beck? Get off your cell phones and begin doing some REAL research. The opening salvo is below. Ed.

Democrats can say whatever they want about the GOP today, but the fact remains that the Republican party was instituted to end slavery in a time when Democratic leaders refused to acknowledge black Americans as “persons” instead of “property,” forcibly removed Native Americans from their land, and even established the Ku Klux Klan to fight against constitutional rights gained by blacks after the Civil War.

Glenn Beck turns back time to take a look at the Democratic and Republican Parties and what they stood for over the past two centuries. “Is there any truth to the accusations today’s liberals throw at the GOP?” asked Glenn, introducing tonight’s topic: “The history of the Democratic Party that I’m pretty sure you didn’t learn in school.” Continue reading

Brave New World Revisited and the Disease of Over-Organization

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more. ~ John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson, July 15, 1817

Brave New World Revisited is one of the few books I’ve read in my life that I continue to think about on a regular basis. In terms of understanding where humanity stands at present and what we need to do to get out of the mess we’ve created, it’s one of the more important pieces of non-fiction you can find.

I recently felt the need to reread the book for some unknown reason, and I’m glad I did. The choices we make as a species about how we reorganize human affairs in the decades to come will determine the future of human freedom on this planet. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World Revisited offers an abundance of wisdom for us to consider as we move forward.

Huxley was deeply concerned with the importance of individual human freedom and the forces relentlessly trying to stifle it. Here’s a brief description of how Huxley viewed our species: Continue reading

First the Battle Flag, Then What Remains

The Attack of the Orcs

Occasionally I will read articles on the ostensibly conservative web site, Townhall.com. Indeed, my good friend Jack Kerwick has published some fine pieces there. Recently, Paul Gottfried forwarded on to me an essay written by a Neoconservative Republican operative, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, “The Confederate Flag is Anti-American,” and I wanted to make a few comments on it while my blood pressure is sky high. Continue reading

Barbara Jordan’s wisdom is needed in today’s immigration debate

© Thomas J. O’Halloran, U.S. News & World Report Magazine – U.S. Library of Congress, U.S. News & World Report Collection

The Trump administration declared Saturday (January 17) to be Barbara Jordan Day, the 22nd anniversary of the legendary former Texas congresswoman’s passing. Presidents often make such declarations to honor heroes from our country’s past. However, Jordan was no relic from a bygone era. She was a trailblazer on many issues, not the least of which was immigration policy. Our country would greatly benefit if more of the players in the current immigration debate shared her vision. Continue reading

A Government Shutdown Solves Lots of Problems – for the Democrats

Well, looks like we may have another government shutdown, compliments of the socialist members of Congress who are still cheeky enough to refer to themselves as Democrats. But then, I guess you can still fool some of the people some of the time, though it is getting a bit more difficult.

Seems to me I recall that “honest” Chucky Schumer moaned back in 2013 what a tragedy a government shutdown would be. But now he seems to be okay with it. All depends on whose ox is being gored doesn’t it? Continue reading

“All I Want to Do Is Enter My House Justified!”

The Classic American Western As Emblem of Historic American Culture

Since the beginning of the twentieth century one of the newer art forms and expressions of our culture has been cinema—“motion pictures.” It was the novelty of live theater and acting captured as moving images in film and presented on a screen. In many respects, like other art forms, film represents what is happening in our culture. At its very finest it is capable of shining a vivid light on our beliefs and values, portraying them, dissecting them, and, like other art forms, it may be used as an instrument to affect or even shape our outlook and our politics. Continue reading

What Today’s Young Men and Women Can Learn From the Abernathy Boys

No Sniveling Snowflakes here…

~ Forewords ~
Our grandparents understood the value of character. “We learned to look a man in the eye, and judge him by the grasp of his hand. Wealth and education aren’t as important as the way a man approaches life,” The parents of today feel that the old ways to raise children are inferior to theirs. Judging by the troubles of our children and young adults, what do you think? To save America we must save one child at a time. ~ Rosemary Stein, MD
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