Hanoi’s Most Hallowed Ground

Source: Washington Times

I hope he doesn’t profane this hallowed place with his presence.  Apparently, the Vietnamese are using it for their own propaganda purposes, but it remains a memorial to great American heroes, whatever your views on that war.  Surely a man who passed on a trip to Belleau Wood will also stay away from the Hanoi Hilton.  Only those who understand that McCain and his comrades demonstrated years of daily heroism may enter.

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19 responses to “Hanoi’s Most Hallowed Ground”

  1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Good post. You said it well.

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    I should have let it marinate a couple of hours before hitting “publish.” Whatever. I get the symbolism of Trump taking Kim to the capital of a former bitter enemy that is now open to Western investment and capitalism, telling Kim his own country would benefit from the same pivot. It would. Kim will embrace that as soon as his masters in China tell him to, and not ten seconds before.

  3. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    The late Sen. John McCain’s flight suit is supposed to be on display in the museum. Although the Vietnam War was a bad idea, McCain showed great bravery. It comes from his family lines. His father and grandfather were great Navy men, too. He is so different than Trump who comes from a line of con men. I am reading Mar-a-Lago by Lawrence Leamer which is a fascinating account of Trump’s invasion of snooty Palm Beach.When Trump needed to turn his mansion into a private club to escape financial problems, he leaked news that among the first members were Prince Charles, Lady Di and Henry Kissinger. All lies. He’s that kind of guy.He caught got on this one, but it didn’t matter.

  4. djrippert Avatar

    Lol. Good to see that Trump Derangement Syndrome is alive and well on BaconsRebellion.

    If Obama had done the same thing with North Korea that Trump is doing people on the left would be lining up to insist that he receive a second Nobel Peace Prize.

    In fact … what if North Korea de-nuclearizes? The Chinese must know that North Korea is a loose cannon. Do the Chinese really want North Korea to have nukes? Kind of like buying your 15 year old kid an assault rifle. The best you can hope is that nothing happens.

    North Korea de-nuclearizes and Trump wins the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Liberals and #nevertrumpers would have their heads in an unstoppable, permanent spin.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      No question. North Korea denuclearizes and Trump gets a Nobel Prize. That would be great. Hasn’t happened yet, though….I will go this far. Only Nixon could go to China and perhaps only Trump could talk to fellow humble man of the people Kim….I do not doubt they are simpatico, seeing through each other in a moment. (And you should not doubt for a moment that the Chinese hold the second firing key to any launch mechanism that might exist in North Korea, and all the real technology, which is why they have tolerated it and perhaps why we have.)

  5. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Are we supposed to accept Donald Trump as some kind of brilliant diplomatic strategist? What kind of horseshit is that? His crazy policies and behavior have alienated most of America’s allies. He has repeatedly fired his top military advisors. The State Department is in tatters. The intelligence community has banded together to oppose Trump’s arrogant refusal to accept serious analysis. Just the other day, scores of respected foreign affairs specialists banded together in a statement that the”national emergency” is a crock.

    The only thing you are right about Ripper is that Obama would have gotten more positive press if he had meetings with North Korea’s dictator. One reason is that one could trust Obama but obviously not Trump who is a serial liar. And, while it’s great he’s trying, there’s no deal.

    So much for Trump Derangement. Did you happen to watch any of today’s House hearing on Cohen? Yipes!

    1. djrippert Avatar

      Did I watch a man who has been convicted of lying to Congress testify in Congress. No, I didn’t. We’ll see how Cohen fares in prison. I hear inmates don’t like rats. Besides, I’m saving up my free time for the public airing airing of the two credible women who have accused the Lt Governor of forcible rape. Oh … that investigation would be wrong somehow?

      What you seem to forget about Trump was the alternative. Things aren’t looking too good for the Dems in 2020 either. Batshit Crazy Bernie? Fauxchohantas? 78 year old Joe Biden (in 2020)? Return of Criminillary? Meanwhile, rising star Alexandria Occasional-Cortex is fighting the good fight against farting cows while she joins he chief of staff for dinner as he gobbles down a hamburger. Closer to home Northam’s wife is handing out cotton balls to African-American kids touring the governor’s mansion.

      Howard Schultz looks better and better.

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    This is ludicrous. How would we know that NK has “de-nuked”?

    Let me guess.. because Kim Jong-un hugged Trump and whispered sweet things in his ear?

    Do ya’ll think Trump would like about it?

    And when our intelligence agencies say that NK has not de-Nuked and Trump insists they’re wrong and he believes Kim Jong-un …and his own intelligence agencies are “lying”..

    good lord…………..

    1. djrippert Avatar

      How would we know? I guess the same way we were going to know about Iran’s nuclear plans. You remember that deal right? Obama lied through his teeth.

  7. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Coming home with nothing, so the overnight reports say….

    1. djrippert Avatar

      Yeah, as you noted – you have to talk with the North Koreans but you have to deal with China.

  8. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Oops! Looks like no Nobel! Seriously, Trump probably did the right thing by walking away.

  9. djrippert Avatar

    Let’s review.

    President Trump traveled to Vietnam to hold discussion with North Korean leaders.

    Nothing useful came from these discussions although most people would agree that just having a dialog is a step in the right direction.

    On a blog dedicated to Virginia an article was posted about President Trump’s trip to Vietnam. Instead of discussing the purpose of the trip the article was a warning of sorts to Trump. Trump was warned not to go to the “Hanoi Hilton” because he failed to attend the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood. There is also a somewhat elliptical reference to the late Sen John McCain who was a prominent for of President Trump.

    To be clear, I have no quarrel with this article. In fact, I think BaconsRebellion should try to cover more national and international news even if it doesn’t directly relate to Virginia. In the end analysis, Virginia is affected by goings on nationally and across the globe. If the North Koreans ever do launch a nuke at the US I expect various locations in Virginia would be high on the target list. So, diplomacy with North Korea matters to Virginia.

    My point is simple – it won’t be Trump that ruins America it will be the schism caused by Trump Derangement Syndrome. This is getting to be like the Crips and the Bloods. I don’t think they even know why they hate each other anymore but the killings continue. Trump is a horse’s ass but he’s far from the first horse’s ass to occupy the White House. We can talk about what a horse’s ass Trump is or we can talk about the things he’s actually doing. While the former may be more fun I think the latter is more productive.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Don says: “We can talk about what a horse’s ass Trump is or we can talk about the things he’s actually doing. While the former may be more fun I think the latter is more productive.”

      I think Don has got it about right. And that Bacon’s Rebellions coverage could broaden from time to time, if done in the spirit Don suggests.

      In addition: I am an admirer of US Navy, John McCain (his dad and grand-dad), and what the Marines did at Belleau Wood. So at the time, I wanted to throw up all over Trump and his commentary on John McCain’s war record over North Vietnam (especially given Trump’s record in that war), and I also felt disgust at his failure to find a way on his trip to France to honor what the Devil Dogs endured to become the Germans worst nightmare at Belleau Wood. But I do think Steve’s Hanoi Hilton post was over the top given the gravity of President’s mission to Hanoi, and how his enemies at home chose their date and conducted their despicable efforts to complicate Trump’s chances of success in Hanoi from which America would benefit greatly.

      To compensate for Trump’s failure in France, here’s a memory:

      German advance halted at Belleau Wood

      German commanders ordered an advance on Marigny and Lucy through Belleau Wood as part of a major offensive, in which other German troops would cross the Marne River. The commander of the Marine Brigade, Army General James Harbord, countermanding a French order to dig trenches further to the rear, ordered the Marines to “hold where they stand”. With bayonets, the Marines dug shallow fighting positions from which they could fight from the prone position. In the afternoon of 3 June, German infantry attacked the Marine positions through the grain fields with bayonets fixed. The Marines waited until the Germans were within 100 yd (91 m) before opening deadly rifle fire which mowed down waves of German infantry and forced the survivors to retreat into the woods.[3](p108)

      Having suffered heavy casualties, the Germans dug in along a defensive line from Hill 204, just east of Vaux, to Le Thiolet on the Paris-Metz Highway and northward through Belleau Wood to Torcy.[3](p109) After Marines were repeatedly urged to turn back by retreating French forces, Marine Captain Lloyd W. Williams of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines uttered the now-famous retort “Retreat? Hell, we just got here”.[4][5] Williams’ battalion commander, Major Frederic Wise, later claimed to have said the famous words.[3](p109)

      On 4 June, Major General Bundy—commanding the 2nd Division—took command of the American sector of the front. Over the next two days, the Marines repelled the continuous German assaults. The 167th French Division arrived, giving Bundy a chance to consolidate his 2,000 yards (1,800 m) of front. Bundy’s 3rd Brigade held the southern sector of the line, while the Marine brigade held the north of the line from Triangle Farm.[3](p109)
      Attack on Hill 142

      At 03:45 on 6 June, the Allies launched an attack on the German forces, who were preparing their own strike. The French 167th Division attacked to the left of the American line, while the Marines attacked Hill 142 to prevent flanking fire against the French. As part of the second phase, the 2nd Division were to capture the ridge overlooking Torcy and Belleau Wood, as well as occupying Belleau Wood. However, the Marines failed to scout the woods. As a consequence, they missed a regiment of German infantry dug in, with a network of machine gun nests and artillery.[3](p109)

      At dawn, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines—commanded by Major Julius Turrill—was to attack Hill 142, but only two companies were in position. The Marines advanced in waves with bayonets fixed across an open wheat field that was swept with German machine gun and artillery fire, and many Marines were cut down.[3](p110)[6] Captain Crowther commanding the 67th Company was killed almost immediately. Captain Hamilton and the 49th Company fought from wood to wood, fighting the entrenched Germans and overrunning their objective by 6 yards (5.5 m). At this point, Hamilton had lost all five junior officers, while the 67th had only one commissioned officer alive. Hamilton reorganized the two companies, establishing strong points and a defensive line.[3](pp110–111)

      In the German counter-attack, then-Gunnery Sergeant Ernest A. Janson—who was serving under the name Charles Hoffman—repelled an advance of 12 German soldiers, killing two with his bayonet before the others fled; for this action he became the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor in World War I. Also cited for advancing through enemy fire during the counter-attack was then-Marine Gunner Henry Hulbert who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.[3](p111)

      The rest of the battalion now arrived and went into action. Turrill’s flanks lay unprotected, and the Marines were rapidly exhausting their ammunition. By the afternoon, however, the Marines had captured Hill 142, at a cost of nine officers and most of the 325 men of the battalion.[3](p111)

      Marines attack Belleau Wood

      On the night of 4 June, the intelligence officer for the 6th Marines, Lieutenant William A. Eddy, and two men stole through German lines to gather information about German forces. They gathered valuable information showing the Germans were consolidating machine gun positions and bringing in artillery. While this activity indicated an attack was not immediately likely, their increasing strength was creating a base of attack that raised concern about breaking through to Paris.[7]

      At 17:00 on 6 June, the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines (3/5)—commanded by Major Benjamin S. Berry, and the 3rd Battalion 6th Marines (3/6)—commanded by Major Berton W. Sibley, on their right—advanced from the west into Belleau Wood as part of the second phase of the Allied offensive. Again, the Marines had to advance through a waist-high wheat field into deadly machine gun fire. One of the most famous quotations in Marine Corps history came during the initial step-off for the battle when First Sergeant Dan Daly, a recipient of two Medals of Honor who had served in the Philippines, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Peking and Vera Cruz, prompted his men of the 73rd Machine Gun Company forward with the words: “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?”[3](pp99–100)

      The first waves of Marines—advancing in well-disciplined lines—were slaughtered; Major Berry was wounded in the forearm during the advance. On his right, the Marines of Major Sibley’s 3/6 Battalion swept into the southern end of Belleau Wood and encountered heavy machine gun fire, sharpshooters and barbed wire. Marines and German infantrymen were soon engaged in heavy hand-to-hand fighting. The casualties sustained on this day were the highest in Marine Corps history up to that time.[6] Some 31 officers and 1,056 men of the Marine brigade were casualties. However, the Marines now had a foothold in Belleau Wood.[3](p102) Quote from Battle of Belleau Wood found in Wikipedia.

      And this was only the start of that epic struggle in June, 1918.

  10. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    My normal pattern is to write something in the late afternoon and let it marinate, partly to be sure I want to say anything biting I have in mind, and partly to proofread it cold one more time. Had I marinated that piece, I would have taken a slightly different tack. It started with my own random thought, “is the Hanoi Hilton open as a tourist venue?” I found that Washington Times piece and should have made Trump less of an emphasis.

    I agree Trump Derangement Syndrome, the follow on to Obama Derangement Syndrome, is way out of hand. But I had another interesting insight out of all this. As I felt the bile rise recalling Trump’s insult not to McCain but to all American POW’s, having met several including one comrade of McCain’s (Galanti), I had a flash thought – is this how at least some others feel when they contemplate a Governor of Virginia with that dumbass photo on his yearbook page? Maybe I was walking a couple of yards in their shoes at least. In both cases, aren’t we dealing with a thoughtless insult? Yet my anger was real.

    The Belleau Wood reference was just to show a pattern. Make no mistake. I still think Trump entering that former prison would profane it, much like a Holocaust denier would profane Bergen Belsen. But he didn’t go, to his credit.

    1. djrippert Avatar

      I have a hard time getting angry at individual politicians for their caddish or immature behavior. I do feel the bile rise when I think politicians are working contrary to the interests of their constituents.

      Your article opened an important door. Should we try to cover more national news / issues even if it does not tightly relate to Virginia? Peter G has been asking this question for some time (generally in reference to Trump). I personally think we should but I’d like to hear from others – especially The Baconator.

      For example, there is proposed legislation that passed the House of representatives that tightens the requirements for background checks ahead of firearm purchases. It has not passed the US Senate and Trump has threatened to veto the bill. Is this sufficiently newsworthy to Virginia that it should be covered on BaconsRebellion?

  11. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    I agree that BR should venture beyond the borders of the Old Dominion. ONe thing that I find annoying especially in Richmond is this habit of putting on false blinders about “Virginia” and no going beyond. One reason is that some people who write here have never worked in other states or countries. It’s all “Virginia.” Another problem is that when then you have Obama whom some here dislike, it is perfectly OK to go afield. But when you have an embarrassment like Trump, the more conservative among us would rather not call too much attention to him. So, let’s pretend he doesn’t exist. Then BR morphs in a “Virginia policy” outlet, except when it comes to “Social Justice Warriors.” Reminds me of the rail porter in “Silver Streak” who whines everytime something goers wrong, “Damn Hippies!”

    1. djrippert Avatar

      Ok, unless Bacon shoots me down I’ll start some broader commentary. I agree with the Richmond isolationist attitude. If I got moderately motivated (and was willing to take my life in my hands through traffic) I could walk to Maryland in a few hours. What happens in Maryland matters to a lot of Virginians. Ditto DC. For example, Trump seems to be involved in some self-dealing around the new FBI HQ. If he gets his way the HQ might stay in DC (and never become a hotel that competes with one of his) while Virginia loses the opportunity to house the new HQ. Will his border walls work? If so, will they reduce the ESOL costs in Fairfax County?

      And beyond all that … how are our national politicians voting on national legislation like the new gun control law? It seems like we ought to keep track of that.

  12. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Glad to see you use “us,” Peter. I have no objection to posts on national issues, but I doubt many will come from me. I know what I don’t know, but feel fairly comfortable up on a Richmond soap box on some topics. Yes, I can see “Scatman” Crothers saying that in that movie, which sadly would not be made today…(at least not the Gene Wilder blackface scene).

    You want my little brother writing on some of the international stuff, but once he told us he’d have to shoot us…..

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