Admiral Jeremiah Denton is dead at 89. Americans of a certain age will remember him, if not by name, then as the returning Vietnam POW who stepped off the plane at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and concluded some remarks with the words, “God bless America.”
He spent more than seven years as a captive of the North Vietnamese and was able to get word back home of their brutality by blinking his eyes in morse code fashion – long and shorts – during a televised propaganda session and spelling out the word “torture.”
He later ran for the Senate and became the first Republican elected to that body from Alabama since Reconstruction. He was no more yielding as a politician than he had been as a prisoner of war and, by most accounts, this caused him to lose his race for reelection.
Phillip Rawls of the AP tell his story here. And for more, there is Denton’s book, “When Hell Was in Session.”
As Americans pause to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, they should not overlook the other fateful assassination that took place that same month. On November 2, 1963, South Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem was murdered in Saigon in a coup carried out by a group of generals operating with the tacit approval of the U.S. government.
As Congress moves ahead with the farm bill -- legislation that has historically been full of (figurative) pork -- there's one really obvious measure that needs to be eliminated. A new program that will require that catfish be monitored by the Department of Agriculture. Catfish, like all fish consumed by Americans, is already monitored by the Food and Drug Administration. Supposedly, this extra layer of regulation is a matter of food safety.
At Frontpage, Peter Collier has an excellent brief account of the life of Medal of Honor recipient Colonel George "Bud" Day, who died over the weekend at the age 88. I had the honor of meeting him a few times, and was struck by his modesty and affability. But many men are modest and affable. How many others have done what he did?
Fifty years ago this coming All Saints’ Day, the United States government concluded its patronage of Ngo Dinh Diem by dispatching him from the presidency of South Vietnam. His removal, in a U.S.-countenanced Vietnamese military coup, might have been less dramatic had President Diem not perished, with his brother and svengali Ngo Dinh Nhu, at the hands of junior Vietnamese officers entrusted with their safe exfiltration.
Nick Turse wants us to know that the killing of civilians during the war in Vietnam was “widespread, routine, and directly attributable to U.S. command policies,” that “gang rapes were a . . . common occurrence,” that the running-over of civilians by American vehicle drivers was “commonplace,” and that the American military visited upon South Vietnam an “endless slaughter . . . day after day, month after month . . .
The surprise of The Sapphires is how unpretentious and unportentous it is, considering that its plot hinges not only on racist Australian policy but also the Vietnam war. Based loosely on a true story, The Sapphires is about four aboriginal girls (ranging in age from 15 to mid-20s) who turn themselves into a girl group and go on tour in Vietnam in 1968 entertaining the troops.
Two weeks ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comments about U.S. interests in the resolution of competing claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea caused Beijing to lash out at what it perceived as unwarranted U.S. intervention in a matter outside its concern.