Tag Archives: France

Be the Man

Teddy Roosevelt was America… no one better defined what it meant to be an American.   Roosevelt brought Parisians to their feet on April 23, 1910 clearly stating what it took to be a republican (not a member of the party.)  His words have lived on influencing everyone from Richard Nixon to Nelson Mandela.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Larger than Life

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We Shall Never Strike

“Let every midshipman who passes through this institution remember, as he looks upon the tomb of John Paul Jones, that while no courage can atone for the lack of that efficiency which comes only through careful preparation in advance, through careful training of the men, and careful fitting out of the engines of war, yet that none of these things can avail unless in the moment of crisis the heart rises level with the crisis.”   Theodore Roosevelt, Naval Historian- President of the United States.  April 24, 1906
Father of the US Navy

Father of the US Navy

Historians have spilled plenty of ink…trying to prove that John Paul Jones never uttered his now immortal words.  What we do know is that Jones didn’t surrender- and shouted defiantly at his enemy.  Roosevelt’s remarks at the dedication of Jones’ tomb in Annapolis provide the proper prospective.  Regardless of what was said, Jones rose to the occasion(a most admirable trait in TR’s eyes)– at the moment of crisis, John Paul Jones triumphed.  Critics can waste time and ink trying to diminish one of the great patriotic tales in America’s story, but the man of action still stands tall.
"I have not yet begun to fight"

“I have not yet begun to fight”

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Dogma Trumps Intelligence

America’s blind obedience to the dogmas of… monolithic communism and the Domino Theory led to tragedy of the Vietnam war.  In 1945, American intelligence officers established clear and firm links with the Viet Minh and its leader, Ho Chi Minh.  The Vietnamese nationalists of the Viet Minh were resisting Japanese rule and providing our OSS officers with valuable intelligence.  Ho Chi Minh sought the national self-determination Franklin Roosevelt seemed to be promising the world.  The OSS agents believed Ho to be the best alternative to govern Vietnam.  FDR let them both down.

Ho Chi Minh, Giap, and members of the OSS Deer Team

Ho Chi Minh, Giap, and members of the OSS Deer Team

America’s point man in Indochina was… Lt. Col. Archimedes Patti.  Dubbed “The Deer Team,”  Patti’s men contacted the Viet Minh and began to equip and train a select number of their best troops.  In return, the Viet Minh assisted in the recovery of downed American flyers, provided invaluable intelligence, and battled the Japanese.  With the surrender of Japan, Ho Chi Minh was prepared to move forward with Vietnamese independence- a dream thousands of years in the making.

Patti working with Commander Giap in 1945

Patti working with Commander Giap in 1945

Ho Chi Minh dined with Lt. Col. Patti in late August 1945… to discuss the transfer of power and disarming Japanese troops.  Near the end of the meeting, Ho presented Patti a document- a draft of the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence he planned to release on September 2.  Patti was taken aback to read the words of Thomas Jefferson quoted reverently in the brief document.  Both men toasted the future of an independent Vietnam… Patti remembers,   “We had him, we had Ho Chi Minh on a silver platter…the Soviets were in no position to help him-only we could…I did prepare a large number, and I mean about, oh, well over fifteen position papers on our position in Vietnam. But I never knew what happened to them. Those things just disappeared, they just went down the dry well.”

Patti meets with Ho and Giap

Patti meets with Ho and Giap

Roosevelt had already decided to give Indochina… back to the French.  Churchill insisted the French empire not be broken up, lest the British empire would follow.  Rather than disarm Japanese troops, British forces rearmed them and turned them against supporters of Ho Chi Minh’s government.  A temporary division of the country was allowed to solidify.  The OSS agents were marginalized, accused of fomenting revolution, and finally forced out of Saigon by the British commanders.  The expulsion led to the murder of Colonel Peter Dewey, America’s first casualty in Vietnam.  America had followed the wrong course, in spite of all the masterful intelligence work done by Archimedes Patti and his OSS team.  The Vietnam war was our fate.

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Dogma Trumps Intelligence

America’s blind obedience to the dogmas of… monolithic communism and the Domino Theory led to tragedy of the Vietnam war.  In 1945, American intelligence officers established clear and firm links with the Viet Minh and its leader, Ho Chi Minh.  The Vietnamese nationalists of the Viet Minh were resisting Japanese rule and providing our OSS officers with valuable intelligence.  Ho Chi Minh sought the national self-determination Franklin Roosevelt seemed to be promising the world.  The OSS agents believed Ho to be the best alternative to govern Vietnam.  FDR let them both down.

Ho Chi Minh, Giap, and members of the OSS Deer Team

Ho Chi Minh, Giap, and members of the OSS Deer Team

America’s point man in Indochina was… Lt. Col. Archimedes Patti.  Dubbed “The Deer Team,”  Patti’s men contacted the Viet Minh and began to equip and train a select number of their best troops.  In return, the Viet Minh assisted in the recovery of downed American flyers, provided invaluable intelligence, and battled the Japanese.  With the surrender of Japan, Ho Chi Minh was prepared to move forward with Vietnamese independence- a dream thousands of years in the making.

Patti working with Commander Giap in 1945

Patti working with Commander Giap in 1945

Ho Chi Minh dined with Lt. Col. Patti in late August 1945… to discuss the transfer of power and disarming Japanese troops.  Near the end of the meeting, Ho presented Patti a document- a draft of the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence he planned to release on September 2.  Patti was taken aback to read the words of Thomas Jefferson quoted reverently in the brief document.  Both men toasted the future of an independent Vietnam… Patti remembers,   “We had him, we had Ho Chi Minh on a silver platter…the Soviets were in no position to help him-only we could…I did prepare a large number, and I mean about, oh, well over fifteen position papers on our position in Vietnam. But I never knew what happened to them. Those things just disappeared, they just went down the dry well.”

Patti meets with Ho and Giap

Patti meets with Ho and Giap

Roosevelt had already decided to give Indochina… back to the French.  Churchill insisted the French empire not be broken up, lest the British empire would follow.  Rather than disarm Japanese troops, British forces rearmed them and turned them against supporters of Ho Chi Minh’s government.  A temporary division of the country was allowed to solidify.  The OSS agents were marginalized, accused of fomenting revolution, and finally forced out of Saigon by the British commanders.  The expulsion led to the murder of Colonel Peter Dewey, America’s first casualty in Vietnam.  America had followed the wrong course, in spite of all the masterful intelligence work done by Archimedes Patti and his OSS team.  The Vietnam war was our fate.

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Facts in Five

Jefferson’s Presidency by the numbers

  • National debt in 1801- $112 million 
  • Percentage of budget Jefferson designated to pay the debt- 78%
  • The population of the US in 1801 was 5, 305, 982  – 893, 605 were slaves
  • The United States paid $15 million for the Louisiana territory in 1803-  Equivalent to $233 million today
  • The Federal budget in 1803 was $8.2 million before the Louisiana Purchase
  • Jefferson was prepared to pay $10 million for New Orleans alone, the extra 828,000 square miles were a bargain at just under 3 cents per acre

Louisiana

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We Shall Never Strike

“Let every midshipman who passes through this institution remember, as he looks upon the tomb of John Paul Jones, that while no courage can atone for the lack of that efficiency which comes only through careful preparation in advance, through careful training of the men, and careful fitting out of the engines of war, yet that none of these things can avail unless in the moment of crisis the heart rises level with the crisis.”   Theodore Roosevelt, Naval Historian- President of the United States.  April 24, 1906
Father of the US Navy

Father of the US Navy

Historians have spilled plenty of ink…trying to prove that John Paul Jones never uttered his now immortal words.  What we do know is that Jones didn’t surrender- and shouted defiantly at his enemy.  Roosevelt’s remarks at the dedication of Jones’ tomb in Annapolis provide the proper prospective.  Regardless of what was said, Jones rose to the occasion(a most admirable trait in TR’s eyes)– at the moment of crisis, John Paul Jones triumphed.  Critics can waste time and ink trying to diminish one of the great patriotic tales in America’s story, but the man of action still stands tall.
"I have not yet begun to fight"

“I have not yet begun to fight”

2 Comments

Filed under Ephemera, News

Facts in Five

Jefferson’s Presidency by the numbers

  • National debt in 1801- $112 million 
  • Percentage of budget Jefferson designated to pay the debt- 78%
  • The population of the US in 1801 was 5, 305, 982  – 893, 605 were slaves
  • The United States paid $15 million for the Louisiana territory in 1803-  Equivalent to $233 million today
  • The Federal budget in 1803 was $8.2 million before the Louisiana Purchase
  • Jefferson was prepared to pay $10 million for New Orleans alone, the extra 828,000 square miles were a bargain at just under 3 cents per acre

Louisiana

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Filed under Ephemera, News