Jim Webb, First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.) FMF
Date of Action: July 10, 1969
"The Navy Cross is presented to James H. Webb, Jr., First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb’s platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex which appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade which detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search which yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service."
Home of Heroes – US Marine Corps Awards – Navy Cross – Vietnam
I do not understand how the United States has fallen so low that a man like this cannot swat aside like a gnat a man like George Allen.
I dropped my son off at the local train station recently and was walking home by myself at about 5AM when two young toughs came around the corner in my direction. There was no one else around and they were clearly interested in me. I felt a wave of fear travel up into my throat and kept walking toward them trying to keep calm. We passed each other and I kept walking. Nothing happened.
But I was scared.
When I compare an incident like that to what Webb went through, I am unable to make the jump. I would have been the soldier who was firing everything he had at the bunkers.
In any case, why are the United States so blind that they cannot see a good man like Webb?
Semper Fi !
“Every once in a while, you’ve got to do something hard, do something you’re not comfortable with. A person needs a gut check.” – Corporal Chad Ritchie, U.S.M.C.
The fact that he first tried to get the enemy to surrender — in a war such as that — says loads about Webb’s character. He really doesn’t belong in the U.S. Senate. Too degrading.
I also wonder what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were doing on 10 July 1969. Knocking back a Tequila shooter? Applying for a student deferment?
In any case, why are the United States so blind that they cannot see a good man like Webb?.
too many people don’t pay attention. here are some reasons i can think of:
1] laziness. they don’t want to pay attention. they are the ones who say ‘there’s no difference… it doesn’t matter, they’re all no good.’ is there any better example that’s not true than this virginia senate race? saying that is an excuse not to pay attention. or learn. or think. it’s laziness.
2] overwhelmed. so many are stretched so thin. worried about their jobs. their bills. their family. their health. and more. the constant pressure saps the energy and time it takes to dig for good information… and the ability to be receptive to it. i’m sympathetic to this reason but it doesn’t help.
and you could maybe add 3] failing news media. but would a thorough and incisive media be of any use to lazy or overwhelmed citizens?
here’s something i haven’t been able to get out of my mind since i first read it. apologies for not having a cite. i had a major hard drive meltdown in the spring and some files are still in backup limbo. i’ll keep hunting, but for now, from memory….
in the 2004 election approximately half of those who voted followed the race closely and were committed to their choice [roughly 50% for kerry and 50% for bush]. the remaining 50% said they weren’t paying much attention to the campaign and made up their minds in the final days. with a 64% turnout, that means this president was chosen according to how the 32% who didn’t pay attention to the race ‘decided’ at the end. incredibly disheartening.
we need people like jim webb as senators. i hope enough people in virginia are paying attention.
Well, don’t despair, the latest poll show Webb tied with Allen. I agree that if things were the way they are supposed to be, Webb would be a shoo-in. Maybe it is true we get the government we deserve! Am inclined to agree with poster that Webb is too good for the Senate. Didn’t Mark Twain call Congress “America’s only native criminal class.”
The quote from Lance Cpl Chad Ritchie, is that the same one from Keezletown, Virginia? Was mentioned in a story about Fallujah by the New York Times, certainly the only time anyone from NYC has ever heard of Keezletown! My daughter went to elementary thru high school with him. He is a good kid. Didn’t want to work at Wal Mart and live in his parents’ basement so joined the Marines to get some direction and discipline in life. I would say it worked. Semper Fi!
A recent TV ad by Webb. Those inclined could help sponsor more air time.
And those who live in VA could volunteer to help out the campaign.
I believe Webb would make an excellent Senator specially when compared to Allen and have contributed to both his primary and current general election campaign.
This is must reading. It defines the role of torture in the Bush Administration.
I think that what is the most alarming about Dick and Don and George is their ability to take very, very little evidence (most of it just made up) and commit the treasure and population of an entire country to an enterprise based on that evidence.
They are poorly educated, ignorant, stupid idiots. They are not intelligent enough to do what the country has entrusted them to do.
I have reluctantly come to believe the old aphorism that we get the government we deserve.
Lt. Webb acted with honor as did most soldiers and marines. You don’t kill a surrendering enemy and you sure as h*ll do not torture them.
if George Felix loses then the Comedians lose
One Jewish wit said
We”re not claiming him- we want a DNA test.
On discovering he was Jewish, Allen said no big deal, or words to that effect, “I had a ham sandwich for lunch.”
A very shallow man. All cowboy hat and no cattle. Good at stuffing deer heads in black people’s mailboxes and then lying about it.
But Webb is a man of quality. Will he get elected? Who knows? I sure as hell wish I could vote for him. I’m going to send him money!
I can’t say much for my state. We repeatedly elected Jesse Helms and now have Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr (NC-R) in the Senate for us.
I”m undecided about my congressman. Walter Jones (R-NC) has bucked the house leadership, introduced a resolution calling for a phased withdrawl from Irak, bucked the leadership on VA benefits. I have been tempted to vote straight Dem, but I think I”ll reward him.
The experience to date with the Bush/Cheney administration and the rubber-stamping by the Republican majority in Congress for some the most vile decisions calls for divided government, IMO. I think if there was ever a case for voting along party lines for Congress it is the election this Nov. Another 2 years of Bush & Cheney with a Republican-majority in Congress? – unthinkable! I have never voted along party lines and am a registered independent but this election for Congress I don’t care about the candidate as long as they have a D next to their name.
Since it’s clear that Webb is the real deal, I guess we can expect some desk soldier to start Swift-boating him. If Fox News has taught us anything, facts don’t matter. Colonel, when you call America the “muffled zone,” you are being way too diplomatic.
I was delighted to see Republican Congressman Walter Jones appeared at the Democratic Policy Committee of the US Senate last week where Generals John Batiste & Paul Eaton and Colonel Tom Hammes testified about Rumsfeld’s incompetence. A large percentage of Jones’ constituents are Marines, families of Marines, former Marines, or retired Marines. Jones understands.
My question is who are other Republican Congressmen in districts that contain large military communities? And what is their position on issues like VA benefits, phased withdrwal, Rumsfeld incompetence, armored HMMWVs, improved body armor (and not the phony Republican bills on armor), etc.
VoteVets has a TV ad on body armor running in several states including VA and MT.
Marty >”…The quote from Lance Cpl Chad Ritchie, is that the same one from Keezletown, Virginia? Was mentioned in a story about Fallujah by the New York Times…Semper Fi!”
Must be because that is where I got the quote from as I recall. It is just so representative of what the Marine experience is I just had to keep it.
Semper Fi indeed
Here`s another one :
“One universal fact of being in the Marine Corps is that no matter where we go in the world, we always end up in some random shitty place.” – Cpl. Michael Stinetorf
The closest George Allen came to experiencing combat was during the filming of Ted Turner’s epic, Gettyburg.
I so agree with the posters who say we need people like Jim Webb as our senators. I’m from CA so allas he cannot be my senator, but I am contributing money to his campaign and I urge others in secure blue states to do the same.
Irene: I don’t know if it’s that we don’t pay attention. Bush & Co. are experts at playing with American values and American myths. We may be more powerful than the British Empire ever was, but we like to believe we’re still shivering at Valley Forge. The dirty secret of our “national defense” is that we use the military to protect the oil lanes. And as the only remaining Superpower, how responsible are we for the current, sadi state of the world? We could ask, for example, “If we’re so strong, why is the world–which we dominate–so screwed up?” Maybe that’s why we prefer slogans like “They hate us for our freedom.”
Webb would be well advised to permit that commendation to be broadcast in these last weeks prior to election day. I do not doubt he would resent it. But those Virginians who support his candidacy should, in this instance, ignore the candidate, and broadcast, to the best of their abilities and resources, this testament to the man, and his character.
Great William Pfaff OpEd just up at his website dated tomorrow. Here’s a part of what arguably our best political commentator since H.L. Mencken has to say abour Afghanistan:
Now the Taliban are back. Why? For better or for worse this revivalist religious movement, which began in Pakistan and was promoted by Pakistani intelligence in the struggle over control of Afghanistan as the Russians left, remains a vital manifestation of Pathan identity.
The 23 million Pathans in Pakistan and Afghanistan are used to dominating southern Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier region of Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf has just recognized an autonomous Pathan “Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.” The Pathans have successfully resisted foreign control since before the time of Alexander the Great, and seem determined to continue. Why are the United States and NATO now at war with them?
Neither the overall Pathan community of 40 million people nor the Taliban movement itself are “terrorists.” The Taliban link with Osama ben Ladin was a matter of religious ideology. The Taliban are no threat to the United States, and their return to Afghanistan is a political phenomenon linked to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s failure to establish his authority much beyond Kabul, the resurgence of warlord power, and, in such conditions, revival of the opium poppy trade.
The Karzai government’s weakness is a problem for Pakistan, as Musharraf tried, with limited success, to explain in Washington and London last week. The United States has a legitimate interest in the success of the Karzai government, but this does not extend to fighting a new Afghan civil war on its behalf, against a Taliban movement possessing its own legitimacy inside the Pathan community — itself likely to be around centuries after the United States and NATO have left Afghanistan.
Link to Pfaff OpEd
So, did you see the op-ed piece Pirates of the Mediterranean in the NYT? About Rome’s 9/11 and the fall of the Empire.
Thanks Leila a good read.
Just to add some trivia. Julius Casesar was or became Pompei’s son-in-law but later rival in the triumvirate. The serious dictatorships started with Casesar’s kinsman Marius and then Sulla in the Social Wars.
The origins of the Consular system is thought to have been copied from the judges system of Carthage. Two judges were sent from the mother city of Tyre and then later elected locally at Carthage.
After serving as consul, the ruler would rule a province the next year as proconsul.
Part of our system of misinformation is that democracy started in Greece, not so, The Greeks themselves admitted the phoenicians were their tutors in many things. The Thebans recognized Phoenician Cadmus as their founder. The very name “Europe” itself comes from “Europa” the phoencian mythological mother of the Cretans who themselves gave rise to Greek civilization.
“Carthage, like every other Phoenician city, was first governed by Suffets.
Later, it became an oligarchy. Punic inscriptions show that its heads of state were called SPΘM /ʃuftˤim/, meaning “judges.” SPΘ /ʃufitˤ/ might originally have been the title of the city’s governor, installed by the mother city of Tyre. Later, two judges were elected annually from among the most wealthy and influential families. This practice descended from the plutocratic oligarchies that limited the Suffet’s power in the first Phoenician cities. These aristocratic families were represented in a supreme council that had a wide range of powers. However, it is not known whether the judges were elected by this council or by an assembly of the people. Judges appear to have exercised judicial and executive power, but not military. Although the city’s administration was firmly controlled by oligarchs, democratic elements were to be found as well: Carthage had elected legislators, trade unions and town meetings. Polybius, in his History book 6, said that the Carthaginian public held more sway over the government than the people of Rome held over theirs. There was a system of checks and balances, as well as public accountability.
The Carthaginians appointed professional generals and admirals, who were separate from the civil government. The Tribes voted and appointed an agent to represent them in a governing council. There was also a council of elders with fairly strong powers but only as an advisory role to the younger council. There was also an assembly of nobles.
In Carthage’s early history a body known as the Hundred and Four were created. The Hundred and Four were judges who oversaw the actions of Generals. The sentence many generals received from the Hundred and Four was crucifixion. ”
I would reward Walter Jones, he has seen the light and realizes he was played on Iraq. He has pictures of every casualty from his district (a lot, Ft. Bragg and Camp Lejeune are in his district) on his office walls and has either gone to the funeral or written a personal letter to the family of every casualty in his district.
Jim Duncan, R-Tenn, should also be rewarded, as he was against the Iraq fiasco from the beginning, as was Ron Paul, R-Texas. There are supposedly 6 Republicans who voted against it but I don’t know who the others are.
I think Chris Shays, also a Republican from some New England state, “gets it” now. Most of the rest of the incumbants of both parties need to be turned out but they probably won’t be.
I think the saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely is coming true with regard to the Republicans, they’ve got Congress, the Executive, the Supreme Court, much of the media, and it’s time for a little divided government again.
Actually I know better b/c I knew the old Walter Jones (D-NC)who served forever. Last time I saw him was in a wheel chair at a democratic breakfast shortly before his death.
The present congressman is his son Walter, Jr. Jr. and different party. Junior has come a long ways from his days as a bumbling liquor salesman. He has shown great guts! I think I will vote for him. But it will be my only Repub vote.
My first Repub vote was for my college law professor for state court of Appeals. She lost but now sits on the 4th circuit. She is one tall good looking drink of water. She had served with Thomas and Anita Hill at the EEOC. If Thomas had had half a brain, he would’ve made a pass at her instead of Anita. I was very much smitten by her (I have always been attracted to brains). I am now a very happily married man (in case the wife reads this).
I had an ulterir motive for posting about the Carthaginian council of 104 that crucified malfeasant generals and admirals. Not suggesting that for Rummy. He was after all a fellow vet that did serve. But after a proper impeachment, trial and conviction for five deferrement chickenhawk Dead Eye Dick and AWOL POTUS, hmmmmm
Professor Juan Cole (middle eastern studies Michigan U,… speaks Arabic) posted a blog on his website yesterday that supports the allegation by Mathews, above, and others who say we are using our forces to protect oil interests . This may or may not be a good policy, but if this is the policy then we ought to stop lying to the American people and our uniformed personnel. Juan Cole points out in the blog that we are supporting a tyrant in, oil rich, Uzbekistan who uses some of the most sickening methods of torture to get “information” in order to substantiate the Orwellian lies our administration is using to fool the American people. Some victims are lowered into boiling water until, in unimaginable agony, they will swear to anything. Loved one’s have reclaimed bodies that clearly show their father, brother or husband was boioled like a lobster from the waist down. Professor Cole provides information available from the heroic efforts of a man named Craig Murray who was ambassador to Uzbekistan from Great Britain. Ambassador Murray tried to get his country to stop our two countries evil bargain with this tyrant. Mr. Murray was told to shut up. He refused bribes and withstood threats and finally was forced out for telling the truth to power. Because of comments I have read here at “Sic Semper Tyrannis”, and at Cole’s “informed Comment” I made a contribution to James Webb’s campaign this morning. I can no longer limit myself to the affairs of my own state of Washington…the stakes are too high and the constitution is in peril. Everything I read about Mr. Webb tells me he is a man of the highest order of integrity.
State of denial: Watch ’60 Minutes’ full video or excerpts, some not seen on TV
State of denial
Journalist Bob Woodward believes the White House has not been honest with the American people about Iraq.
» Watch ’60 Minutes’ excerpts
Progress talk vs. reality
Hear Woodward interview Rumsfeld
See Woodward vs. White House ’60 Minutes’ video
One More post for tonite, if you will more indulge, Mon Colonel.
I always, always, knew in my hearts of hearts that John Abizaid was not a Kool Aid drinker.
Woodward says in one of those TV segments in the link give in the previous post that “we’ve to to get out of fwcking Irak;”
Woodward reports that he also went to see the other John that’s not a Kool Aid sipper, one John Murtha, and held up two fingers very, very close together and said, that’s how far apart we are.”
Now what Abizaid needs to do for the good of this country is to resign and make a public statement. It’s the only way to stop the madness.
Now it’s another Yom (day in Arabic and Hebrew). In fact the day after Yom Kippur. FYI, the European names for days come from the Roman System largely with a little Norse copying. Sunday, Monday-Lundi, Mardi (Mars) Tues(Tews)(Deus)Day, Wednesday-Mercredi, Thurday-Thorstag etc. In Swedish Satursday is “Bathday”
But in Arabic the names for days are simple, the 1st (Sunday), 2nd, the 3rd, except for Friday which is Jami? -congregation day, and Saturday-Sabbat with echoes of Hebrew BUT in PORTUGESE under Arab-Berber influence, you have the same Ordinal (first, second, etc) numbering system for the days but they start with MONDAY!
Back to Politics, I edited the Abizaid AND Murtha Wikipedia articles based on the Woodward sixty minute video clips. Lousy grammar and English, but it’s a start. I believe his book came out yesterday. There will be a flurry of newspaper stories and articles on it.
I hope the book makes a difference.
Bob Woodward on Abizaid and Murtha
On October 1, 2006, and interview of Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward by CBS reporter Mike Wallace was broadcast on the television show Sixty Minutes. The interview was about Woodward’s new book State of Denial. Wallace stated that Woodward reported that Abizaid had stated privately to friends that “we had to get the “F..” out of Iraq.” Wallace continued to summarize material from the book. He said that when John Murtha, who was the soul and conscience of the military, made his 10,000 volt statement about troop redeployment, that the act caused Abizaid to see Murtha in March, 2006. Wallace continued that Woodward reported that Murtha said that Abizaid held up his thumb and forefinger about a quarter inch apart and said we are about this close on Iraq. Woodward nodded his head and said yes.
Thank you for posting this.
I read a piece on Walter Jones quoting his father in which he stated that a legislator should vote conscience, then constituent – then party. I also liked the way Jones stood up to Richard Perle at the HASC. ( After we had invaded Iraq. )From what I can gather, he’s a good man.
Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. is a conservative Republican from North Carolina who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq. So it jarred all the more yesterday when Jones turned his fury on Richard N. Perle, the Pentagon adviser who provided the Bush administration with brainpower for the Iraq war.
Jones, who said he has signed more than 900 condolence letters to kin of fallen soldiers, pronounced himself “incensed” with Perle. “It is just amazing to me how we as a Congress were told we had to remove this man . . . but the reason we were given was not accurate,” Jones told Perle at a House Armed Services Committee hearing. Jones said the administration should “apologize for the misinformation that was given. To me there should be somebody who is large enough to say ‘We’ve made a mistake.’ I’ve not heard that yet.”
“Walter Jones is an honest man, which makes him a dangerous person.”
What is interesting about Webb’s citation is that it suggests that he chooses to investigate the bunker complex with another platoon member himself, rather than delegate the task.
Usually, when a point or flanker element discovers/stumbles upon an enemy site or danger area, the news is communicated through hand and arm signals to the nearest commander (Webb as Plt Cmdr). Usually he would order something like “First squad, approach bunker complex and clear;” with further instructions to any supporting unit.
But he checks out the damn thing himself (probably much to the dismay of the company commander who would prefer to keep their leftenants whole a tad longer).
This is leading from the front, or “don’t make your people do what you wouldn’t do yourself.” Not quite doctrinally correct, nor Cheneyesque/Kristolesque.
He seems not to want to delay the golden moment, but flow right into the complex, sure of himself and his skills. Some of this stuff can’t be taught, you just have to have it natively.
I wonder if this was the bad wound that ended his tour/career?
I am from Virginia and would like to comment on the comment concerning the Virginia senate race. George Allen the incumbant senator definetly has some issues regarding race but Jim Webb is no angel either. Just last week it was “revealed” that Webb made some comments concerning female cadets at the Naval academy. He said something along the lines that the woman were horny and that is why they wanted to attend the academy. George Allen may be a racist but Webb is a sexist. On election day I am not going to be voting for either one of them, they are both too despicable and unworthy to get my vote.
This is your most important criterion for choosing a US Senator? pl
Come on chris
haven’t you changed any opinions about women in 27 years?
” Allen’s ads, in an indefinite run, come after four days of damaging reports about former Allen acquaintances alleging he regularly referred to black people by a common racial slur.
Two ads–one 30 seconds in length, the other a minute–seek to exploit what Allen’s advisers say is Webb’s vulnerability among women voters.
Webb, a Navy graduate, was a highly decorated Marine rifle platoon leader in the Vietnam War and later served President Reagan as Secretary of the Navy. In 1979, he wrote a Washingtonian magazine article that said women could not command men in battle and decried their admission to the nation’s service academies. The column, titled, “Women Can’t Fight,” described an academy residence hall that housed 4,000 men and 300 women as “a horny woman’s dream.”
Kathleen Murray, a 1984 Navy graduate, says in both versions of the ad that Webb’s article “was demoralizing from a perspective only a woman can understand.”
“To imply we were there for sexual purposes was beyond belief,” said Murray, the only one of the three in the ads who spoke during a Sept. 13 Allen campaign news conference on the same issue.
Later that day, Webb expressed regret for the article in a campaign statement and said he is “fully comfortable with the roles of women in the military today.”
In the 60-second ad, 1982 graduate Mara Matthes says Webb “has been in positions of leadership and he used that to further his ideas.”
Webb campaign spokeswoman Kristian Denny Todd said Matthes’ claim “is just wrong. When he was secretary of the Navy, he opened up 15,000 billets to women.”
“Do they care more about what happened 27 years ago in the military than what’s happening today in this war with George Bush and George Allen sending their children off to war?” Denny Todd said. “These women need to re-examine their priorities.”
In the 30-second ad, McCain, a fighter pilot who was shot down and tortured by the North Vietnamese during the war, said Allen has qualities necessary for the United States to prevail “in this terrible and titanic struggle that’s going on now between good and evil in the war.”
u r full of it.
I am unimpressed with either candidate. Neither is really all that great compared to the other. They each have their excellent accomplishments and each have their downfalls, which are only being emphasized in their campaigns. I am unsure who to vote for, but I can say this: Neither of them can be that great if all they can do is find and lay out the other’s dirty laundry instead of saying what they will do to make a difference… and without having to compare themselves to the other. Seems childish to me.
I forgot to mention this. Apologies for posting two times in the space of a few minutes. Someone mentioned both candidate’s personal marriage record, and the next post asked why one would base their vote on such information. Base my vote on that no, but it gives some insight into both men. They both go with the much-talked about “marriage is between one man and one woman”. What are they saying by themselves divorcing and remarrying multiple times? That it’s ok to marry more than once, when this “idea” they express so adamantly does not share that view. One man, one woman, not one man/woman, multiple marriages. Just because divorce runs rampant throughout our culture, does not make it alright for someone to do so, then argue for this “one man one woman” stuff. Again, I’ll definitely have a hard time voting, and not based on this information, but it certainly is in the back of my mind.