Friday, December 09, 2011

Jacksonville perfect place for museum honoring Marines

Jacksonville perfect place for museum honoring Marines

Monday, December 5, 2011
(Updated 3:00 am)
I first heard about it in the late-1990s when a group of grizzled retired Marine Corps sergeants major and colonels hatched an idea. They wanted to put a Marine Corps museum in Jacksonville, home to the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast.

There was a lot of common sense behind that notion. This is usually the case when sergeants major, lieutenant colonels and colonels are involved. They’re smart, they’re leaders and they’re usually hardened by experiences most could never comprehend. Not much scares them.

They shoot straight, too. And I’m not talking about rifles, at least not right now.

So this assortment of retired Leathernecks, who made their homes in Onslow County because after a life in the Marine Corps it’s sometimes hard to go back to a completely civilian world, decided it would be a good idea to honor the “Few and the Proud” in such a logical, albeit mosquito- and alligator-infested site near Camp Lejeune.

The history, they believed, was already there for the taking — and displaying. A sample of history I found in the Jacksonville Daily News:

l It’s not commonly known that Marines trained at Camp Lejeune were dispatched on Marine Air Group-26 helicopters to fish astronaut Alan Shepherd out of the ocean after his first manned space flight. They later did the same for astronaut Gus Grissom. And Cherry Point was an alternate landing site for the space shuttle program — though one never landed there.

l New River Air Station’s helicopter squadron was featured on a stamp by the Haitian government after a humanitarian mission following Hurricane Hazel in 1954. This is the only time that Marine Corps helicopters have been featured on a postage stamp, foreign or domestic.

l Camp Lejeune contained the only boot camp and schools for black Marines during World War II. It was the site of the Corps’ only war dog training school, and the location of the Corps’ boot camp, officer candidate school and specialized schools for the women Marines of World War II.

l The 1st Marine Division trained at Camp Lejeune during World War II, along with elements of the 3rd, 4th and 6th Marine Divisions. But Camp Lejeune also trained the U.S. Army’s 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions in amphibious warfare. These were the divisions that would spearhead the landings in North Africa, Sicily and Normandy.

Despite all that history, the money for what organizers wanted to call Marine Corps Museum of the Carolinas didn’t follow. A ton of other things fell through, too. A plan for a private-public civic center that would’ve included space for the proposed museum vanished in the thin mist of political and economic realities.

Then a movement began for a national museum of the Marine Corps that is now in Quantico, Va. The effort took donations and wind from the more regional approach in North Carolina.

So as time passed and I moved to Burlington, I forgot about the dwindling hopes for the Marine Corps Museum of the Carolinas. I figured it was a good idea that simply didn’t pan out. It happens. It’s a miracle so many bad ideas thrive when so many good ones are out there struggling for purchase.

Then I saw a recent Associated Press story. It seems the dream of a North Carolina-based museum hasn’t gone belly up after all. The concept for what is now being called Museum of the Marine has been rejuvenated with a proposal to raise money nationally and tell the story of Marines in North and South Carolina. It will document the history of the amphibious training for which the Corps has become famous and include the connection Marine Corps installations have to the civilian communities in which they reside.

To those who don’t know, it’s a pretty strong bond.

Fittingly, the museum is set to go on property leased to the museum by the military for $1 a year, right beside memorials to the 241 service members killed in the Beirut bombing in 1983 (a joint military-civilian project) and those who fought and died in Vietnam. There is also a piece of the World Trade Center there marking the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

So while the museum has new life, bucks are still needed. It will be privately funded and has around $8 million in hand. The goal is $28 million. A national corporate sponsor would certainly help.

I hope they find one. It’s too good an idea to simply die.

Madison Taylor is editor of the Burlington Times-News. To learn more about the Museum of the Marine go online to

Saturday, September 03, 2011

24th Mau 1983 Glenn Dolphin Great Book a Must read!

 - Quantico Sentry OnLine
Story Submitted: Oct 15, 2007

Marine Looks Back at Peacekeeping Mission in Beirut

Author  By:  Robert B. Loring
Most of America joined the Global War on Terrorism on Sept. 11, 2001—9/11. On that dastardly day the Twin Towers came crumbling down with mushrooms of fire and dust, the Pentagon was hit, and citizens on United Airlines Flight 93 rose up against onboard terrorists. However, Marines everywhere already had grasped this alarming state of affairs with Middle Eastern terrorists some years before.

In Glenn Dolphin’s book, “24 MAU 1983: A Marine Looks Back at the Peacekeeping Mission to Beirut, Lebanon,” he describes what happened on Oct. 23, 1983 when 241 Marines and sailors of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit perished in a flash while on a “peacekeeping” mission in Beirut, Lebanon.

Dolphin was a Marine first lieutenant with the headquarters communications section of the 24th MAU. The MAU’s ground combat element was Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment.

The 24th MAU embarked on May 11, 1983, for its cruel date with peacemaking on Middle Eastern shores. First Lt Dolphin and his headquarters’ Marines sailed in USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2). The 2,000 Marines of the MAU relieved a grateful 22nd MAU in late May. Their mission was to work with British, French and Italian peacekeepers to calm elements of the violent Lebanese civil war, keep the Beirut International Airport open and provide a presence.

Due to random mortar and rocket attacks, most of the personnel of 1/8 were moved into the strongest building in the Marine compound, the BLT headquarters building. First Lt. Joe Boccia, 1/8’s communications officer, noted, “It was built like Fort Knox.” The Marines housed in their new barracks were envied by MAU headquarters elements quartered in a less secure building nearby.

On Oct. 23 the unthinkable happened. A suicide bomber slipped by guard posts, overran wire and other obstacles, and drove his 5-ton yellow Mercedes truck into the BLT’s lobby. The detonation resulted in an enormous ball of fire. The author states, “The force of the blast arched the building upward into an inverted ‘V.’ The BLT then collapsed like a house of cards.”

The aftermath of the attack is graphically described in the book. Pandemonium followed as surviving Marines shook off the dust in the horrific realization of what had transpired. And then they quickly leaped to the ghastly task of digging out the few survivors.

Who was responsible for this attack against the peacekeeping forces? Dolphin fast-forwards to inform the reader that “on May 30, 2003, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth found in favor of the survivors and the family members, ruling Iran responsible for the attack. The court finds that beyond question Hezbollah and its agents received massive material and technical support from the Iranian Government.”

Glenn Dolphin, currently an agent in the Aiken, S.C., FBI office, has provided an insightful view into the personal lives of many of the Marines impacted by this attack. “24 MAU 1983” is a stunning account of America’s early experience serving in the thankless role of worldwide peacekeepers. It clearly characterizes the predicament our military faces while attempting to make “politically correct” war in quarreling countries throughout the world. It’s a first-rate volume written by a gifted writer and well-versed student of American geopolitics.
On this, the 24th anniversary of the Beirut tragedy, let us dedicate ourselves to the memory of the fallen 24th MAU warriors. These men will never be forgotten by Glenn Dolphin, the surviving members of the 24th MAU, or in the glorious annals of our beloved Corps.
Editor’s note: This review was originally published in the ‘‘Leatherneck” magazine and is used here with permission.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

David Frum: Hezbollah thumbs its nose at Hariri murder indictment

  Aug 17, 2011 – 1:39 PM ET | Last Updated: Aug 17, 2011 1:57 PM ET

Nasrallah, the smiling terrorist

The indictment for the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri was handed down June 30, but only published today.
The tribunal delivered indictments on June 30 against four men that Hezbollah has acknowledged as members of the organization. Nearly no one here expected the warrants to be served or the men to be arrested, and Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, almost taunted officials who might think of trying to detain them.
“No Lebanese government will be able to carry out any arrests, whether in 30 days, 60 days, 1 year, 2 years, 30 years or even 300 years,” he said in July.
He called it a trial in absentia, whose verdict “has already been reached.”
The most prominent of the four members is Moustapha Badreddine, a brother-in-law of Imad Moughnieh, a shadowy Hezbollah commander killed in 2007 and blamed for some of the group’s most spectacular acts of violence. Among them was the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 American service members.
First thoughts:
1) The Assad family got a pass. Few in Lebanon believe that Hezbollah would have carried out this crime without approval in Damascus.
2) I remember when governments in Europe and North America hesitated to act against Hezbollah on grounds that terrorism represented only a portion of its activities; it also supposedly carried on important social welfare work. The indictment drives home the point: political murder is the essence of Hezbollah.
3) As the New York Times reports, nobody in Lebanon expects the UN indictment to mean very much. Let’s recall this expectation of international futility the next time somebody urges Israel to rely on international forces to protect its borders and its people.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Men who gave their lives in Beirut, Scream out to all Americans!!

The Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 is right around the corner.  Almost 3,000 of our fellow citizens were murdered by the terrorists from the Arab World.  Since 1983, (maybe before, who knows?) and the truck bombing of the BLT Headquarters of my Brother Marines, Arab terrorists have conspired to kill American Citizens, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.  During the remembrance that will be held, speeches will be made, passion will be felt, and images will be flashed around the Country.

As Veterans of the Beirut War, it is commonly known, that this terrorism started with the the murderous, cowardly attack on our Brothers.

At the 10th anniversary of the attack on the BLT Headquarters, I felt the same emotion as the next of kin at the 9/11 will feel this year.

My sympathy and my hope is that the years, and the love of God will heal their hearts.  We share the same pain, the suffering, and the frustration of the justice that seems to be denied.  In the end, God decides the justice, but as humans we show our anger towards a world that often forgets the injustice done.  In our pain, we are hurt more by the country for which we fought to protect, forgetting our friends, our brothers, our fathers, our husbands, and our servicemen who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom and most of all peace.

Suffering and pain carries on through almost 30 years now.  Men relive these days in Lebanon on a daily basis, and the forgetfullness of a Nation brings more hurt and anguish.

So, as we Americans gather this September 11 to remember those innocent Men and Women who died in this act of War, and we remember the utmost bravery of Firemen, Policemen, and everyday people who perished doing what they knew was right, let us not forget the Men of our Armed Forces who also gave their lives to protect our freedom and preserve the peace that every human being desperately wants.

Remember the Beirut Heroes this September, along with all the other heroes from then to now.  But most of all, keep sight of the real enemy.  Don't be fooled by slick politicians, who play to the needs of Nations who killed our young men and women.  Keep our historic identity of a Nation made from a Judeo-Christian idea.  An group of men who were flawed, but still through their flawed human nature; planned and put forward the idea that One Nation Under God, indivisible, with justice for all, would stand the test of time.

Thanks for listening, and May the grace of God continue to be with you.


Hezbollah Indicted

Old Article, maybe some of you know this already, but just so it's reinforced in your brain, that even now the World Court has more indictments against Hezbollah.    The real question is "When will the U.S. wake up and join the rest of the world?"

BEIRUT -- In a country with a history of scores left unsettled, Hezbollah is in a strong position to ride out an indictment accusing a high-ranking member of one of the most dramatic political assassinations in the Middle East.
The Shiite militant group has spent the past year laying the groundwork for thwarting any move to implement the all-but-inevitable indictment in the 2005 murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. It has warned to "cut off the hand" of anyone who tries to arrest its members and repeatedly cast doubt on the tribunal's investigation.
The work appears to have paid off.
Since the Netherlands-based court released the indictments Thursday, there has been no real sign that Lebanese authorities are willing to arrest the four suspects, including Hezbollah militant Mustafa Badreddine. To do so, they would have to directly confront the Iran- and Syria-backed militant group that is firmly in control of the Lebanese state.
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah planned a speech Saturday to address the indictment.
The most prominent of the four people named in the indictment is Badreddine, who appears to have a storied history of militancy. He is suspected of building the powerful bomb that blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 Americans, mostly Marines, according to a federal law enforcement official and a book "Jawbreaker," by Gary Berntsen, a former official who ran the Hezbollah task force at the CIA.
He also is the brother-in-law of the late Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh and is suspected of involvement in the 1983 bombings of the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait that killed five people.
Hezbollah has always had serious muscle, boasting a guerrilla force that is better armed and stronger than the national army.
But the group has amassed unprecedented political clout in the government, having toppled the previous administration in January when then-Prime Minister Saad Hariri -- the slain man's son -- refused to renounce the tribunal investigating his father's death.
The new premier, Najib Mikati, was Hezbollah's pick for the post. He issued a vague promise Thursday that Lebanon would respect international resolutions as long as they did not threaten the civil peace.
The ambiguous wording leaves ample room to brush aside the arrest warrants if street battles are looming. The Cabinet is packed with Hezbollah allies, so there is little enthusiasm within the current leadership to press forward with the case.
And the indictments do indeed threaten to ignite fresh violence in Lebanon. In the six years since Hariri's death, the investigation has sharpened the country's sectarian divisions -- Rafik Hariri was one of Lebanon's most powerful Sunni leaders, while Hezbollah is a Shiite group. It has also heightened other intractable debates, including the question of the role of Hezbollah -- and its vast arsenal, which opponents want dismantled.
Walid Jumblatt, a Hezbollah ally and leader of the tiny Druse sect, warned Friday that the indictments could lead to new civil strife in Lebanon and painted the case as a matter of justice versus stability.
"As much as justice is important for the martyrs and the wounded, so too civil peace and stability is the hoped-for future," said Jumblatt, whose own father was a victim of a political assassination in Lebanon and who was once an ardent supporter of the tribunal before switching alliances. "Civil peace is more important than anything else."
He pointed to widespread fears that the case could further divide the country, which has been recovering from decades of bloodshed, including a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990 and more recent sectarian battles.
The younger Hariri and his allies, now relegated to the opposition, and the international court will likely push for action against the four. But there is little they can do to force the government to do so.
Lebanese authorities have until the end of July to serve the indictments on suspects or execute arrest warrants. If they fail, the court's recourse is to publish the indictment. Details in the indictment about the investigation into the killing -- so far kept under wraps -- might in theory prove embarrassing to Hezbollah, but the group is unlikely to be severely hurt by them.
While Jumblatt appeared to be offering a stark choice -- either turn a blind eye to a dastardly crime, or run the risk of chaos -- Hezbollah's leader has taken another tack.
Nasrallah has worked tirelessly to convince the Lebanese that the tribunal is not fit to deliver justice. For more than a year, he has gone on a media offensive against the tribunal, taking nearly every opportunity to call it biased, politicized and a tool of archenemy Israel.
He also said early on that he knew Hezbollah would be accused of the crime, a pre-emptive strike that dampened the impact of Thursday's indictment and bolstered his credentials as the man in charge in Lebanon.
(This article was written by Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press chief of bureau for Syria and Lebanon).

Monday, May 02, 2011

Ok, we have seen the coverage of the World's Most Wanted Terriorist, shot dead in his Pakistani compund.  The talking heads are all a buzz, with words like, "When you kill any Americans we will hunt you down and take your life!"  Other comments are, "You can run but you can't hide!"  My favorite so far is by Mr. Sean Hannity a fox news commentator, he said "We will find you, you can go to the ends of the earth but we will find you, No longer can you get away with killing Americans!"

I have a question for Mr. Hannity, a short one, that maybe he and the other newscasters gloating as they should over Osama Bin Laden's death, where is our killer or killers?  This guy has been on the run since 1983 when he killed 241 of my brother Marines, Sailor, and Soldiers.  Currently this person resides somewhere near Teheran Iran.  He is the President of Iran,  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  He had been tried along with his government by US Courts for the bombing of the BLT Headquarters in Beirut Lebanon on October 23 1983..  Is seal team six available? just wondering.

I find the news that Osama Bin Laden is dead a great joy for the military and the President.  But one thing that really gives me pause, is to think that after almost 28 years, no one has been brought to Justice for my friends all 241 of them.  Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2 and now President Obama, have all failed to bring the killer to justice.  At least if we got him alive we could release him later, like the Scots did for the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie Bomber.

.President Obama, there are still grieving families from the 1983 BLT Headquarters Bombing, and families of the Embassy bombing that same year, can these Fathers, Mothers, Sisiters, Daughters, and Sons acheive some measure of justice? The same justice you spoke about last night.  I mean, he is not hard to find.  He is the President of Iran, I think  intel can get a bead on him.

Thanks go out from the BVA to those men and women on the front lines preparing the way for the operation that took place last night.  Great Job my Brothers and Semper Fi !!