Sunday, February 11, 2018

Hōkūle‘a Visits Pearl Harbor

People aboard Battleship Missouri Memorial help welcome voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a in Pearl Harbor Feb. 10. (Photo by Kaimana Pine, courtesy PVS)
Voyaging Canoe Makes Historic First Visit

Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Troutman, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii

The traditional Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a, sailed into the waters of Pearl Harbor and visited the Puʻuloa region for the first time in the canoe’s 42-year history, Feb. 10.

The Hōkūle‘a crew was welcomed at Rainbow Bay Marina by the Puʻuloa community and US Navy who will host the canoe during a week-long visit to the region.

Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, spoke at the welcoming ceremony of the Hōkūle‘a’ crew’s values, and how they reflect those of the U.S. Navy and the Hawaiian community at Pearl Harbor.

“Today is truly a historic day here at Pu’uloa,” said Fort. “I am a firm believer that the values that unite us are much greater than the distractions that divide us, and here today, we are truly inspired by the brave and humble navigators and voyagers of Hōkūle‘a, and by the values they cherish and represent.”

Rear Adm. Brian Fort, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, speaks with Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Master Navigator of the traditional Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a. The week-long engagement to follow will include school visits, public dockside tours and a crew talk story event. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeff Troutman)
The Hōkūle‘a crew’s week-long engagement with the local community will include school visits, public dockside tours and a crew speaking event. As part of the Mahalo, Hawaiʻi Sail, the purpose of Hōkūleʻa’s visit is to bring the canoe to more of Hawaiʻi’s children, honor Pearl Harbor’s ancient culture and history, and to learn about the efforts to restore the area’s cultural sites, including the nearby Loko Paʻaiau Fishpond.

“This is an emotional day for me, because this is the very first time this historic vessel has ever sailed upon the waters of Pearl Harbor,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Master Navigator of Hōkūle‘a. “To feel this sense of community and to know that the efforts of this crew are being celebrated in this moment, it is my hope that today is a chance for us to all take one more step towards coming together as one.”

Hōkūle‘a renders honors at USS Nevada Memorial at Hospital Point. (Photo by MC1 Troutman)
Upon entering the waters of Pearl Harbor, the Hōkūle‘a crew paid their respect as the vessel sailed past significant cultural and historical sites including Halealoha Halemau (Fort Kamehameha Reburial Platform), USS Nevada, Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri, Ford Island, USS Utah, and Loko Paʻaiau Fishpond, before piering at Rainbow Bay Marina. The crew will conclude their week-long visit by working with the restoration team at Loko Paʻaiau Fishpond on February 17.

The Loko Paʻaiau fishpond is located at McGrew Point Navy housing and is one of only three fishponds out of an original 22 in the Pu’uloa area which are still relatively intact. In September 2014, the Navy invited members of the local Hawaiian civic clubs and ʻAiea community members to begin work on restoring the historic fishpond.

“We want to celebrate this place and the movement taking place by the Puʻuloa community and the Navy to restore the Native Hawaiian history, sites and cultural identity of Pearl Harbor,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “We hope Hōkūleʻa’s visit will open the doors for our young people to learn about the extraordinary history and culture of this very special, sacred place.”

More than 1,000 school children are scheduled to visit Hōkūleʻa and participate in educational activities during the canoe's stop at Puʻuloa.

For more information about the Hōkūleʻa and her crew, please visit:

For a series of Navy Reads reviews and other posts over the years about Hōkūleʻa click here.

Schedule of events at Rainbow Bay Marina this week, provided by Polynesian Voyaging Society:

Public Open House Tours of Hōkūleʻa to Feb. 17

Rainbow Bay Marina (next to Restaurant 604, adjacent to National Park Service's Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
  • Sunday Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and

  • Monday thru Friday, Feb. 12 to 16, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Hōkūleʻa Crew Talk Story (Sponsored by Kamehameha Schools ʻEwa Region) at Rainbow Bay Marina Pavilion Thursday, Feb. 15, 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Meet crew and community members who will discuss the significance of Hōkūleʻa’s visit to the Puʻuloa region.

  • Saturday Feb 17, 7:00 a.m., Hōkūleʻa departs Rainbow Bay Marina

  • Hōkūle‘a renders honors as it passes by the USS Arizona Memorial (Photo by MC1 Jeff Troutman)

    Saturday, January 27, 2018

    Bond of 'Jersey Brothers'

    Review by Bill Doughty

    After Imperial Japan attacked Oahu, three brothers serving in the Navy experienced the war and witnessed history from distinct vantage points: one aboard USS Enterprise (CV 6), one as an aide to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and one as a Prisoner of War in the Philippines.
    Barton, Bill and Benny before the war

    Prior to the war, big brothers Benny Mott (gunnery officer aboard Enterprise) and Bill Mott (a naval intelligence officer) hoped to keep their younger brother, Barton Cross, safe, so Bill recommended Barton become a Supply Corps officer and serve in the  Philippines.

    But then, nine hours after Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Japanese bombed and strafed U.S. forces in the Philippine Islands. Barton was wounded and hospitalized in the air attack.
    "Their opening salvos went to the heart of the island's air defenses, which proved an easy mark. Despite Washington's urgent, repeated orders to General Douglas MacArthur – at the time the U.S. Army Forces Commander in the Far East – to launch his planes and initiate air operations, beginning minutes after the start of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he did not respond. Nor did he ever issue the order. As a consequence, virtually every U.S. plane at Luzon's primary airfields, Clark Field and Nichols Field, was bombed on the ground, wingtip to wingtip. The army's entire staple of bombers, their payloads full, was wiped out in a matter of hours."
    With Army Air Corps protection gone, Navy submarines of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet were vulnerable and had to sortie to Darwin, Australia. 

    When it came time for MacArthur to retreat from the Philippines, he ordered the evacuation of Army casualties – but not the Navy's wounded – hospitalized in Manila.

    Jersey Brother Barton became a POW, subjected to marches, deprivation and atrocities documented by eye witnesses and other records cited by author Sally Mott Freeman in "The Jersey Brothers: A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family's Quest to Bring Him Home" (Simon & Schuster, 2017).

    Escape was foremost in POWs' minds, but Imperial Japanese guards had ways of preventing escape:
    "Nothing focused the mind on the perils of escape more than the particular return of three prisoners – two army colonels and a navy lieutenant – who were summarily stripped naked, marched across the camp to the entrance, tied up, and flogged to insensibility. They were kicked to their feet, led out the front gate with their hands tied behind them, and strung up to hang from cross-pieces of wood several feet above their heads. A two-by-four was placed beside them, and when any Filipinos passed by on the road, they were summoned by the Japanese guards to pick up the timber and smash each of the hanging prisoners in the face. Then the guards would follow up and lay on their whips."
    All three POWs lived for three days before two were shot and the third was beheaded.

    Meanwhile, Barton's brothers did everything they could to try to locate him and learn his fate.

    Oldest brother, Benny, served aboard Enterprise with Adm. "Bull" Halsey, another native of New Jersey.

    Years earlier, when Benny was a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, Halsey commanded the USS Reina Mercedes, the Annapolis station ship, and the two established a relationship at social gatherings for upperclassmen. Both were proud of their state:
    "During those more relaxed affairs, Benny and Captain Halsey often discussed navy football and another common passion: the underappreciated virtues of their shared home state of New Jersey. Halsey had relished these chest-beating interludes about the state: 'The home of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein!' he would crow in mock exasperation, drawing wide grins from Benny every time. At Annapolis, Benny and Bill were both known for their proud defense of the Garden State – against routine mockery. They even embraced their nickname, 'the Jersey Brothers,' despite its implicit derision. Was it Halsey who started that? Benny couldn't remember, but it stuck ... Halsey always appreciated Benny's family high notes including the Motts' ancestral link to members of the iconic fraternal order that boarded the tea-laden vessels Dartmouth, Eleanor and Beaver in Boston Harbor in 1773."
    USS Enterprise and USS South Dakota engage Japanese ships and planes on Oct. 26, 1942. NHHC.
    Benny was aboard Enterprise for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands during the Guadalcanal campaign, described graphically in "The Jersey Brothers." Benny's quarters were destroyed in the attack. "His old surroundings were barely recognizable; the room was a smoky tumult of wet, scorched debris." Other gunners and other ships were not so lucky.
    "The reality stunned: at the conclusion of the Battle of Santa Cruz, the USS Enterprise was now the only operational American aircraft carrier in the hostile waters of the Pacific. One by one, every other prewar flattop had either been lost in battle or forced to withdraw for lengthy repairs. Lexington had gone down in May at the Coral Sea battle. Yorktown was lost at Midway less than a month later. On the last day of August in the Eastern Solomons, Saratoga had taken a second devastating torpedo hit and retired to drydock at Pearl Harbor. Wasp, en route to Guadalcanal two weeks later, was fatally struck by three torpedoes. And now Hornet's pyre burned over the horizon."

    Using "industrial-grade paint" Sailors aboard "The Big E" painted and erected a large, defiant sign: "Enterprise vs. Japan." 
    "Over the course of 1942, Enterprise had been struck a total of six times by Japanese bombs or torpedoes and had suffered hundreds of casualties. The painted sign reflected both the grimness of the situation and the grit of a determined crew: this sole surviving American aircraft carrier in the seventy-million-square-mile Pacific war front was in no mood for backing down."
    Benny had a ringside seat to the war in the Pacific. Jersey Brother Bill was an eyewitness to history at FDR's side, principally in the White House Map Room. Bill developed a connection with WInston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt. He had to inform the president of the death of the Sullivan brothers, five brothers lost in November 1943 aboard the light cruiser USS Juneau off Guadalcanal.

    Adm. Richmond Kelly Turner
    Earlier, Bill followed Station Hypo's progress leading to the Battle of Midway. Later, after successfully lobbying to be stationed in the Pacific – closer to his brothers – Bill integrated Navajo Code Talkers so they would be "coordinated properly with their multiple constituents in the amphibious forces complex communication chain."

    Bill was there when Adm. Spruance approved the firing of Army Maj. Gen. Ralph Smith in coordination with Adm. Richmond Kelly Turner and Marine Gen. Holland "Howlin' Mad" Smith.

    Bill's relationship with the "famously abrasive" Adm. Turner was deep and lasting. We get an insight into the character of Turner, who led amphibious assaults at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. Turner supported Bill's efforts to locate his POW brother, Barton, just as Halsey supported Benny's efforts to try to find his Jersey brother.

    As a Navy captain and CO of USS Astoria (CA-34) in 1939, Turner visited Japan to return the ashes of Japan's ambassador to the United States and meet with Foreign Minister Arita Hachiro. After the Japan's surrender in 1945, Turner went to the Togo shrine in Tokyo, which he had visited in that diplomatic mission.
    "Standing at the Togo shrine, Admiral Turner made this prescient observation: 'If we play our cards well, the Japanese will become our best and most worthwhile friends. They have certain fundamental virtues in their character, which in time, I hope, will be appreciated by all worthwhile Americans. We should be most careful to respect their gods and their traditions, and I hope they will come in time to respect ours.'"
    Records retrieved from the Philippines and made available by the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, as well as interviews and letters, helped Freeman piece together life for Barton as a prisoner of the Japanese. She recites how prisoners were mistreated, how they survived sometimes for years, and how they made tough choices – whether to attempt escape or remain as prisoners and prevent repercussions on fellow prisoners.

    Freeman explores the tensions and turmoil of interservice rivalry during the war, with Gen. MacArthur front and center, saying "The Navy fails to understand the strategy in the Pacific." Much of the author's source material comes directly from the MacArthur Memorial Archives.

    Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas Adm. Nimitz confers with south Pacific area officers, possibly aboard USS Argonne (AG-31) at Noumea, New Caledonia, Sept. 28, 1942: Army MGen Richard K. Sutherland, Chief of Staff to General MacArthur; (Nimitz); VADM Robert L. Ghormley, Commander South Pacific Force; and USAAF MGen Millard F. Harmon, CO of U.S. Army Forces South Pacific Area. (Naval History and Heritage Command)
    Author Sally Mott Freeman
    MacArthur bristled under the shared leadership of Adm. Nimitz in the Pacific. Readers will enjoy a fascinating explanation of the command and control relationship in Chapter 14 (pages 174-5). Chief of Naval Operations Adm. E.J. King considered MacArthur a megalomaniac, according to Freeman, a general who rewarded flattery and other sycophantic behavior by his staff. "It is said that a fool flatters himself, but a wise man flatters the fool."

    This book shows us many sides of the war – including a family's deep struggle on the homefront during and after the war. This is a highly recommended, multidimensional study of the Pacific War, which was won by superior sea power. "Without sea power," said Nimitz, we would not have advanced at all."

    The afterward and epilogue to this book are well-written, well-researched and personal accounts worth reading and re-reading for anyone interested in treatment of POWs and in the way war can affect families.

    Saturday, January 20, 2018

    Sea Power – Mahan to Stavridis 'Top 3'

    Review by Bill Doughty

    The venerated grandfather or "high priest" of modern naval strategy, Rear Adm. Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914), foresaw the future of a strong navy as a preeminent force for peace and prosperity.

    His "modern" navy called for new coaling stations (such as Pearl Harbor at the turn of the last century), a "canal route through the Central-American Isthmus," and a realization that the sea is a "great highway; or better, a wide common over which men may pass in all directions on trade routes for commerce."

    Adm. (ret.) Jim Stavridis's "Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World's Oceans" (Penguin Press, 2017) is written in tribute to a history class of the same name taught by E. B. "Ned" Potter of the United States Naval Academy, centered on the teachings of Mahan. Stavridis writes:
    "The basic theory of Mahan's body of work is that national power derives from engagement via the world's ocean along three key vectors: production (which leads to the need for international trade and commerce), shipping (both merchant and naval), and colonies and alliances (spread across the globe, forming a network of bases from which to project sea power). All three of these basic concepts still pertain today, although they need a bit of updating..."
    Sailors aboard USS Mahan (DDG 72) conduct line handling May 23, 2017. (MC1 Tim Comerford)
    Mahan saw a tough navy as an antidote to war. He recognized the importance of commerce by the seas in a globally connected world. In Mahan's "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History"(1890), the so-called high priest of maritime strategy cited the French, under Richeleu's protege Minister Colbert, as inspiration. Colbert embraced the three pillars of production, shipping and colonies/markets – "in a word, sea power," according to Mahan.

    The world has changed since Mahan's time in ways he could not imagine. Now people understand that there are limits to growth. There are finite non-renewable resources on the planet; renewable resources must be protected. The world is no longer dominated by imperialist colonialism, though some countries, notably China and Russia, still practice revanchism.

    Global shipping traffic in 2012.
    Stavridis takes us on a personal career-spanning voyage to the world's most important oceans and seas, including the Pacific, "mother of all the oceans" explored by Magellan and Cook and the Atlantic, "cradle of colonization." By the end of his book the personal becomes universal.
    He shares advice on various topics, including how to deal with China in the South China Sea, North Korea in the western Pacific and Sea of Japan, Russia in the Arctic and Mediterranean, and radical extremists such as ISIS wherever they appear. Stavridis also examines the world's oceans as a connected common system:
    "And it is a busy system indeed. On any given day, it is impossible to accurately measure the number of surface ships at sea, but we can approximate the number of ships generally. By reading through a variety of sources (including Clarksons, the 'bible' of international shipping), it is possible to estimate that there are between fifty and sixty thousand large commercial ships, chemical ships, passenger and roll-on/roll-off ships, and liquified natural gas tankers active throughout the world ... By some estimates there are four to six times more ships plying the world's oceans than there were some thirty years ago."
    While the world has learned much about our common and connecting ocean in the past 3,000 years, there are many things we still do not know, "especially about how the oceans function as a coherent system. In a certain sense," Stavridis writes, "we have incredible knowledge of the oceans, but little wisdom about them."

    Like Mahan, Stavridis wisely focuses on a top-three – in his case a top-three of threats to the oceans, referred to as "the outlaw sea": piracy, overfishing crimes and environmental damage.
    "Piracy and fishing are sadly very significant sources of illegal activity at sea. But the biggest act of criminal behavior being practiced on the high seas is the willful and preventable damage to the environment that goes on every day. Through the destruction of the maritime world, we are literally watching future generations robbed of their birthright. This is stealing from us all, until and unless we can work coherently together to preserve the riches of the sea for mankind's future. This was a guiding premise in the negotiation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea three decades ago, but sadly the treaty has not had a sufficient effect on the damage that is unfolding before our eyes."
    What are we to do? "At the heart of any approach to the challenges of the outlaw sea is the creation of an enhanced level of international cooperation." The oceans, Stavridis points out, are not a vast, invulnerable dumping ground and an endless source of protein."

    A U.S. Coast Guard member prepares to embark an 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat in preparation for boarding and inspecting commercial fishing vessels as part of Coast Guard’s efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Pacific during an Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) boarding mission. The LEDET is embarked aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), deployed in fall of 2017 in support of the Oceana Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI), leveraging Department of Defense assets transiting the region to increase the Coast Guard’s maritime domain awareness and supporting its maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania. (Photo By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kryzentia Weiermann)
    With wisdom, nations and sea services take a stand. A bonus at the end of this enjoyable book is this found haiku:

    where we stand on a
    narrow hull, rolling before
    the waves and the wind

    "The United States continues on a voyage that is both personal and of vital geopolitical importance," Stavridis writes, "... knowing we are at heart a nation that will forever depend on sea power and our sailors for security and prosperity.

    Saturday, January 13, 2018

    Facing Future with CNO Richardson, former CHINFO Kirby

    CNO Adm. Richardson meets with tactics instructors at SNA. (Photo by Lt. Matthew A. Stroup) 
    By Bill Doughty

    At this week's Surface Navy Association Symposium in Virginia, someone asked Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson what he's reading. 

    The CNO reminded the questioner, "Y'know, I actually have a reading list." 

    After the crowd chuckled and applauded, the CNO answered that – in addition to the Navy Professional Reading Program list – he has been reading two books that are "future-looking" and not on NPRP. Richardson recommended books that reinforce each other's subjects into a congruent theme.

    He suggested "Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future" by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson (W. W. Norton & Company, 2017). The book is a follow up to the authors' "The Second Machine Age." Anyone curious about technological singularity and artificial intelligence will be interested in informed theories about how the world – and the Navy – will change in the decades ahead.

    Richardson also recommended "Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age" by Edward D. Hess and Katherine Ludwig (Berrett-Kohler, 2017). 

    Barnes & Noble published a "Humility Is the New Smart" recommendation by former CNO Adm. (ret.) Gary Roughead: “The forces of the Smart Machine Age are already upon us, and like time and tide they cannot be held back. Hess and Ludwig are out front with this insightful, practical, and compelling guide to navigating, transforming, and leading organizations for this new age in which the nature of work and the workforce will be dramatically different.”

    Former CHINFO, Pentagon and State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby.
    Discussion at the SNA symposium included a focus on the future and on the importance of humble, confident leadership to counter insecurity and hubris. 

    CNO Richardson advised reading about history, especially World War II history. "Read well-written history," he said, "Hornfischer, Toll ... Pick up any book by those folks and start reading."

    On Thursday, Jan. 11 at the U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Symposium at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, keynote speaker Rear Adm. (ret.) John Kirby, former Chief of Navy Information, Pentagon spokesperson and State Department spokesperson, not only recommended two books but also read passages to make his points.

    He also is interested in the future – and how the future has already arrived for communicators and the military.

    Kirby recommended "War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century" by David Patrikarakos" (Basic Books, 2017) and "Overload: Finding the Truth in Today's Deluge of News" by Bob Schieffer with H. Andrew Schwartz (Rowman &  Littlefield, 2017).

    John Kirby, who helped put together former CNO Adm. (ret.) Mike Mullen's Navy Professional Reading Program and shared his own reading list, which we featured on Navy Reads several years ago, is now a commentator on CNN.

    Kirby advises: "Read widely, read well."

    On his reading list Kirby recommended the best book for writers, the late William Zinsser's "On Writing Well."

    Sunday, December 31, 2017

    'Madison's Music: On Reading the First Amendment'

    Review by Bill Doughty

    CNO Adm. John Richardson recommends works that are the foundation of American Government in his "Canon" of professional reading. Chief among the recommendations is the United States Constitution, which military service members swear to defend.

    The First Amendment to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights is a mere 45 words, focusing on key freedoms worth defending.

    In "Madison's Music" (The New Press, 2015) author Burt Neuborne argues that the words are meant to be read as a poem that creates its own music. Far from that being an abstract exercise, however, Neuborne gives practical reasons and logical ways to find the music. He uses examples from James Madison's own writings and other founders' insights. And he presents historical and legal examples.

    U.S. Navy participation in Normandy landing June 6, 1944 (Watercolor, Dwight C. Shepler, NHHC)
    But before he begins his exploration, the author does a most poignant and personal tribute dedication to his Navy veteran father, "Odysseus the Tailor":
    Odysseus the Tailor's real name was Sam. A gentle, unassuming man who stood all of five five, my father was one of a dozen U.S. Navy frogmen dropped into the English Channel several hours before the Normandy invasion in 1944, with instructions to attach explosives to a wall of underwater steel spikes designed to tear the bottoms out of Allied landing craft. Once the explosives were in place, Pop and his buddies swam to the beach and crouched in the surf until the invasion boats neared the French coast. Then they blew a hole in the steel wall, opening a bloody path to the liberation of Europe. After D-Day, Pop was assigned to “Patton's Navy,” a small combat unit supporting amphibious crossings of French rivers during the Third Army's push toward Paris. From our kitchen in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, my mother and I anxiously plotted Odysseus's progress across Europe. My job was to keep Pop up-to-date on his beloved New York Giants. Each letter from me contained baseball box scores laboriously clipped from the Brooklyn Eagle. Pop's heavily censored replies promised a glorious future when we would see a baseball game together at the Polo Grounds.When Odysseus the Tailor finally came home in the summer of 1946, I oiled my baseball glove and waited for the great day. July passed into August – but no baseball. Pop reopened his tailor shop, and we sat comfortably in the warm sunlight while silver needles danced in his thimbled fingers – but no baseball. School began after Labor – but no baseball. Finally, in mid-September, I broke down at dinner. “What have I done,” I wailed, “that we can't go to a Giants game.” My father, who had forgotten his wartime promise, was stricken. He hugged me. “I love you, Butchie,” he whispered. “But we can't go to a Giants game yet ...They still don't let black people play, and we just don't support things like that.”Instead, we took the ferry across the Hudson River to see the world champion Newark Eagles play a Negro League game at Ruppert Stadium. I don't remember much about the game, other than the beautifully dressed, multiracial crowd, the noise, the sunlight, and the joy of being my father's son.– Farewell, Odysseus of the silver needles. This book is for you.
    In "Madison's Music" Neuborne expresses his reverence for the Bill of Rights: "No documents in the history of self-government prefigures such a carefully drawn, chronologically organized blueprint of democracy in action." 

    Looking at a blueprint for a house, we have to imagine not just the building but also the home to be brought to life. The "enduring text" of "Jefferson's lieutenant" Madison needs to be read as "a great poem about freedom and democracy," Neuborne says. "The unique beauty of great poetry is found in the text itself, in the imagery, emotions, and meaning produced by the order, cadence, structure and content of the words."
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
    With understanding and mutual respect (and the wisdom to see the poetry and hear the music) "the apparent paradox resolves into structural harmony," Neuborne writes.

    This book is filled with enigmas and paradoxes. What's the case for military and prison chaplains but against prayer in public schools or legislatures? How can "fear and emotion erode the protections in the Constitution" in times of crises? How do gerrymandering, voter suppression and excessive money in politics threaten democracy? What's the true story behind "Marbury vs. Madison"? What did Putin do with the Russian Orthodox Church to ensure religion was an arm of his government? How is false speech (especially by people in power) corrosive to dignity, freedom and democracy?

    Mao and Pol Pot and Hitler and Stalin and ISIS "leaders" didn't hear the music or read the "poem" about freedoms of religion, speech, and the press, including the rights to assemble and petition the government. Authoritarian dictators abhor literary or artistic innovation and free expression.

    "Would-be tyrants have always understood that control over speech about the full range of human experience – not just politics – is crucial to the maintenance of authoritarian rule," Neuborne writes.

    Burt Neuborne
    The CNO's Canon features this quote from President Harry S. Truman: "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers!" Perhaps Truman would want to amend the quote in 2017 and 2018 with an adjective in front of "leaders," like "good" or "worthy" or "thoughtful."
    "(Madison) knew that the habits of thought that enable free people to govern themselves justly and well – respect for others, skepticism about absolutes, toleration of disagreement, and openness to change – cannot thrive without a steady flow of unfiltered information, ideas, and opinions about art, philosophy, literature, science, technology, history, ethics, economics, psychology, sociology, sex, leisure, and business."
    Professor Neuborne credits the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for inspiring and challenging him. He builds his argument on a "great literary poem" by Wallace Stevens called "The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm" about the joy of reading.

    Kurt Vonnegut
    In 1984 Kurt Vonnegut's essay "The Most Censored Writer of His Time Defends the First Amendment" the venerated author of "Slaughterhouse Five" captures and riffs on the music of the First Amendment. The essay, a nod to Thomas Jefferson and the other founders, as well as George Orwell and Mark Twain, is published in Vonnegut's collection "If This Isn't Nice, What Is?" (Seven Stories Press, 2016).
    "Our founding fathers never promised us that this would be a painless form of Government, that adhering to the Bill of Rights would invariably be delightful. Nor are Americans proud of avoiding pain at all costs. On patriotic holidays, in fact, we boast of how much pain Americans have stood in order to protect their freedoms – draped over barbed wire, drowning in water-filled shell holes, and so on."  So it is not too much to ask of Americans that they not be censors, that they run the risk of being deeply wounded by ideas so that we may all be free. If we are wounded by an ugly idea, we must count it as part of the cost of freedom and, like American heroes in the days gone by, bravely carry on."
    Vonnegut was an Army veteran who, like Neuborne's Navy veteran father, Sam "Odysseus the Tailor," fought in Europe against Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

    Saturday, December 23, 2017

    Competitive Cooperation, Civilian Control – History of JMSDF

    Sailors train Nov. 17 in Annual Exercise 2017 in the Philippine Sea. (Photo by MC2 J. Graham)
    Review by Bill Doughty

    How did the JMSDF come about, what is its role now, and what will the future bring for Japan's "nonmilitary" military? What is the value of civilian control of the military? These are some of the questions explored in Sado Akihiro's "The Self-Defense Forces and Postwar Politics in Japan" (2006, 2017, Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture).

    Strictly speaking, and in keeping with Japan's laws, the Self-Defense Forces in Japan have not been considered a military, according to Sado.

    Vice Adm. Hoshina Zenshiro
    Japan's aversion to the military and war is understandable, he explains, considering what the country went through under a military-controlled government that invaded Korea, China and Indochina and started a war with the United States in the last century.

    Many Imperial Japanese naval leaders, unlike the army, were reluctant to start a war with the United States prior to 1941. 

    After the war, with the help of the United States, Japan established a constitution, a democratic government and a free and open society built on international relations, competitive cooperation and commerce.

    Veterans of the smaller, tighter Imperial Japanese navy maintained close ties after the war. Vice Adm. Hoshina Zenshiro, who had been director of the Navy Ministry of his nation's Bureau of Naval Affairs, took the initiative with a core group of former naval officers.

    Working with Hoshina, America's military helped build the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces:
    "One remarkable characteristic of the former Imperial Navy group's rearmament plan was its emphasis on the importance of relations with the United States. This group was foresighted enough to make Nomura Kichisaburo, who had been well connected with the U.S. military, the center of its efforts. As a result, such U.S. Navy leaders as Vice Admiral Charles Turner Joy, Commander Naval Forces, Far East; Chief of Staff Ralph A. Ofstie; and Deputy Chief of Staff Arleigh A. Burke, who later assumed the highest post in the U.S. Navy, chief of naval operations, became powerful supporters of the efforts by Nomura, Hoshina, and their associates. As eloquently revealed in Nomura's remarks to U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who visited Japan for the peace treaty negotiations, that 'the most important foundation is the U.S.-Japan military alliance,' the Nomura group's emphasis on relations with the United States put the military alliance first. Moreover, when Hoshina briefed the Study Group on Rebuilding the New Japanese Navy plan to Arleigh Burke, one of the most outstanding Japan sympathizers in the U.S. Navy, he declared  that the new Japanese navy would be 'an object of cooperation with the United States Navy.' Thus, Hoshina revealed that the group was planning to build a navy that, within the framework of the U.S.-Japan military alliance, could collaborate with the U.S. Navy. It is an important point to be kept in mind that these ideas were at the foundation of the establishment of today's Maritime Self-Defense Force."
    JMSDF CNO Adm. Yoshikawa (right) and then-Commander Naval Forces Japan Rear Adm. J. Kelly
    salute Adm. Arleigh Burke at the U.S. Naval Academy May 16, 2007. (MCSN Chris Lussier)
    Senior JMSDF leaders who visit the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis stop and pay their respects to Adm. Arleigh Burke. Ten years ago JMSDF Chief of Naval Operations Yoshikawa Eiji led a wreath-laying ceremony at Burke's gravesite at the academy's cemetery in 2007.

    Sado introduces us to dozens of influential prime ministers and other officials who helped shape the self-defense forces over the years: Miki, Ohira, Nakasone, Mori, Hosokawa, Koizumi and Abe.

    Under President Reagan and again under President Clinton ties between the two nations deepened especially in U.S.-Japan defense cooperation and support of Peacekeeping Operations (PKO).
    "One thing to be pointed out first is the great role the MSDF played in U.S.-Japan defense cooperation. It can be said that the MSDF, which had been created and developed on the premise of joint actions with the U.S. Navy, well lived up to the U.S. Navy's expectations by exerting its capabilities in full. The cooperation between the U.S. and Japanese naval forces was so close that some diplomacy experts claim the essence of U.S.-Japan security cooperation to 'navy to navy' relations. This degree of closeness, however, also meant that MSDF activities regarding bilateral defense cooperation stood out starkly from the other branches of the JSDF. Truth be told, even with the Defense Agency, the defense of sea lanes was predominantly perceived as defense of shipping lanes ... It appears that the MSDF had gone ahead with substantive cooperation with the U.S. Navy to a degree beyond the inner bureau's assumption. It can be said that the MSDF was indeed engaged in defense cooperation with the U.S. Navy one step ahead of other branches of the JSDF."
    We see how events shaped the JSDF, especially during and after the Cold War, Vietnam and the Gulf War. In modern Japanese history, the people of Japan have seen their self-defense services as being strictly defensive but able to respond to disaster relief and other humanitarian missions.

    "Along with disaster relief activities, which became increasingly important for the JSDF after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, international cooperation has now become one of the most important post-cold war activities of the JSDF," Sado writes.
    "Instances of the JSDF being dispatched overseas are likely to continue to increase. Nevertheless, there remains a risk that the JSDF's presence overseas may fail to receive as much high esteem from the international community as expected due to the numerous constraints on its activities and its lack of self-defense capabilities. The obstacles mentioned above to dispatching the JSDF still have to be overcome. Meanwhile, today dispatch of the JSDF overseas is no longer contained to PKO activities; nowadays the JSDF is mobilized to assist overseas anti-terrorist activities. Thus, it should be said that a limit has already been reached for Japan to continue to dispatch the JSDF in the same fashion as in the past."
    The end of the Soviet Union signaled the end of the Cold War and what Japan saw as its greatest threat. But since then, new threats have arisen in the world. Because the bulk of this book was written prior to 2006, there is scant mention of the rise of nuclear threats from North Korea. Sado also lightly touches on the various controversies surrounding Okinawa ever since a rape incident occurred there in 1995, "although it is beyond the scope of this book on the JSDF." He does, however, devote considerable time on international terrorism and the ripple effects of 9/11 on Japan and the JSDF.

    China's expansion and the nine-dash-line in the East China and South China Seas are examined in what Sado calls, "tenacious arguments with China."

    In 2011 the JSDF proved its worth and gained a nation's respect for how it responded in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima. "The JSDF ended up playing an outstanding role at this time of crisis," Sado writes.

    Researchers will be disappointed with the sparse index in this volume. On the positive side, this book presents a comprehensive history of the origins and development of the maritime force and has extensive appendices with a deeper dive into what's on the horizon for Japan's defense development and closer partnership with the Republic of Korea, Australia and other U.S. allies.
    The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178), foreground, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) transit the Philippine Sea April 28, 2017. (MC2 Z.A. Landers)

    As for the future of the JSDF, Sado discusses "The Modality of Security and Defense Capability of Japan: Outlook for hte 21st Century." And in Appendix I, he prints this from "National Defense Program Guidelines for FY2014 and Beyond," of Dec. 17, 2013:
    "Japan will promote various initiatives to improve the global security environment on a regular basis in cooperation with the international community. Japan will continue strengthen various initiatives concerning arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation and capacity building assistance in order to respond to global security challenges, including regional conflicts, expansion and spread of international terrorism, failed states, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and problems related to the sea, outer space and cyberspace, while regularly cooperating with its ally and relevant questions with which it shares security interests and with international organizations and other relevant bodies. In this respect, Japan will further strengthen its cooperation with the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and with the United Kindgom, France and other European countries and will work with them in responding to these challenges. Japan will also promote cooperation and exchanges with regard to equipment and technology with these countries and organizations."
    JMSDF and U.S. Navy sailors meet at RIMPAC 2016. (MC1 Jeff Troutman) 
    In fact, in the past decade the JMSDF earned key leadership roles in the Rim of the Pacific exercise, training with the U.S. Navy and international participants primarily in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands and building understanding and cooperation.

    Appendix J is "The Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation" of April 27, 2015 offering a "general framework and policy directions," strategies for strengthening bilateral cooperation, a commitment to "cooperation for regional and global peace and security" and a plan to contribute to space and cyberspace security.

    After World War II, Japan reconstituted a national defense system – first called the National Police Reserve, then the National Safety Forces, before becoming the JSDF. As mentioned, Japan set up its democratic system of government (including its constitution) based on that of the United States – and under an important American concept: civilian control of the military.

    "It seems beyond doubt that a system of civilian control that is suitable for the new age has to be explored," Sado opines. Nevertheless, a civilian government's control of the military is considered a war preventive, WWII being a case in point, in which the military controlled the governments in Japan and Germany. While there may be benefits in further integrating the three services, as Sado points out, there is a reason for a separation of military forces, just as there is in the branches of government – to protect a balance of power.

    USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), foreground, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106), back, transit the Philippine Sea April 26, 2017. The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano)

    Saturday, December 16, 2017

    Now & Then II: Statesman or Blockhead

    Review by Bill Doughty

    David McCullough's recent "The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For" (Simon & Schuster, 2017) can lift the spirits of anyone who reads it.

    Know someone who is pessimistic or fearful about the future? Give them this book.

    And encourage them to read.

    In one of the collected speeches in this book, "The Animating Spirit," he advises graduates of Dickinson College in Carlisle Pennsylvania in 1998: 
    "If your experience is anything like mine, the most important books in your life you have still to read. And read you will. Read for pleasure. Read to enlarge your lives. Read history, read biography, learn from the lives of others. Read Marcus Aurelius and Yeats. Read Cervantes and soon; don't wait until you're past fifty as I did. Read Emerson and Willa Cather, Flannery O'Connor and Langston Hughes. Read a wise and sparkling book called "While the Music Lasts" by an author named William Bulger. See especially page 19, where he describes his own discovery of books."
    Naturally I just ordered a copy of Bulger's book from my public library.

    Abigail and John Adams
    In another essay/speech, "Love of Learning," presented at Boston College in 2008, McCullough profiles abolitionist Charles Sumner, whose love of reading and education and time overseas informed his life and helped a nation confront the sins of slavery.

    The author also features his favorite American family in history: the Adamses.
    "John Adams read everything –Shakespeare and the Bible over and over, and the Psalms especially. He read poetry, fiction, history. Always carry a book with you on your travels he advised his son John Quincy. 'You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.' In a single year, according to the U.S. Department of Education, among all Americans with a college education, fully a third read not one novel or short story or poem. Don't be one of those... Make the love of learning central to your life. What a difference it can mean. And remember, as someone said, even the oldest book is brand-new for the reader who opens it for the first time."
    One of my favorite speeches in this great little book is "Knowing Who We Are," presented at Hillsdale College in 2005. McCullough describes John Adams's love of books ("I discovered books and read forever," Adams wrote). John and Abigail Adams instilled a love of reading and lifelong learning in their son John Quincy.

    America's first ambassador Benjamin Franklin in France.
    I love the way McCullough paints the picture of John Adams "in the midst of winter, in the midst of war" risking his life to travel in secrecy by ship to France with eleven-year-old son John Quincy in order to give the boy an education, to associate with Ambassador Benjamin Franklin there and the great political philosophers of France. The French Revolution and freethinkers had inspired the American Revolution.

    "We have little idea of what people were willing to do for education in times past," McCullough writes. "It's the one sustaining theme through our whole history – that the next generation will be better educated than we are."

    It was an extremely difficult journey across the Atlantic, and when preteen John Quincy balked about making a return trip to Europe, his mother, Abigail Adams, wrote him a letter. "And please keep in mind this is being written to an eleven-year-old boy and listen to how different it is from how we talk to our children in our time":

    "These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life or the repose of a pacific station that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman."

    Abigail and John Quincy depicted in Quincy, Massachusetts.
    McCullough writes: "Well of course he went and the history of our country is different because of it.

    John Quincy Adams, in my view, was the most superbly educated and maybe the most brilliant human being who ever occupied the executive office. He was a great secretary of state – he wrote the Monroe Doctrine, among other things – and he was a wonderful human being and a great writer. Told to keep a diary by his father when he was in Europe, he kept the diary for sixty-five years."

    John Quincy returned from Europe to prepare for Harvard, where his father had studied. He had learned French, politics and the arts, but the young man had apparently not learned humility. "He seemed overly enamored with himself and with his own opinions and that this was not going over very well in town."

    So Abigail wrote him another letter:

    "If you are conscious to yourself that you possess more knowledge upon some subjects than others of your standing, reflect that you have had greater opportunities of seeing the world and obtaining knowledge of mankind than any of your contemporaries. That you have never wanted a book, but it has not been supplied to you. That your whole time has been spent in the company of men of literature and science. How unpardonable would it have been in you to have turned out a blockhead."

    Love of learning, tempered with empathy and humility, can prevent blockheads in leadership positions. 

    One of our nation's great leaders, whose confidence bordered on upbeat arrogance but who united the nation, was President Theodore Roosevelt, profiled in "What's Essential is Invisible," presented at Dartmouth College in 1999.
    "The twentieth-century presidency begins with Theodore Roosevelt (former Assistant Secretary of the Navy). He was like nobody who had ever been president before ... TR was the first president to go down in a submarine, the first to go up in an airplane ... Eager to display American sea power, he decided to send the fleet on a goodwill tour around the world. Told that Congress would refuse to appropriate the money, he said he had sufficient funds at hand to send the ships halfway; then it would be up to Congress to decide whether to bring them home again."
    Perhaps more than any other president, Roosevelt modernized the Navy across domains during the Second Industrial Revolution. When he became the first commander-in-chief to dive in the submarine USS Plunger (SS-2), in 1905, it fired the nation's imagination and inspired Sailors. Less than four years later Ensign Chester Nimitz, future Fleet Admiral and Pacific Fleet commander in WWII, would take command of Plunger.

    TR had the Panama Canal built and he revolutionized American industry. "He doubled the size of the navy, helped settle the Russo-Japanese War, established five national parks, including the Grand Canyon, and made conservation a popular cause for the first time."

    According to McCullough, "He was ebullient, confident, full of ideas, interested in everything, seldom without a book. He read books, he wrote books." 

    David McCullough creating ideas.
    Recently someone who I care about said they've never seen our nation so divided. I reminded them that history shows things were pretty divided in the 1770s (American Revolution), 1860s (Civil War) and 1960s (Vietnam, Watergate and Civil Rights era).

    Reading history leads toward optimism. 

    "We've got to teach history and nurture history and encourage history because it's an antidote to the hubris of the present – the idea that everything we have and everything we do and everything we think is the ultimate, the best."

    McCullough concludes, "Samuel Eliot Morison said we ought to read history because it will help us to behave better." Abigail Adams's advice to would-be blockheads remains relevant today. This book is so good I have to review it in parts, each with a theme. Part I: Ideals; Part II: Rewards of Reading.

    Dawne Dewey, Head of Special Collections & Archives, second from left, shares items from the Wright Brothers Collection with historian David McCullough (left), Tom Hanks, and Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of the Wright Brothers. Hanks’ film and television production company Playtone reportedly bought the rights to David McCullough’s book "The Wright Brothers," and  HBO may produce a miniseries. (Photo by Will Jones)