Tag Archives: South Korea

U.S. Marine Capt. William E. Barber earned the Medal of Honor fighting communists in North Korea

First, let’s go from the top down to set the context for the profile of William E. Barber.

Map of the Korean War
Map of the Korean War

In the summer of 1950, North Korean communists launch a completely unprovoked attack across the 38th parallel against their peaceful, democratic neighbors, the South Koreans. The Americans immediately sent an invasion force by sea to drive them out. The North Koreans easily manage to take over the capital Seoul, and the allies are left with only one port in the southeast – Pusan. In September of 1950, American forces land an invasion force at Inchon, cutting off the North Korean invasion force surrounding Pusan. The North Koreans retreat, and there is hope that American forces will be home by Christmas. But then, unbeknownst to the Americans, the Chines communists  invade North Korea from the north and surround the American forces near the Chosin reservoir, threatening to annihilate an entire Marine division.

The Marines at Yudam-Ni are surrounded and must retreat to Hagaru-Ri
The Marines at Yudam-Ni are surrounded and must retreat to Hagaru-Ri

As you can see from the map, there are a whole bunch of American troops fighting to the north/east and south/west of the Chosin Reservoir. The marines near Yudam-Ni need to retreat along a road called the MSR (main supply road) back to Hagaru-Ri. But in order to conduct that retreat, they have to hold onto the vital Toktong pass, which is overwatched by Fox company from their position on Fox Hill. Can Charlie company and Fox company hold off the entire Chinese 59th division (10,000 men) with only two companies (about 250 men each)?

U.S. Marines "The Chosin Few", December 1950
U.S. Marines “The Chosin Few”, December 1950

Well, the book I read (which Dina gave me for Christmas), was about Fox company and their defense of the Toktong pass. This is what the leftist New York Times had to say about the man in charge of Fox company (“F company”) in a 2002 article:

Col. William E. Barber, who won the Medal of Honor for his leadership of a vastly outnumbered company under siege on a snowy hilltop in one of the worst defeats in Marine history, the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in 1950, died on April 19 at his home in Irvine, Calif. He was 82.

The cause was bone-marrow cancer, said Jerry Courtier, a friend who hopes to write Colonel Barber’s biography.

The reservoir is south of the Yalu River, which separates North Korea from China. After the Americans had pushed the North Koreans almost to the Yalu, 150,000 Chinese troops unexpectedly crossed the river into North Korea. Colonel Barber’s unit, Company F of the Second Battalion of the Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, was on a hill that commanded the Toktong Pass, a vital gap between Yudam Ni and Hagaru Ri, two towns separated by 78 miles.

The stakes were huge. If F Company yielded its position, 8,000 marines at Yudam Ni would be cut off from the 3,000 at Haguru Ri by tens of thousands of Chinese troops.

Through five days and six nights in subzero weather and often swirling snow, Colonel Barber, then a captain, inspired his men, outnumbered more than five to one, to cling to their tenuous positions. He was shot in a bone near his groin on the second day but continued to make the rounds of the hill. He likened the wound to a bee sting.

When the unit was ordered to withdraw and fight its way to safety, Captain Barber refused. Three times, the enemy broke through the line, only to be repulsed.

”I knew that we could probably hold, and I knew that if we didn’t hold we could exact a very heavy toll,” he said in an interview in 1976 with The Los Angeles Times.

His citation for the nation’s top medal said that he commanded his men from a stretcher. But Hector A. Cafferata Jr., who as a rifleman won the Medal of Honor in the same battle, insisted that Captain Barber refused the stretcher.

”He walked the line, he kept us together,” said Mr. Cafferata, who was beside Captain Barber when he was shot.

In the mayhem, the Chinese blew whistles, beat cymbals and tooted bugles as they repeatedly attacked. Coffee froze before men could drink it, and some of the wounded died because plasma froze with no way to thaw it.

When the battle was over, more than 1,000 enemy soldiers were dead. Of Captain Barber’s original 240 men, 82 were able to walk away.

Gen. Raymond G. Davis, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Marines, received a Medal of Honor for leading the unit that rescued F Company.

William Earl Barber was born on Nov. 30, 1919, in Dehart, Ky. He attended what is now Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky., for two years and enlisted in the Marines, at the age of 21, in 1940.

He was so good at shooting a rifle that he was made a weapons instructor. After volunteering for parachute training, he demonstrated such proficiency that he became a parachute instructor.

In World War II, he was promoted to sergeant in 1942 and commissioned a second lieutenant in 1943. He was a rifle platoon commander at Camp Pendleton, Calif., when his unit was shipped to the Pacific.

Colonel Barber was in the first wave to hit Iwo Jima, where he was wounded twice. He received the Silver Star for bravery in addition to two Purple Hearts. At a ceremony on the 50th anniversary of the battle in 1995, he said:

”I am older now, as you are, but I can still see the colors of that February morning. The sky. The island. And sometimes I think I can hear the noise of battle.”

He was treated in Japan for his wounds and returned to the United States, where he worked as a recruiter, among other positions. He was promoted to captain in 1949 and was in the force that occupied Japan.

When he joined F Company in Korea, he saw a raggedy unshaven bunch and immediately ordered the the troops to shave, shine their shoes and look like marines. He suggested that his new charges resembled Pancho Villa’s bandits.

”He was one tough guy,” Mr. Cafferata said. ”He was by the book.”

He was by the book. He enlisted in the Marines because he was grateful to his country for allowing him to escape poverty and go into college, and he wanted to give something back.

You can read a review of the book I read about Fox company, and read about some of the details of what it was like for those men. You’ll never look at your own troubles the same way again. You can also read about Barber’s Medal of Honor citation here.

The Medal of Honor, Navy and Marines variant
The Medal of Honor, Navy and Marines variant

So, now that I am done with that book, I have moved on to another Korean War book that Dina gave me, this one about George company. The Korean War might have been our most just war – defending a peaceful democratic ally from a totalitarian communist regime. You just have to compare North Korea and South Korea today to understand the stakes. North Korea is basically a godless concentration camp that tortures and murders its people if they so much as think the wrong thoughts about the atheist state. South Korea is free and prosperous, where the people have human rights, like the right to free speech and freedom of religion.

It’s important for me to read about the hardships that real heroes face, so that I don’t complain too much about my own tiny struggles. When you read about the struggles of great American soldiers, so many good things happen to you. Your own problems get smaller, your humility and gratitude get bigger. And you are reminded about why America is a great country, and what American character is really like. These things are not taught by leftists in the public schools. They are not talked about by leftists in the mainstream media. They are not presented by leftists in the Hollywood film industry. If you want to know the real America, you have to find it yourself.

In Asia, questioning Darwinism on scientific grounds is no problem

From Evolution News.


In Korea, a mainstream publisher of popular and science texts, Book 21 Publishing Group, has brought out an edition of Explore Evolution, a textbook presenting both sides of the evolution debate. The translation was done by a pair of Korean academics, Seung Yup Lee and Eung Bin Kim, whose scientific specialties are respectively in biomimetics and environmental microbiology. Both teach at universities, Sogang and Yonsei, ranked in Korea’s top ten.

Dr. Lee’s research fuels his questions about macroevolution. His work on the amazing “natural design” of the South American Hercules beetle and its humidity-sensing shell was highlighted in Nature. In the Preface to the Korean Explore Evolution, Lee advocates investigating “alternative theories” to undirected Darwinian evolution.

Korea also has its own Research Association for Intelligent Design, with an impressive masthead of biologists, chemists and other scientists at top research institutions. Sogang University in Seoul hosts an Annual Symposium on Intelligent Design. The event has included presentations on William Dembski and Robert Marks’s Law of Conservation of Information and on protein translation as evidence of intelligent design.

China, of course, is Asia’s biggest market for ideas. Illustra Media has had considerable success distributing DVDs of prime ID-related titles there.

[…]Producer and director Lad Allen had Unlocking the Mystery of Life and Privileged Planet dubbed into Cantonese and Mandarin, moving a hundred thousand copies into China via Hong Kong. He estimates that three or four times that many DVDs were illegally pirated and copied.

[…]Illustra has completed a Japanese translation of The Privileged Planet, lip-synced by Japanese actors in Tokyo. But Unlocking the Mystery of Life is Illustra’s most-translated film, with editions in Khmer (Cambodian), Thai, Sri Lankan, and Mongolian as well as a variety of European languages.

On the book-publishing side, Center for Science & Culture senior fellow Paul Chien has been largely responsible for introducing intelligent design to China. A biologist at the University of San Francisco, Chien has translated Phil Johnston’sDarwin on Trial and Michael Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box among other titles.

He recently finished work on Denyse O’Leary’s By Design Or By Chance?, to be followed by Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell.

It’s good that there are still some places left where a person can ask questions about what natural causes can do and what intelligent causes can do.

China selling pills made of human babies to South Koreans

From the UK Daily Mail.


Thousands of pills filled with powdered human flesh have been discovered by customs officials in South Korea, it was revealed today.

The capsules are in demand because they are viewed as being a medicinal ‘cure-all’.

The grim trade is being run from China where corrupt medical staff are said to be tipping off medical companies when babies are aborted or delivered still-born.

The tiny corpses are then bought, stored in household refrigerators in homes of those involved in the trade before they are removed and taken to clinics where they are placed in medical drying microwaves.

Once the skin is tinder dry, it is pummelled into powder and then processed into capsules along with herbs to disguise the true ingredients from health investigators and customs officers.

[…]According to customs agents, 35 smuggling attempts have been made since August last year involving more than 17,000 capsules disguised as ‘stamina boosters’.

Hospitals and abortion clinics in China reportedly pass the remains onto drugs companies when a baby is stillborn or aborted, the South Korean SBS documentary team reported last year.

The San Francisco Times reported that tests carried out on the pills confirmed they were made up of 99.7 per cent human remains.

The tests were successfully able to establish the genders of the babies used.

There is a huge demand for the pills which are thought to enhance stamina. Microwave-dried placenta is also sought after for its alleged ‘medicinal’ benefits.

However, in reality the human flesh capsules contain super-bacteria and other harmful ingredients.

My previous post about China’s disregard for human life is here.

House passes free trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama

From Investors Business Daily.


The biggest free-trade pacts since NAFTA were passed by the House Wednesday night, with the Senate likely to follow. As a result, America will reap 250,000 jobs and $13 billion in exports. Where are the celebrations?

The strangest aspect of the passage of free trade treaties with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, with final votes taken after five long years, is the disconnect between the big economic gains expected for the U.S., and the reticence of congressional Democrats and the White House, both of which finally got something right on the economy.

As we went to press, the pacts had been passed by the House, with the Senate expected to vote soon. With bipartisanship like that, lawmakers should be cheering loudly for a true “jobs bill” that costs nothing.

Yet as a Democratic aide told Roll Call on Wednesday, “Republicans don’t want to give the president a victory, Democrats are split and everyone is distracted.”

Excuse us, but this is some of the best economic news in three years. It deserves a victory dance.

It’s a fact these treaties will bring new orders for factories, save family farms, strengthen strategic alliances with countries well worth having as allies, and open up breathtaking new opportunities in fast-growing markets. It needs to be acknowledged.

[…]President Obama paid lip service to the treaties, but wasted nearly three years attaching protectionist amendments and dithering. It harmed the economy and never changed this fact: Free trade had to pass if there was to be a real recovery.

Economist Greg Mankiw of Harvard University lists free trade as the #2 top item that economists of all ideological stripes agree on. This is a no-brainer.

Passing the free trade deals is important because it would make up for other anti-business policies of the Obama administration.


Obama appointees at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have not only blocked Boeing from making planes in South Carolina, but they have greased the speed of union elections, made decertification votes impossible, changed the requirement that a majority of workers vote for a union, and required almost every workplace in America to put posters up advising workers of their unionization rights.

The Obama Administration claims to want to double exports and support free trade, but it took it nearly three years to send the pending trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea to Congress. Which means that in all this time American companies have been paying higher tariffs for exports.

The Obama Administration has proposed 219 new rules affecting industries, each of which will cost at least $100 million to comply. While the Washington legal business is growing, every industry and business is affected, scared, and confused by the massive new proposals. Small businesses are especially overwhelmed and must hire lawyers to understand and comply with the massive amount of new regulation.

The Obama crown-jewel “achievements” of the new health care and Dodd-Frank financial laws adversely affect almost every American business, totaled almost 3,000 pages of statutory language, and will result in huge costs on employers.

Let’s hope the Senate passes these deals and Obama signs it. We need lower priced goods in a recession, and we need more markets to sell into. If this passes, it will be the first pro-growth action taken by the administration in three years.

GOP plan would create 1.2 million new jobs by expanding energy production

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (H/T Reuben, indirectly)


Americans are angry and with good reason. They are hurting from unemployment, uncertainty in stock market investments and declining retirement funds. And they are weary of waiting for a real workable plan to get us out of this rut.

This is not a time to try the same failed policies of borrowing, debt and calls for tax increases. So we offer these ideas as President Barack Obama prepares to address Congress Thursday if he really wants to make some major bipartisan moves to get our country moving again.

[…]First, allow U.S. employers to repatriate $1 trillion sitting in overseas banks. The current tax rate of 35 percent is a huge barrier blocking those dollars from being invested in jobs, boosting the stock market and raising the value of retirement funds.

Some companies use armies of attorneys and accountants to find ways to cut those taxes, followed by the Internal Revenue Service tracking them down. Stop the nonsense. Offer a lower tax rate, perhaps 15 percent, for a limited time (maybe even a lower rate if the money is invested in job creation or in purchasing U.S. goods).

[…]Second, freeze the massive number of proposed regulations until Congress can review and approve them. Regulations cost U.S. employers more than $1.75 trillion per year. Federal agencies are moving forward with more than 4,257 new regulations that will add tens of billions in regulatory costs — more than tripling the burden of agency mandates from 2009.Employers are worried how this tsunami of new regulations will overwhelm their businesses so they are holding back on growth and hiring. Unless a regulation is absolutely necessary to protect the public’s health and safety, it should be stopped now. Enactment of House Resolution 10, the REINS Act, would require congressional review and approval for any mandate costing the economy more than $100 million annually.

Third, pass our bipartisan Infrastructure Jobs and Energy Independence Act (H.R. 1861), to expand safe offshore oil and gas exploration, create 1.2 million new jobs annually and launch $8 trillion in economic output. Our bipartisan bill dedicates a portion of up to $3.7 trillion in federal oil and gas revenues from the new exploration for investments in new energy technologies, power generation and grid modernization to help put us on a path to energy independence.

[…]Finally, to preserve a free global market for trade, we must hold foreign nations accountable to abide by international agreements. This year, America will lose its position as the global manufacturing leader to China, in large part because Beijing illegally gives its exports a 20 percent to 40 percent discount by manipulating and devaluing its currency.

Another good idea would be to sign the free trade deals with Panama, South Korea and Colombia. Heritage explains what would happen if we did.


The Obama Administration—after allowing U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama to languish unapproved for nearly four years—lately appears eager to push Congress to ratify all three soon. The problem now is that some in Congress are trying to make their approval contingent upon an extension of the Trade Adjustment Act (TAA).

That would be a mistake. The three FTAs are intrinsically worth passing without any strings. Congress should act on them without further delay.

The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) would be America’s largest free trade agreement in Asia. It would increase U.S. exports by an estimated $10 billion annually, increase U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $11 billion, and add 70,000 U.S. jobs—all without a dime in federal government spending.[1] The accord would also serve as a powerful statement of the U.S. commitment to East Asia at a time when many perceive declining American interest, presence, and influence in the region. The FTA would strengthen U.S. commercial ties and expand the bilateral relationship with South Korea beyond traditional military ties or the North Korean threat.

[…]Rejecting KORUS would disadvantage U.S. companies by locking in discriminatory trade barriers. During the four years the agreement was held hostage by special interest groups and congressional protectionists, the U.S. lost $40 billion in potential exports. American companies continued to lose market share to foreign competitors. The U.S. used to be South Korea’s largest trade partner, but in less than a decade it has been displaced by China, the European Union, and Japan. As Korea’s market opens further, it will be foreign competitors and not U.S. companies that will benefit.

[…]Until this year, the Obama Administration and congressional leadership took its orders on the U.S.–Colombia FTA from protectionist U.S. labor unions and U.S. anti-globalization groups, joined by far-left allies in the region, who succeeded in delaying congressional approval of the FTA. The cost of delay has been significant. So far, according to the Latin America Trade Coalition’s “Colombia Tariff Ticker,”[2] U.S. companies have paid $3.5 billion (as of this writing) in unnecessary duties to the Colombian treasury in the more than 1,600 days since the FTA was signed.

That $3.5 billion has translated into higher prices in Colombia for U.S. goods and services, which are now at a competitive disadvantage in the Colombian market. It has also meant reduced profits for U.S. companies and lost jobs at home.

There are plenty of good ideas from people who live in the real world where real economic laws apply. Keynesianism has been tried since Pelosi and Reid were elected in 2007. It has failed. We need to move on to what works.