Filed under: China, Education, Europe, Freedom, History, Japan, Military, National Security, Pop Culture, The United States, United Kingdom | Tags: Faulty Memory, Lessons Unlearned, Seventy-Two Years Ago
D-Day was 72 years ago, even the youngest survivors are in their 90s, and soon there will be no one at all who was alive then. And wars fade into history, poorly remembered as the historians try to understand how it all happened and what lessons we learned and what lesson we didn’t learn. Fortunately, after WWII we learned that you can’t just pack up and go home. You have to try to put things back together. Unfortunately, Obama didn’t learn any history.
When wars are over, everyone wants to bring the troops home and forget. We came home and disarmed ourselves after World War I, the “war to end all wars.” In 1933, the Army of the United States was 137,000 men — 16th in size in the world. The French army was five million strong. By Pearl Harbor , December 7, 1941, the U.S.Army was 1,640.000, and with U.S. entry into World War II, the army expanded to 8,300.000 officers and men. About 5,000,000 served overseas. By 1948 the army had declined to 554,000 and was totally unprepared for the North Korean invasion of the South.
We just observed Memorial Day which is a remnant of the Civil War once called Decoration Day, when the surviving families decorated the graves of those who had died in the war. After 150 years, the Confederate Flag under which the South had fought is suddenly deemed too controversial and offensive to be seen. I lost two uncles on each side of the War Between the States.
It was Higgins Boats which led the D-Day invasion of Europe and the island hopping war in the Pacific. Yet how astounding to see, in Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood, the Normans invading England in 1066 in Higgins boats, and in The Lord of the Rings, it was the Orcs who manned the (admittedly more primitive) Higgins boats. So it is when wars slip into history. We receive our history in Hollywood fashion and the true history disappears forever, and we don’t learn the lessons we needed to learn.
Filed under: Canada, Europe, Freedom, History, Military, The United States, United Kingdom | Tags: Eleven Months After D-Day, Seventy-Two Years Ago, The "Thousand Year Reich"
Seventy years ago this June 6, the Americans, British, and Canadians stormed the beaches of Normandy in the largest amphibious invasion of Europe since the Persian king Xerxes invaded Greece in 480 b.c.
About 160,000 troops landed on five Normandy beaches and linked up with airborne troops in a masterly display of planning and courage. Within a month, almost a million Allied troops had landed in France and were heading eastward toward the German border. Within eleven months the war with Germany was over.
Eleven months to reduce the “Thousand Year Reich” to rubble. From the archives:
Berlin After the War, An Archive of Photos, newly Discovered in 2010
The soldier with the Iron Cross on his chest lies in the middle of the street. His steel helmet has rolled away. The Red Army Soldiers are turning him onto his back and cleaning their weapons. They take no notice of the photographer kneeling to take the picture. He’s already taken dozens of shots today — this time he’s just chosen a corpse for the foreground.
It’s a scene from the final days of the World War II, taken somewhere in the center of Berlin. For decades this picture , along with thousands of others lay in the archives of a Berlin publishing house. Unnoticed. It is only now that the collection has come to light.
The pictures capture a moment in the city that had reached the end of 12 years of dictatorship and a devastating war: Signs of those final battles, of death, destruction and hopelessness — but also of life growing once again among the ruins. They are photos that portray a grotesque normalcy, in contrast to the better-known images of heroic liberation and optimistic reconstruction. They provide documentation of the city”s downfall in the blink of an eye between an end and a beginning. A Berlin that was just beginning to free itself from its lethargy.
The sampling of the photos is fascinating. And the book will fill a gap in the history of the War. For history buffs, I highly recommend Antony Beevor’s The Fall of Berlin 1945. And from John Keegan’s The Second World War:
On the 26th of April, 464,000 Soviet troops, supported by 12,700 guns, 21,000 rocket-launchers and 1500 tanks, ringed the inner city ready to launch the final assault of the siege. The circumstances of the inhabitants were now frightful. …Food was running short, so too was water, while the relentless bombardment had interrupted electrical and gas supplies and sewerage; behind the fighting troops, moreover, ranged those of the second echelon, many released prisoners of war with a bitter personal grievance against Germans of any age or sex, who vented their hatred by rape, loot and murder. …
The cost to the Red Army of its victory in the siege of Berlin had also been terrible. Between 16 April and 8 May, Zhukov, Konev and Rokossovsky’s fronts had lost 304,887 men killed, wounded and missing, 10 per cent of their strength and the heaviest casualty list suffered by the Red Army in any battle of the war. …
Peace brought no rest to the human flotsam of the war, which swirled in hordes between and behind the victorious armies. Ten million Wehrmacht prisoners, 8 million German refugees, 3 million Balkan fugitives, 2 million Russian prisoners of war, slave and forced labourers by the million — and also the raw material of the ‘displaced person’ tragedy which was to haunt Europe for a decade after the war — washed about the battlefield. … in the Europe to which their soldiers had brought victory, the vanquished and their victims scratched for food and shelter in the ruins the war had wrought.
Filed under: Canada, Europe, Freedom, History, Military, The United States, United Kingdom, World War II | Tags: Major Werner Pluskat, Nazi Germany, The Greatest Generation
Filed under: Afghanistan, Africa, Asia, Capitalism, China, Developing Nations, Domestic Policy, Economics, Economy, Education, Europe, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Intelligence, Iran, Islam, Israel, Japan, National Security, The United States | Tags: Herbert E. Meyer, The Cold War, The Reagan Administration, The World Today
“Herbert E. Meyer (Herb) served as vice chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council under President Reagan. He was one of the few people in the 1980’s to perceive that the U.S. and its allies might have turned the corner and were on the way to winning the Cold War.”
You may not have noticed, but the media seldom talks about facts. It’s almost all opinion. Herb Meyer talks facts, and gives you the evidence on which the facts are based. That original paper: “Why Is The World So Dangerous?” from 1983 has long since been declassified, and is available to be downloaded here. Most of his speeches are different versions of “Why is the World So Dangerous”— because that’s what we need to hear. This one was delivered to the Northwest Business Club on March 9th this year. He gives us his version of history, and explains what we need to know to cope. The address is a little over an hour and worth every minute, so try for some time this weekend. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll think a little differently about the world today. He is a great speaker, funny, charming, and utterly fascinating.
ADDENDUM: If you go to You Tube, there are lots of Herb Meyer’s speeches, many with the same name. I picked this one as one of the most recent. and they are similar because Mr. Meyer has to put you in the right historical frame of mind to grasp the changing nature of the trends. His basic argument does not change, because, well, he’s clearly right, and a little repetition merely reinforces the point.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Economics, Economy, Europe, European Union, Politics, Regulation, United Kingdom | Tags: BREXIT, The European Union, Unaccountable Levithan
BREXIT stands for the British exit from the European Union, and the British people will vote on whether to leave or stay on June 23. It’s a very, very big deal. This is an hour long movie, so you’ll want to watch it in the evening. It’s very well done, with many of my favorite Brits explaining why the European Union does not work — Daniel Hannan, James Delingpole, Matt Ridley, Janet Daley, and Melanie Phillips.
The movie explains how the European Common Market seemed like such a good idea after World War II, how it morphed into the European Union, and what happened when the regulators took over.
It’s a remarkably Leftist Union, sure from its beginnings that control and regulation would fix all the wars and arguments and end poverty and hunger and, well you’re familiar with all the unfilled promises of the Left. When President Obama stopped by in Britain in April, he wrote an op-ed in The Telegraph to tell the British what they needed to do to get full U.S. support—which included staying in the EU, and unsurprisingly ignited a firestorm. Bad manners, but Obama would like the control and regulation and unaccountable government, as he has so clearly demonstrated. Angelina Jolie was just there to tell the Brits not to even think of leaving.
The movie explains how it all came to be and the immense, smothering, unaccountable bureaucracy that it has become. It is a dire warning to us about the rights and possibilities we might well lose if we continue to allow the Left to govern our country. Do set aside time to watch history being made across the pond.
Filed under: Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Economics, Election 2016, Europe, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Islam, National Security, Politics, Russia, Syria, Terrorism, The United States, United Nations | Tags: Just Interesting, Narcissistic Personality Disorder
The Wall Street Journal included these lines from the Mayo Clinic’s online entry on narcissistic personality disorder in their “Notable & Quotable” column.
If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement—and when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything—for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.
At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you fall short of perfection. . . .
[The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5] . . . criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:
Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
Exaggerating your achievements and talents
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate . . .
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
Filed under: Asia, European Union, Foreign Policy, The United States, United Kingdom | Tags: President Barack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron, The Telegraph
I always understood that the White House had a Protocol Office that kept Presidents informed on manners and customs in the various countries the President might visit, and with how to treat the diplomats and leaders of other countries. I don’t know if President Obama has abolished the office, or if he just doesn’t pay any attention.
On his visit to England, President Obama felt called upon to write an op-ed in The Telegraph, one of the leading British newspapers. He skirted the history of British-American relations, and then summarized what he expects the British need to do to get our full support. We must be resolute and adaptive in preventing terrorist attacks, resolve conflicts in the Middle East, invest in NATO so we can meet our commitments and then he stuck his nose into the upcoming Brexit election, which is a difficult and touchy issue in England about whether to continue membership or leave the European Union.
That ignited a firestorm. It was a remarkably poor choice for an American president to tell the British what to do.
So I will say, with the candour of a friend, that the outcome of your decision is a matter of deep interest to the United States. The tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe’s cemeteries are a silent testament to just how intertwined our prosperity and security truly are. And the path you choose now will echo in the prospects of today’s generation of Americans as well.
As citizens of the United Kingdom take stock of their relationship with the EU, you should be proud that the EU has helped spread British values and practices – democracy, the rule of law, open markets – across the continent and to its periphery. The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership. The United States sees how your powerful voice in Europe ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the world, and keeps the EU open, outward looking, and closely linked to its allies on the other side of the Atlantic. So the US and the world need your outsized influence to continue – including within Europe. …
When it comes to creating jobs, trade, and economic growth in line with our values, the UK has benefited from its membership in the EU – inside a single market that provides enormous opportunities for the British people. And the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU will advance our values and our interests, and establish the high-standard, pro-worker rules for trade and commerce in the 21st century economy.
— “President Obama’s warning to those championing Britain’s exit from the EU was stark: Leave, he said, and the “U.K. is going to be in the back of the queue” on trade deals with the U.S.”
— Mr Obama’s catchphrase is ‘Yes, you can! – so why is he telling us Brits “No you can’t’?
— “Obama infuriates the Brits as he threatens to send UK to the back of the queue’ if they vote to leave the European Union.”
— “Barack Obama, our fair-weather friend, is wrong about the EU”
— “Armed Forces Minister: Obama ‘Woefully Ignorant ‘ of Threat EU Membership Poses”
— “Obama might as well have declared: ‘Britain lost the War of Independence because you have small d**ks’
American presidents usually do not comment or express opinion publicly in elections in other countries, but Australia and Canada have heard from Mr. Obama about their internal affairs.
Mr.Obama has been very outspoken about his irritation at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress when he was invited by Republicans to address them. When Honduran President Zelaya was ousted in a military coup after he tried to rewrite their Constitution to extend his tenure in office, President Obama commented in favor of Zelaya and in contradiction of Honduran Law. Obama’s campaign people have turned up in other elections.