American Elephants


Why Do We Say “Remember Pearl Harbor”? It Was 77 Years Ago. by The Elephant's Child

ussarizona_pearlharbor-1941-e1354882107300
Every year on December 7, we say “Remember Pearl Harbor” but fail to point out why we should be remembering. John Steele Gordon in his essential history An Empire of Wealth: the Epic History of American Economic Power, outlines the state of the world then:

In a fireside chat on December 29, 1940, Franklin Roosevelt first used  a phrase that would prove enduring when he called upon the United States to become “the great arsenal of democracy.”
…..War had broken out in Europe on September 1, 1939, after German troops invaded Poland, and France and Great Britain stood by their pledges to come to Poland’s aid. Few Americans thought the Nazis anything but despicable, but public opinion in the United States was overwhelmingly to stay out of the conflict.  Many newspapers…were strongly isolationist. In 1934 Senator Hiram Johnson of California had pushed through a bill forbidding the Treasury to make loans to any country that had failed to pay back earlier loans.  That, of course included Britain and France.  On November 4, 1939, Congress had passed the Neutrality Act, which allowed purchases of war materiel only on a “cash and carry” basis.
…..Seven months later France fell to the Nazi onslaught, and Britain stood alone.  In the summer of 1940 Germany proved unable to defeat the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain and thus gain the air superiority necessary to mount an invasion across the English Channel. It tried instead to bludgeon Britain into submission with the blitz and to force Britain into submission by cutting off its trade lifelines across the Atlantic. It nearly worked. …
…..At the time American military forces were puny.  The army had about three hundred thousand soldiers—fewer than Yugoslavia—and was so short of weapons that new recruits often had to drill with broomsticks instead of rifles. The equipment it did have was often so antiquated that the chief of staff, General George C. Marshall, thought the army no better than “that of a third-rate power.” The navy, while equal to Britain’s in size, lacked ammunition to sustain action, and much of its equipment was old or unreliable.

Roosevelt realized what was at stake in terms of America’s own security, but he felt that Britain must survive long enough to hold the Nazis at bay while the U.S. rearmed and he was able to  bring the American people around to see where their own true interests lay. This was easier said than done.

On September 16, 1940 Congress approved the first peacetime draft in American history and 16.4 million men between the ages of 20 and 35 registered. But it specified that none was to serve outside the Western Hemisphere and that their terms of service were not to exceed twelve months. In 1941 Roosevelt was able to get Lend Lease through Congress, and after Pearl Harbor, isolationism vanished from the American political landscape.

Japan ran loose over the Pacific for the next six months, taking Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaya, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, the Dutch East Indies, and Burma while threatening Australia and India.

The rearming of America was one of the most astonishing feats in all economic history. In the first six months of 1942, the government gave out 100 billion in military contracts— more than the entire GDP of 1940. In the war years, American industry turned out 6.500 naval vessels; 296,400 airplanes; 86,330 tanks; 64,546 landing craft; 3.5 million jeeps, trucks, and personnel carriers; 53 million deadweight tons of cargo vessels; 12 million rifles,carbines, and machine guns; and 47 million tons of artillery shells, together with millions of tons of uniforms, boots, medical supplies, tents and a thousand other items needed to fight a modern war.

In 1933, the army of the United States was 137,000 men. The U.S. Army was 16th in size, in the world. The French Army was 5 million., but they had Germany next door. In May of 1940, Germany invaded France. We reinstituted conscription. By Pearl Harbor Day, the army was 1,640,000. With U.S. entry into World War II, the army expanded to 8,300,000 officers and men. About 5,000,000 served overseas. George C. Marshall was Army Chief of Staff for the whole war, and the author of the Marshall Plan.

By 1948, the army had declined to 554,000, and entirely unprepared for the Korean War. If I remember correctly, Victor Davis Hanson once said that History is about wars – what led up to them, the war itself, and the aftermath. The American people, always optimistic, are relieved to have it over, and expect peace to last indefinitely. If families cannot get along, and they can’t, neighbors can’t, city councils can’t and so on to every larger form of government. That’s why Globalism will never, never work.

Advertisements


Pearl Harbor Day December 7, 1941 — 77 Years Ago by The Elephant's Child

87cb811d-acbb0751d2ea4833

ussarizona_pearlharbor-1941-e1354882107300

132687646_11n

Sailors and others try to get good viewing spots to witness the surrender of Japan USS Missouri
Japanese Diplomat Toshikazu Kase, who was part of the official delegation surrendering to General Douglas MacArthur, above, on the deck of the battleship Missouri, wrote about the surrender:

Here is the victor announcing the verdict to the prostrate enemy.  He can impose a humiliating penalty if he so desires.  And yet he pleads for freedom, tolerance and justice.  For me, who expected the worst humiliation, this was a complete surprise.  I was thrilled beyond words, spellbound, thunderstruck.

It took 3 years, nine months and eight days.  Pity, and sorrow, but no apologies.

The numbers of those who actually remember Pearl Harbor are declining as the greatest generation passes away. Big events loom large in the lives of those who were alive at the time, and then slip gradually into that broad category of history. But it is important to understand how those big events changed history, and changed the world. Knowledge and understanding may help us avoid mistakes and untoward reactions when something happens in our lives.



pearl harbor and the legacy of carl vinson by The Elephant's Child


U.S. Navy Photo: USS Carl Vinson

Seventy-seven years ago on December 7, 1941, carrier planes from  the Imperial Japanese fleet attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in a surprise attack on the home of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It was followed a few days later by an attack on the Philippines.

The surprise attack on the fleet killed 2,402 Americans, sank or submerged 19 ships, including eight battleships damaged or destroyed. Just four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

Victor Davis Hanson writes today of the contribution of one Democratic Congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson. Do read the whole thing.

The Japanese fleet had missed the three absent American carriers of the Pacific Fleet. Nonetheless, Japanese admirals were certain that the United States was so crippled after the attack that it would not be able to go on the offensive against the Japanese Pacific empire for years, if at all. Surely the wounded Americans would sue for peace, or at least concentrate on Europe and keep out of the Japanese-held Pacific.

That was a fatal miscalculation.

The Japanese warlords had known little of the tireless efforts of one Democratic congressman from Georgia, Carl Vinson.

For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined.

If you have a history buff on your gift list, get them a copy of Dr. Hanson’s brilliant new book: The Second Word WarsIf you’re feeling generous, add With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge.

This should be a good reminder to consider carefully who you are electing to serve in Congress. It matters.



The Timetables of History by The Elephant's Child

slide_272890_1944640_free

1933An Unusual Year

Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States dies
Edouard Daladier becomes Premier of France
Adolph Hitler appointed German Chancellor
U.S.Congress votes independence for Phillippines
First U.S. Aircraft Carrier “Ranger” is launched

The Reichstag Fire in Berlin
F.D. Roosevelt inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States
Frances Perkins appointed Secretary of Labor, first woman in the Cabinet
Hermann Goering named Prussian Prime Minister
Goebbels named Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda

Boycott of Jews begins in Berlin
Japan withdraws from the League of Nations
Hitler granted dictatorial powers
Dachau opened
21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed (Prohibition)
Fiorello La Guardia elected Mayor of New York City

The Army of the United States was 137,000 men. (The French Army was 5 million)



If It Involves Little Kids, the Democrats Have a Sob Story by The Elephant's Child

Democrats usually rely on emotional appeals to gain their advantage. The earlier discussions of our Southern border were accompanied by pictures of children in cages (from the Obama Administration) and lots of pictures and talk of “little children ripped from their mother’s arms.” Well, no they weren’t. When illegal alien parents were held until they could have a hearing and were detained, our laws said that the children could not be physically detained with their parents. We provided comfortable care, entertainment, with trips to parks and playgrounds, and good food. But our suburban moms seldom get the whole story, and were, as intended, moved by the “ripped from their mothers’ arms” theme repeated over and over. That worked for the Democrats, and they may have even gained some votes from it.

So back to the border. When the “caravans” started in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, they were told right at the beginning that they would not be admitted to the United States. Caravan spokesmen made it clear early on that they were not asking for asylum, they just wanted jobs. So we’ve ended up with 3 or more new caravans, huge, going to walk thousands of miles to show how serious they were. Lots of pictures of the thousand member caravans. But the long slog up the west coast which was supposed to be barren and dangerous didn’t happen, as they seem to have gotten rides most of the way. The Border Patrol has closed most lines of traffic so they cannot use the car lanes.

Some have tried to rush the border, some have tried to climb the fences. When they started throwing rocks and thermoses, the Border Patrol was authorized to defend themselves. The Democrats had the usual emotional response ready. “ICE was using tear gas on unprotected innocent little children.” I think it was the Washington Post that went on about tear-gassing babies in diapers. It was the Border Patrol, not ICE, but ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has already been carefully identified as the bad guys. The whole thing is supposed to reflect very badly on the tyrannical Trump, except the San Diego Union-Tribune called up some articles from 2013  when a little group of about 100 people were trying to illegally cross the border near the San Ysidro port of entry and threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents who responded with pepper spray and other means to force the little crowd back to Mexico. That was the Obama administration pepper-spraying homeless, desperate deportees making a desperate bid to rejoin their families. According to the Washington Post Obama was doing it once a month.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was instructed not to call them “migrants” but to call them “asylum seekers.” She promptly compared them to Jewish families fleeing Nazi Germany, noting that asking to be considered as a refugee and applying for status is not a crime. International Law requires migrants applying for refugee status to apply to the first country they come to. Mexico offered asylum and at least temporary jobs, but thousands turned down the offer.

Let me repeat what I said at the beginning. They said when they first formed up into a caravan that they knew they wouldn’t get asylum — they just wanted jobs, and our nice benefits. There were a lot of previously deported illegals, and significant numbers of Bangladeshis, and at least 100 identified criminals.

The Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) has attempted to get a count of the suspected terrorists who have been encountered en route or at the Southwest Border since 2001. Their estimates are here, if you are interested.

Democrats are giving this all the full court press. It has been suggested that they want open borders to get their numbers up on the 2020 census, so they will get more congressional representatives in the House. It would be really helpful if they would actually deal with these problems honestly, but apparently that is quite unlikely.



How Do You Solve A Problem Like Human Nature? by The Elephant's Child

There are faint signs that perhaps the tensions involved over the debate about “globalism” and “national sovereignty” may be clearing a bit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that European Union (EU) member states must be prepared to transfer their powers over to Brussels at such a debate.

“In an orderly fashion, of course” Merkel said, as she explained that Germany had given up some of its sovereignty in order to join the EU, but national parliaments were in charge of deciding whether or not sign on to international treaties.

The CDU (Christian Democratic Union) leader said that trust and the willingness to compromise are essential in discussing the controversial UN migration pact, which the debate has continued to divide her own party.

Some important allies are pulling out of the agreement – Australia has left saying they will not risk their ‘hard won’ success in controlling their own borders. Trump has said no, and others are trying to figure out where they stand.

Chancellor Merkel accused critics of the Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration of “advocating ‘nationalism’ in its purest form.” She paraphrased her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron who recently claimed that “patriotism is the exact opposite because nationalism is treason.” Europe must surrender national sovereignty she said, to Brussels over “foreign affairs, migration, and development, as well as an increasing part of our budgets and even fiscal resources.” She also called for the creation of a real, true EU army and she stated that only through globalism can the world see peace.

This is an old, old argument — even on the original Thanksgiving we celebrate — can’t we all just get along? Well, no we can’t. It is now and always has been a pipe dream. And on throughout world history. The first humans probably started dispersing because they couldn’t get along together and were fighting about the kill that Roku dragged home for dinner, or who was going to get the choice piece of meat. You probably noticed in all the talk about happy family get-togethers for Thanksgiving dinner, there was also a lot of talk about how to deal with Uncle Harry who was a far Left Trump hater, or Uncle Ralph who was a bigoted Conservative.

The concept of a perfect society, or utopia, is as old as humanity. That is really the origin of communism and socialism and Nazism. They believed they were creating the perfect system. Here in America the Utopian Movement gained traction in 19th century America when thousands of people formed communities hoping to improve on existing society. The heyday was between 1820 and 1860. One of the remaining groups from that period is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormon Church, founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith. There was also the Oneida Community in upstate New York, the Shaker Movement, Brook Farm, a utopian community in Massachusetts.

We have had a lot of movements for “world peace.” There was the “war to end all wars” followed by the League of Nations”, followed by the rise of socialism with Mussolini and Hitler and World War II and the United Nations and the Cold War and another bunch of wars and Angela Merkel ought to be aware that the odds are quite definitely not in her favor.

In the present, Europe is suffering from Merkel’s invitation to all the unhappy people from the Middle East and Africa to migrate to Europe in the mistaken idea that Europe’s problem of declining birthrates and lack of young people to do the scut work and boring jobs would be solved by migration. Instead they got an invasion of Moslems whose religion demanded that those who did not submit to Allah should be killed. The migrants were welcomed all over Europe with gifts of food and clothing, flowers and song. The migrants were happy to accept the gifts, complained bitterly about the accommodations provided, and wanted to be supported by European generosity. They have instead proved willing to burn cars, rape any available women and girls, and engage in occasional shootings, and their communities have become dangerous ‘no-go’ districts. Merkel has just still not given up on her ideas of utopia.

In spite of all the Never-Trumpers, the deranged ‘celebrities’ in a constant search for the nearest microphone, and the newest “Democratic-Socialists”, plain old free-market capitalism in a constitutional republic seems to work better than anything else. The news of the day is not usually about how peaceful and happy the nations of the world are, but about their quarrels. Quarreling remains human nature, and we seem to be stuck with it.



How Will Trump Deal With The Migrant Caravans? by The Elephant's Child

With three or more “caravans” of migrants from Central America heading up the west coast of Mexico towards our southern border, there are lots of questions about immigration. President Trump wants to eliminate birthright citizenship for those who are not born to citizens.

A few years back, more than five but I can’t remember how many, a Russian oligarch arrived in New York harbor in his gigantic yacht, anchored and shortly rushed to a New York hospital so his mistress could have an American citizen baby. Somehow that just didn’t seem right.

This election has made it clear just why the Left is so determined to favor any and all illegal aliens who arrive, and want them to become citizens. The issue of vote fraud has been very clear in California, Florida and quite a few other states, with non-citizens illegally voting. For the current crop of Democrats, being in control is all important, and they are willing to go to any lengths to make sure they are.

Migrant family apprehensions in October are up 378 percent over last year. That’s before any caravan has reached the border. The Left has insisted on portraying the caravans as peaceful migrants, but a hundred migrants have disappeared from the march. Someone rolled a truck up, told the migrants they could get a free ride, and no one has seen them since. The kids can become a “family unit” for traffickers, the women cn go to a brothel and the men may end up as drug mules or in mass graves. Massive numbers do not necessarily promote safety.

So President Trump has sent troops to the border, wants to end “birthright citizenship”, wants to build a wall to make it harder for illegals to get in. What can he do? What are his legal powers? Dan Cadman at the Center For Immigration Studies has spelled out the President’s powers: The Background, The Use of the Military, the Enforcement Powers, The Use of Force, and Border Agent Force Multipliers and other Executive Powers of the President. He can close the border.  This is a very useful view of the President’s Executive Power. Do read the whole thing. It will serve you well, as Democrats start trying to eliminate ICE, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) the border police, and change the nation’s laws because they want to assure their own power. This is a very troubling period.




%d bloggers like this: