Operation Eagle Claw

I will wait a moment for all those too young to remember anything past the release of the first Apple phone to dash to Goggle and get the answers they search….

Times up!

Yep it was an attempt to rescue the hostages held by Iran….the Right loves to belittle Carter for this failed attempt making him out as some sort of wimp…..well nothing could be further from the truth…

The meeting began with Jimmy Carter’s announcement: “Gentlemen, I want you to know that I am seriously considering an attempt to rescue the hostages.”

Hamilton Jordan, the White House chief of staff, knew immediately that the president had made a decision. Planning and practice for a rescue mission had been going on in secret for five months, but it had always been regarded as the last resort, and ever since the November 4 embassy takeover, the White House had made every effort to avoid it. As the president launched into a list of detailed questions about how it was to be done, his aides knew he had mentally crossed a line.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/05/the-desert-one-debacle/304803/

If one would like a more detailed description of this operation then this is a good source…..

http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/apjinternational/apj-s/2006/3tri06/kampseng.html

Jimmy Carter has been made a failed presidency by so many on the Right over the past decades…..but if he had won his re-election there would have been a good chance that a peace could have been negotiated between Israel and Palestine….but the election of Reagan crapped on his attempt at a peace.

Personally, the world would have been a better place if he won re-election.

Your history lesson is complete…..for today…there is so much more to come….

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Ken Burns’ Vietnam War

By now most Americans interested have watched Ken Burns’ documentary of the Vietnam War…..I have read many critiques both pro and con….me?  I was there and do not need to be reminded of the stupidity or the insanity…..

But I read a peace in the New Statesman about the film……..

In his own remarks, Mac Owens mentioned an essay by Jim Webb, the decorated Vietnam combat veteran, writer, and former US senator. That essay, “Heroes of the Vietnam Generation,” pairs well with an earlier essay, “Peace? Defeat? What Did the Vietnam War Protesters Want?,” which was also published by the American Enterprise Institute, in 1997. Both are very useful, especially for those who didn’t live through the Vietnam era, for understanding some of that generation’s dynamics.

Webb discusses how it was really the first time in US history when a lot of people argued not going into the military was actually a good thing, and this sentiment has guided how a lot of people look at the Vietnam War. In order to justify not serving in the military at that time, many described the war as unjust, unnecessary, and unwinnable. While I can’t read Ken Burns’ mind, if you look at his documentary The Vietnam War, it certainly seems to support this mentality.

https://providencemag.com/2018/05/ken-burns-omits-vietnam-war/

Of course when Vietnam is mentioned or debated there is always the subject of who won that war…..

To bring with that would nice to know what those asking and answering the question what their definition of winning and losing in war really means.

In order to know whether the U.S. lost the Vietnam war or not, it’s wise to go back and see why the Vietnam war started in the first place. Domino theory or containment was usually used as a  justification for the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The fact is the U.S. failed to stop the spread of Communism throughout Vietnam which led to its spread to Laos and Cambodia in 1975. However, it is arguable that the effects of the war in Korea and Vietnam that the U.S. had involved in did help the rest of South-East Asian countries such as Thailand and Singapore stay free of communism.

Military-wise, the U.S. arguably never lost any major battles. However, it could not stand the constantly increasing loss of American lives and the economic burden the war carried on its people and was eventually forced to leave Vietnam before the war ended. Without its direct support, South Vietnam surrendered to the North Communists and disappeared from the world map not long later.

In short, in the picture of Vietnam, the U.S. failed to defend South Vietnam against the North Communists and probably lost the war politically rather than militarily as Vietnam was far from the war of major battles. In the bigger picture of containment, the U.S. did achieve their initial goals to a certain extent.

https://thevietnamwar.info/who-won-the-vietnam-war/

This is a good piece for those interested in a by-gone war that most Americans had sooner forget

Hill 397

Hill 397?…..maybe if I give a movie reference (movies that I will not watch….. I was there I do not need to remember the insanity) Hamburger Hill……..an exercise in futility.

Sorry children time for your history lesson so that maybe you will not make the same mistakes as your elders….

The battle was the result of a renewed effort in early 1969 to neutralize the North Vietnamese forces in the A Shau, a 45-kilometer-long valley in southwestern Thua Thien Province along the border with Laos. The A Shau sheltered enemy Base Area 611 and had long provided a major infiltration corridor for Communist forces from the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos to the coastal cities of northern I Corps Tactical Zone.

The valley’s formidable terrain was dominated at its northern end by what local Montagnard tribesmen called the “mountain of the crouching beast,” Dong Ap Bia. On military maps it was simply Hill 937, so labeled for its height in meters. Several large ridges and fingers ran out from its summit, one of the largest extending southeast to a height of 900 meters and another reaching south to a 916-meter peak. The steep slopes of Dong Ap Bia were cloaked by a heavy undergrowth of sawtooth elephant grass, thick stands of bamboo, and double-and-triple canopy jungle. It was an area long occupied by the NVA and it was fortified with bunkers, spider holes, deep tunnels and trenches.

http://www.historynet.com/hell-on-hamburger-hill.htm

Made for a good movie for Hollywood but war is anything but a source for entertainment.

I want my readers to remember the men and women that fought and died in Vietnam do not let them be removed to the dust bins of history.

Fascists To The Right…….

World War Two and we fought the great Satan of fascism….Germany and Italy……but during that war there were more fascist in the world than you can imagine….

These are the little known fascists that prayed on their populations….

Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, was murdered by a mob on April 28, 1945, after 23 years of fascist governance in Italy. Mussolini, his mistress, and many of the fascist party’s top leaders were murdered in cold blood without trial. That’s no way to bring down a government. Even Saddam Hussein, the Nazis and the Japanese were given trials. So, as bad as Mussolini was, his end was not fair in any sense of the word. It would be wise to remember that even tyrants and despots, along with murderers, rapists, terrorists, and pedophiles still have a right to a fair trial in free countries. This long-observed law is often misconstrued as a weakness by many non-Western observers, but make no mistake: A fair trial is a cornerstone of Western civilization.

Mussolini’s vulgar end is the inspiration for this weekend’s Top 10 list: Fascist governments you  may not know about. Fascism is a complicated system of governance and ideology, and one that, in part because its adherents lost World War II, is often used as pejorative by the victors of the same war (the liberals and the socialists). I mentioned some of the best contemporary essays on fascism at the Historiat last month, which you can read for yourself here

https://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2018/04/26/10_little-known_fascist_governments_299.html

Your knowledge of World War Two has been expanded…..you are welcome.

A Bit Of Vietnam History

Saturday and I have decided to try and post a bit of American history of the Vietnam War…..as the years go back  fewer and fewer of us veterans remain…and since not many people want to recall our disastrous war someone has got to step up and see that we are NOT forgotten.

Ever heard of the USS Mayaguez?

It was a battle fought in Cambodia in 1975…..

The battle on Koh Tang occurred on May 15, 1975, three days into what would later be called the “Mayaguez Incident,” after communist guerrillas from the Khmer Rouge seized the American merchant vessel, the SS Mayaguez. Marines from 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines were sent from Okinawa, Japan, for a rescue mission.

Four U.S. helicopters were shot down and five more were damaged, with more than a dozen killed in the initial assault. In all, 230 Marines and airmen were involved in the operation on the east and west beaches during the 14-hour battle against a much larger and more disciplined force than poor intelligence told them to anticipate.

https://www.stripes.com/fate-of-marines-left-behind-in-cambodia-in-1975-haunts-comrades-1.214568

This incident happen 38 years ago on the 15th of May 1975……many Americans have NO idea of this incident and now I want all to know of the fallen comrades that have been forgotten for so many years.

Remember….Never forget…….chuq

Could US Have Prevented WW2?

We are celebrating World War One, the 100 year anniversary, a war that not many Americans know anything bout because they do not see it as an American war.

I have written about what events could have actually been the cause of the Americans entry…..but there is another question….if the Americans had not entered into WW1 would WW2 have been prevented?

A fascinating thought in itself……

Every war is a tragedy, a failure to resolve sharp differences of ideology and interest or to stop evil men before they can impose their will on others. The First World War was one of the most tragic wars in history: Although none of its major protagonists expected or wanted it to occur, it initiated thirty years of bloodletting on an unprecedented scale and planted the seeds for civil conflicts that continue to rage today. Witness the fate of the Sykes-Picot Treaty, the secret pact drawn up in 1916 by diplomats from Britain and France that mashed together Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds in a new nation called Iraq.

Historians will debate forever whether the Great War could have been prevented. But for the United States, it was indisputably a war of choice. Germany neither threatened a trans-Atlantic attack, nor had the ability to mount one. And while Woodrow Wilson and the government’s propaganda agency, the Committee on Public Information, portrayed the Kaiser’s regime as a cruel autocracy, it could not raise an army without the approval of the Reichstag, an elected legislature. And was Imperial Germany so morally inferior to the three empires it was fighting—the British, the French, and, until March of 1917, the realm of the Tsar?

https://newrepublic.com/article/118435/world-war-i-debate-should-us-have-entered

AS I wrote earlier…..why is World War One mostly forgotten by Americans……

It redefined women’s rights, race relations, civil liberties and America’s role in the world. It caused twice as many American deaths as the Vietnam war. But there is no national memorial to it in Washington DC and, on Thursday, its centenary will pass with little fanfare.

On 6 April 1917, America declared war on Germany and charged into the first world war. After nearly three years of reluctance, its hand was forced by the sinking of neutral US ships by German submarines, and by Britain’s interception of the so-called Zimmerman telegram revealing a German plot to persuade Mexico to wage war on the US.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/06/world-war-1-centennial-us-history-modern-america

I have tried to help Americans understand the First World War, a daunting endeavor but I feel that we should try and understand ALL wars that we have asked our young to fight.

France And The Middle East

I have a degree in Middle East Studies and Conflict Management….but my interests first were ignited by movies like Beau Geste and Lawrence of Arabia and then my trips through the Middle East…..

In all that time what suck in my brain was France’s involve in desert warfare by trying to subjugate the tribes of North Africa…..and in doing so should have learned how to fight a desert war more so than most other nations…..

A paper that I recently read on France’s place in this region of the world……

  • The Middle East is a key stage for France’s foreign policy, one where it bids to prove its credentials as an international power, punching above its weight and demonstrating the independence that is so important to the French sense of place in the world.
  • In this context, the Arab uprisings and their subsequent upheavals have been a particular challenge, to such an extent that France attempted to recalibrate its strategy. Despite this, France soon settled back into its traditional realism by adopting an approach based on “reassurance”.
  • Under this approach, France sought to foster stability by reassuring its partners against their perceived anxiety in the face of domestic instability, regional changes, and international uncertainties. But “reassurance” did not deliver and France still faces key challenges in the region.
  • France also feels increasingly ‘alone in the desert’, with little European support. Even with armed conflicts, terrorism, and migration flows across the region, France has failed to rally its European partners around strategic purpose.
  • Emmanuel Macron’s ardent pro-Europeanism presents an opportunity for France, and for Europe. But France must move on from its “reassurance” approach and better embed its leadership in concerted European cooperation.

http://www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/alone_in_the_desert_how_france_can_lead_europe_in_the_middle_east

We here in the States hear a lot about what Great Britain is doing and possibly to a lesser extent what Germany is doing but we hear very little of France and its foreign policies…..

I think that if we are to work all aspects of the situation then we need to know what all players are doing….it is the only way for success.