Another History Lesson

(gasp…choke…cough….)

By now the usual posts have hit the internet about the attack in Barcelona……everyone has the same opinion…a dastardly deed committed by barbaric cowards.

And then our president had his say so about the attack as well……

President Trump’s first public reaction to the Barcelona van attack was to tweet a response: “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!” His second public reaction was to spread a rumor that’s been debunked, CNN reports. “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught,” he tweeted. “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” CNN says Trump was probably talking about the rumor that Gen. John J. Pershing shot Muslims with bullets dipped in pig’s blood, or buried them with pigs’ bodies, during the Philippine-American War as a deterrent to insurgents. It’s a rumor that multiple media outlets, Fox News included, are pointing out has no evidence supporting it.

Trump definitively referred to that rumor during the presidential campaign, telling the audience at a rally that Pershing’s forces lined up 50 Muslim prisoners, shot 49 of them with pig’s-blood-dipped bullets, and told the last person, “‘You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem.” But both Snopes and Politifact have deemed this rumor to be false. Pershing did write about another commanding officer in the war who supposedly buried Muslims with pigs, but, per Politifact: “There is no evidence that Pershing himself committed these acts … and most important, there is no evidence to support Trump’s claim that this tactic was effective in stopping violence.” Not to mention, as a religious expert told Huffington Post in 2013, there is no penalty in Islam for simply coming into contact with pork products.

That is right…this NEVER happened!  Just more of the “real” news that some like to report.

If I am not mistaken the incident in the Philippines that Trump mentioned ended with Pershing sitting down with the rebels and reading from the Quran and praying with them….and a dispute was avoided. (If  could remember where I read that piece of info I would give you a link…old age and brain farts prevent me from doing so)

I can appreciate it when someone uses a little historical context when making a point….but at least they could do is get it right.  At least he could have shown a little more compassion and actual concern.

Beginnings Of The American Empire

Yes I am a history geek!  When studying political history one gets some insights into the world of history and the world of politics.

In the very beginning of American history the country held a more isolationists position…..yes we conducted trade with other countries but for the most part we kept to ourselves and did not tamper with others foreign policy.

We fought our wars here and there…but is was not until the late 19th century that the US became an empire with its war with Spain which it won and by winning we gained territory from the loser Spain.

Make NO mistake from that time on the United States of America became an empire….like it or not.

Let the history lesson begin!

On April 25, 1898 the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of the Battleship Maine in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. As a result Spain lost its control over the remains of its overseas empire — Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines Islands, Guam, and other islands.

Source: Introduction – The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War (Hispanic Division, Library of Congress)

The war with Spain in 1898 began the US ventures into interventionism…..something that once we started we could never stop.

U.S. Secretary of State John Hay called the Spanish-American War of 1898 a “splendid little war.” Superficially, the description seemed apt. After the battleship Maine mysteriously exploded in Havana Harbor — an incident then blamed on Spain — America went to war, our citizens urged to free Cuba from Spanish rule as well as avenge the Maine. Largely a naval war, an American squadron under Commodore George Dewey destroyed the Spanish squadron at Manila; likewise, the U.S. Navy crushed Spain’s Caribbean squadron off Cuba’s port of Santiago. In each engagement, the United States suffered only one fatality. Things went tougher for American troops in Cuba, where malaria and yellow fever proved as daunting as Spanish bullets. But American schoolchildren would thereafter thrill to tales of Teddy Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders,” and of the famed charge up San Juan Hill. Defeated on land and sea, Spain sued for peace. The war lasted less than four months; our fighting forces distinguished themselves with valor; and the United States, acquiring territory from Puerto Rico to the Philippines, emerged as a “world power.”

Source: Spanish-American War: Trial Run for Interventionism

Welcome to the world of today.

Class dismissed!

The Other D-Day

World War 2 in Europe

Our greatest generation is slowly disappearing…..most of us know about D-Day and to some small way the battle for Italy which started in North Africa and then onto Sicily and the then the mainland.

But how many of my readers have ever heard of Operation Dragoon?

Operation Dragoon was conceived almost simultaneously with Operation Overlord, the June 6. 1944 Normandy Invasion but, was shelved until the allies were assured of Overlord’s success. From the onset, Winston Churchill was vehemently opposed to the campaign. Churchill favored increased prosecution of the Italian campaign and securing the Balkan oil producing regions. Denial of these regions to the Germans and to the Red Army reinforced Churchill’s distain and mistrust of the Soviets and saw this as an advantageous negotiating tool in a post-war Europe.

Overruled by the Allied Command Chiefs of Staff, Churchill begrudgingly acquiesced. The key to the campaign’s absolute success was securing the much needed ports of Toulon and Marseilles. The Allies having a northern and southern supply line in France would trap the Germans in a pincer movement and drive them back into the Rhineland.

Source: Operation Dragoon: The Forgotten D-Day | Human Events

This Operation is of special interest to me for I had an uncle that fought up Italy and onto the shore of Southern France in Operation Dragoon.

This theater of WW2 gets very little attention……less than it deserves.

History lesson has been delivered…..keep the memories alive!

Class dismissed!

How To Handle The North Korea Situation

This situation with North Korea is getting a bit redundant…..this will be the last pot for now on NK that is until something new breaks….

I have offered my many opinions on how to handle the North Korean situation….and during those opinions I have had some dolt from the Right go off with something about the situation that has little to nothing to do with the situation.

These people seem to have the same opinion….”nuke ’em all and let God sort them out” mindset.  They offer little as far as an actual idea on how the situation needs to be approached.

First the report that came out over the last weekend……

China’s president delivered a direct message to President Trump: Ease up on the North Korea rhetoric. In a phone call with Trump Friday night, Xi Jinping said he wanted both sides to avoid “words and actions” that would make the situation worse, per the BBC, citing Chinese media. The White House statement on the call said the two leaders agreed that North Korea must stop its “provocative and escalatory behavior,” though it didn’t mention Xi’s plea to Trump as well. The call came after Trump made a series of aggressive statements directed at Pyongyang on Friday, the most recent one saying that the North would “truly regret” any missile launches toward Guam. The North, meanwhile, ramped up its own rhetoric on Saturday with a boast that 3.5 million people have volunteered to join the military to fight the US, reports the Washington Post.

“All the people are rising up across the country to retaliate against the US thousands of times,” said a newspaper. Meanwhile, China isn’t the only nation worried. Japan installed missile interceptors, South Korea is speeding up the process needed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile-defense system, and Germany’s Angela Merkel voiced concern after one of Trump’s tweets, saying, “I consider an escalation of rhetoric the wrong answer,” per the Guardian. Despite his aggressive language, Trump also has spoken of a non-military outcome. “Hopefully, it will all work out,” he said Friday. “Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you.”

3.5 million have signed up to fight…..now if that report is accurate it is something to think about…..has any American felt such patriotic fervor and signed up?

The World’s First Prime Minister

Does anyone know the name of the world’s first prime minister?

Don’t head for the Google button…..

His name was Armand-Jean du Plessis…..but most people remember him by his other name….Cardinal Richelieu……

Cardinal; French statesman, b. in Paris, 5 September, 1585; d. there 4 December 1642. At first he intended to follow a military career, but when, in 1605, his brother Alfred resigned the Bishopric of Luçon and retired to the Grande Chartreuse, Richelieu obtained the see from Henry IV and withdrew to the country to take up his theological studies under the direction of Bishop Cospéan of Aire. He was consecratedbishop on 17 April, 1607; he was not yet twenty-two years old, although the Brief of Paul Vdated 19 December, 1606, announcing his appointment contains the statement: “in vigesimo tertio aetatis anno tantum constitutus”. Mgr. Lacroix, the historian of Richelieu’s youth, believes that in a journey made to Rome at the end of 1606, Richelieu deceived the pope as to his age, but the incident is still obscure. In his diocese, Richelieu showed great zeal for the conversion of Protestants and appointed the Oratorians and the Capuchins to give missions in all the parishes. Richelieu represented the clergy of Poitou in the States General of 1614, where his political career began. There he was the mouth-piece of the Church, and in a celebrated discourse demanded that bishops and prelates be summoned to the royal councils, that the distribution of ecclesiastical benefices to the laity be forbidden, that the Church be exempt from taxation, that Protestants who usurped churches or had their coreligionists interred in them be punished, and that the Decrees of the Council of Trent be promulgated throughout France. He ended by assuring the young king Louis XIII that the desire of the clergy was to have the royal power so assured that it might be “comme un ferme rocher qui brise tout ce qui gheurte” (as a firm rock which crushes all that opposes it).

Source: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Cardinal Richelieu

The very idea of a prime minister and his duties originated with Richelieu.

Class dismissed!

Sicilian Fasci Movement

This will be your final history lesson for the week…..enjoy.

About here some person will read the title and immediately set off schooling me about the Godwin Law because they will assume that I am aiming this at the their fearless leader in DC.

As usual they would be WRONG!

This post is not about Mussolini or even his patron Hitler…nope….it is about a movement in Sicily in the late 19th century.

During the 1860s and 1870s, workers in Sicily supported each other through mutual aid societies, which claimed the right to strike and to lobby for wage increases. This precedent of organized labor, along with a recent history of peasant uprisings against feudal aristocracy and the spread of socialist ideology, set the stage for the Fasci Siciliani movement. A trade war affecting the main components of Sicily’s economy (fruit, wine, and sulfur) led the Sicilian elite to institute higher rents and taxes, transferring the economic hardship to the working class. Fasci, meaning “bundle” in Italian, were associations of laborers that advocated for workers’ rights constituted Sicily’s first social movement.

Source: Sicilian Fasci movement, 1893-4

For those that like history and politics it is always a joy to find out about how the world looked at society back in the day.

I hope that you, my reader, enjoyed your small slice of history for the day…..

Class Dismissed!

Was The Big Bang Necessary?

August is the month that we celebrate the end of WW2 by defeating Japan…..we all know about this event…..but there are others that involved Japan that we are nor privy to…..I will expand that historic event a bit……

I recently posted, on Gulf South Free Press, an op-ed on the nukes dropped on Japan that ended WW2….there was a spirited back and forth in the comments section.

In case you missed the op-ed……

Source: That Big Bang – Gulf South Free Press

Points were made before pro and con……then I read a piece about the Soviet Union’s enter into the war against Japan…..

At the Tehran Conference in Nov 1943 and at the Yalta Conference in Feb 1945, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had agreed declare war on Japan three months after Germany would be defeated. On 5 Apr 1945, the Soviet Union informed Japan that the Soviet Union would not renew the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact of 1941, which ensured non-aggression between the two nations through 13 Apr 1946. At 2300 hours Transbaikal time on 8 Aug 1945, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov informed Japanese ambassador Sato that the Soviet Union was revoking the neutrality pact with a declaration of war effective on 9 Aug; at this point, the neutrality pact was still six months from its natural expiration.

At one minute past midnight on 9 Aug 1945, or 61 minutes after the declaration of war, Soviet troops organized in three fronts poured into Japanese-occupied northeastern China, a region also known by its historical name of Manchuria. Northeastern China had been governed by the Japanese-sponsored puppet regime of Manchukuo since 1932. The Soviet troops were of the Far Eastern Command under the overall command of Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky, who devised a giant pincer movement against the unprepared Japanese troops. In Vasilevsky’s plan, the Transbaikal Front under Marshal R. Y. Malinovsky was to attack from the west across the Inner Mongolian desert and over the Greater Khingan mountain range, with Mukden (Shenyang), Liaoning Province, China as the primary target; the attached 36th Army was to break off after the initial invasion and head toward Harbin and Qiqihar to meet the 2nd Far East Front. The 2nd Far East Front under General M. A. Purkayev attacked in the center largely in a support role only, with the primary objectives of securing Harbin and Qiqihar, upon the successful completion of which, the front was to move toward the port of Lushunkou (Russian: Port-Artur; Anglicized: Port Arthur) of the city of Dalian, Liaoning Province after the 1st Far East Front completed its primary objectives. Finally, from the east over the Lesser Khingan mountain range, the 1st Far East Front under Marshal K. A. Meretskov was to capture the cities in east, including Changchun; its secondary objective was to cut off Japanese escape routes into Korea, and its tertiary objective was to invade and occupy northern Korea. In total, 1,577,725 men in 89 divisions with the support of 3,704 tanks, 1,852 self-propelled guns, 27,086 artillery pieces, and 3,721 aircraft were utilized in the invasion.

Source: Manchurian Strategic Offensive | World War II Database

The war was won…but did it have to end the way it did?