Closing Thought–21Aug17

We have been returning past unidentified soldiers home for proper burials than to DNA.

Now we have located a Naval vessel that went down in 1945 with almost all hands on board…..the USS Indianapolis……

In the closing days of WW2 the ship was hit by Japanese torpedoes and sunk

On July 30, 1945, having just helped deal what would prove to be a death knell to World War II, the USS Indianapolis was fatally torpedoed by the Japanese. She sank fast—in 12 minutes, giving no time for a distress call—and only 316 of the 1,196 Americans aboard survived, reports CNN. On Friday, more than 72 years later, civilian researchers led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen found the cruiser in her grave 18,000 feet under the surface of the North Pacific Ocean, a discovery he says he hopes will give “everyone connected to this historic ship … some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming.” The Indianapolis had just delivered components for the atomic bomb the United States would drop on Hiroshima to the island of Tinian, from which the Enola Gay would take off on its fateful mission just days later.

The Indianapolis’ demise is the Navy’s single biggest loss at sea, notes the AP, which calls it “one of the Pacific war’s more horrible and fascinating tales.” Most sailors survived the initial sinking only to be subjected to a four-day ordeal in which their ranks were decimated by exposure, dehydration, and most cruelly, shark attacks. Only 22 survivors lived long enough for the ship to be found, notes CNN. The son of the ship’s dentist tells CNN that he regards the Indianapolis as his father’s grave, and that “I don’t think I have cried this hard in my adult life.” He adds that, “my mother would be torn to pieces if she were still living. She did not want them to ever find the ship. But I am glad she does not have to cry today.” Adds the nephew of another sailor lost aboard the Indianapolis, “I am filled with so much emotion. Part of me wanted the Indy to be found, part of me did not want it to be found.” The ship is still Navy property and its location a secret.

A story to be told!

Standing On The Precipice

It has never been a secret that I am a staunch critic of all the wars that our presidents have thrown the nation into fighting.

Our leaders for the past few decades have bot been shy about throwing the US into a war….most times they could have not been fought but with the use of good propaganda they have convinced the population that those conflicts are absolutely necessary.

And a few of these “small wars” have turned into a national nightmare that has been fought for at least 16 years.

We have a new president and nothing has changed….all the chest thumping and the propaganda are once again in use…..against North Korea, Iran while others are just simmering…..waiting for the proper time to boil over.

Trump’s popularity is suffering a bit and what better way to get back into the good graces of the people?

Trump should be mindful that superficially limited military engagements have a nasty tendency to morph into honest-to-goodness full-blown wars.

President Donald Trump has struggled in his first six months on the job. His signature legislative goals—from Obamacare repeal to the border wall—are stuck in Congress. He has managed to push through some initiatives via executive action, but these have been thwarted or delayed by the courts.

Desperate for a win, the president may be tempted to initiate a war. After all, Trump’s decision to launch missile strikes against Syria in April won him praise and support—even from some of his harshest critics.

Source: Is America Standing On the Precipice of Another War? | The National Interest Blog

If the country is standing there waiting….maybe there is something our president should do before throwing the full weight of the military at a problem.

In a real war, nations or organized non-state actors square off against each other. A metaphorical war is like a real war — after all, that’s what a metaphor is, a way of saying that one thing is like something else — but the enemy isn’t a country or even a single group of Islamic jihadists. It’s some other kind of threat: a disease, a social problem, or in the case of the war on terror, an emotion.

Source: When All the World’s a War… | By Rebecca Gordon | Common Dreams

It is time for the country to demand an end to all these wars!  This country has invested more than enough of our children in the pursuit of war.

STOP IT!  STOP IT NOW!

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!

Closing Thought–17Aug17

Another US Soldier Dies!

I hate that I must write these types of posts!

More sad news….I reported on Monday about 2 troops that were killed in Iraq.

Now news comes out that a US soldier was killed in Eastern Afghanistan….name is withheld until the family is notified….

One U.S. service member from the Utah National Guard was killed Wednesday during an operation against Islamic State forces in eastern Afghanistan, according to a statement from the Utah National Guard.

Approximately seven U.S. and Afghan forces were also injured in the operation, and were medically evacuated, according to a statement from Operation Resolute Support.

Identification of the service member was pending notification of next of kin, the military said.

“My heart aches for the loss and sacrifice of our members and their families,” Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard, said in a statement. “I know that what we do is dangerous and important work for our country’s defense, but this realization does little to console me during times of loss such as this.”

Wednesday’s incident brings the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 11, the same number as were killed in all of 2016 in Afghanistan.
IST offers the family our deepest sympathies for their loss….may he Rest in Peace.

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!

Closing Thought–15Aug17

Welcome Home Soldier!

There are many of the so-called “Unknowns”….those soldiers that died in combat and we not identified at the time.  Slowly but slowly DNA is providing much needed identifications.

Recently another soldier has been identified….

In what his family believes was his last letter home to Zanesville, Sgt. Harold Davis wrote that his only dream was to see the United States again.

The letter, addressed to his mother and father, came from Australia. He was stationed there for a time as he fought in the Pacific theater in World War II.

On Feb. 1, 1944, Davis and 10 of his comrades were killed in a plane crash on Mount Kenevi in New Guinea. The remains of the crash weren’t discovered for another 19 years. Officially, Davis was listed as missing in action, and then, a year later, killed in action.

In 1963, the crash was found but individual identification of the men wasn’t possible. So they were given a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery, and Davis’s family believed that chapter was closed.

Everyone is invited to Davis’s funeral procession. The procession is scheduled to leave at 10 a.m. from Delong-Baker & Lanning Funeral Home located at 56 S. Fifth St. and will travel to Zanesville Memorial Park at 1475 Military Road.

Waite hopes people line the streets, waving flags. Davis has been away from Zanesville for more than 70 years. To his remaining family, and to the city, this is a celebration.

“It’s quite an honor to close this chapter,” said Carolyn Waite, Dick’s wife.

He was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal (posthumous); Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one Silver Service Star and one Bronze Service Star; World War II Victory Medal; Presidential Unit Citation with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster; Philippine Defense Ribbon; and Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation, according to military records.

His family can now have the closure that they were missing……and may his soul rest in peace.

Now I shut down the operation for the day….see you guys tomorrow with a bag full of more stuff….chuq

A Better Plan

Yes I am talking about Afghanistan….again.

I have been bitch for over 10 years about how we got into yet another horrible war with NO plan to whether win or to go home.  Sounds all so familiar.

You know it is really not that hard for fight a war using the enemies game plan.

Say what?

That’s right….use their game plan against them.

When I was sent to Vietnam I was assigned to the LRRPs for the 9th Infantry Division….we spent a lot of our time in enemy territory and we needed to know what to expect….we all wer4e given a copy of North Vietnamese general’s book of guerilla warfare….People’s War, People’s Army by Gen. Giap.  It outlined the proper way to fight a guerilla war…tactics, logistics, everything they a soldier would need to know.

I bring this up because the same thing could have been done for our fight in Afghanistan.

Again…..say what?

That is right there is a game plan for Taleban fighters…..it is a book written 1995 by the fighters themselves entitled “Afghan Guerilla Warfare” by Ali Ahmad Jalali.  The book gives details on ambushes, logistics, weapons, bombs making, etc, etc….

Now would it nor have been  good idea to familiarize the troops with what to expect when fighting the Taleban?

Arrogance has doomed a many army in the past….and it is pulling the US military in too many directions to ever come out of the country with a win.