Guernica Remembered

In 1936 the Spanish landscape erupted in a bloody civil war that lasted until 1939…..I know about this war because I lived in Spain and when I was there some of the scars from family against family still lingered……and my grandfather was fighting there as part of the International Brigades….(read more history)….

The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) broke out when the Spanish army in Morocco when a few of the most influent generals of the Spanish Army, led by General Francisco Franco, rose up against the democratically elected Republican government, presided over by Manuel Azaña. Allegiances were not always clear-cut during this conflict. Essentially, the ranks of the Left (also known as Loyalist and Republican) comprised workers, peasants and trade unions, but also the Spanish government, Socialists, Communists and Anarchists. The Right (also known as Nationalist), was supported by rebellious factions of the army, industry, landowners, the middle classes and the Catholic Church. For various and somewhat contradictory reasons, the Loyalists received the support of the Soviet Union and European democracies, while the Nationalists were armed and equipped by the Fascist governments of Germany and Italy.

The Spanish Civil War would prove to be both fierce and bloody. Although the resources of the two sides were not that unequal, the Nationalists were better organized and received extensive material aid from Germany. The Loyalists received very little assistance from the Soviet Union and, moreover, were divided by internal conflicts between Communist, Socialist and Anarchist factions.

While European and North American volunteers fought for the Republic in the framework of the International Brigades, and a number of foreign artists and intellectuals supported the Loyalist cause, including Ernest Hemingway (who was working as a reporter and photographer) and George Orwell (who fought on the Republican side only to be prosecuted later on and thus becoming profoundly disillusioned by the rivalry in the ranks of the Left), the Nationalists were finally triumphant.

General Franco’s victory marked the beginning of a forty-year dictatorship in Spain (1939-1975). In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Hitler sought Franco’s support for his own military campaign, but Spain was in no position to provide either financial or human aid. Although the Spanish Civil War had been a training field for the battles to be waged in the Second World War, Spain would play no part in the latter but agreed to sponsor a small army of volunteers known as La División Azul.

One of the worse airstrikes by the Nazi Condor Legion was in the attack on the  Basque town of Guernica……

The German bombers appeared in the skies over Guernica in the late afternoon of April 26, 1937 and immediately transformed the sleepy Spanish market town into an everlasting symbol of the atrocity of war. Unbeknownst to the residents of Guernica, they had been slated by their attackers to become guinea pigs in an experiment designed to determine just what it would take to bomb a city into oblivion.

Spain was embroiled in a convulsive civil war that had begun in July 1936 when the right-wing Nationalists led by General Francisco Franco sought to overthrow Spain’s left-wing Republican government. It did not take long before this bloody internal Spanish quarrel attracted the participation of forces beyond its borders – creating a lineup of opponents that foreshadowed the partnerships that would battle each other in World War II. Fascist Germany and Italy supported Franco while the Soviet Union backed the Republicans. A number of volunteers made their way to Spain to fight and die under the Republican banner including the Abraham Lincoln Brigade from the United States.

Source: The Bombing of Guernica, 1937

Today is the 80th anniversary of the attack……and a prelude to the death and destruction that would become World War Two…..and the only memory the world has of this attack is a painting by Picasso entitled “Guernica”……sad.

What Will Korean War Part 2 Look Like?

All the mash up with North Korea has got the country talking.  Even my class had to put in their 2 cents worth….we talked about the first one and how it started and ended…afterwards they asked…what will the next Korean War look like?

A good question and thankfully I had read an article that asked that very question….I told the class to read it and we would discuss it at next session (I reminded them UNZ has a Libertarian lean to it)……

“If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”

So thundered President Donald Trump last week. Unfortunately, neither China nor North Korea appeared intimidated by this presidential bombast or Trump’s Tweets.

What would ‘we will’ actually entail? This clear threat makes us think seriously about what a second Korean War would be like. Memory of the bloody, indecisive first Koran War, 1950-53, which killed close to 3 million people, has faded. Few Americans have any idea how ferocious a conventional second Korean War could be. They are used to seeing Uncle Sam beat up small, nearly defenseless nations like Iraq, Libya or Syria that dare defy the Pax Americana.

Source: What Would Korean War II Look Like? – The Unz Review

I would like for my readers to also join the conversation……so let your thoughts be heard.

Remember Operation Eagle Claw

Closing Thought–25Apr17

I apologize but this post was a draft that was suppose to be published yesterday and I somehow missed it.

Yep you got it….another history lesson……

This is an operation that cost American lives and it should not be forgotten…..

On 4 November 1979, after a popular revolution swept the Shah of Iran, a close American ally, out of power, Iranian students backing the new revolutionary Islamic government stormed the US embassy in Teheran and took the staff and USMC security contigent hostage. In all, 52 Americans were captured and it was unclear whether they were being tortured or readied for execution. After six months of failed negotiation, the US broke diplomatic relations with Iran on 8 April 1980 and the newly certified US Army Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne) was put on full alert and plans were being drawn up for a rescue.

The Americans faced a daunting task. Teheran is well inside Iran and away from friendly countries. The hostages were not held at an airport as in Israel’s four years earlier Entebbe raid. Good intelligence was hard to come by about forces inside the embassy and in Teheran. And of course, all the planning and training had to be carried out in complete secrecy.

Source: Operation Eagle Claw

The sacrifice that these people made should not be forgotten….and I will see that they are not.

Anzac Day

I am always going on about the American vets and have pretty much ignored other countries and their vets….I apologize.  The ugliness of war effected more than just Americans…..and ALL vets deserve their recognition.

Today is Anzac Day……25 April

It is their equivalent to the US Veterans Day….an observant of the Great War (WW1)…….a day to honor those that fought and died.

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federated nation for only 13 years, and its government was eager to establish a reputation among the nations of the world. When Britain declared war in August 1914 Australia was automatically placed on the side of the Commonwealth. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign. Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the actions of Australian and New Zealand forces during the campaign left a powerful legacy. What became known as the “Anzac legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways in which they viewed both their past and their future.

Source: Anzac Day: Remembering the Soldiers on Unexpected Battlefields | RealClearDefense

Take a few moments and think about the sacrifices that all war veterans make for the country…..they deserve far more than they are given.

I will attempt to rectify my oversight,,,,again I am sorry for my thoughtlessness.

It’s Looking A Lot Like “Groundhog Day”

I am referring to our wars of conquest of those barbaric groups AQ and ISIS…..

We have been fighting one or the other for about 20 years…the other is a fairly recent add to the War on Terror…..

The problem is that we keep doing the same thing over and over and spinning our wheels in the process….kinda like the movie “Ground Hog Day”…..only with guns, bombs, death and destruction.

The current situation in Syria reminds us again that we are failing in our post-9/11 wars. We have accomplished neither the strategic objectives set forth by the Bush administration nor those of the Obama administration. Both administrations have had notable successes and achieved periodic tactical and operational progress, but neither created sustained strategic success. The jury on the current administration is still out, but on the campaign trail the President suggested we can defeat ISIS with military force alone—bombing the *@#! out of them. To put it kindly, this approach misses the mark. America has led a concerted leadership decapitation campaign against both al Qaeda and ISIS for a decade and a half. Such a campaign is necessary, but not sufficient. How much longer will we take this approach before we learn that we are waking up to the same day over and over again?

Source: U.S. Strategy for al Qaeda and ISIS: It’s Groundhog Day | RealClearDefense

I keep waiting for all those brilliant minds in the government to come up with something new and innovative…..so far there is NOTHING new under the table at the Pentagon.

And this new administration is definitely not the group to end this war with a victory….they, like their predecessors, are nothing more the hammer to help the M-IC nail down massive profits with NO intention of ever ending this gravy train.

STOP! Treating War As Entertainment

From time to time I will post a petition that I think is worth my readers attention and this is one of those petitions…..

Tell traditional corporate media outlets: Stop glorifying war

“I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.”

That is the Leonard Cohen quote that MSNBC’s Brian Williams used last week to wax poetic about Donald Trump’s decision to illegally drop dozens of Tomahawk missiles on Syria.1 He described the “beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments” that were emerging of the strike with reverence and awe, demonstrating the horrifying and dangerous attitude that traditional corporate media outlets too-often take when reporting on war.2

War is not beautiful. Military action should be taken as a last resort and recognized for the sacrifice and loss that comes with it. It is a problem when the people and institutions tasked with keeping the general public informed of our actions in the world hide behind flowery language and lies to keep from having to report on the reality of war.

Source: Tell traditional corporate media outlets: Stop glorifying war | CREDO Action

Please consider the possibility of adding your name to those that oppose war…..especially when it seen as entertainment..

Thank you for your time and consideration.

The Battle Of The Somme

Just another history lesson of World War One…..a conflict that few Americans know anything about and even fewer care.

I read constantly….my library contains about 2000 books and not one of them is a work of fiction.  This is a review of the Battle of the Somme book…..

On 1 July 2016, a few Canadian Armed Forces personnel, mostly Newfoundlanders, journeyed to a monument in the north of France. They went to commemorate the centenary of Beaumont Hamel, one of many engagements which comprised the much larger World War I campaign known as the Battle of the Somme. As the padre intoned prayers in her lilting Newfoundland accent, the tone of the ceremony was sombre, even elegiac. On that same day in 1916, the infantry of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, a component of Britain’s imperial army, attacked German positions across open ground towards uncut barbed wire. The attack was a complete failure, the troops never breaching nor even reaching the German positions. Of this green regiment’s seven hundred and seventy officers and men, eighty percent were mown down in twenty minutes. Despite disasters of this nature all along the British line on 1 July, the Somme campaign persisted into November, and ended with over a million Anglo-French and German casualties.

Source: Somme: Into The Breach | RealClearDefense

The Battle of the Somme…..July 1916…..a conflict where many soldiers on both sides lost their lives….. By the end of the battle, the British Army had suffered 420,000 casualties including nearly 60,000 on the first day alone. The French lost 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000.

Learn more of this horrific battle…..

Source: First World War.com – Battles – The Battle of the Somme, 1916

I do this to keep the memory of these brave men and women alive….they should never slide from our memory.