Making American (History) Great Again–Part 37

I have been writing and posting about American history….history that most Americans have never been taught or even thought about…..Maj. Sjursen takes on American history with the passion and the learning that Howard Zinn many years ago.

So far this series has taken the reader through all aspects of American history….from the very beginnings to today……but for those that have not been reading this series all along I will help you get caught up….please take some time and read the history that should be taught….

Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5; Part 6; Part 7; Part 8; Part 9; Part 10; Part 11; Part 12; Part 13; Part 14; Part 15; Part 16; Part 17; Part 18; Part 19; Part 20; Part 21; Part 22; Part 23; Part 24; Part 25; Part 26; Part 27; Part 28; Part 29; Part 30; Part 31; Part 32; Part 33; Part 34; Part 35 ; Part 36.

We step into the recent history with the first elected black president….Barack Obama……all gthe drama that goes with that event……

Most serious historians, especially academics, believe that accounts of recent events—particularly within 10 years of the present—are more journalistic than historical. It is for good reason that journalism has been called the “first draft of history.” As the “American History for Truthdiggers” series nears an end, it looks at the administration of Barack Obama, who left the presidency less than 32 months ago. Because so little time has passed, the essay below is more a brief, analytical essay than a comprehensive reading based on established, long-scrutinized historical sources and discovery of new information. It should be viewed as this author’s first draft of rather recent history. —Danny Sjursen

Barack Hussein Obama. That a man with a black Kenyan father and a name derived from African and Islamic etymology was elected president of the United States seemed profound indeed. America’s legacy of chattel slavery and racial apartheid was such that only a decade and a half before the 2008 election Tupac Shakur would rap that Americans “ain’t ready to see a black president.” Nonetheless, Obama won—with authority—over his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. By carrying traditionally Republican states such as Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana, Obama appeared to have forged a new Democratic coalition. Perhaps more important was the claim of some of his admirers that he inaugurated a new “post-racial” America. That would turn out to be only wishful thinking.

American History for Truthdiggers: The Obama Disappointment

I admit it I was expecting a lot more out of the Obama presidency….I was very disappointed in his foreign policies……plus I suspect that election of a black man as president is what gave the country a Donald Trump presidency.

We have now been taken into the present by Maj. Sjursen and his next article in the series should be very telling.

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Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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BOOKS!

Before I begin….did I mention that I hate squirrels?

Most of my regulars know that I have a huge library of books on international relations, Politics and History….I just cannot stop buying books….the feel, the smell and the look of a book is everything.

This Saturday I thought I would post a bit on books and a bit of history as well…..

I am not a fan of fiction I prefer real life and real situations….but a couple of first about novels of the past……

So you think 50 Shades was racy?

Researchers have discovered a long-lost version of a medieval romance “novel” containing a sex scene too steamy for even modern publishers. 

The French poem, “Le Roman de la Rose” (The Romance of the Rose), tells the story of a courtier wooing a woman — the poems titular “rose.” It was the “Twilight” of its day, a crowd-pleasing romance that was reproduced again and again. 

“‘Le Roman de la Rose’ really was the blockbuster of its day,” Marianne Ailes, a medievalist at the University of Bristol in the U.K. who identified the new fragments of the manuscript, said in a statement. “We know how popular it was from the number of surviving manuscripts and fragments, a picture our fragment adds to, and from the number of allusions to the text in other medieval writings.”

https://www.livescience.com/lost-medieval-romance-manuscript-discovered.html

Then the discovery of what some say is the very first novel…..

The chest was opened. And suddenly, a chapter has been added to the oldest known version of what’s considered to be the world’s first novel. The original manuscript of the Tale of Genji—telling of the political and romantic life of Genji, the son of an ancient Japanese emperor—was completed around 1010 by a woman named by scholars as Murasaki Shikibu, but subsequently lost to history. Indeed, the oldest written copy known to researchers, transcribed by the poet Teika before his death in 1241, includes just four chapters of the 54-chapter story. Well, now five chapters, counting the 800-year-old pages just discovered in a house in Tokyo, per the Guardian. It seems ancestors of the home owner, descended from a feudal lord, had been quietly keeping Teika’s transcription of the fifth chapter of the Japanese epic since 1743.

In April, 72-year-old Motofuyu Okochi of the Mikawa-Yoshida feudal domain opened the chest used to store the chapter, allowing officials at cultural heritage foundation Reizeike Shiguretei Bunko to have a peek. They say it’s an authentic manuscript, roughly 5.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches long, with handwriting and a blue cover that perfectly matches Teika’s other chapters, which are registered as “national important cultural properties,” per Asahi Shimbun. Kyoto University professor Junko Yamamoto tells the outlet it’s a “very significant” find since research on the fifth chapter, which depicts Genji meeting his future wife, has been based on manuscripts completed 250 years after Teika’s version.

I have about 1500 books in my library….most of them I had to replace after Katrina for many got ruined with water damage……but I read about a new way to protect your books….

“For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand & rend him. Let him be struck with palsy & all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, & let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, & when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him for ever.”

What can I say after the destruction of Katrina I will try anything to protect my books…..

Have a great Saturday and enjoy family….be well be safe

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

16 October 1962

2 days ago…a memory……my bad….all the silliness, the craziness of the last couple of days and I missed posting this bit of history……an important piece of history….

A day us old farts will never forget……ever hear of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Let us look at the event and the timeline…..

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff in October 1962 over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba, just 90 miles from U.S. shores. In a TV address on October 22, 1962, President John Kennedy (1917-63) notified Americans about the presence of the missiles, explained his decision to enact a naval blockade around Cuba and made it clear the U.S. was prepared to use military force if necessary to neutralize this perceived threat to national security. Following this news, many people feared the world was on the brink of nuclear war. However, disaster was avoided when the U.S. agreed to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s (1894-1971) offer to remove the Cuban missiles in exchange for the U.S. promising not to invade Cuba. Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.

https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cuban-missile-crisis

This was a huge deal for about 2 weeks……us older Americans remember just how the situation played out……or did we?

John F. Kennedy and his advisers were stunned to learn that the Soviet Union was, without provocation, installing nuclear-armed medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. With these offensive weapons, which represented a new and existential threat to America, Moscow significantly raised the ante in the nuclear rivalry between the superpowers—a gambit that forced the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear Armageddon. On October 22, the president, with no other recourse, proclaimed in a televised address that his administration knew of the illegal missiles, and delivered an ultimatum insisting on their removal, announcing an American “quarantine” of Cuba to force compliance with his demands. While carefully avoiding provocative action and coolly calibrating each Soviet countermeasure, Kennedy and his lieutenants brooked no compromise; they held firm, despite Moscow’s efforts to link a resolution to extrinsic issues and despite predictable Soviet blustering about American aggression and violation of international law. In the tense 13‑day crisis, the Americans and Soviets went eyeball-to-eyeball. Thanks to the Kennedy administration’s placid resolve and prudent crisis management—thanks to what Kennedy’s special assistant Arthur Schlesinger Jr. characterized as the president’s “combination of toughness and restraint, of will, nerve, and wisdom, so brilliantly controlled, so matchlessly calibrated, that [it] dazzled the world”—the Soviet leadership the world”—the Soviet leadership blinked: Moscow dismantled the missiles, and a cataclysm was averted.

Almost every word of that statement is FALSE.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/the-real-cuban-missile-crisis/309190/

Just another Cold War situation that could have boiled over into a real life war…….and calmer heads prevailed…..

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Who Are The Kurds?

Who are you?  Who?  Who?

Recently Trump’s other daughter made a statement that went viral…..she said “Most Americans do not know who the Kurds are”………and you know what…..she is completely spot on.

Most Americans, other than us foreign policy geeks, truly could care less about the Kurds and who they are….their knowledge comes from whatever media outlet they put their trust in…..and most of that knowledge is not accurate.

The below video is a very good look at who the Kurds are and how they have been used through the last century…..

Plus a few questions answered about the Kurds and the situation developing in the Middle East…..

https://www.vox.com/world/2019/10/16/20908262/turkey-syria-kurds-trump-invasion-questions

The MSM is turning the Kurds into martyrs…..as I see it we used the Kurds as a proxy and the Kurds used the US as a benefactor in their search for a homeland…..”You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” sort of thingy…..

“The PKK, which is a part of the Kurds as you know, is probably worse at terror and more of a terrorist threat in many ways than ISIS,” Trump said……..

Mainstream media are taking occasional breaks from 24/7 impeachment coverage this month to lambaste the Trump Administration for abandoning our Syrian Kurdish allies at the insistence of Turkey’s despotic rulers. Since the original withdrawal announcement, Administration policy has taken on a helter-skelter quality: rushing out sanctions, threatening airstrikes and deploying troops elsewhere in the Middle East. Ultimately Trump policies are producing more foreign adventurism and less freedom of commerce for American companies. But the original decision to pull out was the correct one, and consistent media criticism of the withdrawal often omits important facts that the American public needs to consider. Specifically:

  • As a member of NATO since 1952, Turkey has been a US treaty ally for as long as most of us can remember; the Syrian Kurdish forces are not a recognized state and thus cannot be an ally, a term used in diplomatic parlance to refer to states formally cooperating with one another.
  • The Syrian Kurdish forces are connected with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which was designated by the US State Department as a terrorist organization in 1997 and remains on the list in 2019.

What the Media Aren’t Telling You About Turkey and the Kurds

If one listens to the news then the world is all but over because of Trump’s decision…..On that I feel that it is being overplayed.

With that said the next question should be……should the US fight to protect the Kurds?  If so then why should we fight?

According the the Libertarian Institute……no we should not.

The Washington foreign policy outrage mob was at it again, this time wringing their hands in angst after President Trump announced that he would begin drawing down the American military presence in northern Syria and then finally ordered a full withdrawal of around 1,000 U.S. troops from the area. The primary complaint this time around from the permanent war cheerleaders was that pulling U.S. troops out of the region would expose the YPG, the Syrian Kurdish group that has fought alongside the Americans, to an attack by invading Turkey, which considers the YPG to be terrorists and condemns their allegiance to the PKK, the Kurdish militia based in Turkey that is considered a terrorist group by both Turkey and the U.S. To people like Lindsey Graham and Meghan McCain, who referred to Trump and Senator Rand Paul as “Chicken heart isolationists”, it is outrageous and immoral to even consider bringing troops home from an undeclared war halfway around the world in which there is no clear mission and no obvious interests for the American people.

Should Americans Fight to Protect the Kurds in Syria?

I have no problem with pulling our troops out of this conflict….I do have a problem with the way it was done…..

Not everybody fighting with the US is our friend….we are tolerated at best….Trump finally said something that made sense…..”We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us.” 

I want to be fair to the Kurds…..in reality they were fighting ISIS before we got to Syria…..

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mikegiglio/shatter-the-nations-excerpt-kurds-isis

Now you know!

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Only As Good As Your Last War

***This was a draft that got pushed back with all the breaking news***

We will celebrate the D-Day Landings, Operation Overlord, and the world will remember the heroes that came ashore in the North of France and fought all the way to the gates of Berlin….our “Greatest Generation”…..

And the peasants danced!

Do not misunderstand me…..I firmly believe that we should remember those that died and fought from France to Germany…..but I fear that this will be the last war that the soldiers will be fondly remembered and celebrated.

Seriously name me another war that garners such reverence?

Korea?  Vietnam?  Grenada?  Panama?  How about our newest war of justification…Afghanistan and Iraq.

Do you see any of those conflicts producing the emotions and the gratitude that WW2 envisions.

The wars since WW2 it is the veterans that do the remembering…everyone else only remembers when forced to do so.

But we Americans are always fighting the last war we remember…..

America is still fighting the last war. I admit to having a bit of the same problem. I’m now working on a new book to follow-up my previous one about the war in Afghanistan. The tentative title is Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism. [You are cordially invited to participate in a fundraiser for the project here.] The biggest problem with writing this book now is that the times have changed. The terror wars may all still be raging, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Mali, but the government’s main attention has been turned back toward great power competition with Russia and China.

The neocons’ declared “unipolar moment” is over. America’s relative power is in decline, in no small measure due to the horrible waste and destabilization wrought by the Middle Eastern terror wars in the first place. In response to this, the empire is frustrated, lashing out at the closest things they have to near-peer competitors, accusing them of aggression and declaring an intent to fully renew the old Cold War. Nixon may have ended the previous Cold War with China 45 years ago and Reagan and Bush Sr. the Cold War with the USSR even before it finally dissolved 30 years ago, however, the two independent nations remain the greatest excuse for the special interests at the heart of the American empire to exploit to the ends of the earth and cash in bigtime in the process.

Fighting the Last War

Americans need to learn more about war for they NO longer see the results of these situations…..the media soft soaps the coverage and pundits build the need for war…..all in all we are nation that “needs” war.

“War is good business Invest your children”

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–15Oct19 #2

50 years ago today…..15 October 1969…….

Moratorium Day involved mass protests across the US. Religious services, rallies and meetings were held, aiming to bring the war to an end.

By this point, US troops had been fighting the Communist Viet Cong in Vietnam since 1965. About 45,000 Americans had been killed in action by the end of 1969.

In the frigid fall of 1969, more than 500,000 people marched on Washington to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. It remains the largest political rally in the nation’s history. While President Richard Nixon was said to have spent the day watching college football inside the White House, to the rest of the world, the protests successfully proved that the antiwar movements comprised more than just politicized youth. The November rallies were part of a string of demonstrations that took place around the world in 1969, with groups from San Francisco to Boston and London petitioning for peace. Despite their cries, the war toiled on for six more years, ending with the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

(Time)

Check out the Great photos from this antiwar protest……

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49893239

Or for those that cannot read…..

See photos of the history of the peace symbol.

This was when the nation had a soul…..and the deaths of so many Americans for no reason was unacceptable….I miss those days.

And now for Country Joe……

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I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What Were They Thinking?

A history lesson for a Tuesday…..

Most everyone who has a TV knows the Adolf Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany….but how many realize that he was elected to the Reichstag in 1932…

The Nazis’ rise to power fascinated me…so in my younger days I found a good book that help me understand what the German people were thinking….

The Nazi Voter

The first study based on a large national sample of both urban and rural districts examines the Nazi constituency — how it was formed, from which social groups, under what conditions, and with what promises. Using advanced statistical techniques to analyze each national election of the Weimar era, Childres offers a new and challenging interpretation of who voted for Hitler’s NSDAP and why. He also provides a systematic examination of Nazi campaign strategy.

The Nazis didn’t just seize power—they were voted in. It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time when Adolf Hitler was a name on a ballot in a democratic election. He was openly fascist and anti-Semitic, but the people chose to make him their leader. They supported him while he dissolved democracy.

That book left as many questions as it answered…..

It’s easy to write off the rise of Nazism as a momentary lapse of reason, but the truth isn’t that simple. The people who voted for Hitler really thought they were making the best choice.

There were many reasons that the German people voted for and elected Hitler to represent them…..the top ten is listed below….

10 Reasons The German People Elected Adolf Hitler

Interesting how the people change their thinking to help a despot rise to power under the guise of “democracy”….

Thank God humanity has grown beyond this type of craziness….(sarcasm in case you missed it)…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”