The South Shall Rise Again

So far that promise has yet to materialize….but they keep hoping and wishing…..

I live in the South and many of my friends are into the American Civil War……some even play at the war game in re-enactments….but I have found that not many actually have any idea about the history surrounding the war…..

And this is where I offer my usual history lesson……

First, a few simple facts about the American Civil War that every American should know……here are the ten most needed facts……

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/10-facts-what-everyone-should-know-about-civil-war

The South’s attempt to control their future has been called a “Lost Cause”….there are “tenets” that feed this “romantic” look at this War………

The Lost Cause interpretation of the Civil War typically includes the following six assertions:

1. Secession, not slavery, caused the Civil War.

2. African Americans were “faithful slaves,” loyal to their masters and the Confederate cause and unprepared for the responsibilities of freedom.

3. The Confederacy was defeated militarily only because of the Union’s overwhelming advantages in men and resources.4. Confederate soldiers were heroic and saintly

5. The most heroic and saintly of all Confederates, perhaps of all Americans, was Robert E. Lee.

6. Southern women were loyal to the Confederate cause and sanctified by the sacrifice of their loved ones.

https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Lost_Cause_The#start_entry

Finally there are ten opinions from historians on why the South lost the war……

For the past 130 years Americans have argued over the reasons for the Confederacy’s downfall. Diverse opinions have appeared in hundreds of books, but the numerous possibilities have never adequately been summarized and gathered together in one place. So we decided to ask ten of the country’s most respected Civil War historians: “Why did the South lose the Civil War?” Here (edited for length) are their answers.

https://www.historynet.com/why-the-south-lost-the-civil-war-cover-page-february-99-american-history-feature.htm

There you have your history lesson which is more than most students get in their education……

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

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“This Land Is Your Land”

Closing Thought–04Apr19

We all know the famous song by Woody Guthrie, “This Land Is Your Land”…..maybe some do not know who sang it but are familiar with the song….right?

There is a lawsuit trying to get the song into the region of ‘Public Domain”….

From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, “This Land is Your Land” may yet be for you and me.

A federal judge in Manhattan has refused to dismiss a lawsuit claiming that Woody Guthrie’s classic 1940 folk song “This Land is Your Land” belongs to the public.

U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts said members of Satorii, a New York band that recorded two versions of “This Land,” could pursue federal copyright claims against two publishers that control rights to the song.

Batts also dismissed several state law claims.

Paul LiCalsi, a lawyer for the defendants Ludlow Music and The Richmond Organization, declined to comment on Thursday.

The June 2016 lawsuit is among a series of cases by the lawyer Mark Rifkin and his firm, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, to move classic American songs into the public domain.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/us-judge-refuses-dismiss-land-land-lawsuit/

In case my reader is not fully acquainted with the song I have given several renditions by various artist…..

The song was used to give a tribute to Bernie Sanders……

Finally a JiJab video for the election in 2004…….GW Bush and John Kerry…….

Making America Great Again?–Part 27

I have been posting an historical series written by Maj. Danny Sjursen….his series is a bit different look at our history in the vain of Zinn’s People’s History……it is an excellent look at American history from the beginning….

For those that may have missed the series as I posted them…I can help get your caught up……

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.

This “chapter” takes us to the dreaded “Cold War”……..the days of the Red Scare and the days of yore…..

Nothing is inevitable. Not war, not peace. Those writers and politicians who tell readers or constituents otherwise are selling snake oil. So it is, oftentimes, with proclamations about the Cold War. Americans have been taught, programmed even, to believe that a permanently bellicose nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union was inescapable—such was the diabolical nature of global communism. There were no alternatives, we have been told, to a firm military response to Soviet aggression in the wake of World War II. This myth of inevitability served, and serves, a vital purpose. That purpose is to explain the seemingly unexplainable: how Soviet Russia, America’s valued ally in World War II, so quickly transformed, almost overnight, into a national boogeyman. You’re not supposed to ask tough questions or draw nuanced conclusions; to wit: Weren’t the U.S. and the Soviet Union ideological enemies long before they were allies (of convenience)? And, couldn’t different American policies have assuaged Soviet fears and lessened the atmosphere of tense standoff after 1945? To answer yes to either, of course, is to commit national heresy, but honest history demands that the scholar and student do exactly that.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-a-cruel-costly-and-anxious-cold-war/

I believe that Americans should know our entire history not the sanitized bullsh*t we are given in school…..and Maj. Danny does an excellent job in our continuing education.

I believe that you either learn from history or it devours you.

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

March 1999

Twenty years ago this month history was made…..

I recall during Desert Storm the work of our stealth planes like the F-117 ….these planes could fly in undetected and do their work and leave in total stealth mode…..

Meanwhile back to 1999……

On March 27, 1999, Lieutenant Colonel Dale Zelko of the US Air Force became the first pilot of a stealth fighter or bomber ever shot down, in fact, the only time a warplane with stealth capabilities has been shot down.

While flying a Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk on a bombing mission over Yugolslavia, Zelko had the misfortune of having his supposedly undetectable light bomber detected by supposedly obsolete radar systems and shot down when the Yugoslav air defense crews fired a battery of anti-aircraft missiles (probably about 5) at his plane, one of which exploded near enough to disable the airplane and force Zelko to eject.

https://www.historyandheadlines.com/march-27-1999-time-stealth-warplane-shot/

Recent History…….the one take away is that NOTHING is 100% stealth….sorry we do not have a cloaking device as of yet.

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

That “Marshall Plan”

As usual the old professor is about to drop some history on you….was that an eye roll?

Whenever some economic plan comes about it is compared to the Marshall Plan of the 1940s….but since the nation is so damn young now how many actually knows what the Plan was about?

Well I can help with that lack of knowledge……

The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent. The brainchild of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, for whom it was named, it was crafted as a four-year plan to reconstruct cities, industries and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war and to remove trade barriers between European neighbors – as well as foster commerce between those countries and the United States.

In addition to economic redevelopment, one of the stated goals of the Marshall Plan was to halt the spread communism on the European continent.

Implementation of the Marshall Plan has been cited as the beginning of the Cold War between the United States and its European allies and the Soviet Union, which had effectively taken control of much of central and eastern Europe and established its satellite republics as communist nations.

The Marshall Plan is also considered a key catalyst for the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance between North American and European countries established in 1949.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/marshall-plan-1

But with this gesture of goodwill was not without a bunch of myths…..was not all rainbows and unicorns……

Perhaps the most persistent and enduring myth in modern British history is that the country did badly, in comparison with its European neighbours, out of the Marshall Plan, the scheme of American largesse that funded the reconstruction of war-ravaged western Europe. But it is simply not true.

West Germany received $1.7 billion of postwar aid from the United States, which it invested primarily in capital and infrastructure, paving the way for the Wirtschaftswunder, the postwar economic miracle that turned the country into a manufacturing powerhouse, which, even after the considerable cost of reunification in 1990, it remains.

Britain, as victor, had an understandable sense of entitlement – and let us not forget the nature of the regime that it and its Empire had helped defeat – but, as an indication of the sacrifice it had made, it ended the conflict with an economy more like that of a defeated or occupied nation.

https://www.historytoday.com/archive/editor/marshall-myths

You now know more than you did before reading…..

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

The Iraqi Debate

Once again the old debate on whether the invasion and then occupation of Iraq in 2003 was worth the cost…..plus the reason for the invasion in the first place…..

The debate returns because of a report that has been published……

As Iraqis mark 16 years since the US invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq on 20 March, the US Army has recently made public a long-awaited Iraq war study.

The study, though ready for release in 2016, had been delayed due to concerns over airing “dirty laundry” about decisions made by some of its leaders during the conflict.

The 1,300-page, two-volume history, which includes hundreds of declassified documents, highlights both the mistakes and successes of the US involvement in Iraq, from the 2003 invasion to the rise of the Islamic State (IS). It is a detailed testimony of the impact of the Iraq war on that nation and the entire Middle East. 

As someone with Iraqi origins, reading the entire two-volume history was an emotional journey – a painful testimony to the vicissitudes that have ravaged Iraq since 2003. Reading it as a historian, on the other hand, was gratifying, as it vindicates the value of the discipline of history.

 
Why did the US invade?  Oil, WMDs or democracy?
 

Sixteen years after the United States invaded Iraq and left a trail of destruction and chaos in the country and the region, one aspect of the war remains criminally underexamined: why was it fought in the first place? What did the Bush administration hope to get out of the war?

The official, and widely-accepted, story remains that Washington was motivated by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme. His nuclear capabilities, especially, were deemed sufficiently alarming to incite the war. As then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “We do not want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

Despite Saddam not having an active WMD programme, this explanation has found support among some International Relations scholars, who say that while the Bush administration was wrong about Saddam’s WMD capabilities, it was sincerely wrong. Intelligence is a complicated, murky enterprise, the argument goes, and given the foreboding shadow of the 9/11 attacks, the US government reasonably, if tragically, misread the evidence on the dangers Saddam posed.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/03/20/why-did-bush-go-war-iraq-answer-more-sinister-you-think

Of course we can always find someone who will justify the invasion and I will post them as I find them…..

Today is the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Twitter is alive with condemnations of the conflict — countered by precious few defenses. Yet I believed the Iraq War was just and proper in 2003, and I still believe that today. When Donald Trump condemned the war during the 2015 primary campaign and claimed that if Saddam was still in power we “wouldn’t have the problems you have right now,“ I believed he was dead wrong. As I argued then, from the moment Hussein took power until he was deposed in 2003, there were few greater instruments of instability in the world than Saddam Hussein.

Before he was allegedly “contained” by constant, substantial American military deployments, he invaded his neighbors, gassed his people, harbored and supported terrorists, and was responsible for not one but two of the largest conventional military conflicts since World War II — the horrific Iran–Iraq war and Operation Desert Storm. Even after American containment efforts attempted to lock into place and limit his malign reach, he was a prime supporter of a deadly Palestinian suicide-bombing campaign that caused proportionately more Israeli civilian casualties than American civilians lost on 9/11, he tried to assassinate an American president — George H. W. Bush — and he routinely fired on American pilots enforcing lawful no-fly zones. He violated the Gulf War cease-fire accords, interfered with weapons inspections, and hid away chemical weapons by the thousands. No, his WMD program wasn’t nearly as extensive as we thought, but it is fiction to believe his weapons were entirely gone. Americans were injured by Saddam’s chemicals during the war.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/iraq-war-just-cause-saddam-hussein-threat-stability/

I am watching and listening to the talking heads on the Tube….most are asking how did we get this so wrong?  A silly question!

These are the people that went before the nation and sold the public on a lie and Americans die.  They want to appear as if their hands are clean when in reality theirs are drenched in blood!

AS we recognize the 16th anniversary of the invasion we are still having the same excuses for the invasion…..none can be justified in my mind….but keep trying maybe they will hit on something that will resonate with me.

Peace Out!

Managing War

I am an antiwar person and I have studied conflicts, management and resolution….my hatred for war came from my 2 and half years in Vietnam in the late 60s early 70s…..

I look at the institution of war….and yes it is an institution especially now when we are fighting the same war for 18 years……

War is controlled (managed) by several ways……a quick look at the parts of the management……

Military commanders and their staffs rely on a variety of conceptual models to assist in their planning for and conduct of operations. Civilian defence thinkers and academics also employ the same tools to help illustrate their ideas. Among the those used are the Phases of Operations and the Spectrum of Conflict. While there is no standard design for each, they do have a certain style. In the U.S. system, the phases of battle model generally begins at Phase 0, which represents the period of shaping for the coming campaign, and ends at Phase 5, which covers enabling civil authority. Visual depictions of the Spectrum of Conflict usually place non-warfighting operations on one side and progress through increasing graduations of levels of violence and risk to the other side, culminating with nuclear war. Between these two extremes, war can be divided into a multitude of categories.

 
The problem is that our generals in their education at the War College are taught Clausewitz, the Master of War……this is a Prussian from the 19th century…and war has moved well,beyond the days of cavalry charges and massive troop encounters….
 
A couple of things of Clausewitz……
 
Clausewitz book, On War, is the bible of warfare instruction…..we need to stop teaching his theories and start thinking in 21st century tactics…..
 

I am not insisting that Clausewitz does not provide valuable lessons. But by focusing on Clausewitz we miss important discussion that should be brought to military education. This leads me to the purpose of this article, for which I have two primary goals. First, to point out specific things which Clausewitz got wrong and reasons why we should stop teaching On War. Think of it like moving from a devotional reading of The Bible to a historical critical examination of it. Second, to identify what we should start teaching more of in all military education.

Let’s first look at what Clausewitz got wrong.

https://taskandpurpose.com/just-say-no-to-clausewitz

What got me to thinking about this was so,ething I read in The American Conservative……

The most curious thing about our four defeats in Fourth Generation War—Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan—is the utter silence in the American officer corps. Defeat in Vietnam bred a generation of military reformers, men such as Col. John Boyd USAF, Col. Mike Wyly USMC, and Col. Huba Wass de Czege USA, each of whom led a major effort to reorient his service. Today, the landscape is barren. Not a military voice is heard calling for thoughtful, substantive change. Just more money, please.

Such a moral and intellectual collapse of the officer corps is one of the worst disasters that can afflict a military because it means it cannot adapt to new realities. It is on its way to history’s wastebasket. The situation brings to mind an anecdote an Air Force friend, now a military historian, liked to tell some years ago. Every military, he said, occasionally craps in its own mess kit. The Prussians did it in 1806, after which they designed and put into service a much improved new model messkit, through the Scharnhorst military reforms. The French did it in 1870, after which they took down from the shelf an old-model messkit—the mass, draft army of the First Republic—and put it back in service. The Japanese did it in 1945, after which they threw their mess kit away, swearing they would never eat again. And we did it in Korea, in Vietnam, and now in four new wars. So far, we’ve had the only military that’s just kept on eating.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/an-officer-corps-that-cant-score/

All in all the US is working on outdated instruction….the education of our military people is as bad as the education of our citizens.