Today In History!

One year ago today I went to the ER with 10 toes and woke up with only 6 remaining. And the long road to recovery began.

But since I am not all that important I will check history and see that the very First Balkan War began in 1912…..

The First Balkan War breaks out between the members of the Balkan League–Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro–and the Ottoman Empire.

…….another and far more serious war had broken out in the Balkan peninsula. It took the form of an attack on Turkey by the four contiguous Christian states, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro. The alliance of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, and Montenegro – Christians, former rayahs of the Ottoman empire, to the end of solving the remaining problems of the peninsula, had often been suggested, but the idea had regularly suffered shipwreck on the fierce competitive nationalism of the youthful states.

The feelings harbored toward each other by the Serbs and Bulgars were amply divulged by the war of 1885, while the desolating, unofficial conflict in Macedonia among Bulgars, Greeks, Serbs, and Albanians, left no doubt as to the jealousy rampant among these four groups. But what no statesmanship in or outside Balkania working over time had been able to accomplish, the mistaken zeal of the Young Turks brought about in a few months. Their purpose, reduced to its simplest terms, was a resuscitated Ottoman empire. But this, the patriotic hope of the Young Turks, was to the Christian communities only recently rescued from Turkish bondage, nothing less than a nightmare filling them with fear and horror.

Keeping with my tradition of trying to make it easier for those that have a hard time with the study of history I have included a short video explaining the event…..

This conflict should have signaled the possibility of a wider war in Europe….but the signals were ignored and in 1914 World War One erupted and the death and the destruction was immense.

Plus 80 years later, after break-up of the former country of Yugoslavia, another situation erupted and the world reacted and once again the death and destruction came to the region.


Have Gun Will Travel

As long as I am writing about assassination…….

Does anyone remember the Western from the 60’s?  Paladin–does it ring a bell?  Never mind….don’t hurt yourself it was a TV western about a hired gun and weekly he made the decisions of life and death…..Richard Boone played probably the first anti-hero hero….

But I digress!

I bring this up because of something that is being reported……there seems to be an hired American hit team operating for the UAE……

It’s “almost like a murder squad,” an incredulous former CIA official told BuzzFeed News. The site had called him for comment as it dug into a potential bombshell of a story: that former elite US special operations fighters were assassinating high-profile figures in Yemen, but not as part of a military operation. Rather, the targeted killings allegedly came at the request of the United Arab Emirates, which had engaged the private US company the former fighters now work for. The CIA official told BuzzFeed this simply wasn’t possible. Then he asked around and called back: “There were guys that were basically doing what you said.” So what is BuzzFeed saying? Aram Roston centers much of his lengthy piece around what he says was a planned Dec. 29, 2015, hit, staffed by employees of the Delaware-incorporated Spear Operations Group.

Spear’s founder is Abraham Golan, “a charismatic Hungarian Israeli security contractor who lives outside of Pittsburgh,” whose employees—a former Green Beret and former Navy SEALs among them—were to kill Anssaf Ali Mayo, a key figure in a political party the UAE sees as having terror ties (critics counter this). Roston recounts Golan and his team flying to the UAE and receiving a 23-person hit list while on board; Golan viewed the targets as “legitimate,” as Roston puts it, because the UAE selected them, and the US backs the UAE’s military efforts. Things went awry with Mayo; they managed to bomb the party’s HQ, but had no proof Mayo was dead, and he seems to still be alive. But Roston sees the attempt on his life as an opening salvo, with “members of Al-Islah, and other clerics in Aden [subsequently] dropping dead at an alarming pace.” Golan says his team was behind a number of those hits. Read Roston’s full piece, which explores the “surprisingly unclear” question of whether Spear’s alleged actions are illegal under US law.

The excuse for this rings hollow but also is used to justify the murder of Khashoggi…..

Once again mercs being used to do the dirty work that governments want to keep their hands clean….plausible deniability.

The report made me think of the TV show but it also lead me to something that was a secret until recently……Murder Inc…..when I was in the service of my country there was a group operating internationally their title was “Service 7″….it was an assassination squad from Bulgaria…..

“The Bulgarian state security services had a super-secret special bureau responsible for the eradication, kidnapping or discrediting of Bulgarian émigrés around the world long before the notorious assassination of Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov in London in 1978.

The SMERSH-style Cold War clandestine structure was called ‘Service 7’. It began operations in mid-1963 and by 1972 was engaged in at least 10 cases against Bulgarians who escaped to Italy, Britain, Denmark, West Germany, Turkey, France, Ethiopia, Sweden and Switzerland before 1989.

More on these American mercs……

There was a time after Vietnam when I actually thought about becoming a merc or at least joining the Foreign Legion….but the birth of my daughter changed all that silliness.

There use to be a consequence for fighting in a war not declared by the US…those days are gone…sadly this trend is very disturbing.

Further Reading if you would like to know more……

Today In History–17 October

On this day in the year 1244 during the 6th crusade the Frankish Army was defeated by the Egyptians……

The Sixth Crusade was of monumental importance to Europe as it managed to achieve what previous Crusades had failed to do – recapture the Holy Land. Considerably less fighting was involved in this Crusade, rather it was the diplomatic manoeuvring by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, which achieved the desired outcome and saw the Kingdom Of Jerusalem regain control of Jerusalem and other surrounding areas for the next 15 years.

The Crusade – which began seven years after the failed Fifth Crusade – was brought about by Frederick, who sought to assuage his guilt at his lack of leadership of the Fifth Crusade by launching the Sixth Crusade to recover Jerusalem, paid for by Holy Roman Empire funds.

The final battle was fought in Gaza in Palestine.

The defeat of the Frankish Army lead to a couple of things……the loss of power and prestige of the papacy and of course the 7th Crusade……ancient exercise of today’s endless wars.

History is a good thing…..but only if you learn from it…..if not then it bites you in the ass.

Robert E. Lee: Hero And Something Else

I dearly love history and when Our Dear Supreme Leader lets his knowledge be known then it is cause for celebration.

Our Dear Supreme Leader has seemed to want to re-write the days of the Civil War he has even gone so far as to heap praise of the general of the losing army, Robert E. Lee……….

President Trump was in Lebanon, Ohio, Friday night to rally for the state’s gubernatorial and congressional candidates, but the AP reports much of his hour-plus speech focused on the highlights of his week, which included Brett Kavanaugh being seated on the Supreme Court and pastor Andrew Brunson’s release from Turkey. As USA Today observes, Trump has a tendency to tout his 2016 win when making these kinds of appearances, but on Friday, he focused on much older history, zeroing in on the Civil War and Generals Lee and Grant. “So Robert E. Lee was a great general and Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia, he couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee,” Trump began. “He was going crazy … but Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle and Abraham Lincoln came home and he said ‘I can’t beat Robert E. Lee.'”

He then flowed into the tale of a native son of Ohio: Ulysses S. Grant, a general who Trump described as struggling with alcohol and lacking the backing of other military leaders. “They said ‘Don’t take him; he’s got a drinking problem.’ And Lincoln said, ‘I don’t care what problem he has. You guys aren’t winning.’ And his name was Grant, General Grant,” Trump said. “And he went in and knocked the hell out of everyone. They said to Lincoln, ‘You can’t use him anymore, he’s an alcoholic’ and Lincoln said, ‘I don’t care if he’s an alcohol, frankly, get me six or seven just like him.'” Other outlets including NBC News and the Hill reported on Trump’s praise of Lee, which Twitchy sees as “BS,” noting the praise was simply given as the run-up to introducing Grant. Politico’s take: “Civil War history has been fraught territory for Trump and key members of his administration.

Our Dear Supreme Leader may not be a student of history but his synopsis above is correct….a bit colorful but accurate.

History has proven that even though he was the losing general he was also a damn fine general no matter….but since we are writing about the Civil War let us take a look at the stuff that Churchill had to say……..the South could have won that war…….

The Confederates capture Washington? That’s just one of the clever bits of fiction that Churchill conjured up in his 1931 essay (Photo Illustration by Vertis Communications; White House: Library of Congress; Confederate Flag: Thinkstock).

Many who have read and relied on Winston Churchill’s magnificent historical works may be surprised to learn that he once devised an elaborate explanation of how Jeb Stuart prevented World War I. This seemingly far-fetched analysis was the great man’s contribution to If, or History Rewritten, a 1931 collection of essays by historians of the day. Each explored a world where events had unfolded contrary to recorded history, with titles such as “If Napoleon Had Escaped to America” and “If the Moors in Spain Had Won.” Churchill penned his contribution during his wilderness years, when he was out of office and working the lecture circuit across America. The essay is a playful study of a Civil War counterfactual: what might have happened had Robert E. Lee, with help from Stuart, won at Gettysburg and carried the South to victory in the war. It offers a look at Churchill’s lively imagination at work, as well as a few glimpses of his views on race, war, and international politics as the storm clouds of World War II began to gather.

Those hard core Southerners…the ones that believe “The South Shall Rise Again”….really needs to read this and get their stupidity straight…..and in the same time get some much needed ata boys in.

Rwanda: The Genocide

I am pleased to say that I am getting regular followers and readers from all over the world and recently I have had a loyal visitor from the East African country of Rwanda.

Image result for Rwanda images

As my tradition I try to write posts from the country of my visitor as an appreciation for their loyal and their time.

Rwanda in the past had a horrible civil war that resulted in a genocide and on the 24th anniversary I wrote a post to explain what the US did or should I say did not do?

An author has written a children’s book about those dark days of the genocide…….

One day in a Rwandan village, a girl called Mahoro became a close friend with a boy called Ntwali without knowing that their parents had an issue between them.

It is a fictional story told by Patrick Gihana, a Rwandan artiste and author in his new illustrative book, “Humura Mwana”, written specifically for children.

Mahoro, who fell in love with Ntwali whom they studied together in primary school, didn’t understand why their parents opposed this relationship which was not harmful at all.

Gihana’s book is written in simple language, using mostly cartoons than words. He narrates to children Rwandan history since the arrival of the colonialists until the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This is a good thing for the best way to see that this type of genocide does not happen again is to educate children on the results.

Hopefully is small attempt will go a long way to preventing a occurrence of violence again.

If there is something I missed please let me know and I shall correct my mistake.

Thanx for the visits and your time…..chuq

Archeology For A Sunday

Weekends and I choose stuff that is not a big headline generator….since I like history and archeology I want to share some of the stuff that has come to light recently….

We are discovering that the Maya were a lot more widespread than first believed….these fascinating people are coming into better understanding…..

Maya civilization was no mere collection of city states using slash-and-burn farming—that we learned earlier this year. Now archaeologists are looking deeper into an airborne survey that revealed a formidable civilization double the size of medieval England at its peak 1,200 years ago, Ars Technica reports. The survey, which used LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) to peek beneath the jungle foliage, revealed some 61,000 buildings, draining canals, fortresses, and roads across roughly 828 square miles. What archaeologists are saying about those details in Science:

  • Population: About 7 million to 11 million people populated the central Maya Lowlands—an area including some of Belize, Guatemala, and Yucatan—between 650 and 800 CE, the Late Classic Period. How did researchers crunch that number? By counting the structures per square mile and estimating how many were houses. Big cities like Tikal likely had hundreds of people per square mile, per Discovery.
  • Farming: A huge agricultural effort was needed to keep all those mouths fed, LiveScience notes. Imagine a complex grid of channels providing flood control and irrigation, with grids up to six feet wide and 20 inches deep, some stretching over half a mile. Still, densely populated cities like Naachtun and Tikal had to import food from other Maya kingdoms to survive.
  • Causeways: In earlier Maya times, from 1000 to 250 BCE, cities were linked by elevated roads or causeways up to 65 feet wide and up to 13 miles in length—but they fell into disuse when so-called Preclassic cities were abandoned. Yet their faded ghost outlines are visible on the LIDAR.
  • Fortresses: Mayans built more of them than expected in the Late Classic Period, and sophisticated ones, too. One has walls over 25 feet high and an Olympic-pool-size reservoir: “In other words, this place was ready for a siege,” says Ithaca College archaeologist Tom Garrison. “That is not really the type of conflict that we think about for the ancient Maya.”
  • Overall: “Seen as a whole, terraces and irrigation channels, reservoirs, fortifications, and causeways reveal an astonishing amount of land modification done by the Maya over their entire landscape on a scale previously unimaginable,” a Tulane researcher says in a statement.

The iconic sphinx has been a lonely monument to the early Egyptians and today it is not as lonely as it was in the past…..

Egypt says archaeologists have discovered a statue of a lion’s body and a human head in the southern city of Aswan. Per the AP, the Antiquities Ministry says the sphinx made of sandstone was found in the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the statue probably dates back to the Ptolemaic time. The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for some 300 years—from around 320BC to about 30BC. Egypt hopes such discoveries will spur tourism, partially driven by antiquities sightseeing, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising. (Another recent discovery in Egypt predates this one’s origins by thousands of years.)

Since I can remember some archeologists have wanted to proven the Exodus and so far nothing….but a new site has been found and the attempt to prove continues…..

Ancient ruins found in the Israeli wilderness could solve the biblical mystery of the Exodus, archaeologists claim.

According to the Bible, Moses liberated the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them through the wilderness of Sinai, before they crossed the River Jordan into the promised land of Canaan.

Yet no historical basis for the legend exists, and experts generally agree the Israelites were in fact native to Canaan – an ancient region covering modern day Israel.

Personally, I think that the Israelites were just an off-shoot of the Canaanites and were in the region always since it is proven that the Egyptians have been proven to have not employed slaves…..but that is just me…..

Any thoughts?

Forgotten Heroes Of The Revolution

Yes my friends it is that time again……a history lesson like it or not……

Believe it or not there were several foreigners that fought with the Americans in their war of independence.

Most people can name one……Marquis de Lafayette….but who are the others?

On October 11, 1779, Polish cavalry officer and American Brigadier General, Casimir Pulaski, died of wounds incurred during the Battle of Savannah (Georgia) during the American Revolutionary War. Pulaski, known as “The Father of American Cavalry,” had fought in Poland against the Russians, and was forced to flee his own country, taking his military skills to America where he became a hero of the American Revolution. Pulaski was not the only major Polish officer to fight for America’s Independence, and of course other foreign born people also served in America during the Revolutionary War. Here we list 5 of the most notable of those foreign freedom fighters fearlessly fighting foes of freedom. (Hey, a little alliteration never hurts!) Who would you add to this list?

Poland and France gave the war some fantastic soldiers that help this country gain its independence.

Sad that so many foreigners came to help in our time of need and we ignore them in our history almost as bad as our dismissing of Thomas Paine.

And the history of our nation is being re-written by reactionary a/holes…..we must stop this and give credit where credit is due…..and win our freedom back.