The Mongols Are Coming

I do like my history……empires come and go…..Romans, Alexander, Persians, Mongols……etc.

I like to make the case that most people miss….take the Mongols….most of us know the negative history around these people….

Let’s start with a look at the Mongol that started it all….Temujin the Ruler of the World……

1. “Genghis” wasn’t his real name.

The man who would become the “Great Khan” of the Mongols was born along the banks of the Onon River sometime around 1162 and originally named Temujin, which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.” He didn’t get the honorific name “Genghis Kahn” until 1206, when he was proclaimed leader of the Mongols at a tribal meeting known as a “kurultai.” While “Khan” is a traditional title meaning “leader” or “ruler,” historians are still unsure of the origins of “Genghis.” It may have may have meant “ocean” or “just,” but in context it is usually translated as “supreme ruler” or “universal ruler.”

https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-genghis-khan

Like I have written we know the horrible tactics used by the Mongols from genocide to amputations….but believe it or not there is positive aspects of their rule…..

The Mongolian Empire has a well-deserved reputation for its brutality (it did, after all, kill 40 million in the 12th century, enough people to alter planetary climate conditions). But it’s positive legacies are nearly as profound, if less well known.

The first aspect is art. While the Mongols didn’t produce much literature or fine art during the Mongol Empire, they appreciated and cultivated the arts of the sedentary peoples around them. The Mongol Khans became great patrons of the arts, supporting artists and artisans of all kinds. While not artists themselves in the traditional Mongolian culture, once peace was established in the Empire, all the Khans and sub-khans protected and patronized the arts. Under Genghis Khan, textile workers, architects, stone carvers and jewelers were relocated from the Middle East and Central Asia to Mongolia to create the magnificent works of art desired by the Mongols.

Positive Legacies of the Mongolian Empire: International Trade, Religious Tolerance, Career Opportunities, and Horse Milk

What got me thinking about the Mongols was something that I read about modern day Mongolia and its place in the world….

In the telling of anthropologist Jack Weatherford, Chinggis Khaan was more than an unprecedented and fearsome military leader: He was a nation-builder who embraced the rule of law, protected religious freedom, promoted international trade, and established new diplomatic relations among the great population centers of Asia and Europe. The Mongolian empire connected a formerly disjointed world by creating a “single intercontinental system of communication, commerce, technology and politics.” Due to Chinngis Khaan, the “globe was shaken” and a new order commenced, the historian Edward Gibbon observed.

Today, Mongolia’s reach may be less grand; but while the country faces significant challenges both domestically and regionally, Mongolia remains poised to shape the modern world. Indeed, with the United States as its partner, Mongolia can overcome its obstacles and contribute to building a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/can-mongolia-shape-the-modern-world-once-again/

The modern country of Mongolia, represents only part of the Mongols’ historical homeland; today, more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China than in Mongolia. Since the country’s peaceful democratic revolution in 1990, the ex-communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) – which took the name Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) in 2010 – has competed for political power with the Democratic Party (DP) and several other smaller parties, including a new party formed by former President ENKHBAYAR, which confusingly adopted for itself the MPRP name. In the country’s most recent parliamentary elections in June 2016, Mongolians handed the MPP overwhelming control of Parliament, largely pushing out the DP, which had overseen a sharp decline in Mongolia’s economy during its control of Parliament in the preceding years. Mongolians elected a DP member, Khaltmaa BATTULGA, as president in 2017.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Advertisements

That Wayward Missile

By now everyone with a Twitter feed or a TV has heard about the missile accident in Russia…..but in case your rock is not equiped with either of those news sources….I can help……

A deadly explosion rocked the Nenoksa Missile Test Site in Russia last week, and Moscow has offered shifting accounts of what happened. A new report in the New York Times might explain why Moscow is being so cagey: This might have been the region’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, though on a much smaller scale. Specifically, US intelligence officials think a nuclear-powered cruise missile exploded just offshore, or at least a prototype of one that is near and dear to Vladimir Putin’s heart. On Sunday, officials of a Russian research institute confirmed that a nuclear reactor exploded, though they did not say it was linked to cruise missile tests. Seven people were killed, including five scientists. The institute says only that they were working on “small-scale sources of energy with the use of fissile materials.”

It’s not just US experts who suspect this involved an experimental cruise missile. A UK scientist tells the Guardian that independent experts think the blast came from the failure of a missile NATO calls the SSC-X-9 Skyfall and Russia calls the 9M730 Burevestnik. Putin boasted of the weapon in 2018, saying its nuclear source would make it virtually unstoppable. However, international nuclear experts have remained skeptical about whether such a missile could actually work. The Times phrases the biq question like so: “Beyond the human toll, American intelligence officials are questioning whether Mr. Putin’s grand dream of a revived arsenal evaporated in that mysterious explosion, or whether it was just an embarrassing setback in Moscow’s effort to build a new class of long-range and undersea weapons that the United States cannot intercept.”

This is a nuclear powered missile….do you know what the means?

We are not talking about a warhead attached….we are saying that the missile has its own nuclear power source.

Maybe you should think about that for a minute.

A flying unshielded nuclear reactor would spew massive amounts of radiation, and that’s if it’s working correctly.

When President Donald Trump heard that Russia’s experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile had exploded, killing seven scientists and causing a major radiological incident less than 300 miles from the Finnish border, he fired off a boastful tweet. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology,” he said. 

This is…not accurate. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United States pursued a less advanced version of a similar technology but abandoned the effort before ever launching an actual test vehicle. Nuclear-powered cruise missiles, the Pentagon concluded, are a bad idea. 

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/08/nuclear-powered-cruise-missiles-are-terrible-idea-russias-test-explosion-shows-why/159189/

Now what about the US…well I do what I always do…..give you a shot of history….

The US spent a few years looking into something along these lines…it was called Project Pluto…..

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the development of controlled release of nuclear energy (as opposed to runaway reactions in nuclear weapons) seemed to make previously impossible things straightforward matters of engineering. On occasion, it made the unthinkable all too thinkable. Project Pluto, also known as the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile (SLAM), is one of the most extreme exemplars of this epoch. Unlike Project Orion, which envisioned a four thousand ton interplanetary spaceship powered by nuclear bombs, and Project Plowshare, which proposed using nuclear explosions for large civil engineering projects such as digging a new sea-level Panama canal, Pluto/SLAM (which I’ll henceforth refer to as Pluto) was developed and tested to the point where the technology had been proved. Pluto could have been deployed in the 1960s had the project not been cancelled due to financial reasons, competition from rival technologies, and people coming to their senses.

https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/pluto/

The history says it was abandoned in 1964….but after Trump Tweeted what he did are we still pursuing this or did it die in 1964?

Did Trump let slip some state secret that needed to remain secret?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Food Thoughts For A Saturday

It is Summer and I grill just about every night…..chicken, pork, burgers, steak and veggies…..so on the weekends when I try to be an FYI blog I want to write about FOOD.

BBQ!  Personally I do not like BBQ…to me it is only a way to cover up bad cooking skills…….I use BBQ sauce for dipping only…..(a recipe to follow)…….

But what about BBQ?  What is the history?

Ask and thou shalt receive……

Yet while barbecues may be dear to the American soul, they are not native to the US. Instead, they trace their roots to the indigenous peoples of North and South America – and their troubled, often confusing, history says more about colonialism, war and migration than it does about freedom.

https://www.historytoday.com/archive/historians-cookbook/history-barbecue

The news from the UN is not all that promising about our future food supply…..

The global food supply is on the brink of disaster, according to a newly published report by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

More than 100 experts contributed to the report, which concludes that climate change is already negatively impacting food production in real ways. And the problem is poised to get even worse if global temperatures continue to increase — though it’s not yet too late to avoid a total catastrophe.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/un-warning-climate-change-food-expensive

The world has a hunger problem and food shortages……a problem that goes way under reported in the era of Trump and such…..but what has been done to try and find a solution to the problem?

It’s not like you can make food out of thin air. Well…it turns out you can. A company from Finland, Solar Foods, is planning to bring to market a new protein powder, Solein, made out of CO₂, water and electricity. It’s a high-protein, flour-like ingredient that contains 50 percent protein content, 5–10 percent fat, and 20–25 percent carbs. It reportedly looks and tastes like wheat flour, and could become an ingredient in a wide variety of food products after its initial launch in 2021.

It’s likely to first appear on grocery shelves in protein shakes and yogurt. It could be an exciting development: Solein’s manufacturing process is carbon neutral and the potential for scalability seems unlimited — we’ve got too much CO₂, if anything. Why not get rid of some greenhouse gas with a side of fries?

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/08/nasas-idea-for-making-food-from-thin-air-just-became-a-reality-it-could-feed-billions/

How many enjoy a lobster now and then?  With garlic butter and lemon?  Did you know that the lobster is considered the cockroach of the sea?

Why? Well first of all, it’s called a “cockroach of the sea” because it literally looks like what would happen if I turned normal cockroaches into water-breathing creatures and filled them with white meat. Lobster = cockroach meat.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/michelleno/lobster-is-gross

As promised this is my homemade BBQ sauce recipe…..after years of trial and error this is the best…at least for my tastes.

  • 1/4 onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey (I use Old Crow)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup blue agave
  • 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder

Saute onions and garlic for about 7 minutes

Add onions, garlic and the rest of the ingredients to a pan and bring to a boil

Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes

Either strain or use a immersion blender to make the sauce smooth

Sauce will keep for about a week in the refrig.

Enjoy!

Damn I am hungry!

Hope all have a good Saturday and I will be back Sunday with more Stuff……

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why Iran?

It all began with the uprising in 1979 that eventually lead to the hostage crisis……to retaliate the US massaged Saddam’s ego and promised him lots if he would take on Iran and make him pay for the betrayal of 1979.

So in September 1980 Iraq invaded Iran……

The protracted war between these neighboring Middle Eastern countries resulted in at least half a million casualties and several billion dollars’ worth of damages, but no real gains by other side. Started by Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein in September 1980, the war was marked by indiscriminate ballistic-missile attacks, extensive use of chemical weapons and attacks on third-country oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Although Iraq was forced on the strategic defensive, Iran was unable to reconstitute effective armored formations for its air force and could not penetrate Iraq’s borders deeply enough to achieve decisive results. The end came in July 1988 with the acceptance UN Resolution 598.

https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/iran-iraq-war

To make it easier for my readers to understand……

One more to help….this guy cannot pronounce the two countries but the history is there……

I throw some history at you because of the Neocons beating the war drums with Iran…..the promise of a short conflict may be a bit of an overstatement…..we are talking about a country that used children armed with a Quran to check for land mines…..the war would be bloody and not all that “easy” for lack of a better word.

On July 29, President Trump tweeted: “Just remember, Iranians never won a war, but never lost a negotiation.” In just 12 words, Trump leveled a multi-layered, ahistorical insult against both his predecessor, Barack Obama, and Iran. 

More importantly, the remarks betray a dangerously ignorant understanding of Iran that could result in another careless Middle East war of choice.

The tweet invokes a clichéd, colonial-era stereotype that Iranians, like other Middle Eastern peoples, are wily swindlers—rapacious, greedy bazaar merchants who aim to take advantage of honest and unsuspecting Westerners. Trump is hardly the first American leader to dabble in such denigrating stereotypes. Wendy Sherman, a senior State Department official and former lead negotiator who helped forge the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, infamously quipped that Iranians could not be trusted because they have “deception in their DNA.” 

Don’t Underestimate Iran’s Ability to Fight a Bloody War

The Neocon puppet masters are working Trump masterfully…..they whisper lies and BS into a willing ear and war rhetoric pops out of Trump’s mouth.

I really believe that diplomacy is far more effective than wild chest thumping…..diplomacy cost less lives than an armed conflict….and that should be the biggest concern……apparently it is not.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Closing Thought–09Aug19

It is 11:56 am……09 August 1945…..”Bock’s Car” is making its way through the skies of East Asia on its way to its date with destiny.

The “Fat Man” destroys Nagasaki

The devastation wrought at Hiroshima was not sufficient to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender. The United States had already planned to drop their second atom bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” on August 11 in the event of such recalcitrance, but bad weather expected for that day pushed the date up to August 9th. So at 1:56 a.m., a specially adapted B-29 bomber, called “Bock’s Car,” after its usual commander, Frederick Bock, took off from Tinian Island under the command of Maj. Charles W. Sweeney. Nagasaki was a shipbuilding center, the very industry intended for destruction. The bomb was dropped at 11:02 a.m., 1,650 feet above the city. The explosion unleashed the equivalent force of 22,000 tons of TNT. The hills that surrounded the city did a better job of containing the destructive force, but the number killed is estimated at anywhere between 60,000 and 80,000 (exact figures are impossible, the blast having obliterated bodies and disintegrated records).

History and explanation of the bombs will help my readers grasp this event…..https://theconversation.com/world-politics-explainer-the-atomic-bombings-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-100452

But why Nagasaki?

By May of 1945 an exhausted and overrun Germany had surrendered. The war in Europe was over. The United States, aided by Great Britain, moved closer and closer to Japan. Massive suicide attacks by the Japanese caused great losses to the Pacific Fleet, but did not deter its drive.

Japan, thinking the Soviet Union was a friendly neutral in the war in the Pacific, submitted unofficial peace feelers to the United States through them. The Soviet Union, secretly wanting to join the war against Japan, suppressed the feelers. Ironically, the Japanese military made it impossible to pursue peace directly, as they arrested or killed anybody who tried to extend official peace offerings. As it was, these unofficial feelers were completely unacceptable to the U.S. as they merely made vague offering to return conquered territories in exchange for peace.

The big strategic question was how to force Japan’s surrender.

Japan’s major cities had been fire-bombed almost nightly. The islands were blockaded and the Japanese Navy had been destroyed. Planning for a massive invasion by Allied forces was underway. But was that the best answer? The cost in lives for both Allied forces and Japanese civilians would be heavy.

Harry S. Truman had just become the U.S. Presidency following Franklin Roosevelt’s death. The United States wanted the Soviet Union to enter the war, but was concerned that it would dominate too much of East Asia if the war dragged on. There were two atomic bombs available. Truman made a quick decision: drop both bombs as soon as possible, allowing a short time between missions for Japanese surrender.

(atomic archives)

We have been having a small debate here on IST on whether the bombs were necessary…..my thought is they were not necessary…

Here is an argument against dropping the bombs…..

Few issues in American history – perhaps only slavery itself – are as charged as the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. Was it necessary? Merely posing the question provokes indignation, even rage. Witness the hysterical shouting down of the 1995 Smithsonian exhibit that simply dared discuss the question fifty years after the act. Today, another eleven years on, Americans still have trouble coming to terms with the truth about the bombs.

But anger is not argument. Hysteria is not history. The decision to drop the bomb has been laundered through the American myth-making machine into everything from self-preservation by the Americans to concern for the Japanese themselves-as if incinerating two hundred thousand human beings in a second was somehow an act of moral largesse.

https://www.commondreams.org/views06/0806-25.htm

The thought is that the bombs were necessary to end the war that had taken so much of society….but did it?

Arguments against the bombings usually take a moral tack. That whatever the ends, it’s never right to intentionally vaporize women and children. But in recent years an entire new argument has emerged: Bomb or no bomb, the war would have ended anyway.

Below, some things you may not have known about the momentous events of August 1945.

Did the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki really end the war?

As I have written we here on IST have been having a small debate…so I need to include this debate from the BBC….

For years debate has raged over whether the US was right to drop two atomic bombs on Japan during the final weeks of the Second World War. The first bomb, dropped on the city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, resulted in a death toll of around 135,000. The second, which hit Nagasaki on 9 August, killed at least 50,000 people (and according to some estimates, as many as 74,000 died). But was the US justified? We put the question to two History Extra readers…

https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/atomic-bomb-hiroshima-nagasaki-justified-us-debate-bombs-death-toll-japan-how-many-died-nuclear/

And that is the way it was…09Aug1945

Stay tuned for the post on the Nuremberg Trials.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Manchurian Offensive

We here on IST have had a bit of a discussion on the Second World War and the acts that were undertaken to end it. Basically we were discussing whether the bombs dropped were necessary.

The entry of the USSR into the war in the Pacific made Japan think that their position was hopeless was brought up….I thought I would look into that event and what were the repercussions.

At one minute past midnight on 9 Aug 1945, or 61 minutes after the declaration of war, Soviet troops organized in three fronts poured into Japanese-occupied northeastern China, a region also known by its historical name of Manchuria. Northeastern China had been governed by the Japanese-sponsored puppet regime of Manchukuo since 1932. The Soviet troops were of the Far Eastern Command under the overall command of Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky, who devised a giant pincer movement against the unprepared Japanese troops. In Vasilevsky’s plan, the Transbaikal Front under Marshal R. Y. Malinovsky was to attack from the west across the Inner Mongolian desert and over the Greater Khingan mountain range, with Mukden (Shenyang), Liaoning Province, China as the primary target; the attached 36th Army was to break off after the initial invasion and head toward Harbin and Qiqihar to meet the 2nd Far East Front. The 2nd Far East Front under General M. A. Purkayev attacked in the center largely in a support role only, with the primary objectives of securing Harbin and Qiqihar, upon the successful completion of which, the front was to move toward the port of Lushunkou (Russian: Port-Artur; Anglicized: Port Arthur) of the city of Dalian, Liaoning Province after the 1st Far East Front completed its primary objectives. Finally, from the east over the Lesser Khingan mountain range, the 1st Far East Front under Marshal K. A. Meretskov was to capture the cities in east, including Changchun; its secondary objective was to cut off Japanese escape routes into Korea, and its tertiary objective was to invade and occupy northern Korea. In total, 1,577,725 men in 89 divisions with the support of 3,704 tanks, 1,852 self-propelled guns, 27,086 artillery pieces, and 3,721 aircraft were utilized in the invasion.

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=167

But why did the USSR feel it necessary to enter into the War in the Pacific?

The Second World War was an unparalleled calamity for the Soviet Union. As many as 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died as a result of the conflict that started with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended with the Japanese surrender in August 1945.

Consumed by this existential struggle along its western border, the Soviet Union was a comparatively minor factor in the Pacific War until the very end. Yet Moscow’s timely intervention in the war against Japan allowed it to expand its influence along the Pacific Rim.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/revealed-why-the-soviet-unions-entry-the-pacific-war-matters-13628

09 August 1945 was a Day of Destiny for the world.

If you, my reader, has an opinion on this historical event please feel free to join in the conversation.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Africa Goes To War

World War One, the Great War saw the deaths of millions and the destruction of much…….Africa was not spared the carnage.

There is many ways to explain what happened….none do the events justice…..

Sparked in the Balkans as a result of European nationalism and imperial rivalries, the first world war raged from July 1914 to November 1918. It pitted the 48 million soldiers of the Allies – led by the French, British and Russian empires – against the 26 million soldiers of the Central Powers – led by the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires, who lost the war.

https://theconversation.com/world-politics-explainer-the-great-war-wwi-100462

07 August 1914 the shooting war began and on the 8th of August 1914 the war moved to East Africa.

A hundred years ago on this day, on August 8th, 1914, the British HMS Asteria and Pegasus protected cruisers bombed Dar-es-Salaam, then the capital of German East Africa, bringing the European so-called “war to end all wars” to the eastern African shores. The day before, Anglo-French forces constituted of Ghanaian, Nigerian, Sierra Leonean, Gambian and Beninese troops had invaded German Togoland in West Africa.
Among World War I campaigns, the East African one was the longest of all: as the armistice was being signed in Europe on November, 11th 1918, the last of the German forces were still fighting their British counterparts. Indeed the general who led them only surrendered two weeks later, on November, 25th 1918.
 
But who knows any of this, whether in America, in Europe or indeed in Africa? As the world commemorates the Centenary of the Great War, the African side of this story remains a footnote, despite huge losses of human lives and major consequences for the future of the African continent.
 
A million people died in East Africa alone during World War I. Many Africans also fought in Europe, defending the interests of their colonial masters. Today, their sacrifice has been largely forgotten.
 
 
I have studied this conflict for years and still having a hard time deciding if it was worth it or not……I say….NOT.
 
 
Then World War One and North Africa…..
 
 
All the carnage should have taught the world a valuable lesson….but instead it just laid the ground work for World War Two……so lightning can strike in the same place more than once.
 
Learn Stuff!
 
Class Dismissed!
 
“Lego Ergo Scribo”