Nicaragua Again?

Let me begin by telling my readers that today may be a short day for me for I must return to the doctors and see what the next step is going to be….I apologize for the pace of today’s posts but I hope you will understand.

For 30 years the political front of Nicaragua has not been an important headline….and that is about to change.

How many of my readers are old enough to remember the dark days of the 1980’s…..we were in the middle of Central American politics from Honduras to El Salvador to Nicaragua.

Nicaragua was where the Reagan boyz got in trouble…..the Iran-Contra Affair…..

The Iran-Contra Affair was a secret U.S. arms deal that traded missiles and other arms to free some Americans held hostage by terrorists in Lebanon, but also used funds from the arms deal to support armed conflict in Nicaragua. The controversial dealmaking—and the ensuing political scandal—threatened to bring down the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Soon after taking control of Congress, the Democrats passed the Boland Amendment, which restricted the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Defense (DoD) in foreign conflicts.

The amendment was specifically aimed at Nicaragua, where anti-communist Contras were battling the Sandinista communist government.

Reagan had described the Contras as “the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers.” But much of their funding, to that point, had come via Nicaragua’s cocaine trade, hence Congress’ decision to pass the Boland Amendment.

All this effort was to try and stop the Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega….Sandinista?

The new government inherited a devastated country. About 500,000 people were homeless, more than 30,000 had been killed, and the economy was in ruins. In July 1979 the Sandinistas appointed a five-member Government Junta of National Reconstruction. The following May it named a 47-member Council of State, which was to act as an interim national assembly. In 1981 the junta was reduced to three members and the council increased to 51.

I give you this little slice of history because Nicaragua is making political news again……

There are protests against the Left wing government of Ortega and the Trumpian response is as follows…..

The Trump administration is crafting a range of options, including potential sanctions, against the government of Nicaragua and President Daniel Ortega if it fails to properly address the concerns of student groups, church leaders and other civic players about increasing violence and political repression.

“We’re watching this with laser focus because we need to ensure that, the people have called for dialogue, the government participates; the people have called for investigations, the government does that; the military has said we’re staying out of that, they continue to do so,” a senior administration official told McClatchy.

Read more here:

Will we once again trip the light fantastic with Nicaragua?


Closing Thought–19Jun18

Today is Juneteenth……and most Americans this means nothing to them other than another day in June …..but this day is full of history……I guess it could be billed as the Black Independence Day……

June 19 is just another day, and another insignificant day on the calendar. However, for those who are direct descendants of former slaves, the day holds a much bigger significance, as it is the oldest known celebration to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States.

According to, June 19, 1865 was the date that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas and brought the news that the Civil War was officially over and those who had previously been enslaved were not free men and women. The website notes how important that is in relation to President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official two and a half years earlier, on January 1, 1863.

“The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order,” the website states. “However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.”

For more information in case you missed it……

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Hopefully you learned something today…..peace out my friends….chuq

Lesser Known Battles Of Vietnam

Anyone that watches any of the history channels knows of the battles of Vietnam and the outcome…..battles like that of Khe San or Hue during Tet…these were those battles that the US troops mustered all their energy and won the day.

Then there is Hollywood which did all it could to give the appearance that the US troops could do no wrong and their tactics and fortitude gave them a victory at all costs…..

I hate to be the one to inform you of this but the US did not win every battle they engaged in in Vietnam…..McCain was blowing smoke……

One theme presented by supporters of the American empire is the U.S. military is invincible and can never lose unless stabbed in the back by impatient politicians. They claim the U.S. military never lost a battle during the entire Vietnam war. On August 30, 2011, President Barack Obama proclaimed to a gathering of veterans: But let it be remembered that you won every major battle of that war. Every single one.” Vietnam vet Senator John McCain repeated this lie in a 2013 article in the “Wall Street Journal.” This myth was disputed by America’s most decorated officer of that war, Colonel David Hackworth, in his book “About Face.” The U.S. military had every advantage, yet mistakes were made and battles lost. Internet research turns up these 104 lost battles of the Vietnam war:

Americans need to know the truth…..that we did not win every engagement we entered into with the VC and/or the NVA….you can do what we always do….re-write history but the truth is far from what we are fed.

Closing Thought–18Jun18


During World War Two in the Pacific against Japan…the US used “Code Talkers” to confound the enemy….these men were from the Navajo Nation and their exploits were made famous by the movie with that Cage guy……

Sad to report that one of the last of the “Code Talkers” has died…..

Samuel Tom Holiday, one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers, died in southern Utah on Monday surrounded by family members who raised money through a crowdfunding campaign to be by his side. He was 94. Holiday was among hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to transmit messages in World War II. The Japanese never broke it. He was 19 when he joined the Marine Corps and became a part of operations in several locations across the Pacific during the war, according to the Spectrum. A mortar explosion left him with hearing loss, but he would later tell family that he always felt safe during battle because of a pouch around his neck holding sacred stones and yellow corn pollen.

He received a Congressional Silver Medal, a Purple Heart, and other recognition for his action during the conflict. After the war, Holiday returned to the Navajo reservation and worked as a police officer, a ranger, and later started his own equipment company, the AP reports. He married Lupita Mae Isaac and had eight children. In 2013, Holiday co-wrote a book about his experience as a Code Talker called Under the Eagle. Fewer than 10 Code Talkers are believed to be alive today. The exact number is unknown because the program remained classified for several years following the war. Shortly before his death, family members turned to GoFundMe to raise $4,000 to be able to visit him in hospice care. The Navajo Nation says he was surrounded by friends and family when he died.

May he rest in peace……and thank you for your service to this country.

Scholarly Spies

I have always liked history and I have always found the stories of spies in World War Two just fascinating…..most Americans have forgotten some interesting people that were among the first to spy on the Nazis in France after the invasion of 1940.

Early in June 1940, refugees from northern France and the low Countries who had flooded Paris in May fled with the residents of the city as the German advance neared. To save the City of Light from destruction, however, at the last moment Paris was declared an open city. The Germans marched in unopposed on June 15.

Five days later, in the distant village of Vicq-sur-Breuil, Agnès Humbert, an art historian and one of the millions of refugees on the road, happened to hear General Charles de Gaulle’s famous address to the French people from London. While hardly anyone knew who de Gaulle was, and while those who did called him a crackpot, Humbert was immediately jolted out of her despair over the fall of France. In her diary for the day she wrote, “I feel I have come back to life…. He has given me hope, and nothing in the world can extinguish that hope now.”

Hope this history lesson will at least inform my reader as well as entertain….all there is to say now is…..Class Dismissed

The Vietnam War: The First Time

It is June and time for a look back into the shadows of history.

On this day the last French troops leave Algeria……in 1964…but before that defeat the French tasted defeat earlier… a spot called French IndoChina…..

As a Vietnam veteran I was always interested in how we, Americans, became the fighters of this conflict.  Reading the history of Vietnam you see that the country has been a battlefield for damn near a thousand years.

But what interested me the most was the involvement after WW2…..when control of Vietnam returned to the French……

America’s involvement in Vietnam from early 60’s to mid 70’s was not the first time Vietnam was a major battlefield….a conflict between the West and the East…….

After World War Two the communist in Vietnam started a war for control against the French…who were supported by the West most notably the US………..

In the late 1940s, the French struggled to control its colonies in Indochina – Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Despite financial assistance from the United States, nationalist uprisings against French colonial rule began to take their toll. On May 7, 1954, the French-held garrison at Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam fell after a four month siege led by Vietnamese nationalist Ho Chi Minh. After the fall of Dien Bien Phu, the French pulled out of the region. Concerned about regional instability, the United States became increasingly committed to countering communist nationalists in Indochina.

Dien Bien Phu…a fascinating battle in so many ways.

With the First Indochina War going poorly for the French, Premier Rene Mayer dispatched General Henri Navarre to take command in May 1953.

Arriving in Hanoi, Navarre found that no long-term plan existed for defeating the Viet Minh and that French forces simply reacted to the enemy’s moves. Believing that he was also tasked with defending neighboring Laos, Navarre sought an effective method for interdicting Viet Minh supply lines through the region. Working with Colonel Louis Berteil, the “hedgehog” concept was developed which called for French troops to establish fortified camps near Viet Minh supply routes.

Supplied by air, the hedgehogs would allow French troops to block the Viet Minh’s supplies, compelling them to fall back. The concept was largely based on the French success at the Battle of Na San in late 1952. Holding the high ground around a fortified camp at Na San, French forces had repeatedly beaten back assaults by General Vo Nguyen Giap’s Viet Minh troops. Navarre believed that the approach used at Na San could be enlarged to force the Viet Minh to commit to a large, pitched battle where superior French firepower could destroy Giap’s army.

Arrogance and stupidity lost this battle for the French which in turn basically lost Vietnam for France……about here enter the US and its advisers and as they say  we all know the outcome of that move.

And apparently we learned nothing from the French or our own experience.

Arrogance and stupidity…..sound familiar?

The Tank

We are celebrating the world of 1914-1918 or what became known as the First World War…..there were many first in this conflict…the first time an airplane was used in wartime…..this war also was the first time that the deadly machine gun was used….and the biggest deal was the first use of the armored tank in warfare.

Trench warfare made the development of the tank necessary…….

The British developed the tank in response to the trench warfare of World War I. In 1914, a British army colonel named Ernest Swinton and William Hankey, secretary of the Committee for Imperial Defence, championed the idea of an armored vehicle with conveyor-belt-like tracks over its wheels that could break through enemy lines and traverse difficult territory.

The tank a weapon that most armies use and most armies take for granted….but today’s tank had its beginnings in 1918 and believe it or not it made an auto maker famous…..

On 31 May 1918, the German army launches a sudden attack near the Forest of Retz near Ploisy in the north-east of France. It is the last year of World War One, and the Germans are desperately trying to beat the Western Allies.

A British blockade is crippling the German economy. Those back at home are suffering shortages of fuel and food. The German Empire faces starvation and defeat.

As the French units at Retz try to resist the onslaught, they are joined by reinforcements. Among them is a new tank: the FT. Compared to the giant, lumbering British tanks that have been used with mixed results for the past 18 months, these are tiny. There is only room for two people inside them.

May I say thanx for the visit and the read……

Class Dismissed