World War I Was No Accident

Over a hundred years ago, began in 1914, the World went to war….empire against empire (did you know that all the “Houses” in Europe at the time were ruled by the same family?)

That’s right the leaders of early 20th century Europe were all kin to each other common denominator is UK’s Queen Victoria….

Some historians would have their students believe that the war was started purely by accident…..that the assassination was an accident and if not had occurred then WW1 would not have been fought.

World War I wasn’t an inadvertent war but the result of deliberate German state policy.

To this day, most observers continue to claim that World War I was an inadvertent war: that is, that none of the countries involved particularly wanted war but war came nonetheless. Some claim it was the major armament programs and offensive military doctrines adopted by European countries in the run-up to the war that made WWI inevitable. Others claim it was the hypernationalistic populaces that caused the war. Still others blame the tight alliances that European nations formed in the years prior to WWI, which created an environment in which the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by an anarchist could plunge the entire continent into a bloody war. And then there are those that blame the situation on the irreconcilable interests of a rising Germany and a declining Great Britain. Regardless of the particular explanation invoked, most seem to agree that the war was an accident.

Source: The Great Myth: World War I Was No Accident | The Diplomat

I put this forward because of the way the mash-up between the US and NK is going…..with all the rhetoric there is nothing about it that would look like an accident if worse comes to worse……

History class is done… ain’t learning a wonderful thing?


Why Hitler’s Grand Plan Collapsed

I have noticed an uptick of Nazi programming on the History Channel…..everything from secret plans to infectious bugs to death rays to…..well you get the drift.

Hitler started off with a grand plan of a 1000 year Reich and the master of the world… failed (in case you did not pay attention in class)…but why did his plan collapse?

There have been many theories  for his failure from insanity to heavy drug use…..but the truth about his failure was far simpler…..

His first stupid decision was to invade Russia…..apparently he learned nothing from the French invasion…..he overlooked the two greatest generals of the USSR….General January and General February….the second idiotic plunder was declaring war on the US after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Two key factors undermined Germany’s campaign: US involvement boosted the allies’ arms-producing capabilities, while sheer Soviet manpower led to catastrophic defeat in Russia.

Two years into the war, in September 1941, German arms seemed to be carrying all before them. Western Europe had been decisively conquered, and there were few signs of any serious resistance to German rule. The failure of the Italians to establish Mussolini’s much-vaunted new Roman empire in the Mediterranean had been made good by German intervention. German forces had overrun Greece, and subjugated Yugoslavia. In north Africa, Rommel’s brilliant generalship was pushing the British and allied forces eastwards towards Egypt and threatening the Suez canal. Above all, the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 had reaped stunning rewards, with Leningrad (the present-day St Petersburg) besieged by German and Finnish troops, Smolensk and Kiev taken, and millions of Red Army troops killed or captured in a series of vast encircling operations that brought the German armed forces within reach of Moscow. Surrounded by a girdle of allies, from Vichy France and Finland to Romania and Hungary, and with the more or less benevolent neutrality of countries such as Sweden and Switzerland posing no serious threat, the Greater German Reich seemed to be unstoppable in its drive for supremacy in Europe.

Source: Why Hitler’s grand plan during the second world war collapsed | World news | The Guardian

Those are the two reason Hitler failed….period!

Class Dismissed!

The Treason Of Arnold

On this day, 21 September 1780…..Benedict Arnold gave up the plans to Wset point to Brit agent, John Andre…..

Most Americans know all about the treason of Benedict Arnold…one of those stories that we are taught in school from the very beginning….it is suppose to teach us a lesson about loyalty and patriotism.

Most Americans know that he, Arnold, betrayed his country but for what…..

This is where the old professor comes to the rescue with one of his now famous history lessons…..

Two years have elapsed since we left Washington at White Plains, where he encamped soon after the battle of Monmouth. During the two years little was done in the North but watch Clinton, who held the city of New York. A few minor operations, however, were not without significance. Sullivan’s raid into the Indian country we have noticed. Another exploit of this same general, occurring at an earlier date was less successful. The only part of the United States held by the British in the autumn of 1778, aside from Manhattan Island and a few western posts on the frontier, was Newport, with the island on which it stands. This was occupied by Sir Robert Pigott with a garrison of six thousand men, and Washington determined to make an effort for its recovery. He sent Sullivan with fifteen hundred picked men, who were to cooperate with a French fleet under Count d’Estaing, lately arrived in American waters. Sullivan’s army was increased to several thousand by New England volunteers, and success seemed to be in reach when a terrific storm crippled and scattered the fleet, and the project came to naught.

Source: Benedict Arnold

Pride and ego can drive men to do despicable things….and one of the most despicable is the betrayal of one’s country.

US Wars And Hostile Actions

That time again…..the IST history lesson…..

After listening to the speech given by Pres. Trump at the UN when he talked about those “rogue nations” that are a threat to the stability of the world….and it got me to thinking about the history of the US and I wanted to look back…..

Do you know how many wars or hostile actions the US has been involved with since World War Two?

I am sure that most everyone can name up to twenty conflicts…..but is this so much more than that…..

There is a reason that most countries polled in December 2013 by Gallup called the United States the greatest threat to peace in the world, and why Pew found that viewpoint increased in 2017.

But it is a reason that eludes that strain of U.S. academia that first defines war as something that nations and groups other than the United States do, and then concludes that war has nearly vanished from the earth.

Since World War II, during a supposed golden age of peace, the United States military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries. The United States is responsible for the deaths of 5 million people in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and over 1 million just since 2003 in Iraq.

Source: U.S. Wars and Hostile Actions: A List – Let’s Try Democracy

Included in the lists above is the number of leaders the US has tried to assassinate…..

  • 1949 – Kim Koo, Korean opposition leader
  • 1950s – CIA/Neo-Nazi hit list of more than 200 political figures in West Germany to be “put out of the way” in the event of a Soviet invasion
  • 1950s – Chou En-lai, Prime minister of China, several attempts on his life
  • 1950s, 1962 – Sukarno, President of Indonesia
  • 1951 – Kim Il Sung, Premier of North Korea
  • 1953 – Mohammed Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran
  • 1950s (mid) – Claro M. Recto, Philippines opposition leader
  • 1955 – Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India
  • 1957 – Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt
  • 1959, 1963, 1969 – Norodom Sihanouk, leader of Cambodia
  • 1960 – Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem, leader of Iraq
  • 1950s-70s – José Figueres, President of Costa Rica, two attempts on his life
  • 1961 – Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, leader of Haiti
  • 1961 – Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Congo (Zaire)
  • 1961 – Gen. Rafael Trujillo, leader of Dominican Republic
  • 1963 – Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam
  • 1960s-70s – Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, many attempts on his life
  • 1960s – Raúl Castro, high official in government of Cuba
  • 1965 – Francisco Caamaño, Dominican Republic opposition leader
  • 1965-6 – Charles de Gaulle, President of France
  • 1967 – Che Guevara, Cuban leader
  • 1970 – Salvador Allende, President of Chile
  • 1970 – Gen. Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of Army, Chile
  • 1970s, 1981 – General Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama
  • 1972 – General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Panama Intelligence
  • 1975 – Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire
  • 1976 – Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
  • 1980-1986 – Muammar Qaddafi, leader of Libya, several plots and attempts upon his life
  • 1982 – Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of Iran
  • 1983 – Gen. Ahmed Dlimi, Moroccan Army commander
  • 1983 – Miguel d’Escoto, Foreign Minister of Nicaragua
  • 1984 – The nine comandantes of the Sandinista National Directorate
  • 1985 – Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanese Shiite leader (80 people killed in the attempt)
  • 1991 – Saddam Hussein, leader of Iraq
  • 1993 – Mohamed Farah Aideed, prominent clan leader of Somalia
  • 1998, 2001-2 – Osama bin Laden, leading Islamic militant
  • 1999 – Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia
  • 2002 – Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Afghan Islamic leader and warlord
  • 2003 – Saddam Hussein and his two sons
  • 2011 – Muammar Qaddafi, leader of Libya

Just a sampling of the info available in this article……Fascinating reading….I will leave you to it…..enjoy!

What must one do to be known as a “rogue nation”?

Vietnam: Being There (A Review)

As a young man I volunteered for the Army and got two tours in Vietnam… was, as they say, a defining moment of my life…because of the time I became interesting in the study of war or as it is known in university Conflict Management…..and as they say the rest is history.

There have been many movies about the war….most of which I did not see…..I just think the Hollywood could not get it right.  There was a TV series, Tour Of Duty, that was pretty accurate…well worth a streaminfg attack if you ever get those.

The many history channels have filed many docs on the war….most of them are great propaganda pieces and not very accurate….although some of the footage is amazing.

Documentary film maker, Ken Burns, has a new project about nthe Vietnam War and all the reviews are great…..

A decade in the making, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary series, The Vietnam War, premieres on PBS Sunday, but it’s already gaining quite the reputation among critics. The 18-hour documentary, told in 10 episodes, digs deep into the conflict, meshing first-person interviews with historical footage. Then it goes beyond since, for many, 1973 didn’t mean the end of suffering. Here’s what the critics are saying:

  • James Poniewozik at the New York Times says it “will break your heart and win your mind.” Given the subject matter, it’s no surprise he found it “wearying.” It’s “probably Mr. Burns’ saddest film,” he writes. But it presents a “staggering” amount of material and powerful oral histories.
  • Some 80 interviewees “offer a glimpse into the psyches of people on all sides of the conflict,” writes Sonia Saraiya at Variety. It can be disorienting, but “disorientation in the midst of multiple national histories and conflicting personal agendas is, in a nutshell, the experience of the Vietnam War.”
  • At CNN, Brian Lowry calls The Vietnam War “a masterpiece” that “humanizes what was often a faceless enemy.” Another strength: its ability to show “the ripples from the war still being felt today.”
  • It may be long, but it’s “worth every single minute of your time,” writes Hank Stuever at the Washington Post, calling it “required viewing.” Not only will you experience “terror, horror, disbelief, discovery, disgust, marvel, pride, ambivalence and tears,” but “you’ll lose count of how many times you’ll have to pick your jaw up off the floor.”
  • Though “very little that’s said feels dangerous, controversial or exposed from our perspective,” The Vietnam War is remarkable, beautiful, repetitive, frustrating, assaulting, and “nightmarish”—and “it’s impossible to look away,” writes Daniel Fienberg at the Hollywood Reporter.
  • Adds Ed Siegel at the ARTery, “It’s not easy and it’s certainly not fun, but Ken Burns and Lynn Novick know how to make history dramatic, how to make television riveting, and how to tell the country’s story in a way that really defines what American exceptionalism is all about.”

I will watch it but will wait until I can buy the series for I can only take small portions before a memory gets kicked up.

I apologize for two days of not so interesting posts….it has been a bad couple of days….as compensation I offer up some great tunes from the Vietnam Era….

Time to back out gracefully and enjoy some down time….see guys Monday….chuq

An America First Foreign Policy

In the beginning of the 2016 election we had a new (well not so new) slogan for the voter to deal with…..America First.

Donald Trump promised to “make America Great Again”….which is something all Americans love to hear…the problem for me was I did not see how we were not already “great”.

“America First” was a promised during th1940’s to keep the US out of another European war……an isolationist position to be sure.

This is a good look at the America First promise… is from the Libertarian Future Of Freedom Foundation

In his inaugural address, Donald Trump stated, “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.” Trump apparently first used his catchphrase in a March 2016 interview with the New York Times in the context of foreign policy. The interviewer suggested that Trump was taking something of an “‘America First’ kind of approach, a mistrust of many foreigners, both our adversaries and some of our Continue Reading

Source: An America First Foreign Policy – The Future of Freedom Foundation

I like the idea to staying out of all these minor wars but I also think the days of isolationism are long gone.

WE will have to wait a few more years to see just where Trump’s America First will take the country.

States That Never Were

WE all know that there are 50 states (I’m guessing they still teach geography)…..but there could be more if we were to include our overseas empire of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam etc…..and these days there seems to be a movement, of sorts, to create new states….mostly through session…..Texas has played with the idea….even parts of California have given the idea some thought.

Now history I do enjoy some history there have been several regions that should have been states but for one reason or another…..a great article in the American Conservative has taken a look at this historic situation….

In today’s polarized political climate, the political, economic, and cultural differences between regions and even states seem exacerbated. These divisions have led to renewed calls for carving up or even secession by some states, namely California.

In the meantime, efforts to incorporate Puerto Rico as a new state continue unabated.

Among other potential “new states” are the island territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Source: Five U.S. States That Never Made the Map | The American Conservative

Like I keep saying….there is so much history about this country that we are never taught….and most of it is far more interesting than the mundane crap they do teach….and that is why I am here…..teach the untaught.

Turn The Page!