Only As Good As Your Last War

***This was a draft that got pushed back with all the breaking news***

We will celebrate the D-Day Landings, Operation Overlord, and the world will remember the heroes that came ashore in the North of France and fought all the way to the gates of Berlin….our “Greatest Generation”…..

And the peasants danced!

Do not misunderstand me…..I firmly believe that we should remember those that died and fought from France to Germany…..but I fear that this will be the last war that the soldiers will be fondly remembered and celebrated.

Seriously name me another war that garners such reverence?

Korea?  Vietnam?  Grenada?  Panama?  How about our newest war of justification…Afghanistan and Iraq.

Do you see any of those conflicts producing the emotions and the gratitude that WW2 envisions.

The wars since WW2 it is the veterans that do the remembering…everyone else only remembers when forced to do so.

But we Americans are always fighting the last war we remember…..

America is still fighting the last war. I admit to having a bit of the same problem. I’m now working on a new book to follow-up my previous one about the war in Afghanistan. The tentative title is Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism. [You are cordially invited to participate in a fundraiser for the project here.] The biggest problem with writing this book now is that the times have changed. The terror wars may all still be raging, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Mali, but the government’s main attention has been turned back toward great power competition with Russia and China.

The neocons’ declared “unipolar moment” is over. America’s relative power is in decline, in no small measure due to the horrible waste and destabilization wrought by the Middle Eastern terror wars in the first place. In response to this, the empire is frustrated, lashing out at the closest things they have to near-peer competitors, accusing them of aggression and declaring an intent to fully renew the old Cold War. Nixon may have ended the previous Cold War with China 45 years ago and Reagan and Bush Sr. the Cold War with the USSR even before it finally dissolved 30 years ago, however, the two independent nations remain the greatest excuse for the special interests at the heart of the American empire to exploit to the ends of the earth and cash in bigtime in the process.

Fighting the Last War

Americans need to learn more about war for they NO longer see the results of these situations…..the media soft soaps the coverage and pundits build the need for war…..all in all we are nation that “needs” war.

“War is good business Invest your children”

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“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”

06 August 1945

The time is 0815 hrs!

And the Atomic Age begins!

74 years ago today the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima…..and for the first time a theory became a weapon and a new age had begun.

President Harry S Truman, announcing the news from the cruiser, USS Augusta, in the mid-Atlantic, said the device was more than 2,000 times more powerful than the largest bomb used to date.

An accurate assessment of the damage caused has so far been impossible due to a huge cloud of impenetrable dust covering the target. Hiroshima is one of the chief supply depots for the Japanese army.

The bomb was dropped from an American B-29 Superfortress, known as Enola Gay, at 0815 local time. The plane’s crew say they saw a column of smoke rising and intense fires springing up.

Now as the world marks the release of this weapon of destruction a Declaration has been issued…

Around the world today, we see self-centered nationalism in ascendance, tensions heightened by international exclusivity and rivalry, with nuclear disarmament at a standstill. What are we to make of these global phenomena? Having undergone two world wars, our elders pursued an ideal — a world beyond war. They undertook to construct a system of international cooperation. Should we not now recall and, for human survival, strive for that ideal world? I ask this especially of you, the youth who have never known war but will lead the future. For this purpose, I ask you to listen carefully to the hibakusha of Aug. 6, 1945.

A woman who was five then has written this poem:

Little sister with a bowl cut / head spraying blood

embraced by Mother / turned raging Asura

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190805/p2g/00m/0na/104000c

For years I have read and written about the possibility that this weapon may have not been needed……now the American Conservative has written an article on this attack…..

August 6 usually doesn’t make headlines in America. But mark the day by what absence demonstrates: On the 72nd anniversary of the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and some 140,000 non-combatants, there is no call for reflection in the United States.

In an era when pundits routinely worry about America’s loss of moral standing because of an offish, ill-mannered president, the only nation in history to employ a weapon of mass destruction on an epic scale, against an undefended civilian population, otherwise shrugs off the significance of an act of immorality.

But it is August 6, and so let us talk about Hiroshima.

Don’t Whitewash the Hiroshima Bombing

With the rise of nuclear desires the possibility of something horrible could be unleashed but let us hope that this series of destructive power should never be used on humans again.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

That “Good War”

We have just celebrated the anniversary of the DDay landings that started the end of Nazi Germany…..It was the so-called “Good War”…..

Let’s look back shall we?

A Libertarian point of view about World War 2….written by Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation……

1. Prior to U.S. entry into World War II, the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to entering the conflict. That’s because of two things: (1) the non-interventionist foreign policy that was the founding policy of the United States and that had remained the foreign policy of the United States for more than 100 years; and (2) the horrible waste of men and money that had been expended on America’s intervention into World War I, not to mention the massive destruction of liberty that came with that war.

2.It was only because President Franklin Roosevelt intentionally provoked and maneuvered the Japanese into attacking at Pearl Harbor, where U.S. destroyers were conveniently based (FDR had wisely removed the carriers), that the U.S. ended up entering the conflict. Even many Roosevelt apologists now acknowledge what he did but defend it by arguing that his actions were for the greater good, i.e., preventing the Nazis from supposedly conquering the world. But what does it say about a democratic society in which people are overwhelmingly opposed to entering a particular war and in which their president circumvents that will by provoking and maneuvering a foreign regime into attacking the United States?

3.Hitler never had the ability to conquer the United States, much less the world. After all, his forces proved unable to cross the English Channel to conquer England. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it would have been militarily impossible for Hitler’s forces to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean and successfully invade and conquer the United States.

4. Mainstream historians and newspapers have long pointed out that defeating Germany saved Europe from Nazi control. But it was always clear from the beginning that Hitler was moving east, not west — toward the Soviet Union, whose communist regime he considered the real enemy of Germany (just as the U.S. would consider the Soviet Union to be the real enemy of the United States after the war was over). It was England and France that declared war on Germany, not the other way around. If England and France had not declared war on Germany, it is a virtual certainty that the war would have been between Germany and the Soviet Union — i.e., Nazism versus communism, while the Western powers stood aside and let them fight it out among themselves.

5.The reason that England declared war on Germany was to honor the guarantee that England had given to Poland. But it was an empty guarantee because England knew that it lacked the military capability to free the Poles from German control. At the end of the war and ever since, mainstream historians and newspapers have waxed eloquent about how “we” defeated the Nazis. The operative word, however, is “we” because “we” included the Soviet Union, which was ruled by one of the most brutal communist regimes in the world. It was the Soviet Union that ended up controlling Poland … and Czechoslovakia … and all of Eastern Europe … and also the eastern half of Germany. So, yes, the Poles were freed from Nazi tyranny at the end of the war, only to be made to suffer for the next 45 years under communist tyranny. U.S. officials and mainstream historians and commentators have always called that a “victory” for freedom. The Poles and Eastern Europeans have always felt differently about such a “victory.”

6.Virtually no Jews were saved by the war. By the time the war was over, almost all of them were dead. Of course, it should be kept in mind that when Hitler offered to let German Jews leave Germany in the 1930s, the Roosevelt administration, like all other nations around the world, said that they could not come to the United States. The reason? Anti-Semitism, the same anti-Semitism that afflicted Nazi Germany. Google “Voyage of the Damned” for more information.

7. After the war was over, U.S. officials immediately converted Hitler’s enemy (and America’s wartime partner), the Soviet Union, into America’s new official enemy, which, Americans were told, was an even bigger threat to the U.S. than Hitler had been. The fierce anti-communist mindset that had driven Hitler was now adopted by U.S. officials. Their Cold War against their wartime partner and ally was used to convert the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, a type of totalitarian structure that brought coups, assassinations, regime-change operations, alliances with dictatorial regimes, installation of dictatorial regimes, and ever-increasing budgets and power to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. In fact, the national-security branch of the federal government ultimately became the most powerful branch. Additionally, there was the entire anti-communist crusade engaged in by U.S. officials and the mainstream press against anyone who had socialist, communist, or even leftist leanings. (“Have you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”)

8.The Cold War brought U.S. interventions in North Korea and Vietnam, which cost the lives of more than 100,000 American men as well as countless injuries, not to mention the massive death and destruction that U.S. forces wreaked on the people of North Korea and North Vietnam. U.S. officials claimed that absent intervention, the dominoes would fall to the Reds, with the final domino being the United States. Despite the stalemate in Korea and the total defeat of U.S. forces in Vietnam at the hands of the communists, the dominoes never fell and the United States is still standing.

9.Mainstream historians and newspapers claim that Hitler would have ultimately conquered the United States and the world had he not been stopped. Of course, that’s impossible to say but it’s a problematic assertion given that Germany would have been just as weak and devastated as the Soviet Union was by the end of the war. War makes a nation weaker, not stronger. What we do know is that after the war, U.S. officials said that the Soviet Union, Hitler’s enemy and America’s wartime partner, was hell-bent on conquering the United States and the world. They never succeeded or even came close. If the United States could survive the communist Soviet Union, there is no reason to conclude that it couldn’t have survived a Nazi Germany.

DO NOT SHOOT THE MESSANGER!

These are Hornberger’s thoughts not mine!

I include them see how attitudes have changed if at all.

Thoughts?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The Day After

I waited to post this until after the DDay celebrations because I did not want some low life trying to equate this with my personal beliefs…..I post it as a historic thingy and the opinions of others.

I read a piece where the Russians are pushing the info that the DDay celebrations are nothing more than “fake news” ………

Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of France, Russia’s foreign minister has written an article arguing that the commemorations of the event are part of a “false” history that belittles the contributions of the Soviet Union toward defeating Nazi Germany.

Sergey Lavrov chastised Western powers in an article published in Russia’s International Affairs magazine on Tuesday, ahead of events in Europe to mark the D-Day landings on the Nazi-occupied Normandy coast.

“False interpretations of history are being introduced into the Western education system with mystifications and pseudo-historical theories designed to belittle the feat of our ancestors,” Lavrov wrote.

https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-claims-d-day-memorials-effort-to-pretend-ussr-didnt-win-wwii-2019-6

Geez! The Russian Federation is sounding a lot like the USSR these days.

I can see their “anger” if you will, that they had wanted a 2nd front for a couple of years to give the Red Army some relief which at the time was ass deep in fighting the Nazis back…..but to attack the celebration of DDay as fake news is a pail too far. Keep in mind that about 30 million Soviets died during WW2 (a fact that the West seems to overlook)

My uncle use to get miffed when this day came around for he felt slighted….he had fought across North Africa then up Italy and then into Southern France….Operation Dragoon……he felt that America had forgotten their contributions in blood and treasure……

So in his honor I give this in tribute……

The Allied invasion of southern France in the late summer of 1944, an operation first code-named ANVIL and later DRAGOON, marked the beginning of one of the most successful but controversial campaigns of World War II. However, because it fell both geographically and chronologically between two much larger Allied efforts in northern France and Italy, both its conduct and its contributions have been largely ignored. Planned originally as a simultaneous complement to OVERLORD, the cross-Channel attack on Normandy, ANVIL actually took place over two months later, on 15 August 1944, making it appear almost an afterthought to the main Allied offensive in northern Europe. Yet the success of ANVIL and the ensuing capture of the great southern French ports of Toulon and Marseilles, together with the subsequent drive north up the Rhone River valley to Lyon and Dijon, were ultimately to provide critical support to the Normandy-based armies finally moving east toward the German border.

https://history.army.mil/brochures/sfrance/sfrance.htm

https://www.abmc.gov/news-events/news/france%E2%80%99s-second-d-day-operation-dragoon-and-invasion-southern-france

Least We Forget!

Closing Thought–06Jun19

Today we remember the invasion of Europe by the allies that lead the way to victory over the Nazi war machine…….but France was not the only invasion…..ever hear of Operation Forager?

Most people recognize 6 June 1944 as D-Day, when Americans, British, and Canadians, with assistance from the forces of 17 other nations, assaulted northern France in Operation Neptune, the initial phase of the invasion of Normandy, Operation Overlord. Fewer people remember that June 1944 had another D-Day, when on the 15th, the United States conducted a massive amphibious landing on the Japanese-held Mariana Islands. Known as Operation Forager, this D-Day equaled Neptune in some respects and exceeded it in others.

The nature and geography of the objectives, the threats faced, and even the political environment presented each landing with surprisingly different challenges that are interesting to contrast; in fact, the biggest thing the two operations had in common was their immense size. As historian Samuel Morison wrote, “Added together, ‘Neptune’ in Europe and ‘Forager’ in the Pacific made the greatest military effort ever put forth by the United States or any other nation at one time.”1

 
Today we spend some time remembering what has been called our “Greatest Generation”…..those brave souls that help bring the end of Nazi domination of Europe….and the Japanese domination of Asia.
 
Find a moment to silently say “thank you” to all those that made their sacrifice to preserve freedom.