Russia never left The Great Game

Russia never left the Great Game. Obama never studied history, and it shows. While Vladimir Putin demonstrated respect for Bush-43 that was never extended to Obama, Putin still re-started the Great Game with the invasion of Georgia, using the guise of Pan-slavism as his excuse, and Bush’s focus on GWOT as cover. In a little known speech delivered in Sochi last month, Putin announced that Russia is done with the status quo and will change it. But given Russia’s economic predicament, Putin needs a way to distract Russians from the economic mess created by Putin’s kleptocracy. So pan-slavism is again […]

Fall of the Wall: Where Did the Stasi Go?

An interesting essay from Robert Wargas on the Stasi and its ‘day after.’   The Stasi’s methods of controlling the East German population were often wickedly creative. Even among those fairly knowledgeable of the German language, the word “Zersetzung,” used in a political context, is likely unfamiliar. Translated variously as “degradation,” “decomposition,” “disruptiveness,” or “disintegration,” the word is most often used in a biological sense. When it comes to espionage, Zersetzung refers to the Stasi’s practice of destroying a target’s personal life. [emphasis by DaveO] The methods, however, were much more subtle than the word implies. The Stasi perfected their ability […]

The Amazing B-17 Flying Fortress

Thanks to VFR Marine, we have THIS to present to you. Twelve thousand, seven hundred, thirty-one were built. Fewer than fifteen are still flying today. Wow. I remember seeing the movie, Memphis Belle, and saying to myself, “That’s America right there– American boys in American planes, dropping American bombs on America’s enemies.” BTW– we need an Air Force contributor. Any takers?

Who won the Cold War?

Via “The Avationist,” an inside look at the Cold War. Meanwhile, Sarah Hoyt and Eric Raymond explore the USSR’s most potent weapon, which is not Vladimir Putin, though he was part of it. Do any of these look familiar? There is no truth, only competing agendas. All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism. There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor. The prosperity of the […]

Happy Birthday, Royal Marines!

Per Mare, Per Terram! (Some great photos and tributes there, be sure to look at them all.) 350 years old. Here’s to you!

Book Review of George Marshall: A Biography

Not sure if I shall bother reading this new biography of George Marshall, but here is a review of it in the New Republic.  Concluding paragraph says a lot about George Marshall the man: For a military man, Marshall’s heroism was peculiar. It did not arise from his conduct on the battlefield. It arose from his modesty, including “a modest daily schedule that often ended at three or four o’clock in the afternoon” and his avoidance “of lucrative corporate board memberships so commonly available to retired high military officers in our more avaricious times.” Most importantly, Marshall’s modesty flowed from […]

Should the 4th Estate be saved?

The 4th Estate, also known as news media, has had a tradition of both a liberal (change-promoting) editorial bent and being the opposition party to whomever is in power. America’s journalism business has a checkered past, with its William Randolph Heart’s Yellow Journalism, and Walter Duranty’s prize-winning [un-]reporting of conditions inside the USSR. In terms of national security and foreign affairs, journalist would tell you why the F-35 is like the Great Wall of China (answer: neither leave the earth, both cost a lot, and were overcome by new technology before completion), or why a treaty was or wasn’t in America’s […]

A way to study History

As most of you know I do not hold any degrees in History, but that never stopped me from enjoying it. I studied English, which is to say I studied information and how it is managed and conveyed. Recently George, one of our commentators recommended watching Ken Burns’s treatment of FDR and the New Deal. That brought to mind an earlier conversation with Townie on how history is taught. Which is the ‘why’ of this post: History is often given a treatment of this perspective or that perspective, but there is rarely a treatment of the outcomes. Any word or deed can […]

Letters of Marque and Reprisal

Slater’s excellent post produced very thoughtful, spot-on observations from regular commentators John Minehan and Mike_B as well as our resident Townie. The takeaway from the comments is that Americans have divorced themselves from service, including warfare. Recently, Bill O’Reilly recommended a much-derided solution to the problems of sending Americans overseas at exorbitant costs in blood and treasure. O’Reilly recommended that the US raise a mercenary army to fight terrorism. To authorize such a force, our Congress must issue a letter, or letters of Marque & Reprisal. LETTER OF MARQUE AND REPRISAL, War. A commission granted by the government to a private individual, […]

The Burden of War

Falleth not upon the Soldier, or Marine, or Sailor, or Airman.  But on the people who sent him to that beach without water.  Here‘s an interesting article by Sebastian Junger who has spent much of his journalistic career embedded among Soldiers to tell their story. The Soldier. . .is a tool.  When you hammer a nail as you build a bed frame, what take responsibility for it?  The hammer?  I would say no.  It must be the person hammering the nail.  To that effect, the Soldier is a tool, he should not bear the majority of the pain or blame […]