We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, June 6. 2007
"In Preparing For Battle, I Have Always Found That Plans Are Useless But Planning Is Indispensable."
"Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone."
(Text of note found in the pocket of General Dwight David Eisenhower long after the D-Day landings succeeded.)
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Ike was a great man. He learned his job as the pre-war right-hand man of the American Caesar, Douglas MacArthur, who, had he not been fired by Harry Truman, would've finished the fight we are still in, one way or the other.
'Pears to be sitting on the ground, eating out a mess kit.
Which of today's leaders would you say might do that?
(Hewlett and Packard would have, I don't know anybody current who would.
I'd like to be wrong.
Leaders? We hardly let the grunts do that anymore. All the comforts of home seems to be the ideal. Which, in case my sarc isn't' clear, I disagree with.
Agree re Ike. Though it would have been nasty, I think I agree re Doug as well. Instead we've suffered fifty+ years of debilitation and still have the job to do.
Too complicated a question for me to have a clear answer, but I wonder of we could have handled having the rest of the world on our dole.
Not sure about the 'dole' Larry. Instead coulda been Japan, Germany, ROK, etc.
Me either. The ones you name got off, maybe the rest would to.
I truly don't know.
Well, the only way this very prosperous society we live in today is capable of keeping men at arms and all the supporting elements is to make every theater look like home as soon as possible...McDonalds, weightrooms,basketball nets, the list is endless...20-40k re-up bonus' depending on your MOS or whatever they call it today.
We can't go to a draft. Too many Baby Boomer sons and daughters already indoctrinated against what"daddy had to go through in Vietnam against his will, and he was drafted and hated it cause what had the Vietnamese ever done to us" etc. etc.....we'd have another war here at home.
I say we give the high tech stuff to the current servicemen, and give M-1's and Vietnam surplus stuff to the Illegal Amnesty Mex and let them go on patrol, kicking in doors and taking the hits..if they live ok, if not ok. If they live then we cut out the part of the citizenship test that requires quantum physics and replace it with ..like...how much marijuana can you grow in a quarter of an acre?
That was haboonian humor, LS. Anyway, for awhile there we had Patton in Europe, MacArthur in Asia, and a monopoly on da bomb. But, because we are not imperialists, we didn't let LeMay pacify the hornet's nests when we could've done it cleanly and cheaply for ALL the peoples of the world.
I have no comment on that, just, you know, alas.
Decisions taken that weren't wrong when taken, but later events made them so. Like, dream, what if, "dismantle your arms industries now, or WE will do it with the bomb".
Presto, world peace, human rights, dignity for all mankind, incredible health & prosperity for all, forever.
Of course we wouldn't change any of the test questions..the quantum physics stays in the exam, unless they've already updated the exam with string theory questions ..wow that would be tough.
And no they wouldn't have to kick in the doors.Everyone knows you just blast away....
BL..I've still got my "Let LeMay have his Way" button. Boy did we miss a chance to make this world a much better place.... Patton knew, MacArthur knew.....Kilroy knew everything too.
How come the soldiers are smarter than the civilians? Don't they both have the same info, up top?
Because civilians by and large fear death and want it stopped as quickly as they can. Then their souls are cleansed by being humanitarian in only doing "what was necessary" to halt the aggressors.
Today they subscribe to the same high moral ground but use the term "proportional response" which translates to death by a thousand cuts since AQ doesn't have a nuke ..YET. Even then some would argue, who, who do we hit?
Of course the folly that Lenin's useful idiots do not see, or refuse to acknowledge is that man has always made war on man. I always ask the "idiots" to choose ANY history book, open it to any page and then go 25 pages forward and 25 pages back and NOT find war mentioned.
It never moves them away from their pottery wheel life of harmonic balance that the rest of us just don't have the "vision" to see.
Forthright here H., you at times appear a little wacky. But this is America, and there is certainly enough wacky around to balance you out.
You are pretty dead on here. But I just can't get behind the substance of your 'who'. I understand it, I understand the logic behind it, but it just doesn't feel right. I always let the other bastard throw the first punch, then I (a majority of the time) beat the hell out of them. I know the stakes are higher now, but for me personally, there has to be a moral component before I could Willy-nilly nuke the hell out of everyone I perceived as a threat. Yes, the first targets would be easy, SA, Iran, Syria, PRK, but that would not do it, really.The argument would have to be a lot more focused for me to accept it. Otherwise its really a rather specious thought.
But if bad guys think you're crazy enough to do it to 'em, you won't have to do it to 'em.
GWB had that little 'wild man' thing for awhile--but it petered out among the cacaphony of the pottery wheels.
Now, his successor(s) may really have to do it, someday.
But, Ike was also a thinker. He understood the threat of the Millitary/Industrial complex--he foresaw the corruption of today.
Best of all--Ike is wearing absolutely spotless boots!! Ahh, if we could but see a historical moment through the lens of the politically coreect photographers of those days! They were much more intelligent than our jounralists of today--however, they did use the same tricks of the trade!
He first attracted attention running a big war game in Louisiana (IIRC my history) in the run up to the war.
At first i assumed the pic was from that. those maneuvers, but he has four stars already in the pic--hmm...have to look it up.
LM..believe me it is THE conundrum facing us in the world today.
We all know the demographic story of Islam outproducing every European nation. No problem their we understand that and if those countries want to remain in the vein of western law as opposed to sharia they'd better start moving some folks out of their countries.
As far as preemption goes it's dicey. Chances are if we get hit first the plan ffrom the enemy won't be just to stir up the hornets nest. AQ likes grand displays. If they take out enough electrical nodes (remember the NE a few years ago when the power went out) around the country well have a country full of Katrina N.O.'s....we know the Iranians are only an airplane delivery away from having a nuclear device from Putin.....Iran will nuke Israel...what do we do..Israel IS going to preempt..will we help?
The world,as I see it is on a knifes edge with no really good alternatives. Putin isn't leaving office when his tenure is up. Iran isn't going to give up Islam and we aren't going quietly into the night. I don't know what the answer is but I don't believe we can absorb a first strike, which I think will be a coordinted Tet on US soil and not have the Soviets and China make their moves on the Baltic states and Taiwan while we get our gee-dunk back together..we can't take them all on so bye bye Baltic states and Taiwan..Taiwna will be gristly.
The moral component of the United States I believe has been well established over our entire history. No other country in the world has given to the world as much as we have..we even offer the Soviets our missiles technology to keep them cooled down...so I don't see where every instance or happening involving war has to begin with the USA reestablishing that we are't imperialists or seekers of world hegemony..That the hegemony has come our way for a while is just the pages of history turning..soon China and Russia will be major players again......but all in all we're the good guys.
But don't you have too do it once, to prove you will? Who will be first?
Good pickup on the boots AP. The rest of the uniform as well. Tis true you have too look 'leadery' in front of the troops. The photogs helped with that effort.
Let us know what you find re the four stars BL. Have you got your wi-fi back?
That last post (14.1) was misplaced. It was for AP and BL.
Thanks for the serious reply H.
I only disagree on a couple of points:
I think we can absorb a first strike. Nasty, horrific, and many other adjectives. But we would survive. I, unfortunately, think it may take that to make the country whole again. For all to realize the seriousness of the situation. Even then, those pottery wheels will be turning I know.
I think our SSBN's will give great hesitation to China/Russia re any ideas they may have of piling on. We will not be bereft of inflicting fatal damage to all those who threaten us.
You and I know we're the good guys. But that page has been turned for much of the rest of the world, and many in this country. It has to be reestablished every day.
"In November of 1942, Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Commander Allied (Expeditionary) Force of the North African Theater of Operations. In February of 1943, his authority was extended across the Mediterranean Sea basin to include the British 8th Army. The 8th Army had advanced across the Western Desert from the east and was ready for the start of the Tunisia Campaign. Around this time, Eisenhower gained his fourth star and became commander of NATOUSA."
from a wiki. So he was spiffed up for some North African function, no doubt, in the pic. Maybe after the Afrika Korp capitulation in Tunisia, when there was much celebration. Just guessing.
Yeh, LM, the ISP crew was dragging too long getting out to us so son came over & he & I strung some guy wires and "come-alonged" the 40' tower back up, then re-aimed the dish using dead reckoning (and wear marks)-- & lucked out and got 'er aimed. 100 Mbps vs that dial up 20 Kbps, jeez wot a diff.
LM..have a good rest and thanks for the colloquy. I hope I am way wrong.. for your morning reading I'' go ahead and address some of your points.
We recently heard a report from the Pew Research people regarding Muslims in the USA and what they believe. It wasn't uplifting. 17,500 of them believed suicide bombing was justified HERE. If only 10% actually puree themselves, we have a problem..here's why ...the veneer between an orderly society and chaos is measured in microns...we have more people in prison in this country than any other country in the world ..the AQ will spring them....people ,even without that aspect will panic as store shelves empty of food and water...remember at this point there will be no electricity...EMP's will have destroyed vehicular locomotion..no electricity and you have no sewage, no power for the elderly on breathing equipment,..the list is endless... VERY few of our population has water or food enough for three days, much less months.
Those that can flee will, but to where..no communications.
I fully believe what is past is prologue and for that reason reestablishing our bona fides as a magnanimous nation does not have to be reestablished every day. But if a nation continually says they are going to harm you, and does so then morally we have a duty to preempt an even bigger disaster. Since 1979 Iran has harassed the US, funded proxies to attack us, and been complicit in almost every major attack on us...
I am not in favor of the chaos 1750 suicide bombers could inflict on the US power grid, our malls, dams, airports, seaports, schools, and general population. And the firm belief of many in the intelligence community is that dirty bombs will be the order of the day.
All the kings horses and all the kings men can't get the nation moving again prior to systemic breakdown, chaos and the type of lawlessness we saw in LA after Rodney King or in 1965. Psychologists estimate that 25% of our population has treatable psychiatric problems..if only 1% are sociopathic thats over 3 million people. Where law and order has broken down,food and water scarce,disease speading the sociopaths aren't going to suddenly convert to first responders.
This is not an unthinkable scenario and AQ knows it as well as the President does.
Since we are such an open society practically all or our utilities are "soft" targets. Military bases are about the only semi-hard targets....everything else is just low hanging fruit.
And it doesn't even take a bomb...I point out to my wife as we drive around Florida and Montana the number of power stations that are surrounded by only a chain link fence.
Launching a length of chain over the fence so that it contacts several points will immediately degrade the entire area it serves...can be done in 30 seconds, even less if you're trained.
Now, here is something that has been in the back corners for quite a few years. Sometime, in the late 60's, early 70's, when the "Readers Digest" was still capable of good investigative journalism there was an article written about the growth of organized crime. In that article it was mentioned then that the "mafia" had more than 4,000 hit men available to them at any time. These were sociopaths on the street ready to go. I put to you that the brutal murders of young children such as the one down in FL, when a hotel chain was being taken over, or the young woman in CA that had both of her arms cut off when her drug dealing father turned witness for the state--the blowing up of a house in DC (VA) etc. All of these actions were taken, because people confronted the "organization" That in itself has been laying a silent fear in the psyche of our people. For me, the most important factor in destroying the will of the people are those cops/robbers weekly program that demonstrate repeatedly that frequently the bad guys do bad things and get away with it.
Douglas MacArthur had spectacular successes and failures. Truman was right to fire him. MacArthur screwed up massively in Korea.
NJ...yeah that Inchon Landing and driving the Chinese back above the 38th parallel was a real screw up..
I believe the screw up in Korea came from the Harry Trumans doing. It continues to this day...restricted warfare,providing the enemy sanctuary so he can hit you again and again and then dive for cover, across a line of vapor in the sky, or a line in the sand.
Truman was a political hack who should have remained a hat salesman with the Missouri mob.
It's the old question of, what were we up against?
When PRC came across the Yalu, MacArthur wanted approval of a plan which called for 23 tactical nukes against PRC's military infrastructure. So, Truman got the willies and fired him.
Remains to be seen what long term effect the negotiated end of the Korean War had. Not a comments section topic.
Macarthurís 8th Army was in pitiful condition at the start of the Korean War. The lack of equipment and money was the Truman administration's fault. The lack of training was Macarthurís fault - he was busy playing Emperor. A commander today would be relieved for letting his unit deteriorate so badly.
Macarthur did make a brilliant landing at Inchon. He and his staff then willfully ignored all warnings from his intelligence people on the presence of huge numbers of Chinese troops. The result was an incredible battlefield disaster. He should have been relieved on the spot when his stupid mistake became clear.
I also resent his meddling in the procurement of the M-1 Garand. If he had not rejected the .276 Peterson cartridges, our Marines would have landed on Guadalcanal with 10-round M-1's instead of bolt-action Springfields. The Army, to this day has been unable to select a medium powered cartridge. Thanks Mac.