Category Archives: history

He’s Dead, Jim. Leonard Nimoy, 83

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Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played the iconic Star Trek character Spock, has died at age 83.  His was a remarkable life and career.  He appeared in countless television and movie roles, including in Combat, The Twilight Zone, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and even Get Smart.  He narrated In Search Of, which was a great program.  He also had a sense of humor about himself, voicing his animated self on The Simpsons a couple of times.  Nimoy was also a Veteran, serving as a Sergeant in the US Army in the late 1950s.

He lived long, and he prospered.  RIP Spock.

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Filed under army, Around the web, history, ships, space, Uncategorized, veterans

Loss of Liberty, One Amendment at a Time

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The FCC voted today to make broadband internet a “public utility”.    A quietly terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be disastrous for our liberties.   DaveO at Op-For spells it out superbly.

From 1983 until today, February 26, 2015, America had the freest press the world has ever known because of the free (in terms of controls, not necessarily in cost) the internet. Through Obamacare we have seen the government directly attack the free exercise of religion, and today we have lost the last truly free press. Just like Obamacare, the authors and FCC Chairman ramrodded the s through with zero oversight, zero accountability, and a whole lot of lies to the people. The risk of blogs and the internet informing principled opposition to the Tyranocracy was too much to bear. What next? The Second Amendment?

For those of you who actually believed that control of broadband internet by the same Federal Government that used the IRS and Justice Department to persecute political opponents of Barack Obama and the radical Left had anything to do with “net neutrality”, your naïve stupidity in trusting the motives and explanations of this Administration contributed materially to handing control of the last semblance of independent press to the most malignant Presidency in the history of our Republic.

You were warned.  But you would rather be willfully blind.  And so you shall remain.  Let’s hear from an expert on censorship:

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?

-Stalin

Make no mistake, Barack Obama believes precisely the same.   And forget not that he counts our nation’s enemies among his friends, and domestic political opposition as his enemies.  He is once again employing his regulatory agencies, and his Führer’s Decrees, er, Executive Orders, to make sure we, his enemies, have neither.

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Filed under anthropology, Around the web, China, Cold War, history, islam, leadership, obama, Politics, Russia, terrorism, Uncategorized, war, weapons

So Let’s Let ‘Em Have Nukes!

…what a great idea.

After all, just because they conduct naval maneuvers to practice sinking US warships is no reason to think they are hostile toward the United States.

Just like threatening to wipe Israel off the map is no indicator of any latent dislike of our ally.  More diplomatic success for our anti-American President.

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Filed under Air Force, army, Around the web, Artillery, Defense, doctrine, guns, history, Iran, islam, israel, leadership, missiles, navy, nuclear weapons, obama, planes, Politics, ships, stupid, Uncategorized, war, weapons

Desert Storm- The Ground War Begins

February 24, 1991. Major ground combat operations as a part of Desert Storm begin. The ground phase is sometimes described as Desert Saber.

My unit, A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry, a part of the 1st Armored Division, was originally slated to cross into Iraq on February 25. But the initial successes by coalition forces to the east lead to our assault* being moved up to midday on the 24th.

My most vivid memory of that day is… getting a shot of gammaglobulin in my butt just as word came to mount up. The shot was painful enough by itself. Having to sit on the hard, uncomfortable seat of a Bradley for the next four days and nights did little to improve my mood.

 

*Assault is a rather grand term for the whole unit going for a long drive. I can’t really recall if we made any contact that day, or whether it wasn’t until the 25th.

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Cold War Redux

The XX Committee* has a great post on just who NATO is facing in Russia, and why our responses have been so poor.

As the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, with the Russian military and its “rebel” minions never having honored the Minsk-brokered “ceasefire” for even an hour, something like low-grade panic is setting in among NATO capitals. Western elites have a tough time sizing up Putin and his agenda realistically, for reasons I’ve elaborated, and the situation seems not to be improving.

German has a delightfully cynical line, die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt (hope dies last), that sums up much of the wishful thinking that currently holds sway in Berlin, Paris, and Washington, DC. As the reality that Putin knows he is at war against Ukraine, and may seek a wider war against NATO too, is a prospect so terrifying that thousands of Western diplomats and “foreign policy experts” would rather not ponder it, so they don’t.

A classic example comes in a recent press report about how Western foreign ministries are striving to prevent Putin from doing more to destabilize Eastern Europe. Amidst much dithering about how to deter Putin — more sanctions? maybe some, but not too many, weapons for Ukraine? how about some really biting hashtags? — NATO leaders aren’t coming up with anything that can be termed a coherent policy, much less a strategy.

Western nations have consistently underestimated Putin’s willingness to use force.

How can we forget Putin overseeing the Second Chechen War? The 2008 invasion of Georgia? We’ve already effectively conceded Crimea. For that matter, who seriously thinks diplomacy will ever return eastern Ukrainian lands from Moscow’s grip?

Will we see a straight up invasion of Germany right out of Red Storm Rising? Probably not.

But almost certainly some “incident” will eventually take place in Latvia or one of the other Baltic nations that will, by amazing coincidence, be used by Putin to justify some Russian intervention.

Which, what a coincidence:

Increasingly frequent snap military drills being carried out by Russia near its eastern European neighbours could be part of a strategy that will open the door for a Russian offensive on the Baltic states according to defence expert Martin Hurt, deputy director at Estonia’s International Centre for Defence and Security.

The Lithuanian and Estonian defence ministries have expressed alarm at the increased military activity, and drawn comparisons with moves prior to the Russian invasion of Crimea.

Commenting on Russia’s announcement last week that its armed forces will not cease holding snap military exercises, Hurt, who has previously worked for Estonia’s Ministry of Defence as well as for the armed forces of both Estonia and Sweden, warned against taking this news lightly.

 

*If you don’t know where they got their blog name from, you most certainly should read this.

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Filed under his, history, Russia

Suribachi

Four days after the bloody struggle to come ashore on Iwo Jima’s fire-swept black volcanic sand beaches, a patrol from 28th Marines was ordered to the top of the sullen volcanic lump that dominated the six square miles of sulphur and rock.  The seven-man patrol under the Executive Officer of Easy Company, 28th Marines raised a small flag.  The flag, difficult to see from the beach, was replaced by a larger one retrieved from one of the LSTs offshore supporting the landing.  Five Marines and one Navy Corpsman labored under fire to plant the larger colors into the rocky ground. The raising of the second, larger flag was captured by Joe Rosenthal, and became the most iconic and reproduced image in the history of photography.

Iwo

Many commonly believe that the raising of the flag on Mount Suribachi signaled the end of the fight for Iwo Jima.  In reality, twenty-two more days of relentless and ferocious savagery lay ahead.  It was not until 26 March 1945 that Iwo Jima was declared secured.  Of the six men who raised the flag on Suribachi, three, Sgt Mike Strank, Cpl Harlan Block, and PFC Franklin Sousley, would die on the island, along with more than 6,800 others, mostly Marines.  A fourth flag raiser, Second Class Hospital Corpsman John Bradley, was among the more than 19,000 wounded.   The man who took the motion picture footage from the same vantage as Rosenthal, Marine Combat Cameraman Bill Genaust, was later killed in one of Suribachi’s hundreds of caves.

Bradley received a Navy Cross for his actions in combat on 21 February, and Strank a Bronze Star.  Bill Genaust also received a Bronze Star.

The above movie is the approximately 20 minute production called “To the Shores of Iwo Jima”.  Well worth the time, as it is a grim and unvarnished look at the titanic struggle for Iwo.  Seldom have the words of a senior officer been so accurate, or heartfelt, as when Admiral Chester Nimitz described the fight for the island.

Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue

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The Buck Stops Anywhere But Here

The Washington Free Beacon, via Fox News:

Shame on everyone that voted for this empty-suit charlatan.  Especially the second time, when it was clear what he was.

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Filed under Air Force, army, Around the web, Defense, history, iraq, islam, marines, navy, obama, Politics, stupid, terrorism, Uncategorized, veterans, war