Tag Archives: cold war

“If those Japanese could have held out through one more atomic bomb we wouldn’t be eating this crap!”

Hi readers.  Here’s wishing you a fulfilling independence from having the British for your bosses ordering you around and making you drink their damned tea.  If our ancestors hadn’t won their independence from the British we’d have had to fight on their side during WWI and WWII, the way their other colonies did.

Anyway, that WWI museum got me thinking about what GIs used to eat.  There was a long shelf of displays of their mess kits, carved fancier than a POW would do.  Beautiful designs and artwork produced while their feet were rotting off in trenches between having the bejesus shelled out of them and being sniped at across no-man’s-land.

 In Korea, at least in the First Cavalry Division, what we ate in 1963-1964 whenever we were on field rations was all left over from WWII.  1945ish WWII.  K Rations.

Breakfast Unit  Canned meat product Biscuits Compressed cereal bar Powdered coffee Fruit bar Chewing gum Sugar tablets Four cigarettes Water-purification tablets Can opener Wooden spoon

Breakfast Unit
Canned meat product
Biscuits
Compressed cereal bar
Powdered coffee
Fruit bar
Chewing gum
Sugar tablets
Four cigarettes
Water-purification tablets
Can opener
Wooden spoon

Camp Howze, Korea, had an enormous bunker chock full of K Rations of the nostalgic variety dating from before the Japanese surprised us with a surrender while we still had an atomic bomb and one-hell-of-a-lot of K Rations left.  I can testify from personal experience the US Army was patriotic and continued eating those rations 20 years after the premature and cowardly surrender of Japan.

Dinner Unit  Canned cheese product Biscuits A candy bar Chewing gum Powdered beverage Granulated sugar Salt tablets Cigarettes Matches Can opener  Wooden spoon

Dinner Unit
Canned cheese product
Biscuits
A candy bar
Chewing gum
Powdered beverage
Granulated sugar
Salt tablets
Cigarettes
Matches
Can opener
Wooden spoon

 Our quonsot hut had a corner filled with Ks still in the cartons so we could fill those long winter nights with partying song, beer, and anything worth eating in a crate of Ks.

Supper Unit Canned meat product Biscuits Bouillon powder Candy Chewing gum Powdered coffee Granulated sugar Cigarettes Can opener Toilet paper Wooden spoon

Supper Unit
Canned meat product
Biscuits
Bouillon powder
Candy
Chewing gum
Powdered coffee
Granulated sugar
Cigarettes
Can opener
Toilet paper
Wooden spoon

The cigarettes in ours weren’t Chesterfields.  Ours were Lucky Strikes in a Green package.  As in the old radio WWII jingle, “Lucky Strike green has gone to war!”  Lucky Strike changed colors after the war to red and white, but Luckies kept right on fighting in green until all those damned Ks were consumed by GIs.

Ahhh.  Nothing like sparking up a Lucky out of a carton of Ks, working fast to inhale a little tobacco smoke before it burned down to your fingertips.  Those smokes were 20 years old and we never found a way to add enough moisture to keep them smoking instead of burning.

And the chocolate!  The godforsaken chocolate turned white with age.  We didn’t care.  Everything in those Ks got tried and nobody ever died from them.  And I never heard of anyone getting drunk from them.

Fact was, a person with extra money could go to the PX and get crackers, but if he did he’d have to share with the whole hooch.  Same with sardines.  And we had KATUSAs in our hooch.  Four of them.  Korean Augmentations to the US Army.  And those bastards could go through a case of crackers, cans of sardines, quicker than you could make a grab for a can before they were gone.

But even the KATUSAs couldn’t make remarkably short work of a case of Ks.  There was always enough for everyone, along with some leftovers to munch on guard duty.

Damn.  These modern all-volunteer military guys are spoiled.  Except maybe in Korea.  Hell, in Korea they might still be eating Ks and wishing to hell the Japanese had gutted out another atomic bomb.

Old Jules

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Thank you for your service – Cold War Conscription era sleeze

Hi readers.  Someone posted a sign telling us veterans thank you for your service in one of the places I go, and in the Dollar Tree they asked again if I’d like to contribute to help the dependents of US active service military.  Fact is the romance and drama of thanking GIs for their service has been happening so long it’s probably okay to give it a break.

I got transferred once and hadn’t gotten paid yet, no money until payday.  Red Cross loaned me the money to last until the end of the month or my pay records caught up.  At loan-shark interest rates.  I was getting paid $68 per month at that time.

Maybe if they paid the all volunteer military less money they would be able to take care of their dependents without begging by proxy at the cash registers of the stores in the US.  Paying the bejesus out of them evidently hasn’t done the trick.

Seems to me it’s a sickness resulting from the supporting wars where you’re own kids aren’t being forced to go off to serve.  The out-of-balance “let’s you and him fight” paid for with a “Thank you” and nobody in my family had anything to do with the war and I support it so long as they don’t.  I’ll shower you with thankyous and give a buck down at the Dollar Tree for your kids.

All American Boy – Bobby Bare

Working for the Yankee Dollar

Hank Locklin, My Little Geisha Girl

Fraulein – Bobby Helms – 1957

Kitty Wells – I’ll Always Be Your Fraulein

COWBOY COPAS: “FILIPINO BABY”, 1945

Jean Shepard & Ferlin Husky – A Dear John Letter

Jean Shepard & Ferlin Husky – Forgive Me, John

Kenny Rogers & The First Edition – Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town

Ballad of the Green Berets – [HD] – – – SSGT Barry SADLER

Johnny Burnette…..God, Country, And My Baby

Merle Travis – Re-Enlistment Blues

Elvis Presley – G.I.Blues

I’m thinking of writing a CW song about GIs sitting around waiting rooms in VA hospitals wearing their VETERAN caps and wondering whether they made the secret lists.

Old Jules

 

They wore out the Muslims – familiarity bred contempt

Hi readers:

The ‘Us’ government’s searching frantically for a new threat, trying to create a believable illusion of  a new cold war with Russia, then talking increased military tensions with China.  But it ain’t easy.

Sure, Russia still exists.  On paper, anyway, run by a bunch of Mafia-types who know they can’t make any money if they’re all shot to pieces by anyone, including the Us.

And China?  Well, even though Washingtonians are prone to stupidity and self-blindsidedness, most recall the Us hasn’t won a war since 1945.  And the ones it didn’t win most spectacularly were coincidentally in Asia.

Fact is we couldn’t even defeat little bitty pissant North Korea in a shooting war back when our soldiers were still real he-men.  We couldn’t even whip North Vietnam, or fight them down so’s they’d let us leave in a relaxed, organized way.  The Us left Vietnam in an every-man-for-himself devil-take-the-hindmost scramble.  Running and looking over their shoulders the whole time.  Peace with honor, Nixon called it.

So who is going to be scared Washington will be stupid enough to get into a war with China?  Nobody.  Who’s going to believe anyone in Washington is going to get us into a shooting war with the Rooskies?  Nobody.  And they’re scared of everyone in Asia, including North Korea.  Nobody wants to see North Korea kick our asses in another shooting war.

Trouble is, nobody’s scared of the Muslims anymore.  Every time we send the military somewhere new over there they roll over and play dead without racking up a decent death-toll of Us troops.  Sure, they kill a few, and a lot more Us troops raise the ante by killing themselves, but even with that it’s just not enough to get the juices of patriotism flowing anymore.

One thing they mightn’t have considered, though:  Asians can win wars against Asians.  Fighting a good proxy war with China using Japanese troops might work and since no Us troops need be getting shot up, the Us citizenry could probably get behind it.

Even better, getting the South Koreans and Japanese fighting on the same team, invading Manchuria, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanking and so-on might work.

I can see how the Us citizenry might get behind that if only for the relief from the ennui of yawning Muslim terror snores it would provide.  And we could sell the weaponry to both sides.

The only way we’re likely to ever win a war in Asia now that Japan has its guard up.

Old Jules

 

A century of bloodshed – Look what those lowdown stinking Muslims did!

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

You never-forgetters have something to remember and celebrate not forgetting it.

This time a century ago the sneaky lowdown stinking Muslim Ottoman Empire was withdrawing from the Balkans.  Territory ripe for the taking by devil-take-the-hindmost.

Naturally the web of inbred monarch cousins ruling Europe, Russia and Britain wanted a piece of what those Muslims were leaving behind.  And by 1913 they’d all decided which cousins were friends this time around, and which were enemies.

Those cousins had plenty of cannon fodder and they were all waiting for a spark to set them off so’s they’d have an excuse for their patriotic homeland worship-ridden peasantry to cut one another down with artillery, machine guns and bayonettes.

A few months down the road they got their excuse when their Austrian cousin got offed by a Serbian as he drove by in a motorcade on the way to laying down the law the Austrians were about to provide for the Serbians to march to.

Thoroughly pissed off the cousins running France, the Austrian Empire, the Russian Empire, the German Empire, the British Empire, and scattered cousins elsewhere.  Eventually even the cousins running the United States.

So naturally they sent their peasants out to slaughter one another for the homeland, protecting their motherlands from all the damned foreigners taking the ownership of the land, food, wealth and power from the cousins who were providing them their weaponry and telling them to “CHARGE!  Fight to the death!”

Gave us one hell of a 20th Century.  After that the Russian peasants on the front lines starving to death fighting Germans and Austrians decided, “Screw this shit!”.  Went home and chopped their ruling cousins to death instead of going after the intended target.

Damned British cousins were having distractions in Ireland where they were starving everyone to death, and Wales with the coal miners wanting to get paid and have safety standards in their mines where so many were getting killed in mine accidents.  Had to call in the cousins from the US to bail them out.

As if that weren’t enough, the cheeky bastard Turks whipped the socks off the British Navy and all the Australian and Indian peasants the British cousins sent to invade Turkey!

French cousins had some difficulties because the damned German cousins kept telling their peasants in the trenches to shoot the French peasants, and the French cousins having to shoot their own peasants when they tried to get the hell out of Dodge.

And all because of the damned Turks.  Those damned sneaky-assed Ottoman Muslim Turks.  They caused it all.  The end of the Russian cousins, the Austrian cousins having to hide a longish time, the British cousins having to let go their stranglehold on Ireland and pay their damned miners in Wales, give them air down in the holes and ways to fight fires.

Damned Muslim bastards caused the WWII and Cold War.  Civilization hasn’t recovered yet.   30-40 million people killed in that one war and all because of those lowdown sneaking no-go0d-for-nothing Moslems.

Not to mention all the damage it did all over the world by opening up the Pandora’s Box of unions springing up all over the place keeping factory and industry owners from making an honest living by having to pay wages, have safety enough on jobs to keep a lot of injured workers from drawing attention to themselves.

And now they’re trying to do it again.  Forcing the cousins in the United States into sending the peasants out with the new generation of weaponry.

Old Jules

Hindsight, Liars, Dupes, Denouements and the Unspeakable

Even the dispicable can’t always dodge the steamroller. Kaufman was rewarded, Greenglass spent a few years in prison, punctuated by testimonies before Congressional Committees to help forge a US package of ideas about a war on International Communism. Appropriate enough, liar lying to other liars to create a consistent set of lies. Not to suggest C0mmunists weren’t also lying. They mostly just weren’t elected and appointed officials sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Federal Judge Irving Kaufman, who subverted the legal processes in his own courtroom to predjudice the jury in favor of conviction of both Rosenbergs, then sentence them to death in the electric chair:

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Kaufman graduated from Fordham Law School at the age of 21 and worked for two decades as a lawyer in New York City, mostly in private practice but also as an Assistant United States Attorney. From 1949 to 1961, Kaufman served as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, to which he was appointed by President Harry S Truman. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy promoted Kaufman to an appellate position on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He served as an active Second Circuit judge from 1961 to 1987, including a term as Chief Judge from 1973 to 1980. Kaufman assumed senior status in 1987 but continued to hear some cases until his death four years later. On October 7, 1987, he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan.[1] He died on February 1, 1992 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan of pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old.[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irving_Kaufman

———-

David Greenglass testifying before a Congressional Committee in 1956.

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-3475_162-563126.html

In 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sent to the electric chair for stealing the secret of the atom bomb for the Soviet Union.

They were called the “Atom Spies,” and 50 years ago this summer, they were executed for giving the secret of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. They are the only Americans ever executed for espionage in peacetime.
Greenglass was the star witness for the prosecution against the Rosenbergs – and he also happened to be Ethel Rosenberg’s brother. He served 10 years in prison for his actions as a traitor, and then changed his name and dropped out of sight. As he neared 80, Greenglass decided to break his silence. He talked only after 60 Minutes II agreed to disguise his face and voice.

His story begins in the summer of 1950 when the FBI took Greenglass in for questioning. He confessed almost immediately for spying, and quickly implicated Julius, Ethel and his own wife, Ruth. David and the Rosenbergs were arrested. Ruth Greenglass never was charged.

“That’s what I told the FBI,” says Greenglass. “I said, ‘If you indict my wife, you can forget it. I’ll never say a word about anybody.'”

It was quite simply his choice, he says today. So Greenglass says he turned on his sister to save his wife. “I would not sacrifice my wife and my children for my sister. How do you like that?”

Greenglass made his choice when America was at war with communists in Korea, and in fear of the Soviet Union, which had recently tested its own atomic bomb.

The four spies were unlikely actors in a Cold War drama: Julius was an unsuccessful engineer; Ethel spent most of her time raising their two young sons; Greenglass was a draftsman and a tinkerer; and his wife Ruth was a wife and mother. All had been ardent communists.

During World War II, Greenglass, then a sergeant, was posted to Los Alamos, the secret army base in New Mexico, where thousands of scientists and soldiers were building the atom bomb. Although he had a low-level job, Greenglass says he knew what was going on.

He says Julius Rosenberg recruited him to spy with a simple sales pitch: “He said, ‘We have to help our ally.'” By ally, he meant Russia. “Russia was an ally at the time, and that we have to help them with all the information we get.”

Greenglass told the FBI that he gave the Russians sketches and details on the device used to trigger a nuclear blast. But he says he didn’t enjoy being a spy.

“I was continually conscious of what’s behind me. I didn’t enjoy it. I just did it because I said I would,” says Greenglass.

Did he realize how dangerous it was? “I didn’t really think it was, because I didn’t think the Russians were an enemy,” he says.

His career in espionage came to an end soon after the war ended. Back in civilian life, Greenglass and Julius opened a machine shop together. They argued over the business, and over Greenglass’ growing disenchantment with Communism.

Four years later, Julius warned Greenglass that the FBI was on to them, and urged him to flee the country. Greenglass had a family passport picture taken, but he had no intention of using it.

“I didn’t want to leave the United States to go to some hellhole like Russia or China, or wherever the hell he wanted to send me,” says Greenglass. Instead, he took a bus to the Catskill Mountains. “I figured I’d find an obscure place. And I see that the FBI is following me. And they lose me.”

But he never made it to the Catskills. He went into custody instead. And within hours, he began cooperating with the FBI, sealing the Rosenberg’s fate.

He was the star witness for the prosecution at their trial, and he told the jury about his espionage, and described the activities of Julius, Ethel and his wife, Ruth.

He testified that one evening, he and Ruth brought sketches and handwritten notes about the atom bomb to the Rosenberg’s New York apartment. After dinner, Greenglass said they set up a typewriter on a folding bridge table in the living room, and turned his hand-written notes into a neatly-typed document for the Soviets.

Prosecutors asked Greenglass who did the typing. He said under oath that Ethel did the typing. His wife, who also took the stand, told virtually the same story.

That story was virtually the only evidence the government had against Ethel Rosenberg. But prosecutors argued that Ethel’s typing proved she was an active participant in the spy ring. After the trial, they admitted that without the typing testimony, they could never have convinced the jury that Ethel was anything more than the wife of a spy – and that’s not a crime.

Why did Greenglass lie on the stand? He now says Roy Cohn, an assistant prosecutor in the Rosenberg case, made him do it. Cohn went on to become Joseph McCarthy’s right-hand man.

Greenglass says that Cohn encouraged him to testify that he saw Ethel type up the notes. And he says he didn’t realize at the time the importance of that testimony.

But the jury knew how important it was, and found both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg guilty of conspiring to commit espionage. Judge Irving Kaufman imposed the death penalty.

Fifty years later, we know a lot more than anyone could have known in 1951. For example, we know that much of what David Greenglass said about Julius Rosenberg is true. It has been verified by other, independent, sources, all of which confirm that Julius Rosenberg was a Soviet spy. We also know that there is very little, if any, evidence that implicates his wife, Ethel, in any illegal activity.

But in the days before the execution, there were protests and vigils in New York, Washington and Europe. The Rosenbergs both claimed they were innocent, and many believed in them. There were a flurry of last-minute attempts to get a stay of execution. And there was no shortage of Americans who felt that justice was being done.

Up until the last minute, the authorities were willing to commute the death sentences if the Rosenbergs cooperated and named names. But they refused and were executed on June 19, 1953 – without ever breaking their silence.

Why did Greenglass think Julius and Ethel maintained their silence to the end? “One word: stupidity,” says Greenglass, who holds his own sister responsible for her own death.

—————————————-

But I promised a Denouement:

Of course, it makes no difference now. Any more than it matters who killed JFK, Robert Kennedy, MLK, and President Diem of Vietnam.

Doesn’t matter, really, any more than it matters that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the incident used to justify the US involvement Vietnam War, was a manufactured incident.  A cynical lie to dupe the US public and arouse patriotic fervor.  Same as the Rosenberg trial.

A pyramid of lies, once the foundation’s in place, builds on itself. Only the names of the liars and the names of the victims change. It’s only incidental that sometimes the victims are also liars.

If any lessons can be learned from it all it’s probably only that the romantic patriots can always be trusted. Trusted to believe the lies. The liars can’t trust one another, but they know they can always trust the romantic patriots. 

The liars couldn’t succeed without them.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules on Facebook:

Old Jules, what’s your definition of an idealist?

An idealist is a person who locks his teeth into the ankle of an abstraction and doesn’t let go, doesn’t look for another ankle, doesn’t look closely at whatever’s above and below the ankle.

Today on the Ask Old Jules Blog:  Ever Met an Alien?

Old Jules, have you ever met anyone that you suspected might be an alien from another planet or a different dimension?

 

The Implosion Conspiracy – Louis Nizer – How the USSR got the Atomic Bomb

When Louis Nizer penned The Implosion Conspiracy it might be said enough time had passed to provide perspective.  Two decades had passed since the trial and execution of the Rosenbergs rocked the nation.  Nizer disliked Communists, asserted he’d refuse to defend one in his profession as a defense attorney.  However, he wrote a lengthy analysis of the trial, the transcripts, testimonies, the individuals involved in an even-handed manner that wouldn’t have been possible during the Commie craze days of the events.

Basic events leading to the trial:  The US was developing the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, New Mexico during the late stages of WWII.  The information was being shared with the US Ally, Britain, but kept secret from the US Ally, the USSR.  Elaborate security measures were in place to assure the developments remained the exclusive property of the US and British governments.  Elaborate almost beyond description, devised by the US military and the FBI.

But the British liaison to the project was physicist Klaus Fuchs, a spy for the Soviet Union.  The Germans knew Fuchs to be a Soviet spy, but the British and Americans didn’t, until they gained access to records captured as they advanced into Germany.

Aside from Fuchs, the other USSR source for information about developments at Los Alamos was David Greenglass, a US Army machinist and brother to Ethyl Rosenberg.  Greenglass had been a Communist his entire adult life and had been separated from an earlier military job because of questions about his loyalty and honesty.

David Greenglass stole the crucial secrets of the lens molds used to detonate the bomb, the implosion device.  By hindsight, it’s clear he did it for money, for the same reasons he stole automobile parts, uranium, anything he could lay hands on to sell on the black market.

Greenglass passed the secrets to his wife, Ruth, who passed them to Harry Gold.  Gold was the direct connection to the Soviet spymaster, Yakovlev, in the Soviet Embassy.  It’s clear enough from everything provided in evidence and testimony that Gold was a man without loyalty to any nation, ideal, idea, or human being other than himself.  He did it for the money and for no other reason. 

The testimony of Greenglass, awaiting trial for treason, and his wife, Ruth, who  was never charged, provided the testimony connecting Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg to the plot.  The witness stand accusations by Greenglass against his sister and brother-in-law, and the corroborating testimony from his wife, who didn’t yet know whether she’d be charged, constituted almost the only evidence of the prosecution.  The other witnesses directly involved in the plot mostly did not know the Rosenbergs, or barely knew them and knew little of their activities.

Because of the weakness of the government case insofar as testimony and physical evidence of the Rosenberg involvement in actual spy activities, the focus of the prosecution became a trial of Communist ideology.  Witnesses who knew nothing about the plot, the bomb secrets, the Rosenbergs  were called to testify about how they’d switched their own loyalties from Fascism to Communism, then become loyal US citizen-experts making a living selling books and giving lectures on the insidiousness of Communism.

The trial transcripts excerpts Nizer provides make it clear the Defense had two opponents:  the US Attorney prosecutor, and the judge, who constantly intervened, interrupted, interjected in ways clearly intended to prejudice the jury against the defendants.

The key players who gave, or sold the atomic bomb to the USSR in 1945 went free, or were given relatively light sentences.

The Rosenbergs, clearly Communist idealists, possibly part of the plot, died in the electric chair.

When Allied forces found documents in Germany revealing Fuchs as a Soviet spy the chain of resulting indictments followed a path to almost all the conspirators except the Rosenbergs.  Before spymaster Yakovlev fled the US, during his last meeting with Gold, he made the following observations:

Yakovlev:  Don’t you remember anything I tell you?  You’ve been a sitting duck all this time.  We probably are being watched right now.  How we pick such morons I’ll never understand!  We’ve been living in a goldfish bowl because of you.  Idiot!  Idiot! 

I am leaving the country immediately.  I’ll never see you again.  Just go away.  Don’t follow me.

He went.

But the answer to Yakoviev’s question is worth an answer.  They recruited from the US Government, the US military, from US universities, from US businessmen.

From the same pool of applicants who later sold their industries, their industrial tools, secrets, capabilities, economies, and debts to the Peoples Republic of China and other foreign nations.

They weren’t Communists, like the Rosenbergs.  They were opportunists, entrepreneurs, devil-take-the-hindmost politicians, like their descendants a few generations later.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Value of Animal vs. Human Lives?

Old Jules, does an animal’s life mean as much or nearly as much to you as a human’s, or do you feel animals are insignificant/worthless in comparison? Also, do you believe it is ever morally right to harm/kill animals? What about humans?

Waiting for Joe Chink – All Dressed Up and Nobody to Fight

NCOs dressing down fresh arrivals who didn’t clean their rifles or had Frito Lay in their gas-mask bags always began, “When Joe Chink comes across that line [fill in the blank].   Joe Chink.  The imaginary Chinamen poised across the DMZ sharpening their bayonets.  We were there to scare them into not coming South, and whup if they did.   50,000 of us.

They’re still over there waiting, those GIs, 25,000 of them, but nowadays I doubt they’re being threatened with Joe Chink.  Joe Chink makes the parts for all their weapons, ammunition, their boots, every item of their equipment.  Joe Chink loans money to their overlords to pay for it and pay their salaries.

And back in the God, Country and My Baby heaven Joe Chink’s athletic shoes carry America’s finest boys and jerseys up and down pastures carrying Joe Chink’s footballs for the edification of cheering spectators wearing Joe Chink’s clothing, head-t0-foot.

Back then most of us who had any knowledge of the Republic of Korea military didn’t have much doubt the ROK Army [South Korean] could whip the pants off the US Army if they wanted to, and have plenty left over to take care of Joe Chink if he came across the DMZ.

But nowadays it’s probably North Koreans the US Army’s scaring into not doing anything ugly to all those factories in South Korea making the rest of what US consumers need but can’t get from Joe Chink.  Factories, and the ROK Army which could almost certainly still whip the pants off those 25,000 GIs still over there.

Thank you for your service,” romantic patriots are fond of saying.

“Kiss my ass,” I’m fond of saying back.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Is Just One Religion Better?