Tag Archives: war

Deja vu all over again Middle East-wise

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

All this new slaughter in Gaza isn’t really new, is it?  Neither new, nor unexpected.  In fact it qualifies as habitual, maybe to the point of addiction.  And  possibly another land-grab for which the two sovereign nations involved are famous from so long ago the years ran backward.

I posted this a year ago because a lot of people tend to forget what’s behind the post-1947 troubles in the area.  Forget that people lived there since anyone could remember and viewed it as ‘their’ land.  When European Zionists began pouring into the country pre-WWII after being absent the place for 2000 years, it wasn’t empty.  The houses had people living in them.  The farms had families working them who had been working them hundreds of years.  Palestinians.

And it’s legitimate to ask whether the current slaughter is part of another Israeli land grab.  Once they conquer a place they tend to send in settlers, and think in long terms.  Heck, they invaded Lebonon and occupied it almost 20 years before they decided they just couldn’t stand the price of annexing it.  And when they retreated they left chaos behind them.

So buy yourself a bag of popcorn and cheer for the Israeli Army out there snagging some more real estate.  Luckily it’s just Palestinians they’re taking it away from.  They’re used to it.

A year is so short everything in it looks the same:

 

Israel and Ireland Boundaries – A cause for Non-Zionist Confusion

Reference the preceding post: I was probably negligent by not pointing out part of the reason for sustained peace in Ireland is the respect for established borders. Borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland haven’t changed significantly since they were agreed to by both sides. No understanding would be gained by posting a map of Ireland.

Israel is a comparatively young, new nation. Zionists evidently tend to harken back to Biblical times when they consider boundaries. They probably don’t understand that the older, more mature nations take borders seriously.

And the borders of Israel haven’t changed since 1966. The Palestinians own East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Syria owns the Golan Heights. However, 300,000 Israeli settlers occupy the West Bank. 200,000 Israeli setters live in East jerusalem.

map israel UN partition 1947

On the other hand, here’s a map of Israel when it was established by the UN in 1947, and recognized by the US in 1948.

map israel pre 1967 borders

Here’s a more detailed map of the pre-1967 borders of Israel with later claims by Israel shown in red.

Here’s Israel and the occupied areas today.

Map israel and occupied territories

In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza. But it maintains a strong security force in both places.

Every country probably wishes more land was contained within its borders. However, most modern countries recognize if they attempt to occupy territories belonging to other countries they’ll draw criticism from some quarters. Often the people living in the areas being occupied.

Israel could make a far stronger case for being a peace-loving country, a more believable case in the eyes on non-Zionists, by withdrawing to areas the world recognizes are contained within its established borders.

Otherwise it will forever having to fall back on the argument that everyone just hates Jews is the only reason for all the problems with neighbors. An outward sign of a desire for peace sometime during the past 50 years might have gone a long way toward achieving it.

Some strategy along the lines Ireland’s used, maybe.

Old Jules

WWI was NOT an unmitigated blessing

 Museum and Memorial Museum and Memorial Built By Kansas Citians, Embraced By the Nation Soon after World War I ended, Kansas City leaders formed the Liberty Memorial Association (LMA) to create a lasting monument to the men and women who had served in the war. In 1919, the LMA and citizens of Kansas City raised more than $2.5 million in just 10 days. The equivalent of roughly $34 million today, this staggering accomplishment reflected the passion of public sentiment for the Great War that had dramatically changed the world. “The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial inspires thought, dialogue, and learning to make the experiences of the World War I era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations.” - Mission Statement, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial    http://theworldwar.org/explore/museum-and-memorial

Museum and MemorialBuilt By Kansas Citians, Embraced By the Nation
Soon after World War I ended, Kansas City leaders formed the Liberty Memorial Association (LMA) to create a lasting monument to the men and women who had served in the war. In 1919, the LMA and citizens of Kansas City raised more than $2.5 million in just 10 days. The equivalent of roughly $34 million today, this staggering accomplishment reflected the passion of public sentiment for the Great War that had dramatically changed the world.
“The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial inspires thought, dialogue, and learning to make the experiences of the World War I era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations.”
– Mission Statement, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
http://theworldwar.org/explore/museum-and-memorial      

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.   Janne, her son Michael, and I are going over to that WWI National Museum and Memorial on Wednesday.  Wednesdays, instead of it costing $16 to see it, a person can fork out $7 and still experience the full value of it.

Even though the coincidence of the 100th Anniversary of WWI beginning and the 4th of July, 2014, might leave a person thinking otherwise, WWI did have a downside.  The end of Russian rule by the Romanovs, for instance was mitigated somewhat by the rise of Communism, in the opinions of some scholars. 

And there was the 1918 Influenza epidemic, which arguably mightn’t have happened without WWI.  Sure, WWI gave us tanks, warplanes, better artillery and machine guns.  And we’d have had one hell of a time having WWII without having WWI first.

But it can still be argued that a lot of things about WWI could have been better.  Could have made WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Grenada, the Cold War, and the various Gulf Wars and Afghanistan adventures better.

The simple truth is nobody.  NOBODY won WWI.  Damned thing might as well not have been fought at all for all the good it did.  But acclimated everyone to the concept of fighting the bloodiest wars in human history, conceding the illusion of victory, and walking away losers. 

The USSR was briefly the big winner of WWII, along with West Germany and Japan.  The losers?  Britain, France and the US.  If you don’t believe it, take a look at the US economy, GNP and industry.  Then let your eyes gaze on a world map so’s you can examine the French and British empires today.  Compare that  to Germany, Japan, Korea, any AXIS power except Italy.

So while you’re celebrating the 4th of July and the beginning of WWI this week, do some thinking.  How can you do it better this time around?  How can you keep the losers from winning it?  Resign yourself you will repeat history.  And next time, try using your heads.

Old Jules

 

 

Iraq? US? Weird weird weird! How many trillion did you say?

Hi readers.  Nowhere in the modern world.  Maybe nowhere in the history of the planet has a nation squandered such treasure and so many lives for absolutely nothing.

Nothing.

Iraq.   I-freaking-rock.  Invaded the damned place twice.  Presidents of both parties sent men and women to waste away there, then left Iraq in chaos and ruin for the first set of armed fanatics to arrive.  From all directions.

Hell, the French caused the Vietnam War and a lot of what’s happening in the Arab lands today in their incompetent dealings with their vanished empire, but they’d have to tip their hats to us on this.  They only lost Algeria and Vietnam etc, and their own country to the Germans.  And they did most of it with money from US taxpayers by pretending to have been an ally during WWII so’s we owed them money to rebuild. 

But even with US money the French couldn’t get up there in the neighborhood of a billion dollars a day.

It took two Bushes, a Clinton, and this guy now to pull that off.

So now nobody knows where any of the borders are to Iraq, and the only people who probably won’t end up with a piece of it are the Israelis.  Not for lack of wishing, threatening with nuclear weapons,  and thumb sucking.  Be assured.

US foreign policy use to make a certain amount of sense unless you viewed it from a distance.  But I think we’ve finally reached the point where it ceased making any sense and nobody in his right mind would attempt to make sense of it.

That way lies madness.

Olde 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

 

Ever wondered who the Vietcong were?

Eddie Adams

Eddie Adams photo 1968

Last night I came across a thrift store book I’d never gotten around to reading.  One of those ‘last resort’ books set aside again and again.  A backup for a time when I would be desperate for anything besides the labels on sardine cans.

But as I thumbed through it I was abruptly captured.   When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman’s Journey from War to Peace, by Le Ly Hayslip.

Here’s a woman born in 1949 in a Vietcong controlled village near Danang where her family’s spent the previous generations fighting, first the French, then the Japanese, then the French again.  As a small child she watches relatives and neighbors in her village raped and slaughtered by French mercenaries.  Then:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Ly_Hayslip

“Hayslip was born in Ky La, now Xa Hao Qui, a small town in central Vietnam just south of Da Nang. She was the sixth and youngest child born to farmers. American helicopters landed in her village when she was 12 years old. At the age of 14, she endured torture in a South Vietnamese government prison for “revolutionary sympathies”. After being released, she had fallen under suspicion of being a government spy, and was sentenced to death but instead raped by two Viet Cong soldiers.[2]

“She fled to Saigon, where she and her mother worked as housekeepers for a wealthy Vietnamese family, but this position ended after Hayslip’s affair with her employer and subsequent pregnancy. Hayslip and her mother fled to Da Nang. During this time, Hayslip supported both her mother and an infant son, Hung (whom she would later rename Jimmy), while unmarried and working in the black market, as an occasional drug courier and, once, as a prostitute.

“She worked for a short period of time as a nurse assistant in a Da Nang hospital and began dating Americans. She had several disastrous, heartbreaking affairs before meeting and marrying an American civilian contractor named Ed Munro in 1969. Although he was more than twice her age, she had another son with him, Thomas. The following year Hayslip moved to San Diego, California, to join him, and briefly supported her family as a homemaker. In 1973, he died of emphysema, leaving Le Ly a widow at age 24.

“In 1974 she married Dennis Hayslip. Her second marriage, however, was not a happy one. Dennis was a heavy drinker, clinically depressed and full of rage. Her third and youngest son, Alan, was fathered by Dennis and born on her 26th birthday. The couple filed for divorce in 1982 after Dennis committed domestic violence. Shortly thereafter, he was found dead in a parked van outside a school building. He had established a trust fund, however, that left his wife with some money, and he had insurance that paid off the mortgage of the house.”

So here’s a woman, a real, no-shit Vietcong, tortured by the South Vietnamese, suspected of being a traitor by the Vietcong and sentenced to death, raped and escaped.  Married a US civilian and became a US citizen.

Probably a person couldn’t be more caught-in-between from birth than she was.  Surrounded by hundreds, thousands of other peasants caught in-between.  Trying to dodge the steamrollers of forces they didn’t understand, South Vietnamese and US rifles pointed at them daytimes, Vietcong rifles pointed at them nights.

Yep, this lady is one of the people the guys with Vietnam Veteran caps walking around mining for praise and ‘Thank you,” spent their tours in Vietnam trying to kill.

Damned book ought to be required reading for anyone buying a SUPPORT OUR TROOPS sticker.  Because at a foundation level, SUPPORT OUR TROOPS isn’t about the troops.  It’s about people who are being defined as ‘the enemy’ those troops are going to do everything in their power to ruin the lives of.

People in US government who couldn’t locate the place on the map defining one side as ‘the enemy’ and the other side as ‘friends’.

Old Jules

Grandkid:  Granpaw, what did you do in the Vietnam War?

Old Vet:  I helped Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon kill a lot of people who didn’t need killing, helped destroy a country that didn’t need destroying, helped get a lot of GIs killed and maimed in the process.  And I’m damned proud I did.

Grandkid:  Oh wow!  Thank you Grandpaw!

The joys of patriotism

hero patriot2

Being the staunch patriot that I am, I love seeing those pictures of some brave good American boy marine, or seabee, or special forces hero crawl out of a hideyhole and blow the head off some anonymous coward on a cliff half-mile away.

I love it when some good brave American hero technician punches a button in Kabul to launch a drone and blows the arms and legs off a village full of anonymous people all the way over in Pakistan who should have been more careful where they lived.

I love it that good American hero soldier boys can hide inside a tank that a nuclear weapon couldn’t penetrate and blow up anything that offends their sensibilities in some godforsaken country where the people don’t value human life the way we do.

We’re paying a million, or a billion dollars a day into keeping our good brave troops over there all over places nobody ever heard of for reasons nobody can fathom.  But at least we’re getting something worthwhile for our money.  We can look at those pictures of bodies falling off cliffs and blood and guts of kids, women and even the occasional man, and know our heroes are defending our country and our freedom.