Tag: military/Archives

The Price of Liberty

Robert Hormats, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, has a new book out – The Price of Liberty – on the history of America’s war financing. From the time of Alexander Hamilton, this country has always financed its wars when they occurred – until the current war in Iraq. “One central, constant theme emerges: sound national finances have proved to be indispensable to the country’s military strength” (and long-term national security). Obviously, our finances have never been more unsound. So where are we headed this time?

Marketwatch review

Where Does a Militant Shop for a Good Ski Mask?

Slate’s Explainer has the skinny on the fashion ins and outs of buying a good one that reps your clan, creed or splinter group. See the video.

The only time I was able to ever wear one was while actually skiing…while it was below zero. I even had (briefly) a neoprene model that worked rather well at 30 below but felt slimy inside after a few runs. (The skis wouldn’t work well anyway since it was too cold to create the micro-thin layer of melt water that you actually glide on). So, in a way, I’ve gotta hand it to these wild ‘n’ crazy guys with their AK-47s and a desire for anonymity/clan identity/scary-looking-motherf’erness. That is badass when the average high for July and August is 91 F. (But the humidity is low, my friend).

The Crime: Journalism

Thoroughly depressing article on an Al Jazeera camerman who’s been incarcerated at Gitmo for nearly six years: “Prisoner 345,” Columbia Journalism Review.

Forgotten Voices

Museum logoThe Sound Archive at the Imperial War Museum has a huge collection of sound-recorded war-related oral histories and broadcasts from WWI on. Some of the best-of are in the Forgotten Voices project; there’s a play in London based on the collection; and there’s several Forgotten Voices of the Second World War book/CDs.

Here’s the tres-Brit voice of First Lord of the Admiralty 1/Oct/1939, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, getting ready for a fight (1:13):

Sent by Rich Halten.

Child’s play- Fatah & Hamas

An aid worker I met based in Gaza sent me this, titled: “Children playing a game called ‘Fatah and Hamas'”:

Gaza jids with toy guns

Here’s one I shot in Jursalem:

Jeruslem kid pointing toy gun at camera

Would love to do a thing on childern and play violence. The problem I have seeing a kid with a gun is that they will both eventually mature.

Memorial Day- For the Fallen

Coast Guard salutes at grave.Our Memorial Day hour special, “For The Fallen,” airs on 300+ 370+ stations this weekend. Check the webwork for audio, casualty charts, and video slideshow. The host is Major Robert Schaefer, US Army Special Forces, a poet and Green Beret.

By the Force of Arms

While Britain can’t wait to rid itself of Blair, France has elected a Dubya-lover…but still no fool when it comes to futile foreign entanglements:

“Mr. Sarkozy has long defended France’s decision to stay out of the war, citing the bitter lessons of his country’s tortured history in Algeria and Vietnam.

‘We were kicked out of Algeria less than 50 years ago, so don’t tell us that we don’t remember and that we don’t understand,’ Mr. Sarkozy told an audience at Columbia University in 2004 in explaining France’s decision to stay out of the Iraq war. ‘We lived what you are living through in America before you. We were in Vietnam before you, and our young people died in Vietnam.’

He added: ‘In France, history is something that counts. Please don’t be angry with us because we remember what happened to us. Is there even a single country of the world, at any time of history, that was able to maintain itself in a sustained way in a country that was not its own, uniquely by the force of arms? Never, not a single one, even the Chinese.’

That analysis of the Iraq war sounds remarkably similar to the one articulated repeatedly by Mr. Chirac both publicly and during private meetings with Mr. Bush.

‘In Algeria, we began with a sizable army and huge resources, and the fighters for independence were only a handful of people, but they won,’ Mr. Chirac said in an interview in September 2003. ‘That’s how it is.'” – NYT

NPR: Climate Change Worries Military Advisers

water scarcity thumbnail
larger view

Even the military is starting to see the light or feel the warmth, as the case may be. I thought the most interesting point (made in the audio portion) of the story was retired Gen. Anthony Zinni’s comment that the real resource war isn’t going to be about hydrocarbons. It will be about hydrology or, in other words, water scarcity. He noted that many of the same places in the world that are rich in oil are poor in water.

NPR story | source for map

He Couldn’t Possibly Know What He’s Talking About

The latest issue of TIME has a cover story on our worn out military but what would you expect from the liberal media? But then there’s the other Times and I’m not talking about the one in Godless New York City, gun lovers, but rather the conservative counterpart to the Washington Post. In a recent op-ed piece, Robert H. Scales asked, “Is the Army headed for collapse?” But what would a retired Major General and former commander of the Army War College know about that?

Donald Rumsfeld infamously stated, “As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want.” (Never mind that you could always wait for a war worth fighting and even then anticipate the troops’ needs). Scales points out:

“The lesson from this sad story is simple: When you fight a long war with a long-service professional Army, the force you begin with will not get any larger or better over the duration of the conflict.”

.Mil Tube

The future is here, and it’s hand-held, packing deadly force, and posting videos. The military’s Multi-National Force – Iraq has it’s own YouTube channel. Here’s American and Iraqi infantry in a Baghdad Firefight, March 2007:

The Army is there too, and at Flickr. (Read CJR Daily report.) We have met the enemy, and he is you-tubed.

Memorial Day- Vid

Memorial Day and military funeral services from American Civil War to Operation Iraqi Freedom:

“Echo Taps” played by the US Marine Band.Photos from: Library of Congress, National Archives and Records, Dover Air Force Base, and Wikipedia:

  1. Civil War veteran standing and saluting with a Boy Scout and a soldier at a gravesite in Oak Woods Cemetery on Memorial Day. (LOC)
  2. With a canvas tarpaulin for a church and packing cases for an altar, a Navy chaplain holds mass for Marines at Saipan. The service was held in memory of brave buddies who lost their lives in the initial landings.” Sgt. Steele, June 1944. (NARA)
  3. The crew of the USS SOUTH DAKOTA stands with bowed heads, while Chaplain N. D. Lindner reads the benediction held in honor of fellow shipmates killed in the air action off Guam on June 19, 1944. July 1, 1944 (NARA)
  4. Sailor and girl at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Washington, D.C. (LOC)
  5. A Marine at Vietnam Memorial on 4th July 2002. (Wikipedia)
  6. Ceremonies for offloading caskets at Dover Air Force Base, casualties from OIF. (Dover AFB)