Archive for the ‘war’ Category

One of the reasons why Russia has as feared a reputation as a military power is their victories over Hitler’s Germany & Napoleon’s France in invasions whose failures changed the course of history.

Of of the things overlooked about both of these events is that they had a lot of help in the sense that England was supporting them financially vs Napoleon while fighting a 2nd front in Spain and at Sea while the US was supplying them with millions of dollars of supplies to keep them going.

In Short with help and allies Russia is a terror when something is trying to invade their homeland, against decent militaries Poland 1920’s, Japan 1890’s Finland 1939 and not Ukraine 2022 not so much.

One of the things that has really hurt Russia in this sense has been the unreality of their military. When you have a one man kleptocracy that puts contracts to friends the idea of actually doing what you claim to be doing with the money doesn’t happen, particularly when if anyone complains they might disappear and the media will back up the powers that be.

I suspect that a lot of the Russian logistical support that they thought they had in terms of supplies and other things actually went into the back pockets of Putin and his allies and has gone there for years so now that they actually need these things they only exist on paper.

I suspect even Putin didn’t realize the full extent of it and nobody had the balls to tell him.

Given that more and more the media and tech are shielding Democrats here at home from this kind of thing don’t be surprised if this becomes the end result for us both in terms of Military and in terms of civilian infastructure. We’re becoming a big Chicago where it’s all graft all the time.

This is indeed Obama’s 3rd term.

A lot of people have forgotten this but remember when this war had not started yet the Biden administration was busy trying to get Ukraine to cede the territory that Russia wanted and was ready to fly out their president to a comfortable exile. It was as if the deal with the US was already made to Putin to take over.

The biggest surprise to everyone still remains that the Ukrainians President decided to fight rather than just take the money and run and it likely remains along with the attack of 9/11/01 the biggest single pivot point in world history in the 21st century.

As I recall at the time nobody called it and everyone expected him to die in Ukraine or in exile. His The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” is going rank in history with Churchill’s “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”

Of course the big thing is that while both Churchill and Zelenskly stood for defending their country to the last the big difference is Churchill wasn’t a thief in charge of a kleptocracy and Zelenskly is. A lot of people are going to get immensely rich off of Zelenskly Ukraine being saved and he’s going to do pretty well himself. In that sense he is more comparable to Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, prince de Bénévent the French Diplomat who managed to be a part of government from the French Monarchy to the revolution to Napoleon and back to Monarchy without losing his head or wealth or influence.

Of course to the Ukrainian people fighting for the survival of their country the whole question of graft if moot. Their primary goal is survival an victory and it it means a bunch of people and companies both foreign and domestic lining their pockets in the process they’re not going to care all that much as long as they win.

Elon Musk is getting a lot of pushback for his suggested settlement of the war:

If this was offered the 2nd week the west would have pushed Ukraine to sign on the dotted line and a lot of folks in Ukraine would have gone along, now with Russia in retreat the Ukrainians aren’t all that keen to give an inch, even with Putin mobilizing and rattling the nuclear cage.

Also the pool of graft money is smaller in peace than in war as rebuilding requires actual structures, you can’t claim to have shot away the concrete for a building.

I don’t blame the Ukrainians for balking but Petraeus not withstanding I’m not in favor of a nuclear war for the sake of Ukraine taking back those last two Russian occupied areas.

The real question mark here is Putin. Right now are the Russians willing or able to dump him and if so what replaces him? Does Putin go nuclear to win the war? Does Russia back up such an order? Does Putin make a deal and “declare victory”.

And what about the Russian people? Ukraine was historically part of Russia for a very long time and a lot of Russians likely backed the war seeing it restoring a part of Russia back to Russia but as soon as it proved to be not a romp but a disaster and a killing ground for their sons likely decided it wasn’t worth it, after all World War 2 was about survival, this is just about pride.

Frankly this would be the best time for Ukraine to make some kind of deal. They are more likely to get the max advantage without the threat of a nuclear war while the Russians are running scared then when the mobilization is complete and a weakened Putin is likely less of threat than an unknown successor.

In once sense the west already has more than it hoped for in terms of neutralizing the Russian military as a threat in the end those its Ukraine’s call as they bear the primary cost in lives and the primary risk of being nuked. My thought is if Ukrainian people want to fight on and bear the costs of it, it’s a just cause and it’s on them, but it’s their war not ours.

Pro-Ukraine protest in downtown Chicago this spring

By John Ruberry

There is good news out of Ukraine, its forces have made gains in the Kharkiv region and they are near Russian border. There is much ground still to liberate, not only land that Russia has seized in the war that began early this year, but also the area that have been controlled by Russian separatists in the Donetsk region since 2014, as well as Crimea, which Vladimir Putin annexed the same year.

Ukraine has endured an unhappy history. World War II and the Holocaust devastated Ukraine. And in order to impose communism on wealthier peasants in Ukraine, Josef Stalin engineered a famine in the early 1930s, known there as the Holodomor, translating roughly into “man-made starvation.” Roughly four million people perished as a result of Stalin’s atrocities against the kulaks in Ukraine.

Even in a closed society, it’s difficult to coverup a famine. And news trickled out of Ukraine about the Holodomor. But a New York Times reporter, based in Moscow, Walter Duranty, dismissed such stories, instead of “famine” he wrote of “malnutrition” in Ukraine, for instance. 

For a series of 1931 articles about the Soviet Union, Duranty, for his “dispassionate interpretive reporting,” he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. 

While in Moscow, Duranty, was granted a rarity, interviews with Stalin; he also enjoyed another rarity, a luxury apartment in the Soviet capital. During the entire history of the USSR, housing of any kind was scarce. In Moscow Duranty had a mistress, whom he impregnated, and a chauffeur. Automobiles were also rare in Russia in the 1930s. 

In 1933, another journalist, or I should say, a real one, Gareth Jones, visited Ukraine and he was horrified by what he found. “If it is grave now and if millions are dying in the villages, as they are, for I did not visit a single village where many had not died, what will it be like in a month’s time?” Jones wrote for the London Evening Standard. “The potatoes left are being counted one by one, but in so many homes the potatoes have long run out.” 

Duranty’s response to Jones was a New York Times article, “Russians Hungry, But Not Starving.” That same year, Duranty wrote to a friend, “The famine is mostly bunk.”

Another shameful sentence from Duranty, about Stalin’s brutal policies as the Holodomor continued, “To put it brutally,” Duranty wrote for the Times, “you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

Since the war began attention has been brought to Duranty’s undeserved Pulitzer. Even NPR took notice. “He is the personification of evil in journalism,” Oksana Piaseckyj told NPR earlier this year of Duranty. She is a Ukrainian-American activist who emigrated here as a child over 70 years ago. “We think he was like the originator of fake news,” Piaseckyj added.

The New York Times admitted on its corporate website about Duranty’s work, “Since the 1980’s, the [Times] has been publicly acknowledging his failures.” But it has not returned the tainted Pulitzer. It also notes that twice, most recently in 2003, the Pulitzer board has decided not to revoke its award to Duranty. 

It’s time for them to reconsider.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Righteous Among the Nations

Posted: May 31, 2022 by chrisharper in Israel, war

By Christopher Harper

Master Sergeant Roderick “Roddie” Edmonds didn’t talk about his heroism in World War II, including his actions to save hundreds of his fellow soldiers, including several hundred Jews.

Edmonds served in the 106th Infantry Division, 422nd Infantry Regiment in the United States Army. He was captured and became the ranking U.S. non-commissioned officer at the Stalag IX-A POW camp in Germany, where – at risk to his life – he saved an estimated 200-300 Jews from being singled out from the camp for Nazi persecution and possible death. 

Edmonds arrived in the combat zone in December 1944, only five days before Germany launched a massive counteroffensive, the Battle of the Bulge. During the battle, on December 19, 1944, Edmonds was captured and sent to a German POW camp: Stalag IX-B. Shortly after that, he was transferred, with other enlisted personnel, to another POW camp near Ziegenhain, Germany: Stalag IX-A. 

As the senior noncommissioned officer at the new camp, Edmonds was responsible for the camp’s 1,275 American POWs.

On their first day in Stalag IX-A, on January 27, 1945—as Germany’s defeat was approaching—the commandant ordered Edmonds to tell only the Jewish-American soldiers to present themselves at the next morning’s assembly so they could be separated from the other prisoners. 

Instead, Edmonds ordered all 1,275 POWs to assemble outside their barracks. The German commandant rushed up to Edmonds in a fury, placed his pistol against Edmonds’s head, and demanded that he identify the Jewish soldiers under his command. Instead, Edmonds responded, “We are all Jews here.” 

He told the commandant that if he wanted to shoot the Jews, he would have to kill all of the prisoners.

The commandant backed down.

After 100 days of captivity, Edmonds returned home after the war but kept the events at the POW camp to himself.

After Roddie died in 1985, Edmonds’ wife gave his son Chris some of the diaries his father had kept. Chris, a Baptist minister, began researching his story and stumbled upon a mention of the event at the POW camp. He located several Jewish soldiers his father saved, who spoke about Roddie’s heroism. 

The interviews resulted in the 2019 book, No Surrender. See

For his defense of Jewish servicemen at the POW camp, Edmonds, a Christian, was awarded the title “Righteous Among the Nations,” Israel’s highest award for non-Jews who risked their own lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

h/t to dawife Elizabeth

One of the great things about being in the Navy is the chance to interact with people from all over the United States, and even the world. It’s diversity in its truest form. I’ve met someone from every single state, almost every territory and plenty of immigrants from countries in every continent and heck, I’ve even met people that traveled to Antarctica.

I’m quite proud that I never wasted these opportunities to learn about the background of the Sailors around me. It’s how I learned about the real difficulties my African-American Sailors faced growing up, or the difficulties for Sailors from the backwoods portions of America. I particularly remember one Sailor’s response to my question “Why did you join the Navy?”

“Well Sir, it was either that or working at a gas station my whole life.”

For many people, the Navy is there chance to get out of a bad circumstance. Compared to most companies, the Navy is happy to pay big money to train someone with nothing but a high school degree and give them a decent paying job with good benefits. In fact, I’d say it was one of the only places that did this.

But that has changed.

Walmart is now paying truck drivers over $100K a year.

Lowes and Home Depot are paying for employees to be upskilled, without debt.

These companies and others have always had a path for people to excel. A friend of mine works in McDonalds Corporate Headquarters, but he got started as a teenager flipping burgers. The problem was not that there isn’t much opportunity, but that it wasn’t advertised all that well. Now that it is, that’s a good thing, because the more skilled our labor force, the better it is for everyone.

Except the Armed Services.

The military depends on a constant flow of young, somewhat educated young people (mostly men) to fill its ranks every year and replace the older, burned out service members that leave. The choice between the service or a life of gas station work is a real choice many Americans face every day. But if you can drive trucks for Walmart at $95K your first year, you’re making more then any non-nuclear Petty Officers in the Navy. Combined with not getting shot at in a war zone or deploying on a ship in such conditions it might make you turn to suicide, and it looks like a pretty good deal.

Even Business Insider is reporting on it now.

In the quest for manpower, my money is on Walmart, not the military.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency, because they’ll tell you everything is great while I tell you the truth. If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my books on Amazon, they make great gifts for your friends.