Veterans Day Post

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I apologize for not doing the vignettes and promo post.  I’ll do it sometime this week.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading of books (mostly mysteries, which are an amazing recreation of every day life and what people thought because their thing is to immerse you in daily life and sound plausible/likely) written in the early 20th century.

The bad ideas that are devouring Western civilization were there before WWI, but it was only after WWI that they took hold of population at large and went viral.

Now, there are tons of reasons for that. Technology allowed for faster, better and cheaper manufacturing, which in turn grew cities and shrunk the countryside, weakening family bonds.  Transportation also became faster, cheaper and easier.

Oh, and we finally had enough surplus that you could be very, very silly without starving to death.

Oh, yeah, and the mass production led to mass distribution of ideas.  The strongholds of transmission of those were immediately seized by the crackpots, who are the people who can devote their entire lives to very silly things.  (I should know.)

None of that, however, justifies the corroding self-hatred of the west.  Posturing against the past generation does not justify deciding every civilization is better than yours, that criminals are the only people worth helping (if you want to study those ideas, and also the protests against them you could do worse than reading Agatha Christie’s They Do It With Mirrors.  Christie was a thoroughly conventional middle class woman, and so her opinions are worth reading.  Though the book was written in the fifties, it “feels” older, because we all preserve something from the times of our upbringing.)

No, that was learned in the battle fields of WWI, where industrial civilization turned to mass killing in batch lots.

The fact the rot took hold in Europe first, where the destruction of WWI was more obvious would support the trauma theory.

Rivers of ink were spilled on WWI, and I haven’t read enough to tell you how much is true, and how much is ideological distortion.

I just know that somewhere after WWI and its echo WWII the bien-pensants in the west switched to thinking loving your country was a sin and that people who loved their country were war mongers.

Perhaps it is a way to justify the cowardice of the chattering classes who hoped the Soviet wolf in its inevitable victory would eat them last.

To my mind the West is still bleeding from a gaping wound inflicted by the long war of the 20th century.

It is important to neither romanticize war nor to demonize it.  War is a function of being human.  Yes, WWI might have been a senseless war (how do I know? All the materials on it have a point of view, and much of the later ones are corrupt) and it was certainly approached in a spirit and in a way that maximized both trauma and numbers of dead.

Was that because Western civilization is inherently bad?

Ah. I shudder to think what other civilizations given the newness of the mass-killing tech would have done.

Is industrial mass production inherently bad?  Well, it lifted most of the world out of famine and dire poverty, so no.  But applied to war it can be horrific.  We simply didn’t (to an extent still don’t) have the technology to fight smarter.

I suspect it’s likely given that stage of civilization and production, the war would have happened, more or less as it did.

And I imagine it would have been worse if it hadn’t happened.

Which is hard to understand, or picture for us.  The path not taken is ever sweeter.  But real life doesn’t work like that.

On veterans day let us contemplate that war is terrible (and to be avoided if at all possible) but it’s not the most terrible thing.

And that sometimes it is needed for people to sacrifice themselves, if not for a cause or an idea, for their homes and those they love.  Or as Heinlein put it “Roman mothers used to tell their sons ‘come back with your shield or on it’.  Then they stopped staying it.  Rome, itself, did not last much longer.”  (Note I’m quoting from memory of the first time I read it which was in Portuguese. Errors of expression all mine, not RAH’s)

To be human (or really animal and from Earth) is to war.  To war is to risk death.  There are things worth dying for, else there’s nothing worth living for.

Our civilization has run away from the idea of things worth dying for (possibly because of the trauma of WWI) and therefore no longer knows what’s worth living for.

On this day let us remember those who gave their lives for home and country, so others could live free and flourish.  Whether we are descended from them or not, their blood shaped the world we live in.

Ours it is to make sure their sacrifice — whether now viewed as futile like WWI or vital like WWII — is not forgotten nor cheapened.  The left cheapens their sacrifice because they don’t understand there are things more important than self.  Things worth risking sacrificing self for.  It’s a strange and myopic view, one that leaves them stranded in a formless world in which only the wants and transient wishes of the self count.

We do not know, yet, the ramifications of the wars of the 20th century.  It is therefore impossible to know which were vital or which were disastrous.

All we know is that without men willing to fight to protect others, only evildoers would fight — and win — and shape the world in their image.

Those who served and lost their lives are beyond thanking.  But not beyond remembering.

Those who served and fought for my country and made it possible for my country to survive in a world inimical to our ideals and envious of our wealth: you have my gratitude.

May we have many more like you in future generations, and not suffer the fate of Rome.

162 responses to “Veterans Day Post

  1. Well Said.

  2. My status as “veteran”, simply being “I served” pales in comparison to what so many paid.

    McCrae said it far better than I can ever imagine, both in remembrance and in warning:

    Take up our quarrel with the foe!
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high!
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    • I had that at the end, then removed it…. Thank you.

    • Me, too – I’m rather embarrassed when people thank me for my service. Look, I got a job, interesting foreign travel, and a nice pension out of the deal. I went into it with my eyes open, knowing totally that my job would be a dawdle, in the rear with the gear. It was mostly fun, interspersed by the usual professional conflicts and inconveniences. The only thing I had to worry about was an airplane crashing on top of me, or the Viet-Cong overrunning the base. Which since I didn’t enlist until 1976, that last was a pretty remote hazard.
      Nothing like the service of my maternal uncle Jimmy, who died in a B17 over France in 1943, at the age of 19 after a bare one year of military service. On his first mission out, to compound that tragedy. Or Great-Uncle Will (on the paternal side – he was serving with the Canadians) who went out one night with a small party, to eavesdrop on the German side of the trenches on the Somme front in 1916, and never came back, because the Germans put down an artillery barrage in the sector that he and his party were known to have been in.
      Still – being the third in a generation to visit France while on active duty and lived to tell the tale of it is something of an accomplishment, I guess. I stayed off the main highways, though.

    • My status as “veteran”, simply being “I served” pales in comparison to what so many paid.

      I was in boot camp for 9/11.

      I got out, and TWO WAVES AND A DUDE WHO SHOT AT NAZIS thanked me for my “service.”

      I don’t remember what incoherence I managed, but after the “blink, blink, um, welcome, but really?” response I was polite.

      My mom showed that I really am her clone by nearly slaughtering some idiot who decided to get snide with her about if she was still glad I’d signed up with the Navy…I believe it was something like how I’d known I wasn’t signing up for scouts, the Navy is a MILITARY ORGANIZATION.

      I got back with probably less mental type scrapes that I would’ve had from college, and found my other half.

      While some folks came back broke.

  3. The military history of the Roman Republic is a bit disturbing at times. The Romans send an army to fight an enemy. The army gets wiped out due to incompetent generalship. The enemy demands that Rome surrenders. Rome ignores the surrender request, and sends out another large army to fight against the enemy. Sometimes this new army actually wins, and Rome discovers another skilled general. But sometimes that army gets wiped out as well, and Rome has to raise another army.

    And Rome is *never* unable to raise another army.

  4. Well said, sister Sarah! Well said indeed! I raise my glass! And can only add: the great lingering tragedy of World War II is that it taught the intellectuals of Western Europe to hate patriotism.

    They imbibed the notion that love of country was not just evil for them, it was evil for everyone else in the industrialized world too. Patriotism was jingoism, and jingoism was just Mussolini and Hitler all over again. Therefore anyone displaying patriotism — especially the American kind, which rose up to thwart the Soviet menace with a particularly star-spangled Popeye forearm — was morally terrible. Better to be a compliant, nonthreatening serf on a Marxist fiefdom, than one of those horrible, monolingual, flag-waving morons on the other side of the Atlantic.

    And of course, once this became trendy thinking in Europe, the American intellectuals — who forever pine to be Europeans in their hearts — fell for it too. And so American colleges became weaponized against the very exceptionalism and vigor which made America the shield of the free world from 1945 to 1989, and beyond.

    You cannot be willing to die for your flag if you think your flag is a meaningless icon of corporate greed, patriarchy, and imperial oppression, about which you complain endlessly from the comfort of your Seattle coffee shop, using your iPhone.

    The rot is so deep in us, now, I have no idea what force could eradicate it. Save for some terrible, nation-ruining event which again makes it a death sentence to be silly. 😦

    • I think you’re right, that it will take a nation-ruining event to turn the minds of the intellectuals. I’ve always felt that W. made a mistake when he proposed a war in Afghanistan that would be relatively painless for the US. I think he should have asked the country for the same kind of sacrifice as WWII. Even if not needed, it would have likely made people realize that we do have to fight to maintain this republic as shining city on the hill. Instead, we got the rallying event that called many to serve, but not the discernment from the intellectuals that this way of life (with it’s ability to allow people to be incredibly stupid without killing themselves and their loved ones as well) is extremely fragile.

      • Agree that W blew it. If you look at U.S. history, the American people will fight like lions…for 36 months, plus the time to the election. After that, they will demand to see either victory within reach or a disengagement being attempted. If they don’t, it will go very hard on the party in power.

    • The question being the degree to which the anti-American sentiment was the result of deliberate Soviet propaganda.

      • 1848 was really bad for America’s relationship with Continental Europe, all’s said and done. Everyone who was pro-American ended up on the losing end of the revolutions, and fled here, leaving the ones who were either ambivalent about, or hostile to, the United States to stew.

        • So they arrived here in time to watch/participate in the great unpleasantness from 1861-1865. Hmmm…. Wonder how they felt about that?

          • “Hmmm…. Wonder how they felt about that?”
            A writing group I belong to (Welsh-heritage related) set that topic for a contest. My poem (actually song lyric, thus the hyphens) addressed it this way (with a smattering of Welsh words because of the context, which makes it a little bit too kitschy).

            1.O Car-mar-then, how I miss you,
            as I walk the sand a-lone.
            I am fight-ing for the U-nion
            of a land that’s not my own.
            (Chorus:)
            O, fy ‘nghar-iad, how I miss you,
            fight-ing on this dis-tant shore.
            I can see the sea-gulls fly-ing,
            and I love you more and more.

            2.Gal-ve-ston is where I’m sta-tioned
            on a ship that rides the sea,
            keep-ing safe this is-land har-bor,
            for the cause of li-ber-ty.

            3.As a young and fool-ish bach-gen,
            I had start-ed out to roam,
            trad-ing all I once had trea-sured
            when I left my love and home.

            4.For I miss the hills and val-leys,
            and the moun-tains crowned with snow;
            and in dreams I walk the green fields
            of the leeks we used to grow.

            5. How I miss the Picau ‘ Maen
            that fy mam i baked each day,
            full of currants scattered thickly
            like the shells along this bay.

            O, fy ‘nghar-iad, how I miss you,
            starv-ing on this dis-tant shore.
            I can see the sea-gulls fly-ing,
            and I love you more and more.

          • They were not enthused about the plantation owners, by in large. For example, the majority of the Union army in Missouri, at least at the beginning of the war, was made up of recent German immigrants from St. Louis.

    • *holds up his glass*

      Absent companions, then?

    • Well said, sir – well typed? Whatever, I thought you nailed it. Allow me to take your point a bit further, back to what they called the Great War (for about 20 years, anyway) and I call “The Not a Brief Armed Version of the Olympic Games.” Patriotism was originally discredited by that pan-European donnybrook, along with the concepts of Courage, Duty, and Honor, because those were the reasons given for so many young men to waste their lives. But as far as root causes go, there’s been a good case made, particularly by literary critics (rather than conventional, or worse, Marxist historians), that one of the drivers of the European leadership into WWI was, of all things, boredom. Too much peace and prosperity was getting on the nerves of ruling classes everywhere, particularly in the Germanophone world, partly under the pressure of ambitious men who worshiped the likes of Napoleon and were eager to make themselves Great, supported by toadying intellectuals dreaming of vicarious glory. Not to mention that the interests of the common man in just living his life were of no account to such Great Men, indeed proof of cowardice and need of the testing crucible of war. Modris Eksteins’ classic “Rites of Spring” lays it out in detail. And when all the blood had been spilled, the incompetent Great Men and literary/philosophical dreamers of action turned away from the mirror and instead blamed the average fool for believing in Courage, Honor, Duty, and Patriotism, in an early manifestation of the Animal House Principle. You know that one; it goes: “You f—ed up; you trusted us!”

      • The Great War also burned through a whole lot of potential leaders & thinkers, and left then dead on the battlefield. The survivors, who went on to become generals and politicians, were often left with a reluctance to act aggressively. It’s not like that Hitler guy was really going to do anything, right?

      • Good point. If you read popular English literature and memoirs from the turn of the century, you find a lot of people looking for challenges, a lot of people worrying that the English are no longer Heroic and Manly. I got a lot of that from reading narratives of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration. A couple of predominant themes: (1) we will prove ourselves by charging into the worst conditions for survival on the entire planet; and (2) We’re English and it’s a point of honor to muddle through as amateurs rather than actually learning from people who know how to live in this kind of climate.

        Because I skipped German Pre-WWI Literature in favor of German Lit Between the Wars, I don’t know if the same sort of uneasy posturing was happening in Germany. But a friend’s description of the Kaiser’s upbringing makes me think that he, in particular, would have been susceptible to the Manliness Mystique.

        • On January 24, 1908, the Boy Scouts movement begins in England with the publication of the first installment of Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys. Many agreed with Lord Baden-Powell that English boys were becoming weak and effeminate. Hence, the Scouting movement was born, to toughen them up and teach the skills needed for successful manhood.

          But the upcoming generation is weak and unworthy is a constant theme, I believe, throughout history. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and it’s future generations who’ll recall the giants among us.

        • The German literature is a bit divided, but there were several popular works about the Romance of war and battle. A lot of people assumed that wars were necessary like storms to “clear the air” and eliminate the unfit nations. And of course, it would be the Franco-Prussian War Part Two—hard but short with cavalry and massed infantry and elan would win the day—not the Boer War or the Russo-Turkish war.

      • In part. One of the more perplexing facts about the Great War was that everybody had different reasons for fighting – none of them worth more than 6 months of warfare at the outside. Historically, this is a recipe for fractured coalitions (see the fate of those against Napoleon for examples).

        The problem was that the major Allied powers were all politically unstable…and the Germans were ahead on points. The Germans were trying to make peace, but the Allied political leadership needed a victory to keep their heads.

        Especially with the Communist sharks circling around in the water. I don’t think that gets enough credit.

    • I think one of the things the leftoids really hate about Nazism and Fascism is they were leftoid methods of thought that brought about the ugliness in a much faster way than they wished, and especially Nazism had that National Pride thing going on (and they of course HAVE to ignore the same in the Soviet Union to claim it was better, all while living with the propaganda posters on their walls) so they decided that part was a bad thing, then paint their opponents with that ill colored brush to cover their want of pretty much the same things.

      • The thing is, after Hitler duped Stalin and invaded the USSR, the internal Russian propaganda did not exhorting the Red Army to fight for the Internationale or the great Socialist Future – the message was Defend Mother Russia, Save your Holy Motherland from the Return of the Teutonic Knights, and so on.

        You know, nationalism.

        The fact is, the whole hit on nationalism was basically an external agitprop theme of the Soviets before they were in the war. And after VE Day, it was trotted out again, so the likes of Macron could imbibe it to be regurgitated in his speech – “Nationalism Bad; Nationalism is not Patriotism; Patriotism is Transnational; oh, and also, Orange Man Bad.”

        The fact that Macron sounds like a loon, especially as a French leader effectively sparking from the top of pile WWI French dead from the Western Front who gave their all for their nation, does not occur to him – in the European Elite bubble, it’s all anti-nationalism, all the time, in stereo. If he said anything else it would be a shocking outrage.

        • Well, Hitler didn’t so much dupe him as jumped the gun and attacked earlier than either really planned. didn’t help that Stalin had his ass handed to him by the Finns and then purged even more generals, giving Hitler somewhere to consider after Sea Lion was delayed.

        • And while International Socialist were turning Russian Nationalist, the National Socialist turned International. Lots of foreign SS divisions were fighting for the Nazi bastards.

        • The thing is, after Hitler duped Stalin and invaded the USSR,
          Hitler did not “dupe” Stalin. Stalin was preparing for war with Germany, hence the Japanese–Soviet Non-aggression Pact, signed 2 months before Operation Barbarossa kicked off. Hitler simply moved before Stalin moved, in part buoyed by a string of successes on the Wehrmacht’s part in contrast to the failures (Spanish Civil War) or near failures (Finland) by the Reds.

    • A nation ruining event in the US spells the end for civilization in the rest of the world.

      Or at least leaves us all open to conquest by China.

      I have always felt this as a truth, and as a statement of fact. The US has been the ‘don’t make me come over there’ threat for a long time. It’s kept things civilized and relatively peaceful for longer than most of human history would have believed. That peace, alas, is why the intellectuals imagine that no matter what roots they chop away the tree of American liberty will always stand.

      • And they’re getting close to exterminating us.

      • China’s not ready. Yet. It doesn’t have the transport and logistical capabilities that the US has managed to develop over roughly a century of modern warfare (and no matter what others may say about the warfighting capability of the American soldier at different times over the last hundred years, they’ve *all* agreed that no one is as good at logistics as the US military). So even if the US Navy wasn’t a roadblock to the PRC’s colonial ambitions, China would still have trouble invading and holding anything sizable outside of East and Southeast Asia.

        But the leadership in Beijing is well aware of those shortcomings, and is slowly working to address them. And without the US keeping the peace internationally, the PLA and PLAN would probably have a lot more opportunities to develop that sort of experience, if you catch my drift.

        • I’m going to have to reread RAH’s “Sixth Column”.

          • Sixth Column, IIRC, runs into the problem that the Japanese and Chinese hate each other as guts.

            • “Sixth Column, IIRC, runs into the problem that the Japanese and Chinese hate each other as guts.”

              Guess I am due for a reread of Sixth Column too. Don’t remember Japanese VS Chinese VS Korean, etc., conflicts, even as an aside. That the premise was that the “West” ignored the Asian area, allowing Panasian absorbing the common cultures + Russian territory. Yes, the ruling class hinted “China” was home base.

              BUT, what the conquerors absolutely despised & immediately on capture lethally terminated as policy were those Americans of traditional Asian decent, whether by their immigrant parents, or grandparents, or were adopted by American families, whether they were mixture or not, regardless of the traditional territory of their specific ethnicity. Culturally Asian Americans were Americans, not Asian, regardless of what they looked like, & the invaders couldn’t understand them.

    • They were ready to hate it. The war just gave them an excuse.

    • Therefore anyone displaying patriotism — especially the American kind, which rose up to thwart the Soviet menace with a particularly star-spangled Popeye forearm — was morally terrible.

      I gotta say, that really annoys me.

      I don’t expect Europe to be grateful. Even though I can’t imagine that my great grandfather, who came over here with his entire family so his baby brother wouldn’t end up dead in the mines after their English landlord decided sheep were worth more than humans, was exactly pleased to register for WWI or to see all the males of the next generation sent over to Europe to save their @#$@# even though they DID all, somehow, come back. (I don’t know any Scottish curses, but I’d imagine they’re as pronounceable as the rest.)

      But deciding that the guys who pulled their fat out of the fire, AGAIN, are the problem?

      Oh, give me a break!

    • Alien invasion would work. Especially if they find humans tasty.

  5. Amen. For all that so many activists prattle about the “horrors of slavery,” they seem blind to their own willingness to enslave themselves to something that destroys the soul as well as the body.

    I know where me and mine stand, and please G-d may we never have to go that far in defense of what is right and good.

  6. There’s a lot of good points here, and I’d like to bring up two more that probably hadn’t been considered.

    The first is that the wars, especially World War I and II, were-by the standards of Western Civilization-local wars. They were fought in the territory of most of the Western nations, and they could not be easily dismissed as merely “our boys beating back the wogs in some place that I can’t pronounce the name.” The war was fought in places we had at least read about, between people that looked mostly like us, and we might have even known in an abstract sense. Atrocities that would have been met by a shrug by the Roman legions and never quite understood by the people they went home to were blown across movie screens and burned into history. With the added empathy that it could have been us. And, Progress, which had been the new and rising God in the Western world, showed a dark side even more bleak than the Old Testament God at His worst. Even with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, He at least gave the simplest of mercies of a quick death. The Holocaust and the famines of the Ukraine were organized, methodical destruction, the squeezing of every ounce of work and pain out of their victims. And, using the tools of Progress that we had hoped would make the world a better place.

    The second point is related to the first-that we had seen the nightmares of what humans could do, and how our tools could so easily destroy our civilization, if not our world. The West, for the most part, stepped away from physical violence because enough of us had realized just how quickly and how terribly such could be our doom. This left a vacuum open for political violence, in the form of Communism and Socialism and it’s long war to undermine the institutions of Western civilization. In the territories that had been controlled by the West, religious and liberation movements had no fear or regrets about using violence and would mock us for our lack of will. Not understanding emotionally that if the West ever got angry enough, it would only take ninety minutes to reduce everything that they had fought for into a glass-paved, self-lit parking lot.

    (If I have a singular hope, is that someone in the Islamic world realizes that the West, and especially America, would respond to a massive atrocity on American soil with the same anger that reduced Carthage to rubble and salt-plowed fields. And they have the courage and the knowledge and the will to do something about it. 9/11 sent us to a conventional war against the Islamic world and it’s nasty habit of breeding radicalism. A nuke, or a major gas attack, or something similar, would be the trigger for something much worse.)

    Western Civilization, for the most part, has tried to be better, and had something approaching standards. Perhaps tossed away when expedient, but there was something like standards that were even casually in the way. I want to fight for our civilization, how imperfect it is, because I know what the alternatives are and they are worse.

    But, as Brad pointed out, the American intellectual class has been firmly infected by the rot in the European intellectual class. And, that rot has been indoctrinated for the last fifty+ years in generations of students that have been told that they have been educated, when in fact they have been programmed. The day that programming no longer works, when it breaks…is going to be scary.

    • Well, half of WWII was fought on territory most Americans could identify, even relate to (as in, have parents or grandparents who came from there); the other half not so much. How many average Americans then or now could locate, say, Ulithi atoll without an atlas? Granted, there was some Pacific action in WWI as well, mostly our Japanese allies (!) taking over some German colonies, but not nearly on the same scale..

      • This. The war against Germany and Italy was fought in Europe. The war against Japan was fought on tiny islands with names that not many people had heard beforehand, and in countries all throughout Southeast Asia. Japan made a serious attempt to reach India. Whether it could have successfully done so and kept its troops supplied is open to question. But the IJA made a serious attempt to reach it. Thailand, Burma, Vietnam (the Japanese moved into Vietnam after the French surrender to Germany, and iirc slaughtered the French administrators late in the war), and the other countries in that region were all occupied by Japanese troops.

        • And the people in those countries do not forget. The Japanese are still widely loathed in that part of the world, and for good reason.

          • The Vietnamese also hold a low opinion of the Chinese, for both distant and more recent historical reasons – the Middle Kingdom did, after all, invade Vietnam in 1979, and has been playing power games out in the South China Sea more recently.

            All things considered, the Communist Vietnamese would much rather have USN ships than PLAN ships visiting Cam Ranh Bay.

            • From what I understand, pretty much no one in the region holds a good opinion of either China or Japan. Japan brutalized everyone that they conquered during World War 2 in ways that would have shocked even the “less civilized” rulers who came before in that region (and who could be fairly harsh by European standards). And China just plain has always liked to throw its weight around. There’s a television series that aired in South Korea several years ago, Jumong (Netflix has season 2), that dramatized the life of a young Korean prince who rose to fame because he liberated parts of the Korean peninsula (and beyond… a good-sized chunk of ancient Korea is part of modern-day China, and I suspect that all three countries involved are *very* much aware of this detail) from the Han Dynasty in China. China’s been picking fights with its neighbors for a very, very long time. And the neighbors have long memories.

              The particularly funny animosity, imo, is one that a Chinese friend of mine explained to me. He was complaining that the Mongolians in particular don’t like Chinese. I pointed out that *no one* in that part of the world likes Chinese. But apparently the Mongolians hold Chinese in particular contempt. I suspect it’s because the Chinese are quite full of themselves these days, and yet the Mongolians repeatedly wiped the floor with them back in the day.

              It does make me wonder what would be needed (other than nukes) to turn Mongolia back into a major military power in the modern era.

              • It does make me wonder what would be needed (other than nukes) to turn Mongolia back into a major military power in the modern era.

                Killer singing talent?

                (~_^)

                • That was pretty good.

                • Mongolia’s Got Talent.

                  • I tend to get sucked into the aggregators of the better Blind Auditions. Mongolia has had one season, and several of their singers are damned good.
                    Ukraine always seems to have a lot too, and the loveliest judge (Tina Karol).
                    I find most of the people do better versions than the originals of the newer pop songs, and have some clever and unique covers of classics and some of the traditional folk songs are very moving even if I’ve not a clue about what they are singing.

              • Mongolia is *rapidly* modernizing. And they’re not just friendly to the US, they had a picture of George Bush on their government web page from 2005 to at least 2014; he was the only US President to visit Mongolia, and they were rather pleased he dropped in.

                • The country’s in a bad spot, land-locked and quite literally stuck between Russia and China, two of the more powerful and repressive nations in the world. And while the old communist party (which doesn’t call itself the Communist Party, hence why I didn’t capitalize it) is still quite powerful, the country’s growing more and more free every year. The transition from communist to free has been largely peaceful. That’s yet another item that likely concerns both Russia and China, which are not particularly free.

                  As for my earlier question about becoming a major military power, I suspect that the first thing to do would be to boost the population (though I’m not sure how many people the land can support). A quick check after my earlier post revealed that Mongolia’s population in 2008 was apparently about 3 million, and one and a third million of that number live in the capitol city of Ulaanbaatar. All of the other cities in the country have populations well under one hundred thousand residents.

                • I know the Mongolians made some kind of good-will visit to the Army Base in El Paso a couple of years back– it was kinda cool, we had a bunch of folks arguing about what kind of jokes were acceptable or not. (Short version, ones about Mongolian as Freaking Awesome Warriors were probably OK.)

    • “(If I have a singular hope, is that someone in the Islamic world realizes that the West, and especially America, would respond to a massive atrocity on American soil with the same anger that reduced Carthage to rubble and salt-plowed fields. And they have the courage and the knowledge and the will to do something about it. 9/11 sent us to a conventional war against the Islamic world and it’s nasty habit of breeding radicalism. A nuke, or a major gas attack, or something similar, would be the trigger for something much worse.)”. In my opinion, if a Democrat is POTUS when such an attack is carried out, they will not respond other than trying to excuse the attack, blame it on the most previous Republican President, and say the attackers deserve our understanding.

      • I think it won’t matter which Party is in power. A major terror attack on the US and the populace will DEMAND an accounting. Indeed, I think a Democrat is liklier to nuke Mecca than a Republican, because Democrats, by and large, do not understand the use of military force.

      • And if that happened it will be a cliff jumping point. There won’t be any stopping it until the world burns.

        “Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye, and the world just fuckin’ watched. Tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand.” Anyone who knows the quote knows how bad I mean.

      • And, this would probably be the end of the Democratic Party.

        And, in a horror sort of way, quite a few people that are Democrats.

      • Given the likely target demographics you may have a split population. Twanloc and so on.

    • We’d have to retarget our missiles, but I expect that wouldn’t take too long. I’m sure middle-eastern sand makes WONDERFUL glass.

  7. One modern complication to patriotism: It’s obvious these days that our political class sees itself as a foreign occupation of a backwards benighted land. To serve in the military now is to place yourself under the orders of people who hate you and want you replaced. Can you trust them to use your service effectively, or even for sane goals? Are you really strengthening a unified country, or just placing power into the hands of political fanatics instead of doing what you can for your family?

    Our country really isn’t our country any longer. Yes, our parents and grandparents built it, but we don’t own it. People who hate us own it, the land, the capital, the institutions, everything.

    IMO, when enough men fail to volunteer for the service of people who despise them, in endless wars that have nothing to do with their interests, conscription and de-facto slavery will be re-instituted.

    • You overstate the extent of the occupation. It’s honestly mostly colleges, schools and the media. Sure, bureaucrats too, but not the COUNTRY. Please! Would this blog exist if it were?

      • Yep. And even amidst the occupied areas, there are conservatives, libertarians, and the occasional sane liberal. Few call attention to themselves in those environments, though, for it risks career, property, and life and limb, not just of themselves but of their family.

        • In occupied careers too. I lived 10 years DEEP in the closet.

          • Oh, yeah. I’ve got conservative relatives, friends, and acquaintances. in academia and education, and they all have stories. Like a conservative who’s an Ivy League professor mention being afraid to put a Trump sticker on his car for fear of having his car vandalized on campus. Or a senior administrator at another college describe a faculty meeting where everybody else is lamenting the quality of a Democratic candidate, and then saying of course we’d never vote Republican because (paraphrasing) only racists vote Republican. Or a Marine veteran engineering professor stuck listening to the anti-military rantings and ravings of faculty from the social sciences. Or some moderates who teach high school who’ve had just a few too many stupid bits of PC added to their curriculum.

      • You overstate the efficiency of the enemy. I believe they are actively working to crush this blog and all other free expression. They’re just not very good at it.

        Yet.

        • Yeah, but there’s a serious efficiency gap. We’re way more efficient than they are at all levels.

        • I’d miss Mrs. Hoyt and her Huns if this blog vanished. Where should I look if that does happen?

          • “Down the sights of your rifle” comes to mind…

          • You can always get in touch with me by sending a letter care of Baen. And I’ll tell you where we are.

            • Will do so. Hope it’s never necessary.

            • Does this mean the volcanic island lair lease plan fell through? 😉 I remember something about the environmental report being a sticking point.

              • With adequate donations, I’d be more than happy to front the island acquisition and the modular pebble bed reactor.

                Important questions: Mediterranean, Caribbean, Pacific (North or South)?
                Are you willing to trade for food, or prefer an agricultural setting? (Important to distinguish mountainous islands from ones with less grandeur but more arable land.)
                Do we need to set aside enough area for a rocket launch pad?

                • (Of course, if the island is adequately mountainous, or even volcanic, we can always put the launch pad inside said mountain or volcano.)

      • Well, given how some conservative and libertarian sites are starting to get deplatformed, that could be only temporary. The leftist oligarchs of Silicon Valley are expanding the scope of their efforts to silence those they don’t like, Paypal and Mastercard/Visa will refuse to process payments the way they have done to others. Aggressive Democratic Party prosecutors will prosecute blogs of political opponents knowing that no matter how frivolous their prosecutions are, the process itself will result in bankrupting and silencing most of their opponents. And in some cases, crazy Obama judges will allow these politically motivated persecutions to go forward. I think it is virtually inevitable that this ends badly and bloodily, and the only question is how soon.

      • We have an advantage of a Christian tradition– while the thing attributed to St. Francis about acting rather than preaching is incredibly false, there IS a tradition that living the faith is superior to TALKING about it.

        So if you cruse along, LIVING the truth, you are keeping faith…so we’ve got a lot of folks taking all kinds of abuse, Because it is Right.

      • Sarah, they have the same attitude as my first boss: “I don’t care if you serfs talk bad among yourselves. Talk bad to outsiders or try to run and I’ll destroy you.”

        As long as your blog keeps us vented to harmlessness, it will be allowed to exist.

    • You just summed up why I left the military when I did. Until Clinton won, I was preparing to sign the dotted line again and stay in the Navy. I did not trust him at all, even before all of his many faults become public, I had no interest in serving in a military with him as the CIC. It would have been the same with Obama. (Granted by the time Obama was elected I was pretty well out of the age of enlistment).

      • I retired in 1994. The personnelman handling my retirement asked if I wanted my Presidential letter. Funny question, so I asked why. He told me they were tired of people throwing them on the deck and stomping on them- and leaving them behind for the PNs to pick up. So if I didn’t want it they’d just shred it for me.

        A story- may or may not be true- I heard it way back just shortly after it supposedly happened- Clinton received a visit from several senior officers. He was told he HAD to sign the retirement letters that were piling up on his desk. It was his duty. And they aren’t autopenned..

        One of these days I’ll dig mine up and frame it and hang it in the spare bathroom place of honor.

        • I know someone who retired in that timeframe. He availed himself of a little-known option, to have the retirement letter signed by ANY President. In his case, he requested that George H.W. Bush sign it.

    • I look at it this way, the Conservatives in America are the ‘sleeping giant’. We ignored the rantings of the Left and failed to take them seriously, because, let’s face it, the rantings of the Left are difficult to take seriously. Now that they have escalated to riots, destruction of property, and intimidating people in their homes? On top of rampant voter fraud in multiple states? The Left is drifting further into territory I do not think they really wish to go. It’s been so one-sided for so many years they seem to think that we have no will to fight.

      It’s not lack of will, it’s been restraint that is going to start slipping very soon, unless law enforcement makes a very concentrated and concerted effort to nip this in the bud. These clowns are not nearly as tough or clever as they seem to think they are.

      The major question I’ve been asking myself lately is what these goons are going to do once some of them end up dead. Are they going to realize they’re playing with matches and gasoline in a small enclosed space? Or are they going to decide that they need to go further? I’m thinking most of them are going to change their behavior once they realize there is a very good chance they are going to end up in box. It’s the smaller and virulent group that gives me the most concern.

    • “It’s obvious these days that our political class sees itself as a foreign occupation of a backwards benighted land.”

      I have thought of two analogies, initially in connection with Obama but with broader applicability: In analogy #1, we are a large corporation with a fabled history but also with some current problems. Obama (by extension, the political class as a whole) is our new CEO. He has a very low opinion of our executives, our workers, and our product line. His previous experience, ever since leaving business school, has been as a consultant, teaching theories about strategy and restructuring. He is very eager to prove these theories out in practice, and he is prepared to be quite ruthless in eliminating traditionally-successful parts of the business–and ways of doing things–in order to implement his strategic vision.

      Analogy #2: We are a young woman in a 19th-century English novel. Our personality is a bit quirky and not to everyone’s taste; however, we are good-looking by most standards, and we carry an enormous dowry.

      Obama (for example) is a young gentleman of scant means who finds us pretty strange and not really to his liking, but nevertheless has wooed us fervently, knowing that once we are married he will win the admiration of his friends–we’re considered a darned good catch–and will become quite wealthy. And he’s confident that in short order he will be able to use his charm and his authority over us to change our personality into something more to his liking.

      https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/9641.html

  8. I’ve thought for years that Western Civilization took sick in the Great War. Between the incompetence of the leadership class on all sides and the effects of Communist agitators, it didn’t get better. Contrast to the Thirty Years War – also a bloody mess, with atrocities on both sides. But the response was not hand-wringing, but a decision to adopt Laws of Warfare to moderate the damage and protect the noncombatants.

    We need that sort of thing again. A new confidence.

    • Arguably, one of the “answers” to the Great War was to make rules so we wouldn’t open Pandora’s Box once again.

      And, of course, it failed. Because the progressives thought making the rules was enough. And they were afraid to enforce them – because they truly feared triggering another Great War. Which defeats the whole damn purpose.

  9. God bless the USA, and all who’ve served and defended her.

    • Amen.

      A hearty “Thank you.” to everyone who has served, is currently serving, or has a child or spouse serving.

      • What I love is how many here are or do family support to the Rolling 1%.

        (explaining: roughly 1% of the population, at any time, are in the service)

  10. Before WWII-this is from family letters, mind you-smart, sophisticated, educated, progressive, modern Americans believed in eugenics, the scientific method for selective breeding for superior humanity. Hitler seemed to have good ideas-smart, progressive young fellow-and after the Americans discovered the Holocaust these same self-described good people were appalled.
    So they were open to anything that might let them believe themselves to still be superior to their inferiors. They had to lie to themselves about their previous admiration of Hitler.

    I honestly don’t know why my grandmother and family didn’t burn their letters. But as the older generations died, the eldest daughters get that stuff-so these are wandering into my hands.

    • Yes, eugenics was a universal belief then. Crazy and evil, but universal.
      If you read even Agatha Christie, half the reason to suspect someone of murder is always “bad heredity.”

      • Just read a Georgette Heyer mystery in which the son was an alcoholic because his father was. Not because he’d been taught that way, mind you—his sister certainly wasn’t a lush—but because of hand-wavium heredity.

        • I’ve never been able to read her mysteries. Love her romances, but…

          • Eh, I don’t have as high standards for mysteries. Plus they were the only things I found at the SPCA book sale, no romance Heyers.

            • *ears perk* There are still some local SPCA outlets around?

              I can’t imagine the national doing a book sale, and I know it has Red Cross syndrome even harder than the Red Cross….

              • Sure. I live in the Sacramento area, and got my kittens through them. They have booksales twice a year in unused storefronts from donations that they get. There’s usually 6-10 tables of mysteries, for example, and though the SF usually only takes up two or three, sometimes I actually find books I’m interested in and don’t already have. (Alternately, I pounce on people browsing there and say Have you read this?)

                I found a book written by an elementary school classmate this last time. That was fun. (She writes lit-fic, but at least she’s had a career of several books rather than being one-and-done.)

                • The offer ACTUAL KITTENS?!?!

                  All the rescues in Washington or the El Paso area pass off reproductive age cats as “kittens,” so they can be neutered first.

                  • Three month old kittens, which are neutered. They foster out younger ones—one of the ones we got was fostered by somebody for only a couple of days and she still recognized his picture. So no fluff-balls, but I prefer them old enough to show personality anyways.

                    • Darn.

                      I like ours young enough to be unclear on the concept of “I am a cat,” rather than “those big things are cats with opposable thumbs.”

                      Ah well, so far the “dude who is totally unclear on the concept of feline age” method has worked. (Got a kitten. We’re pretty sure she was 7-9 weeks old. He insisted she was “about 14 weeks old.”)

                    • We like to get them young too. Due to be “found”, just hope it holds off until our current almost 20 year-old one passes away, another year or two.

                      Last kitten tripped over (bushes outside of dog groomers), was barely 3 weeks. Just old enough to be okay on kitten soft food. But our then 19 year old cat wasn’t real happy as he became the target of the kitten. That was 4 years ago, & the current old lady is still unhappy with that cat.

                      If we don’t get found after Silver is gone, then we’ll volunteer to foster a too young litter, & foster fail. The problem with that route is a lot of local rescues, including the county shelter, don’t allow adoption if you allow your cats outside at all. Which we do, eventually.

                      It is very interesting to raise kittens that then “know” they are people. Opps, excuse me, not people princesses/princes.

        • well, at various times studies have said that there are heritable influences that can give someone a tendency toward that…

        • That’s not actually a BAD way to describe the observable tendency to be a liiiiiitttle too fond of alcohol….
          I’ve seen it strike folks whose folks went T-Total before they were born. I believe it’s sometimes attributed to a genetic tendency to alcoholism. Who knows, it’s a bit complicated.

          • Oh, I definitely believe there’s a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. Native Americans seem particularly prone to it. As seemingly are my direct ancestors for at least 4 generations, including my mother. But, I also believe that no one forces you to take that first drink. Or 2nd or 3rd or 10th… It’s all voluntary.

            Me? I don’t abstain, but I’m watchful of intake. A drink when we go out to dinner. One- as I do the driving. A bottle of wine over 2-3 days. Then a week or 2 without any. And when I’m invited to a wedding with an open bar- I get a hotel room withing walking distance. Nothing wrong with getting drunk once in a while, especially when someone else is paying for it. And you’re not a violent or abusive drunk. That’s something I don’t understand. Why some people get obnoxious, and others get. well, friendlier and easier to get along with.

      • Honestly, it makes perfect sense, in a “Radio Flyer” kind of way.

        You take something you can see is obvious– such as that some families tend to Go to the Bad, or that this red wagon is bleepin’ awesome– and then you connect it to a current, “in” thing, of the science flavor– thus Heredity or “Radio” and “Flight.”

    • Yes, one good thing the Despicable Austrian did was put the stink on the entire idea of Eugenics. The Progressives still belive in it, of course, as they believe in so many poisonous things, but even now they daren’t SAY they believe in it.

      Also, the toothbrush moustache. That hasn’t made a comeback either, and good riddance.

  11. And yet, and yet . . . During the bar shooting last week, it appears that some young men shielded the young women among them with their bodies. Of course, because of Cali.’s krazy gun laws, that’s about all they could do.

    Not, of course, on the same scale as volunteering to go into harm’s way the way our Military and civilian second responders do, but still kudos for stepping up to the plate at crunch time.

    Chivalry, though perhaps on life support, isn’t dead yet.

  12. I keep coming back to the idea that if it is evil to teach people to hate other ethnicities, cultures, and people then it is evil to teach people to hate their own ethnicity, culture, and people. What good can be found in self hatred?

  13. From America’s perspective;

    WWI was the culmination of the Presidency of the first Progressive Intellectual Nitwit President: Woodrow ‘Rat Bastard’ Wilson. Elitist, authoritarian, and bigoted to the core, Wilson won re-election on ‘He Kept Us Out of War’ and promptly got us in. He shares the blame with the Germans; their ‘Zimmerman telegram’ ranks as one of the great diplomatic blunders of history. OTOH, the Lusitania was carrying munitions for England, was therefore a,completely legitimate target, AND German agents circulated warnings in the US saying so. Where Wilson really did damage was in mobilizing hudreds of thousands of draftees through a system unable to cope with such numbers, virtually guaranteeing that there would be epidemics. That the Spanish Influenza was waiting in the wings is arguably not Wilson’s fault, but his ham handed mobilizations ensured that the ‘flu would have maximum effect.

    His handling of the war’s end was no better. He ignored peace overtures from the Germans, keeping the slaughter going longer than at all necessary, and then bungled the peace talks to the extent that the Allied Political classes were allowed to scapegoat the Germans for their military and diplomatic bungling and create the perfect conditions for the eventual restart of hostilities.

    Naturally the Progressive Intellectuals could not allow the clear lessons of this – that Academic Intellectual Snobs are unsuited to National office – sink in, so they worked overtime to create the Narrative that temwhole war was a put up job by the Arms Manufacturing industry. In this they had the enthusiastic help of the European ruling classes who weremscared to death that the working classes might think over the war years and come to the logical conclusion that their betters were full of dung.

    Also, during the intermission between the two phases of the War, a lot of propaganda about the Evil Hun that had been spread by The Better People to get the Lesser Classes to fight was exposed as utter pigswill, so that when the Despicable Austrian rose to power with the apparet intention of living down to that propaganda, it took far too goddamned long for people to realize this wasn’t more dung from the same compost heap.

    *growl*

    • Yup.

      It also is worth mentioning that the last pan-German had been Bismarck. Who had unified Germany…then made and maintained peace.

      From the perspective of an Allied leader, head of a nation scarred by the Great War, what had Hitler done?
      He’d abrogated the Treaty of Versailles – a bad treaty.
      He’d remilitarized the Rhineland – sending a handful of German troops onto German soil.
      He’d rebuilt the German military – but was also talking up European arms limitations in the Locarno Treaty.
      He’d absorbed the rump Germanic state of Austria – they seemed happy about that.
      He’d mistreated the Jews – I hate to mention it, but antisemitism was a hell of a lot more common then, a lot of people regarded it as an unpleasant bit of German domestic politics.

      Things really didn’t sour until the crisis with the Czechs. That was the point at which Hitler threw off the pan-German cloak and revealed himself to want conquest of peoples, not merely the consolidation of his own.

      • And if Hitler had stopped at that and simply asked other European countries to send Germany their Jews to be “dealt with:”, a lot of the leaders in those countries, supported by not insignificant parts of the populace, would have happily done so.

        • Which is why the world was so horrified by the Holocaust, and why Jews who remember it are generally against gun control. It could have been almost any country in Europe. I have doubts about the US, but we had tolerated Wilson’s AG, Mitchel Palmer, deporting vast swathes of immigrants, most of them illegally. Still, when we rounded up the Japanese, the camps they were sent to were more POW camps than concentration camps, and conditions were a damn sight better than the POW camps run by the Germans, the Japanese, or the Soviets.

          Still, the Nazi horror holds us in thrall more than the bestial behavior of the Japanese in China in nit small part because we are uncomfortably aware that we could have done the same.

          And the Progressives, of course, are aware that they have supported worse, though they deny it even to themselves.

          • Still, when we rounded up the Japanese, the camps they were sent to were more POW camps than concentration camps, and conditions were a damn sight better than the POW camps run by the Germans, the Japanese, or the Soviets.

            My grandmother came back from dropping her husband off for training to ship out to Europe to her folks’ family area, to doing regular visits to the nearest camp with blankets, clothes and comfort stuff.

            She wasn’t alone, although given what I understand of her family situation, it was probably a Making A Statement type thing that likely shamed others into doing it, as well.

            I don’t know what it was like in other areas, but those folks got stuff one of the richest families in the county would be proud to serve to guests, and not irregularly.

            • It’s hard to get any real picture of what those camps were like. The Academic Progressives have a huge incentive to depict them as America’s Gulags, which is flat out ridiculous. OTOH, the only GOOD depiction I’ve ever seen was put out by FDR’s administrators, and I trust that rat bastard about as far as I could kick him in my stocking feet.

      • Well, pan-Germany would have included the Moravia/Bohemian part of Czech as they were mostly German speakers at the time, and largely ethnically German iirc. But in for a penny, in for a pound; if you’re going to seize territory, why not go for the whole shebang?

        • A whole bunch of my wife’s ancestors arrived here from Austria or Germany in the 1880 era.Regardless of what the immigration paperwork said, they were Bohemian. Not German. Not Austrian. Not Bavarian. Bohemian. They were members of Bohemian social societies and went to mass with Bohemian priests. And in the 1940’s, their children or grandchildren were Americans fighting in Europe.

          • Yes. Lots of little tribal nations in Europe that no longer exist except in the minds of distant descendants, and occasional place names. Another reason why communism and it’s myriad spinoffs doesn’t work well with humans. We have a very possessive streak in our cores that comes out with blood and soil concepts. Well, it also comes out with our interpersonal, familial, and intimate relationships too. Which can be both good and bad. I doubt culture will ever eliminate it. But culture can certainly strengthen it!

    • Thing was, Wilson didn’t keep the slaughter going longer than necessary. What he did was keep the war going long enough that the Allies believed they won, but not long enough that the Germans really believed they’d lost.

      • The same end could have been achieved by brokering an armistice sooner. The Germans approached Wilson, not the other way around. That usually signifies that the side that made the overture knws it has lost.

        The ‘stabbed in the back’ nonsense didn’t start until the Germans who had been in the trenches had full bellies.

        • “Stabbed in the back” implies “We were not losing on the ground, but the generals/politicians/home front/Jews/ perfidiously surrendered – Why, we still could have won!”

          Which is, of course insane given what we know about the revolts and revolutions back in Germany, but recall how long the Western Front trench system really was across France, and how little those front line troops really heard from home – there were a lot of German troops who never were defeated and forced into retreat. There they were in November 1918, manning their trenches, when orders suddenly came down to surrender.

          The only thing that would have foreclosed the “stabbed in the back” getting any traction would have been the Allies continuing the war, taking advantage of the new technologies and tactics and American manpower, forcing the Central Powers into continued retreats, until Allied troops were marching into Berlin.

          Readers will note this is exactly what happened 27 years later: The Allied “unconditional surrender” requirement was formulated to prevent another “stabbed in the back” after round 2 ended.

    • “a lot of propaganda about the Evil Hun that had been spread by The Better People to get the Lesser Classes to fight was exposed as utter pigswill, so that when the Despicable Austrian rose to power with the apparet intention of living down to that propaganda, it took far too goddamned long for people to realize this wasn’t more dung from the same compost heap.”

      C S Lewis said that when he talked to British soldiers during WWII…I believe he was referring to the first few years…almost NONE of them believed atrocity stories about the Nazis.

      • Then again, much of the “Evil Hun” stuff originated with that clown in Berlin, Kaiser Willie. Recall his speech before he sent his troops to China during the Boxer Rebellion, when he encouraged his men to spread fear and terror to the Chinese like the Huns did.

  14. Geoff Withnell

    People talk about how evil the United States was in Viet Nam. What I know, very anecdotal- the village chiefs loved us to be in their area. Why? “Viet Cong says the rice belongs to them for taxes. South Viet Army say rice belongs to them for taxes. You say rice belongs to farmers, and we feed our families.”

    • Part of the problem is that America’s fight in Vietnam was essentially schizophrenic. Hearts and minds and free-fire zones.

      • The US suffered in Vietnam (in miniature, kindof) what Europe suffered after WW1 – a desire to simply put away war, and to attempt a kinder, gentler way of dealing with badness on an international level.

        America hadn’t suffered a war like WW2 for almost 100 years. And, since we tied up the world with alliances, we risked another Great War if we pulled out all the stops (or so the thinking went).

        So, Korea was fought without a will to utterly subdue the enemy. (While I think MacArthur was a jackass, I also think he was right about the Yalu River.) We just wanted it to stop. And Americans watched the same generation go off to fight a second war – and drag along their sons.

        Then, just one decade later, America gets itself involved in Vietnam. And, again, we really don’t want to fight another global war – especially since the other alliance now has the same nuclear capabilities we do. And, on top of that, it’s a foreign, proxy war. And it’s not being fought for any reason except to deny the other alliance a win. We were playing to a tie. That just doesn’t work.

        On top of which, we still had in place the mechanism of the draft, which has never been a popular thing in America, but had been necessary (or so they thought) for WW2, then brought back around for Korea….

        So, the twin problems of exhaustion from war and alliances making war much more consequential*, puts us in a similar position to Europe pre-1939 – unwilling to exercise our might to actually head off a greater and longer war.

        Then, of course, there’s the marxist preaching and propagandizing that’s been taking hold for ~50 years…….

        (* Actually, the alliance thing was a pre-WW1 problem, that went unrecognized until the SHTF. Then, after WW1, when the alliances really weren’t that strong – except for a general anti-German one – they had this general feeling of “spreading warfare” that infected their thinking and made them reluctant to act.)

    • People who complain about how “evil” the US supposedly was in Vietnam ignore how pretty much everyone and their dog tried to get out of the country and into the “evil” US when it was clear that Saigon was about to fall.

      • People,who complain about how ‘evil’ the US was in Vietnam are either repeating what they have been told, or trying desperately to keep people from asking too many questions about Vietnamese re-education camps, or the killing fields of Cambodia.

        • Which is why I make it a point to show pictures of the Killing Fields to my students. And boatloads of Vietnamese. And read the statistics from the _Black Book of Communism_.

          • My understanding is that the Killing Fields are routinely blamed on the US, as usual. The argument apparently goes something like this – “If the US hadn’t invaded Cambodia in an attempt to shut down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, then the Cambodia government wouldn’t have fallen, and the Khmer Rouge wouldn’t have been able to take power.”

            The “minor detail” that the NVA was there first is, as usual, completely ignored.

            Fun fact – both the North Vietnamese Army and the East German Army were abbreviated ‘NVA’. This occasionally causes me some small bits of confusion when someone I’m talking with uses that acronym, but isn’t sufficiently clear beforehand which Communist country they’re discussing.

          • I wish Father Boatman back in the Seattle area would record his 4th of July sermons–

            his first memory?

            Boat leaving Vietnam.

            Heavily suggested is that anything before is not remembered because it’s blocked, not because he was too young.

            #1 way to get a “can’t shut the doors” crowd in that parish is to mention a rosary for the US.

            • It says a lot that, compared to staying at home with family ties going back generations, that sneaking past armed border guards, paying every dime you have to smugglers, crowding into leaky boats, sailing through stormy, steamy hot and shark-infested waters with little food or water, being boarded by pirates who killed anyone who offended them, raped any or all of the women, and stole anything the smugglers didn’t already take, just to possibly get sent to a horribly overcrowded refugee camp where you could sit for months or years while you tried for a possible slot to get to the USA, was the vastly more attractive option.

    • Speaking of North Viet Nam, in two years there will be a Hanoi Gran Prix Formula One race:
      https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/139884/hanoi-f1-circuit-details-revealed

  15. Pingback: Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » The Great War and its Aftermath

  16. Thank you. And I know that when you say “my country” you mean the US of A. That is a really incredible thing.

    • Don Raye and Al Jacobs did it right with This Is My Country. Of course they’d be considered ultra-nationalist fascists today.

      This is my country! Land of my birth!
      This is my country! Grandest on Earth!
      I pledge thee my allegiance,
      America, the bold,
      For this is my country
      to have and to hold.

      What diff’rence if I hail from North or South
      Or from the East or West?
      My heart is filled with love
      For all these.
      I only know I swell with pride
      and deep within my breast
      I thrill to see Old Glory
      Paint the breeze.

      With hand upon heart I thank the Lord For this my native land,
      For all I love is here within her gates.
      My soul is rooted deeply in the soil on which I stand,
      For these are mine own United States.

      This is my country! Land of my choice!
      This is my country! Hear my proud voice!
      I pledge thee my allegiance,
      America, the bold,
      For this is my country!
      To have and to hold.

    • Yes. Never occurred to me anyone might think I mean anything else. OF COURSE the US of A.

      • And that’s why it’s incredible. You’ve spoken before of being born American, just in the wrong place. That commitment to freedom and the principles of what makes the US of A the US of A is fantastic, and like warm rays of sunshine entering a dungeon.

  17. Aren’t we all supposed to be Citizens of the World and speak Esperanto?