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June 28, 2005

Morning reads.

First up - go right to Lt Prakash at ArmorGeddon and spend just under 8 minutes of your day watching SPC Roby blow up an IED. While you are there, show me the tired, dispirited, low morale soldiers I read about over at Kos, wouldja? Way to go, SPC Roby! But, dude - you were shooting short! If you are in an office with delicate ears, turn down your sound. No gore - but lots of typical soldier talk. And ya know what that means... H/T the Admiral of the Moat Fleet!

And speaking of patrolling in Iraq - Michael Yon has a new bit up - The Feathers.

The guys at David's Medienkritik put their protest signs where their mouth is - good on ya, Ray!

How can we lose the war? In my post on the subject yesteday, I averred it's lost when we lose it in our hearts, not before. Part and parcel of that - keep paying attention. H/t, Strategy Page.

Interestingly enough - today is the anniversary of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Countess Sophia, in Sarajevo, the fuze that lit WWI.

It's also the day the Treaty of Versailles was signed, five years later, which lit the fuze for WWII.

Captain E. N. Bennett, speech at a Union of Democratic Control (11th November, 1920)

The fundamental falsehood on which the Versailles Treaty is built is the theory that Germany was solely and entirely responsible for the war. No fair-minded student of the war and its causes can accept this contention; but the propaganda story of Germany's sole guilt has been preached so persistently from pulpit, Press and Parliament that the bulk of our people have come to regard it as an axiomatic truth which justifies the provisions of the most brutal and unjust Treaty in the world's history.

John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of Peace (1920)

The Treaty includes no provision for the economic rehabilitation of Europe - nothing to make the defeated Central Powers into good neighbours, nothing to stabilise the new States of Europe, nothing to reclaim Russia; nor does it promote in any way a compact of economic solidarity amongst the Allies themselves; no arrangement was reached at Paris for restoring the disordered finances of France and Italy, or to adjust the systems of the Old World and the New.

It is an extraordinary fact that the fundamental economic problem of a Europe starving and disintegrating before their eyes, was the one question in which it was impossible to arouse the interest of the Four. Reparation was their main excursion into the economic field, and they settled it from every point of view except that of the economic future of the States whose destiny they were handling.

Read the rest here. Note that after WWII, the Marshall Plan did exactly what Keynes was talking about - provided for an economic rehabilitation of western Europe. Something the Soviets did *not* do for their side of the wire, with consequences still felt in Germany and Eastern Europe (and dare I say Russia?) today.

Just as we need to honor our obligation to the Iraqis, and not cut and run as we did from the Versailles Treaty (while offering nothing in it's place) after WWI.

It has, after all, only been a year since they stood up a post-Saddam government. Remember how long (from school, dudes, I know we aren't old enough, sheesh!) it took us to get a Constitution written? That whole Federalist/Anti-Federalist thing? 6-7 years? And that was having something else, the Articles of Confederation, to work from...

Just sayin'

Ravenwood makes an interesting observation. Of course, I tend to judge historical figures by their milieu, not current sensibilities. Yes, Lincoln was racist by todays lights. He was, IIRC, for sending freed slaves back to Africa, because he didn't feel they would fit into US society, among other things not unusual to his era. But to slam him for not being a sensitive 90's kind of guy (not what Ravenwood was implying, I'm running with my own idea here) is to completely ignore the fact that he rose above the tenor of his times to do something no one else in power had been willing to do. For that, I extend him great credit, understanding fully it was the press of war that made the Emancipation Proclamation both needful and possible... HE STILL DID IT - he didn't have to, but it *did* serve to take the British out of the equation, and while Ravenwood notes:

Of course he's exactly right. The Emancipation Proclamation only called for the freedom of slaves in Southern states. And given that the South had seceeded from the Union, the order didn't actually free anyone. In fact, by the time Lincoln got around to proclaiming emancipation, the U.S. Congress had already banned slavery in Southern states.

Lincoln still sent a lot of northern white boys and free/d black men down South to make good on the promise. A lot of whom didn't make it back.

Still yet from Ravenwood - gun sniffing dogs. Whoo boy! They'd be all over my cars like stink on poo, too!

Countertop takes the Kelo decision to a "Reductio in Absurdum" level. But it makes ya think, given the way our political system seems to be ruled by the Law of Unintended Consequences...

John Cole, at Balloon Juice, notes sadness at the 100 Acre Wood, and we're not just talking Eeyore.

Zach Wendling at In the Agora has an interesting take on self-defense measures you can take vice Kelo... I would note the Castle has a wetland in front, providing habitat for frogs, birds, fish, toads, squirrels, chipmunks and at least 1 oppossum...

I was going to take a look at the Drill Sergeant abuse story running around now - but I see it's adequately covered over at Outside the Beltway, so I'll send you there, with a "Dittoes, dudes." Abuse doesn't build good soldiers; hard, realistic training does, combined with a tough, caring leadership. Which is always the harder way to lead vice being a terroristic bastard. The reaction of some people brings to mind this thought of Neptunus Lex's that I put up in the post below:

When the sacrifices of the many who fight for us are diminished by an unremitting focus on the failures of the few, sapping the morale of all -

You'd think the Press might 'get' this, seeing as how they whine that Eason Jordan, Blair Whatsisname, Rathergate, etc, do not fairly reflect them and how they truly approach their jobs... yet, we hear this carp from Chris Bowers...

As if the U.S. military didn't have enough scandals going between Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and the ghost detainees, now we learn it is abusing its own recruits:

Ed Morrissey notes, over at Captain's Quarters:

This story has been known for four months. Within days of the incident, other soldiers reported the abuse, and those involved were relieved of duty. The Army has successfully court-martialed four of the people involved, including the company commander, Captain William Fulton, who got six months of confinement. The recruits were transferred to a different command to complete their training. If the reader gets all the way through the article, he finds out that there were 120 allegations of abuse in all of 2004, resulting in 16 DIs got relieved as a result -- and the rate for 2005 is half of that for last year.

Captain Fulton is a guest at our local facility here in Leavenworth, I believe.

Charmaine Yoest over at Reasoned Audacity is quietly pleased with the Discovery Channel's Greatest American #1 pick was President Reagan. She does admit a sentimental attachment... The list isn't as bad as it could have been (I wonder what it would have been like had it been NPR, not Discovery Channel?) but it does reflect that people know best what they lived through, and that history isn't our strong suit...

Anyway...

Last, but not least this morning... sometimes routine maintenance is just that.

Routine.

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