Decoration Day - Maggie's Farm
Click on the photos to fade to the modern photo.
"The Spirit of Liberation"
There are a number of compilations of color WWII footage, all of them worth watching. The trailer looks interesting.
Hollande and Merkel mark centenary of Battle of Verdun
WWI was a shock to the moral fiber of all enmeshed. No war so brutally combined the modern industrial war machine with the naiveté of war leaders brought up fighting colonial and other romantic battles.
Click through to read more.
First service marks Battle of Jutland centenary
A massive sea battle in the worlds most shocking war.
"More than 6,000 British and 2,500 German sailors were killed in the 36-hour battle, which began off the Danish coast on May 31st, 1916.
Britain’s battlecruiser force sailed from the Firth of Forth in eastern Scotland and events took place outside Edinburgh yesterday.Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter Princess Anne and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon were joined by hundreds of people for a ceremony.
“This centenary commemoration is an opportunity for us to honor and pay tribute to the many thousands of sailors from both sides who lost their lives during the Battle of Jutland,” said Sturgeon."
South Korea launches backlash over Obama visit to Hiroshima - FT.com
. . . a reasonable fear based on our feckless leader's track record.
Erdogan “Prince of Europe” Rejects EU Demands to Reform Terrorist Law | MishTalk
. . . or at least toss and turn in it.
More below the fold.
. . . not as glamorous as one might assume. Or something.
"I've been shot!"
Calling these people fighters, or incompetent fighters is a slander on incompetent fighters everywhere.
Donald Trump says NATO is 'obsolete' — here are the stats that suggest he's wrong
. . . which allows European countries to free ride on US military power. Let's be honest, NATO is a mutual defense treaty, but only Britain would come to America's defense. And virtually zero of the other NATO nations, other than the US and Britain provide any significant number of troops in any conflict.
"Although NATO is based almost exclusively in Europe, and was primarily formed as a military alliance against the Soviet Union, it has a global reach and has participated in military operations throughout the world.
Globally, NATO is playing a role in combating Somali piracy off the Horn of Africa. Operation Ocean Shield, launched in 2009, has helped to drastically cut down on piracy and has helped stabilize shipping lanes in the region.
Close by in Ethiopia, NATO bases its support to the African Union. The operation helps provide training and operational capacities at the Union's request. And in Afghanistan, NATO continues to lead Resolute Support, a noncombat mission that provides training to the Afghan military.
In Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014, NATO also played a key role in combat operations in the country. From August 11, 2003, to 2011, NATO led the International Security Assistance Force.
And NATO is likely to play a major role in helping to combat ISIS, especially now following the terror attacks in member nations Brussels and Turkey. A majority of the nations that are part of the anti-ISIS coalition are already NATO members."
So, it's really just UN Peacekeeping without the dysfunction, rapes, sexual slavery, etc? I though it was all about the USSR, now Russia? No?
"In this regard, Donald Trump is slightly right to question the ongoing worth of the NATO alliance. According to NATO's latest annual report released on June 22, 2015, only Estonia, Poland, the UK, Greece, and the US were projected to meet the 2% spending threshold in 2015.
This problem in spending caused then-NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to warn member nations in 2014 against becoming "free-riders" under the umbrella of US military protection."
"Becoming?" Are! Without the US there would be no NATO, the Europeans have no heart or stomach to protect themselves, and we should not constantly act as the parent and come to the rescue.
We need to re think this entire fiasco. Perhaps it is time for the US to leave NATO so that the Europeans, the children living in their parents basement, can live on their own, and build their own protective alliances. Return the US to a less intrusive role. That would free us to build new and more necessary alliances with the former Eastern European nations, and other nations. We have spent the past 70+ years protecting Europe, after paying for their post WWII reconstruction. This allowed them to build bloated safety net welfare states which they cannot now afford, and so they again short their military expenditures, and prepare to allow the US to protect them afresh.
Europe, we really don't intend to come back, and fight your butts out of another conflagration. You are knee deep in muslim extremists, and you seem to have no sense at all. We are not going to bail you out of this mess. This is very likely to devolve into a civil war, and if the Islamists have half a brain, they will simply move to and take over one of the smaller European nations, and then build from there. But they are wankers so this is probably not a serious threat.
I did not think any of this would happen until well after 2020. But the timetable seems to have been accelerated.
Only by the US leaving NATO will the Europeans understand the seriousness of their situation, and begin to take action, or fail to take action. I am fine with either.
With Russia weakening due to low oil prices, the state of Eastern Europe is much more precarious, and our attentions need to be focused there, instead of the dilettante nations of the West.
If I agree with Trump it is purely an accident.
BrothersJudd Blog: THE MIGHTY SAUDI WAR MACHINE...:
. . . brilliant!
"For all the bluster of Saudi generals who vow to lead their troops into Sana'a if necessary, the campaign now has more limited goals, says the confidant. Saudi Arabia wants to send Iran and its regional clients a message that it will resist their regional push. With Iran holding sway through its proxies in Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut, Saudi Arabia is loth to let a fourth capital, particularly one in its back yard, go Iran's way. But the campaign is now mostly about blunting the capabilities of the Houthis (a militia of Zaydis, a splinter Shiite sect concentrated in Yemen's north) and their ally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who until Saudi Arabia engineered his removal in 2012 was the Arab world's longest-reigning ruler.
Together the Houthis and Mr Saleh make a formidable force. Whereas the former are guerrillas who model themselves on Lebanon's Hizbullah, the latter commands Yemen's Republican army, which has been fighting wars (including against the Houthis) for 25 years. Together they wield an arsenal of tanks, ballistic missiles and, at one point, even the odd fighter-jet. Houthi fighters head to battle carrying charms, such as keys and visas to paradise. Their preachers on satellite television call for re-establishing Zaydi rule across the border, not just over the three border provinces the Al Sauds seized in 1934 but even over Mecca farther north.
That is implausible given Saudi Arabia's air power and network of allies. But some Saudis ask how their overfed armed forces would fare should battle-hardened Houthi fighters make even a limited push across the border. It says much about Saudi trepidation that General Olyan limits himself to defending Saudi territory; he says his troops make no attempt to attack the Houthi heartland of Saada governorate, just across the frontier."
The lede comes from the spot on comment of Kaspar.
The House of Saud's military "superiority" is entirely technical. And once the money dries up, so will the technical. Iran is playing a very good game of Go, the House of Saud is limited to its childish understanding of checkers. While Saud would like to get out of Yemen, for all practical intents and purposes, it cannot. The Shia will consolidate Yemen if allowed, and Saud cannot allow that. On the other hand, Iran is expending little in this fight, while Saud is expending much. The House of Saud was a spartan band, back at the dawn of time when it was not fat and money rich. Now rich Saud is wont to throw money at every problem. But the money dwindles, and the House of Saud's power dwindles as well.
Iran is forcing Saud to spend money like the proverbial drunken sailor. The Saud's cargo cult military will eat up as much money as Iran desires, but will never deliver on its promises.
Whether Saud stays or leaves Yemen, Iran will continue to prosecute this proxy war, and open others, eventually engaging the House of Saud, and likely reducing it. Expect the next decade of Middle East history to rewrite much of what we have known up to now.
If the US is capable of coherent 21st century foreign policy strategy, we will find ways to undermine the House of Saud, while trading with, and democratizing Iran. This is a long game. We need to reduce the Iranian hardliners, and bring Iran to a modern economic, and political status. By doing so, the people of Iran will be able to soften the hardliners, and move away from Iranian nationalism, and hardline Islam to a more internationalist stance. At the same time we need to complete reduce the House of Saud, the Salafist, and the Wahhabist. This will allow a dramatic reduction in Islamic terrorism, and hopefully trigger a Reformation of Islam, and optimistically, the Enlightenment of Islam.
The long game is always a difficult tightrope walk, it is always worth it. This will also allow the American foreign policy establishment to finally cull its remaining Cold Warriors.
By my count that's a Win/Win/Win. Therefer!