Category Archives: History

Ukraine, Korea, Syria, Iran… Falsifying History is Uncle Sam’s Way to War, by Finian Cunningham

Fake history can be even more dangerous than fake news. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the International Arctic Forum this week on the real and present dangers from falsifying history. He said such deliberate distortion of history erodes international law and order, creating chaos and leading to further conflict.

The Russian leader deplored the use of history as an «ideological weapon» to demonize others, and he said that without proper understanding of history we are bound to repeat mistakes of the past.

That also reminds one of the maxim Karl Marx once wrote: «History repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce».

As if on cue, while Putin was enumerating the dangers of false history, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko was being hosted in London by British premier Theresa May during a two-day visit.

The Kiev-based regime that Poroshenko leads came to power through an illegal, violent coup against an elected government in February 2014, with clandestine support from Washington and the European Union. The Ukrainian state military ever since have been waging a war on the eastern region of the country, resulting in a death toll of over 10,000 and up to a million displaced. All because the ethnic Russian population of the eastern Donbas region refuses to recognize the Kiev regime’s legitimacy owing to its illegal power grab three years ago.

However, the way Poroshenko and the Kiev regime tells it, Ukraine is fighting off an invasion by Russia. The Ukrainian president’s falsification of history was dignified by his British host who dutifully nodded along as Poroshenko claimed that his country was a bulwark of Europe’s defense against Russian invasion.

«This is not Ukraine’s struggle, it is Europe’s struggle. Sanctions and the resistance of the Ukrainian army are the only reason why Russian tanks are not much further in Europe», said Poroshenko whose asinine version of history received tacit British approval.

To continue reading: Ukraine, Korea, Syria, Iran… Falsifying History is Uncle Sam’s Way to War

 

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‘The Ideas Made It, But I Didn’t’, by Tim Alberta

Politico magazine does an extensive, and surprisingly fair, profile of Patrick Buchanan. From Tim Alberta at politico.com:

Pat Buchanan won after all. But now he thinks it might be too late for the nation he was trying to save.

His first date with his future wife was spent in a New Hampshire motel room drinking Wild Turkey into the wee hours with Hunter S. Thompson. He stood several feet away from Martin Luther King Jr. during the “I Have a Dream” speech. He went to China with Richard M. Nixon and walked away from Watergate unscathed. He survived Iran-Contra, too, and sat alongside Ronald Reagan at the Reykjavík Summit. He invaded America’s living rooms and pioneered the rhetorical combat that would power the cable news age. He defied the establishment by challenging a sitting president of his own party. He captured the fear and frustration of the right by proclaiming a great “culture war” was at hand. And his third-party candidacy in 2000 almost certainly handed George W. Bush the presidency, thanks to thousands of Palm Beach, Florida, residents mistakenly voting for him on the “butterfly ballot” when they meant to back Al Gore.

If not for his outsize ambition, Pat Buchanan might be the closest thing the American right has to a real-life Forrest Gump, that patriot from ordinary stock whose life journey positioned him to witness, influence and narrate the pivotal moments that shaped our modern world and changed the course of this country’s history. He has known myriad roles—neighborhood brawler, college expellee, journalist, White House adviser, political commentator, presidential candidate three times over, author, provocateur—and his existence traces the arc of what feels to some Americans like a nation’s ascent and decline. He was 3 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and 6 when Harry Truman dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now 78, with thick, black glasses and a thinning face, Buchanan looks back with nostalgia at a life and career that, for all its significance, was at risk of being forgotten—until Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States.

To continue reading: ‘The Ideas Made It, But I Didn’t’

On the Commemoration of World War I: From Woodrow Wilson to Donald Trump, by Antonius Aquinas

Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt dipped the US’s toe in the water of interventionism and imperialism, but Woodrow Wilson did the full swan dive, and it hasn’t stopped since. From Antonius Aquinas on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

It is altogether fitting that the US attack on a Syrian airport, the dropping of a MOAB on defenseless Afghanistan, and the potential outbreak of nuclear war with North Korea have all come in the very month one hundred years earlier that an American president led the nation on its road to empire. President Trump’s aggressive actions and all of America’s previous imperialistic endeavors can ultimately be traced to Woodrow Wilson’s disastrous decision to bring the country into the First World War on April 6, 1917.

This month, therefore, should be one of national mourning for the decision to enter that horrific conflict changed America and, for that matter, the world for the worse.

Had the US remained neutral, the war would most likely have come to a far quicker and more politically palatable conclusion, however, the entry of America on the Entente side prolonged the conflict and extended its economic and political destruction to such a degree that the Old Order could not be put back together again. The great dynasties (Germany, Russia, and especially Austria) were ruthlessly dismantled at the conclusion of WWI by the explicit designs of Wilson which left a power vacuum across Central Europe. The vacuum, of course, was filled by the various collectivist “isms” which produced the landscape for another global conflagration even greater than WWI.

For America, after a brief revival of isolationism and non-interventionist sentiment throughout the land, the country, led by another ruthless and power-mad chief executive, provoked and schemed its way into the second general European war within a generation, this time via “the backdoor” with Japan. A second US intervention, making the war global, could not have come about had there been no WWI, or if that war had ended on better terms.

To continue reading: On the Commemoration of World War I: From Woodrow Wilson to Donald Trump

Who Really Started the Korean War? by Justin Raimondo

Who started the Korean War should be of limited contemporary relevance. The fighting stopped in 1953, but a peace treaty was never signed, the US stations over 20,000 troops in South Korea and guarantees its safety, and North Korea has nuclear bombs and a leader with a tenous grasp on power. To understand the current situation, it’s necessary to understand the history of the Korean Peninsula, which includes who started the Korean War. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Forget the Trumanite mythology

Originally published July 28, 2013

The sixtieth anniversary of the “end” of the Korean war saw President Obama attempt to rescue that classic example of interventionist failure from history’s dustbin. Addressing veterans of that conflict, he declared:

“That war was no tie. Korea was a victory. When 50 million South Koreans live in freedom, a vibrant democracy…a stark contrast to the repression and poverty of the North, that is a victory and that is your legacy.”

This is a fairytale: it wasn’t a victory, or even a tie: the US public was disenchanted with the war long before the armistice, and Truman was under considerable pressure at home to conclude an increasingly unpopular conflict. As for this guff about “democracy”: whatever the US was fighting for, from 1950, when the war broke out, to 1953, when it ground to a halt, democracy hardly described the American cause.

We were fighting on behalf of Syngman Rhee, the US-educated-and-sponsored dictator of South Korea, whose vibrancy was demonstrated by the large-scale slaughter of his leftist political opponents. For 22 years, Rhee’s word was law, and many thousands of his political opponents were murdered: tens of thousands were jailed or driven into exile. Whatever measure of liberality has reigned on the Korean peninsula was in spite of Washington’s efforts and ongoing military presence. When the country finally rebelled against Rhee, and threw him out in the so-called April Revolution of 1960, he was ferried to safety in a CIA helicopter as crowds converged on the presidential palace.

The mythology that has coagulated around the Korean war is epitomized by Obama’s recent peroration, a compendium of uplifting phrases largely bereft of any real history. When history intrudes, it is seen only in very soft focus. The phrase “Korea reminds us” recurs throughout, like the refrain of a pop song, but nowhere does this anonymous presidential speechwriter remind us of the origins of this war. How did it come about?

To continue reading: Who Really Started the Korean War?

The Historic and Factual Basis of N. Korea’s Hatred of the US, by Russ Winter

It may astound some Americans, but there are people in this world who hate us, and some of them have pretty good reasons for doing so. From Russ Winter on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

When one knows the hidden history about the massive targeting of North Korean civilians with so-called strategic bombing, it’s easier to understand the hate from that country and see that it’s not manufactured. It’s rooted in a fact-based narrative. By the time the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953, B-29s alone had flown over 21,000 sorties, dropping nearly 600,000 tons of bombs. Fighter aircraft flew thousands of additional sorties over North Korea.

After China entered the war in late 1950, the United States switched to targeting civilians in much the same manner as conducted over Germany and Japan during WWII. Gen. Douglas MacArthur designated cities and villages in North Korea as “main bombing targets” and permitted the use of incendiary bombs.

The bombing of Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, was conducted as part of a sustained U.S. Air Force aerial bombardment campaign. By the time of the armistice, 75 percent of Pyongyang was destroyed as part of a broader U.S. bombing effort throughout the country. It cost the lives of nearly 3 million North Koreans (mostly civilians) by the time the war ended.

The campaign was conducted by the blood thirsty Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command, who also has the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians on his hands from WWII.

LeMay bragged, “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population during the Korean War”.

Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.”

After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the latter stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops.

This means that virtually every person living in North Korea today has siblings, parents, grandparents or great grandparents that perished in this total war. It is a real stretch to gaslight Koreans as “crazy” or “irrational” given this reality. It is also the height of ignorance to not understand North Korea’s need for powerful retaliatory weapons.

To continue reading: The Historic and Factual Basis of N. Korea’s Hatred of the US

The Swarm, by Robert Gore

There’s no stopping the swarm.

Thag and his tribesmen had taken down a mammoth that morning. The feast was still underway, but Thag was bored with the men grunt-bragging about their exploit and the women grunt-complaining about the tribulations of raising cave-kids. He retreated to his cave and sat outside it, absently rubbing two sticks together. His hand brushed against one of the sticks where he had rubbed it—hot. After rubbing some more he stuck a dried leaf on the hot spot, just to see what would happen. Smoke, a flame, fire! He dropped the burning leaf to the ground. How could this be? Fire came from the sky gods. The flame died out. He gathered leaves, put them in a pile, rubbed the sticks, ignited a leaf, and dropped it on the pile. Big fire! Warm—good on cold nights.

When Thag showed the tribe how he had tamed fire, they may have grunt-hailed him as a “genius,” although he had only stumbled on to something because he was bored. While cave living may appeal to certain sensibilities—Nature! No technology! Extended families living together! A sense of community! etc.!—it had to have been excruciatingly boring for any mentally active cave-person. Boredom is one of the most under-appreciated forces in human history, for both good and evil. Much of the change wrought through the centuries resulted from somebody trying, in either a beneficial or destructive way, to make life more interesting.

Couple boredom with a problem to be solved and sometimes the outcome is progress. It was a good thing Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden, because paradise had to have been tedious. With no problems to constructively occupy their time, Adam and Eve were bound to get into trouble. It is no accident that the majority of human progress comes not from idyllic environments but from those in which the basics of survival—sustenance, shelter, warmth—are not readily available and must be obtained by the application of brain power to ostensibly unforgiving surroundings.

While the solitary genius figure exercises an attraction in both history and lore, the acquisition of most knowledge is more prosaic. It’s usually a numbers, trial-and-error, and networking game. With tribes dispersed around the globe, chances are that other Thags made the same discovery at around the same time. Given fire’s useful properties—heat, light, cooking, weaponry—once tamed the knowledge probably spread like, well, wildfire. It also prompted further discoveries. Heat up certain rocks and metal ores drip out that can be forged into arrowheads, blades, ornaments, ploughs, and so on. These new innovations allowed hunter-gatherers to become farmers, who generated surpluses that led to communications, trade, and eventually, writing and numbers.

The linchpin of discovery and innovation is dispersion of knowledge. While knowledge can be kept secret, mostly it’s a public good. Its spread in human communities can be likened to a beehive. The swarm seeks pollen and individual bees returns to the hive to let the other bees know what they did or did not find. It’s a numbers game: the more bees, the more trial and error, the bigger the network, and the greater the chance of success.

The exponential inflection point for the dispersion of human knowledge and hence, innovation, came with Gutenberg’s printing press in 1440. By dramatically decreasing the cost and increasing the scope of information dispersal, Gutenberg unlocked minds that had been trapped in dogma promulgated by the religious and political elite. Change was glacial during the Middle Ages, but in a comparatively short time the Reformation, Renaissance, and Enlightenment swept Europe. It was if a beehive went from 10 to 10,000 bees overnight: that many more questions, hypotheses, and trials and errors; that much more intellectual cross-pollination (pun intended), and a network that was no longer just those in one’s immediate vicinity, but which encompassed the entirety of Europe, and later, America.

This intellectual revolution was a direct threat to the Church and the state, bastions of unmerited privilege and inflexible, self-serving doctrine. While certain individuals were condemned and persecuted, it was the newly empowered swarm that posed the danger. Luther, Galileo, and others challenged the powers because their challenges were quickly and widely disseminated. What they planted required fertile soil—an audience. Given this intellectual upheaval, it was inevitable that someone would ask why, if individuals could think for themselves, they could also not govern themselves? It took a few centuries, but eventually the swarm overcame the elite.

The twentieth century marked both the resurgence of state-based elites and paradoxically, their inability to stop the swarm. Ironically, as defenders of orthodoxy, privilege, and the status quo, institutions of higher education and the legacy media supplanted the church. The swarm is questioning the steadily declining value of both, and eventually they will be rejected and either reconstituted or replaced entirely.

The swarm continues to expand and disseminate knowledge, notwithstanding governments’ best efforts to stop it. Despite two barbaric global wars and countless smaller ones, totalitarian regimes responsible for the suffering and deaths of hundreds of millions, welfare states that penalize the productive for the benefit of the unproductive, and the widespread intellectual and cultural embrace of statist doctrines, the swarm devises workarounds and progress proceeds.

Government began as a protection racket. Now it’s the chief threat to the physical, economic, and legal security of much of the world, and workarounds are popping up everywhere. Computerization and the internet, Gutenberg’s progeny, have dramatically lowered the cost, expanded the scope, and widened the availability of privately generated information. Cryptocurrencies and precious metals are viable alternatives to government scrip, and afford users far more privacy. There are huge global black markets in drugs, weapons, and many other goods and services (more enlightened jurisdictions are taking halting steps towards legalizing some of this commerce). Devolutionary politics are a response to the monstrously bloated, centralized governments that are impeding the swarm.

The question remains how far governments will go. Stopping the swarm is akin to standing outside a beehive and trying to shoot all the bees as they leave. The more stupidly retrograde governments, which may well include that of the United States, will take their positions, shotguns in hand. However, the power of any government is derivative and depends on the swarm. More enlightened governments will let the bees fly and enjoy the honey. The Eurasian political and economic alliance Russia and China are spearheading may prove a notable example.

Stupid, retrograde governments could destroy the world and end the planet’s most successful species. Short of that, substantial ructions that wreak havoc on present arrangements, the consequences of past stupidity, appear inevitable. However, while knowledge is not immutable, it has a tendency to survive, especially when widely dispersed among the swarm. Thus, there’s reason for optimism. The forces of ignorance, violence, destruction, and death have fought countless battles against the swarm, and while it has had its defeats, the swarm has always won—the world’s population is over seven billion—and knowledge has expanded. No matter how bleak things look, the betting odds again favor the swarm.

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Trump, Russia, and NATO: Why Tiny Montenegro’s Not Tiny Now, by Ted Snider

Probably 99 percent of Americans can’t find Montenegro on a map, but America’s sons and daughters are now pledged to fight and die for it, if need be. From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

Donald Trump has just approved Montenegro’s accession into NATO. Montenegro is a tiny nation, and its inclusion doesn’t significantly change the abilities of NATO, but it’s inclusion is huge, and its meaning is significant and clear to Russia.

As the curtain rose on the Donald Trump presidency, the script promised an administration that would warm to Russia and cool to NATO.

The first few scenes did not consistently unfold that way, though. Despite the opening months being crammed with allegations of Russian communications, conspiracies, and cooperations, as recent American actions in Syria have highlighted, the early steps of the new government were, often, hostile to Russia and encouraging to NATO.

Immediately upon assuming the role of Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis called NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to assure him of America’s commitment to “the fundamental and enduring value of NATO for the security of both Europe and North America.” While they were talking, NATO was building up its forces along Russia’s borders as German and Belgian troops moved into Lithuania supposedly to act as a deterrent against Russian incursions. In mid-February, 500 U.S. troops deployed to Romania and another 120 were deployed to Bulgaria as part of the NATO operation known as Atlantic Resolve. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexi Meshkov, revealed Russia’s interpretation of the NATO buildup when he said, “This deployment is of course a threat for us.”

At the same time, 300 US marines were arriving in Norway 900 miles from the Russian border. Russia criticized the move as having no military benefit beyond antagonizing Russia. When Norway joined NATO as a founding member, they made the commitment not to host any foreign forces because of Russian concerns that Norway could serve as a launching ground for an attack on Russia.

At the end of January, US tanks and armored vehicles that were part of a 3,500 troop contingent fired salvos into the air in Poland. General Ben Hodges, the commander of the US Army in Europe, said, “this is not just a training exercise. It’s to demonstrate a strategic message that you cannot violate the sovereignty of members of NATO … Moscow will get the message — I’m confident of it.”

To continue reading: Trump, Russia, and NATO: Why Tiny Montenegro’s Not Tiny Now