Category Archives: History

Rewriting History to Fit Your Ideology

The Suffocation of Democracy

I read a preliminary description of a book as this author has written. I have to wonder, how can he refer to himself as a historian? This book is nothing more than his distorted view of history to fit his politics. Imagine how this would read if the author actually gave a factual explanation of history instead of as a means to bash individuals or political party? I was unable to find this book on Amazon.

Adolf_Hitler_Buckeburg_1937

When I listen, read or watch someone compare the current political climate in the USA to Nazi Germany, this is when almost all credibility of an individual is lost. Plain and simple, we are not living in a fascist state, nor are we in any immediate danger of that being introduced, not from the Trump administration or the current crop of Congressional GOP. To make such a claim is either incredibly naïve or highly motivated deceptive political misappropriation. In fact I’m amazed this person refers to himself as a historian. Hysterical yes, historian no.

The author’s references and description of current USA politics with respect to Nazi Germany is fallacious. The author claims that United States isolationism of the 1920’s & ’30’s can be compared to conservatism today.

Our current Congress and President has nothing in common with Nazi Germany and Hitler. Making these assertions as if they’re facts isn’t harmful, but taken collectively, incite destructive emotional behavior and a disconnect from reality.

Hitlers-manifest-ramblingsIt’s another attempt to tabulate and correlate all of the popular political prejudices. It plays to an audience, like Hitler did in his speeches, with a lack of historical depth to document his incredibly naïve or misleading suppositions.

History is complicated and a detailed topic. I dislike the use of it to portray events and people with incorrect information in order to claim special insight. This author’s technique isn’t unusual, I’ve seen other people take advantage of the lack of knowledge of most people and infuse it with their offbeat pronouncements or comparisons.

The 20th century was one of the worst centuries in recorded history. Scarred by two global conflicts, many violent regime changes, and the displacement of millions of refugees, it was rife with villainy and intrigue. No era, or major human endeavor operates in isolation. In order to dispel some of the myths which this author, Christopher R. Browning begins to weave, I will attempt to explain topics which need much more depth than many will care to read. I’m not going to bother tackling his anti-Trump, anti-GOP, anti-Mitch McConnell statements. To do so really does nothing to get at the core of his writing, and almost anyone that reads this has their mind made up about the GOP and Trump, anyways.

Let’s examine the United States historical position on isolationism. This alone is a huge topic, because much of the stage was set from our previous conflicts, the Civil War, Spanish American War, and World War I. 

The United States has been involved with one war or another since its inception. The Civil War was an unavoidable, bloody conflict, leaving the worst human losses for our country to date. I’m not going to spend time on it’s cause or reasons, just know that many older people, including veterans were still living well into the first two decades of the twentieth century. That left an indelible memory for all those who lived through it.

In the closing period of the 19th century we had the brief Spanish American War. That’s one of those conflicts that should have been avoided, but it gave the US some of that false bravado we liked to get caught up in.  World War I wasn’t anything like the quick and relatively bloodless Spanish American War. The European war started 3 years before we decided to enter it. From our involvement, we gained a taste of what a world wide conflict could begin to look like, and there were a lot of men that came back from that war damaged physically and mentally.

As a response to the horrors of WWI, and the distant memories of the Civil War, many people in the US wanted nothing to do with the insanity of future international conflicts. Japan was soon engaged in their territorial scuffles, and Spain was in full scale revolt in the ’30’s. We had just put behind us, our memories of the conflict with Spain, and here they were, fighting among themselves, which potentially could start another European war. Germany was using this opportunity to perfect tactics they would use in a few more years in eastern Europe. We wanted nothing to do with another war. So, isolationism was the prevalent disposition in Washington.

Trying to discuss 20th century trade wars, and place them in context with current policies isn’t relevant. What was important, and set the stage for the world wide depression in the late 1920’s and 1930’s is where politics and economics came together and added fuel to the hate cauldron of Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler was the perfect scoundrel to take advantage and replace a broken democratic republic with a fascist regime.

For reasons he doesn’t indicate in this write up (click on link at top of this post for reference), we might see some form of totalitarianism in this country if we continue to add annual deficits. The financial disarray is only part of the conditions which beleaguered post WWI Nazi Germany. 

Hitler achieved power and control for several reasons. If you wish to make comparisons to contemporary USA, you would have to understand the vast differences, as well.

1 – Germany was in financial ruin from World War I. The repayments demanded of it through the League of Nations, Treaty of Versailles, plus their own inability to recover through their own initiatives signaled their downward spiral. They diluted the currency, and ended up with hyper inflation. “Quantitative easing” is a favored technique of our central bank and endorsed by elected officials.

Their, “economic easing” began with more Reich Marks put into circulation. This came to a horrible end, as all of these inflationary death spirals do, hastened by over speculation and a collapse in trust of the currency. People were literally using wheel barrows filled with currency to buy bread.

2 – From the ashes of crisis the “savior arises”. As many times as these comparisons emerge, Trump and Hitler are not even close to the same person. So, if you can’t or won’t see the obvious differences, then no amount of reading or reasoning will work for you, and I’m truly sorry. For the rest of those who care to read on… Adolf Hitler came from a broken home. Never really became educated, and usually never finished what he started. He failed at labor, no craftsmanship. He had limited artistic skills, and he seemed to even have problems with obtaining and sustaining male & female relationships. In short, he was a born loser. For all you Trump haters out there, and those of you who want to believe the lopsided view of his business skills or his male & female relationships, he’s really a polar opposite of Hitler. Then, because conditions were just right, Hitler became a phoenix. Germany was a proud state, still had many veterans who believed their country sold them out. Many believed in the myth that the only reasons they lost WWI was due to their political leadership giving in to the people who wanted peace. Adolf_Hitler_politician_1921

3 – This is where we are much different in the USA from Germany in the 1920’s & 30’s. The country was broke, both in spirit and in economics.

Hitler’s behavior was closer to what we see from Antifa, or these other groups protesting with vagina hats. Crazy, rabble rousing behavior. Speaking at first to anyone who would listen in bars. He eventually caught the eye of another dysfunctional but wealthier and more influential man.

Hitler joined the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, later known as the Nazi Party. This political party was formed and developed during the post-World War I era.

It, along with Hitler rose to power very slowly at first throughout the 1920’s. Hitler was even arrested and imprisoned for his participation in a failed coup. The Germany of 1930’s was in a huge mess, and the vacuum of power permitted the Nazi’s to become participants in the national government. It’s difficult for anyone to watch him now, in those old propaganda films, but Hitler was considered a great orator. He knew how to wow the crowd. Yes, Trump has the ability to communicate, but he’s not in the league of spell binding speeches which Adolf Hitler could muster. Adolf_Hitler_Paris_1940

4 – Identify scape goats or shift the blame. Current politics in the US is in a free fall. There’s a definite crisis of leadership. I recognized it and saw it in the 2016 election process. If you’re honest, you should have seen both parties brought forth two candidates who for different reasons, should never have been the top of their party’s ticket. Well, that election happened, and despite the constant outcry from the die-hard Democrats, it’s over. They can look forward to midterms and 2020. Each party is blaming the other, and neither is acting in any mode other than trying to make the other team look bad and themselves look good. 

None the less this is not Germany in 1933 & ‘34. When Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, his rise to the top was meteoric. The Enabling Act passed in March 1933 gave Hitler total authority, and thereafter constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection. He had ultimate executive authority, because of their crisis. This is when and where you can see anyone who isn’t playing dirty with the facts and fails to realize the greater danger in that behavior was on full display with the previous Democrat administration. Here’s what one of them said to his President,

You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

Rahm Emanuel

President_Trump_podiumLet that sink in for a moment. While you want to think about ways the third Reich and the GOP are similar, may I suggest you do a lot more reading and consider for a moment that where we are now, isn’t anywhere near to Germany of the 1920’s or ‘30’s. We might find ourselves there at some unpredictable date in the future because of our fiscal irresponsibility. We’re just not there now. We don’t have Brown Shirts (look them up), we don’t have the SS, nor do we have a government as shady as what once was the Clinton administration.

References:

How Badly Has the Bible Been Corrupted?

We should always be in pursuit of the truth, no matter what the cost.

DaVinci atomatronic model graphic

emergence from the knowledge abyss

I know this might bother some people, because this challenges ideas which people have become comfortable. It’s far easier to think in terms of absolutes, than it is to recognize it’s complexity. Truth is like seeds in a flower, some seeds are good, some aren’t going to lead to another flower, and many are hidden.

That flower and seed description is simplified, but it’s a start to a huge discussion on theological / religious thought. I’m focusing on Christianity, but the texts, history, and beliefs of every major religion have been altered, evolved.

For example: the King James version of the Bible has had > 100,000 textual changes during the period of 1611 (1st edition) to 1769 (3rd edition). *1We can’t be absolutely certain the Bible you hold in your hands is exactly the same words and meanings as the original apostles and associates wrote.”

All original manuscripts have been lost. All manuscripts would have turned to dust by the 2nd century. Papyri- made from reed paper deteriorates over time, especially if handled.

The numerous variations of manuscripts, the presence of the vast number of manuscript commentary over multiple centuries, as well as the existence of many manuscripts, suggest there’s ample support for the desire to carry forward these stories.

The Codex book form wasn’t invented by Christians, but came into favor during the 1st century by them. Scrolls fell out of favor. Copies of the original manuscripts may be traced back to about 150 AD. This suggests the original texts can be traced back before the end of the 1st century. (For those that don’t follow – a manuscript copy doesn’t precede the original)

What common kinds of variants are found? Over 99% of the textual changes are spelling.
Egyptian godsWord order changes due to language rules. Greek word order can be accounted through inflection not necessarily rewording.

*1 Daniel Wallace biblical scholar and author speaking at Purdue University 2016

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Mark Twain on the Bible: “It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.

Why the Gospels are Myths

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What is more likely, a liar or a talking snake? A liar can make up a miracle story, and have it embellished by later authors / theologians. Why should any rational person believe absurd claims just because someone wrote it down thousands of years before?

An ounce of evidence is worth a pound of assumption? There’s no believable evidence that supports two people initiated all people on earth, and from them came all racial variations. Consider the moral and physiological problems associated with this type of family incest.

Where’s the evidence to back up these claims?

  • Snakes and donkeys don’t talk.
  • Bears don’t attack children because some old man was repeatedly called names by these youths, then asks deity to condemn these children to death for their insults.
  • Eight people can’t feed, clean up after thousands of animals confined together on a large boat
  • Those animals would have nothing to eat after the earth was claimed to be totally flooded. Brackish water kills most plant life.
  • Men don’t part water through their words.
  • Virgins don’t give birth.
  • People don’t walk on water.
  • People don’t come back from the grave after being dead for 3 days.

If you claim these things happened, then there needs to be more than continually referring back to this incredulous text as support evidence.

── The Myths Continue ──

 

 

Vietnam – brief personal history

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USMC Recruit Training October 1971 – I’m 2nd from left

I’ve seen a few Vietnam history posts over the years including an incorrect exit date memorial. As someone who served during this time, I’ve talked with enlisted and officers who served in Vietnam. I’ve taken a deep interest in the history. Ken Burns has done an excellent series on Vietnam, but it by no means is the last word.

+++ Operation Frequent Wind, was executed by the Marine Corps & Navy evacuation of South Vietnam – 29 April 1975. They moved over 50,000 people. Operation Frequent Wind was made late morning, 29 April 1975, Saigon. +++ Mike USMC Hawaii on the beach

The Vietnam War was a complicated extended conflict. Essentially the war we speak about began when the Japanese attacked China. After the Japanese defeat in WWII, it left a power vacuum in the region. This set the stage for a conflict lasting about 30 years.

After a 1963 generals’ coup against President Diem, the United States increased its military support for South Vietnam. President Johnson sent the first official U.S. combat forces to Vietnam in March of 1965. American military manpower peaked in 1969 with an in-country force of 534,000.

The Vietnam War officially ended in April 1975. It’s sometimes called the Second Indochina War or the American War. US combat and combat support operations ceased after January 1973.  21 January 1975 – Asked at a press conference if there were circumstances under which the United States might again actively participate in the Vietnam War U.S. President Gerald Ford said, “I cannot foresee any at the moment.” 28 January 1975 – President Ford asked Congress for an additional $522 million in military aid to assist South Vietnam and Cambodia. Ford said that North Vietnam now had 289,000 troops in South Vietnam and large numbers of tanks, artillery, and anti-aircraft weapons. Congress did not appropriate the money.

“The North Vietnamese army (PAVN) launched their Spring Offensive in March 1975. The South Vietnamese army (ARVN) was quickly defeated. The communist North Vietnamese captured Saigon on April 30, accepting the surrender of South Vietnam. In the final days of the war, the United States, which had supported South Vietnam for many years, carried out an emergency evacuation of its civilian and military personnel and more than 130,000 Vietnamese.

──»
*1 General Giap has published his memoirs and confirmed what most Americans knew. The Vietnam war was not lost in Vietnam — it was lost at home.

We paid a high price [during the TET offensive] but so did you [Americans]… not only in lives and material…. Do not forget the war was brought into the living rooms of the American people. … The most important result of the TET offensive was it made you deescalate the bombing, and it brought you to the negotiation table.”

It was, therefore, a victory….” “The war was fought on many fronts. At that time the most important one was American public opinion.”

°≡≡° “What we still don’t understand is why you Americans stopped the bombing of Hanoi .. You had us on the ropes. If you had pressed us a little harder, just for another day or two, we were ready to surrender! It was the same at the battle of TET. you defeated us! We knew it, and we thought you knew it.” °∙··°

But we were elated to notice your media was helping us. They were causing more disruption in America than we could in the battlefields. We were ready to surrender. You had won!” «──

──»
The first phase of the Southeast Asia operation was called Operation Eagle Pull. It was the United States military evacuation by air of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, beginning on 12 April 1975. Ambassador John Gunther Dean called for the evacuation of Americans from the city.

This is a 4 minute video on the fall of Saigon, 30 April 1975

Notes ——- *1 Snopes claims this is an incorrect quote. Sorry Snopes, I think you got it wrong this time. This information was previously publicly published. Did Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen Giap’s memoirs pin U.S. defeat in Vietnam on American anti-war reporting? 

Mike_Marines_75

Standing beside data & communications unit – 1975