Agnostic views & images I like

Thoughts about things on the web

Posts Tagged ‘World War II

End of the Silly Season?

with one comment

2008 Taipei City New Year Countdown Party: The...
Image via Wikipedia

I have a buddy who suggested to me this morning that the “silly season” is now over. So much for Xmas and New Year’s Eve.

Maybe that notion explains my own “silly season” which seems to be coming to an abrupt but not unpainful end. Sorry for the indirectness of these comments.

One unwelcome thing is happening these days for this user of VPN from a China based surfing laptop. I’m having lots of trouble accessing Twitter and Facebook. Twitter seems harder to access.

This morning I read an interesting essay about the reality of public apathy in Western democracies. The essay begs Americans to begin to protest more publicly and loudly about the fundamental injustice that has grown in the American economy in the wide gap between the wealth of the wealthiest vs. the rest.

One of the triggers for this essay is the obvious popularity of a small book in France written by a 93 yr old WW II hero and former French diplomat Stephane Hessel, “Indignez-vous!” Here is an excerpt:

Hessel’s book argues that French people should re-embrace the values of the French resistance, which have been lost, which was driven by indignation, and French people need to get outraged again.

Right now it seems to me that “Become Indignant” is almost too polite. The injustices in the present global economy are so extreme, in whatever country one considers, that indignation is not enough.

We, the people and unrich, have to find a way to fight this monopoly of power, political and financial, represented by the likes of Goldman Sachs in some real way. Why is it that the Tea Party in the US is supposed to represent public indignation. They suggest that it’s the govt that is wrong and working against the people. That’s just plainly wrong-headed.

Hessel’s thesis strikes me as much more relevant to us all than curiosities like the Tea Party.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/01/05 at 18:49

Who would’ve thunk it not so long ago, pre GWB!

with one comment

The western front of the United States Capitol...
Image via Wikipedia

A telling excerpt:

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Four Scenarios for the End of the American Century by 2025

by Alfred W. McCoy

A soft landing for America 40 years from now?  Don’t bet on it.  The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines.  If Washington is dreaming of 2040 or 2050 as the end of the American Century, a more realistic assessment of domestic and global trends suggests that in 2025, just 15 years from now, it could all be over except for the shouting.

Gosh, don’t tell Sarah P! She’ll go ballistic

Enhanced by Zemanta

1931, Sep 18 the Mukden Incident which started WW II in Manchuria

leave a comment »

The image below is one of a set of brilliant photography by Big Picture, my all time favorite source of excellent and memorable images. It shows the current state circa 2010 of the monument in Shenyang memorializing the Mukden Incident which was the first action of WW II in SE Asia:

This was the flash point in Manchuria which lit into a savage Sino-Japanese conflict which is still ill-remembered in China, 79 years after that event.

Update 2010/11/17

I travelled to Shenyang by train two weeks ago. The day was overcast in Dalian, but our air seemed clear enough. I can’t say as much for the air within 100 kms of Shenyang (the city of Anshan) and in Shenyang. Dark, foul looking and not a pretty site!

Is that bad air a relic of Shenyang’s heavy industry past, or just a continuation of a malign and ghostly Japanese presence? The last time I flew into Narita Airport, this past February, its air looked and smelt clean. So what is it about Shenyang? I guess it’s just dirty Chinese industry!

Japanese troops entering Shenyang, China durin...
Image via Wikipedia
Soldiers of Imperial Japanese Army leaving Oka...
Image via Wikipedia
Enhanced by Zemanta

Berlin 2010 and 1945 mixed in one image of the German Reichstag

leave a comment »

WW II German halftrack (Sd.Kfz251) at Reenactment
Image by NovaMan396 (walking wounded) via Flickr

Sergey Larenkov offers us a the result of “good Photoshop” work. In one image he neatly captures the present and past.

For me this brings back my short and tangential connection, in 1936 Spain and then 1939-40 France, with the Nazi war against civilization, or WW II in Europe and Greater Russia. It seems fitting that a Russian photograper would do this sort of remembrance of that awful time.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/08/20 at 13:24

It’s not likely that many readers of history will take much time

with one comment

American soldiers taking up defensive position...
Image via Wikipedia

to think back 65 years to November 1944 when Allied forces seemed to be bogged down in Western Europe and held back by a resilient Nazi ground force. Of course, that wasn’t the case on the Eastern Front where Soviet forces were mowing down the Nazi Wehrmacht on the ground and in the air.

But the point here is that an unlikely scenario is described in this NY Times Opinion piece titled “how WW II wasn’t won”. This is the first time I have heard of this controversial decision taken by Gen Eisenhower the Supreme Allied Commander that seemingly gave Hitlerian forces the brief space and time to launch the attack leading to the Battle of the Bulge, a bloody and cruel battle in Belgium around Bastogne to mention one key place held by a surrounded force of US paratroopers.

The backstory of this unlikely scenario is that Eisenhower shut down an effort to hook around the German forces by crossing the Rhine in the south. He may in effect have shut it down because of  a personality conflict with the commanding US general of Allied Forces on that Southern flank position. Go figure!

 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Previous exchanges in the USSR vs. other Eastern European countries were just the curtain raiser

leave a comment »

Stalin (in background to the right) looks on a...
Image via Wikipedia

It seems that the full blooded words are just beginning today on the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland and Danzig. Check out this link for the latest. And this is how the Guardian characterized verbal exchanges in Poland where official ceremonies were held.

Putin today condemned the Nazi-Soviet pact, but equated Stalin’s actions with those of western leaders at the time. “All attempts to appease the Nazis between 1934 and 1939 through various agreements and pacts were morally unacceptable,” Putin said. “We must admit these mistakes. Our country has done this.”

Adam Rotfeld, a former Polish foreign minister, described the Russian campaign in the run-up to today as “disgusting”. The Polish tabloid press has been screaming with indignation. “Russia! Apologise for your crimes!” said the banner headline in the Super Express. “Apologise for attacking Poland, for the Katyn genocide, for murdering our heroes, for sending Poles to Siberia.”

The Russians are particularly outraged over what they see as western attempts to equate Stalin with Hitler. “Those who falsify history forget the things they gained as the result of the Red Army‘s liberation campaign,” said Lavrov.

But “liberation” ushered in 45 years of repressive Soviet communism in Poland and the Baltic. Adam Michnik, a leading Polish intellectual, told the Russians: “For us, Stalin was a criminal and an aggressor. The creator of the lands of the gulag is entirely comparable with Hitler.”

Of course, a very credible British historian, Richard Overy, who is considered an expert on the Hitler and Stalin, did say very bluntly that the “victory of the Western Allies” over the German war machine, was largely set up by bloody war waged on Russian and Chinese soil.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/01 at 21:56

Seventy years ago on Sep 1, 1939

leave a comment »

An Arrow anti-ballistic missile interceptor
Image via Wikipedia

and as day broke on  the Polish-German border the armed forces of Germany invaded the sovereign territory of Poland in a full blooded invasion. On Sep 3, 1939 the British and French governments declared war on Germany after the latter failed to obey an ultimatum to stop its military operations in Poland and return to its own territory.

CBC Radio made this news announcement then:

Germany invades Poland

Broadcast Date: Sept. 1, 1939

“Germany has invaded Poland and has bombed many towns. General mobilization has been ordered in Britain and France.” The announcer in this BBC news report from Sept. 1, 1939 may sound calm and composed, but the news he’s delivering is deeply disturbing. With Germany’s attack on Poland, the Second World War has begun.

These actions followed several days after a pact of non-aggression and mutual military and economic support were signed in Moscow under the watchful eyes of Josef Stalin, the Soviet de facto dictator and head of state. The current Prime Minister of Russia, which is the main successor state after the disintegration of the USSR about 20 years ago, is now describing that pact as “immoral” and will be travelling to Poland to discuss several historical aspects of that sad time in Poland, the USSR and Germany.

It seems to be the view of Russia’s government that plans to install an American ABM system in Poland is as dangerous as conditions set in motion by the Hitler-Stalin pact of late August 1939.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/01 at 03:31