Saturday, June 23, 2018

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: Flash Gordon - 3 Episodes from 1935

About Flash Gordon 26 show serial. Short shows, so I put up three.

On the Planet Mongo:

Battling a Planet and an Earthman

The Prison Ship:

The remainder of the series can be found here.

On Midrats 24 June 2018 - Episode 442: Midrats Mid-Summer Free For All

Please join us at 5pm EDT on 24 June 2018 for Episode 442: Midrats Mid-Summer Free For All
We're back live to catch up on all your maritime and natsec issues
bubbling to the surface this summer. From the migrant crisis in the Med, Russians in the high north, to the infrastructure crunch in the Pacific - we'll cover it all.

This is also your time to have us address the topics you find of interest. We're taking calls and questions in the chat room. It's a live show ... so now's your chance.

Open phone, open topic, all you need to bring is an open mind.

Join us live if you can or pick the show up later by clicking here. Or you can also pick the show up later by visiting either our iTunes page or our Stitcher page.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Modest Proposal - Helping Prevent Refugees - Time for more "Humanitarian Intervention?"

So, we have this crisis on our borders in that many people seem to want to skip the formalities of legally entering the U.S. and just walk on in, because whatever hell-hole they have traveled from is too awful to bear any longer. Naturally, humanitarian impulses suggest that our sympathies ought to lie with these folks. After all some suggest that the writing on the Statue of Liberty says we simply have to take in such people, regardless of their status as "undocumented" or "trespassers" on U.S. soil. The holy writ of Emma Lazarus reading in part:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
First of all, I have not now nor have I ever been involved in tossing either "wretched refuse" or "the homeless," despite my last name. Heck, I am pretty certain all my ancestors came from foreign shores, some arriving earlier than others. Indeed, some were here and participated in severing "repressive" British rule over the U.S.

The overthrow of a repressive regime brings me to one of those once fashionable ideas, about which I have written before in The Drumbeat of "Humanitarian Intervention?" in which Susan Rice suggested that it was okay for some nations to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries who fail to take care of or actually abuse their least-favored residents. Here, discussing "doing something" in Darfur in 2009, Ms. Rice was quoted by the WaPo,
Regarding the "ongoing genocide" in Darfur, Sudan, Rice said the U.S. priority for the moment is reinforcing a U.N.-backed peacekeeping mission to protect civilians. She expressed concern that Sudan's government may retaliate against international peacekeepers and aid workers if the International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant on genocide charges for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. (emphasis mine)
So, it appears to be okay to send in troops "to protect citizens" of a foreign country.  Of course, as I noted in that earlier post, Humanitarian Intervention (HI) is not a new thing
In the last decade of the 20th Century such "invasions to save lives" include Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, and Sierra Leone. In the world of the people who support such interventions, the U.S. led invasion of Iraq was not a humanitarian intervention because. . . well, because. In fact, Human Rights Watch asserted that the saving of thousands of Iraqis from Saddam's terror "gives humanitarian intervention a bad name."
So, if it was good enough for Darfur, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc, why are we not setting up to do some HI in those third-world places the refugees lining up to violate our borders come from to get away from the terror of their native lands? Surely such an HI would solve our border issues. It would keep families together in their own homes and, I am sure, win us near universal acclaim as protectors of the innocent and saviors of thousands if not millions of people.

Well, current info seems hard to come by, but here is a 2014 chart of nations of origin of (gasp!) illegal immigrants:

I guess we should start with the biggest source first and perform an HI in Mexico. Then El Salvador, Guatemala, and so on down the list until we have made the world safe for people to stay in their homes. I suppose China, India, Korea, and Canada might be a little surprised to find a flotilla of Humanitarian Interventionists off their coasts, but once you start on this mission, you just can't call it quits, .

Of course, if the intervention gets ugly, we might just generate more refugees, but it's okay if our motives are pure.

Apologies to Dean Swift, though my suggestion is less extreme than his.

But, wait, perhaps we could just set up some organized process through people could apply for admission to the U.S. and have some sort of sanction for those who try to jump the line. Let me think that over.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Friday Film: Preparations for D-Day

Newsreel coverage of the effort leading up to the June 6, 1944 landings in France. Since the film was released well after the landings, I have delayed the posting of this video until today.

Monday, June 04, 2018

U. S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report 30 April - 30 May 2018 and HORN OF AFRICA/GULF OF GUINEA/ SOUTHEAST ASIA: Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly (PAWW) Report for 24 - 30 May 2018

Battle of Midway June 3 - 6, 1942

Though the dates of the battle are as set out above, the groundwork was laid out long before, as set out in Mark Munson's THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY: THE COMPLETE INTELLIGENCE STORY:
At the root of the American victory at Midway was U.S. Navy intelligence successfully breaking Japanese codes and discovering the Japanese Navy’s plans to attack Midway Atoll.

Station Hypo was the team of U.S. signals intelligence (SIGINT) analysts led by then-Commander Joseph “Joe” Rochefort. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, Station Hypo began attempting to decode messages transmitted using the JN-25 code. By late April, Rochefort’s team assessed that the Japanese were planning major operations against the central Pacific and Aleutians. In a famous trick, Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Chester Nimitz approved a ruse proposed by Rochefort that saw the American garrison at Midway send a fake message “in the clear” (on open channels) regarding broken water evaporator units on the island. Almost immediately afterward, American listening posts intercepted Japanese transmissions mentioning the water shortage and the need to bring along extra water to support the operation. The identity of the Japanese objective was conclusively determined as Midway.
Then it became a matter of positioning the remaining U.S. Pacific forces in a position to engage the enemy.

Much more on the battle at the Navy History and Heritage Command here.
More here, apparently written when the breaking of the Japanese codes was still highly classified, th
fter leaving Pearl Harbor, these two task forces refueled at sea and effected their rendezvous northeast of Midway on June 2d. The combined force then proceeded under the command of Admiral Fletcher to an area of operation north of Midway.

On full consideration, it had been decided not to employ the battleships on the West Coast in defense of Midway. To strike at long range at the enemy carrier force was deemed imperative, and it was therefore thought unwise to divert from the forces supporting our carriers the ships which would be necessary to screen battleships.

Admiral Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, believed that the Japanese plans were designed to trap a portion of our fleet. For that reason he directed that only strong attrition tactics be employed, and that our carriers and cruisers not be unduly risked. To understand the Midway Battle, one should remember that our naval forces operated under a conservative policy necessitated by the superiority of the enemy's force, and under the restraint imposed by the defense of a fixed point.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Saturday is Old Radio Day: D-Day as it was heard on 6 June 1944

NBC coverage:

Art from the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command's D-Day Normandy, this piece by Mitchell Jamieson, 1944.

Radio broadcasts are from Internet Archive and consist of several hours of actual NBC broadcasts. The show will automatically move to the next segment.

Re-posted from 2015.

On Midrats 3 June 2018 -Episode 439: American Strategic Myths Through the Lens of Star Wars

Please join us at 5pm EDT on 3 June 2018 for Midrats Episode 439: American Strategic Myths Through the Lens of Star Wars
There is a long and successful record of fiction, especially science fiction, being
instructive about history, human nature, and the eternal course of events.

Fiction, of course, gets its inspiration from reality - a two way road.

What do the Star Wars movies have to tell us about some of the comfortable myths we may see in American military and strategic thought?

Using his latest article at the Modern War Institute, our guest for the full hour returning to Midrats will be Maj. ML Cavanaugh is a non-resident fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, and co-edited the book, with author Max Brooks, Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict, from Potomac Books.
Join us live if you can or pick the show up later by clicking here. Or you can also pick the show up later by visiting either our iTunes page or our Stitcher page.