The BBC's 1964 Masterpiece "The Great War"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXhiagFG8KE&list=PLZ9uFPWla3XAfs2PmZkwiWe7DEm9PwhEs

Of all the events of the Twentieth Century, it is the First World War that has had the most dramatic and longest-lasting impact on the psyche of Western civilization, more so than all the events that followed.   For anyone with an abiding interest in that war, the 1964 BBC documentary The Great War is an invaluable reference to understanding.  Narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave, the 26-part documentary is a superbly-crafted work.  The tenor of the broadcasts reflects the erosion of the naïve hopes of the warring parties in 1914 into the grim fatalism that the years of slaughter evoked, and the upheaval that would ultimately topple the crowned heads of Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Serbia.  BBC producers make excellent use of voice to read the actual words of the key participants such as Edward Grey, Bethmann-Hollweg, Conrad von Hotzendorf, Joffre, Haig, Falkenhayn, and others.  The series features remarkable and little-seen motion footage of the world of 1914-18, including the civilians, the politicians, the armies, and the great battles of that war.   The battle footage heavily emphasizes the two great killers of that war (in inverse order), the machine gun, and modern breech-loading recoil-dampened artillery.

Of note also are the poignant, and sometimes extremely moving, interviews with the participants of events of the great tragedy.  Some had been in the thick of the fighting, others young subalterns or staff officers at the sleeve of the decision-makers.   Most remarkably, the BBC managed to produce a documentary about momentous events that changed the world and yet also managed to allow the viewer insight into the inestimable human tragedy that these events summoned.   At the time of the release of The Great War, those events were closer in time to the audience than the beginning of the Vietnam War is to our contemporary world.   The twenty-six episodes are around forty minutes each.  Worth every second of the time spent.

Oh, and as the credits roll at the end of each episode, one can spot the name of a very young (19 years old) contributor named Max Hastings.

"We are here from Mexico and came by train"

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NBC News tells us that ISIS propaganda leaflets have been found near Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA.  Which also happens to be the location of the FBI Academy.  The leaflets reportedly announce in Arabic that “We are here from Mexico and came by train”.

But I am sure there isn’t anything to worry about.   In fact, I am positive that they are counterfeit.  Why?

Because the folks at DHS have already told us that suggestions that ISIS terrorists have crossed the deliberately wide-open Southwestern US Border are “categorically false”.  And that “DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border”

That makes me feel better.

Because the chances of Ebola reaching US shores is “unlikely”.    Al-Nusrah Islamic extremists are “moderate”.  The Benghazi attacks were not terrorism.  The IRS scandal was only low-level employees in Cincinnati.  Fast and Furious was started under Bush.  The Obamas didn’t know about Jeremiah Wright’s racist, anti-Semitic rants.  The biggest terrorist threat to the US is from white male Veterans who believe in the Constitution.  Global warming exists and is Man’s fault.   If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.  The unemployment rate is dropping.  We can trust Iran not to build nukes.  This Administration isn’t anti-Israel.  The CIA didn’t tell the President about ISIS.   Voter ID laws are unpopular.   No lobbyists hold policy jobs.   This will be the most transparent Presidency ever.

So however could I doubt Jeh Johnson and his razor-sharp spokespeople at DHS when they tell me something such as terrorists crossing our open borders is “categorically false”?   It’s not like Johnson’s skin color played any part in being hired as DHS Secretary, because race is never an issue with this White House.

These leaflets may be forgeries, and represent nothing more than someone’s idea of a prank.  Then again, they may be the genuine article.   Whatever, the one thing we can count on from the Obama Administration is full disclosure of the truth, regardless of any embarrassment that it might cause.  It isn’t as if they would lie to the American people, would they?

 

Secondary

As we’ve noted a time or two, the steel armor of a combat vehicle doesn’t burn. But damn near everything else on board will. Artillery self propelled guns are especially vulnerable. As soon as one round cooks off, the rest are sure to go in a sympathetic detonation.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blcMsqIi4J8]

H/T: Funkers 350

Panetta Jumps Ship

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Former SECDEF and CIA Director Leon Panetta has released an excerpt from his memoirs, Worthy Fights, in which he lays out precisely what nearly everyone who paid any attention at all (to someone other than Chris Matthews, at least) in the last four years knew to be true.  Obama cut and ran from Iraq for domestic political reasons.  The WAPO, of all places, has the story.

(Michele) Flournoy argued our case, and those on our side viewed the White House as so eager to rid itself of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw rather than lock in arrangements that would preserve our influence and interests.

Barack Obama threw away a victory paid for with the blood of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.  He did so with the cavalier disregard of someone discarding old socks.   Obama rendered the blood and sacrifice of our service men and women moot.   Watching ISIS roll over Anbar Province, taking control of places whose names evoke such strong emotion in those who were there, Ramadi and Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit, engendered in me a seething anger that has not really dissipated.   Anger at Barack Hussein Obama for his dereliction of duty, and for the Useful Idiots who believed his far-fetched fabrications, and who yet refuse to place responsibility for ISIS and Iraq’s current troubles on the man whose blithe and egregious neglect of his responsibilities brought on precisely what he was warned about.  It must be akin to a Vietnam Veteran watching the fall of Saigon.

Maybe it was Leon Panetta’s time in uniform (He was a United States Army Intelligence Officer) that would not allow him to ignore the despicable falsehoods perpetrated by his boss, especially when he knew the price that had been paid for the gains Obama was throwing away.  Whichever, Panetta puts paid to the lies of this Administration regarding ISIS and his headlong skedaddle from Iraq.  Panetta goes further.

To this day, I believe that a small U.S. troop presence in Iraq could have effectively advised the Iraqi military on how to deal with al-Qaeda’s resurgence and the sectarian violence that has engulfed the country.

Barack Obama has not told the truth about a single act or decision he has made.  His is the most malignant, corrosive, dishonest, and damaging presidency in the history of our nation.   The blood of the mass murders committed daily in Iraq is largely on his hands.  Not that he cares.  He got re-elected.  Much to this great nation’s detriment.

“The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world.”     – Ayn Rand

Do you even tank, bro?

M1A1TrkTrror commented on an earlier post about the Free Syrian Army

Everything I’ve seen from the Syrian army shows they don’t know how to tank at all. A lone tank sitting buttoned up and exposed isn’t something I put past them.

And quite often, that’s the case.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgpsOO_MRB8?feature=player_detailpage]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y231cCAchR8?feature=player_detailpage]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E3wSHMXvWY?feature=player_detailpage]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCJu-iG0S5U?feature=player_detailpage]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkqQL5yOW7U?feature=player_detailpage]

There’s a fairly eclectic mix of Russian and Chinese Anti-tank Guided Missiles. And I’ll not that in spite of much Alan Snackbar going on, several seem to have not been catastrophic kills.

Tomorrow I’ll link a long video, from the FSA, that actually shows the Syrian Army tanking pretty well.