Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for July 16th, 2004

109003656848405234

Posted by Mark on July 16, 2004

Perspectives: Victor Davis Hanson

Whom to Blame?

History�s Verdict
The summers of 1944 and 2004.

About
this time 60 years ago, six weeks after the Normandy beach landings,
Americans were dying in droves in France. We think of the 76-day
Normandy campaign of summer and autumn 1944 as an astounding American
success � and indeed it was, as Anglo-American forces cleared much of
France of its Nazi occupiers in less than three months. But the outcome
was not at all preordained, and more often was the stuff of great
tragedy. Blunders were daily occurrences � resulting in 2,500 Allied
casualties a day. In any average three-day period, more were killed,
wounded, or missing than there have been in over a year in Iraq.

Pre-invasion
intelligence � despite ULTRA and a variety of brilliant analysts who
had done so well to facilitate our amphibious landings � had no idea of
what war in the hedgerows would be like. How can you spend months
spying out everything from beach sand to tidal currents and not invest
a second into investigating the nature of the tank terrain a few miles
from the beach? The horrific result was that the Allies were utterly
unprepared for the disaster to come � and died by the thousands in the
bocage of June and July.

Everything went wrong in the days after
June 6, and 60 years later the carnage should still make us weep. The
army soon learned that their light Sherman tanks were no match for Nazi
Panthers and Tigers. Hundreds of their “Ronson-lighters” � crews and
all � went up in smoke. Indeed, 60 percent of all lost Shermans were
torched by single shots from enemy Panzers. In contrast, only one in
three of the Americans’ salvos even penetrated German armor.

Prewar
America had the know-how to build big, well-armored tanks, with diesel
engines, wide tracks, and low silhouettes. Yet General George Marshall
had deliberately chosen lighter, cheaper designs � the idea being that
thousands of mass-produced, easily maintained 32-ton Shermans could run
over enemy infantry before encountering a rarer, superior 43-ton
Panther or 56-ton Tiger. Should he have been removed for such naivet�,
which led to thousands of American dead? Whom to blame?

Similar
blunders ensured that Americans had inferior anti-tank weapons, machine
guns, and mortars when they met the seasoned Wehrmacht. On the Normandy
battlefield itself, on at least three occasions, faulty communications,
tactical breakdowns, bad intelligence, and simple operational laxity
resulted in Americans blown apart by their own heavy bombers as they
were trying to facilitate breakouts. Almost as many Allied soldiers
were casualties in a collective few hours of misplaced bombing than all
those killed so far in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Generals Eisenhower
and Bradley probably miscalculated German intentions at Argentan, and
thus allowed thousands of veteran Germans to escape the Falaise Gap in
August. Tens of thousands of these reprieved Panzers would regroup to
kill thousands more Americans later that year. Whom to blame?

The
subsequent Battle of the Bulge was a result of a colossal American
intelligence failure. Somehow 250,000 Nazis, right under the noses of
the Americans, were able to mount a counteroffensive with absolute
surprise. For all of our own failure to account for the missing WMD, so
far an enemy army of 250,000 has not, as it once did in December 1945,
assembled unnoticed a few miles from our theater base camps. Whom to
blame?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Mark on July 16, 2004

Terror in the Skies, Again? – WomensWallStreet 

A frightening story, if true. Very much worth reading.

Here’s a taste:

 

On June 29, 2004, at 12:28 p.m., I flew on Northwest Airlines flight #327 from Detroit to Los Angeles with my husband and our young son.  Also on our flight were 14 Middle Eastern men between the ages of approximately 20 and 50 years old.  What I experienced during that flight has caused me to question whether the United States of America can realistically uphold the civil liberties of every individual, even non-citizens, and protect its citizens from terrorist threats.

On that Tuesday, our journey began uneventfully. Starting out that morning in Providence, Rhode Island, we went through security screening, flew to Detroit, and passed the time waiting for our connecting flight to Los Angeles by shopping at the airport stores and eating lunch at an airport diner. With no second security check required in Detroit we headed to our gate and waited for the pre-boarding announcement. Standing near us, also waiting to pre-board, was a group of six Middle Eastern men. They were carrying blue passports with Arabic writing. Two men wore tracksuits with Arabic writing across the back. Two carried musical instrument cases – thin, flat, 18 long. One wore a yellow T-shirt and held a McDonald’s bag. And the sixth man had a bad leg — he wore an orthopedic shoe and limped.  When the pre-boarding announcement was made, we handed our tickets to the Northwest Airlines agent, and walked down the jetway with the group of men directly behind us.

My four-year-old son was determined to wheel his carry-on bag himself, so I turned to the men behind me and said, You go ahead, this could be awhile. No, you go ahead, one of the men replied. He smiled pleasantly and extended his arm for me to pass. He was young, maybe late 20’s and had a goatee.   I thanked him and we boarded the plan.

Once on the plane, we took our seats in coach (seats 17A, 17B and 17C). The man with the yellow shirt and the McDonald’s bag sat across the aisle from us (in seat 17E). The pleasant man with the goatee sat a few rows back and across the aisle from us (in seat 21E).  The rest of the men were seated throughout the plane, and several made their way to the back.  


As we sat waiting for the plane to finish boarding, we noticed another large group of Middle Eastern men boarding.  The first man wore a dark suit and sunglasses. He sat in first class in seat 1A, the seat second-closet to the cockpit door.  The other seven men walked into the coach cabin.  As aware Americans, my husband and I exchanged glances, and then continued to get comfortable.  I noticed some of the other passengers paying attention to the situation as well.  As boarding continued, we watched as, one by one, most of the Middle Eastern men made eye contact with each other.  They continued to look at each other and nod, as if they were all in agreement about something. I could tell that my husband was beginning to feel anxious. 

 

Much more on the link, read the whole thing.

So, is it true? Don’t know.  Has that Urban Legend sort of feel to it, but then again….

Michelle Malkin is running it down, as are others in the blogosphere.  Stay tuned.

 For more info, and other links, check out Hugh Hewitt’s website.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

109001843410953308

Posted by Mark on July 16, 2004

Terror in the Skies, Again? – WomensWallStreet 
A frightening story, if true. Very much worth reading.
Here’s a taste:
 
On June 29, 2004, at 12:28 p.m., I flew on Northwest Airlines flight #327 from Detroit to Los Angeles with my husband and our young son.  Also on our flight were 14 Middle Eastern men between the ages of approximately 20 and 50 years old.  What I experienced during that flight has caused me to question whether the United States of America can realistically uphold the civil liberties of every individual, even non-citizens, and protect its citizens from terrorist threats.
On that Tuesday, our journey began uneventfully. Starting out that morning in Providence, Rhode Island, we went through security screening, flew to Detroit, and passed the time waiting for our connecting flight to Los Angeles by shopping at the airport stores and eating lunch at an airport diner. With no second security check required in Detroit we headed to our gate and waited for the pre-boarding announcement. Standing near us, also waiting to pre-board, was a group of six Middle Eastern men. They were carrying blue passports with Arabic writing. Two men wore tracksuits with Arabic writing across the back. Two carried musical instrument cases – thin, flat, 18 long. One wore a yellow T-shirt and held a McDonald’s bag. And the sixth man had a bad leg — he wore an orthopedic shoe and limped.  When the pre-boarding announcement was made, we handed our tickets to the Northwest Airlines agent, and walked down the jetway with the group of men directly behind us.
My four-year-old son was determined to wheel his carry-on bag himself, so I turned to the men behind me and said, You go ahead, this could be awhile. No, you go ahead, one of the men replied. He smiled pleasantly and extended his arm for me to pass. He was young, maybe late 20’s and had a goatee.   I thanked him and we boarded the plan.
Once on the plane, we took our seats in coach (seats 17A, 17B and 17C). The man with the yellow shirt and the McDonald’s bag sat across the aisle from us (in seat 17E). The pleasant man with the goatee sat a few rows back and across the aisle from us (in seat 21E).  The rest of the men were seated throughout the plane, and several made their way to the back.  

As we sat waiting for the plane to finish boarding, we noticed another large group of Middle Eastern men boarding.  The first man wore a dark suit and sunglasses. He sat in first class in seat 1A, the seat second-closet to the cockpit door.  The other seven men walked into the coach cabin.  As aware Americans, my husband and I exchanged glances, and then continued to get comfortable.  I noticed some of the other passengers paying attention to the situation as well.  As boarding continued, we watched as, one by one, most of the Middle Eastern men made eye contact with each other.  They continued to look at each other and nod, as if they were all in agreement about something. I could tell that my husband was beginning to feel anxious. 
 
Much more on the link, read the whole thing.
So, is it true? Don’t know.  Has that Urban Legend sort of feel to it, but then again….
Michelle Malkin is running it down, as are others in the blogosphere.  Stay tuned.
 For more info, and other links, check out Hugh Hewitt’s website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Mark on July 16, 2004

A Plug for Hugh Hewitt’s newest.

Great Read for both sides of the aisle.

Like myself, Professor Hewitt sees the War as the pivotal issue for years to come.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

109003699390284815

Posted by Mark on July 16, 2004

A Plug for Hugh Hewitt’s newest.

Great Read for both sides of the aisle.

Like myself, Professor Hewitt sees the War as the pivotal issue for years to come.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »