This brought a smile to my face — ISIS Toast. It’s like something out of a movie. Just awesome. Fry, baby, fry!
Special ops people earn their money and more.
This brought a smile to my face — ISIS Toast. It’s like something out of a movie. Just awesome. Fry, baby, fry!
Special ops people earn their money and more.
I just finished a really good history book — “Japan 1941” by Eri Hotta.
It’s about (obviously) Japan during the fateful year of 1941.
While most who study World War II can name major German politicians of the pre-war period — Hindenburg, Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, et al, for most people, even those knowledgeable on World War II, Japan’s pre-World War II politics and its actors are unknown for the most part beyond Tojo and Emperor Hirohito.
Hotta does a serviceable job bringing the lesser known, notably Prime Minister Prince Konoe, to life.
She also lays out how the Japanese political culture led to an inevitable slide into war. Dominated by the (relatively recently created) “tradition” of the emperor, Japan’s leaders rarely spoke honestly or directly to each other, much less with Emperor Hirohito. They danced through conferences and meetings trying to avoid insults or even saying what was actually on their mind. The result was that they literally painted themselves into a corner with paranoia, sense of victimization and a self-imposed secret diplomatic deadline that was not remotely reasonable.
Few thought Japan could win a war against the United States yet no one was willing to speak against the war train once it left the station. Much of the prelude resembled World War I’s march to war — timetables and schedules drove everything. Japanese military and civilian leaders calculated that unless Japan acquired a source of petroleum, the country was under a U.S.-led petroleum embargo due to the occupation of southern French Indochina (i.e. South Vietnam), it would run out of oil in a couple of years. No one seemed to have bothered to think through the possibly disastrous ramifications of a war.
Hotta draws a picture of a military that already had its hands full with China (including the puppet state of Manchukuo) and several other mainland projects yet no one would step forward to say that.
My one complaint, and this may not be knowable due to the passage of time and the destruction of Japan during the war, is that Hotta doesn’t investigate the Japanese ultranationalist movement which held an intimidating position in Japan. She notes that they were involved in assassinations and wielded a great deal of influence in the military but that’s as sketchy as it gets.
Having said that, this is a useful volume for anyone wanting to be knowledgeable on World War II and its genesis.
A couple of thoughts on Khizr Khan and his spat with Donald Trump.
Mr. Khan, who killed your son? Jews? Christians? Buddhists? Animists? Zoroastrians? Unitarians? Secular Humanists? No, your co-religionists – Muslims.
Mr. Khan doesn’t seem to care that his son was killed by the very people that Mr. Khan is defending as peaceful. Does that not strike anyone as ironic?
Mr. Khan seems to see the enemy not as Muslim radicals seeking to enslave all to a Muslim caliphate but rather as someone who wants to stop that. In Khan’s eyes Donald Trump is the real enemy.
That of course follows in the wake of the traditional leftist, who sees the real enemy not as someone outside of the country seeking that country’s destruction or conquest, but instead sees his fellow citizens resisting that course as the true enemy.
Mr. Khan seems to be using his son’s noble death for cheap political purposes. Is that what his son would have wanted? His son was trying to prove that Muslims can be enlisted and trusted in the war against Islamofascism. Mr. Khan is arguing the opposite. He’s actually making the point that he is a Muslim first and an American second. He saves his anger and energy for attacking Americans with whom he disagrees rather than his son’s killers.
Oh, and Mr. Khan, I too have a copy of the Constitution. It allows for Congress to set the guidelines/restrictions for immigrants. Pray, tell, what does yours say? Do you think there can be no restrictions on immigration? If so, you’ve been grossly misinformed or have erroneously interpreted the Constitution. Don’t worry, those of us born here can guide you, if you’d let us, rather than fight us.
Once again our king, neé, savior, Barry the All-Knowing, has decamped the fair land to apologize for American successes of the past.
This edition finds the Wondrous One in Japan speaking in his patented flowery-freshman pseudo-deep cant, subtly issuing regrets for things he was not involved in.
Basically he was apologizing for the acts of men ten, no, a thousand times more worthy than him. The men who ended World War II with a victory for freedom.
Why would one apologize for that? Only in the confused, upside-down mind of a liberal does that make sense.
Had Obama been in charge in World War II we’d be speaking German or Japanese now.
Larry O’Connor has a good piece here but there are many of them around.
Just a point here, one of the liberals’ tricks in events like this is to take things out of context. In Hiroshima Obama was lamenting the use of an atomic weapon. In his telling, in line with the standard libtard anti-nuclear stance, the United States just decided to drop an atomic bomb on a Japanese city for the heck of it. Don’tcha know, the Japanese were about to surrender! The bomb was only dropped to send a message to the Russians! And maybe for a little racial revenge too.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama and his ignorant minions saw it something like this, c. August 6, 1945:
Racist Privileged White American Male Pilot Flying in Corporate Death Machine of Imperialism: “Hey, guys, where should we dump this fancy new bomb that we’re carrying around?”
Racist Privileged White American Male Co-Pilot Flying in Corporate Death Machine of Imperialism: “I dunno. That wholly innocent city filled with wholly innocent slant-eyed yellow-skinned Nips just below us might be a good place.”
Racist Privileged White American Male Navigator Flying in Corporate Death Machine of Imperialism: “Yeah, that’ll show those Russkies!”
“Bombs away!” they cackle in unison.
When one sees things through that lens, suddenly being guilt-ridden and issuing a ridiculous series of semi-apologies makes sense. Obama and most liberals these days are only vaguely aware that there was a war going on at that time. They are even less knowledgeable of Japanese conduct at the time. The few nuggets they have been exposed to are purposeful misinformation put out by leftists, especially in our education and entertainment industries. Hot Air’s Allahpundit has a sad story here. Yes, Americans are getting dumber.
Watch this apologizing for the past activism to grow. It’s one of the driving characteristics of modern liberalism. It plays well with a populace bathed in ignorance and misinformation. It’s the animating educational principle in schools. And it makes one feel superior to those awful people of the past. They got nothing right so it’s up to us enlightened modern folks to reform society and clean up the mess. That’s why “We are the ones we have been waiting for,” is the perfect line for the kids.
(Update: Thanks to Invisible Mikey for bailing me out of a boneheaded mistake.)
John Hinderaker picks up on something that Roger Clegg has spotted that should curdle any sensible person’s stomach. The Obama administration is beginning to term young criminals (AKA young punks, hooligans, gang members, etc.) as “justice-involved youth.” They make them sound almost cuddly. Needless to say it will cost you and I some money.
Euphemisms are used when someone wants to mislead or can’t face reality. Rarely is a euphemism a good thing. It’s not surprising that liberals traffic in them like Starbucks traffics in coffee.
Sometimes I really wonder if the people peddling this B.S. really believe it? Do they really think that the only thing keeping these young punks from being “productive” members of society is a nice (government-supplied) home and the obligatory counseling? Have they not met these young amoral, nihilistic, greedy, self-centered, sociopathic savages?
No matter how much money you throw at this problem, it’s not going to work. It’s not a money problem. It’s a cultural problem and the only culture that Obama is interesting in changing is the conservative, heterosexual, mostly white, Christian culture. The black criminal culture is considered legit by Obama and his followers; something to be protected and treasured.
I have no doubt that Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch (and others like them) will keep topping up this program and others like them. When confronted with a string of failures they’ll find one kid that straightened up and they’ll say that it was all worth it.
But I’ve got a point to make. Got a punk that needs straightening out? He needs a cot and food and a “safe space” along with some helpful counseling from people who have some understanding of his plight? We used to have a program that fit that perfectly.
It was called the U.S. military.
Once upon a time young punks might be given the option of going to jail or joining the military. There were many stories of young, aggressive ne’er-do-wells in need of guidance being sent to the military. There they encountered older, wiser, stronger men who understood how to handle them and put that aggression to positive use. Or a “training accident” befell the punks and they were removed from the gene pool. It didn’t always work but it was a lot more successful than this cotton candy program will ever be.
Sadly, our military has been turned into a massive social program of its own. With the exceptions of the special forces, specialized skill jobs, heavy duty like submarine and air crews, for a large portion of the remainder the military has become a flop house for time-servers, those with their hands out for benefits, the listless, the unemployable and more than a few headcases — a shockingly large number of whom are not deployable in any manner.
If we could get the old military back (I can dream, can’t I?), we could give these punks some real direction.
But in reality, this help-a-punk program is part of the foul “over-incarceration” movement designed to coddle criminals and free lots of them to terrorize the law-abiding. It’s another one of those Orwellian cons that the left peddles (and some might believe) to keep society confused, on the defensive and ultimately in chaos and increasingly dependent upon the government (the very government causing the problem).
I just got back from a lengthy business trip so I spent the weekend recovering, i.e. mostly vegging out watching TV.
I finally caught “White House Down,” the second of a pair of White House under assault by terrorists films that came out in 2013. Neither film is good but I have to say that WHD is abominably bad.
Yes, this “Die Hard” derivation is ridiculous but in these types of movies there’s ridiculous (say, ‘The Transporter’) and then there’s just beyond ridiculous (‘Transporter 2’). “White House Down” is beyond ridiculous.
How does a big budget Hollywood vehicle with a decent cast — notably Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, Maggie Gyllenhall and James Woods — and a competent action director, Roland Emmerich (‘Universal Soldier,’ ‘Stargate’ and, ironically for its famous blasting of the White House, ‘Independence Day’), get to be so bad?
The mind wanders…
Script. I’ve got half-a-dozen unfinished/almost finished scripts propping up doors that are better than this one. The one in the bottom of the bird cage is better; even with the bird poop on it.
The “Military Industrial Complex” is behind it all? Yes, they actually say “Military Industrial Complex.” It’s behind Middle East trouble? Behind terrorism? Seriously? Were neo-Nazis unavailable or was that the first draft?
Who thought that up?
James Vanderbilt is the listed screenwriter. Life is easy when you’re a Vanderbilt. (Yes, those Vanderbilts.) He did do the scripts for the entertaining “The Rundown” and “The Losers” many years ago.
The driving this movie is an Obamaesque president deciding to pull all U.S. troops out of the Middle East. He believes that will placate the Muslims and they’ll go back to tending camels and pumping oil… The, uh, “Military Industrial Complex” doesn’t like that idea because they’ll all be out of business, according to the script. Clearly, young James inherited none of The Commodore’s (or his aunt Gloria’s) business sense. So the MIC engineers a coup that will ignite a major war (wherein everyone in the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ will get bonuses). You could get more clearsighted geopolitics from reading Mother Jones.
As seems to be required in movies like this, perhaps by some guild rule, the lead is a divorced/estranged father trying to work his way into his child’s life, but things just keep conspiring against him. Of course, the super-sassy child is constantly in peril. It gets progressively ridiculous after that. In the end the world is almost thrust into a nuclear war because nobody thinks it a good idea to drop a bomb on the kid…
The writer’s attempt to add character details to the characters looks to have been taken from a “Scriptwriting for Dummies” book.
Is there a prize for correctly guessing the number of references to Abe Lincoln in the movie? I say 15.
Clearly the writer does not know the difference between Persians and Arabs nor the historical rivalries of the Middle East. Hint, James, for centuries (millennia) there have been politicians trying to answer “The Middle East Question.”
Clearly the filmmakers made little use of military technical advisors. A standard mid-sized shoulder-launched RPG destroys an Abrams tank with a detonation on its front armor. Seriously? In real combat the RPG might have left a smoke shadow where it bounced off.
Even more amusing, an ICBM launched from a base in southern Ohio shoots down Air Force One.
Naturally, all the military leaders are gung-ho and ready to storm in. Special operations troops are mere dimwitted fodder (ditto the almost identical script of ‘Olympus Has Fallen’).
Of course all the White House guards are terrible shots and act like guard extras from “Hot Shots! Part Deux.”
The CGI helicopters seem only capable of traveling in trios, moving as a single unit and their scale is wildly off in many shots.
Maggie Gyllenhall is miscast and her insistence that she remain in control is laughable as her Secret Service fails time and time again. But in these type of movies, emotionalism always triumphs. And you never call a woman incompetent.
Jamie Foxx takes a lot of flack at IMDB for his performance as President Sawyer. He is clearly miscast, and at first, I thought he was awful but then it dawned on me that he was imitating Obama. He’s a big Obama supporter and also a very good mimic. He was imitating The One’s famous “coolness,” his hipness and Obama’s distant, clipped conversational style. There is even a scene where the president grabs some Nicorette gum and puts on his Air Jordan basketball shoes. Watching Foxx, you realize how comical Obama really is. I won’t go into the nauseating relationship with the First Lady. (BTW, where has Michelle Obama been lately? She hasn’t been seen for months. Still on her taxpayer-funded, never-ending world tour?)
Channing Tatum is functional as the Capitol Policeman who saves the day and gets his dream job as a presidential bodyguard.
Frankly, this whole movie would have worked better as a B movie with, say Erika Eleniak, in Gyllenhall’s role, Ice Cube as the President and, well, Tatum as the cop. Maybe Steve Austin as the cop. James Woods could keep his role as the turncoat Secret Service leader (don’t even try to understand that motivational mess in the script).
I’ve just finished Saul David’s “Operation Thunderbolt,” a new recount of the (still) amazing 1976 Israeli rescue of mostly Israeli hostages kidnapped from an Air France flight and held in Uganda at the airport at Entebbe.
Not surprisingly it’s hard to put it down. It reads like a movie script.
People under the age of, say 45, will never understand how incredible the operation was. It was the era of plane hijackings. Yes, there had been a couple of successful special operations rescues of kidnapped passengers by the Israelis (in Israel) and Germany (in Somalia) but there had never been a rescue mounted far from home and in unfriendly territory (the Germans had the complete cooperation of the Somali government in their operation). After news of the successful raid broke, ironically on July 4, 1976, in the U.S., pretty much anyone who had a heart cheered while the usual suspects — communist nations and the growing youthful hard left in the United States and Europe cried “foul.” Idi Amin, the semicomical/semiterrifying thug leader of Uganda who had cooperated with the hijackers, had been humiliated and the Palestinian cause took yet another black eye as did the German crazy left. After Entebbe some of the German radicals realized the Palestinian cause was a lost cause and they moved into the disarmament movement and then the antinuclear movement and later the women’s and green movements.
Looking back at the operation, led by Israel’s legendary Sayaret Maktal (AKA ‘The Unit’), it required these and additional troops to be flown over 1,000 miles from Israel. The plan was pieced together over a couple of days. The Israelis had only a vague idea of where the hostages probably were (in an old, unused terminal building) and a rough idea how many terrorists there were (others had joined them in Uganda) and what weaponry they had. They were unsure of what the Ugandans would do when the shooting started. The participants made one run-through and the lead pilots showed they could land a Hercules C-130 aircraft in the dark. That was it. They loaded up and went.
The book is filled with people with guts to burn, yet they are not crazy. They understand that life isn’t always fair and that no one is going to help Israel much and certainly not publicly. If they don’t do it, nobody will.
It’s been decades since “90 Minutes at Entebbe” was in print so this book can act as a reintroduction to one of the most amazing military operations ever. Highly recommended.
And if any Little Brown folks are looking in (or Saul David), here’s a list of possible corrections.
Page 85 — “Yitzhak David, deputy mayor” rather than “deputy major”
Page 154 — Unless it’s a Britishism, explosives are more likely to “detonate” than “ignite”
Page 161 — Is it Nula or Nola Hardie?
Page 241 — Does Netanyahu really have a “silenced revolver”? It’s not impossible but it is an unusual weapon.
Page 252 — (and elsewhere) The term “Jeep” seems to be synonymously used with the Land Rover vehicles. A Jeep, however, is a specific type of vehicle not a generic term for a military personnel transport vehicle. Or did they use a Jeep as well?
Page 275 — Is it Amir Ofer or Ofir?
Page 284 — (and before) several times “neon lights” are referred to. I suspect these are fluorescent lights. Neon lights emit a color (orange) and are used for signs and art and not used for general area lighting.
Page 316 — “Joining Hercules Two at the top…” That should be “Joining Hercules Three…” since it was already on the main runway waiting and it was Hercules Two that was taxiing to the main runway.