September 1, 2017 | View PDF
As I sit here writing this Robservation, another "car into the crowd" attack just happened in Barcelona, Spain; 14 dead and a hundred or so injured. CNN, not surprisingly, suggested that it was a "copycat" of the Charlottesville, VA attack from earlier in the week. Of course, it couldn't be a copycat of Niece, Antwerp, London or dozens of other similar attacks around the world. Right? But to fit their crazy narrative, the press had to claim it might be related to Charlottesville. I am here to tell you that after the last week of news, I am convinced the whole world is turning crazy. Bat-guano crazy. Here goes some of the more insane things I heard this week. At the end, you can read my very first "Dear T8er" letter.
1. ICELAND HAS ERADICATED DOWNS SYNDROME – Now that is an amazing news headline. Icelandic scientists have discovered a cure for Downs Syndrome and according to one study, less than 5 Down Syndrome babies were born in that country last year. What an astonishing story. I was intrigued because I have a younger sister with Downs. Then you read a little further and realize that they have almost eradicated this syndrome, not because of stellar science but because they are aborting almost every kid that tests positive for Downs. Mom's are given a choice to be tested, which is supposedly 85% accurate, and then given the choice to abort or not. It is not mandatory yet. But come on. Bottom line, the Icelanders can boast, "We have killed Downs Syndrome by killing our babies." That is definitely not something to be proud of.
2. DESTRUCTION OF CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS – This is the new sacrament of the leftist whackos out there. They want to rid the entire country of all Confederate monuments and in effect, removing all vestiges of this painful and dark chapter in American history. I saw the irreverent Al Sharpton on television tonight calling for the defunding of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial because the founder once owned slaves. Some knuckleheads are also calling for the destruction of Mt. Rushmore as well. For crying out loud, someone was caught the other day trying to dig up a Confederate soldier. You kidding me? Opinions are indeed like rear ends; everybody has one and most of them are rather unpleasant, but here's mine. These monuments DO NOT BOTHER ME. Look, unfortunately most people cannot be intellectually honest or are not smart enough to see the difference between a historical monument and some idiot waving a Confederate Battle Flag in my face. One is not a problem, the other is a big problem.
The way I see it, as a published historian, I love history. Good, bad, painful, racist, bigoted, bloody, peaceful you name it. I love the lessons learned and understanding that the nature of history is that once it is done, it cannot be undone. No matter how distasteful it may be, you cannot undo it so it is best to learn from it. Removing monuments does nothing to change what has already happened and by ignoring your history guess what? Yeah, yeah like the saying goes, "You are doomed to repeat it."
People who know me know that I am a WWII German Luftwaffe historian. I love studying what the German Air Force did in WWII and admire the technical acumen of many of their aces; arguably the best fighter pilots in the war. I have sat in many living rooms, interviewed many of them and found them to be nice old men who had a pretty crappy job to do. As their top ace, Erich Hartmann (352 kills) told me one day, "At a time in my life when I should have been playing soccer with these boys, my government made me go out and kill them instead." So does the fact that I can respect their achievements make me a Nazi or Nazi sympathizer? I had an idiot boss one day call me a Nazi because I studied the Luftwaffe. Come on people, I am a black guy, remember? Black Nazi? Oy!! Do you think all German soldiers were Nazis? Really? That would be like me saying that all Americans in WWII were racist, bigoted, card carrying Klansmen. It just isn't so. Sorry but it isn't. Not even close. Read your history. There were many good men who fought on the wrong team. I'm sure even the most ardent, hardcore Auburn vs. Alabama fans can admit to this reality. As a young German kid, I am thinking, "Let me see, I can learn to fly and fight and possibly survive the war or I can rot inside a concentration camp and die." Not too tough a choice.
So as a historian, I can unapologetically compartmentalize my ideas and clearly see the difference between some idiot waving a Nazi flag and me walking through a German museum and seeing a Messerschmitt without the Swastika on the tail because it may be offensive to some. Although I want to see the airplane painted as it appeared in the war, at the same time I can sort of understand the museum's decision. The destruction of military history inside Germany, however, that I cannot understand nor support.
It is the same for the Confederate brouhaha in our country today. Monuments are coming down almost daily now, either by city decree or the criminal actions of the hoodlum ANTIFA folks. I have heard, yet again, the cry for Stone Mountain in Georgia to be destroyed and it will only be a matter of time before some call for the destruction of the White House of the Confederacy here in our city of Montgomery. Wait for it. It is going to happen. When it does and rallies form, I know exactly what side I will be standing on. Again, no matter how distasteful it is, history needs to be continually reviewed and studied in order to not repeat similar mistakes again and again. On another note, equally important in my eyes, is that all descendants of those who fought in the Civil War have the right to honor their ancestors. Simple.
PRESIDENT TRUMP RHETORIC – OMG!! The press had a field day with President Trump's "fiery" talk against North Korea. I honestly could not believe what I was hearing. After threats from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, President Trump responded with, "They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before." Collectively, almost the entire press corps peed their pants in disbelief. According to them, President Trump's words were reckless, not helpful, divisive, you name it. Anything but what needed to be said.
Look, this is the real world. Not Fantasy Island with Mr. Roarke and Tattoo. This is life. Real life. A President-of-the-United-States-responsible-for-over-300-million-lives kind of real life. We had another country (NOKO) actually say they were going to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons. Weapons they are now currently testing. I dare say that neither Russia nor China would sit back and take such a threat sitting down. Yet we are supposed to? No! They had to be made to understand that if they dropped a nuke on American soil or on an American territory like Guam, they might as well call Rand-McNally and get them to redraw some lines because NOKO was no longer going to exist as we know it. Sometimes you have no choice but to punch a bully in the face to make him understand you mean business. The key to any coercive strategy (something I taught for several years at Maxwell AFB) is the entity you are trying to coerce must not ever doubt that you are willing and able to do what you say you are going to do. Unlike President Obama's feckless Syrian red-line in the sand, Kim Jong Un now understands what is at stake and what will be the result of any ill-advised actions against the U.S.
For grins, I looked up some of my favorite quotes from two of my favorite WWII leaders. Of course, Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, Commander of RAF Bomber Command from February 1942 through the end of the war. Keep in mind, at the time, there were those similar idiots in England who also thought this rhetoric was too strong. I think the 11 million people killed in concentration camps and the 50-80 million total killed would probably disagree.
"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. . ."
"To achieve the extirpation of Nazi tyranny there are no lengths of violence to which we will not go."
"The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."(Hosea 8:7) -- Remember, this quote followed the German Blitz against British cities where some 40,000+ people were killed.
"Dresden? There is not such a place any longer. I want to point out, that besides Essen, we never actually considered any particular industrial sites as targets. The destruction of industrial sites always was some sort of bonus for us. Our real targets always were the inner cities."
"We are going to scourge the Third Reich from end to end. We are bombing Germany city by city and ever more terribly in order to make it impossible for her to go in with the war. That is our object, and we shall pursue it relentlessly."
Tough talk; tough men; tough times. Suck it up, Buttercup.
3. MARIA CHAPPELLE-NADEL – Who? Yeah, that is what I said. For what it is worth, she is the idiot democratic state senator from Missouri who posted on Facebook, and you cannot make this stuff up, and I quote, "I hope Trump is assassinated." Let me see, sitting politician, calling for the assassination of our current President? And she is not in jail, why? Would love to see the moment the Secret Service guys show up at her door. I know, I know. It will because Trump is racist. Sheeesh!
4. CHARLOTTESVILLE RIOTS – Because of space, I will not get into this today. For another time for sure. Let's just wait and see what other news comes out of this incident.
I am the leader of the free world but continually get blow back from my opposition, the press and even people on my side. It is very frustrating and disheartening. I am not sure what to do. Any advice?
I know you are probably used to being the smartest guy in the room. In the league you are now playing, that is likely not the case. Use your advisors. Trust them. If you don't, get rid of them. Next, don't continually take the bait of the radical press that takes you off of your programmed track. They are doing that to good effect right now. You need to see this. Therefore, resist the temptation to continually fight the battle that you cannot win. This is your Kobayashi Maru, just like Captain Kirk of Star Trek. In this battle, however, you cannot cheat to win. But rather trust in the sage words of Winston Churchill who once penned, "You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks at you."