Remembering the War in the Pacific recorded by combat photographers


Joe Rosenthal

When most Americans think of the World War II battle for Iwo Jima – if they think of it at all, 75 years later – they think of one image: Marines raising the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest point.

That moment, captured in black and white by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal and as a color film by Marine Sergeant William Genaust, is powerful, embodying the spirit of the Marine Corps.

But these pictures are far from the only images of the bloodiest fight in the Marines’ history. A larger library of film, and the men captured on them, is similarly emotionally affecting. It can even bring Americans alive today closer to a war that ended in the middle of the last century…

Please RTFA. I was 7 years old at the time of the Iwo Jima landing. My father was invited to a private showing of the first rough cut of all the footage several weeks later – and brought me. That night is still vivid, stuck in my brain. I cannot forget it.

Over time, I came to better understand what I saw.

Do you realize we’ve never stopped bombing Afghanistan?

Since 2016, we’ve increased airstrikes as much as 780% though combat operations in Afghanistan officially ended in December 2014…


US Air Force

US and coalition combat operations in Afghanistan officially ended in December 2014, and the numbers of CFACC-controlled airstrikes dropped from 2,365 for that year to just 947 in 2015 (the lowest figure recorded since 2009). The strike rate began to rapidly rise again in 2016 with 1,337 recorded, and rose again in 2017 with 4,361. It rose markedly again in 2018 with 7,362, before peaking at 7,423 in 2019.

Gee, what might have happened in 2016 to spark increased bombing of one of those little nations on our kill-list? Hmm?

BTW, there aren’t any more “coalition” forces operating over Afghanistan. It’s all our military, folks.

Pentagon lies about our new nice guy “survivable” atomic warheads


Click to enlargephoto on the right shows what survived in Hiroshima. NOTHING!

The U.S. Defense Department said on Tuesday the Navy had fielded a low-yield, submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead, something the Pentagon believes is needed to deter adversaries like Russia but which critics say lowers the threshold for using nuclear weapons.

Low-yield nuclear weapons, while still devastating, have a strength of less than 20 kilotons. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, in August 1945, had about the same explosive power.

“This supplemental capability strengthens deterrence and provides the United States a prompt, more survivable low-yield strategic weapon,” John Rood, the under secretary of defense for policy, said…

“President Trump now has a more usable nuclear weapon that is a dangerous solution in search of a problem,” said Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association…

This will kill and main about as many folks as did the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. 135,000 minimum. Take the time to read HIROSHIMA by John Hersey. A book I grew up with…fortunately. Rent the video of HIROSHIMA, MON AMOUR. Learn what the Pentagon thinks is “survival” – and what it really looks and feels like.

Robot tanks on patrol but not allowed to shoot…yet!

In 1985 the US pulled the plug on a computer-controlled anti-aircraft tank after a series of debacles in which its electronic brain locked guns onto a stand packed with top generals reviewing the device. Mercifully it didn’t fire, but did subsequently attack a portable toilet instead of a target drone.

The M247 Sergeant York…may have been an embarrassing failure, but digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) have changed the game since then.

Today defence contractors around the world are competing to introduce small unmanned tracked vehicles into military service.

Interesting article even if the BBC reporters had to repeat the mantra of “a human must always be in the loop to decide on the use of lethal force”. That will last until the day someone in the field decides they can’t wait for an assigned officer – and turns an armed robot loose to do what it’s intended to do. Provide deadly force on its own.

Same as it ever was…


Click to enlarge

“On my wall a wooden mask
Face of an evil Japanese fiend, lacquered in gold.
I see with sympathy
The swollen veins on his brow, showing
How exhausting it is to be evil.”
(Bertolt Brecht, 1942)

Different wars, different time. Not much else has changed.

NO WAR WITH IRAN

There’s a demo, tomorrow at noon, against Trump’s criminal politics. The focus is on the Middle East, Iran and Iraq. If you have the opportunity, come to the intersection of St, Francis and Cerrillos to make your voice heard.

That’s Thursday, 9th, at noon.

Click on the sponsoring groups for parking suggestions a block away from traffic

Thanksgiving, the Myth

❝ Generations of Americans have told themselves a patriotic story of the supposed first Thanksgiving that misrepresents colonization as consensual and bloodless…

The Wampanoags, who are the Indians in this tale, have long contended that the Thanksgiving myth sugarcoats the viciousness of colonial history for Native people. It does. The Pilgrims did not enter an empty wilderness ripe for the taking. Human civilization in the Americas was every bit as ancient and rich as in Europe. That is why Wampanoag country was full of villages, roads, cornfields, monuments, cemeteries and forests cleared of underbrush. Generations of Native people had made it that way with the expectation of passing along their land to their descendants.

❝ …the Pilgrim-Wampanoag encounter was no first-contact meeting. Rather, it followed a string of bloody episodes since 1524 in which European explorers seized coastal Wampanoags to be sold into overseas slavery or to be trained as interpreters and guides. The Wampanoags reached out to the Pilgrims not only despite this violent history, but also partly because of it.

❝ If Americans continue to insist on associating Thanksgiving with Pilgrims and Indians, the least we can do is try to get the story straight. We should put Wampanoags at its center and acknowledge the remarkable fact of their survival to this very day.

RTFA and get it straight. Hit your library and read about Metacomet…if they have anything.

A doomsday gap…?

❝ The Air Force’s secretive space plane returns after more than two years : The space plane spent 779 days, 17 hours in space…

❝ As ever, the biggest question surrounding the Air Force’s space plane concerned what it was up to during its long flight in low-Earth orbit. “The spaceplane conducted on-orbit experiments,” an Air Force news release stated, blandly. “The distinctive ability to test new systems in space and return them to Earth is unique to the X-37B program and enables the US to more efficiently and effectively develop space capabilities necessary to maintain superiority in the space domain.”

Sam_Gilbey_700x.png
Sam Gilbey

First Minister of Scotland rips Johnson and Trump, Turkish invasion

It is truly delightful to hear a nationalist leader strengthen her position as a vote-getter by condemning the populist politics of Brexiteers and Trumpublicans.

Saudis spent $62+billion last year on armaments. Yemeni Houthis just attacked with $15K drones.

Half Saudi Arabia’s oil production shut down. 5% of global oil supply.

❝ Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on key Saudi oil facilities on Saturday, setting off blazes that could be seen from space and showcasing how cheap new technologies allow even minor militant groups to inflict serious damage on major powers…

It was not clear how badly damaged the facilities were, but shutting them down for more than a few days would disrupt world oil supplies. Between them, the two centers can process 8.45 million barrels of crude oil a day, amounting to the vast majority of the production in Saudi Arabia, which produces almost one-tenth of the world’s crude oil…

❝ The difference in resources available to the attacker and the victim could hardly have been greater, illustrating how David-and-Goliath style attacks using cheap drones are adding a new layer of volatility to the Middle East.

Such attacks not only damage vital economic infrastructure, they increase security costs and spread fear — yet they are remarkably cheap. The drones used in Saturday’s attack may have cost $15,000 or less to build, said Wim Zwijnenburg, a senior researcher on drones at PAX, a Dutch peace organization.

The Global Military-Industrial Complex still hasn’t learned crap about guerrilla warfare. Sure, the Pentagon and their peers know how to spend taxpayer dollars by the bucketload. They’re mostly backed up by political hacks who still think the best solution to civilized inequity is to resolve disquiet and resentment with weapons ranging from bullets to bombs. Nothing cheap of course. No self-respecting graduate of West Point would be found killing significant populations without delivery systems costing million$.

RTFA. Maximum cost per each of these drones was about $15,000. A third of the price of the average new pickup truck bought in the GOUSA.