Lessons From History

New map reveals locations of unexploded World War Two bombs – Telegraph, UK 7/13/08


Nazi photos reveal devastation of WWII Allied bombing raids on Germany – Telegraph UK 7/18/08

A “spectacular” collection of 3,000 Nazi photos reveal the extent to which the Allied bombing campaign devastated Germany’s cultural heritage.

Did 7 million Americas die of starvation during the Depression? – Pravda, Russia 5/7/08

Holocaust by Hunger: The Truth Behind Stalin’s Great Famine – Daily Mail, UK 7/26/08

AP: US ok’d Korean massacres – via Raw Story 7/5/08


Records reveal Ford told FBI about JFK murder doubts – Houston Chronicle 8/9/08

Korean War’s Lost Chapter: South Korea Says U.S. Killed Hundreds of Civilians – NYTimes 8/1/08

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives – Metafilter 8/3/08

The Times Machine – via Metafilter 2/25/08

The Times Machine allows easy browsing of every edition from 70 years (1851-1922) worth of New York Times in the original format.


Physics milestones of the past 50 years – via Metafilter 2/27/08


The Manhattan Project Poll on the Use of Atomic Weapons, July 1945. – BoingBoing 8/6/08


National Geographic Map of the Day – via Metafilter 8/15/08


Masterpieces of early photography – via Metafilter 8/15/08


George Carlin, 1957 – 1970. – via Metafilter 8/17/08


John Curran posts Great Diagrams in Anthropology, Linguistics, and Social Theory – via Metafilter 8/21/08


Thomas Jefferson Papers – via Metafilter 8/22/08


Don’t Know Much About History – US studies empires of the past – Mother Jones 8/4/08


Primary Sources: WWII Ration Books – Mother Jones blog 5/13/08


Portal to Maya Underworld Found in Mexico? – Nat’l Geographic 8/21/08

Vietnam: The Soldier’s Revolt – Int’l Socialist Review August 2000

Long, but very relevant and interesting historical reading…
EXCERPTS: “…After Tet, there was a massive shift from combat avoidance to mutiny. One Pentagon official reflected that “mutiny became so common that the army was forced to disguise its frequency by talking instead of ‘combat refusal.'” Combat refusal, one commentator observed, “resembled a strike and occurred when GIs refused, disobeyed, or negotiated an order into combat.”
Acts of mutiny took place on a scale previously only encountered in revolutions. The first mutinies in 1968 were unit and platoon-level rejections of the order to fight. The army recorded 68 such mutinies that year. By 1970, in the 1st Air Cavalry Division alone, there were 35 acts of combat refusal. One military study concluded that combat refusal was “unlike mutinous outbreaks of the past, which were usually sporadic, short-lived events. The progressive unwillingness of American soldiers to fight to the point of open disobedience took place over a four-year period between 1968-71.”

The 1968 combat refusals of individual units expanded to involve whole companies by the next year. The first reported mass mutiny was in the 196th Light Brigade in August 1969. Company A of the 3rd Battalion, down to 60 men from its original 150, had been pushing through Songchang Valley under heavy fire for five days when it refused an order to advance down a perilous mountain slope. Word of the mutiny spread rapidly. The New York Daily News ran a banner headline, “Sir, My Men Refuse To Go.” The GI paper, The Bond, accurately noted, “It was an organized strike…A shaken brass relieved the company commander…but they did not charge the guys with anything. The Brass surrendered to the strength of the organized men.” …
When Cambodia was invaded in 1970, soldiers from Fire Base Washington conducted a sit-in. They told Up Against the Bulkhead, “We have no business there…we just sat down. Then they promised us we wouldn’t have to go to Cambodia.” Within a week, there were two additional mutinies, as men from the 4th and 8th Infantry refused to board helicopters to Cambodia.
In the invasion of Laos in March 1971, two platoons refused to advance. To prevent the mutiny from spreading, the entire squadron was pulled out of the Laos operation. The captain was relieved of his command, but there was no discipline against the men. When a lieutenant from the 501st Infantry refused his battalion commander’s order to advance his troops, he merely received a suspended sentence.”…
The hidden history of the 1960s proves that the American army can be split and won to the revolutionary movement. But that requires the long, slow patient work of explanation, of propaganda, of education, of organization, and of agitation and action. The Vietnam revolt shows how rank-and-file soldiers can rise to the task. The unfinished job is for revolutionary organization to also rise to that level. When it does, the troops of the American army can become the troops of the American revolution.”

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