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From Our Home Page Archive
Page as originally published in February 2015
— This Month —
Sometimes The War Not Worth Fighting Is Worth Fighting
It's Time To Get Rid Of This
U.S. Army Signal Corps News
November 1942 & February 1944
Now That The Afghan War Is Over, Wither Pakistan?
An Archive of War - Part III
- - - - -
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camaraderie among the graduates of Signal Corps Officer Candidate
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Sometimes The War Not Worth Fighting
is Worth Fighting
It's Time To Get Rid Of This Abomination
In December we published an article
Not Every War Worth Fighting Is Worth Fighting.
Being as misanthropic as we are, we thought we would flip the
tables this month and publish one entitled Sometimes The War
Not Worth Fighting Is Worth Fighting. If you read our
December article, you know it was about the Ukraine. This
one is about North Korea.
North Korea is an abomination. In
our view, it’s time America do something about it.
Specifically, it’s time America step forward and get rid of
North Korea’s repugnant, abhorrent ruling regime and put an
end to not just them, but this miserable little country’s
existence, once and for all.
The "Hermit Kingdom" people
call it, as though there is something captivating,
enthralling and maybe even mysterious about it. It isn’t. It
isn’t captivating, enthralling or mysterious. What it is is a
disgusting hell hole of a place whose ignorant, antisocial,
idiotic-looking leader subjugates his people to a perpetual
state of semi-starvation, for the sole purpose of
maintaining his own eccentric, lavish, cult-worshiped
And we allow him to do this. From our well-heated
homes replete with all the food we could possibly want to
eat, we laugh at the foibles of Sony Pictures and their
hacking problems, snigger at the hoopla over a movie called
The Interview, and poke fun at Kim Jong-un… as though this
whole thing is a joke… while the people of North Korea eat
tree roots and starve to death by the thousands.
wrong with us? Where is our humanity? For how much longer
are we going to allow this vile place to exist? For these
poor people to live and die in squalor? While 195 kilometers
to their south their brethren—sisters and brothers in the
truest sense of the word—live in the lap of luxury and
North Korea isn't weird or eccentric,
it’s the devil’s work on Earth. And we let it be so. Shame
U.S. Army Signal Corps News - 1942 & 1944
So much of our writing is serious, analyzing the
cause of war and how well our military and
civilian leaders perform, that we thought this a
good time to post something a little less
weighty. How about a couple of copies of Signal
Corps focused magazines from World War II?
Try these: originally published by Radio News,
they focus exclusively on the Signal Corps as it
stood back in WWII. The content includes dozens
of articles on Signal Corps activities in the
various theaters of war, as well as articles on
Signal Corps engineering, enemy equipment, the
Signal Corps Pictorial Center, operational
research, amphibious operations, V-Mail, and
much, much more. We offer them here for your
November 1942 edition of Radio News - a
special U.S. Army Signal Corps Issue;
283 numbered pages of pure gold, made available
courtesy of AmericanRadioHistory.com
– February 1944 edition of Radio
News - published 71 years ago this month, this
too is a special U.S. Army Signal Corps Issue;
– Click either
image above to view the magazine –
War Department Film
Enemy Weapons -
German Infantry Small Arms
If you enjoyed our magazines above, you're going
to love this film. Shot by the Signal Corps as a
training film to help American soldiers in the field
learn how to use captured enemy weapons, this
film covers the:
– German Mouser
Short Rifle Model 98K 7.92 mm
– German Schmeisser Submachine Gun,
MP40, 9 mm caliber
Machine Gun Model MG 34, 7.92 mm
Machine Gun Model MG 42, 7.92 mm
For those unfamiliar with Germany's WWII weapons,
the MP letters associated with the Schmeisser
stand for Maschinenpistole. This type
of weapon was a submachine
(note the emphasis on the prefix sub...) gun, developed and
used extensively by Fallschirmjäger (paratroopers),
platoon and squad leaders, and, of course, the Waffen SS.
The MG 34 on the other hand was a dual purpose
full machine gun, able to serve as both a light
and heavy weapon. In its various forms it could
be mounted on a light bipod, an adjustable
height antiaircraft triangle-pod, a heavy-weapon
tripod where the shooter would sit on the ground
behind the weapon and cradle it between his
legs, and even bolted onto tanks, aircraft and the like. To match its
firepower to its capabilities, the weapon was
able to be fed from any number of high capacity
housings, including a standard 250 round belt
fed from a box, and the smaller and more often
seen 50 round "basket" type container.
The movie shows you how to field strip and
handle each of these four fascinating weapons.
Don't be surprised if after you watch it you
find yourself digging your own weapon out of
closet and heading out to the backyard to plink
few rounds. It's that kind of film, it makes you
want to cradle a weapon, clean it, and listen to it talk to you.
The film length is 00:12:23.
Now That The Afghan War Is
Over, Wither Pakistan?
It’s nice that the war in Afghanistan is finally
over. Now we can all sit back and congratulate
ourselves on having won that war.
We did win it,
Jeesh, one never knows. Our
government tells us we won it, yet there’s no
peace agreement in place, the enemy is still on
the battlefield, and people are still dying…
albeit the people dying are, thankfully, only
civilians. Gosh, that makes me feel better….
only civilians dying.
What happened to the good
old days… when wars were considered over only
when the enemy was defeated? When the leader of
the enemy was found, tried and hung for good
measure? As well as all of his henchmen? When a
peace treaty was signed, and the winning side
stepped in and occupied the country for 50
years… just to make sure that the idiots that
caused the war didn’t try to resurrect their…
well… ideology? Is that where the term idiot
came from… ideology… as in an idiot is someone
who believes in an ideology?
Anyway. Now-a-days it
seems that the only thing you have to do to win
a war is pack up your men and leave the
battlefield. That too is strange to me. When
they did that in my war, everyone said we lost. Have the standards changed so much so that
now when you give up and leave you are
considered the winner? Is the goal no longer to
defeat the enemy, but merely to degrade him to
the point that he no longer annoys you? So that
you can go home? So he can stay behind and keep
on killing… well… civilians?
Oh well… modern
warfare. The whole thing escapes me.
not escape me however are the residual effects
of the wars we fight, especially the ones
where we unilaterally leave the battlefield,
claiming that we won and the war is now over.
Residual effects… you know… like civilians
dying by the thousands because suicide bombers
are again free to roam around and do their
stuff… and the bad guys are free to come out
from under their rocks and do their stuff too…
and corrupt tribal leaders are once more able to
assert control over their areas and resume
pillaging their community, to their heart’s
content… and the central government is now able
to enshrine corruption as a modus operandi, now
that Uncle Sam is no longer looking over their
shoulder. Residual effects, like leaving behind
a country wholly unable to stop itself from
becoming a failed state… again.
Or how about this one: a war concluded with such lack of
finality that the neighboring countries are left in worse
condition than when the war started. Like Pakistan.
Before the Afghan war, a sad and dyspeptic state that for
all of its years of existence had amounted to little more
than a camel stop somewhere on the Indian sub-continent, it
is in an even more sorry state now than before the Afghan
War started. Now that its neighbor’s war is over, it’s on
its own… left to fight a royal mess created by, well, the
War in Afghanistan.
Thank you America. Thank you for leaving this mess for us to
deal with. What now?
This page last updated 1 February 2015. New content is constantly being added.
Please check back frequently.
1 February 2015 –Terry Rushbrook, Signal Corps OCS Class
10-67 sent us an update and a short bio of himself.
posted his bio and a few of his pictures on a
special page which we linked to his name on his
Class Page. You can get to it by clicking here
and then scrolling down and clicking on his name.
The best part though is that Terry maintains
his own website, which has lots more content than
what we have posted. On it you can find stories,
poems and lots more pictures of his time in Vietnam.
Some of his pics of Cam Ranh Bay are especially
good. Check out his personal bio page, and then use
the link there to jump to Terry's website.
1 January 2015 –Alvin H Watkins, LTC(R) Signal Corps OCS Class
7-66 sent an update in the way of more photos for
his album. Al's chopper from his Vietnam days is on
display in the Smithsonian. You can see his latest
pictures of his days in Vietnam by visiting his
personal bio page and clicking on the album at the
bottom of the page.
Our thanks to Al for his update. Now, all of you
Army Signal OCS Grads out there that have not yet
sent in your own short bio, how about getting to it
this coming year? Make it one of your top priority
New Year's Resolutions!
1 January 2015 –Signal OCS
Graduate Nick Mills (Class 01-68) has overseen the
publishing of a new book about Vietnam. Nick is an
associate professor of journalism at Boston
University. He is also responsible for putting
together the volume on Combat Photography for the
Time-Life series "The Vietnam Experience". Nick's
book is called "The American Experience in Vietnam
-- Reflections on an Era", published by Boston
Publishing Co. Inc., Zenith Press, 2014. Find it on
Amazon and buy it today .
One reviewer commented, "As a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, I saw
a lot of what's in this book firsthand, but this
book covers the whole country and it was very
interesting for me to see what was going on in other
areas of operations. The photos are very good. I
recommend this to anyone who was there if they have
any interest in the bigger picture. I also recommend
to those who have questions about what is really
like - the photos tell the story."
Continued from left column...
Having watched Pakistan struggle to figure out what role she
should play during the war in Afghanistan, it is clear that
she does not have the leadership needed to fix her problems.
Back during the war years she was lost. Trying to thread the
needle by supporting both sides… the U.S. side, as well as
the Taliban’s… all she proved was that she was eminently
qualified to play the role of a failing state on the road to
complete failure... just like the one we wrote about in our
column at left.
Pakistan sits just there… on that precipice from which if
she takes the wrong step she will find herself an
ungovernable, has been of a country. Already she boils with
internal violence, brought on by armed Islamic
fundamentalist and every sort of separatist group one can
imagine. Caused in part by our dear friend England—that
wonderful country whose legacy of imperialism left the world
with more scars and open sores than any other single entity
except perhaps religion—Pakistan’s violence today is the
legacy of having been carved up in the 1947 partition of
British India, as well as the 1971 civil war that broke the
country into two further pieces; what we today call Pakistan
Confused as to who she is, what she represents, who she
should represent, and why she even exists, the only positive
thing we can say about Pakistan is that she tried. That is,
while everyone that could take a piece of her did so, she
still tried to act like there was a reason d’être
for her existence… that somewhere, amongst all of the
fighting factions living within her borders, there was a
group of people that deserved a sane and safe country.
And so she tried democracy… over a painful decade of honest
attempts she approached parliamentary democracy from every
possible angle, trying to make something work. When that
didn’t work and the country still acted like a fragmented
family run more by a narcissistic child than parents, she
opted for military rule (since 1958). And when that resulted
in Pakistan’s military lording it over the people, those
multitudinous factions we referred to earlier rose up in
Fortunately for the world, politics Pakistani style seems at
this time to be swinging back towards democracy… but not
much. There still is much work to do if she wishes to get it
right this time, and the world—yes, the world—will be at
risk if she does not.
It seems strange to say so, but the fundamentalists that lay
in Pakistan’s past… those men and women that created a
country out of the disparate religious ideologues that first
inhabited the place… were the right kinds of people from
which to form a country. For instance, the night before
Pakistan, as a country, received her official independence
from England, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding
father, spoke eloquently of his vision: “You may belong to
any religion or caste or creed—that has nothing to do with
the business of the State … We are starting with this
fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal
citizens of one State.”
Jinnah died before his vision could be written into a
constitution, and so today, none of the various documents
that have come down through the ages since Pakistan’s
inception, and purport to be her “constitution”, contain
words that either enshrine his promise or come anywhere
close to it. Instead, Pakistan has evolved as a spiritual
state, whose every spiritual group fights to rule and
control it. How could it be any other way, the official name
of the country is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan?
Now that the war in Afghanistan is over, and Pakistan can
look again to solving its own internal troubles, it is time
to reclaim Jinnah’s vision, if only because political
stability requires a shared understanding and belief in the
notion of a unified people living within the confines of a
shared idea… in this case, one called Pakistan, rather than
a religious construct or caliphate of some sort. And so we
say that if Pakistan is to make it through another decade,
as a functioning state, it is going to have to find a way to
create belief among its peoples in yet another, new
constitution… one different than the one it has now. One
that again looks to democracy, but this time in a manner
that attempts to use democracy as a means of devolving power
from the elite sitting in Islamabad to the people who govern
the provinces…. the people where the ungovernable live, the
people who want to see change because, since devolution from
Britain, nothing has changed in their lives.
Yes, we know this is risky, because so many of the “leaders”
that rule the various border areas of Pakistan hold radical
fundamentalist religious views… but let’s face it, one
reason they hold these beliefs is because their life stinks,
and it ain’t gonna get any better without some radical
tinkering with the system that exists now. So let it be so,
let the government in Islamabad begin to restructure the
country’s principles of government such that there is a more
equitable distribution of power between the capital and the
provinces, between the elite and the poor, between the
center and the regions that cry for a better life. That’s
what we did when our country faced the same problem. It
worked for us, and is in fact one of the key principles on
which America was founded—a balancing of power between the
states and the central government. If it worked for us to
help tamp down religious extremism, why not Pakistan?
In our case our balancing of the power sharing between
Washington and the states helped safeguard against the
usurpation of power by the elite in Washington… people like
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and others. Yes, it’s true,
these particular men weren’t inclined to usurp power for
themselves, but that does not change the fact that they
could easily have done so if state’s rights had not been
promoted as more important than federal rights. The same is
true for Pakistan today. A great national leader will not
usurp power, but a lesser one will. For all of our years as
a country, during our times of trouble we have been
fortunate enough to have great leaders. Pakistan has not.
Don’t see the analogy? Think we are stretching things too
much? Look then if you will to our own past, when people
like Roger Williams left Massachusetts to start his own
state, a place that later became known as Rhode Island. Why
did he do this? Because the central powers that ruled the
Massachusetts Bay Colony would not let him promote and
promulgate his own brand of religion. They branded him a
dangerous radical ideologue advocating an extreme
fundamentalist religion that had no place in civilized
his case he and his followers felt the need to practice
their religion in their own way. Massachusetts thought that
what they were doing was not just apostasy, but a threat to
their very form of government. They persecuted him and his
followers. He fought back. Eventually, he simply packed up,
took his followers, moved south, negotiated with the indians
to take over a parcel of empty land for his people, named it
Providence Plantations, and established his new religion and
government there. Today we know this spot as the city of
Providence, the capital of Rhode Island.
The same happened again with Joseph Smith, founder of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He too suffered
from persecution, so much so that he gathered up his
followers, left the state where they lived (New York), and
tried a few others in the mean time before ending up, like
Roger Williams, forming his own state. In his case it’s
called Utah, and in the last election all of us from the
rest of the states… the ones that didn’t want him among us…
came very close to electing one of his followers as
Such a long way… from rogue religious ideolog to nationally
respected Presidential candidate. And he might even run
Whither Pakistan? Do they not suffer from religious
intolerance? Do they not need a better balance of power
between their central government and their states? Do they
not need a better mechanism with which to separate politics
from religion? Do they not need an effective means by which
to let people worship as they may, yet stop the violence
that comes with religious intolerance?
An Archive of War - Part III
Examples of effective American decision making and leadership, as seen through
the documents of war
In keeping with this column's topic for the past two months, we again
bring you a document from America's past... one that fits our premise that great
leaders need not interject politics into everything they do and say, and that
often the most profound things that have happened to, in or with America were
made known to us via the most simple, clear and concise language possible.
Over the past two months we brought you examples of this "clear headed
thinking", as we like to call it. In those cases we presented to you copies
of America's official declaration to Japan that demanded an unconditional
surrender on her part, as well as one of the more concise documents ever written
in war; the actual order issued to drop a nuclear bomb on Japan.
This month we keep with our Japanese theme, and present for you to read the
White House's official press release notifying America a) that we dropped a
nuclear bomb on Japan, and b) what a nuclear bomb is and how we managed to get
our hands on a