David Rothkoff, host of my favorite podcast, Deep State Radio, but in real life an accomplished professor of international relations, coined the phrase recently, we are “Present at the Destruction”. This comment was a riff after the 1969 Dean Acheson’s book about his years at the State Department was published, detailing the prewar and post … More Present at the Destruction
Occasionally world events bring to the forefront remarkable people who write their experience large upon our own. World War Two, for example, brought out many who may have otherwise lived in obscurity. Poet and Spitfire pilot John Gillespie Magee Jr. was such a man. Born in China to missionaries, his father an American and his … More High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee Jr.
Some men just have to serve the country. We learn during this interview of Gordon Fullerton he went to extraordinary lengths to join the service shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed, then found opportunities, and a whole lot of luck. Once on the path he served not just in World War II, but also Korea, … More Gordon Fullerton. Veteran.
Catalonia Independence Referendum. Wow, what a mess. But entirely predictable. Spain’s government is and has always been an exercise in fragmentation. When this came down this past weekend I happened to be reading Orwell’s account of his fighting for the government in the Spanish Civil War, Homage to Catalonia. This past Sunday’s images from Barcelona … More Homage to Catalonia
It is 50 years ago. My sister and I sit on the Coca-Cola ice water chest in front of the Atlantic Richfield service station watching the cars emerge from the heat shimmers off the highway, then disappear into them again. It is about 100 degrees and really dry. Occasionally we have to get off … More Summers in Idaho
War in the Western Pacific is in the air this summer, so I thought it might be a good time to file a few notes about the fight we had with the Japanese in the Philippines in 1944-45. Central to this podcast is the interview with my father in law, Ernesto F. “Papi” Martinez who … More The Sack of Manila, 1945
Consider if you will a Europe still dominated by fascist governments like Nazi Germany. Or a Pacific ocean where Imperial Japan remained the dominant force. Or a step further, what if communism had prevailed? In this podcast I take up the selfless heroes we remember at this time who made the way it is possible. … More Memorial Day is for the Fallen
Conflict is a constant. Here is a 20th century exhibit. At the end of the Munich Crisis in 1938, a last ditch effort to avoid the Second World War, after all the other concessions had been made in favor of Germany, Neville Chamberlain asked Adolf Hitler to sign a pledge not to go to war … More I have here, from Herr Hitler, a piece of paper.
I can’t really say I was there, but there seems to be a striking resemblance between the fall of Saigon in 1975 and going to COSTCO on a weekend 40 years later. The press of the people, the indiscriminate objects left behind, the palpable sense of panic all smells the same. It is as if … More COSTCO Weekend 2015
Its been a 100 years but the sting of it still rings through the telling. A German U-boat was able to approach and sink the Cunard liner off the coast of Ireland on this date 100 years ago because she had no destroyer escort, despite wartime conditions. There were not supposed to be any Americans on … More The Sinking of RMS Lusitania – May 7th 1915