Tag Archives: war

Five Years to Freedom: The True Story of a Vietnam POW by James N. Rowe

In 1963, Nick Rowe is with a group of Vietnamese soldiers on a routine mission when they encounter Vietcong soldiers. In the fight, Rowe and a fellow soldier are captured. Rowe realizes the seriousness of his situation but is unable to do anything about it immediately. As time passes, Rowe is often weakened and is constantly pushed to declare that the Vietcong are justified in all aspects of the war and that his own countrymen are wrong. Failure to do so continually prompts varying degrees of punishment. For five years his captors work to instill a series of propaganda statements into Rowe’s mind and Rowe continues to disbelieve his captors.
Rowe is a military man, having decided to attend West Point because his older brother was killed prior to his own graduation. Rowe is deployed to Vietnam without really knowing all the politics involved. Rowe comes to like many of the Vietnamese people and sometimes helps with distribution of medicine and other activities. After his capture, he becomes bombarded with information that the Vietnamese people as a whole support the Vietcong and that the American prisoners are in danger of being attacked by the general populace. After several years as a prisoner, he is taken on a tour of the region – ostensibly to see the true state of the people. He encounters some people who remember him from his days as a soldier so many years earlier. One risks punishment to touch Rowe on the shoulder and an elderly woman speaks up and questions the reason Rowe appears to be undernourished. Rowe leaves that situation and finds his resolve to remain strong against the pressure to admit to “crimes” against the Vietcong.

Rowe encounters several other prisoners during his time as a POW. Some of those survive and are released. Others die while Rowe watches, helpless to do anything to prevent it. He is held alone during his final months as a prisoner and he finds the situation initially frightening but then finds a new freedom in that he is no longer responsible for anyone else. When Rowe and his captors are fleeing American bombers, he arranges the opportunity to be alone with a single captor then hits the man over the hand to get away so that he can flag down a passing helicopter. His mother’s words, when she knows that he is safe, are, “What took you so long?”

Rowe is a strong person and remains so in the face of near-starvation and psychological torment. One of the most serious moments of torment for him comes when American bombers are striking the camp and he comes to fear that he’ll die at the hands of his own people.

This was a true eye opening and thought provoking book where you had to sense, see and feel what was happening around you. A mindfully written book that challenged you to feel for the POWs, what they were going through, how they were treated, etc. Was a person to die by sickness?..at the hands of the NVA?..or at the hands of his own people? A riveting book filled with questions, in some cases still not answered. War is hell, war sucks, and if more people understood the ramifications of war…there would be a movement by all people to stop war.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Beyond Band of Brothers: The war memoirs of Major Dick Wintersby Dick Winters, Cole C. Kingseed

They were called Easy Company—but their mission was never easy. Immortalized as the Band of Brothers, they suffered 150% casualties while liberating Europe—an unparalleled record of bravery under fire. Dick Winters was their commander—”the best combat leader in World War II” to his men. This is his story—told in his own words for the first time.
On D-Day, Dick Winters parachuted into France and assumed leadership of the Band of Brothers when their commander was killed. He led them through the Battle of the Bulge and into Germany, by which time each member had been wounded. They liberated an S.S. death camp from the horrors of the Holocaust and captured Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s alpine retreat. After briefly serving during the Korean War, Winters was a highly successful businessman. Made famous by Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers—and the subsequent award-winning HBO miniseries—he is the object of worldwide adulation.

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This was, without doubt, a great companion book to “Band of Brothers”! While much of it was encompassed within the HBO mini series, some things were more informative about Dick Winters – the man. I loved his synopsis of leadership skills, and/or traits, LEADERSHIP AT THE POINT OF A BAYONET, which by the way was the last page of the book. Though, he spoke of the problem in his book, most war survivors do not speak of their time at war. My father included. I believe this to be a travesty to our kids, because our children should come to understand to ramification of war. Unfortunately, governments and others needing bodies for a war effort will tend to glorify and even romanticize by incorporating patriotism, but this is so far from the truth! Our children need to view things such as the HBO mini series, read books such as this, etc. in order to make an educated, eyes-wide-open decision to become part of the war effort. I learned a great deal from this book and the mini series; more than I did from my father. I did learn that my oldest sister knew more of what my father endured in the European theater during WWII than I had ever known. That tid-bit didn’t come until after my mother’s passing in 2012, he had passed away in 1989. I believe Abraham Lincoln said it best:

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There was a quote, not certain to whom it is attributed, but in essence: “If people knew what happened in time of war, there would be no more war!”

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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EVERYTHING WE HAD By Santoli, Al

In spite of its shortcomings, ”Everything We Had” – like ”Nam” – accomplishes what oral history is meant to do: It relates an event in the words of those who lived it. Books such as these, Mr. Baker writes, may be filled with ”generalizations, exaggerations, braggadocio and – very likely – outright lies.” But as he also notes, the ”human imperfections simply authenticate the sincerity of the whole.” By illuminating the horror that was the Vietnam war, both books may well help to break down some of the barriers between the Vietnam veteran and the American public.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Revelation Unveiled: Understanding the Heart of Jesus in the Imminent Day of the Lord Kindle Edition by Russell M. Stendal

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Sadly, many commentaries on Revelation ignore the need to have a clean heart in order to survive what’s coming. In this edition, we dig deep into the signs, the wonders, and the genuine Christian’s role in the soon-to-be-fulfilled book of Revelation. We even go back to the prophets to help clarify what is the most important message to Christians today.

The book of Revelation should be of intense interest to today’s Christian. It describes not only the persecution that originates from Satan, but also announces the day when God will intervene and cleanse the earth. This is definitely something to look forward to if we are right with him. Not so much for those living for themselves.

This is but one resource to allow the one who studies biblical revelation to gain some answers into the meanings of this biblical book of finality and a new beginning. Well written interestingly equipped with much background; however, I also felt the appendices were lacking. But do not let that detract from the wealth of knowledge that could be gained by the remainder of the book. You must judge for yourself.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Book of Revelation Unveiled

The fundamental message of the book of Revelation is simple. It promises that God will institute universal peace, prosperity and cooperation over all the earth immediately after the return of Jesus Christ. It reveals how this wonderful new world will be established and why it will never be destroyed or superseded by any other way of life or social order.

I found this to be a short and informational read on the Book of Revelation, not all-inclusive mind you but very good and well written. Of course, we will not know “other” interpretations of any given book in the Bible until it actually happens. But, with that said, and standing by the belief that the Bible is the Word of God, then it is all true – that which has happened and that which will transpire! If you believe & obey you are alright; if you do not believe then you very may well be in for a world of hurt.

Blaise Pascal’s wager was that if there is a God and a true religion, shouldn’t you seek him and it out and follow it? (Severely paraphrased, but that is the essence of it.) In other words it would be illogical not to believe in God.

You can obtain your free copy HERE.

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Patton: Genius for War by Carlo D’Este (Author)

  

Patton: A Genius for War is a full-fledged portrait of an extraordinary American that reveals the complex and contradictory personality that lay behind the swashbuckling and brash facade. According to Publishers Weekly, the result is “a major biography of a major American military figure.”

“This massive work is biography at its very best. Literate and meaty, incisive and balanced, detailed without being pedantic. Mr. D’Este’s Patton takes its rightful place as the definitive biography of this American warrior.” –Calvin L. Christman, Dallas Morning News

“D’Este tells this story well, and gives us a new understanding of this great and troubled man.”-The Wall Street Journal
“An instant classic.” –Douglas Brinkley, director, Eisenhower Center

This must rate high, in my opinion, as one of the best & all inclusive biographies of one of the brashest, enigmatic figures in our history! The man lived for war and was always prepared to die for his country, but in his words, “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”

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A CENTURY OF WAR: LINCOLN, WILSON, AND ROOSEVELT

A CENTURY OF WAR: LINCOLN, WILSON, AND ROOSEVELT John V. Denson Ludwig von Mises Institute

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Judge Denson has, in this excellent book, expertly solved a difficult problem. Wars are a principal means for the state to increase its power. The classic work on this theme by Robert Higgs, Crisis and Leviathan, will be well known to most readers of this journal; but Denson also calls attention in this connection to the important study of Bruce Porter, War and the Rise of the State: The Military Foundations of Modern Politics (New York, 1994).

Given this fact, one can readily understand why unscrupulous political leaders actively seek war: they wish to increase their own power. But of course war, with all its appalling massacres and horrors, is very much against the interests of the great majority of the population. Here our problem arises: how do the political leaders manage to enlist the general population behind their murderous crusades?

Denson finds the answer by appealing to a well-known fact. Most people, despite their aversion for war, are not pacifists. If they have been attacked, they will fight back; and, once battle is joined, matters usually get out of hand. This gives the political leaders their opportunity. They have only to provoke an enemy into an attack. By doing so, they will be able to rally their nation to “defend” against an assault they have themselves instigated. In one prime example of this tactic, Secretary of War Henry Stimson noted in his diary for November 25, 1941, “The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves” (p. 101). Denson discusses in detail two instances of this phenomenon: Abraham Lincoln’s attempt, knowing that this would induce an attack, to provision Fort Sumter, and Franklin Roosevelt’s aggressive policy toward Japan, which led to the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor. Denson also considers in less detail Woodrow Wilson’s similar tactics toward Germany in World War I.

I found this to be a great read and well worth the time! Opened my eyes in some circumstances and corroborated many suspicions.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

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The Wars Between England and America by Theodore Clarke Smith

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Excerpt: …were men like Samuel Adams of Massachusetts and Patrick Henry of Virginia. They had learned their politics in the period before the Revolution, and clung to the old colonial spirit, which regarded normal politics as essentially defensive and anti-governmental. On the other hand, there were a good many individuals in the country who recognized that the triumph of the colonial ideal was responsible for undeniable disasters. Such men were found, especially, among the army officers and among those who had tried to aid the cause in diplomatic or civil office during the Revolution. Experience made them realize that the practical abolition of all 132 executive authority and the absence of any real central government had been responsible for chronic inefficiency. The financial collapse, the lack of any power on the part of Congress to enforce its laws or resolutions, the visible danger that State legislatures might consult their own convenience in supporting the common enterprises or obligations-all these shortcomings led men like Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Webster, a pamphleteer of New England, to urge even before 1781 that a genuine government should be set up to replace the mere league. Their supporters were, however, few, and confined mainly to those merchants or capitalists who realized the necessity of general laws and a general authority. It is scarcely conceivable that the inherited prejudices of most Americans in favour of local independence could have been overborne had not the Revolution been followed by a series of public distresses, which drove to the side of the strong-government advocates-temporarily, as it proved-a great number of American voters. When hostilities ended, the people of the United States entered upon a period of economic confusion. In the first place, trade was disorganized, since the old West India markets were lost and the privileges formerly enjoyed under the Navigation Acts were terminated by the separation of the.

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On War by Carl von Clausewitz

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This is the obsolete (but still useful) 1873 translation. The 1976/84 Howard/Paret version is the standard translation today, though for the most accurate text one should consult the 1943 Jolles translation.

On War is the most significant attempt in Western history to understand war, both in its internal dynamics and as an instrument of policy. Since the work’s first appearance in 1832, it has been read throughout the world, and has stimulated generations of soldiers, statesmen, and intellectuals.

Carl von Clausewitz’s On War has been called, “not simply the greatest, but the only truly great book on war.” It is an extraordinary attempt to construct an all-embracing theory of how war works. Its coherence and ambition are unmatched by other military literature. On War is full of sharp observation, biting irony, and memorable phrases, the most famous being, “War is a continuation of politics by other means.”

About the Author
Except for a brief stint in 1812 when he served in the Russian army, Clausewitz spent his whole career, from the age of twelve until his death in 1831, in the Prussian army. He fought in all the major Prussian campaigns against France, and his most fateful experience – the 1806 Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, in which Napoleon destroyed the Prussian army – inspired him to write On War.

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Nicaragua Betrayed by Anastasio Somoza , Jack Cox

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Nicaragua Betrayed, published in 1980, is the memoir of former Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza Debayle (as told to Jack Cox), who had been toppled the previous year by the Sandinista insurgency. At the time of the book’s publication, Somoza was living in Asunción, Paraguay, as a personal guest of President Alfredo Stroessner.[1]

In the book Somoza gave his account of his administration, his downfall, and what he perceived to be the American betrayal of his country; he was particularly critical of the Carter Administration.[2]

Shortly after the book’s publication, Somoza and his chauffeur were assassinated in downtown Asunción by members of the Argentine People’s Revolutionary Army.[3]

He is buried in Miami, Florida at Woodlawn Park North Cemetery and Mausoleum.[4]

This was an excellent book about the fall of the Nicaraguan republic under the Carter administration. A very sad tale indeed!

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