And Then

Back to Workplace: to And Now; or to the Entrance
Page last edited: Friday October 16, 2009 
This page also includes items that occur now because of then.
For example, the link below about a Kiwi shows an amazing PR coup by the French government during the D-Day celebrations. One of the nicest things to have happened on that 60th anniversary. I don't doubt that there were others that occurred, it's simply that this one was disseminated, probably worldwide.
06/16/2004: Gurkhas employed in Wales as bus drivers
06/08/2004: Kiwi hitches a lift

Terrorism and Racism: perhaps equally inimical. Racism, xenophobia and all the ills caused by this blinkered species will never, seemingly, end. In the USA, 2001 and later.
Terrorism should perhaps be fought as Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau acted in Québec: No mercy, and suspend freedom for the duration. But, for how many more years? History shows that terrorists, of any political bent, often become the beloved and sometimes humane rulers of the countries they worried witless. Witness, for example, Israel pre and post 1948. And South Africa, post independence. Who does not love the aged Mandela?

But, Zimbabwe and that absolute idiot Mugabe; Darfur and the Sudanese government's approved Janjaweed killers, which the UN can't admit is tantamount to genocide. Whilst the world dithers, dithers and dithers.
And then there is the never ending Palestinian fiasco: note Steve Bell's viewpoint, 07/25/2002, click for larger version. 
Israel_bombing_mistake_Bell.jpg (61443 bytes)
There are the concomitant problems of remembering the Resistance, the defence of the Warsaw ghetto, and what is happening in Northern Ireland, in Burma (Myanmar), what could happen in North Korea, and why the Mohawk area in Canada is avoided.

Below is an image to click of the Kurdish population that, in the old Turkish Empire, was basically left alone.

Nowadays, of course, every country that the Kurds inhabit is nervous. I am not suggesting that the Ottoman Empire was blameless; it was ancient and corrupt, but it was multi-ethnic and cared not what religion one held. So, all was not lost, until WWI and its aftermath (read Margaret Macmillan's 1919). And again, a decent Sunni government in Iraq was lost to the ages and replaced with, firstly, fascism, and increasingly likely now, to be ruled by either or both Sunni and Shiite fanatics.

Below is a Steve Bell cartoon (May 2004) of Bush defending a captured terrorist, or a Terrrst, as he is wont to say as he mangles the language. Prime Minister Blair is a better speaker, but sometimes I wonder whether even he has made use of Fowler's Modern English Usage. Of course, the Abu Ghraib report is out and is easily downloaded in Adobe Acrobat pdf format. Find it, it's worth reading alongside the official 911 reports that are also flying around.

June/July 2004: There is trouble in the air, and on the ground, with the TSA, etc.
This is a story of a flight from hell, related in WomensWallStreet. Revisited here, with interest from everywhere, it would seem. There is more, a lot more, on the WWS website, especially the story about the Syrians being an actual band, not?

And this is Ian Spiers's story about being a photography student. Ian Spiers's site has constant updates relating to this incident, although it crashed when the news of the incident swept the world (here it is: Which is why his founding article is posted here, if imperfectly, and I hope he doesn't mind.

Now then, jokes apart, Yoda has spoken, so we have an intimation of the imminent arrival of Armageddon. Here is a précis of the Pentagon's conclusions. This is February of the leap year 2004.

And now, for something completely different, The Donkey and the Taliban

Further, this is terrorism related, even if it is about religion: right on Spider! And, at the bottom of that page are two appended letters.

Eta gifts C4 to the IRA, begorrah!

June 24, 2004: Still Zimbabwe suffers, with a Vaclav Havel reminder, (since the Czech Republic has joined the EU, and where freedom of expression is allowed, along with democratic rights).

Feb 17, 2002:
George, make with the friendly bombs.
Mar 14, 2002: Zimbabwe:
Britain denies vote was fair. My opinion, such as it is worth, too.
Mar 22, 2002: Zimbabwe: Food needs.
Jun 27, 2002: Nepad and Zimbabwe: why trust the West?

Not exactly terrorism, but some images from one history of revolutions, an interesting volume by A J P Taylor, the left-wing Oxford historian who was friends with Alan Bullock (three obits) until such time as he wasn't. That is exactly my sentiment, there is no reason for some actions, many times a result of intellectual miasmas, or basic jealousy: a shame, however, since both historians were of the highest calibre.
Headscarves are not the problem: people in fear are more likely to do something daft. And that is what is shown when I talk to my friends about things like this.
The psychological effects of war on an SPC, who must (?) have been either court-martialled or bemedalled. And here is a story about a spy, almost, because it is about a journalist, of sorts.

Politics, War and Destruction:
Why the Germans nearly won WWII, and why they, eventually, lost: the story of  Major-General Sir Percy Hobart
(1885-1957) (Repeat of article, with a photograph of the hawk, in case it disappears from the Institute of Historical Research).

Note particularly that the gentleman above, once in military gear, and the other view in full dress for the Gurkha VC ceremony, is Field Marshal the Viscount Slim of Yarraluma and Bishopston KG, GCB, BCMG, GCVO, GBE, DSO, MC (1891-1970), who used Hobart's principles in Burma. The principles are: Pace is Protection, Rapidity means surprise . . . increased mobility and range entail great calls not only on endurance . . . but on intelligence and initiative in all ranks . . . A new sort of discipline is required. The "You're not paid to think" variety is obsolete. (This from before and during WWII; would that the modern world ran this way!) The former is a quote by Hobart taken from Ronald Lewin's wonderful biography: Slim, The Standardbearer (1976 Leo Cooper Ltd). A biography of a man's man in the best sense possible. Lewin's "From Defeat into Victory" Cooper Square Press, especially the closing comments, is illuminating. These volumes should be required reading by the hawks in the Bush government. As should Barbara Tuchman's "The Guns of August", Ballantine Books; ISBN: 034538623X; Reprint edition (April 1994). 

Slim's book contains an interesting side note about the father of the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner: Aung San Suu Kyi (here is her biography at the Nobel Site in Sweden). Her father, General (Bogyoke) Aung San, (who was assassinated later) fought against the British in conjunction with the Japanese. But, later, he turned against the Japanese when he discovered that they were just going to be new imperial masters, even worse than the English: 'The English sucked one's blood, the Japanese ground one's bones!' quoth he.

The Overlord campaign, Eisenhower in charge, preceded by Neptune, occurred in June 1944. In charge of Neptune was Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (1887-1976). The reason the British beaches proved reasonably easy to traverse and progress from was the mechanical beasts dreamed up by Hobart. (He was the brother-in-law of Montgomery). When offered their use, the American generals, especially Bradley, did not take to the oddments that Hobart had so successfully produced. Monty, however, recognised their worth and Hobart's mechanised regiment, which was dispersed everywhere, became very successful indeed. 

On Omaha, the failure to use proper equipment was almost fatal. Exacerbated, no doubt, by dropping off the troop transports twelve miles from the beaches. Wet, tired, seasick and strafed by the Germans, only the guts of the Big Red One got them off that death trap. Chester Wilmot's book, 'The Struggle for Europe', 1952, with its excellent maps and exposition of the course of the war, also includes information regarding Hobart, in particular the way that Bradley was remiss in failing to use the machines that were available.

Now then, still at WWII, there are these images: holocaust proof, Yalta, etc. Then there are these clippings from 1952: Cold War. For further, similar oddments visit and go to Anti-Bigotry from the index page. The current brouhaha about the swastika is mentioned therein.

John Masters, 1914-1983, author of many tremendous books about India and, in later life, a trilogy about families changed by WWI; and also of three excellent autobiographies, viz. Bugles and a Tiger, The Road Past Mandalay and Pilgrim Son. This quotation (from Bugles and a Tiger) is indicative of the reasons why I read so many books, especially biographical works. Gurkhas, Sikhs and, in part, stories about Slim (the page also includes illustrations about the Raj).

Barbara Tuchman
: China matters, well it did in WWII, and the page shows, among others, a photo of Madame Chiang Kai-shek, who died late 2003 at a very ripe old age, and on Long Island, no less.

Now, what's this? There were a few people who tried their best to allay the Holocaust, and one of them was Walter Schellenberg. He, however, was a Gestapo officer, who took over Himmler's foreign intelligence service. What Schellenberg did was purely self-interested opportunism. Here are his words: "da aber ein Drittel in unserer Hand war, die übrigen aber ausserhalb unserer Machtbereiches lebten, sei die Art der Behandlung der Juden schlimmer als ein Verbrechen, es sei eine Dummheit gewesen." From Schwerin von Krosigk's diary, s.d. April 15th 1945.

To muddy the water, here is a book review of Martin Gilbert's "The Righteous". The book describes in detail many of the Gentiles who saved people from the Holocaust, at their own peril.

This England, by Sir David Low, who was a brilliant wartime cartoonist, often told to quieten it down by the stiff upper lips. As if!! 

Obituaries  A purely arbitrary selection, based on my own interests, both historical and recent.
Here is a notice relating to the death of Victoria, Empress of India, sometime Queen of most of the world and read, you must read, The Victorians, by A N Wilson.

Her Royal Highness Elizabeth the Queen Mother and at the BBC; in Canada, 1939 1900-2002; Prince Charles' dependence.

How the Guardian dealt with the death of James Joyce in 1941. And the assassination of Gandhi in 1948. There is a photo of Gandhi in Lancashire on the Gurkhas, etc., page.

Joan Aiken 1924-2004: prolific author of children's and adult fiction with touches of the macabre and the supernatural. Several articles given a show, because of her ability.
Fanny Blankers-Koen 1918-2004: amazing performance as an Olympian, especially in Berlin.
The Venerable Michael Brown 1915-2004: Archdeacon, and also minister to the wounded Marine band members injured by IRA blast at Deal.
James Carter 1926-2003: Po' Lazarus and the movies.
John Charles 1931-2004: Welsh giant of football, the real kind, and a true gentleman.
Lieutenant-Colonel Pat Combe 1912-2003: tank man, cricket and rugby lover and a lot more.
Wing Commander David Cox 1920-2004, who had a contretemps with Douglas Bader alongside happier exploits.
The Right Reverend Michael Fisher 1918-2003: a communist, a Franciscan friar and an Anglican bishop.
Janet Frame 1924-2004: New Zealand author of Nobel Prize quality who escaped, fortuitously, from a lobotomy. And, she wasn't even ill, merely reclusive.
Nicolas Freeling 1927-2003, an excellent writer of literature that just happened to be mysteries. Plus his cookery books.
Olivia Goldsmith 1950-2004: divorcée and author of 'The First Wives Club'.

Celia Goodman 1916-2002, a sensitive presence in the lives of several important authors.
John Grigg 1924-2001: biographer.
Squadron Leader John Hall 1921-2004: had a capacity to understand what people meant despite what they said.
Johnny Henderson 1920-2003: ADC to Montgomery, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Lord of the Manor, great guy, who's hat was eaten by an elephant.
Lady Henderson 1919-2004: gang of six member, and of much else.
David Hobman 1927-2004: advocate for the unused elder members of society in the UK.
Archbishop Denis Hurley 1915-2004: implacable opponent of apartheid, stern of countenance, friend of Mandela.
Lord Jenkins of Putney 1908-2004: CND supporter, Labour Party man and honest broker, who loved Burma, almost too much.
Molly Kelly 1917-2004: Australian aboriginal who told of the maltreatment caused by forced care.
Fritz Kraemer 1908-2003: adviser to the Chiefs of Staff, and a Hohenzollern to boot. Annoyed with Kissinger for a long time.
Joyce Lambert: 1916-2005, biologist, archaeologist. Lover of the Norfolk Broads.
Lt-General Sir Henry Leask 1913-2004: WWII hero, of ferocious moustache, but engaging character.
Air Chief Marshal Sir David Lee 1912-2004: airman, and carrier of the 'goolie' chit (John Masters advises why so, in his autobiographies).
Alan Lomax, 1905-2002, sound recorder sans pareil for the unknown musician.
William Manchester, 1922-2004: biographer, historian. "Goodbye, Darkness", his story of experiences in WWII Pacific is excellent.
Spike Milligan 1918-2002, incorrigible comic, and page includes an obit for Harry Secombe.

Helen Montagu 1928-2004: entrepreneur of the stage, and a happily married woman, who discovered Catherine Zeta-Jones, late of the Larkins, and eventually of Michael Douglas.
Dudley Moore 1935-2002 of Dud and Pete, and pianoforte.
Helmut Newton 1920-2004: almost pornographic fashion photographer of somewhat sado-masochistic tendencies.
Dr Humphry Osmond 1917-2004: the author of the term psychedelic after practising with hallucinogens on Aldous Huxley.
Lieutenant-General Sir Rollo Pain 1921-2005. Top rate officer, including Staff College and in the USA. Hunting and fishing, and Brideshead Revisited.
Frances Partridge (with a review of her diaries) 1900-2004, the last of the Bloomsbury set, and again.
Colonel the Lord Penrhyn 1908-2003, a soldier, a farmer and a gentleman.
Harry Rankin 1920-2002 ex-Lawyer for the people, in Vancouver near Main Street.

Major-General Jim Robertson 1910-2004: in charge of two Gurkha rifle regiments in Burma and Malaya.
Frances Sitwell 1935-2004: scion of the Sitwells who did rather well, eventually.

Sir Nigel Strutt 1916-2004: Farmer, soldier, non-skier, bachelor.
John Thaw 1942-2002 Thespian par excellence.

Norman Thelwell 1923-2004: little horse cartoonist and Little Englander, but who cares?
Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre of Glanton) 1914-2003: writer, historian.
Doris Troy 1937-2004: Soul singer. Backed many British bands.
Sir Stephen Tumim 1930-2004: Inspector of Prisons and educator in bow tie and half-moon specs.

William Tutte, mathematician who broke the enigma code in WWII, 1917-2002.
Lady Virginia Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes 1947-2004: Feisty, top drawer explorer and manager.

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