Saturday matinee: Fort Eben-Emael

Following World War I, the Belgians built a system of fortifications – similar to France’s Maginot Line – surrounding Liège to prevent another German invasion. Fort Eben-Emael, the largest fortress ever built, anchored the network and was completed in 1935. Eben-Emael featured multiple 60, 75, and 120mm gun emplacements protected by armor plating and reinforced concrete as thick as 13 feet. Barbed wire, cliffs, anti-aircraft batteries, machine guns and additional – albeit smaller – fortifications in the surrounding area protected the underground fort.

As the Wermacht moved west toward France in May, 1940, the Germans had to capture the bridges spanning the Albert Canal intact (they were rigged to detonate), and the guns at Eben-Emael had to be neutralized.

With some 1,200 soldiers manning the technologically advanced fortress, defeating Eben-Emael would be extraordinary difficult. But Adolf Hitler himself figured that a few dozen engineers with specialized explosives landing directly on top of the structure could pull off the operation.

What followed was the world’s first combat glider landing and perhaps one of the most daring raids in military history.

Posted on June 22, 2013 at 13:41 by Chris Carter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: Military History · Tagged with: 

Expendable

not-optimal-casualtiesToday’s Democrat Party views the United States military as nothing more than a political tool to further their agenda. And after Benghazi we see that our troops and intelligence operators are expendable if Democrats think sacrificing them is in their best political interests.

But don’t take it from me; just look at what they do.

Instead of preserving the world’s most effective combat force, the Democrat Party views the U.S. military as a massive source of funding (defense budget cuts), an opportunity to shore up political support through social engineering (allowing openly gay service members), and a means to further their liberal internationalist agenda (so-called “Responsibility to Protect” operations like Libya).

They know that the military community tends to vote strongly Republican, which partly explains their open contempt of the men and women that serve in the Armed Forces – whether falsely labeling them cold-blooded murderers (Rep. John Murtha), comparing them to Nazis, KGB, and the Khmer Rouge (Sen. Dick Durbin), joking about their intelligence (Sec. John Kerry)… the examples of the Democrat Party’s distaste for the military could easily fill an entire article.

But throughout American history, our troops knew at least if they were wounded, in danger of being overrun, or even killed, our military will do everything in its power to get rescue or recover you.

No one gets left behind. At least that’s how it used to be.

That is, until Benghazi, which has become one of the most dishonorable events in American history. When our consulate was attacked and overran, President Obama left Americans to die. Any rescue attempt was cut off – not by our enemies, but by the Obama administration.

Even worse than the tragic and preventable deaths of four Americans, Washington’s reaction over the last eight months shows the utter disregard the Democrat Party and media have for not only the fallen, but for all of our troops and operators.

I am not saying that each and every Democrat politician wanted those men to die. But can you name any Democrat politician that has said we need to get to the bottom of Benghazi? Has any Democrat even so much as distanced themself from their party’s callous disregard for the fallen? Washington can say they support the troops all day, it’s time they show us how they support our troops.

Since day one, the Democrat Party – primarily the Obama administration – and their media allies have sought to make the story go away. Since that didn’t work, they have resorted to distracting the American people and redirecting the focus by claiming Republicans are only making this an issue for political gain.

Just imagine if your son or daughter was killed in the attack and politicians reacted by saying that anyone trying to find out answers was only using the tragedy for political leverage. That really says something about our nation when the majority party can shamelessly stoop so low – and get away with it.

Read the rest of this post »

Chinese aggression shows Law of the Sea treaty is worthless

southchinasea

Supporters of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) would have us believe that the treaty makes the world a safer place. For 30 years, media, political, and even military elite have all called for ratification of UNCLOS.

But why should the U.S. ratify a treaty that, considering Chinese ongoing territorial aggression against its neighbors, we can see is useless when it comes to maintaining “peace, justice and progress for all peoples of the world,” as the charter states?

Chinese naval vessels recently violated UN law by using their fire control radar to target a Japanese naval destroyer and military helicopters operating near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in February.

The rocky, uninhabited islands belonged to the Japanese until after World War II, when the United States assumed temporary control. The islands returned to Japanese administration in 1972, but the Chinese didn’t voice their claim to the islands until a potentially significant oil field was discovered in the region later that decade.

For months, Chinese and Filipino vessels have maintained a delicate standoff over the Scarborough Shoals (Huangyan Island to China). Although 500 miles from the nearest Chinese port, Chinese fishing vessels flaunt the law by harvesting their catch within the UNCLOS-established exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, just 124 miles from their coast.

In 1947, the Chinese government claimed virtually all of the South China Sea in what has become known as the “Nine-Dash Line.” China, a member nation of UNCLOS, refuses to explain the details on how they reached their far-fetching boundary.

A U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks states that a senior Chinese government maritime law expert admittedly did not know of any historical basis behind the “Nine-Dash Line.”

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 12:13 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Articles, Geopolitics · Tagged with: ,

Georgia state house seeks to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment

100 years ago, the United States ratified an amendment to the Constitution that changed the way America chose its senators. The amendment’s supporters said that senators directly elected by the people would not only be more democratic, but also less corrupt and less susceptible to special interest influence.

Instead of reducing corruption, however, changing the method of Senate selection provided entirely new avenues of political exploitation by fundamentally transforming our federal government. Most importantly, the amendment destroyed the federalist structure that the Founding Fathers installed to protect state sovereignty.

Today, members of the Georgia state House of Representatives seek to restore state representation to the federal government by reviving the Founders’ original intent. The goal of House Bill 273 is “to protect the sovereignty of the states from the federal government and to give each individual state government representation in the federal legislative branch of government” by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment.

Of course, this resolution would not necessitate any action or response from the federal government should it pass, but it could spark a national debate on the concept of federalism, unconstitutional government, and the Founders’ original intent.

Why was the Seventeenth Amendment ratified?

As the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, they understood that free and independent states, fresh from a long and costly war with England, would not approve of a charter that required them to totally surrender their sovereignty to a new federal government. To balance the legitimate concerns of the states with the need to preserve the union and form a national government for mutual protection and prosperity, the Founders chose a federalist system of divided powers between the states and the proposed federal government.

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 12:33 by Chris Carter · Permalink · One Comment
In: Articles · Tagged with: , ,

Environmental impact study

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II with the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., drops a AGM-65 Maverick missile during a close air support training mission Sept. 23, 2011, over the Nevada Test and Training Range.  U.S. Air Force Weapons School students participate in many combat training missions over  the NTTR during the six-month, graduate-level instructor course held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brett Clashman/Released)

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II with the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., drops a AGM-65 Maverick missile during a close air support training mission Sept. 23, 2011, over the Nevada Test and Training Range. U.S. Air Force Weapons School students participate in many combat training missions over the NTTR during the six-month, graduate-level instructor course held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brett Clashman/Released)

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 20:18 by Chris Carter · Permalink · One Comment
In: Images, Military · Tagged with: , ,

What is an extremist, Mr. President?

In today’s polarized society, politicians are increasingly using the term “extremist” to label their opponents. But what is an extremist? Merriam-Webster defines the word as “the quality or state of being extreme,” being the “farthest possible point from the center.”

Now those definitions by themselves are largely subjective; my view of the center and how far something is from it may be entirely different than yours.

But let’s consider an example: you are well within your constitutional rights to peaceably oppose partial-birth abortions. Likewise, someone who peaceably opposes the banning of such abortions would be within their rights. One could argue that this free exchange of ideas, for or against abortion, would be the “center.” Since neither group imposes upon the rights of the other, this is how our civilized society properly functions. Each citizen is entitled to his or her opinion and we empower government to express the will of the majority, provided the majority itself doesn’t interfere with the rights of the minority.

Extremists, those at the furthest possible point from the center, would be people willing to break laws and violate the rights of others in order to enact their goals. Someone willing to blow up a clinic that performs partial-birth abortions would be a perfect example of an extremist, as there is no further point from “the center” than taking the life of another in defense of your cause.

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 13:32 by Chris Carter · Permalink · One Comment
In: Articles, Politics · Tagged with: ,

Anarchy of government

When we hear the term “anarchy,” it brings to mind a society with no laws or structure. In the hands of good people, anarchy can represent absolute freedom. One could argue that Americans would be far more prosperous if we were free of the heavy taxes and regulations that hamper our economy today.

But in the hands of the bad, anarchy represents chaos. There is no rule of law to deter criminals; no police force to protect the people or their property; no military to repel foreign invaders.

But that is only if we consider the citizens of a state. Expand the focus and consider anarchy of government.

Merriam-Webster defines anarchy as the “absence or denial of any authority or established order.” Ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We the people are in fact the rightful government of the United States, and those we have elected are mere public servants chosen to handle the affairs of the state according to our will and within the constraints of our Constitution.

Considering the history of our federal government in recent years – particularly the behavior of this Congress and administration – we can see an escalating trend of disregard for the established order of our Constitution and an increasing denial of the people’s authority over government.

No different than a robot in a science fiction movie that becomes “self-aware” and wrecks havoc on it’s former human masters, our government has also become self-aware: realizing, seemingly, that it is no longer the servant of the people, but the master. No longer bound by the Constitution, but all-powerful.

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 17:16 by Chris Carter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: Articles, Politics · Tagged with: , , ,

This week in U.S. military history

Jan. 19

1770: The little-known but historically significant Battle of Golden Hill erupts in New York City between members of the patriot organization “Sons of Liberty” and a contingent of British soldiers. Several are wounded on both sides and one civilian is killed in what is considered by some historians as the first armed clash of the American Revolution.

1862: Union forces led by Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas defeat Confederates under Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden in the Battle of Mill Springs (Ky.). The engagement marks the Union’s first significant victory of the war.

Jan. 20

1783: Diplomats in Versailles sign a treaty ending hostilities between the United States and Britain. After eight long years of fighting, the Americans have secured their independence.

1914: A naval aviation unit from Annapolis, Md. consisting of nine officers, 23 men, seven aircraft, portable hangars, and other gear, under Lieutenant J. H. Towers” arrives at Pensacola, Fla. aboard the battleship USS Mississippi and the bulk-cargo ship USS Orion to set up a flying school. The “Cradle of Naval Aviation” is born.

1944: The U.S. 5th Army, commanded by Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, reaches the Gustav Line and clashes with German forces near Monte Cassino, Italy. After four months of bloody fighting, the Allies have Field Marshall Albert Kesselring’s Tenth Army on their heels and in danger of being surrounded.

1968: The North Vietnamese Army tries – and fails – to overrun Marines patrolling the hills surrounding their combat outpost. The Battle of Khe Sanh has begun – the heavily outnumbered and besieged Marines will fight off their attackers for 77 days, shattering two enemy divisions.

1981: 20 minutes after Ronald Reagan is sworn in as president, Iran releases 52 American hostages (including 18 military personnel) after 444 days of captivity.
Read the rest of this post »

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 14:00 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Military History

This week in U.S. military history

Jan. 5

1781: Commanding 1,600 British troops, American Traitor – now a British brigadier general – Benedict Arnold captures and burns Richmond, Va.

1855: A landing party from the USS Plymouth skirmishes with Chinese forces near Canton during the Taiping Rebellion.

1875: U.S. Navy Cdr. Edward Lull leads an expedition to determine the best route for the Panama Canal.

1904: Marines arrive in Korea to defend the U.S. legation assembly at Seoul.

1945: Japanese pilots receive their first order to become kamikaze suicide attackers. At Okinawa alone, 1,465 kamikaze pilots destroy at least 30 U.S. warships and kill 5,000 Americans.

Jan. 6

1777: Gen. George Washington sets up winter camp for the Continental Army in the hills surrounding Morristown, N.J.

1861: Florida militia forces seize the Union Apalachicola Arsenal, which is defended by only Ordnance Sergeant Edwin Powell and three laborers. Although hopelessly outnumbered, Powell was prepared to fight if ordered to hold and initially refuses to surrender the keys to the magazines or armory. The militia permits Powell to telegram his command for instruction. Powell reluctantly concedes when he receives no response.

1942: Pres. Franklin Roosevelt informs Congress that he is authorizing the largest armaments production in United States history: 8 million tons of shipping, 45,000 planes, and 45,000 tanks, and 20,000 anti-aircraft guns will roll off assembly lines within the year.

Read the rest of this post »

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 15:17 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Military History

Muddin’

Navy “SEAL” (Sea-Air-Land) Team Member moves through deep mud as he makes his way ashore from a boat, during a combat operation in South Vietnam in 1970. His gun is a Mk23 5.56mm Machine Gun (Stoner 63). Note his camouflage uniform & face paint. Photographed by PHC A. Hill.

A Navy SEAL, carrying a Mk23 5.56mm Machine Gun (Stoner 63), moves through deep mud as he makes his way ashore from a boat, during a combat operation in South Vietnam in 1970. (U.S. Navy photograph by PHC A. Hill)

Happy 51st birthday to the Navy SEALs, who were founded on Jan. 1, 1962.

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 11:19 by Chris Carter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: Images, Military History · Tagged with: