Re: [sixties-l] Re: Suppose they gave a war, and nobody showed up

From: William Mandel (
Date: Sun Jul 28 2002 - 23:02:08 EDT

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    Why on earth do you accept Hollywood's unwillingness to abandon the Cold
    War (of course, Washington hasn't) as historic truth? The Russian press
    is full of articles by war veterans protesting "Enemy at the Gate."
                                                    William (Bill) Mandel

    drieux wrote:
    > On Wednesday, July 10, 2002, at 06:44 , Maggie Jaffe wrote:
    > [..]
    > > It occurred to me that our surplus supply of prisoners might be the
    > > latest method to flesh out the military.
    > Actually 'the punishment battalion' is more of a soviet tactic
    > from 'the great patriotic war' - you may want to catch 'Enemy
    > at the Gate' - the "jude law" vehicle about the great sniper
    > duel in Stalingrad - the opening sequences has our 'valiant hero'
    > arriving by cattle car, being dragged across the volga, handed
    > a clip of ammunition, told to use the rifle of those who fall
    > and sent forward. Retreat is dealt with by russian machinegun fire.
    > As a tactic - it is a 'last ditch' solution - and as even the
    > film points out, the better course is to give the troops a
    > reason to have hope.
    > The early soviet campaign to 'liberate' Afghanistan fell victim
    > to the 'euro-centric' tactics of the Red Army - which were designed
    > and developed to take on NATO, not deal with Mujahidin in the
    > moutains.... They would finally shift to the 'spetnaz' solution
    > in the last few years of their time in Afghanistan - to take
    > back the 'strategic momentum'. But that process rests upon
    > 'special operations personnel' willing to run very small
    > unit tactics where the recon was more important than the
    > massed battle, since the mission is to find the small band of
    > troops moving in the hill, so that they can be targeted by
    > air mobile assets.
    > { for those of us engaged in monitoring soviet activities, this
    > type of military operation, like the adoption of 'mobile artillery'
    > and the efforts to decentralize the Command and Control, were telling
    > signs that the rigid models of 'collectiviztion' were failing. }
    > The problem there, as with the american position in vietnam,
    > and potentially the american position in afghanistan,
    > is the issue of 'staying power'. Which is a political issue, and
    > the military will always be subordinant to the political agenda
    > of the political leadership. This is as true of the Red Army as
    > the american - Since it was President Bush's call to accept a
    > 'cease fire' and the eleven years of 'stumbling towards peace'
    > as we have watched it with regards to Iraq.
    > Where your speculation has merit of course, is the marriage of
    > the PATRIOT act, and the growing dissident movement in the USA
    > as the likes of Gnewt "I was a draft dodger too" Gingrich, oppose
    > the Great Leader, calling him 'as muddled as he was before 9/11' and
    > the continuing confusion of Bill "Hiding in College Helped Me Avoid
    > Vietnam" O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone" as he forgets how to implement any
    > of his patriotic rhetoric - as the technical bits confuse him.
    > Who knows, if the 'pundits' were to 'question' their 'patriotism'
    > as is the current rage over Martina Navratilova's comments, also
    > casting doubt on the great leader, it would be interesting to watch
    > them standing before a Judge, as was so chic during vietnam, and
    > given the same option:
    > do time in jail,
    > join our valiant fighting forces
    > ciao
    > drieux
    > ---


    ======================================================== My autobiography, SAYING NO TO POWER (Creative Arts, Berkeley, 1999), was written for the general reader. However, if you teach in the social sciences consider it for student reading. It is a history of how the American people fought to defend and expand its rights in my lifetime, employing the form of the life story of one who was involved in most serious movements: labor, student, peace with the USSR, civil rights South and North, civil liberties (I seriously damaged the Senate Internal Security Committee, the McCarthy Committee, and the House Un-American Activities Committee with testimonies that may be heard/seen on my website, ), the RADIO OF DISSENT (37 YEARS ON PACIFICA), with very extensive information on its history) and the feminist movement, although I am male. The book contains some fifty pages on my late wife, Tanya, appearing appropriately throughout the book. They may be found in the index under Mandel, Tanya. My activities began in 1927. I am 85. The book is available through all normal sources. If you want an autographed copy, send me $23 at 4466 View Pl., Apt. 106, Oakland, CA. 94611 ========================================================

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