Monday, October 27, 2008

Military Book Club goofs again

By Walter Haan,

On page 23 of The Military Book Club sales magazine Warfare, November 2008 edition, there is a headline that makes military history enthusiasts like me cringe.

The headline reads: "An intriguing biography of the famed battleship"

The book being promoted on this page is Intrepid, referring to the 36,000 ton Essex-class aircraft carrier of World War II. Whoops. The actual Intrepid is now moored at a pier on the west side of Manhattan Island in the Hudson River as a floating museum.

Authors of the book are Bill White, president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Robert Gandt, a former US Navy fighter pilot. The foreword for the book is by presidential candidate John McCain!

I'm sure White and Gandt aren't thrilled by the headline goof. McCain seems to be losing on many fronts at this time so he probably hasn't noticed that the Intrepid was turned from an aircraft carrier into a battleship by some young copywriter who knows nothing about history.

As I've said before, too many Americans know nothing about American history.

It also makes me wonder if McCain was paid to write the foreword. Doesn't he and his wife Cindy have enough homes and automobiles?--Copyright 2008 by Walter Haan,

Monday, October 20, 2008

All My Sons

By Walter Haan,

Do you ever feel that all the men and women fighting for us in Iraq and Afghanistan are our own sons and daughters? I do. Even though none of my own children are fighting in those wars, I do feel that those who are doing the fighting are my own children. Perhaps that's because I was in the military myself.

And I don't like the idea that our troops doing the fighting have been cheated.

NBC News with Brian Williams showed Viper Company (150 men) fighting in Afghanistan on tonight's broadcast. Twenty of those men are fighting to hold a mountaintop camp against daily Taliban assaults. The footage showed the weapons of the 20 men jamming and not firing during the heat of the action. A lot of that could result in them being overrun.

Last week on Broadway in New York City, Arthur Miller's first Broadway play was revived in a new production. Titled All My Sons, the plot concerns a family man who owned an airplane parts company with a partner. They made defective airplane parts during World War II that resulted in some of our own men being killed. The family man lets his partner go to jail for this crime while managing to avoid any blame for himself. But he deserved blame and jail time too.

It's a powerful play that eventually exposes the family man's crime to his family, his partner's family and the world. The last 20 minutes of the play are devastating.

But as you know, since 2003 in Iraq and Afghanistan, our forces have been deprived of proper flak jackets, proper Humvee protection and many other things needed for their safety while they fight for us. Viper Company's jamming, misfiring weapons are probably part of that problem.

But no one goes to jail these days for denying our forces what they need or for supplying defective or inadequate protection. Not anyone in the Defense Department who buys inadequate or defective supplies for our troops. Not anyone who works for the manufacturers of inadequate or defective supplies for our troops.

And so those who profit from our wars are not prosecuted when they sacrifice all of our sons and daughters for more quick bucks. Nothing seems to change. President Bush and his henchmen will be out of office three months from today. But none of them will ever be held accountable for starting the Iraq War based on lies and shortchanging our troops they forced to fight there.

Business as usual.--Copyright 2008 by Walter Haan,