Monday, September 12, 2005

The Patton Prayer

One of the highlights of our recent vacation to Kentucky was our visit to Fort Knox. My husband and I knew in advance that Fort Knox itself was closed to tours, but just as we neared the fort via the highway bypass, we saw a sign for The Patton Museum. The display of tanks on the grounds was quite impressive, and we made the decision to stay the night nearby so as to visit the museum the next day.

Somehow, probably as a result of George C. Scott's award-winning portrayal in the movie Patton, I had always pictured the famous general as larger than life. Seeing how small his uniforms were came as quite a surprise! What matters, of course, was not General Patton's physical size but rather his commitment to achieving victory:
"I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight."
The museum contained a lot of material about the renowned general, and on prominent display was one of his Christmas cards to the troops; on the back of the typically worded greeting card was printed The Patton Prayer, which the men of the Third Army received on December 11-12, 1944. The weather lifted on December 20, and the Third Army eventually went on, in the face of extremely difficult odds to the contrary, to achieve victory in a hard-fought battle against the Nazis.
Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.
Perhaps to some, especially to those never having been on the field of battle, The Patton Prayer seems egocentric. Perhaps some feel that the general presumed too much and implied knowing the mind of God. But the man recognized Nazism as an evil which required total defeat, and he did his best to make sure that defeating the enemy was the outcome. To my mind, a war motivated by the ideal of exterminating evil is a just war--a necessary war--because fighting evil is a moral responsibility.

General Patton, a supreme military stategist, understood the importance of locate, close with, destroy. He believed that such was the only way to deal with evil personified by a totalitarian regime.

As we move forward from the the fourth anniversay of 9/11, and we see and hear the renewed threat from American al-Qaeda terrorist Adam Gadahn, do Americans accept the necessity of using proven military strategy in order to achieve victory? Or have we become obsessed with pointlessly trying to understand the enemy?


At 9/13/2005 12:06 AM, Blogger Esther said...

AOW, great post! Loved hearing that stuff about Patton. How cool! My boyfriend is impressed you were near Fort Knox. He's a huge James Bond fan and well... Goldfinger does take place there for part of it. ;)

At 9/13/2005 12:38 AM, Blogger Pastorius said...

I love Patton. He was a warrior at heart who could truthfully say, "I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." But, it seems like he had a deep faith that God would only tell him to fight just battles.

Obviously, God rewarded his faith.

At 9/13/2005 1:17 AM, Blogger LASunsett said...

Old blood and guts was a real life John Wayne type. Sure wish he were around today, we sure could use him.

At 9/13/2005 7:01 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I had forgotten about Goldfinger! Now that you've reminded me, I should rent the movie.

It's too bad that, probably because of 9/11, we can't tour Fort Knox any more. In fact, what I believe used to be the tourist exit from the highway is now completely closed, though we did take another ramp and were able to drive up to the Visitors Center.

Security is so tight now that one is not allowed even to take a photo from the highway, but we were allowed to drive up fairly closely. Pictures can, of course, be purchased at The Patton Museum.

I'm so glad the The Patton Museum wasn't closed down in the interests of security. My husband and I spent hours going through the museum; even so, we didn't get to see everything there.

Your boyfriend might be interested to know that the first section of exhibits was a tribute to Elvis Presley--the soldier, not the entertainer. On display, were screens with lots of footage containing patriotic statements by Elvis, who apparently served as an average soldier, without any request for privileges. The Elvis exhibit also contained lots of military stuff from that period--uniforms, mess kits, rifles, etc.

Having Elvis in Patton's Museum is an interesting juxtaposition.

Both died ignominious deaths--Elvis (as you already well know) and Patton as a result of a car accident, in which he was paralyzed from the neck down for several days before passing away from pneumonia. I've heard that there are conspiracy theories about Patton's death, but what I saw at the museum presented the accident as an unfortunate--though bizarre--occurrence. He survived so many dangerous battles, yet died in a car accident. Nobody else was hurt in the accident, BTW.

At 9/13/2005 7:13 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Have you recntly seen the movie Patton? George C. Scott and George Patton looked so much alike. Both were from Wise County, Virginia. I sometimes wonder if they were not distant cousins.

General Patton was a very religious man and "took from" many different faiths; he believed that his own soul was ancient and that he had shared his soul with previous soldiers (reincarnation?). He also believed in fulfilling his destiny and resented any political correctness (our term, which he wouldn't have known) which might prevent that fulfillment. He believed in conquering the enemy first and didn't have much use for diplomacy as he didn't trust "the Hun," the term he used to describe the evil enemy.

Because General Patton was a supremely well-read and well-educated man, I'm guessing that he knew Kipling's poem, to which I linked.

BTW, Americans today would do well to see the movie. It contains many important reminders and conveys the essence of military patriotism. Also, you might like the film's music. Jerry Goldsmith composed the theme, which IMO is one of the all-time great military pieces. I can't help but hum along and tap my foot every time I hear those riffs.

PS: I noticed at the museum that General Patton received a medal from the Sultan of Morocco. The medal was in the shape of a cross. Interesting, huh?

At 9/13/2005 7:28 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I, too, feel that we could use some Pattons right now. Despite his reputation as "Old Blood and Guts," the man had compassion in him. I believe that his compassion for the oppressed was one reason he was so driven to achieve victory.

General Patton achieved his spectacular victories because (1) he was a great strategist, (2) he didn't believe in the word "impossible," and (3) many of his men were willing to sacrifice for a general who saw himself as an avenger of evil.

Patton saw the world in terms of absolutes--good and evil. He also wasn't afraid to be on the front lines--no armchair generaling for him.

At 9/13/2005 12:30 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

"Or have we become obsessed with pointlessly trying to understand the enemy? "

It's that one and it drives me crazy. Understanding them won't stop them from trying to kill in this case.

At 9/13/2005 3:54 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Funny that they trot out the ADAM Gadahn video (they must have a couple shelves of this crap) at a time when the floor has fallen out of his poll results.

Sort of like how they never find al-Zarqawi.

Ooops, time for the two minute hate..
"The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Goldstein was not the principal figure. He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Party's purity. All subsequent crimes against the Party, all treacheries, acts of sabotage, heresies, deviations, sprang directly out of his teaching. Somewhere or other he was still alive and hatching his conspiracies: perhaps somewhere beyond the sea, under the protection of his foreign paymasters, perhaps even — so it was occasionally rumoured — in some hiding-place in Oceania itself."

I bet you and your husband really love Big Brother. You two clowns think you're free.

At 9/13/2005 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sun Tzu, "Art of War".

17. Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. (3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

18. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.


Our "sovereigns" want to interfere with the commanders again. Is that a good idea? (ps- the He, in this case, is NOT the sovereign).

pps - mr. ducky,

Is Marx hiding out with Osama and al-Zarqawi again? I told you to keep those three apart. But no. you wouldn't listen to me. You keep insisting on a reunion. Did any of those guys study with Khomeni in Paris? Did any of those guys study Marx? I mean, they fought the Ruskies in Afghanistan. Know your enemy, and all that rot.


At 9/13/2005 7:24 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Ducky,
You seem to see Big Brother conspiracies everywhere.

Adam Gadahn's "Two Minute Hate" didn't get much coverage, so I guess that Big Brother missed the mark this time.

At 9/13/2005 7:42 PM, Anonymous Raven said...

AOW, thank you for writing about this man. I did see that movie with George C. Scott, and have read a little about Patton. This causes me to want to go read more, and learn!

At 9/13/2005 7:42 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Sun Tzu mentions the importance of knowing the enemy in order to defeat the enemy. Today's crowd seem determined to try to understand the enemy's motivations. Is that last in order to see if the enemy "has a case"? Or is it an attempt to try to reconcile with the enemy, to find common ground with the enemy? Sometimes I feel as if we look for the good in the enemy instead of concentrating on defeating the bad. Also, we seem to be suffering from a lack of unified culture. Therefore, your points 17.3 and 17.4 seem to be the weak points in our efforts today.

Why do modern politicians ("sovereigns") want to interfere with military strategy? Furtherance of political agendas, I think, has become the overriding concern (instead of the preservation of civilization), so the political agenda doesn't seem to be an honorable one, especially when self-futherance of a political career is the priority, During war, the victory should be the priority; after the victory, the politicians can go back to being politicians.

At 9/14/2005 12:02 AM, Blogger Pastorius said...

Hi AoW,
Yes, I have watched the Patton movie recently. It's one of my favorite movies in the world. I was 7 when it came out. I made every member of my family take me to it at least once. I think I saw it twelve time by the time I was 8.

I do love the music in the movie, and I find the man to be fascinating.

There are certain characters in history whose assurance of, and success in, their mission defies explanation; Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, FDR, Patton, Ronald Reagan.

From the perspective of a normal human being, I simply do not understand the faith of these people.

At 9/14/2005 1:10 AM, Blogger Esther said...

That's some wild and awesome info, AOW! Thank you!!

At 9/14/2005 6:46 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

You're right that certain people are so sure about their mission that they accomplish great achievements. Somehow, certain individuals remain completely committed, and they either don't experience self-doubt or are able to keep that self-doubt in check.

The time in which we live is filled with such political correctness that assurance is constantly under assault. I believe that those who can ignore pc (The label had not yet been invented when certain heroes accomplished their deeds, but the philosphy has always been with us) and move ahead with a mission are destined to achieve that mission.

The examples you mentioned above didn't let the likes of pc deter them from their commitment. I believe that strength of faith is needed to maintain a just mission; we humans cannot stay strong in righteousness on our own.

Patton was so certain that what he was doing would help to establish justice. This is a selfless calling and one for the larger good. The battles in which the general fought were among the bloodiest of the war.

My former dentist (now retired) sent me this yesterday, in respsonse to a postcard from The Patton Museum:

"I had a lot of brother Rats who went into tanks when the army dropped horses and mechanized. Two were on his staff--they said he was fair but had certain rules (his own) and God help ANYONE who didn't agree."

Patton truly believed in "Be sure you're right, then go ahead."

PS: Perhaps FJ will stop by and give us some information from the ancients as to commitment and to fighting the just cause. I know that the Trojan War shows lessons in this issue about justice, but FJ's knowledge goes deeper than my superficial statement.

At 9/14/2005 6:48 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

To all,
This just popped into my inbox and pertains to this blog article:

The Federalist Patriot
Founders' Quote Daily

"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature
rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."

-- Alexander Hamilton (The Farmer Refuted, 23 February 1775)

Reference: Hamilton Papers, vol. 1 (156) [Sheehan (1:5)]

At 9/14/2005 2:24 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

My ex-Father-In-Law served under Patton. He told me he hated the man while serving under him. He now feels that Patton was a great military leader. If he hadn't been so hard/tough/demanding the number of Americans Killed In Action would have been much higher than it was. We need another leader like him now. God Bless Patton.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 9/14/2005 3:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Know the enemy in order to defeat the enemy, eh Farmer?

Seems to me that when The Dauphin got a little ahead of himself with his "Mission Accomplished" stupidity he was demonstrating why a Commander in Chief with George's utter bottomless pit of stupidity is a poor choice.

Several dead American soldiers and several hundred dead iraqis today as this tragedy plays out. It's everything I can do to remind myself that if we leave there will be violence and we must stay the course.

All this misery so that jingoistic butt clowns like Always on Watch can talk trash at the Patton memorial and feel secure that the nasty ragheads aren't going to spray her home with smallpox.

We are becoming a sad fucking people thanks to the false patriot crowd.

At 9/14/2005 5:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Ducky,
I invite anyone to comment here--even those who don't know what they're talking about and those who feed their own egos by calling people names. But I would appreciate it if you would present reasonable arguments instead of having a temper tantrum.

You are not doing your point of view or your cause, whatever it might be, any good by typing in such diatribes.

At 9/14/2005 5:31 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I've heard others express the same about Patton.

Oftentimes, being an effective leader is a far cry from a popularity contest. Also, sometimes some elapsed time enables us to see benefits which were not apparent at the time.

At 9/14/2005 6:03 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...


Try saying Aflac your lines are old. Why did you have such a hard time admitting who incinerated 2900
people on 9-11 ? I'll tell you why because you are a demented contrarian. If Bush launched a regularity program you would sing the joys of consipation.

What is the next demented left wing cause equal rights for dead people? Please educate us about 1300 years of Islamo colonialism, ethnocide, slavery and genocide that you always sweep under the rug.

At 9/14/2005 7:08 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Thanks for the reminder of the prayer.

My Dad was with Gen. Patton on the hundred mile march. At age 92 he still has his copy of the prayer for good weather, and he is still a tremendous admirer.

Some years ago, after I had been to the Patton Museum, he was just thrilled to hear all about it, and to know that I had seen Patton's pearl handled revolvers.

P.S. He didn't like the way Patton was portrayed in the George C. Scott movie, he felt it wasn't factual.

At 9/14/2005 8:05 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Bonnie Blue,
Please give my thanks to your dad for fighting for freedom.

Your father still has a copy of the prayer? Keeping it is a tribute, in and or itself! I've heard that, among the military, the prayer is often referred to as "the weather prayer."

I think that those pistol handles are ivory. At least, they looked to be. Ivory is much stronger than pearl, of course.

I know that the movie isn't factual, but the patriotic message is strong. Maybe you'll stop back by and tell us of the inaccuracies of the movie. I'm not an expert on military matters, especially as related to battle strategy. Whatever the inaccuracies, I'd be interested to know about them.

At the time of the film's release, this nation needed a good dose of patriotism. And the videography and music are inspiring.

At 9/15/2005 2:16 AM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Always On Watch, I'm sure you are correct about the ivory handles, I think I misspoke this morning when I said pearl.

In fact I just stopped a minute to look, and there was a wonderful quote by Patton on the subject.

"Only a New Orleans pimp," Patton snarled, "would carry a pearl-handed gun."

What a man, eh?

I will be happy to relay your thank you to my Dad, when I speak to him next this week.

I have written a couple of things about him, and World War II on Ultima Thule.

One of the things that really bothered him about the movie, was the rehash of the incident about Patton slapping the soldier. He felt it was blown out of proportion at the time, and made even worse in the movie.

I guess Patton was not everyone's cup of tea, but my Dad would have followed him into hell, which I guess he did in the end. Patton cared about his men immensely, so much so that when he was asked for names to be submitted for medals, he wanted all of his men to get them, but the Army only wanted a couple for show. He would not single out any one.

The Third Army was put together with many raw recruits, and it took someone like Patton to make them a good fighting team. My Dad was one of those Tennessee farm boys who had already had a pretty hard life, so he was fairly adaptable when it came to fighting in the dirt in France and Germany, which was probably much more difficult for someone born and raised in the city. He was with the "Tough Ombres" (Texas & Oklahoma.)

At 9/15/2005 9:26 AM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

Today, Patton would be called on the mat for providing that prayer to the troops. That is how deep the PC and MC thought control police have infiltrated our government and military.

At 9/15/2005 1:01 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Well "Always on Watch for muslims under the bed" it's like this.

Your cheap patriotism is irritating but what is far more important, it is dangerous. Patton was as much a self promoter as anything else and was hardly a great general. Competent, yes but hardly great. In the end we won the Battle of the Bulge by resorting to a human wave strategy and made use of our numbers. He wasn't as bad as Mark Clark but he sure wasn't any McArthur.

It also seems very mean spirited and probably just plain ignorant that ten cent patriots like yourself never acknowledge that Hitler would not have been defeated without the Red Army paying the terrible price they did in Europe. I mean, in each of three battles they lost more life than we have in our entire military history.

You carry this foolish jingoism of yours into the current "war on terror". There is no damn war on terror. There are cells which need to be disrupted and arrested. Terrorists have never been defeated through military force (ask the French in Algeria) and this paranoid muscle flexing of yours endangers everyone.

In a word, you're a clown, but a very dangerous clown. You get a lot of people killed needlessly.

At 9/15/2005 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think, Ducky, that the "war on terror" may be misleading you. The soldiers aren't there to combat terror, a psychological state, directly with bullet and bayonette.
The fight is won by slowly, painfully slowly, helping a hopeless people find the strength within themselves to abandon an embrace with a culture of death. Sadly, but most pragmatically, it requires bullet and bayonette to protect this slow process.

At 9/15/2005 6:54 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Ducky,
LOL at "Always on Watch for muslims under the bed"! Actually, I wouldn't expect to find any in that location--at least, not for long.

So be it that my patriotism irritates you; I stand by my commitment to that ideal. And maybe my patriotism is cheap to you. From my point of view, your lack of patriotism seems the way not to make a commitment to your native country, despite your being able to enjoy the many benefits of living here. But, hey, we come from diametrically opposed ideological perspectives, so I wouldn't expect any differently.

You and I disagree as to the greatness of Patton as a general, so I won't go into that point-- other than to say that you are free to have an evaluation different from mine, and different from others as well.

The Red Army did indeed play a major role in the defeat of Hitler (Did I imply otherwise?), though historians continue to debate the necessity and the morality of enlisting Communists to help defeat Nazis. I would point out that the Communists slaughtered millions as well, even more than did the Nazis. By enlisting Russia in the war, the Allies enabled at least some of that slaugher.

Stalin's purges, to which the Allies turned a blind eye as Stalin was deemed an ally, is one of the disgraces of history, in terms of human life lost. General Patton recognized that Stalin was using the war to strengthen the Communist position of subjugating more to the rule of totalitarianism. As their reward, Communists received a sizeable portion of Europe, without the consent of the enslaved Europeans. Patton opposed that division and the ceding of land and peoples to enemies of freedom, so he had vision with regard to the enemies of freedom, I believe.

Yes, in many respects, the Battle of the Bulge was a battle of numbers. But there was some strategy involved as well. Patton's ability to more his troops great distances at a rapid pace and under extremely adverse conditions still amazes me.

Strategically speaking, Hitler should never have taken on the Soviet Union and should've known better from other lessons of history--namely, that of the difficulty of maintaining a supply line across the steppes. I believe that Napoleon learned the same lesson. Hitler could not even consistently and effectively cross the English Channel, so what made him think that he could take on the Russian Bear? But, of course, Hitler was so egomaniacal and desperate to keep the Third Reich from falling that he believed the basics of geography and weather didn't apply to him. On occasion, I have wondered if Patton could've done any better if he had attempted an invasion of Russia.

You and I agree that there is not a "war on terror." The enemy has a definite identity, but the pc crowd doesn't want to acknowledge that the enemy is Islamism. Some believe that the enemy is Islam itself because, in Islam, the world is divided into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Islam. Such a division into "us" and "them" is the hallmark division of totalitarianism and thereby demands the elimination of vast numbers of dissidents.

Terrorism is defeated only when the government sponsors of terrorism are overturned (sometimes from within, sometimes from and/or assisted by from without). As to what it takes to root out terrorist cells, people such as you usually oppose the measures needed to do so.

I believe that making excuses for, avoiding confrontation with, and neglecting to take the proper military action against enemies leads only to more terrorist events. Events such as 9/11 morally require a strong response; otherwise, those killed on that day died needlessly. What you call "muscle flexing" can be a strong deterrent because terrorism is inherently all about the desire for absolute power.

You carry this foolish jingoism of yours into the current "war on terror". I would say that the zeal and words of terrorists are jingoistic, that is, having "extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy" (Merriam-Webster). The 9/11 terrorists came to our shores first and thus, with the support of radical regimes, created a belligerent foreign policy on their part. Also, the 9/11 jihadists were themselves nationalistic jingoists, if one understands that they consider themselves to be the fighters for the Nation of Islam.

I note that you don't mention the innocents who died on 9/11. Why not? Are their lives not worth avenging? Is the freedom which their daily lives represented not worthy of preserving? Are the numbers of dead on our shores of no consequence to you?

As for me, I hope never to see again a day such as 9/11. In my opinion, what is very dangerous is denying the peril which terrorism poses. Hence my handle "Always On Watch," though I watch matters other than Islamism.

Are you sure that in each of three battles they [the Red Army] lost more life than we have in our entire military history? Perhaps you know some statistics of which I am unaware.

Whereas you think I am paranoid, I think that you are blind to reality. I doubt that we will ever convince each other of the value of our opposing positions.

And although you and I substantially disagree, I will resist the temptation to call you a clown or to hurl insults at you. Such discussion tactics approach the "us" versus "them" philosophy, and I've already stated where I think that leads.

At 9/15/2005 8:05 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Guys how can you take the Duck seriously. He is an attention seeking cartoon charachter whose next intelligent thought will be his first.

At 9/15/2005 8:12 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

LOL at that last clause!

Do I take Mr. Ducky seriously? Hardly! But his last comment was a more reasoned one--at least for him.

As I pointed out to Duck, his penchant for unprovoked name-calling irks me because such is the sign of a small mind. I won't share with you my husband's reaction. Good thing that my husband doesn't have a blog of his own. Aiming directly for Duck's "photo." my husbnad would end up shooting the computer monitor.

At 9/15/2005 8:22 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Typo! Make that "husband."

At 9/15/2005 10:40 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

My dear Mr. Ducky, yes you are very correct regarding the numbers of dead troops with the Red Army, but evidently you are not sufficiently informed, to know that the Russians sent their soldiers into the war unprepared and "unarmed." They were told to pick up a gun on the battlefield from another dead soldier. Gee, talk about getting people killed needlessly!

At 9/16/2005 11:04 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Actually bonnieblueflag, I have two living relatives nearby who were in The Red Army. I have finished filming there recollections of the war.

At the end when they took Berlin the Red Army was well equipped with some of the best battle tanks available. A good air force and a strong supply of rockets for "Stalin's Organ".

I would have loved to have gotten some commentatry from the women who stopped some of Hitler's crew at Leningrad but I fear they are departed without their story being told.

In brief, you do not have any idea of what went on in that part of the world. It is beyond your comprehension.Go to a cemetary in poland and look at the dates. I was there in the 70's when you could get the full impact of being in a country that had no old men.

...but by the time we were in the thing the Red Army had it won. Made it uneccesary for us to go through something like Stalingrad and still punks like Always on Watch for Ragheads Under the Bed can't get her mind off American exceptionalism and join in making us a force for real quality change in the world which we could be.

Rather you damn fools trot out to the Patton statue after starting that idiotic destructive invasion and occupation and start giving us a rousing chorus of "dulce et decorum est..."

Damn fools.

At 9/16/2005 12:46 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Ducky,
As Patton is buried in a military cemetery in Luxemburg, there's no statue of him in the Fort Knox area--at least, none that I recall. Lots of tanks, though.

I guess you'd rather visit a museum honoring Karl Marx, so as to honor your two Communist relatives, who are, not doubt, great heroes to you. I'm sure that there are many sites in Russia where you can honor those whose ideology you admire.

You choose your heroes, I'll choose mine. I'm sure that we won't find any common ground.

At 9/16/2005 1:40 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Always on Uncle Josip tunelled off the Gulag. He is more fucking man than your fake soldier boy husband. i'll tell you that right now.

Every Slav is a communist? Damn, and you are a techer? No wonder the current genration is turned off to education.

You're a cheap bigot who brings the same level of understanding to slavic history that she brings to muslim history. Nothing. We simply have to suffer with your shallowness.

At 9/16/2005 1:50 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Mr. Ducky

Too bad we didn't follow General Patton's advice and advance on Russia, so we could be done with them once and for all.

May of 1945
General Patton wrote in his diary: "In my opinion, the American Army as it now exists could beat the Russians with the greatest of ease, because, while the Russians have good infantry, they are lacking in artillery, air, tanks, and in the knowledge of the use of the combined arms, whereas we excel in all three of these. If it should be necessary to right the Russians, the sooner we do it the better."

At 9/16/2005 1:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Of course, every Slav is not a Communist. Every Arab is not a Muslim, and every Muslim is not an Arab.

But you said that your relatives served in The Red Army. Maybe I jumped to the conclusion that they were Communists.

As to your uncle who tunneled out of the Gulag, I have great respect for any such individual who escapes an insane regime. Your uncle is indeed a hero. Can we agree on that?

Unlike my students, you are not prisoners in my class [LOL], so you don't have to put up with me if you don't want to.

Signing off now and running late.

At 9/16/2005 2:03 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Well AOW, when you were impressed into the Red Army, you didn't refuse. Surely you've heard the phrase "It took a brave man to desert the Red Army." Discipline was harsh.

Still, I pray you don't teach history.

Something like math but please not history or literature.

Bonnieblueflag....would you have been prepared for a half million casualties if Patton had pushed on?

At 9/16/2005 6:25 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mr. Ducky,
Yes, I've heard that phrase, and it speaks to the iron fist of Communism. I find it very sad that a man could fight bravely for his nation but yet end up in a gulag.

I do, in fact, teach literature and have for some time. When I teach World Literature, the curriculum tends to focus on works older than those of the Twentieth Century. The focus of the Russian segment was Dostoevsky, who certainly provides excellent depiction of the burden of the Russian people under the Czar's regime. After reading Dostoevsky, one can understand why the pre-1917 Russian population wanted to believe that the promises of Communism would bring relief; the plight of the Russian people has never been a rosy one, no matter what form of government. Much Russian music reflects a certain melancholy. Also, I've noticed that Russians take great satisfaction in any military victory because such victories lift the melancholy--for a while.

Of course, the Communist regime exiled to Siberia and killed many more than any other regime in Russia. The regime had to take those steps in order to continue to hold sway.

As to teaching history, I have more knowledge of American History/Government than I do of World History, particularly with regard to the Twentieth Century. But in college I did take a course in Modern Russian History. I finished that course with the realization that Communism is the most dangerous, cruel, and dogmatic political ideology ever to rule portions of this planet. The old "us" versus "them," on a huge scale.

I'm sure that our basic philosophies of history would not intersect. I happen to believe in patriotism as a good ideal, but I know you do not have the same view. You would rather praise any country other than America. You can find good in any ideology other than that of the country in which you live.

So you can admire The Red Army while I will continue to admire General Patton. Not a perfect man who believed in his nation (which is not a perfect nation) but certainly not as self-serving as Stalin.

At 9/18/2005 4:57 AM, Blogger samwich said...

General George Patton. one of my heros and a mentor for strategy by his example. I do believe George and Tsun Tu gave me the best insight in how to organize and draw order out of the chaos of my military training.
Good and Evil are the absolutes and they are clearly defined but the boundaries are hidden with trickery and falsehood.

At 10/31/2005 4:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Veteran's Day is November 11th and I hope that EVERY American will be flying the flag in honor of our troops fighting in Iraq and around the world to preserve our freedoms!

I can even tell you where to get one for free! Visit right now and they'll send you a FREE American Flag. These flags were $19.99, but now they are FREE. You pay just for shipping/handling and they'll ship one to your door. (Actually - I've ordered more than 20 from them to give to my neighbors, as gifts, etc!)

Get your free flag now: **FREE AMERICAN FLAG**

Semper Fi!

Bill Adams


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