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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Remembering the Iron Lady



Friends, this week's Newsmaker Show focuses on a number of hot stories in the headlines, including: New York's contentious ventilator shortage, Gov. Cuomo's political future, and speculation that Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed could run for Governor in 2022.  Brian and I also talk about the depressing trend that has normalized the exploitation of tragedies like the current pandemic.  Apparently, shame is obsolete!

Historically, Brian and I discuss the fruitful alliance (and close friendship) between President Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  We'll not see the likes of them in positions of leadership again, I'd guess!  We also talk about the secret to the Red Army's success on the Eastern Front, and the historic victory of the Army of the Republic of (South) Vietnam over the NVA and Viet Cong in 1972.  That victory proves, as nothing else could, that success was within our grasp in Vietnam...but unfortunately President Ford and Congress dropped the ball in 1975.  And that's a very nice way to put it!  A sports analogy frankly underrates the horrific consequences of our betrayal of the South Vietnamese people, not to mention the 60,000 Americans who died in Southeast Asia for what was, in my humble opinion, a just cause.

Tune in, if you please:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfP_mbXYXhg&feature=youtu.be

And here's some more pandemic context for you:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-czech/czechs-to-start-easing-restrictions-as-coronavirus-infections-slow-idUSKBN21O1IZ

https://justthenews.com/politics-policy/coronavirus/poll-during-coronavirus-us-far-more-worried-about-personal-finances

And this is the closest thing that I have seen to an analysis of the excess mortality caused by COVID-19.  The balance of the evidence is that the death rate is indeed being negatively impacted by the disease, and to a considerable extent in Italy.  Since this data is a bit out-of-date, one can assume that the effect is increasing...although statistically in many countries the overall effect on mortality could still be described as modest, at the end of the day (less modest if you happen to be the one dying):

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lbsbusinessstrategyreview/2020/04/06/how-many-people-have-really-died-from-covid-19/#63b6767c67f7

18 comments:

  1. Our exit from Vietnam can be laid at the feet of our RINO President Nixon and his Secretary of State, Dr. Strangelove. These two power brokers set us up with Communist China, with part of that deal involving our departure from Vietnam in 1973, and the downfall of South Vietnam in 1975. This betrayal was followed up by our corporations who transferred almost our entire manufacturing base to Communist China after our recognition of China. This nonsense has continued unabated until recently when President Trump called China's bluff.

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  2. Dr. Waddy: Re: the broadcast. Madame Thatcher; Britain's savior! I had a picture of her on my wall for years. I wish they had named one of those new aircraft carriers after her instead Of Prince of Wales (nothing against him but the WWII Prince of Wales was a very unlucky ship). Then again, they've never named one after Churchill (who actually wanted to name a battleship after Cromwell). They have named capital ships after great Admirals so why not great PMs? Anyway . . . .

    Both Thatcher and Reagan had full faith in the fundamental worthiness of their countries and were unhampered by the leftist induced doubt which hamstrung such as Carter, the Clintons and the Laborites. I wonder how very close the Red British unions came to ruining the UK before Thatcher stopped them?

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    1. Jack

      Like many conservatives, such as myself, you are a fan of President Reagan. But Why? What was it that Reagan did for The United States of America that was so important, that I should look upon him as a national hero or political icon? For example, did he really bring down The Soviet Union? This is something he gets credit for, but maybe The Soviet Union would have gone out of existence no matter who was President. What about the Iran Contra Scandal? That was a disgrace, and Reagan took responsibility. But why did he permit it in the first place?

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  3. Ray: I think Reagan, Saint John PaulII, Lech Walesa and Boris Yeltsin to the heroes of the astounding fall of the Soviets. After Carter, the Soviets thought they could Finlandize us militarily and they were going all out to do it. The Reagan restored our faith in ourselves, rebuilt the armed forced both in substance and morale and proved to them that they could NEVER overpower us. They were in extremis anyway (Gorbachev, who at least had the good will to give in to reality, said "We cannot continue this way"). That together with the staggering blow dealt them by the Holy Father and Solidarity in the bloodless fall of Polish marxism,did for them right jolly. No wonder Reagan is revered in Eastern Europe and what everlasting opprobrium his American detractors have brought upon themselves. Good old middle America common sense was proven yet again by this uncomplicated man who was far smarter than his critics" allowed" and who restored our confidence

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    1. Dr. Waddy,

      Meaning that by recognizing Communist China, Nixon and Kissinger set the stage for our exit from Vietnam. Well, Kissinger was over in Paris negotiating with the North Vietnamese, and then later we cut off aid to South Vietnam, substantially.

      However, the question that always lingers in my mind is why in the Hell were we in Vietnam to begin with. Apparently, we must have thought that we would not fail as the French had from 1946-1954.

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  4. Ray, there are good reasons to question Nixon's fidelity to conservatism, but I certainly don't believe that he planned to betray South Vietnam or to allow a North Vietnamese conquest of the South in 1975. What's your evidence for such an assertion?

    Did Reagan singlehandedly defeat the Soviet Union? Far from it. He did confront it with resolve (and lots of defense spending) at a critical moment, though, and who can say that the same result would have been achieved by a two-term President Carter? As for Iran-Contra, it was peanuts compared to the dirty tricks of the Kennedy boys. That's not an excuse, but you can't judge an administration solely by its darkest hour.

    Jack, a carrier named after Thatcher would be nice! I'm surprised there hasn't been one named after Churchill. He looms so large in recent British history. To be fair, the Brits are all out of battleships, and they're running low on carriers too...

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  5. Dr. Waddy: The Red Army: (We did fight them in Siberia in 1919). Yes, they were disgraced in Finland and sent reeling by the Nazi onslaught (which was a shock comprehensible perhaps only by those who have experienced it). Stalin had insanely purged most of their experienced leaders in the '30's. Yes,Stalin did cynically appeal to the deep love of their country felt by so many Russian men and women( and then sent tens of thousands of survivors of the fiendish Nazi POW camps to the Gulag after they had the insolence to outlive his son in Nazi hands). Solzhenitsyn thought this to have condemned Stalin more than anything else and that is saying so very much.But the rugged Russian fighting man and woman responded resolutely and gloriously.

    Could we have won without the help from them which Churchill and Roosevelt and their advisors (no fools) so assiduously courted? Churchill hated and feared Bolshevism but was convinced that support for Russia was vital. Was it?

    Suppose all else went as it did but Churchill had determined to let the two monstrous tyrannies slug it out. Suppose he could have convinced Roosevelt after the U.S. came in, to let it play out; he had no fear of Nazi invasion then, Britain would live, and the U. S. and Britain could have used Nazi preoccupation with Russia to build up unbeatable air and naval forces based in England. Had Germany predictably prevailed but had been much damaged by the exhaustive effort and increasingly dominant Allied air attack and naval power, it could not have reduced the Allied base of England. It may then have been reduced from the air (possibly with atomic weapons) as ,perhaps, Japan was. That would have made a land invasion not needed.

    But two caveats: this assumes the Allies win the Battle of the Atlantic and that may have been a near run thing. A change in Japanese timing, Pearl Harbor in Dec. 1942, might have done for Britain. Then there was German military technological brilliance. We knew about their jet fighter in 1942 (it was just the start, look what the crude Russians had done with the design by 1950); we probably knew about very advanced Uboats. We knew they had a nuclear program, fearsome V-1s and V-2s may have exemplified our previously held fears about their inventiveness and resolute productive capacity.

    Two caveats

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  6. Dr. Waddy: So, did the Red Army benefit us? I think, on balance, it did. In retrospect we can speculate that we may have benefitted from letting the unprecedented, unimaginable mutual slaughter proceed uninfluenced by our efforts but the risks in that were understandably attended by our since proven wise leaders at the time. And the all unlooked for peaceful end of the Cold War, though beyond their ken, yet endorses them.

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  7. What is that old saying? Is it "Hindsight is 20/20 Vision"?

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  8. Dr. Waddy: the Brits were running out of carriers; I thought they had given up on them. But Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales are bonafide supercarriers and ultra modern. I don't think the capital surface ships would last long in an all out naval war now; subs would rule I think. But short of that they are outstanding instruments for the righteous extension of power and I'm schooled by the ever sea faring great Brits endorsing them. You are right, no more battleships. They were magnificent and I'm glad some of them are preserved but they are gone.

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  9. Interesting speculation, Jack. Hard to gainsay it. There are too many imponderables, had we let the Germans and the Russians go at it unhindered. US and British aid to the Soviets was undeniably useful, but I would argue the most useful thing we did, from Stalin's perspective, was engage the Japanese fully and the Germans partially on other fronts. The full might of Germany versus the full might of the USSR would have been a totally different war...

    And I would partially disagree about the legendary stoicism and grit of the Red Army soldier. Lots of them had all that and more, sure, but lots didn't. Character explains some Red Army victories. Sheer bloody-mindedness and a total indifference to casualties explains others.

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  10. Dr. Waddy: Eisenhower had the chance to converse at length with Zhukov, with whom he became cordial, about Soviet tactics. Zhukov told him "we sent infantry directly across minefields because we figured they would suffer no more than they would against machine guns and mortars". Well, Ike did stay friends with Georgi postwar; go figure, I dunno.

    I would guess the full might of Germany vs that of Russia, withJapan at Russia's rear, would have been the end of Bolshevism. Then, what for the Allies?

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  11. Dr. Waddy: But I do see a big flaw in my argument: The Japanese could only have been free for an assault on Russia without having their hands full of the Americans. Pearl Harbor brought us into the war against Japan and their German ally. Sans that, would Adolph have declared? Maybe not and then a Germany finished with Russia might have again turned to England alone. But England would have had time to regroup... .

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  12. Jack, I feel fairly certain that a straight-up Germany versus Russia contest would go to Germany, hands-down. Bring Japan into the fray on Germany's side, and Stalin's goose would be cooked (well done, in fact). And absent the Japanese provocation, and in the context of Russia's collapse, I don't see us itching to join the fight... Bottom line: the Axis played its cards badly.

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  13. Dr. Waddy: That may be. Sooner or later, Germany and Japan might have clashed, perhaps in North India. Very hard to say, sans Pearl Harbor, we may have have reacted.

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  14. Dr. Waddy: Fully agree about the Axis making very bad mistakes. Pearl Harbor, both in concept and execution; letting the BEF escape at Dunkirk; designating a revolutionary jet fighter , very far ahead of Allied development a "fighter bomber";failure to build a zillion Uboats instead of the almost useless German surface fleet; Hitler's ignorantly insane tactical orders (eg. no retreat)and yes , perhaps, exciting God's full wrath with their consummate ruthlessness.

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  15. Whew! That's a long list of blunders, Jack. You're right, though. The only thing that kept the Axis in the fight, or put them in it in the first place, was Allied disunity, indecision, and squeamishness. Most wars, I suppose, are a contest to see which pack of humans can achieve consummate stupidity and shoot themselves in the foot soonest and most extravagantly...

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