Now More Than Ever – a Strong Navy and Peace 5

The Navy League has been tireless in its mission to support the sea services throughout the last 116 years. From its founding in 1902, they have tried to always live the spirit that Theodore Roosevelt embodied when he said “A good Navy is not a provocative of war, it is the surest guarantee of peace.”

Three years after he said those fateful words, the world was changed forever on May 27, 1905 when a smaller Japanese fleet defeated the powerful Russian Navy in the Straits of Tsushima.

This unexpected naval battle set the tone for naval conflict for the next century. It showed that a willful and resourceful nation could project sea power and influence the course of history in a way that the world would have to notice. It clearly demonstrated that no country, no matter how small or limited in resources, should ever be taken for granted.

Despite that warning, America was not ready for the Great War that was to come. We had lulled ourselves into thinking that the vastness of the oceans surrounding us would keep us from harm. We were wrong. An entirely new menace called the submarine destroyed that perception of safety once and for all. 100 years ago today, fighting men and women would serve in a cause that should have been avoidable. But the oceans brought the threat to us.

As many countries did, we relied on the promise of peace through disarmament when that war completed. The navy was shrunk and a peace dividend was expected in its place. It never came. Instead, the Axis of Japan, Italy and Germany once more used the oceans to project their power. We were ill prepared for that war too, but the drive and determination of the American people carried the day once more.

The global situation is much the same today as it was before the major wars. Countries are once more expanding their forces and influence through sea power.

  • China is pushing the boundaries in the seas and islands around her country that once enjoyed freedom;
  • A resurging and aggressive Russian Navy has a global reach and an eye on returning to their once unlimited status
  • Rogue nations that are seeking to capitalize on technology are once more challenging freedom around the globe.

 

On Memorial Day, we honor the fallen. We remember their sacrifices. But we honor and remember them best when we remain ever ready and ever vigilant. We pay them the ultimate tribute when we are once more ready to defend that which they gave everything for.

The Navy League stands with all of our sea services in paying honor and tribute to our fallen. We stand for maintaining the strongest military on the face of the planet. America stands for freedom in this world. In the face of so many challenges, maintaining that strength is the only way to maintain our freedom. America needs to be alert now more than any time in history.

Mister Mac

Cold War 2 – Russia Rising Reply

Headline:

Russian military plans buildup from West to Pacific

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is to beef up its military forces all the way from its western border to the Pacific islands amid ongoing strains with the West, the military said Friday.

Perhaps Putin and his Comrades should remember the last time they tried to use coercive measures to blackmail the world into submission.

Here’s a little reminder:

#blackhullsmatter

 

Stand by for action, its going to heat up all over again.

Mister Mac

March 1, 1945: Surrendering the Chance for Peace Reply

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Freedom for millions of people and wars without end were almost guaranteed when President Roosevelt completed his trip to Yalta and came home . In a joint session to the Congress on March 1 1945, President Roosevelt reported informally about the results of the recent Conference at Yalta. While brushing off the prickly questions of the future of both Poland and Yugoslavia, he made these statements about the results he had achieved in regards to gaining Soviet cooperation:

“At the Crimea Conference, the Americans made a proposal on this subject which, after full discussion was, I am glad to say, unanimously adopted by the other two Nations.

It is not yet possible to announce the terms of that agreement publicly, but it will be in a very short time.

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When the conclusions reached with respect to voting in the Security Council are made known, I think and I hope that you will find them a fair solution of this complicated and difficult problem. They are founded in justice, and will go far to assure international cooperation in the maintenance of peace.

A conference of all the United Nations of the world will meet in San Francisco on April 25, 1945. There, we all hope, and confidently expect, to execute a definite charter of organization under which the peace of the world will be preserved and the forces of aggression permanently outlawed.”

That “fair solution” of course would set the stage for every single conflict in the world since 1945: Granting the Soviet Union (and later Russia) a permanent veto power in the Security Council. This power was and is still exercised regularly on every major global conflict with a strict application that favors Russian interests. This betrayal of freedom cast a horrible shadow over the Eastern Europe countries for generations and still plays out on the world stage. Stalin flanked both Roosevelt and Churchill and by the time the world saw the maneuver for what it was, it was too late.

One of the most fateful parts of his speech indicated the depth of the deception which was played out by the Soviets. That very deception is still in play around the same countries to this very day.

Roosevelt: “We met in the Crimea, determined to settle this matter of liberated areas. Things that might happen that we cannot foresee at this moment might happen suddenly—unexpectedly—next week or next month. And I am happy to confirm to the Congress that we did arrive at a settlement—and, incidentally, a unanimous settlement.

The three most powerful Nations have agreed that the political and economic problems of any area liberated from Nazi conquest, or of any former Axis satellite, are a joint responsibility of all three Governments. They will join together, during the temporary period of instability—after hostilities—to help the people of any liberated area, or of any former satellite state, to solve their own problems through firmly established democratic processes.”

This lie was the single biggest contributor to the Cold War which followed. Stalin had no intention of allowing the former countries to seek their own destiny. He wanted power, land and peoples to rule in his new world order. The very same lands he betrayed in his pact with Hitler now found themselves given over to his evil desires.

Roosevelt: “The final decisions in these areas are going to be made jointly; and therefore they will often be a result of give-and-take compromise. The United States will not always have its way a hundred percent- nor will Russia nor Great Britain. We shall not always have ideal answers- solutions to complicated international problems, even though we are determined continuously to strive toward that ideal. But I am sure that under the agreements reached at Yalta, there will be a more stable political Europe than ever before.

Of course, once there has been a free expression of the people’s will in any country, our immediate responsibility ends- with the exception only of such action as may be agreed on in the International Security Organization that we hope to set up.”

Europe1949

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=16591

As we watch another administration “negotiating in good faith” with another evil empire, one only has to wonder what the world map will look like when we capitulate this time.

God please spare us from ideologues before all freedom is lost everywhere.

Mister Mac

Come Home to the Sea – Post Number 500 on TLS 2

 

I woke up this morning from a dream about being on the seashore looking out. Our family used to drive across Pennsylvania in the heat of summer and spend a weeks vacation in Wildwood New Jersey. Growing up along the rivers and in the hills of Western Pennsylvania, I had never experienced anything like this before so standing on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean was pretty awesome. The dream was so clear… a boy standing with his feet in the wet sand staring out at the horizon past the waves that were breaking in front of him. The potential for adventure was endless to a young boy.

I can imagine another small boy thousands of years ago doing the exact same thing. The salt spray from the ocean breeze fills his nostrils and the sound of the breakers is balanced with the sound of the seagulls flying all around. What is he thinking as he looks out over the vast sea with no end in sight? Where does his imagination take him as he thinks about the vastness of the water before him? What else is out there?

The oceans have always represented man’s greatest barriers and his greatest opportunities.

“Oh Lord your sea is so great and my boat is so small” is an ageless statement that has probably crossed the minds of sailors in all generations. I have journeyed in everything from a fishing boat in the Gulf of Thailand to the mightiest aircraft carrier in the mighty Pacific Ocean. They are all made equal in their helplessness against the forces of the waters. Even the powerful submarines that carried me around the globe are often mere subjects to the whims of King Neptune when he is raging and storming in his fury.

Nimitz Golden Gate

Yet human kind still seeks the opportunities that the sea can provide.

Since the earth’s surface is made up of a significant amount of water, the seas provide a way to communicate and share the raw materials far beyond a single countries shores. The early explorers  challenged the “Flat Earth” theories that promised  a swift and sure death for sailors who went too far and fell off into the abyss filled with all manner of dangers and sea monsters. Those explorers were inspired and made brave by the promise of adventure and wealth. In many ways, that same promise spurs on much of the economic growth in the world we live in today.

Ohio on the surface

We have learned many new technologies over the years that have made the world closer. Air travel is routine now and satellites and the internet have drawn us together like nothing that Magellan could have imagined. Yet the sea remains. Even in this modern day and age, the sea remains as the greatest barrier and opportunity for man.

The great powers throughout history have found ways to use the oceans and seas to extend their power. From the earliest civilizations in the east and the west, nations have used the water for power projection and protection from outside forces. Just as Rome conquered the Mediterranean, other countries have used the distance and difficulty to shield themselves from the influence of others. But technology has impacted both of those abilities and despite the oceans challenges, most modern civilizations are now dependent on one thing: the freedom to freely navigate the sea lanes of the world.

This was one of the first lessons we learned in Boot Camp in 1972. In Chapter 1 of the Bluejackets Manual (18th Edition, US Naval Institute) Military, Economic and Political Importance is introduced to the new recruits.

“Ships of the Navy have always been needed to protect our country’s interests off our coasts and all over the world. Today in an age of atomic bombs, nuclear power, and guided missiles, the importance is greater than ever.”

What was written then is even more true today. Our freedom is directly related to our ability to defend ourselves from any threat to our ability to maintain freedom of the seas. Yet it is the face of this reality that the nation faces threats that come from within. For a number of reasons, our ability to build and maintain a fleet that is capable of an adequate defense is being threatened. The shipyards that once built the ships that stopped the rising tide of imperialism and savagery in the past are no longer capable of producing the next generation with any strength. The technology, experience and ability of our shipyards is being lost to global forces that make us more and more dependent on other countries. Those same countries that could easily fall prey to the influence of an emerging China or a resurging rogue Russian desire for the old days.

Look how weak the world has been in response to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Observe the silent spread of Chinese influence over her neighbors in the vast Pacific ocean. Who will provide the strong voice and power that will keep both of those ambitions in check? America still has a large force available for the foreseeable future. But one only needs to look at Pearl Harbor to see how quickly the power of an area can be shifted. The difference between then and now is that after Pearl Harbor, we had the shipyards and ability to overcome that tragic loss and build the mightiest Navy the world has ever known. With the state of our shipbuilding industry today, I am not convinced we would be able to repeat the miracle. We had the luxury of time in the 1940’s because of the ocean’s protection. With the threats today, that protection would be neutralized.

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From the BJM: “The United States is almost an island, surrounded by oceans. Over these oceans must come the raw materials needed to preserve our great industries. There are a few materials, such as manganese and chrome, which are vital in making steel. Our Navy must keep the sea lanes open for merchant ships, not only to get raw materials but to deliver food and weapons to our friends and allies.”

In a new age of threats, our merchant fleet is almost non-existent. Most of our goods are now shipped on foreign flagged ships built in other nations. This “Island” we live on would quickly become hostage to whoever controlled the seas. The Chinese in particular have spent a great deal of time and money on ship killing missiles. How long could the United States survive without the raw materials that come daily into our ports? Senator McCain, a third generation Navy man is pushing to cripple what is left of the Maritime industry.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2015-01-21/story/john-mccain-plan-scuttle-100-year-old-maritime-law-unleashes-anger-first

What’s ironic about McCain’s caving in to special interest that seek to bypass protections for our vital shipping industry is that his whole family and the nation he served are all indebted to that industry for their lives and their freedom.

McCain 2

The oceans of the world will always provide the resources, the opportunities and the challenges that every generation must embrace. The one thing the ocean’s provide more than anything else is the opportunity for freedom or slavery. Time will tell if the United States is wise enough to determine how to maintain the former and stave off the latter.

By the way, this link will take you to one of the most amazing tributes to the sea I have ever heard. “Come Home to the Sea” comes from Mannheim Steamrollers Fresh Aire VI album and is a remarkable representation of what I feel every time I think of the sea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN3ACbKknhw

Thanks for stopping by.

Mister Mac