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Category: Military (page 1 of 1)

The General George S. Patton Story

Presented with thanks to the United States Army &
the National Archives and Records Administration

Blurb from the U.S. Army’s THE BIG PICTURE television series, 1950-1975.

A remarkable and informative biography comes to the screen in “The General Patton Story” as narrated by Ronald Reagan and produced by the Army Pictorial Center.

Here is a story of a soldier who lived for action and glory and reached the heights in serving his country.

This is a page from contemporary history devoted to the life of General George S. Patton, Jr., whose Third Army swept across the continent of Europe.

It is a mirror reflecting Patton’s major principle for fighting battles or a war–attack, attack and, when in doubt–attack again.

On a strictly visual appraisal, the choice combat footage of General Patton presents an insight into the character of the man.

No American leader was more colorful and more successful, stepping forth like some warrior of old–to lead and inspire vast forces of men.

While the basic elements of “The General Patton Story” are combat sequences, the film documentary delves into the General’s life with such intimate details as his inability to spell, although a model cadet at West Point.

A believer in showmanship, he was aware that if the act could not be carried off in fine style, the men would see through it. Always the “old man” pushed his men harder than anyone had pushed them before.

Always the results were more than they might have expected. For a commander who was so obviously a winner–they would do the impossible.

Patton is a study in duty, patriotism and loyalty.



Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Film

Jeffrey Ross

Presented with the kind permission of Jeffrey Ross

Bret Fetzer review

When standup comedian Jeffrey Ross joined Drew Carey’s U.S.O. show that toured through Iraq during the first year of the American occupation, he took along a video camera and made a clumsy but strikingly intimate portrait of the armed forces.

Performing in venues as different as the Baghdad Civic Center and a camouflaged camp in the middle of the desert, seven comedians (Ross, Carey, Kathy Kinney, Blake Clark, Kyle Dunnigan, Andres Fernandez, and Rocky LaPorte) did what they could to entertain soldiers who suffered sand, heat, and being shot at–but the brief snippets of rough comedy are little more than a sidelight.

The most intriguing aspects of Patriot Act (which, despite its title, is largely apolitical) are the simple conversations with G.I.s, bellhops, translators, and others, who endure a difficult situation with a weary smile and a little glimpse of hope. It’s the ordinary effort of life that comes through, even when surrounded by bombed buildings and armored vehicles. Ross has no great insights, but he proves an affable and earnest tour guide.

Jeffrey Ross in Iraq

New York Post:

THE best documentary to emerge so far from the Iraq War comes from an unexpected source.

It is comedian Jeffrey Ross, a sad sack with a high-pitched voice and a face like Walter Matthau’s.

He’s been around for years and is perhaps best known for his participation in Friars’ roasts.

And now, he deserves to be best known for something else – his personal, videotaped account of a trip he made to Iraq to entertain American troops.

The film he made – titled “Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie” and running just an hour and a quarter – reveals that Ross is as observant a journalist as he is a comedian, something he might not even realize.

What is clear is this: When he was invited by his friend, Drew Carey, to join him on a one-week USO tour of Iraq in fall 2003, along with a handful of other comedians, Ross saw an opportunity to produce something worthwhile from the experience.

So he ran a camcorder throughout the entire trip and later created this documentary, which is as touching as it is hilarious.

Its hilarity stems from Ross’ running commentary throughout the film, and the performances of the comedians before appreciative crowds of servicemen and -women at bases and camps all over Iraq, some of them on the frontier and within range of enemy mortars.

Although it’s Ross’ movie, he gives ample screen time to all of the comedians on the tour, who besides Carey and himself included Blake Clark, Kyle Dunnigan, Andres Fernandez and Rocky Laporte.

Actress Kathy Kinney, who played Mimi on “The Drew Carey Show” was also on hand.

And writer Larry Gelbart, who wrote 40 episodes of “M*A*S*H,” appears in the movie (but is not part of the tour) to give Ross some sage advice about USO shows. Gelbart should know – he wrote for and traveled with Bob Hope.

The touching part is what Ross learned. “I am starting to get why Bob Hope did this for so long, because these were the best crowds I ever performed for,” Ross says at the film’s conclusion. “Every single GI that I met thanked me for coming, but I should have been thanking them because if anyone got a morale boost, it was me.”

US Sniper in Iraq

IMDB description

Inspired by the passing of U.S.O. perennial Bob Hope, Friars Club roast-master Jeffrey Ross takes Drew (Carey) up on an invitation to join the U.S.O. in their ongoing mission – delivering punch-lines on the front lines.

Having just bought a new camcorder, he travels to Iraq and captures his rare, intimate, and often times hilarious experience on camera.

Armed with nothing but that camcorder and some jokes, Ross shoots his own life-changing experience as he travels alongside six other well known comics, entertaining battle weary G.I.’s stationed in some of the most remote parts of the Sunni Triangle.

Company of Heroes

US Marines preparing for strike on Fallujah

US Marines preparing for strike on Fallujah

Presented with the kind permission of Fox News.
Special thanks to Brian Gaffney.

In November 2004, Fallujah was a safe haven for the most hardened terrorists in Iraq — terrorists who vowed to stop the march of democracy in Iraq.

That was until the Marines of India Company blasted through a railway embankment and crossed into the city.

Their mission: to secure a foothold ahead of the rest of the invading forces.

They were sent into a hellish city to hunt down terrorists house-to-house. The fight for Fallujah made them heroes, but victory came at a cost.

(This FOX News Channel special looks at a) war that is both stark and intimate.

From graphic battle footage to interviews with the families they left behind, join a Marine company in the thick of the War on Terror.

We’ll take you to the battlefield and the home front, where the families of these Marines are American heroes, too.

The mother of a US Marine

The mother of a US Marine

John Bolton: Obama’s Preference for Global Governance

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton

Presented with the kind permission of C-SPAN and Hudson Institute

Former American Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, speaks at the Hudson Institute’s Reclaim American Liberty Conferenxe about the Obama administration’s foreign policy and criticizes what he sees as President Obama’s preference for global governance.

Among the issues he addresses are approaches to global climate change policy, weapons proliferation, engagement with Iran and North Korea, and relations with Russia.

Erika Andersen, who attended this conference, blogs:

Bolton centered his remarks on the opinion that Obama aspires to a European elitist view of America and that the President does not “believe we live in a threatening world.”

“I don’t think the President really cares about foreign policy or national security,” said Bolton. “He’ll deal with it when he has to … (but) it’s more of a distraction than a priority, which is a remarkable development for an American president.”

Bolton touched on the government’s global warming concerns as well, saying efforts in this area have crowded national security concerns. He noted that some of America’s satellite national security cameras would soon be used to monitor global warming concerns.

“I never knew our satellite capabilities ever had any spare time,” Bolton deadpanned.

He criticized the Obama Administration’s 100% reliance on international negotiation to achieve peace, noting that “Iran and North Korea see no incentive to come to the table even after a year of near desperate attempts to get them there.”

Bolton speculated that America is one-fourth of the way through the Obama presidency and criticized the Administration’s actions to decrease American sovereignty by bowing to a system of global governance.

“We see sovereignty not as an abstract concept but as essence of government,” Bolton said. “When someone says the solution of global problems requires that you share sovereignty or give it up, that’s like saying you have too much control over your government and you need to give it a little away.”

Reporting from

John Bolton delivered the keynote address today in New York at the first annual Reclaim American Liberty Conference. The conference was presented by the Hudson Institute in partnership with the Family Security Foundation and Human Events.

Ambassador Bolton argued that several elements have combined to induce President Obama to enroll in the essentially European project of global governance. Among these elements are Obama’s underlying lack of interest in foreign policy and national security (to him, they are distractions), his sense that America is too powerful, and his desire to eschew old-fashioned patriotism in favor of a “post-American” presidency.

Although Obama is constrained by domestic political considerations from fully articulating his preference for ceding sovereignty in favor of global governance, Bolton finds clear evidence of that preference on several fronts. Obama’s approach to “climate change” is perhaps the clearest example. Climate change is the main issue through which the “global governance” crowd seeks to gain power.

Far from resisting this attack on our right of self-governance, Obama has sided with the Europeans. As Mark Steyn would point out later in the day, it took the Chinese to save us from ourselves at Copenhagan.

But there is some folly that even the Chinese can’t save us from. Bolton reported that U.S. intelligence satellites are now being used in part to monitor “climate change.” He added that when he was in government, these assets were in extremely high demand just to serve their traditional purpose of figuring out what our enemies were up to.

Bolton also cited our approach to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. With respect to North Korea and Iran, we have deferred to the “global community” and now rely on a policy of begging these countries to negotiate with us. Although negotiating is a good tactic for a nation like Iran that still needs time to develop nuclear weapons, Iran has resisted because it knows there will be no adverse consequences. Thus, Iran does not even need to negotiate in order to avoid U.S. action. And by holding out, it can expect to receive additional inducements to come to the table, if it comes to that.

Ultimately, says Bolton, Iran and North Korea are understandably confident that they can “roll” Obama.

In the meantime, the rest of the world sees a weak U.S. And when we ultimately fail to stop either nation, the floodgates of nuclear proliferation will open.

Bolton argues, as we have almost since we started blogging, that the only way to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons is to attack its nuclear facilities. For Obama such an attack is out of the question, so that leaves Israel. Bolton did not predict whether Israel will attack Iran, but he noted that it will be forced to make its decision soon.

Bolton holds out some hope that the opposition movement in Iran will succeed. And he bemoans the fact that during the past decade, we did so little to help it. In recent years, power has flowed to the Revolutionary Guard, making an overthrow of the government more difficult in some ways.

In any event, Bolton questions whether a change in government, even to a democratic system, would cause Iran not to develop nukes. And he believes that, even with such a change, the Saudis and others in the region would feel the need to develop nukes.

Finally, Bolton predicts that President Obama will soon enter into an arms control agreement with Russia. The agreement will be one-sided, with the U.S. agreeing to a reduction in both weapons and delivery systems. This, in turn, will further undermine our ability to project power and be regarded as an additional sign of our weakness.

Treaties must be ratified by the Senate by a two-thirds vote. Bolton predicts a massive fight on this question. He notes, however, that even in the absence of a ratified treaty, a Democratic majority could, working with Obama, make unilateral cuts.

Obama may not be all that interested in foreign policy, but he still seems poised to make plenty of mischief in that domain.

John Bolton: Obama as First Post-American President

John Bolton @ CPAC 2010

John Bolton @ CPAC 2010

Presented with the kind permission of C-SPAN

“Not anti-American or un-American – but post-American — he views himself as a citizen of the world.”

John Bolton, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and now a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, talks at CPAC February 2010 (Conservative Political Action Conference), explaining how Barack Obama is the first “Post-American President”

Victor Davis Hanson: The Father of Us All

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson

Presented with the kind permission of C-SPAN

Victor Davis Hanson discusses his book, The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.

Victor Davis Hanson has long been acclaimed as one of our leading scholars of ancient history. In recent years he has also become a trenchant voice on current affairs, bringing a historian’s deep knowledge of past conflicts to bear on the crises of the present, from 9/11 to Iran.

“War,” he writes, “is an entirely human enterprise.” Ideologies change, technologies develop, new strategies are invented – but human nature is constant across time and space.

The dynamics of warfare in the present age still remain comprehensible to us through careful study of the past. Though many have called the War on Terror unprecedented, its contours would have been quite familiar to Themistocles of Athens or William Tecumseh Sherman. And as we face the menace of a bin Laden or a Kim Jong-Il, we can prepare ourselves with knowledge of how such challenges have been met before.

The Father of Us All brings together much of Hanson’s finest writing on war and society, both ancient and modern. The author has gathered a range of essays, and combined and revised them into a richly textured new work that explores such topics as how technology shapes warfare, what constitutes the “American way of war,” and why even those who abhor war need to study military history.

“War is the father and king of us all,” Heraclitus wrote in ancient Greece. And as Victor Davis Hanson shows, it is no less so today.

Some reviews of the book:

“I have never read another book which explains so well the truth that “war lies in the dark hearts of us all” but that history offers hope. ” William Shawcross, author of Allies and Deliver Us from Evil

“Few writers cover both current events and history–and none with the brilliance and erudition of Victor Davis Hanson. In The Father of Us All, he uses his deep knowledge of military history to shed light on present-day controversies. Required reading for anyone interested in war, past or present.” Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Savage Wars of Peace and War Made New

“Victor Hanson brings to his writing a mixture of learning and reflection that is rare in any age, especially the ignorant one in which we live” Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College

Victor Davis Hanson: A War Like No Other – The Peloponnesian War

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson

Presented with the kind permission of C-SPAN and Hillsdale College

Author and military historian Victor Davis Hanson talks about his book, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, published by Random House.

The book chronicles the 27-year battle fought around 400 B.C. between Athens and Sparta.

Mr. Hanson draws some parallels between the Greek war and the wars of today, including the present war in Iraq. The author also chronicles the events that led up to the war as well as the war’s aftermath.

Mr. Hanson recites the history of the war and the changes in strategy and the innovations that were developed. He talked about why this war has remained historically important.

After his main presentation he answers questions from members of the audience.