Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas In Burma

Relief Supplies Crossing the Border
I am hopeful that everyone has had an enjoyable Christmas Season and am reminded how fortunate many of us are in contrast to many others.  I would like to share the below Christmas message from Burma sent by Dave Eubank, a personal friend and the man responsible for the founding and continued operation of humanitarian efforts conducted by the FBR (Free Burma Rangers). Dave and I served together in the United States Army on the same Special Forces A-Team together in the 1990’s. Dave has found his calling through his humanitarian assistance efforts to help the people in Burma in their 60 plus years struggle for freedom and escape from oppression.
(if images are not visible, go to original posting at Point ofView By You)  

FBR REPORT: Christmas in Burma
Karen State, Burma
24 December, 2011

Christmas 2011
Dear friends,
We are relaying this out from Karen State and want you to know how grateful we are for each of you and to join you in gratitude for the gift of Christmas this year. Here in Burma as is true all over the world there is plenty of bad news but evil is not the only power in the world. The power of good is also here and is the stronger. 

We were just in Tha Dah Der village that was burned by the Burma Army in July 2010. It was the fifth time the village had been overrun by the Burma Army since 1958 and the third time it had been burned. Even their large teak church had been burned to the ground. In spite of these attacks the people have chosen to stay and rebuild and now a beautiful new church stands on the grounds of the burned one, a testimony to the power of hope and faith. The dedication of the church is on this Christmas Day. 

At the rebuilt village we all joined together for a Good Life Club Program (thanks to Partners for all your help in this), a Run for Relief and an outdoor medical/dental clinic. The sounds of children laughing and people singing lifted our souls. As the sun began to set, we finished with a meal served on long bamboo tables in the rice fields. 

We are now further north in Karen State, continuing the Good Life Club and medical programs in an area we haven't been to before. Our 59 multi-ethnic FBR teams representing different faiths and serving in 11 ethnic areas are united with us in love and service, as we are with you this Christmas. 

As I was working on this message I went to give out some gifts. I asked if anyone needed anything else. We all stopped still when Hsa Kae (Living Star), one of our lady medics, said, "I want my father and mother." When she was 16 years old, on Christmas Day, her parents were shot dead in their home by the Burma Army. I went over to her, held her hand and prayed. I told her I was sorry. She looked at me and said, "It is ok," and as I looked her into her eyes, she smiled. Hsa Kae has chosen in the midst of her sadness to reach out and help others. It reminded me of what one of my teachers taught me, "You can live well with sorrow but you cannot live well with shame." Christmas reminds me that God has sent Jesus to help us in our sadness, to free us from any shame and to help us live well. 

This year I have also been reminded to take God at His word and to believe He will help us do what He has led us to do. God wants a close relationship with each of us and we can expect Him to answer when we call, lead when we are willing to follow and bring good from anything we offer to Him. I have also been reminded that the story we live is not so much what are we doing for God but it is about God's dealing with us. I want our story to be something like: "The story of God's dealings with the Free Burma Rangers, for the glory of God and l hope, for the good of others." I want to say, "Look what God is doing." No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can trust Him and when do we are free. 

Thank you,
God bless you and merry Christmas from Dave, family and teams

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma. Ethnic pro-democracy groups send teams to FBR to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency medical care, shelter, food, clothing and human rights documentation. The teams also operate a communication and information network inside Burma that provides real time information from areas under attack

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Old Blood and Guts" dies

A few days ago, December 21, marked the anniversary of the death of General Patton who died from injuries he received in a traffic accident.  The below article is an excerpt from the “This Day in History” web site and provides a short history about the famed General, who’s leadership was credited by many for bringing an end to World War II. General Patton’s personal beliefs, opinions and predictions about the Soviet Union, while ignored at the time, were unfortunately proved to be true.

Dec 21, 1945:
"Old Blood and Guts" dies
On this day, General George S. Patton, commander of the U.S. 3rd Army, dies from injuries suffered not in battle but in a freak car accident. He was 60 years old.

Descended from a long line of military men, Patton graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1909. He represented the United States in the 1912 Olympics-as the first American participant in the pentathlon. He did not win a medal. He went on to serve in the Tank Corps during World War I, an experience that made Patton a dedicated proponent of tank warfare.

During World War II, as commander of the U.S. 7th Army, he captured Palermo, Sicily, in 1943 by just such means. Patton's audacity became evident in 1944, when, during the Battle of the Bulge, he employed an unorthodox strategy that involved a 90-degree pivoting move of his 3rd Army forces, enabling him to speedily relieve the besieged Allied defenders of Bastogne, Belgium.

Along the way, Patton's mouth proved as dangerous to his career as the Germans. When he berated and slapped a hospitalized soldier diagnosed with "shell shock," but whom Patton accused of "malingering," the press turned on him, and pressure was applied to cut him down to size. He might have found himself enjoying early retirement had not General Dwight Eisenhower and General George Marshall intervened on his behalf. After several months of inactivity, he was put back to work.

And work he did-at the Battle of the Bulge, during which Patton once again succeeded in employing a complex and quick-witted strategy, turning the German thrust into Bastogne into an Allied counterthrust, driving the Germans east across the Rhine. In March 1945, Patton's army swept through southern Germany into Czechoslovakia—which he was stopped from capturing by the Allies, out of respect for the Soviets' postwar political plans for Eastern Europe.

Patton had many gifts, but diplomacy was not one of them. After the war, while stationed in Germany, he criticized the process of denazification, the removal of former Nazi Party members from positions of political, administrative, and governmental power. His impolitic press statements questioning the policy caused Eisenhower to remove him as U.S. commander in Bavaria. He was transferred to the 15th Army Group, but in December of 1945 he suffered a broken neck in a car accident and died less than two weeks later
From the movie Patton

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Bombing of 1972

With mid-December already upon us, I hope for everyone best wishes and blessings for the holiday season.  
Sometimes perfection comes with a price, however the wait and payoff is worth it and although I delayed the release of my book, the final touches will be worth the delay.  

In a related historical event briefly covered in my book I have inserted an excerpt below about the Christmas Bombings of North Vietnam in 1972.  The bombing of Hanoi in December 1972 has been said by some to have been the event to draw the Vietnam War to a close, while others debate the issue.


Cold War

Dec 18, 1972: Nixon announces start of "Christmas Bombing" of North Vietnam

Following the breakdown of peace talks with North Vietnam just a few days earlier, President Richard Nixon announces the beginning of a massive bombing campaign to break the stalemate. For nearly two weeks, American bombers pounded North Vietnam.

On December 13, peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam collapsed. The North Vietnamese and American negotiators traded charges and counter charges as to who was to blame. Infuriated, President Nixon ordered plans drawn up for retaliatory bombings of North Vietnam. Linebacker II was the result. Beginning on December 18, American B-52s and fighter-bombers dropped over 20,000 tons of bombs on the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong. The United States lost 15 of its giant B-52s and 11 other aircraft during the attacks. North Vietnam claimed that over 1,600 civilians were killed.

The bombings continued until December 29, at which time the North Vietnamese agreed to resume the talks. A few weeks later, the final Paris Peace Treaty was signed and the Vietnam War came to a close, ending the U.S. role in a conflict that seriously damaged the domestic Cold War consensus among the American public. The impact of the so-called "Christmas Bombings" on the final agreement was difficult to assess. Some historians have argued that the bombings forced the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table. Others have suggested that the attacks had little impact, beyond the additional death and destruction they caused. Even the chief U.S. negotiator, Henry Kissinger, was reported to have said, "We bombed the North Vietnamese into accepting our concessions." The chief impact may have been in convincing America's South Vietnamese allies, who were highly suspicious of the draft treaty worked out in October 1972, that the United States would not desert them. In any event, the final treaty did not include any important changes from the October draft.

Nixon audio

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting Started

Hello Everyone and Welcome,

First of all if you want to stop the music you can hit the pause button in the green box on the right sidebar.

This is my first posting to get the blog started off.  As I get set I'll be keeping everyone updated on the progress on having the book available in December along with other related posts.  In the meantime on the top right side bar you can sign up to follow by e-mail subscription and/or join followers.  Appreciate any followers for the blog and Facebook page along with comments and suggestions.

 Thank you and take care, Warren
A Little Bit Younger Me