Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday Music "Already Gone" by the Eagles and some other stuff

I am continuing my series of songs that I can play over and over again. And it is on Tuesday...Eh it happens...
I kinda went on a vacation, after attending a seminar/work session and we were told that we needed to read a book called "Good to Great", how certain companies defied the odds and were great, far exceeding the S&P and the Dow.  How they did it and why.  It was a very interesting read.
The plane is a USB Card, 
I also was treated to the "Medieval Times", which is a show and dinner, and it was interesting eating food with no utensils, I being a former GI and scout leader didn't have problems with that

The show was neat, I knew that the show was an act, but they really got into it and the choreography was evident in the performance.  After finishing the seminar from work, I flew down to Florida to catch up with the spousal unit and my son who was visiting my brother, sister in law and my niece.  They live near Pensacola and I like the panhandle area.  If my employer had a facility in that area, I would consider transferring.    While I was there, I was talking to my brother and I mentioned that I had posted a couple of pics that I had taken while I was in Germany and in the Gulf and I mentioned that when I had visited him in the gulf, I wish that I had someone take a pic of us being together.   I then went to harass my son about something and my brother brought a book of pics that he took in the Gulf and flipping through the pics and seeing what the sky looked like after the Iraqi's fired the Kuwaiti oil wells, brought back memories of the dark skies and that you could barely see the sun.  After the war ended, we spend a couple of months waiting to return back to Germany and I fould out that my brother was a couple of hours away from me and I finangled a humvee and drove like a banshee down MSR "Grape" I think it was.   Well I saw my brother and I spent an hour or so seeing him.  I was glad to see him and glad that he also made it.  Well apparently this did happen...

     Some one did take a pic of me and my brother, I was shocked, I had thought for 27 years that I had missed an opportunity.   I do know that I pissed blood for several days after the visit because the tank trials were rough and the humvee had no padding, LOL, but it was worth it.   My brother sent me the pic as a PDF and I haven't figured out how to convert it to a Jpeg or something like that.




  I decided to roll with Eagles "Already Gone".  There are a group of songs that I can listen to over and over again and this is one of those songs.  This is a good driving song....especially with the windows open and the music blaring.  the song reminds me of driving in the southland on a country road.   In my heart I am a country boy, I do not want to live in the city, I am not a city dweller...being trapped inside a city if things go "pear-shaped" definitely is not a comfortable feeling.  When ever I hear it, I think of driving near my kaserne "Cooke Barracks" in Germany south of Stuttgart.


"Already Gone" is a song recorded by the American rock band Eagles for their 1974 album On the Border. It was written by Jack Tempchin and Robb Strandlund and produced by Bill Szymczyk.
The song was the first single released from On the Border and peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, the Eagles have included it on their greatest hits albums and in their live performances. Tanya Tucker and Wilson Phillips have covered the song.



"Already Gone", which is four minutes and 13 seconds long, was written by Robb Strandlund and Jack Tempchin. In the liner notes for The Very Best Of, Glenn Frey said that Tempchin sent him a tape of the song through the mail. Tempchin had already written one of the Eagles' previous singles, "Peaceful Easy Feeling".
"Already Gone" was one of the first songs that the Eagles recorded after they moved to Los Angeles, and it was produced by Bill Szymczyk. Frey was the lead vocalist
I couldn't find any video's from back then.  Only stuff I saw was stuff from the 1990's and later and I didn't like that.

 "Already Gone" is the opening track of the Eagles' album On the Border, which was released by Asylum Records on March 22, 1974. It was released as the first single from the album in April 1974. Its b-side was "Is It True".
The song has also been included on some of the Eagles' compilation albums, including Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and The Very Best Of

"Already Gone" has been described as a "classic". In his book To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles, Marc Eliot wrote that the song "was an out-and-out rocker ... Musically it sounded like a fuel-injected rave-up, with melodic echoes of both 'Peaceful Easy Feeling' and 'Take It Easy.

Running late from Vacation



I ain't gonna get "Monday Music" up until Tuesday, We came back from vacation and from what I saw, the scheduler thingie worked well and kept the contents stocked on the blog.

     

Sunday, September 23, 2018

If the Hoth Planet crash was an Air Force Investigation...

I shamelessly clipped this off Angry Staff Officer, Like I have said in the past, he uses Star Wars references due to the cultural implications and uses them as a "Lesson Learned" for the Military.  In this case it was a guest writer and he wrote this from the Air Force point of view and as an Army guy and experience in the aviation field I can see this happen.  "Angry Staff Officer" is an Army Officer who writes to keep from being too angry and my buddy Mack who turned me on to ASO a while back met the guy and he told me.."That guy is always pissed".  So you can blame Mack for letting me find out about the guy. 





If the Hoth Crash was an Air Force Investigation


By Matt Wright

Accident Investigation Board – Rebel Alliance 

T-47 Airspeeder (Field Modified)
Battle of Hoth, 3 ABY
Executive Summary
During the disastrous Battle for Hoth, a locally modified version of the Incom T-47 Airspeeder was engaged in close proximity to advancing Stormtrooper infantry and heavily armored All-Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) units of the Imperial Army led by General Maximillian Veers. During the battle, the mishap pilot brought the mishap aircraft within close proximity of the advancing AT-ATs and often in direct line of fire of their weaponry. The mishap aircraft was eventually struck and downed, resulting in the death of the mishap gunner and the total loss of the hull.
The mishap aircraft was assigned to Rogue Squadron, assigned to the defenses of Hoth. The mishap crew consisted of a mishap pilot and mishap gunner, both assigned to Rogue Squadron. It was determined that the mishap gunner died instantly, and the mishap pilot was able to escape the Hoth system in an unassigned X-Wing.
The board president found clear and convincing evidence that the cause of the mishap was due to the pilot failing heed sound crew resource management (CRM) principles and ignoring repeated warnings from the mishap gunner regarding failed mission essential systems. Furthermore, the board found other causal factors relating to poor maintenance standards and practices, and contributing factors relating to unsound tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).
Mishap Aircraft
The mishap aircraft (MA) was a T-47 Airspeeder, built and developed by Incom and delivered to the Alliance in the base Speeder format. Upon assignment to Hoth, it was noted detachment-wide that the Speeder variant could not perform to designed standards due to the extreme cold weather prevalent on the planet. Inspection of surviving T-47’s revealed that most were modified with locally manufactured heat exchangers in proximity to the power generator units (PGU), as the PGUs reportedly would exceed designed measured generator temperature (MGT) in order to keep essential operating systems at designed temperatures. As this deficiency was not reported through proper channels, no new aircraft limitations or preflight warm-up procedures were implemented, and the effects of the unauthorized modification were not available for operational test & evaluation (OT&E). Furthermore, study into maintenance practices revealed several discrepancies. It was fortunate that the majority of the maintenance records were uploaded to the lead escape craft data banks. Several of the assigned T-47 aircraft that participated in the mission sortie had open discrepancies in their forms, most of which were mission essential items. Additionally, it was noted fleet-wide with the T-47 fleet that laser output, which were local modifications including installation of Corellian Engineering Company (CEC) AP/11 Double lasers, degraded on the platform, reducing the effectiveness against Imperial armored units. Output was sufficient to damage All Terrain Scout Transports (hereafter, Scout Walkers) but insufficient for penetration of AT-AT armor. Hoth Maintenance Group (HMXG) sent engineering disposition (ED) requests to Incom for an enterprise solution, as HMXG lacked the technical guidance and equipment for laser repair. CEC was unavailable to provide technical advice, due to the on-going occupation of Corellia by the Empire.  The EDs provided by Incom, in conjunction with CEC setbacks, granted HMXG the authority to delay calibrating laser output until the next depot maintenance input per speeder. The mishap aircraft itself had several aircrew noted discrepancies regarding electrical faults in the harpoon assembly. HMXG repeatedly refused to repair the assembly, citing the T-47 MESL as listing the assembly as not required for non-cargo movements. The discrepancy was eventually entered into the delayed discrepancies for repair during the next phase inspection. Unfortunately, the flight data recorder was not recovered, as Imperial forces maintained a small garrison on the planet after the evacuation of Echo Base. Due to this, engine and system operation parameters captured during the mishap sortie could not be analyzed.
Mishap Crew
The mishap crew (MC) consisted of the mishap pilot (MP) and mishap gunner (MG). The MP was a highly regarded pilot due to his exemplary performance during the destruction of the Death Star. He had been in Squadron Command for approximately two years at the time of mishap.  He did not have the request requisite hours in a T-47 Airspeeder, but was current and qualified in both the T-65B X-Wing and the T-16 Skyhopper.  Of note, Alliance Starfighter Command senior leadership regarded all three Incom platforms as interchangeable for training purposes, despite the widely divergent mission sets and mission environments.  He was upgraded to aircraft commander and flight lead with a flight-hour waiver endorsed by several high ranking members of the Alliance. Despite his resounding technical competency as a pilot, interviews conducted by the board in the course of the investigation revealed a tendency for the MP to display four of the five hazardous attitudes of a pilot: impulsivity, antiauthority, invulnerability, and machoism. The MP executed the sortie as the flight lead for Rogue Squadron with little to no mission planning, and while executing the sortie within the parameters Attack Pattern Delta, the MP failed to consider alternate methods of attack.
The AIB had considerable difficulty in obtaining and analyzing the flight and training records of the MG due to the loss of critical Alliance Personnel Center records during the evacuation of Yavin IV. During the course of the investigation, interviews from surviving squadron members revealed the MG was technically and tactically competent. Furthermore, it was discovered that the MG repeatedly expressed concerns to squadron leadership about being assigned with the MP over consistent CRM breakdowns between the two. In a hologram interview, the MP acknowledged that the MG expressed concerns over the lack of appropriate approach path vectors for the run-in route to attack an Imperial AT-AT. The MP also stated he dismissed the concerns regarding the approach and continued the run-in, even after the MG stated additional concerns that the harpoon assembly primary fire control assembly had failed and that more time would be required to engage the auxiliary controller. Eventually, the MA was struck by enemy fire while making a head-on pass to engage the legs of the AT-AT in an attempt to bind them with the harpoon assembly. The aircraft crashed in vicinity of the AT-AT, with the MP egressing the aircraft and assaulting the AT-AT on foot, successfully destroying the enemy armor.  MG did not survive the crash, with MG’s remains remaining unrecovered due to the airframe being crushed by an advancing AT-AT.
Findings
With clear and convincing evidence, the board has determined the primary causal factor of the accident to be pilot error. Ignoring several warnings from the MG, the MP failed to break off the run-in for the planned engagement allowing time for the MG to both correct for the failed approach path solution and ensure the proper operation of the harpoon assembly. The MA’s aggressive flying and disregard for sound tactics placed the MA directly in the line of fire of enemy fire with the MG being channelized and heads down in the aircraft during a critical phase of flight, as opposed to being actively participating in the engagement and practicing sound threat clearing techniques.
As contributory factors, the board finds that the lackadaisical maintenance culture in the HMXG led to aircraft being launched that were partially to non-mission capable. While the board recognizes this sortie was an all-out defense of the facility, and that all aircraft capable to launch would sortie, had proper maintenance procedures be followed in the time prior to the invasion, the board finds that attrition rates would most likely have been lower. Also noted as a contributory factor were the poor tactics, techniques, and procedures used during the mission. Although technically in compliance with standing doctrine, it should be expected of Alliance flight leaders and pilots to adapt to a rapidly evolving battlefield to ensure mission success.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Kiplings Firearms, the Jingal and the Jezail

I am a huge fan of Rutyard Kipling, one of my best friends loves the movie "The Man who would be King",


This adaptation of the famous short story by Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnahan, two ex-soldiers in India when it was under British rule. They decide that the country is too small for them, so they head off to Kafiristan in order to become Kings in their own right. Kipling is seen as a character that was there at the beginning, and at the end of this glorious tale.

  Rutyard Kipling also wrote "The Jungle Book"...

 He also wrote a lot of books and articles about India and other areas that back in the day was "Dark and Mysterious" to the average English reader and citizen in London and in England.     I also have used the poem from Mr. Kipling "When the Saxons began to Hate" to describe the upcoming "unpleasantness" if the deep state are successful in their endevours and we no longer have a say in the business of the Republic.





“A scrimmage in a Border Station
A canter down some dark defile
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail.” –“Arithmetic on the Frontier,” Rudyard Kipling
The jezail and the jingal are two very different weapons from very different places. Despite this, they both have a place in Western literature thanks to writers like Rudyard Kipling. Both these weapons appear in his works. Knowing the weapons he referenced in his writings is just part of understanding the weapons and how they relate to Kipling’s works.
Rudyard Kipling in London in 1895
The jezail was a hand-crafted type of long musket or rifle used prominently in India, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Usually a musket, the jezail was similar to the Kentucky rifle, meant to provide superior accuracy and range in rugged terrain. Often featuring a curved stock, the jezail was often fired from higher ground along a hillside and propped with a pole.
Jezail rifle from Afghanistan
Such a method of fire proved devastating during the First Afghan War. Firing from the hills along mountain trails, the Afghan tribals could safely and accurately pick off British troops, who were often armed with shorter barreled weapons and thus lacked range to return fire on their attackers. The firing mechanism was usually a flintlock or matchlock, often scavenged from a British Brown Bess musket.
Lithograph dated during the First Anglo-Afghan War of a Kohistani and his jezail.
Simple in design yet beautiful in construction and function, jezails earned their place in British literature of the nineteenth century from several writers, not just Kipling. Though a stark contrast to Western mass-produced firearms, their effectiveness could not be denied.“The men of the First Shikaris
Shouted and smote and slew,
Turning the grinning jingal
On to the howling crew.
The Jemadar’s flanking-party
Butchered the folk who flew.” –“The Grave of the Hundred Head”, Rudyard Kipling
Group of Afridi fighters in 1878, pictured with their jezails, during the Second Afghan War.
Jingals were a type of wall gun used in various parts of Asia. Although the word itself is based on a Hindi word, jingals are more often associated with China. Designed as a form of siege or bulwark defense, jingals, like any wall gun, relied on their accuracy, range, and caliber to do their work.
Group of Afridi Fighters.
Whether a small cannon or a large musket, the role of the jingal was to defend a wall or other similar emplacement, such as a barricade or bulwark. Usually placed on a swivel or at least a brace, jingals proved highly accurate and effective, especially when fielded in numbers. Usually muzzle-loading with a barrel of sixty inches or longer, jingal muskets could weigh over forty pounds.
Illustration of jingals in action from the Shenqipu.Photo: Yprpyqp CC BY-SA 4.0
Though far from mobile, as a wall gun they served very well during their time of use from the 1700’s to the middle of the twentieth century. By the nineteenth century it was more common to find bolt action versions of the weapon. With a caliber in the .60’s or higher, these wall guns proved devastating against any who opposed them, British or otherwise.In his time Kipling wrote a great deal about imperialism, his tongue-in-cheek writings often criticizing British policies and actions in their overseas efforts. The jezail previously mentioned took down a British officer, trained to lead his men to glory and victory for Queen and Country. The jingals downed soldiers as part of a recursive cycle of vengeance, in a thinly veiled reference to imperialist notions of honor.
A large jingal from the Shenqipu.
Both weapons were devastating in their time, being well known by their users and their victims. Jezails in particular proved a bane for British troops in India. Though British arms proved superior, the impressive accuracy and firepower of Chinese and Indian jingals provided pivotal fire support for defensive works. For these reasons the weapons entered the English lexicon, and it was for these reasons that Kipling’s works made note of them.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Chancellorsville, Was it a strategic victory or a tactical victory?



While Chancellorsville is often regarded as General Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory, many would be surprised to know that after the battle he remarked “We had really accomplished nothing; we had not gained a foot of ground, and I knew the enemy could easily replace the men he had lost. At Chancellorsville we gained another victory; our people were wild with delight—I, on the contrary, was more depressed.” He even went so far as to yell as his own generals and subordinates, accusing them of not obeying his orders and costing the South a true victory.
What could have led the general to such a conclusion? After all, the victory was widely celebrated in the South, and the North was sent into a panic at every level of leadership up to President Lincoln.


Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.
The loss of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson is widely known, but Lee’s concerns went much deeper than the loss of his best general and friend – Lee realized that he had lost an opportunity to permanently cripple the Union army and potentially end the war.
Ever the perfectionist, this lost opportunity would haunt him for some time, and he made his frustrations known to his subordinates, some of whom had not acted in accordance with Lee’s orders. Did the Confederates have a realistic chance of ending the war, or at least dealing a much greater blow to the Union, at the Battle of Chancellorsville?
Throughout this conversation it is important recognize the manpower advantage the North had, and in particular their ability to replace their losses. Although the Union suffered around 17,000 casualties to the South’s 13,000, the Army of Northern Virginia lost over 20% of its soldiers in the battle, including nearly a third of its officers, while the Army of the Potomac only lost about 15% of its men. This is why Lee was not satisfied with merely driving the Union back – it was simply not sustainable.


Photograph of Robert E. Lee in March 1864
The weapons the North lost could likewise be replaced with relative ease. Lincoln himself had made this observation after the similarly “disastrous” Union defeat at Fredericksburg, saying that if “the same battle were to be fought over again, every day, through a week of days, with the same relative results, the army under Lee would be wiped out to its last man.”


24-pounder Howitzer of Austrian manufacture imported by the Confederacy. Its tube was shorter and lighter than Federal 24-pounder Howitzers.
The only way the South could win would be with either such a great victory that the North would not be able to recover its numbers in time to stop a Confederate advance into the North, or by inflicting such losses that the Northern public would turn strongly against the war, thus making it politically unfeasible for Lincoln to continue fighting.
Lee recognized this, and decided that the political impacts of a greater victory would be worth the risks of an aggressive effort to rout and destroy the Army of the Potomac. The North would have to choose to give up due to the loss of blood and treasure the war extracted, rather than being defeated traditionally. In some ways Lee was already succeeding, as the Democratic platform by 1863 was already calling for an end to the war, even if it meant Southern independence.


Commanders of the Army of the Potomac at Culpeper, Virginia, 1863
The Union retreat from Chancellorsville took place over several days, and involved two separate forces that needed to cross the Rappahannock River back to the North. Beginning late on May 3, 1863, Union forces began to withdraw in the face of Lee’s bold and successful decision to split his own forces repeatedly in the face of an opponent with superior numbers.
The Union forces had been split in two, with one section under the command of General Sedgwick, and the other under General Hooker directly. Lee wanted an attack on the morning of May 4 in order to press his advantage, but indecisive and slow actions by his subordinates led to the failure of this plan.


General Sedgwick (seated right) with Colonels Albert V. Colburn and Delos B. Sackett in Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862.
In particular, Confederate efforts against Sedgwick’s section of the army failed when General McLaws failed to join in an attack by General Early when ordered to because he felt his forces were not strong enough. Instead, McLaws delayed for hours while Early’s significantly outnumbered divisions were repulsed by Union men.
Lee later ordered reinforcements from General Anderson’s division to aid in the McLaws/Early assault. Even then, McLaws delayed the attack, and eventually when the assault commenced they too were repulsed. Lee and Early made their frustrations with McLaws clear after the battle, and McLaws would be court-martialed several months later for gross inefficiency in another campaign, although the court martial was later overturned on procedural grounds.


Battle of Chancellorsville, depicting the wounding of Confederate Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson on May 2, 1863)
Late on May 6, when Lee was able to finally organize his army to attack the other Union position – under Hooker in Chancellorsville – they found only empty trenches. Hooker had escaped without the Confederates even having a chance for a final battle to crush his forces, and Sedgwick had done well enough to escape with his men. Lee’s plan for a conclusive victory had failed.
One key caveat to the argument that the South could have crushed the Union forces with a more aggressive pursuit in the closing days of the Chancellorsville campaign is that it relies entirely on the idea that Lee’s pursuit would have been successful, and beyond that, successful enough to have the desired result.
If Lee’s disappointment with Chancellorsville was that he lost so many men without destroying the Union army entirely, then surely it would have been even worse to launch a costly attack on the retreating Federal forces if he did not achieve total success in that attack. Instead of losing 20% of his men his losses would have been even more severe.
How would those men be replaced? If this theoretical greater victory was still not enough to lead to an immediate surrender, Lee would have had even greater difficulty in whatever the next major battle would have been, due to the loss of those men.


Major General Lafayette McLaws
Even if he continued to inflict more casualties on the Union, barring an utter collapse, the Union would have still been able to replace men that the South simply did not have. If Lee’s aggressive plans for a follow-up attack failed, or led to a Pyrrhic victory, the war may have well been almost ended, but not in the way Lee wanted.
The failure of Lee’s aggressive pursuit is often blamed on numerous failures of his subordinates, and this assessment has a fair amount of evidence to back it up, but even better performance by generals like McLaws could not have guaranteed success.


A group of Confederate soldiers-possibly an artillery unit captured at Island No. 10 and taken at POW Camp Douglas (Chicago)
With this important caveat in mind, the most reasonable conclusion is that Lee’s strategy was worth the risk. Lee was correct in his assessment that the North could only be defeated by a crushing victory – one that would psychologically devastate the Union and deflate their will to fight.
Ultimately a risk like Lee’s goal of an aggressive final assault at Chancellorsville would have been necessary for the South to win. Whether this one victory could have been enough by itself to convince the Union to negotiate for peace can never truly be known, but total destruction of the Army of the Potomac would have certainly increased Lee’s chances of success in his following campaign into the North.


Scouts and guides, Army of the Potomac
Ultimately, Lee’s desire to entirely crush the Union army at Chancellorsville reflected an accurate assessment of the greater political factors governing the war. If successful, it had a good chance of leading directly, or indirectly after a successful follow-up campaign, to a Southern victory. Chancellorsville was truly a turning point in the war, but perhaps not in the way that many assume.

After Chancellorsville, Lee realized that he still needed a victory on Northern soil in order to convince the Northern public that the war was no longer worth fighting. He followed up his victory at Chancellorsville with a march that would end at a small Pennsylvania town named Gettysburg, where he encountered a replenished Army of the Potomac.







Thursday, September 20, 2018

More background on the forced resettlement of white farmers in South Africa.

I had done a couple of articles on South Africa, mostly the Boer wars and of course Rhodesia that got legislated away after Jimmy Carter and the spineless craven leaders in England since Rhodesia used to be part of the commonwealth and part of colonial England caved to the communist pressure.  Alex at Ammo.com had sent me this article and he gave me permission to copy it in its entirety.  I enjoyed the article for it gave a lot of back story on the issues going on right now.

Originally posted here, over at Ammo.com

Land Reform and Farm Murders in South Africa: The Untold Story of the Boers and the ANC

The Untold Story of South African Land Reform and Farm MurdersSouth African farm murders have long been a niche cause on the Internet, and the country has made headlines again due to a South African government plan to seize the land of white farmers under the guise of “South African land reform.”
News of these farm murders and land seizures have gained steam with the release of Lauren Southern’s documentary Farmlands. And United States President Donald Trump has brought even more attention to the plight of Afrikaners with his tweet that he would be looking into the South African land and farm seizure.
Most people don’t know much about the history of South Africa beyond the simplistic propaganda of the 1980s – white South Africans bad, ANC good. The history and current situation of South Africa, however, is much more complex.

Defining Terms: Who Are the Key Players?

Before going any further, terms should be defined and the key players identified:
  • ANC: The African National Congress, the leading party in South Africa since the end of apartheid.
  • Afrikaners: Dutch-, German- and French Huguenot-descended white South Africans who primarily speak a language called Afrikaans.
  • Bantu: A group of black South Africans including the Xhosa (of which Nelson Mandela was a member) who originally lived in the northeast of the country.
  • Boers: A subset of Afrikaners who still lead a rural and agricultural existence.
  • Democratic Alliance: Currently the second-largest party in the South African parliament, the Democratic Alliance is a broad-based centrist party that is comparatively economically liberal for South Africa. It enjoys broad, multiracial support, though it is most popular among all racial minorities – white, Coloured and Indian. Its black supporters are often derided as “clever blacks” by ANC supporters.
  • EFF: The Economic Freedom Fighters, a far-left political party in South Africa that has pushed the South African government to seize land from white farmers. Sometimes derisively called “Everything for Free,” the EFF is the third-largest party in South Africa, but is poised to become the second.
  • Khoisan: A popular name for the original inhabitants of most of the territory now known as South Africa. This is not an ethnic designation, but a linguistic one. These are who the Dutch settlers first encountered.

A Brief History of South Africa: From Early Settlement to the Boer War

To understand the current situation in South Africa, it is important to first understand the country before, during and after apartheid.
South Africa’s modern history begins with the Dutch East India Company, which established trading posts for sailors along the coast. Dutchmen soon started settling the area, with little, if any, conflict with the native Khoisan population. Dutch settlers, however, quickly came into conflict with the Dutch East India Company’s authoritarian rule.
Freedom-seeking Dutch settlers moved north starting in the 17th Century. In 1852, Boers founded the South African Republic (known as the “Transvaal Republic”) and then the Orange Free State in 1854. These are called “Boer Republics” and they, in turn, came into conflict with both southward-expanding Bantu tribes (most notably the Zulu, who were in the process of conquering other nearby Bantu tribes) and the British Empire.
White South Africans” are typically treated as a monolith, but there are two main, distinct groups: The Afrikaans-speaking Afrikaners and the English-speaking British. Indeed, there were intense hostilities between these two groups, especially after the Second Boer War when the Boer Republics were reforged as British colonies.
Telling the Afrikaners to “go home” is a nonsensical statement. They are not Dutch. They do not hold Dutch passports, nor would they at any point have been welcomed back by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In many regions of South Africa, the Afrikaners have been around longer than the Bantus and have a stronger claim on the land, having purchased it from Khoisans. On the other hand, traditionally Bantu land was conquered from other Bantu tribes or taken by the Bantus from the Khoisans.

A Brief History of South Africa: The Boer Wars

The Untold Story of South African Land Reform and Farm Murders“The Boer Wars” refers to two wars between the Boer Republics and the British Empire, but mostly the second one. The first was a rout for the Boers and left the British Empire with egg on their face. They would not be embarrassed a second time.
The first concentration camps were built for Boers. Not just any Boers, but primarily the wives and children of Boer Commandos (irregular guerilla troops) fighting the British Empire. The strategy was simple: Lock up their women and children, and they will lose their will to fight.
It worked. Adding insult to injury, the most publicized photo of the concentration camps, a picture of seven-year-old Lizzie van Zyl nearly starved to death, was touted in the British press as evidence of parental neglect by the Boers. There was great international outcry against the British during the Boer War, but it never amounted to much.
Boer Republics were reconstituted as British colonies. In 1910, three British colonies were unified as the Union of South Africa. After World War I, South West Africa, today known as Namibia, was administered effectively as a fifth province of South Africa, but for obscure reasons never integrated. South Rhodesia voted on membership, nearly joining, but the argument that it would become “the Ulster of Africa” proved too powerful. The history of South Africa is largely that of a rebellious and unhappy British Dominion until 1948.

A Brief History of South Africa: Enter Apartheid

The Untold Story of South African Land Reform and Farm Murders“Apartheid” is an Afrikaans word meaning “separateness.” It was a series of laws drafted beginning in 1948, after the success of the Afrikaner-heavy National Party in the national elections. There was a split in the party between those who favored apartheid as it happened versus those who favored complete separation, including parallel governance. The former won out in no small part due to a thirst for cheap black labor.
Most people know the basics of apartheid, but they are worth going over briefly here: South Africans were classified into one of four racial categories: white, black, Coloured (a non-pejorative term in South Africa, meaning roughly “mixed race”) and Asian or Indian. In 1949, mixed marriages were outlawed with cross-racial intercourse outlawed the following year. In 1953, amenities were segregated by law. Increasingly, the blacks of South Africa were segregated into townships and Bantustans, the latter being nominally independent “homelands” for Africans. This meant that as foreign nationals, in the eyes of the Union of South Africa, they were required to carry documentation to work in South Africa and needed to leave after they were done.
Coloureds, who had the vote, were slowly disenfranchised. Indians and other Asians were never allowed to vote.
Between the end of World War II and the declaration of a republic in 1961, internal politics were dominated by the division between conservative republican Afrikaners and liberal monarchist British whites. Apartheid enjoyed greater support among Afrikaners and less among British South Africans. British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's "Wind of Change" speech increased support for apartheid among British South Africans because of a sense of abandonment by the homeland. Many were upset at being forced by the British government to choose between South African and British citizenship and passports.
Still, none of this amounted to what the National Party hoped to achieve – a cohesive and united white South African identity. Support for apartheid was always tepid among British South Africans.
It is certainly true that notions of racial superiority were a prime motivator for apartheid, but there was another factor in play: Communism. The Suppression of Communism Act was passed by the first apartheid government, banning any Communist organization. The Act took a broad view of what constituted “Communism.” However, given the infiltration of mass movements, particularly in the developing world at the beginning of the Cold War, this is perhaps less cynical than it is commonly made out to be. The Act was used to suppress the African National Congress, something we will talk about in detail later.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Afrikaner society is fundamentally and deeply conservative. Pornography and gambling were illegal in apartheid-era South Africa. Most businesses could not open on Sundays. Abortion, homosexuality and reproductive education were tightly regulated. There was no television until 1976, as this was believed to be immoral and a vehicle of Communism. English-language programming was seen as a threat to Afrikaans culture.

A Brief History of South Africa: The Rise of the ANC and Nelson Mandela

The Untold Story of South African Land Reform and Farm MurdersThe Suppression of Communism Act was the instrument used to outlaw the African National Congress. While the ANC is typically thought of as a democratic-liberal organization, this is simply not true.
The ANC’s closest ally was the South African Communist Party. Indeed, Nelson Mandela, the face of anti-apartheid resistance, was not only a member of the SACP, he served on its Central Committee, something he denied for decades. The SACP has never to this day contested its own candidates in South Africa, instead fielding their people on ANC slates.
What’s more, the SACP partnered with the ANC in forming Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”), the paramilitary wing of the anti-apartheid movement.
The average person on the street likely thinks that Nelson Mandela was imprisoned simply for being black or opposing apartheid. In fact, he was imprisoned for a bombing campaign carried out by Umkhonto we Sizwe, of which he was the head. In fact, Nelson Mandela was convicted of 193 acts of terrorism. He was offered his freedom multiple times on the simple condition that he condemn terrorist attacks against the apartheid regime. He refused every time.
The ANC was not the only organization in South Africa opposed to apartheid. Many white South Africans saw the system as unsustainable. However, outside of South Africa, the situation was largely posed by the media as a question of “apartheid forever or the ANC.”
The ANC and its allies in the Communist Party and the trade union congress COSATU (known as the tripartite alliance) were not the only alternative to the ruling National Party and thus apartheid. The Progressive Federal Party was the main parliamentary opposition to apartheid, which, as the name implies, was in favor of a federated South Africa. The New Republic Party was likewise in favor of power sharing and oriented toward reconciliation with the Commonwealth.
The New Republic Party and the Progressive Federal Party were also bitter enemies. The New Republic Party was a conservative party denounced as racists by the Progressive Federal Party. The Progressive Federal Party was a liberal party derided by the NRP with the nickname “Packing for Perth,” due to the impression that their members were all emigrating to Australia. Two-thirds of South African whites supported some sort of federalism or power sharing, but moderate elements never received any international support.
Nor was the ANC the sole representative of South African blacks. Zulu nationalists, currently represented by the Inkatha Freedom Party, were often bitter enemies of the ANC by the 1980s. Many black South Africans served in the police force and other aspects of the government, leading to the rise of a barbaric form of retribution known as “necklacing.” This is filling a tire with gasoline, hanging it around the neck of a suspected collaborator or political opponent, and lighting the tire on fire. Death can take several hours.
Winnie Mandela, then-wife of Nelson Mandela, declared that "With our boxes of matches, and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country.” This caused the ANC to create some distance between itself and her, but ultimately she was given further positions in the movement and the ANC government.

A Brief History of South Africa: The ANC in the Saddle

The Untold Story of South African Land Reform and Farm MurdersIn 1994, the African National Congress took power in South Africa. At this time, its paramilitary organization was integrated into the country’s regular defense forces. Convicted bomber Robert McBride, praised by no less than IRA terrorist Martin McGuinness, is the Executive Director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate. Touted as the “Rainbow Nation,” the fall of apartheid in South Africa was part of an overall feeling of optimism throughout the world surrounding the Fall of Communism.
However, not everything was roses in the new Republic of South Africa. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was an attempt to lay bare the crimes of the apartheid regime. The tribunal, which did not dispense with sentences, but merely sought to find the truth, has been criticized for not dispensing any justice. Neither former National Party government members nor ANC partisans were punished by the Commission.
The elephant in the room at all times was an overwhelming increase in the crime rate. The term “rape gate” entered popular parlance as South Africans installed panic room doors on their bedrooms. Crime is the main reason for emigration from South Africa. The 2013 murder rate was seven times that of the United States, the 11th highest in the world. Between 2005 and 2015, over 200,000 South Africans were murdered – this in a country of about 50 million. There were over 17,000 murders in 2013 alone. Compare this to just over 14,000 in the United States during the same year, despite the fact that South Africa’s population is approximately equivalent to two states – California and Texas.
This is only the official murder rate. Many suspect that the rate is higher, due to a disengagement from formal policing and a reliance upon private security firms. Quality of public services has likewise deteriorated, with rolling blackouts being the norm in South Africa.
The ANC presides over what is potentially the largest welfare state in the world, according to economist Mike Schussler in 2010. Six percent (3.3 million South Africans) of the population pays 99 percent of the taxes, while 31 percent (16.4 million) receive social grants. This means there are five South Africans receiving welfare for every one paying taxes. 71 percent of South African children live in houses where no adult is employed.
South Africa has a sweeping affirmative action quota program. Employee demographics must, under the South African Employment Equity Act, represent the racial demographics of South Africa as a whole. This means that, for example, the national power company was pressured to fire a number of skilled white engineers, while the country was going through rolling blackouts. The country currently has a labor shortage of approximately 800,000 skilled workers.
The affirmative action program has not lead to a significant increase in the number of skilled black technical workers. In 1994, 15 percent of black South Africans held skilled technical positions. In 2014, this percentage had increased to 18. Meanwhile, between 1992 and 1997, the number of skilled technical degrees dropped by 13 percent while the number of degrees in public administration and social services skyrocketed by 199 percent.
Finally, the specter of corruption has hung over the ANC regime. Scandals surrounding the ANC government have included bribery in arms deals, the abolition of a task force dedicated to organized crime and corruption, sexual misconduct including criminal charges, and using government and civil organizations to fight its political opponents, particularly those in the Democratic Alliance.

What Are the South African Farm Murders?

The Untold Story of South African Land Reform and Farm MurdersIt is currently twice as dangerous to be a South African farmer than a South African police officer. The murder rate among South African farmers is three times that of the standard murder rate in South Africa, which is already one of the highest in the world.
The government claims the motives for the farm attacks are robbery. However, this does not pass muster. Farm attacks frequently include raping the female members of the household – including young children – while forcing the male members of the household to watch. The victims are often then tortured to death in front of each other. Farmers claim police response to these attacks is sluggish at best and nonexistent at worse. The government stopped collecting statistics about farm murders in 2008.
What’s more, the attacks on white farmers in South Africa tend to have pitched levels of brutality about them. Without getting too lost in the weeds of the grizzly details, it’s worth mentioning some of the more grotesque attacks on farmers at least in passing:
  • In 2012, a 12-year-old boy was drowned in boiling water after watching both his parents murdered and his mother raped.
  • A 56-year-old grandmother was gang raped during a robbery netting approximately $2,000.
  • Five men sexually assaulted a woman in front of her 5-year-old son over the course of an hour and a half.
  • Over the course of six hours, a woman was tortured by having her skin cut off, raped and had her feet power drilled.
  • A 66-year-old man was beaten to death in front of his wife. She escaped being gang raped by saying that she had HIV.
  • Bedridden Alice Lotter, 76, and her daughter Helen, 57 were tortured to death over several hours, including by being stabbed in the genitals with a broken glass bottle. One had one of her breasts removed while still alive. “Kill the Boer” was painted on the wall in their blood.
  • Knowledge Mandlazi went on a killing spree in 2014, murdering five whites and stating that “My hate for white people made me rob and kill." He held up his middle finger to surviving victims in the courtroom.
Another common form of attack is the land invasion. In one example, 100 men began squatting land. The farmer did the sensible thing and left. Who could blame him in the kind of environment described above?
Far from being a “white nationalist conspiracy theory,” farm attacks have been reported on and denounced by Human Rights Watch and former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot. Afriforum, a wing of Christian trade union Solidarity, likewise reports on farm attacks regularly.

What Is Behind the South African Farm Attacks?

The Untold Story of South African Land Reform and Farm MurdersAnti-white racism is a popular current in mainstream South African politics. The song “Kill the Farmer, Kill the Boer” is still publicly sung, despite this being declared a hate crime. The traditional means of protecting rural South Africans, the commando units, were disbanded in 2003, leaving many South African farmers with no protection.
Anti-white rhetoric in South Africa is very real and very mainstream. Here are a few examples:
Compare this with the woman sentenced to three years in prison for calling someone a “kaffir.” It’s not surprising that some South Africans have begun getting trained by Israeli commandos to protect themselves and their property.

What Are the Farm Seizures?

The Untold Story of South African Land Reform and Farm MurdersThe South African Constitution has recently been amended to allow for Soviet-style expropriations of farms without compensation. Zulu lands are specifically exempted.
This is a bit nonsensical for two reasons. Many white South Africans have been in South Africa longer than most Americans have been in America. Second, the dominant black ethnic group, the Bantus, doesn’t have a strong claim to most of the land in South Africa – the Khoisans would, but they sold it to the Boers or had it conquered by the British. This is as if the U.S. government started seizing land from white families in upstate New York traditionally belonging to the Iroquois and giving it out to the Cherokee.
Still, despite the fact that farm seizures are precisely the means by which Zimbabwe ended up in such a failed state, there seems to be no stopping farm seizures in South Africa. Perhaps worst of all, there are rumors that South Africa’s banks intend to collect mortgage payments even after properties have been confiscated.
In the final analysis, the farm seizures in South Africa aren’t just about dispossessing an unpopular, market dominant racial minority – though that would be disturbing enough. It’s also a threat to South Africa’s incredibly fragile democracy. The ANC is a dominant party with little chance of losing elections and thus, little reason to behave accountably. Add to this the lack of a broad-based middle class with a vested interest in strong property rights, and you have a recipe for kleptocracy and starvation.

Bibliography