In Bolivia, even irredentism is cute.
Everything is explained in my article on Bolivia and the sea.
It’s not like Bolivia’s “loss of the sea” is all that odd. Just look at the pre-WW1 race for dreadnoughts between Argentina, Brazil, and Chile – the ABC contest, as it’s known in warship-aficionado circles. Then there’s the infamous “football war” further north. The Malvinas/Falklands is almost a cliche by now. Then again, we have the current tensions in the Balkans over …. car number plates?!? (Yeah, I know the far-deeper issues behind it, never fear.)
Any chance of a look at the turn Israel is taking, and the likelihood of an Israeli-Palestinian war in, say, Autumn 2024, when the US Presidential contestants are obvious? (I’m sorry, am I trying to instigate things again? ;) )
I try to stick to things that I know something about, and although I have been to Israel a lot, the last visit was 7 or 8 years ago, so I don’t really feel up-to-date anymore.
But – if you want war reporting – I have been to Ukraine each of these past three years, and I will probably visit again next year. (I only don’t want to go in winter, when electricity is scarce, because I feel like I am taking away valuable resources from people who need them more than me.)
Having lived in cold climes AND played soldier in VERY cold weather, I’d be glad to give you pointers on how to keep warm and keep your electric usage down. I’d even send you one of my old overcoats, which double as warm coats and as tents, but they weigh so much, the shipping costs would be a sizable down-payment on the US National debt!
I’m just …. intrigued? morbidly fascinated? … by the bizarre relationship between the US and Israel, as well as our Republican party turning toward neo-Nazism and authoritarianism fanboy status, while concurrently disavowing spending to support foreign militaries when they have made a career (at least since I started following them in the late 1970s) of pushing war as the answer to just about everything, including domestic economic woes. We now have the most right-wing extreme Israeli government, openly seeking settlers to invade Palestinian areas and seemingly pushing towards yet another Israeli-Palestinian war – and the US only thinks about Ukraine. I’m just trying to figure out what happened party that made sense to me in 1980 that now scares the CRAP out of me in 2023.
Or maybe I’m just becoming a flaming liberal in my old age? Maybe due to folk I follow in blogs? ;) :D
Watch out, soon you’ll think that water and air shouldn’t be privatized – and you’ll be a SOCIALIST! :O
Honestly, the Republican Party scares me even more than any war. (And I still wonder why Russia did not attack Ukraine during Trump’s term in office. The NATO response would have been so much weaker, and there might not have been any at all.)
But that party really changed dramatically, I don’t think it’s you. When I was too dismayed by Trump, I sometimes watched old debates like Clinton-Bush or Obama-Romney. Okay, I was always more of a leftist, but these were elections where you wouldn’t lose sleep over the other side winning. But now? Crazy how a whole party – with very exceptions – goes down into a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, radicalism and denial of scientific truths.
I think that both the US and Israel actually benefit from their history and from people being very slow in changing their minds about a country. We all grew up with the saying that “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East” and the accolades about US democracy and rule of law and stuff. And then, when things change, we are slow to adapt.
It also works in a negative way. For example, when I say that I am going to holiday in Bosnia or in Kosovo, people get scared. In reality, nothing terribly dangerous has happened there in decades. But the last time these countries were in the news, there was war. And that’s what sticks in people’s minds.
I voted Republican (yeah, yeah, go ahead, toss them tomatoes) until they nominated Sarah Palin for VP. That was my turning point – bending an entire party’s will to one wacko leading an equally wacko group called the Tea Party. Then again, compared to the MAGA crowd, the Tea Party actually seems reasonable – kind of ….. ;)
I’ve never been to war zones like you have, but I’ve lived in TWO supposedly peaceful places in this country (Chicago and here in Ohio), and I’d rather spend a month in downtown Bucha than walk through parts of Chicago or our “big” town of Coshocton. Less chance of getting caught in crossfire in Donetsk or Luhansk than in parts of Cook and Coshocton counties! (Besides, you can dodge a tank, but getting away from a drunk Ohio redneck in a broke-down pickup truck is really hard. And people wonder why I keep military-grade weapons just inside my front door! :D )
By the way, I can qualify for socialist here in Trump country. I have a gay niece, a black neighbor, and I neither drink alcohol nor smoke. Gimme a Prius, and I’ll have to wave a red flag on May 1st.
Maybe the Bucha/Ohio comparison is a bit inappropriate.
My apologies. You know me – prone to over-exaggeration. No, I’ve never lived anywhere with mass graves, though I have visited a few here in the States – Civil War and Native American. But nowhere like Bucha, or other parts of Ukraine. Again, sorry if I offended anyone.
By the by, what type of tank is that you’re sitting on in your header photo? I don’t recognise it from its’ turret – looks older based on the boxy facia, yet it has a fume extractor in the middle of the barrel (the bulge halfway down the gun tube). Leopard 1, or Merkava, perhaps?
If you refresh the page, you should get a different header photo. That’s how fancy my blog is!
But here is the full photo:
It was taken on the Israeli side of the Golan in 2009, so it could be a Merkava.
I should also have a paper photo of me with a Leopard somewhere, because when I was about 12 or so, a classmate’s father took us for a ride in a tank. It had started as a normal children’s birthday, and nobody knew that we would all be driven to the local barracks and get to ride in a battle tank. It was just going back and forth on the tarmac, but at pretty high speed.
I found a few more tanks for you to identify, all photographed in Kyiv in 2019/2020:
https://andreasmoser.blog/2019/12/31/kyiv-day-16-21-street-art/ (photo no. 5)
The first photo is of, to be pedantic, a couple of Infantry Fighting Vehicles, like the US Stryker and Bradley. The front one is a tracked BMP – can’t see enough to really identify it. The rear one, I’m gonna have to research – probably BTR family, BTR-80 specifically. Technically an Armoured Personnel Carrier (a so-called “battle taxi” like the old US M-113), but it’s armed, so it should be an IFV.
The three tanks? YIKES! The middle one is either a T-54 or T-62, around 1960s/1970s if memory serves. The other two? The green one could be early T-72 or very late T-64 – gotta dig out the reference books. The one in Ukraine flag colours? NO clue off the top of my head! That’s one’s gonna be a challange!
You’re doing this to punish me for my stupid comparison of Bucha to South-side Chicago, right? ;) (Look up Cabrini Green, and you’ll get an idea where I came up with the comparison, inappropriate as it was. I was almost hit by a stray bullet just walking past the place.)
Ukrainian colours tank – early T-80. Had to do some digging. Many or the older tanks are getting upgrades with ERA – explosive reactive armour, basically an explosive sandwich with armour bread. When an anti-tank warhead (Shaped-charge) is sensed, the charge goes off, blowing the outside plate into the explosive jet generated by the incoming round, deflecting the blowtorch effect and saving the tank. Problem is, they’re so chunky, and made in small blocks for easy replacement, that they dramatically change outlines.
And all that (except for the T-80 identification) from memory. Guess there’s hope for my rapidly deteriorating brainpan, eh? ;)
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