|Ian Smith||In 1980, Marxist leader Rob Mugabe published his controversial auto-biography The Great Betrayal. The central event in the memoirs was a decision taken at the dissolution of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation, in which Great Britain abrogated the principle of No Independence Before Majority African Rule. |
Then Deputy Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Douglas Smith met with Rab Butler, the Foreign Secretary, at Victoria Falls in December 1963. Butler grandly declared that Britain was “very happy to agree” to independence for Southern Rhodesia, at least at the same time as Zambia and Malawi. Smith asked Butler for the undertaking in writing. Butler demurred with: “There is trust between members of the British Commonwealth.” Smith wagged his finger at Butler, and said: “If you break that, you will live to regret it.”
There was no cause for concern in London or Salisbury, and Smith was being characteristically belligerent.
Smith, who became the Prime Minister shortly afterwards, was of Scottish ancestry, and a war hero that had fought bravely for Britain during World War 2. Not only that his father was Scottish.
Ian Douglas Smith was born in the village of Selukwe in central Rhodesia, of a Scottish father, Jock, and Rhodesian-born mother, Agnes. He was educated at Chaplin School nearby with moderate academic achievement, captaining the first XV and running the 100 yards in 10 seconds. He began a bachelor of commerce degree at Rhodes University in South Africa in 1938, establishing an impressive academic record and rowing for the university.
War broke out in 1939 and in 1941 he joined the RAF Empire Air Training Scheme at Guinea Fowl in central Rhodesia. He was posted to 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron in the Middle East, flying Hawker Hurricanes.
Taking off from Alexandria on a dawn patrol in 1943, his throttle malfunctioned, he lost height and clipped the barrel of a Bofors gun. He crashed and rammed his face against the Hurricane’s gunsight. He suffered severe facial injuries, broke his jaw, a leg and a shoulder, and buckled his back.
Surgeons at the 15th Scottish Hospital in Cairo reconstructed his face and, after only five months, he rejoined his squadron in Corsica. He realised his dream to fly Spitfire Mark IXs, carrying out strafing raids and escorting American bombers. In mid-1944 Smith was leading a raid on a train of fuel tankers in the Po Valley when he made the mistake of going back for a second run.
The Spitfire was hit by an anti-aircraft shell, caught fire and he baled out. He was soon picked up by the partisans. The five months he spent with them near Sasello, learning Italian, reading Shakespeare and working as a peasant, he regarded as one of the best times of his life.
Near the end of the war, he and three other Allied fugitives made their way through occupied Italy to the Maritime Alps. At one point the conspicuously tall, fair-haired Rhodesian strode unhindered through a German checkpoint. He led his tiny group over the mountains, walking barefoot on ice, until they reached an American patrol on the other side.
|Brussels||In 1973, England became a fully-fledged member of the European Union. Ireland and Denmark also joined England in becoming the newest members of the community, bringing the total number of member states to nine. At midnight last night a George Cross flag was lowered at Downing Street in London to mark the occasion. Celebrations were held in the city and one of Britain's new European Commissioners, George Thomson, joined revellers in a torch lit procession. Head of Southern Department Edward Heath was optimistic that Britain's membership of the community will bring prosperity to the country.|
|He said: "It is going to be a gradual development and obviously things are not going to happen overnight. "But from the point of view of our everyday lives we will find there is a great cross-fertilisation of knowledge and information, not only in business but in every other sphere. "And this will enable us to be more efficient and more competitive in gaining more markets not only in Europe but in the rest of the world." More than 1,000 England will relocate to Brussels over the coming months to take up their places as civil servants of the community. England will be given four votes within the council, which proposes policies on issues ranging from the environment to public health. Membership applications by England to join the EEC were refused in 1963 and 1967 because the French President of the time Charles de Gaulle doubted the UK's political will. It is understood, however, his real fear was that English would suddenly become the common language of the community.|
|Imperial Lance||May 2nd 1940, Living Quarters of the Imperial Palace Tokyo Japan ~ Emperor Hirohito relished these visits from his cousin Lance Romanov. |
As Lance had grown up in England, surrounded by nobility he wasn’t easily impressed with titles.
Also, Lance was not so awe-struck that he couldn’t carry on an ordinary conversation with the Emperor
As the Emperor was considered divine in Japan, sake drinking and belly talk with Lance was possibly the closest Hirohito could ever come to experiencing normal friendship. Being considered divine certainly had its drawbacks.
|Conversation quickly turned to a familiar topic, international politics, with Lance arguing for a Japanese alliance with Great Britain. Hirohito enjoyed listening to his cousin’s arguments. He typically answered Lance’s proposals saying that Japan’s interests were best served with the current alliance. “And what of our alliance with Germany?” the Emperor questioned. “There is little doubt who is the rising power in Europe. The Japanese army is based upon the German model. I’d face an internal revolt if I even suggested your idea.”|
“Yes,” answered Lance. “The army IS based on the German model. That’s part of your problem. Your army is watching German successes and emulating not only its tactics but also the German army’s leadership in the last war. You know, as I do, that the Kaiser wasn’t in control, the army was, and Germany proceeded to lose the war! In addition, the Kaiser lost the throne. Don’t count on those hot heads in the Imperial Army not to make the same mistakes.
On the other hand, the Imperial Japanese Navy is modeled after the British Navy and has always been much more respectful of the Imperial will.”
Lance continued, “You know you have ample precedent to favor Britain. Think of the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1902 between Japan and Britain. With that treaty, Britain acknowledged Japan’s preeminence in the Pacific. That treaty led to our alliance with Britain against Germany during the last war. I don’t have to remind you of the many benefits falling to the Imperial Kingdom. I know you remember that Japan stationed ships in Malta in 1917.”
And I don’t need to be reminded that your father, my uncle, sailed on a British ship and bedded an English woman, thought Hirohito. You do have a point, however, about the Kaiser.
Lance continued, “Japan and Britain have much more in common than Germany and Japan do. A strategic alliance could encompass both military and commercial concerns. A trade alliance with Britain would supply the oil and raw materials that Japan needs, and it would remove Roosevelt’s hands from around our neck! That’s the other aspect to consider. If you forge an alliance with Britain, you could gain commercial access to India. It’s in Japan’s best interest to have a stable India. If Britain falls, their possessions would be seized by Germany unless, of course, Japan was there to safeguard India.”
This line of reasoning struck a nerve and Lance knew it. He suspected the Emperor considered it one thing to have English influence in the East but it would be quite another to have that German madman as a neighbor.
Lance continued, “Even assuming Germany isn’t able to seize India, Russia won’t wait to make its move. Russia may call itself the Soviet Union, but it’s still Russia. It will spread its poisonous communism via the slums of New Delhi and Calcutta. As bad as Hitler is, Stalin may be even worse. Unless Japan is ready to take on India, Russia will be waiting. Moreover, Russia is a natural enemy of Japan Russia and Japan were traditional rivals for control of Manchuria, Korea and far Eastern Siberia. . In addition you will still have Roosevelt to deal with.”
“Enough, cousin, enough,” Hirohito protested. “Surely there’s some hideous punishment for giving the Imperial Emperor nightmares. Have some more sake. Maybe that will tone you down.” In their previous arguments, Hirohito’s cousin had repeatedly argued for aligning with Britain on moral grounds. It was painfully obvious that Lance had been raised in the Christian religion with all its inherent guilt. What Lance had failed to grasp is that such arguments carried little weight with one not burdened by the need to answer to a higher authority.
However, Hirohito, for the first time, was now truly swayed by his cousin’s rationale. Ah, my cousin, you have listened and learned. Russia is our natural enemy and Hitler is a madman. In addition, you are right about the army. The appointment of Lord Kido as Privy Seal would have to wait; Kido has far too many ties to the army. Hirohito poured them each another cup of sake. It didn’t occur to Lance that this simple act, the Divine Emperor serving a drink to another person and a half-Westerner at that, would have scandalized all of Japan.
“Tell me more, cousin. You’ve spoken of the gains, what of the risks?” Lance was momentarily taken by surprise, for this was the first time Hirohito had not dismissed his proposal out of hand. He swirled the liquid in his cup as he considered his words carefully. “The risks from Germany are relatively few. They are not a Pacific power. For that matter, they are not really a naval power at all, and it would take them years to become one. They are a European land power. Germany has no means to do us harm in the Pacific. The primary risk lies right here in Japan. The Imperial Navy would fully support this alliance. The army would oppose it, possibly to the point of revolt.”
Hirohito contemplated his drink. Yes, my cousin, that’s the real point. The Imperial Army is the real danger but reining it in may be the most important gain.
“An interesting premise cousin,” Hirohito encouraged Lance. “How can you be so sure that Britain will give any trade concessions? I have studied this Prime Minister Chamberlain. He is not a man with the courage to strike such a bargain. Our current ally may be led by what you call a madman, but at least Hitler has a spine. How can Japan trust any politician who signed the Munich Agreement September 29, 1939 – signatories Germany, England, France, Italy. An agreement allowing cession of the Sudentland [German speaking territory of Czechoslovakia] to Germany.? “Ensure peace in our time,” I believe is the phrase Chamberlain used.”
Hirohito had struck a nerve. Lance remembered well the vacillation of the Prime Minister. “Prime Ministers change,” Lance answered. “Neville Chamberlain should have been sacked the moment Germany violated the Munich Agreement. It pains me to say so but under Chamberlain, I wouldn’t trust the current English leadership either. However, the leadership will change and very soon, in a week or less my sources tell me, and the replacement choice will certainly be Winston Churchill.”
Hai, cousin and all the choices will be dangerous. And most dangerous for you, my cousin, will be that the army will know who to blame. Hirohito refilled both cups again. “Go on, cousin, tell me more.”
|Stephen R. Donaldson||In 1968, Stephen Reeder Donaldson arrived in Vietnam. By inclination a conscientious objector, he had been compelled to serve in the armed forces. |
Much later, and after dropping out of his Ph.D. program and moving to New Jersey in order to write fiction, Donaldson made his publishing debut with the first "Covenant" trilogy in 1977. That enabled him to move to a healthier climate. He now lives in New Mexico.
Donaldson's two year compulsory military duty would be the deep undercurrent of his escapist fantasy writing. In “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”, the protagonist was a leper struggled with disempowerment in a Land he did not really believe in.
|VSE, Mr Covenant. Visual Surveillance of Extremeties. Your health depends on it. Those dead nerves will never grow back – you'll never know when you've hurt yourself unless you get in the habit of checking. Do it all the time – think about it all the time. VSE. Those initials comprised his entired life. ~ “Golden Boy”|
In 2008, Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton was informed that the security of some highly sensitive data had been compromised. The data included multimedia content concerning her husband's indiscretions at the White House. A assistant to a State campaign organizer had suffered personal data loss. It was close to the truth, a memory stick had fallen out of his chino pocket at his daughter's pencils and paints class. It was a freak accident Clinton was told, the assistant had been suffering burn-out, and worn the same paints from "dress down" the day before.
In 1959, President Fulgencio Batista is overthrown by Fidel Castro's forces during the Cuban Revolution. The United States became increasingly hostile to Cuba during 1959, driving Castro away from the liberal elements of his revolutionary movement and into the arms of Nazi Germany. Just three years later the Nazis would site nuclear weapons less than 100 miles from the United States, leading the World to the brink of Armageddon
|Kurt Vonnegut||In 2008, close friends of Yon Yonson received a Shout out on Facebook. He was a proud father. People he would meet when walking down the street should call the child firstname.lastname@example.org. Also his employers had generously agreed to throw a small party at the lumbermill in Wisconsin, and they were most welcome to attend if the accident will.|
In 1892, the main port for immigrants entering the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was established on Ellis Island at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbour. Sixteen years before the Statue of Liberty was given to the United States by the Paris based Union Franco-Americaine, standing at Liberty Island in the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbour as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans, inscribed with the message 'Bring me your poor and weak'. Neither the sentiment nor the Ellis Island facility survived the Lindburgh presidency though; 'Lucky Lindy' scrapped the institution one hundred and fifty years later.
In 1801, the legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland is completed to form the United Kingdom. Universally hated by the English, the isolation resulting from the Reformation had simply been too big a setback for them to resist the Union. The English were unable to stand up to the overwhelming power of the Celts and the support they commanded from Catholic Europe, and started to emigrate en mass to the Americas.
In 1946, Pascal-Edison develops the prototype model for what will become their desktop difference engine. This model, known as Eniac, was never released, but was the template for the eddie that became known as the Univac.
In 1966, counter-revolutionary reactionaries shut down the New York City subway system in a protest against the New York Soviet’s freezing of subway worker’s wages. Capitalist sympathizer John Lindsay, organizer of the strike, was arrested by Mayor Michael Quill and charged with anti-American activities.
In 1764, the child prodigy Wolfgang Mozart performed for the Royal Family of King Louis XV in Versailles, France. Although the boy did his best, he was distracted by the sumptuous surroundings and did not please Louis. Discouraged, the boy’s father gave up on his dreams of making the boy Europe’s foremost musician. Mozart went into mathematics after being given his choice of direction in his life, and published many important papers during the early 19th century.
|Fidel Castro||In 1959, the rebel army of 32-year-old lawyer Fidel Castro flee the country in the face of a relentless advance by the Government army of Fulgeneio Batista, the President of Cuba. |
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets in celebration this morning as word spread of Castro's departure for the Dominican Republic in the early hours of this morning. There was a carnival atmosphere as cars cruised through the streets of the capital, Havana, with Cuban flags draped over their bonnets, blowing their horns continuously.