For Americans concerned about Mexico and Mexicans, and what sort of wights they be, a little history may help. We seem to know almost nothing about a bordering nation of 130 million. It is not what most of us think it is. It is certainly not what the Loon Right would have us believe. For... Read More
Harper’s, December, 1980 I begin to weary of the stories about veterans that are now in vogue with the newspapers, the stories that dissect the veteran’s psyche as if prying apart a laboratory frog — patronizing stories written by style-section reporters who know all there is to know about chocolate mousse, ladies’ fashions, and the... Read More
To understand many Mexican attitudes toward the United States and immigration, you have to go back to the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, of which most Americans have never heard. The United States attacked Mexico in a war of territorial acquisition, occupied Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona, and drove south to conquer Mexico City. It... Read More
Much is written about slavery and its aftermaths. A large part of this is frenetically modified history issuing from people both excited and poorly read, a comic-book version apparently intended to support agendas of the impenetrably adolescent Left. A few points: First, slavery was always bad, frequently hideous, much worse in the Deep South than... Read More
In today’s irreligious and indeed anti-religious climate the fashion is to dismiss Christianity as crude superstition, and to babble wisely about the separation of church and state. This is unfortunate, and stupid, since Christianity was the heart and soul of as yet the greatest civilization the world has seen. Those who know nothing of it... Read More
If the reader will permit me this once a somewhat personal and idiosyncratic essay–heretofore I have never been either personal or idiosyncratic–I will promise never to do it again. No one can doubt the reliability of my promises. I have played in writing over the years with my birth in West Virginia and my consequent... Read More
Conspiracy theories hold charm for such as I, who regard them as we might a species of rare insectivorous marsupials who glow in the dark, and for the conspiracy theorists themselves, who seem to derive from their conditions a satisfying sense of esoteric penetration. Yet they become wearisome by constant repetition. Some have. In particular,... Read More
Inasmuch America has a large population of Latin Americans, it seems to me that people, or some people, might want to know about them, and what they are, and where they came from. Most Latinos of the south are either a mixture of Spanish and Indian, or sometimes pure Indian. We have some idea of... Read More
War may be thought of in two ways. First, as a football game between armies, in which the function of the citizenry is to cheer for the home team. In football, success is measured in points scored, yardage gained, brilliance of play, and time of possession. In war as football, it is battles won, enemies... Read More
It is curious how little military men know about war. You would think they would think about it more. Yet, oddly, they regularly misjudge practically everything concerning the dismal trade. Their errors are not the sort that inevitably must occur in a contest, as when a quarterback doesn’t pick up a blitz. They are fundamental... Read More
Those were wilder times, hardier times, memorable and loose. The veterans of Vietnam were not yet aged and, as happens after wars, did not settle easily into selling air filters at the NAPA outlet. They had lain atop Amtracs in the tropical night, with star shells blazing white in the sky and the smoke trailing... Read More
Race riot in he South, 1863. Wikipedia: "Rioters subjected black men to the most brutal violence: torture, hanging, and burning." Eleven were lynched. The Southern mob depicted here were afraid that if the North won the Civil War, freed slaves would take the jobs of whites. Virginian though I am, a son of the Shenandoah,... Read More
Fred, a keyboard mercenary with a disorganized past, has worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times.
He has been published in Playboy, Soldier of Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Harper's, National Review, Signal, Air&Space, and suchlike. He has worked as a police writer, technology editor, military specialist, and authority on mercenary soldiers.