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-The Miami Shores Community Church has started a conversation in South Florida over tolerance in the age of Trumpism with a simple act.
-The church has created a yard sign declaring, “No Matter Where You Are From, We’re Glad You’re Our Neighbor” in four languages. The sign is being put in the front yards of church members.
-Jon Ise, a church member who is also active in Miami civic life pitched the idea after he saw a similar idea employed by Mennonite churches in the northeast.
-Pastor Meg Watson approved the plan to sell the signs to people living in Miami Shores for $10. Church staffer Harold Marrero designed the look of them and translated the message into Spanish, Creole and Portuguese.
-The church hopes to spark conversations with neighbors about what type of society they want to live in. And Marrero told RISE NEWS that his life at the church showed why diversity is a powerful force for innovation and change.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By John Massey
Francis Fukuyama infamously penned his 1989 essay “The End of History?”, and expanded it into a full book in 1992 “The End of History and the Last Man”.
Very broadly speaking, Fukuyama argued a Hegelian interpretation of history, in which the ending political order would be some variation of liberal democracy.
Western liberalism had just triumphed over the Soviet defense system in Eastern Europe, without firing a shot (though with the blessing of Mikhail Gorbachev).
On Christmas Day of 1991, the last bastion of Soviet political ideology receded into the “dustbin of history”.
The political and ideological victory was complete, and even a demonstration of military victory was completed on February 28th of 1991, with the tidy defeat of the Soviet style Iraqi Military.
While I don’t intend to add my voice to the two decades of dog piling on Mr. Fukuyama, as I at the very least respect the man and lack the requisite qualification to competently critique his early work, the last triumph is an example of both unjustified and dangerous Western triumphalism.
The relative ease of the Gulf War, and the false equivocation between Soviet Forces and Iraqi forces, has made western policy makers arrogant, and can lead to chasing “easy wars” that are anything but easy.
Operation Desert Storm was a flawless execution of the doctrine of AirLand Battle (ALB).
Put over simply, ALB relies on utilization of air forces on a tactical level, special forces in the deep battle space, and a counter blitz composed of armored and mechanized units, in order to both forestall reserve units, and deplete the momentum of the breeching force.
This would negate the overwhelming superiority of Warsaw Pact forces, and resulted in the Pentagon estimating for the first time that NATO might be able to win a land war in Europe against the Warsaw Pact.
The defeat of the Iraqi Military then, was heralded by many as a proof of concept, and that Warsaw Pact forces had been overestimated.
After all, Iraqi battalions equipped with BMPs, T-55s, and T-72s melted in the face of Abrams, Challengers, AMX-30s, TOWs, Hellfires, Mavericks, Paveways, and the rest of the menagerie designed to defend Europe against a Soviet fueled onslaught.
This was all accomplished with great speed, and few casualties.
Western military superiority should not be taken for granted however.
First, it should be noted that Coalition Forces were: more numerous, better trained, and had a much better developed doctrine in the way of ALB.
These are all qualities that would not have been shared by Warsaw Pact forces. What the Iraqis did share with the Warsaw Pact was equipment, to an extent.
Saddam intentionally kept the Iraqi Air Force weak, for fear of an Air Force sponsored coup. As a result, pilots of Iraqi’s most valuable air superiority fighters, their MiG-29s, proved ineffective against Coalition aircraft.
This is epitomized in one instance in “an early engagement in which a MiG-29 pilot shot down his wingman and then flew his own aircraft into the ground some 30 seconds later”.
Furthermore, despite having the 6th largest air force in the world at the time, less than half of Iraq’s aircraft were third or fourth generation aircraft, leaving the Iraqi Air Force both incompetent and technologically outpaced in comparison to Coalition forces.
The situation on the ground was much the same for the Iraqi Army. Top of the line Soviet armor, then and to this day, out range their NATO peers due to the utilization of Anti Tank Missiles fired from the gun barrel, like the 9M119 Svir.
The Soviet Union was also one of the first pioneers of Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), and used it extensively.
An often copy and pasted, but thus far elusive, article purportedly in “Jane’s International Defense Review” by Richard M. Ogorkiewicz and entitled “Impenetrable Russian Tank Armour Stands Up to Examinination”, claims that tests conducted on Soviet T-72s outfitted with Kontakt 5 ERA were able to defeat anti-tank munitions available to NATO in the 1980s when Kontakt 5 would be top of the line ERA.
I cannot find the original article, if it exists, and the results may be dubious even if it does. In any case, top of the line Soviet armor would have been highly impressive in combat against NATO units in both firepower and protection.
The Iraqi Army however, did not have top of the line Soviet armor. Much like the Iraqi Air Force, the Iraqi Army’s armor was a mishmash of old and new, and with terrible training. An infamous report of an engagement between a single American M1A1 and three Iraqi “Asad Babil” T-72s recounts the Iraqi tanks ambushing the Abrams.
The first two fired high explosive rounds, ill suited for fighting armor, and the final engaging with a sabot round.
All three were destroyed, including the last tank being killed through a sand dune. Iraqi’s tank force, in addition to being unaware of what types of rounds to use against modern main battle tanks, was partially composed of somewhere in the range of 3,000 T-54s and its derivatives, as well as 1,500 T-62s.
The Iraqis also had around 1,000 T-72Ms imported from Poland. T-72Ms were a variant of the Soviet main battle tank designed for export, and to be inferior to their Soviet counterparts.
Dubbed by Viktor Suvorov as “monkey models” in his 1982 book “Inside the Soviet Army”, the Soviet Union exported these simpler tanks to its allies, and would be mass produced for usage by the Soviet Union itself should a large scale war break out and last for more than a few weeks.
As a result of these simplifications, monkey models: do not have stabilized guns, cannot fire anti-tank missiles, lack composite armor, lack NBC protection systems, have inferior radio and optical equipment, and exclusively manual turret traversal, among other simplifications.
There is also some merit to the claim that domestically produced “Saddam” and “Asad Babil” T-72s were further downgrades of the T-72M, though this claim is contested.
As a result of all of these factors, we can conclude that the Iraqi Military was ill equipped and ill trained to engage Coalition forces who consistently outgunned and outclassed them.
But this is not representative of the quality of competent usage of technologically relevant Soviet equipment.
Why then does the myth of Western invincibility exist?
In particular the American M1A2 Abrams is susceptible to this myth. The hulking tank, weighing 70 tons, can only be airlifted one at a time by a handful of aircraft in the US arsenal, which makes rapid reaction near impossible.
This is all worth it though, because its impervious to incompetent Iraqi tank crews and insurgents with RPG-7s, thanks to depleted uranium armor, right?
The only variant of the M1 Abrams used by the Saudi Army is the M1A2, seen here cooked off by a Houthi ATGM:
The ATGM in question is likely a variant of the 9M133 Konkurs, based on the infrared bulb on the back of the warhead. Granted, it appears that this Saudi Abrams was not utilizing any kind of appliqué armor, but an $8 million vehicle was destroyed by a Soviet era ATGM all the same.
Perhaps then, Western policy makers should not give in to the attractive vision of an easy war? Perhaps planners should not presume full spectrum dominance when charting out plans for the defense of the Baltic states, Taiwan, or Seoul?
Perhaps being humble in our capabilities, and meticulously planning alongside friends, the hopefully infrequent and necessary wars we fight is a better use of our blood and treasure than chasing “easy wars”?
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is running for president and he isn’t doing very well. That’s probably best demonstrated by the fact you just had to copy/paste and Google search “Sen. Lindsey Graham.”
Graham, who is next in line of the totally nationally successful McCain and Lieberman triumvirate spoke at the highly anticipated Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C. today.
Graham’s speech was something else. Part attack on Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, part doom and gloom lecture on the failings of the Republican party, Graham’s address made quite the impression in the room.
“It’s not about turning out evangelical Christians, it’s about repairing the damage done by incredibly hateful rhetoric driving a wall between us and the fastest-growing demographic in America,” Graham said according to Jezebel, referencing Trump. “It’s about looking Hispanic Americans in the eye and saying, ‘We get it, be part of our cause.”
But it was Graham’s comments on the GOP at large that has many people buzzing.
“He took issue with Cruz’s preceding remarks that Republicans need to vote in strength, and low turnout is why the party failed to win in 2008 and 2012.
“How many of you believe we’re losing elections because we’re not hard-ass enough on immigration?’ Graham asked the crowd, to light applause. ‘Well, I don’t agree with you.'”
WATCH: Lindsey Graham bashes hardline conservatives on immigration and abortion
Graham also questioned hardline conservatives on the issue of abortion, saying that the party needed to support an exception in the case that a woman was raped.
Otherwise, the party would continue to be alienate the “majority” of the county on the abortion issue.
H/T: The Hill
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CARACAS, Venezuela — Leaders of Venezuela’s opposition claimed victory ahead of official results in Sunday’s crucial legislative elections that could alter the country’s balance of power after 17 years of socialist rule. Hours after polls closed, several opposition leaders took to the Internet to announce that they had won a majority of seats in the National… Read MorePost Views: 15
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