The First Rule Of Soviet Military Doctrine: Only The Offensive Brings Victory


I am an admirer of the author Victor Suvorov.  I wish I could meet and speak with him.  He served for thirty years as an officer in the Soviet Army before defecting to the West in the 1980s.  In his book Inside The Soviet Army, he tells the following anecdote:

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Murder On The High Seas: The Weird Case Of Ansell Nickerson


Justice, as we all know, does not always win out in the end.  Sometimes the wicked escape unpunished for their crimes, for a variety of reasons.  This seems to have been what happened with one strange murder case I read about recently.  It is notable for the involvement of the future president John Adams in the affair, as well as for the role that politics can play in criminal trials.

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The Greatness Of Alp Arslan


The first of the Seljuk sultans was Togrul Beg.  Of him Edward Gibbon said, “It would be superfluous to praise the valour of a Turk; and the ambition of Togrul was equal to his valour.”  This is a supreme compliment, and entirely true.  By the time of his death in 1063 he had firmly laid the foundations for the Seljuk Empire in the Middle East and Central Asia.

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The Power Of Conscience: Oliver Stone’s “Snowden”


The films of Oliver Stone have always been characterized by two features:  moral passion and narrative power.  His best work manages to balance these two qualities flawlessly.  Salvador (1986), Wall Street(1987), Platoon (1986), Natural Born Killers 1989), and JFK (1991) all shared these features, along with a tendency to weave elements of his own personal history into some of his movies.  At times his moral passion has gotten the better of him, and threatened to derail otherwise promising pictures:  Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Alexander (2004), Heaven and Earth 1993), and World Trade Center (2006) all were handicapped to some extent by well-meaning preachiness.

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Justice Should Remain Blind


One of the greatest of the medieval Turkish princes was Mahmud of Ghazni (محمود غزنوی) or Mahmud Ghaznawi.  He lived from about 971 to 1030.  During this time his forces conquered large parts of what is now Iran, Afghanistan, and northern India.  It was apparently for him that the title of sultan was first invented.

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