Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Sound of Distant Drums

Have you noticed that they're at it again? Can you hear the sound of distant drums? Drums stirring us up to accept yet another war.
Yes, I stole that title from a song by the late Jim Reeves. It told the story of a young man asking a girl to marry him because the drums of war were sounding and he soon would have to go off somewhere and be a part of it.
This time it's Iran that is causing those drums to beat. The Iranians seem to be a little upset because in recent years the United States has invaded two countries bordering their own. Big surprise.
The intelligence reports say they are supplying weapons to one of the groups raising hell in Iraq. I have no doubt that is true. You might say they have a vested interest in the outcome. Then, too, for centuries the people of the Middle East have been fighting with anyone and everyone that disagrees with their religious beliefs. It's an inbred part of their culture and nothing is going to change that.
For some reason, though, many Americans aren't buying the latest intelligence reports. Now why do you suppose that's true? Could it have anything to do with earlier reports of weapons of mass destruction? Or might it be that having faith in any intelligence reports can get you into a heap of trouble?
I am reminded of the intelligence report that said a squad-strength pocket of German soldiers was in a valley. Squad strength - nine men in the German army. So we sent about fifteen men to handle the problem. Turned out there were 15,000 Germans in that valley. Bad news for those fifteen men who walked into that valley believing the intelligence report.
Then there was my old friend Roy Bigger. He was a member of the reconnaissance unit of the 106th Infantry Division back in December, 1944. His group went out on patrol and reported a huge build-up of German tanks and infantry in front of their position. The intelligence people laughed at them, said it was merely the imaginary figment of minds inexperienced with war. Their report was not passed along to higher authority. The next day the fighting began. It became known as the Battle of the Bulge. The 106th Division had 9,000 or 11,000 men taken prisioner depending upon which report you believe.
So for one reason or another a great many Americans are skeptical of intelligence reports even when they probably are accurate. "Probably" just isn't good enough.
So what is this tough talk about Iran really all about? It's about George W. Bush's desperation to establish a favorable legacy. Get into another war and maybe the majority of Americans who think he's made a mess of things will change their minds.
Will that hope become reality? Forget about it, George. We've had enough of your misadventures. The cowboys have lost, we want some people with good sense to take charge and nothing's going to change that.

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