I have been looking forward to this interview for a while. Mustang is a retired Marine who is currently teaching history to todays youth. A few of are readers are history buffs. Many of you will learn a great deal from topics we seldom cover.
1 How should we look at the Mongols today? Were Ghengis Khan more ruthless than the people they conquered. What was the secret to the sucsess of the Mongols was their sucsess a more tactical or due to mobility.
2 Did the Industrial Revolution excacerbate the problem of supply lines and communications.
3 Farmer John and I differ on who won the battle of Oriskany. Did the Colonials or the British win that battle?
4 Speaking about Oriskany, that campaign is one that illustrates the importance of thinking outside the box. The campaign featured sealing ever cooking utensil, blanket and any item not nailed to the floor as well as creative use of the mentally ill by Benadict Arnold. Is one of the reasons Communist armies tended to underperform is the lack of initiative at the lower levels. Is the lack of independent thinking at the platoon level a serious flaw in Communist military doctrine.
5 In the previous interview with an Iranian disident the interviewee detailed the accounts of children being used to clear minefields in the Iran/Iraq war. Is the use
of child soldiers in combat the ultimate form of child abuse?
6 It seems that many of our conflicts are now fought with photo ops in the media. We have seen staged attrocities like the fake Jenin massacre and some clear chicanery at Qana. There was plenty of this chicanery in the Vietnam era. Is the history of fighting wars with photo ops even older.
7 What is the correct view of Benedict Arnold. Unlike John Kerry, Arnold was a brave and genuinely skilled military leader. He played a key role in the Saratoga campaign.
8 People seem to forget the French and Indian war. Did Colonial tactics learned in French and Indian War play a key role in the American Revolution?
9 Do we diminish the role of disease in military history? In WW1 it is said that more men died of disease than bullets. This seems like an exageration given the batlles had casualty rates that today would be conisidered astronomical. Disease certainly played a key role in the French debacle in Haiti.
10 Is Santa Anna the most inept figure in military history?
11 What coutries do you see as keys to the future of the American economy?
12 There is an interesting hypothesis in the book the Malady of Islam. The hypothesis is that the West has bypassed the Muslim world in trade. The lack of foreign manufacturing jobs leads to high unemployment and in turn breeds religious fanaticism. There is some truth, but the issues of violence, corruption must be solved prior to this investment. Are there elements of truth in this theory?
13 Are there pseudo religious elements in the Marxist and Environmental movements?
Maxists keep failing disasterously and in the case of the Green movement it seems that they are chasing a paradise that never was?
14 What are your views on social engineering via the tax code? Should the government
tax items like gasoline consumption, cigarettes and cell phone usage? Are gasoline taxes a slap in the face of rural Americans.
Books and Letters
15 Are authors like Stephen Ambrose, Martin Gilbert and Cornelius Ryan guilty of mass marketing history. What are your views on the writing of history as entertainment.
16 What is your favorite work of historical fiction? I am partial to the works of Leon Uris. The battle sequences in Drums Along the Mohawk are entertaining as well as accurate.
17 I am against the introduction of pop psychology into history. We have had the following theories about Lincoln manic depression, gay Lincoln and oddly Linoln sufffering from syphilis. In my view all of this is a distraction from learning about the actions and legacy of President Lincoln. What are your views on the subject?
18 Where does Teddy Roosevelt rank on your list of American Presidents? Bill Clinton was alleged to see himself as heir to TR's legacy. Has the aura of romance turned TR into an American icon?
19 Is George Washington somewhat under rated as a President?
20 Was the French Revolution the first far left revolution? Was Napoleon an egomaniac
or on a par with the rest of the rulers of his era?
21 What were the most significant historic events that occured in your lifetime, pick five?
22 There was an unwriten formula for imigration sucsess in America.
1 Find a job 2 Obey the law 3 Respect others 4 Show some loyalty to your host country. Have these historic notions that served our country for two centuries become passe?
23 Should non-citizens who serve in combat roles in the US military get expedited citizenship benefits?
24 Should the US tax payer fund the Arts?
25 What are your views on drilling in ANWAR
I want to add that allegedly a new Israeli method has been found that can produce Oil Shale at $18.00 a barrel. If this is true the US government should get behind this project and expedite it. This could drive the price of oil down, produce American jobs and defund the Saudis and Hugo Chavez. Ironically, Arab obstinancy to trade created the ground work for this technology that will hurt their bottom line.