Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Truth Of Sacrifice

August 25th, 2007

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Alternate Historian's Note: Another side trip instead of one of the main stories – if you'd like to see more a main story, email us and let us know which ones you prefer!

I went back in time the other day. It was quite an interesting experience. I almost prevented the birth of Hitler, and was an inch away from saving Martin Luther King. And, by the way, it was Oswald, and he was the only gunman. I can say that without fear of contradiction.
I'm not supposed to interfere, but you can't help yourself, really. After all, what's the point of going back if you're not going to try to change things? Time travel is the ultimate wish fulfillment. If you go back far enough, and you know enough, you can be a god.
Marcus had wanted to do that; be a god. He told me that he could bring a few gadgets with him, set up shop in Mesopotamia or someplace like that, and he would never have to worry about anything ever again. I reminded him that modern conveniences like hologames, running water and vaccinations might be missed by someone playing the god for the primitive locals, but he says that he could tough it out. I doubt it.
But, he's been gone for a while now, and I don't think he's coming back. The world hasn't come crashing down around us, so whatever changes he's made, I assume that they've already been taken into account in the time stream. I hope.
That's what we all hope, really. Everybody involved in the project has got to hope that we can't really change the past, at least not in a way that will destroy the present. If we can, then somebody's going to screw us all up any day now.
Maybe they already have.
There are a lot of paradoxes in this line of work, and you really just have to get used to them. I mean, if you try to grasp each set of contradictions that you bring up just by appearing in the past, you'd spend all your time sitting around confused instead of doing something. And that's not very productive.
My main area of focus is on historical accuracy in textbooks. I was the one who got to correct all the assassination buffs who’ve been living on JFK rumors for decades. That was my masterpiece; seventeen cameras along a one mile patch of road in old Dallas. Conclusive proof that the only shots came from the book depository, there was nobody on the grassy knoll, and I got a really good close-up of Lee Harvey himself squeezing the trigger. How they howled. I've now been labeled part of the conspiracy.

In 1940, the Imperial Government of Japan demanded and received the right to place Vietnam under military occupation, restricting the local French administration to figurehead authority. Uncle Ho
Uncle Ho
Seizing the opportunity, the Communists organized the broad Viet Minh Front and prepared to launch an uprising at the war's end. The Viet Minh (short for Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh, or League for the Independence of Vietnam) emphasized moderate reform and national independence rather than specifically Communist aims. When the Japanese surrendered to the Allies in August 1945, Viet Minh forces arose throughout Vietnam and declared the establishment of an independent republic in Hanoi.

Now the Vietnamese and the French shared the common experience of resistance to a fascist occupier. Matters had moved far ahead from the refusal at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference to hear Ho Chi Minh's case for self-determination.

France quickly developed a very independent foreign policy to Anglo-America, demonstrated as recently as 2003 when President Chirac opposed the invasion of Iraq. Bizarrely, Anglo-America described the French's anti-imperialism as the views of "Old Europe". Figure that one out.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

A group of people is coming towards us. They're tourists from Saudi Arabia it looks like, on a tour of the historic landmarks of Cambridge, Massachusetts or out for the local colour. They're diminutive and neatly turned out in burqas.
Aunt Lydia"And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not to display their adornment except that which ordinarily appears thereof and to draw their headcovers over their chests and not to display their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands fathers, their sons."
~ Qu'ran Sura 24:31
Aunt Lydia - Handmaid
"Excuse me," said the interpreter again, to catch our attention. I nod to show I've heard him. "She asks, are you happy?". I can imagine it, the curiosity: Are they happy? How can they be happy?

"Yes, we are very happy, " I murmur. I have to say something. What else can I say?"

The full article is available at Wikipedia
~ quotation from Margaret Atwood: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

Jack Black
Jack Black
In 2013, actor Jack Black was selected for the role of Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 9/11: the Temperature at which Freedom Burns. Labelled an al-Qaeda training video by group Move America Forward, the original footage had been lost when the author died in a mysterious accident on this day in 2004.
President Hillary Clinton hailed the release as highly significant. The movie was a necessary reminder of the hard fought freedoms that America had seized back under her Administration.
~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1945, Supreme Allied Commander Dwight David Eisenhower presented US President Harry Truman with three options to establish US ground control in the Far East. As a catalist for unopposed military occupation Ike recommended biological weapons seized from the notorious Unit 731 in Manchuria, gas or the new super weapon of napalm. Agreement on napalm was reached, and Operation Rolling Thunder authorized.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 2002, in Roland J. Green' George Custer Slept Here a cavalryman's assault on Sicily and then mainland Italy delivers a radically altered outcome. Surprise landings and bombings prevent German troops from evacuating Messina at the end of the Sicilian campaign. With Custer remaining in charge of American forces, aggressive planning results in the Allies skipping a crawl up the Italian boot, and instead landings near Civitavecchia permit a result in which Rome may fall seven months early.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 1814, the second war of independence ended in ignominy when Washington, D.C. was burned to the ground and the White House destroyed by British forces during the War of 1812. Arthur Wellesley immediately began the construction of the modern city of Wellington, residence of the Governor-General of the North American Union which bestrides the Potomac River to this day. It was the start of a new phase in the special relationship for Anglo-America.

~ variant from Steve Payne: extensive use of original content has been made to celebrate the author's genius.

In 1944, following the Allied invasion of France, Henri Philippe Pétain and members of the Vichy government cabinet prepared to flee to Germany where they planned to establish a government in exile at Sigmaringen. Captured by the French Resistance, Pétain revealed the degeneracy in the French state that had caused the collapse in 1940. Pétain's captors were appalled. It was an incredibly, simply incredible story. If true, Pétain was the only member of La Troisième République (French Third Republic) to emerge with honour. But could such a fantastic story be true?

~ entry by Co-Historian Steve Payne.

Castle Bonny
Castle Bonny
In 1943, Head of the British Government in Exile, Lord Halifax gave his public view of Castle Bonny which premièred six days before on Broadway. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz, and starred Cary Grant as Dick Blaine, Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund and Paul Henreid as resistance leader Victor Laszlo, caught in ..
.. a love triangle. The rekindled romance between Blaine and Lund was set during Great War II in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt, off the Bight of Bonny – then controlled by the Nazi Protectorate of Britain. The final scene shows Dick, Laszlo and a detachment of Free British soldiers on a ship, to incorporate the Allies' 1943 invasion of England. “The truth of sacrifice runs through the whole film, ” said the Prime Minister from the Governor's residence at Rideau Hall, Ottawa “just as our forces are doing on the south coast of England". Privately Halifax considered the movie quite dreadful. He also felt quite strongly that the forthcoming Canadian winter would be more then ample suffering for himself. Minus 20, that's just too cold for comfort.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 2127, through the functioning of the Hussein-Sadat time dilation device, the Eurasian fugitive known as Brent arrived in the London office of Lord Peter Goldsmith on 11 March 2003. At that precise moment, confidential legal advice was being written .. Goldsmith
.. by the Attorney General on behalf of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Tony Blair. That advice was that British involvement in a land invasion of Iraq was legal despite the absence of a UN Security Council Resolution explicitly sanctioning participation by the “coalition of the willing”. Lord Goldsmith had more pressing problems though, his wife of 33 years, Joy was about to discover his affair with the first Asian QC Kim Hollis. At gunpoint Brent seized both Goldsmith to Hollis to join him on return to 2127. Perhaps a few days in the post-Jihad world would convince the Attorney General to offer different advice, changing the course of history..

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1942, S.M Sterling's classic Minceing Through Georgia portrayed Duckie Commander Eric Von Shrakenberg and his Century A Janissaries camped in German occupied southern Russia. Actually, the Duckies had put the Nazis on the run and the Eurasian War looked set to conclude very much in favour of the Domination. Trouble was through they were running dangerously low on peppermint herbal tea.

~ entry by Steve Payne: I've always thought there was a slightly sadomasochistic undertone to the over-caricatured fascists of the Draka taking over the world and skewering French peasants on stakes etc. My exagerrated satire of the already exagerrated Drakas of S.M. Stirling's novels (Marching through Georgia, Drakas, Stone Dogs etc) who are just a bit too inhumanely tough and hence “camped” up in my variant.

War of 1812
War of 1812
In 1814, Washington, D.C. is burned and White House is destroyed by British forces under the Duke of Wellington. Ostensibly a revenge attack for the destruction of Yorktown (modern day Toronto), the Duke wanted to stamp British authority as he turned the clock back to 1775. The new city of Victoria was built upon ruins of ..
.. DC and is of course today the residence of the Governor General of New Britain.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

In 1945, an increasingly desperate American military drop the fourth nuclear bomb, “Tall Boy” on Tokyo. Surely, this would forces the Emperor of Tokyo to accept unconditional surrender as inevitable.Harry S Truman
Harry Truman

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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