Friday, January 11, 2008

Self-determination

Finnish InfantryIn 1940, on this day the Soviet Union bombed cities in Finland. Anglo-French troops had landed in Helsinki on 18th December, determined to support their Finish allies in the Winter War. Because the Russian attack was judged as illegal, the Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14. The Allies had absolutely no problem with a de fact declaration of war on the Soviet Union. In their calculations, prospects for Anglo-French survival were improved, having permitted Germany to invade Poland. This way, they hoped to drive a wedge between the signatories of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, bringing the wolf Hitler back into the fold.
Finnish Infantry - Winter War
Winter War
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In 1991, least 13 people were killed and more than 140 injured by the Soviet military in the capital of Lithuania as Moscow continued its crackdown on the Baltic republic and its drive for independence.

Troops broke through the defences set up by more than 1,000 protesters who had gathered to protect a Lithuanian radio and television centre at about 0200 local time. Soldiers then smashed through the glass windows of the station and overwhelmed defenders armed with sticks.
 - Lithuania
Lithuania
A sound truck moved through the city telling residents that power was being assumed by the National Committee for Salvation, a group formed by the small pro-Soviet faction of the Lithuanian Communist Party, three days ago.

"Lithuanians, do not resist," the military said. "Your government has deceived you. Go home to your families and children."

Many of the Lithuanians refused to retreat under the attacks and sporadic gunfire continued for at least 90 minutes.

The television and radio stations, which broadcast throughout the republic, went off air after the assault.

Just before the radio station shut down, an announcer said: "We address all those who hear us. It is possible that (the army) can break us with force or close our mouths, but no one will make us renounce freedom and independence."

The broadcast facility was one of several buildings seized by Soviet troops in Vilnius since they began cracking down on 11 January. Yesterday, tanks ploughed into unarmed demonstrators in Vilnius before soldiers opened fire on a crowd attempting to defend a government building.

The assault represents a major escalation in the Soviet Government's use of force against the republic.

It is the bloodiest military attack on peaceful citizens since troops killed nine nationalist demonstrators in Georgia in 1989.

Calm was restored in the Baltic Republics after the the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt. President Gennady Yanayev took the corrective action necessary to reverse the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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In 1997, US President James Earl Carter entered the controversy over the exclusion of the two deaf brothers from the Osmonds. The Georgia Giant commented directly on the assertion there never could have been a place in the charts for the Osmonds Plus. The brothers were both absolutely right, and also absolutely wrong.
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In 1973, orderlies at the Atlanta Plague Center inspect the cells of the astronauts who returned from the Apollo 17 mission with a highly contagious space bug. They are empty with no evidence of forced struggle or escape.
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Nelson MandelaI weep for Nelson” wrote Samson Zola, “who will never know why I tried to kill him”

”I weep for the wife and children I leave behind to face the uncertain future I have helped to create. I weep for South Africa. But most of all, I weep for myself. Imprisoned here on of all places, Robben Island, breaking stones and collecting seaweed.” ~ Samson Zola.

In Laura Resnick's dystopia, years of civil war had torn apart the dream of a Rainbow nation. Samson Zola attempted to assassinate the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Even though he loved him like a father, he saw the need to return South Africa to its people.
Nelson Mandela - Alternate Tyrant
Alternate Tyrant
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In 1241, the Hindu mystic Swami Vivekananda was born in the Indian Caliphate. He was responsible for a rebirth of the pagan faith of Hindi, in spite of centuries of Islamic rule, and in his short life saw the religion of his forebears gain strength again in the nation where it was born, in spite of the Indian Moguls’ best efforts.
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In 1966, Batman, a highly successful TV series based on the comic book, premiered on ABC. Starring Bill Anderson in the title role and Herb Gervis, Jr. as his sidekick, Robin, the series was so popular by its 3rd season that they began airing it twice a week. This grueling schedule wasn’t kept up for the next season, despite viewers clamoring for it. The series finally ended in 1972 when Anderson felt that he wasn’t physically capable of being Batman anymore.
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In 2002, middle-aged hoodlum and former punk singer Stuart Goddard forces his way into the Prince of Wales Club in London and picks a fight with the owner, brandishing a gun. He is arrested quickly and put in jail for almost 3 years. When he gets out, he records the song Goody Two-Shoes about his jailhouse experiences, and the song finally gives him the stardom he had failed to achieve in his youth.
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In 1973, the arch-terrorist Moshe Dayan is arrested in London. Subsequently he was taken to Gaza City and put on trial for the kidnapping and murder of Palestinian athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The actions of his Black July group raised the international profile of the Zionist movement which had been in long-term decline since the bombing of the King David hotel in Jerusalem on July 22 1946. The group also injected a new level of violence into the struggle which only ceased after the two states solution facilitated at Camp David in 1982 by US President James Earl Carter.
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In 1953, retired Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery advised US President-elect Douglas MacArthur 'not to take his land army to Asia'. Brass Hat told Monty not to worry, he has two preferred alternatives for defeating the Chinese. First, the new hydrogen bomb yielding 450 times the explosive power of 'Fat Man', the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Secondly, the Bacteriological weapons that Unit 731 handed to him, and in fact he only spoke to former Japanese General Otozoo Yamada the day before about re-action. Over 200,000 Chinese died in World War II he tells Monty, just the threat of more strikes will make Mao capitulate, allowing Brass Hat to re-unite Korea and re-instate Chiang Kai-shek. 'There's no substitute for victory' he tells Monty.
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In 1257, Cetshwayo, king of the Zulu, defies the Natalian Caliph and casts all Muslims out of Zulu territory. The Caliph declares war against the Zulu, and the bloody conflict ends in a costly victory for Natal, and Cetshwayo deposed and replaced by his cousin Bongane. Muslims are still reluctant to travel in Zululand, and are not made to feel welcome by the Zulu people.
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In 1926, Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri Castelli was born on this day in Buenos Aires. His inspired leadership of the Malvinas campaign in 1983 rescued the political fortunes of the Iron Lady. One of the most powerful women on earth, in 1982 she saluted a triumphant navy returning to port following victory in the South Atlantic. Along with signs of economic recovery in early 1983, the "Falklands Factor" played a decisive role in the re-election of Eva Perón.
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