Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Eclectic, Electric and Heroic

by Bill Doughty

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted to Navy Reads. Been too busy reading an eclectic list of books: Mary Roach’s “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal” (sickeningly good), Scott McGaugh’s “Midway Magic” (long live CV-41), and several books that may help explain the violent extremist insanity that led to the Boston Marathon bombings (to try to understand the “why”).  

These books include “Chechen Jihad” by Yossef Bodansky, “8 Pieces of Empire” by Lawrence Scott Sheets, “The Lone Wolf and the Bear” by Moshe Gammer, and “The Black Banners” by Ali Soufan.  All provide insights into Chechnya, “Chechenization” and the twisted currents of Islamist-Jihadists.

Reviews of any of the above titles are on hold, though.  I also picked up a copy of “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson, a work of colorful imagination set in and around North Korea.  So far, this stark thriller is a work of art and beauty with ties to both the sea and Japan.

Speaking of novels... Coming soon, a very special post courtesy of retiring Adm. James Stavridis who stepped down this month as NATO Supreme Allied Commander.
ADM Stavridis is honored after stepping down at NATO May 13, 2013.

Stavridis has an electrifying intellect.  Watch his TED Talk on global security  -- building bridges, not walls, and protecting sea lanes -- to understand the U.S. Navy’s raison d’etre.

As secretary of the Navy it is my privilege to name these ships to honor a respected naval leader and a true American hero." Mabus said. "For decades to come, the future USS Paul Ignatius and USS Daniel Inouye will represent the United States and enable the building of partnerships and projection of power around the world." 
Sen. Inouye speaks with a Navy Captain aboard USS Midway, year unknown.

Former Navy leader Paul Ignatius served as secretary of the Navy in the late 1960s under President Lyndon Johnson.  Inouye earned the Medal of Honor for his heroism in battle with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives when Hawaii became a state in 1959, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1963 and served there until his death at age 88.

This will be the first Memorial Day since Sen. Inouye’s passing last December.  He was a great American hero, consensus builder and forward-thinking visionary who, decades ago, understood the importance of rebalancing to the Pacific.

070505-N-3642E-385 GROTON, Conn. (May 5, 2007) – Sen. Daniel Inouye prepares to speak at the commissioning of USS Hawaii (SSN 776). Hawaii is the third Virginia-class submarine to be commissioned and the first major Navy combatant vessel class designed with the post-Cold War security environment in mind. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shawn P. Eklund (RELEASED)

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