All Quiet on the Dardanelles: Gallipoli Reminds Us of Stupidity of War

All Quiet on the Dardanelles: Gallipoli Reminds Us of Stupidity of War

A century ago this week, one of the most important battles in the Great War began. Allied forces landed in what is typically called the Gallipoli or Dardanelles Campaign. The campaign went badly almost from the start, with heavy casualties on both sides. Ultimately London admitted defeat and withdrew its forces eight and a half months later. The fight offered another horrid highlight to the insane paroxysm of violence eventually known as World War I. More than 30 cemeteries fill the Gallipoli Peninsula. As many Turkish and allied troops died in this one extended battle–perhaps 120,000(though Turkish figures are incomplete and probably low)–as did Americans in the entire conflict. For reasons that seem sadly frivolous today, all of Europe’s major powers, including the Ottoman Empire—the tottering “Sick Man of Europe”—went to war in 1914. No conflict is pretty, but World War I was particularly dreadful. The Entente forces decided to attempt to force the Dardanelles, seize Istanbul, and open the Bosphorus Straits into the Black Sea. The battle commenced in February 1915. The British fleet first tried to push through the Straits but was halted by shore batteries and mines. The allies then commenced an amphibious operation. Although soldiers from Britain, France, and India (a British colony at the time) were involved, men from Australia and New Zealand, grouped in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, played a leading role. By January 9, 1916 the allied forces had been withdrawn. In a war noted for bloody futility, Gallipoli stood out as an example of purposeless killing. The battle was the Ottomans’ greatest victory in a losing war. Only a...
Grassroot’s Stocking Stuffer Suggestions: Ring in the New Year with Some Hawaiian History

Grassroot’s Stocking Stuffer Suggestions: Ring in the New Year with Some Hawaiian History

In crafting policy for the future, it is helpful to understand the past. And that may explain why we so often receive requests for book recommendations on the history of Hawaii. This year, with the help of some of our Advisors, we put together a list of possible holiday stocking stuffers–books that may be of interest to anyone who is looking to learn more about our history and the different debates that flow from it. From general overviews to stories from some of America’s great writers to books that delve deeply into the controversy over Hawaiian nation-building, there’s something here for everyone. Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! *Note: Have you set the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii as your preferred charity on the Amazon Smiles program? If not, it’s easy. Simply log in to your Amazon account at smile.amazon.com. Go to “Change Your Charity” or “Choose Your Charity” (you may have to go to “Your Account” to make the change), and type in “Grassroot Institute of Hawaii”. Confirm that choice and then, when you make an Amazon purchase that qualifies for the Smiles program, a portion of that purchase goes to helping the Grassroot Institute continue to defend free market principles in Hawaii. It’s shopping for a good cause–what could be better? Grassroot Institute Stocking Stuffers Gavan Daws Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands Gavan Daws’ remarkable achievement is to free Hawaiian history from the dust of antiquity. Based on years of work in the documentary sources, Shoal of Time emerges as the most readable of all Hawaiian histories. Starting with the Western discovery of...
When Liberty Knocked Down the Berlin Wall

When Liberty Knocked Down the Berlin Wall

It’s easy to be pessimistic about the future of liberty.  Yet sometimes freedom advances with extraordinary speed.  Like 25 years ago in Europe. As 1989 dawned communism had ruled what was the Russian Empire reborn for seven decades.  The system failed to fulfill its promise of human liberation, but survived with the backing of secret police, gulags, and the Red Army. Then in an instant it all was swept away.  On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was open.  One of the most dramatic symbols of human tyranny was gone. Tens of thousands of East Germans were imprisoned for “Republikflucht,” or attempting to flee the East German paradise.  Some 1000 people died trying to escape East Germany, about 200 from Berlin. As 1989 dawned there was obvious unrest in what Ronald Reagan had called the Evil Empire.  Hope was rising, but no one could forget that previous popular demands for freedom always had been crushed by Soviet tanks. In 1989 Hungary led the way.  Plans were made for multiparty elections.  The Communist Party dissolved.  When the new leadership tore down Hungary’s wall with the West the Iron Curtain had a huge hole. Poland’s communist regime made a deal with a revived Solidarity Union and held free elections.  The liberal tide rose in Czechoslovakia, sweeping away the hardline leadership installed to squelch the Prague Spring of 1968. The East German regime remained tough.  Frustrated East Germans began escaping through Hungary, with its open border. Protests spread, causing the communist leadership to temporize.  On November 4 a million people gathered in East Berlin. On November 9 visibly struggling Politburo member Guenter...
For Struggling Middle Class Families, the Gold Standard Is No Fairy Tale

For Struggling Middle Class Families, the Gold Standard Is No Fairy Tale

By Ralph Benko Once upon a time — September 17th — Reuters published a delightfully preposterous blunderbuss of a blog. It served up a one-sided attack on conservatives. It did so as part of what it calls The Great Debate. Well, a debate has two sides. Here’s the side Reuters declined to publish. The very distinguished author of that blog, Prof. Charles Postel, author of The Populist Vision, purported to tell his readers why conservatives spin fairytales about the gold standard. The good professor manages to defame both conservatives and the gold standard. He, subtly, misrepresents even fairy tales. And he did not deliver the goods. Prof. Postel begins, auspiciously, with two astute observations. “Today,” he writes, “gold is king of conservative economic thinking.” And: “Financial magnate Steve Forbes has turned Forbes magazine into a tool of gold advocacy.” Postel then goes off the rails entirely, turning from a blogger into a fabulist. Alas, Postel fills poor Reuters’ readers’ heads with the most astonishing errors and omissions (contemporary and historical). The conservative position he conjures is a grotesque caricature of reality. He indefensibly impugns the motives of the gold standard’s proponents (my own, presumably, included in his blanket anathema). A few minutes of research would have revealed to him that much of his argument was distorted, exaggerated, or just plain counterfactual. This writer, a conservative, gladly picks up the gauntlet. (In truth it is more kid glove than gauntlet. Yet honor must be served.) Debates are two-sided. This is the other side. This actual conservative insider will reveal the real inside story of why conservatives spin fairy-tales about the gold standard. The real scoop. And the gold standard “fairy...

Constitution 201: Post 1960’s Progressivism

This lesson is taught by Dr. John Grant, Assistant Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College.  Dr. Grant teaches courses in early modern political philosophy and American political thought.  He received his BA from Eureka College, and his MA and PhD in Politics from the University of Dallas.  Dr. Grant’s research interests include natural law tradition, American foreign policy, and the relationship between theology and politics.  He is an Adjunct Fellow at the Claremont Institute. The Great Society of the mid-1960’s was the culmination of the Old Progressive vision.  President Johnson was within that tradition.  Guided by our government experts, and with no help from “nature’s God,” we would fulfill all human aspirations, material and spiritual.  We would address our racial issues through special attention to the historical conditions that made fair competition impossible for blacks as a group.  Government experts would redistribute resources into newly empowered black communities to lift up the disadvantaged people and strengthen the black family.  We would protect and improve our environment to meet our human spiritual needs.  We would end poverty and rebuild our civilization, accomplishing ends never even believed possible by those who came before us.  All this brought to us by government administrators who knew how to work the levers of reform for the benefit of the people. That boundless faith in the science of government to meet any and all human needs was about to be replaced by a New Progressivism, a modern “liberalism,” that brought new ideas to the Progressive project.  There are continuities and discontinuities in the ideas of the old and new Progressives, and it is worthwhile to...