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23 March 2013

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John Minnerath

ARGHH!!No fair.
For us it did get into the 20s with the mountains all but disappearing in blown snow.
I just can't bring myself to firing up the grill while wearing a parka.
We keep hearing rumors of this thing called spring, but most of us can't remember what it is and think it's just an old wives tale.

The TwistedGenius

I thought the weather was beautiful today, especially out in the sun. Did a little gardening today and put the grill back out on the deck, but i didn't char any meat yet. I'll have to experiment a little more this year with the dry rubs. That dry mustard and Montreal seasoning sounds delicious.

Alba Etie

Col Lang
Cook a lot with Montreal steak seasoning - its very good with red hot cast iron skillet veggies flashed steamed with chicken broth . Very low in calories if you use Pam and not oil - very tasty .( If I down wind of ribeye these days my LDLs go up- but sure sounds tasty ) .

Fred

Well that tears it. This calls for escalation in the kitchen; I'll just have to thaw out the last of the venison steaks.

turcopolier

Alba Etie

I have naturally low cholesterol. I know. There is no justice. I am bascally a primitive throwback. I don't get motion sick and am immune to poison ivy and oak. I have a high level of resistance to infection and heal quickly. This was all very convenient for me in my life. I'll think of you next time I cook out. i like to grill planked fish and generally bake potatos outside. pl

turcopolier

fred

I think I will add some garlic powder to that rub. pl

William R. Cumming

What is Montreal?

turcopolier

WRC

Montreal Steak Seasoning. pl

John Minnerath

I looked it up, sounds like a good mix. I need to look and see if it's sold out here.
I like a little dried horseradish sometimes too.

William R. Cumming

And is Montrea SS readily available?

turcopolier

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In pretty much any super market under a number of brand names or on line at amazon. Pl

William R. Cumming

Thanks PL!

Alba Etie

Col Lang
Well I seem less inclined to have high spikes in my LDL 's when I eat our native East Texas South Louisiana fare- the shrimp , oysters, and the mudbugs . As long as I stay away from the cow & the boundain ,and the bacon dripping based roux I am usually ok - so there is some justice.
Planked fish is a treasure - we take a fillet of redfish ( red drum ) just lay it skin down on medium coals - lot of bell pepper and fresh garlic , little bit of butter - it curls up & blackens - we call it redfish on the half shell . Added bonus as I have aged I too have grown immune to all the poisons -sumac ,oak , & ivy . Motion sickness, seasickness, , we used to launch the 14 foot Lone Star in the surf at Galveston Island and run offshore to the twenty mile inshore rigs for kings and snappers - never once did any of us get sick. It was one outboard Johnson fifty horse and no radio ... but we had lots & lots of gas .

Alba Etie

I like the McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak the best . You can buy it in the Spice section at your local Henry E Butts ..

Alba Etie

Col Lang
I dry my own Beau Rae peppers - and crush them up & add in small quantities to the montreal when I am cooking for myself . My one true love has a very delicate palate for a native girl from Roswell NM , she does not like the hot so much . ( You might know the Beau Rae peppers by another name - scotch bonnets ).

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

Going off topic, I'm not sure if you'd seen this yet. Mackubin Owens hosted a panel discussion on the historiography of the Vietnam War this weekend(Gian Gentile, Lewis Sorley, Thomas Ricks, etc). It's on C-SPAN here:

http://www.c-span.org/History/Events/Why-the-US-Lost-the-Vietnam-War/10737438694-1/

turcopolier

NR

thanks, but I am deep in my own writing tasks and don't want to be unnecessarily pissed off. pl

Fred

I see the gastronomic escalation proceeds. That does sound like a great steak though.

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

I think I could imagine if not truly understand. FWIW, this roundtable was focused on the ongoing historiographical debate on the military strategy and operational method during the war. Gentile who has been a vociferous critic of COINistas (and paid the price for it IMO) argues that contrary to popular narratives from both the right and the left, MACV did "get it" as far as the nature of the adversary and what needed to be done in 1966-68. Gentile and Daddis who are active officers (who also happen to be professional historians) have emphasized primary source materials in tracing continuity between Westmoreland and Abrams in pacification efforts. What they argue is that the adversary changed his strategy over time hence the differences in emphasis after Tet. Gentile has been criticizing the groupthink inside the Beltway and MSM on its search and anointing of the "savior general" as dangerous since it could lower the threshold for future decisions to deploy US ground forces.

The point I took away from discussion was that Gentile reemphasized what you've been teaching us for years namely COIN takes enormous resources and require time (or the patience of the American public) which in most cases would not be available. One critical point that you've mentioned often to us is that you had faced substantial PAVN main forces operating inside the RVN. It seems to me that the priority of requirements based on threat assessment might've dictated how MACV conducted its operations under Westmoreland. Like many who were only able to see the war through television, I had bought into the "firepower" trope too readily and accepted it as an axiom for decades.

The panel discussion got pretty personal as Thomas Ricks and Gentile exchanged some shots. Col. Daddis pretty much accused Nagl of academic incompetence (at best) in his _Learning to Eat Soup_. Apparently there were real problems with how Nagl treated three AARs he cited in his book. Nagl had a chance to ask a question and tried to tie April 30, 1975 to the planned exit from Afghanistan.

turcopolier

NR

Nagl is beneath contempt on any of a number of issues. Ricks broke his word to me on a matter of some importance to me. I will have nothing to do with him.

The US successfully practised COIN in VN after 1967. There had been several previous attempts to do that but continual NVN willingness to "raise the ante" with infusions of their regular units as well as hordes of individual reinforcements to the VC's forces made it necessary to put the main effort on defeat of those forces for two years. '65-'67 was occupied in defeat of these massive enemy field forces. While that was going on COIN continued at the province and district against VC guerrillas and regular units as well as all the positive nation building aspects of COIN. Enormous resources were committed to this effort. After 1967 it was judged that the main emphasis could be shifted back to COIN and the "big army" units assumed a role as guard dogs to protect the COIN effort. CORDS, the post 1967 COIN organization, was country wide and in depth and affected every aspect of RVN life. it was widely successful and because of that the US began to withdraw by "slices" over several years. (Vietnamization) Anything else? pl

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

Thank you very much for the assessment. I've recently finished reading Lien-Hang Nguyen's _Hanoi's War_ and have been trying understand NVN's perspective in the choices they'd made in shifting military and political strategy during the course of the war. I had no idea that Le Duan was the most influential among the NVN leadership for much of the war. According to archival research by Nguyen, Duan was the most forceful advocate for the maximalist effort in 1963-64 while Ho and Giap warned against it fearing a massive US intervention. In 1967 Duan pushed for the Tet offensive while Giap had opposed it (Some of his closest subordinates were imprisoned as punishment). In 1972 Duan again pushed for the Easter Offensive.

A while back I had asked whether the RVN could've defended itself a la South Korea had Congress not cut off all aid. One question that emerged from reading the book is whether Duan could've politically survived another disastrous major offensive as there were "peace factions" within the NVN leadership. It seems to me that the VC's proverbial back had been broken after Tet and the PAVN was starting to scrape the bottom of the manpower barrel by 1973. Merle Pribbenow seems to think that despite all the leadership problems, ARVN in 1974 wasn't as weak as they'd been portrayed. As you know all the jokes about them could've been said about ROKA in 1953.

turcopolier

NR

It is not an "assessment." I was a witness to these events. I am a primary source. pl

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

Point taken and I stand corrected.

William R. Cumming

Checking with a friend who belongs to COSTCO to see if they supply Montreal in large doses!

Alba Etie

Col Lang
How do you view the nation of Vietnam now ?
Is see where Intel is building a fab plant there.
For those of us who did not serve in VN - what would be the best lesson we might take away from our collective experiences in SE Asia in the 1960's .

Fred

If I may ask, what is on the menu for Easter Sunday?

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