Review: The Liberator on Netflix

By John Ruberry

By John Ruberry

Lost among the fallout after the presidential election was the debut of a compelling four-episode on Netflix, The Liberator. It tells of exploits of the leadership of Felix Sparks (Bradley James), who eventually reached the rank of lieutenant colonel, of the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment in the European theater of World War II. Yes, for the most part, this is a true story.

The series which began streaming on Veterans Day, is animated and it uses the new technique of Trioscope, which combines live action and computer and manually created images. The series is based on Alex Kershaw’s book The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau. It’s a huge improvement over rotoscoping, most famously, or notoriously used in the first feature film version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings, which was directed by Ralph Bakshi. The animation is grainy with a touch of sepia, the latter hue of course is common in films set in first half of the 20th century.

For the most part, The Liberator avoids hackneyed plotlines and characters of many World War II projects, other then sepia. There is no “Guy From Brooklyn” in it. But here is a soldier from Chicago, who of course is a Cubs fan. Fact: real and fictional characters from in television and movies are never White Sox fans, unless, as in Field Of Dreams, the South Siders are central to the plot. Oh well, to be fair it was the Cubs, not the White Sox, who played in the World Series in 1945.

When Lieutenant Sparks arrives at Fort Sill in Oklahoma shortly before America’s entry into World War II, he’s given command of “Company J,” which consists of soldiers locked up in the stockade. These ragtag men are a mix of Mexican Americans, Native Americans, and cowboys. 

It’s a tough command, “The Indians and the Mexicans don’t like each other very much,” a jail guard tells Sparks. “And they hate us more.”

But Sparks is looking for fighters, not divisiveness. He and molds them–even though the Native Americans and Mexicans can’t enter a bar off base in Oklahoma. In Italy a captured member of the Thunderbirds is confronted with this irony by a German officer. 

During its two years in Europe, in addition to the invasion of Sicily and the liberation of Dachau, but also the invasion of southern France, as well as the Battle of the Vosges near the German border, and finally fighting in Bavaria, the 157th Infantry Regiment encountered over 500 days of combat. Sure there are arguments and spats among the soldiers. People never always get along. But the soldiers form an effective fighting unit. 

The German troops are treated relatively sympathetically in The Liberator, but only up to a point as the Thunderbirds later of course liberate Dachau.

The supporting cast is superb, particulary the performance of Martin Sensmeier as Sergeant Samuel Coldfoot and Jose Miguel Vasquez as Corporal Able Gomez, two composite characters.

Originally The Liberator was intended as a live action miniseries for A&E Studios for the History Channel but filming such a project in so many disparate locales, the plains of Oklahoma, Italy, the Mediterranean coast, the Vosges, and Bavaria, proved financially impossible. Not so much with animation. Which is why The Liberator is probably on the cusp of what we’ll see soon on the big and small screens. And the use of animation in war dramas will spare us motion picture embarrasments such as the desert combat scenes in the 1965 box office flop The Battle Of The Bulge.

The Liberator is currently streaming on Netflix. It is rated TV-MA, although despite depictions of battlefield wounds and the frequent use of profanity–in English and Spanish no less–I’m unsure why. Oh, some people smoke cigarettes in it too. I’m mean c’mon. This is the 1940s!

Tune in and start watching. You’ll be glad for it. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

On Your Mark; Get Ready

Don’t Be Like King Josiah

by baldilocks

Fletch Daniels at American Thinker:

Nobody gets to sit this one out.  The cultural enforcers expect everyone to parrot their talking points publicly, to destroy all resistance, forcing dissenters to grovel in submission.  That’s the whole idea behind the “silence is violence” aggression.  Cultural violence is quite the opposite of silence; it is forcing people to say what no sane person should believe in order not to be destroyed.

Few stand against this pressure, which is why nearly all major companies and organizations have come out with quisling statements of support of the name of a vile Marxist organization like Black Lives Matter.  It’s why Hillsdale College’s response was so notable, because it was a rare exception to the rule.  (This was not surprising coming from one of the only places in America still putting up statues to honor our tremendous heritage of liberty when the cultural zeitgeist is to rip them all down and start at a Marxist Year Zero.)  Hate groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter operate quite freely in this environment, serving as the cultural shock troops and the terrorist wing of the cultural tyrants who have taken over the Democrat party.

Consider just a few of the displays we’ve watched over the last few weeks.  A football coach had to apologize for wearing a One America News sweatshirt…in Oklahoma.  We watched as most of our senior military leaders bowed before their cultural masters.  We watched as statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Scott Key, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and even an assortment of abolitionists either were destroyed or came under attack, even as discussions of replacing the National Anthem erupted from the propaganda and activist cultural tyrants.

We watched as the weaponization of the federal bureaucracy by a U.S. president against a president of the opposite party was unveiled before our eyes to a massive shrug by the seditious media, who see it as a wonderful use of state power by their fellow leftist travelers in the bureaucracy.  They are smug in their belief that they can use their cultural power to protect the perpetrators, whom they regard as heroes.

We even watched as a sports league that caters to a conservative audience was complicit in perpetrating a crazy Jussie.  We observed an emboldened social media giant censoring the president of the United States for promising to protect Americans.

We also watched what I believe is the vilest propaganda campaign of my lifetime, when every cop in America was slandered as a racist with barely a protest.  The guardians of civil order, who put their lives on the line every day, often under unimaginably difficult circumstances, to protect their fellow Americans, are being demoralized and hounded out of service.  This has created the fertile ground for a massive increase in lawlessness that will result in a significant rise in the deaths of black Americans, showing that black lives matter not a lick to those claiming that name.

I wish I had a dollar for every American who uttered the phrase “never in my lifetime did I expect to see…” over the last few weeks.  We are living in the upside-down when patriotism is outlawed, the vilest of criminals are celebrated, and brave law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line daily are slandered as the worst of society so thoroughly that it descended into evil farce, when a kid’s show, Paw Patrol, came under attack since it is apparently racist to have a positive police character in a children’s show.

This is war, and the left is playing to win.

(…)

I’d like to see far more people vocally pushing back against the mob within their social circles.  Every person who pushes back emboldens others to do the same.

So, would I, but each person who does so has to be prepared first, and the primary area of necessary preparation is in the spiritual realm.

I know that I’m not alone in think that our country finds itself here because it has turn away from God. We have seen the results of this before; God lifts up His hand of protection and of favor just a little bit – not a total removal. And, suddenly chaos, anger, and fear seem high, wide and deep.

All I’m saying is that is we are plainly seeing the result of doing things the secular way; of raising children to hate each other and themselves. Of believing that if something isn’t perfect – like our history – that it should be eradicated.

Newsflash. Nothing in this world is perfect. Will every imperfect thing be blown up and every imperfect person be dead before the rampaging mobs figure this out?

I think that Daniels is right, action must be taken. But don’t run out there halfcocked, like that couple in St. Louis did while defending their lives and property.

They weren’t fully prepared, though they had just enough. Learn from them. (Side note: I heard that they’re Democrats, fans of Biden. After what has happen to them in the last few days — including being doxxed, I wonder if that is still so.)

Plan your rhetorical tactics and strategies. And take all your self-defense classes and whatnot for when those don’t work.

But if you act against the marauders without preparing your soul, you’re making the same mistake this country has been making for the last sixty years. You will make things worse, not better.

However, between the Wuhan pestilence and the hordes of demons er rioters, looters and mayhem-makers, it’s certain that a ton of people are talking to God already — more than was so in December 2019, at any rate.

Good.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Three Trump Choices to Respond to the Iranian “attack”

Last night twitter was all abuzz about the Iranian attack on our bases. All kinds of reports were flying hither and non but after a short period of time it became clear that what we were seeing was a giant propaganda exercise where Iran launched about 15 missiles with more than 20% of em blowing up on the way and then hit large US bases without managing to harm any Americans.

This not withstanding they put out a bunch of photos from previous events pretending that they were from tonight, and plenty of video and news of a great Iranian victory which our Trump hating media lapped up while loudly proclaiming that if we left them alone from this point on they’d leave us alone.

As can be expected the Iranians are talking big. I rephrased the statement of the Iranian diplomats thus:

Or as Kurt Schlichter put it:

There might be an explanation for this bad bit of aim.

If this is true than despite the breathless (and disgraceful) cheerleading for Iran by the American left and the media this might in fact be an Iranian peace feeler in the sense that they can tell their own people they won a great victory while backing down thus saving face, it doesn’t have to be true (for example Egypt still pretends they beat Israel in 1973) and their own people don’t have to believe it but they can pretend that they do. A very Arabian cultural solution keeping their pride while letting the US know they have backed down.

But regardless the President had three options at this point all of which I’m willing to support.

Option #1 Point and Laugh

Option one is to point out that if this is the best the Iranians can do it’s a giant joke and a sign that they are not a threat. He could even confirm the above possibility I just mentioned pooh pooing Iran’s claims as face saving drivel. He can back up his claim by the ineffectiveness of the Iranian action and say his base warning still stands. A few mega hawks will be disappointed and the left that was so worried about escalation will call him cowardly and of course he loses the change to completely erase the Iranian threat but he would avoid a war he doesn’t want plus in the end all the bluster and propaganda won’t bring General jigsaw back together again.

The bad part about this plan it is doesn’t put a further crimp in Iranian plans and the government could just wait for a Democrat to be elected before they start killing Americans again.

Option 2: Tat Tat Tat for Tit

Because the President promised a disproportionate response to any attack instead of laughing at the Iranians he could take several options that are damaging but not mega lethal. This would be within his MO because he doesn’t seem to want to respond to a non-lethal attack with a lethal one. He could take out several oil rigs, blow up some parked jets or even hit a refinery although that would likely risk civilian lives.

He could even seize an Iranian flagged ship, capture the crew paddle and release them (fun but risky).

All of these things have the advantage of being bigger than the attack, particularly in terms of how it would hurt Iran without being lethal and it would once again put Iran on the spot forcing them to either publicly submit which they really don’t want to do or go to a non asymmetrical war which they want to do even less.

The bad side of course is keeps the risk of a larger war on the table that he doesn’t want and of course it’s a half measure which tends to increase uncertainty. While uncertainly in Iran is to our advantage, uncertainty at home is less so, plus we don’t know how Europe or our enemies will react.

Option 3 52 putdown

This option is to treat this as a full fledged attack and to respond with the promised overwhelming force, destroy their navy, destroy their airforce, destroy their refineries and generally leave the country a wreck.

If the Iranians had managed an actual attack that killed someone this would in fact be the only option on the table.

The advantage of course is to clean up the trash that should have been cleaned up four decades ago and crush the power of the terror state to the point where revolution will almost certainly succeed. Frankly this should have been done in 1979 and if it had been a lot of the problems of the last 40 years would not be. Furthermore the lack of Iranian support would crumble terror networks all over the world and would put a lot of bad guys on notice that from this day on, none of them is safe.

While those a big rewards this option also comes with the biggest risks.

  1. If Iran falls we don’t know what will actually replace it. It could become a Persian Libya.
  2. Such a move would almost certainly cause attacks from any sleepers they have here (which might actually be good in the sense better to root them out when they’re not ready vs letting them plan) and cause some terror attacks in the middle east and possibly Europe.
  3. Russia & China with Iran neutralized will have to find a new proxy to counter us which could get really interesting.
  4. While we don’t need Iranian oil the flow stopping will make Europe more dependent on Russian energy
  5. Once the threat of Iran is gone the incentive for the Arabs who were scared of them to make nice with us and Israel goes with it
  6. It’s the equivalent of blowing up your neighbor’s building for trying to step on your toe and missing.
  7. The MSM will blow out of proportion the small amount of naval & air casualties that such a move would cost.

Biggest risks, biggest rewards


Given what we’ve seen from the deep state I hesitate to give a lot of credit to the Government however I do presume they know more about this than me and from what I’ve seen from Donald Trump I trust him to make the right choice from this list (or a different one that I haven’t thought of) based on what he considers in the best interest for the country given the realities on the ground.

The only think we really know for sure is that whatever the President does the Media will denounce him for it as either a failure, a coward, a warmonger or a butcher under the overriding principle of Orange man bad.

That’s why they can be safely ignored.

Update: Always trust the opinions of an Elder who has experience:

Still, at this time, it looks like Trump let Iran know that they can no longer assume that they can act with impunity in the Middle East, and Iran blinked – hard.

The honor/shame culture is what runs the Middle East. To Muslims in the region, appearances are more important than facts. It appears that at least some people in this much-derided administration understood that and the response was calibrated to allow Iran to maintain its honor.

All the while, in the reality based world, the US has won this skirmish hands-down. Iran’s major architect of terror is gone and Iran is backing down. The US has shown the Iranian leaders that direct conflict would be a very, very foolhardy move.

Again keeping in mind that it is too early to say for sure, but so far it looks like the “experts” and fearmongers have been wrong, and the White House has achieved an unqualified victory that not only hurt Iran because of their loss of Soleimani, but also has forced them to re-think all of their offensive moves in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.