This Week in History


January 17, 2021

DNI Ratcliffe Releases Report Showing China Interfered with the 2020 Election and CIA Management Pressured Analysts Not to Report Itmore here at Gateway Pundit

I’d like to think that this would receive wide dissemination, but with Biden on China’s payroll and big media hiding and censoring everything, the story is likely to get the spike.


January 16-17, 1885 – The Battle of Abu Klea

Context and Precedence: In 1881, in the Sudan, a leader emerged. He was a man of the desert, a mystic, whose name was Muhammad Ahmad. He claimed to be the “expected one”, the Mahdi. He soon organized a military force of followers from the desert tribes and declared jihad.

The Mahdi’s Army grew and his revolt spread. The Dervishes (as they came to be known) captured towns and defeated small Egyptian forces sent to destroy them.

In 1883, the Turkish governor of Egypt hired William “Billy” Hicks, a retired British Colonel and several British subordinates to lead a modern army into the Sudan and crush the Mahdi. Hicks Pasha had at his disposal 10,000 regular infantry armed with modern rifles, 1,000 irregular cavalry, 14 field pieces and 6 Nordenfelt multiple barrel machine guns.

On paper it was an imposing force. But the infantry had been recruited from pardoned rebels and the cavalry were undisciplined bashibazouks. In the words of Winston Churchill, it was “perhaps the worst army that has ever marched to war”: unpaid, untrained, undisciplined, its soldiers having more in common with their enemies than with their officers.

The Mahdi awaited them, with 40,000 spear and sword-armed tribesmen. They had few rifles and no field guns; but they had something perhaps even greater. The Mahdi promised them a miracle, and they believed him.

They also knew the desert.

The Mahdi retreated, and Hicks pursed. Further and further the Mahdi drew his enemy, and Hicks followed; slowed by an immense train of 5,000 camels. The Egyptians withered in the blistering desert heat, their water supplies dwindling. Day after day, they marched on, the Dervishes always just beyond their reach.

Finally, his army spent, Hicks ordered a retreat back to El Obied. It was then the Mahdi stopped retreating, and turned on his enemy. The Egyptians were soon surrounded. They formed a defensive square. For two days their square held, until it didn’t. The square and the army collapsed. Hicks and all of the European officers perished; and only 500 survivors returned to Egypt. They left in the Mahdi’s hands all of their equipment. If formidable with spear and sword, how dangerous would the Dervishes now be with modern weapons?

The loss of Hick’s army was a deep embarrassment to both Egypt and British government. While technically a part of the Ottoman Empire, Egypt was effectively under the protection of the British Empire. Its army was trained and led by British officers. Pride aside, of more concern was the loss of more than 8,000 rifles and the 14 pieces of modern artillery. The government of Prime Minister William Gladstone was forced by an outraged public to take action.

In contrast to his arch political rival, Disraeli, Gladstone was a staunch anti-imperialist; and was loath to commit British forces to a war in the Sudan. However, to ease British public opinion, Gladstone appointed a retired national hero, General Charles “Chinese” Gordon, as Governor-General of the Sudan. While most famous for having led the Chinese Imperial government’s “Ever Victorious Army” to final victory in the Taiping Rebellion; Gordon had served as Governor of the Sudan in the 1870s, where he had suppressed the slave trade. It was a popular appointment both in Britain and in the Sudan.

Gordon’s defense of Khartoum is another story in history. For now the Mahdi had the momentum.


The Battle of Cowpens January 17, 1781


At a remote clearing called “the Cowpens”, in South Carolina, Daniel Morgan, commanding a combined force of militia and regulars defeated a British elite force commanded by Banastre Tarleton.

Hero of the Battle of Saratoga, where his riflemen did terrible damage to the British leadership, Daniel Morgan fought his last battle at the Cowpens. It was a tactical masterpiece. The ageing, arthritic Morgan retired from the war following the battle, siting physical infirmity.

Tarleton, know as “Bloody Ben” by the Patriots, had been the terror of the Southern colonies for years. Commanding his own Tarleton’s Legion (a mixed cavalry and light infantry formation) and additional regulars (including elite Highlander and Light infantry) his force was a rapid deployment strike force; the elite of Lord Cornwallis’ army. Capable of hunting down and destroying small, fleet Patriot forces, it gave Cornwallis a quick response and reconnaissance element; vital in the broken, heavily wooded areas of the southern Colonies.

At Cowpens, Morgan’s three lines of successive, elastic resistance bled Tarleton’s troops before they came to grips with his final (third line) of Continental regulars.

A flank charge by William Washington’s cavalry broke Tarleton’s legion cavalry. Threatened on flank and facing stiff resistance from the Continentals to their front, Tarleton’s infantry broke and routed.

The loss of Tartleton’s elite light forces left Cornwallis without proper reconnaissance for the remainder of the campaign, and incapable of pursuing and pressing the more nimble Patriot forces. It left him vulnerable going into the crucial battle of Guilford Courthouse.


  1. From what I’ve heard, other items not being reported much – the Dutch government collapse, the Russian government quitting and leaving everything to Putin, & Merkel stepping down.

    • FCC Advisory: “The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities.” You can make of that what you want to.

        • Notice how it says, encoded and not encrypted? That means if you say, “the chair is against the wall” (to use the example everyone uses) to mean it’s time to go do some operation you’re breaking the law. However, if someone can tell you’re sending an encoded message, you’re doing it wrong.

          You might say encryption is already forbidden in the amateur radio service so they don’t need to say that, but so is encoding messages.

          • USGOV has the capability to jam broad spectrum without a lot of effort. One EA6B (or F-18G) can black out the entire southwest. Five or six aloft could darken the spectrum, while protecting military and government frequencies.

            If it comes to that, the chair is against the wall and John has a long mustache.

  2. Hams don’t do politics. It’s considered very bad taste. There are several groups who cater to political “discussions”, and they’re considered fringe by other Hams.

    Try 14.213MHz or 14.313, I forget which it is. Sounds a bit like the old “435 Repeater”…

    • This has been on my mind for a good while. It was at first if there was a Democrat Administration and now that there is a Democrat Administration, there will be a political test to have an Amatuer Radio License. The FCC has used the “moral” suitability of some people who have been convicted of crimes not connected to Amatuer Radio to take their license. The new “moral” bar will be “Did you vote for Trump?”.

      • “Everything in the air is free”? Minimally we can listen to the Ham bands for information.

        Doubtful if things go full tyranny even honorable people who usually play by “the rules” won’t care much about getting the FCC’s permission to communicate. Might have to dig out my old rig.

        • I default to the experienced people like SiG and DRJIM on this matter. I simply reported the news.

          But Camperfixer, USGOV can cut off all radio.

          • “Convoy” comes to mind. A full blown shutdown can’t be selective, meaning all or nothing. For radio, Battery and generator backups can’t be turned off unless they unleash an EMP, but even a lot of their stuff isn’t hardened to wreck their own infrastructure.

          • They’re able to black everything out while leaving military communications viable. Trust me on this.

          • Understood…I was thinking more about all commerce coming to a screeching halt (unless Bezo’s et al got special dispensation). Maybe that’s their final play in the “burn it all down” scenario so they can become the hero’s in the “transformative rebuild”.

          • Commerce. Of course you’ll have to buy a new license to engage in it. Don’t think of it as a tax (though it will be). Think of it as a litmus test of loyalty.

  3. Chinese interference? Certainly far more believable than that Russian business. After all they have far more to gain.

  4. Here’s the release from the Friendly Candy Company:

    Federal Communications Commission DA 21-73

    Released: January 17, 2021


    The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission issues this Enforcement Advisory to remind licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, as well as licensees and operators in the Personal Radio Services, that the Commission prohibits the use of radios in those services to commit or facilitate criminal acts.

    The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities.

    The Bureau recognizes that these services can be used for a wide range of permitted purposes, including speech that is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Amateur and Personal Radio Services, however, may not be used to commit or facilitate crimes.

    Specifically, the Bureau reminds amateur licensees that they are prohibited from transmitting “communications intended to facilitate a criminal act” or “messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning.” 47 CFR § 97.113(a)(4).

    Likewise, individuals operating radios in the Personal Radio Services, a category that includes Citizens Band radios, Family Radio Service walkie-talkies, and General Mobile Radio Service, are prohibited from using those radios “in connection with any activity which is against Federal, State or local law.” 47 CFR § 95.333(a).

    Individuals using radios in the Amateur or Personal Radio Services in this manner may be subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and, in some cases, criminal prosecution. 47 U.S.C. §§ 401, 501, 503, 510.

    Media inquiries should be directed to 202-418-0500 or

    To file a complaint with the FCC, visit or call 1-888-CALL-FCC. To report a crime, contact your local law enforcement office or the FBI.

    To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

    Issued by:

    Chief, Enforcement Bureau

    • Maybe powerful short wave systems in other countries could broadcast into the US like Radio Free Europe did so many years ago? Naturally, the US would jam the frequency and maybe use drones to attack those stations.

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