Syrian Armed Forces

The Syrian Arab Armed Forces are the military forces of the Syrian Arab Republic. They consist of the Syrian Arab Army, Syrian Arab Air Force, Syrian Arab Navy, Syrian Arab Air Defense Force, several paramilitary forces, such as the National Defence Force. According to the Syrian constitution, the President of Syria is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; the military is a conscripted force. Since the Syrian Civil War, the enlisted members of the Syrian military have dropped by over half from a pre-civil war figure of 325,000 to 150,000 soldiers in the army in December 2014, due to casualties and draft dodging, reaching between 178,000 and 220,000 soldiers in the army, in addition to 80,000 to 100,000 irregular forces. Before the start of the Syrian Civil War, the obligatory military service period was being decreased over time. In 2005, it was reduced from two and a half years to two years, in 2008 to 21 months and in 2011 to a year and a half. Since the Syrian Civil War the Syrian government has engaged in arrest campaigns and enacted new regulations, with citizens who have completed mandatory conscription being called up for reserve duty.

The French Mandate volunteer force, which would become the Syrian army, was established in 1920 with the threat of Syrian−Arab nationalism in mind. Although the unit's officers were all French, it was, in effect, the first indigenous modern Syrian army. In 1925 this force was designated the Special Troops of the Levant. In 1941, during World War II, the Army of the Levant participated in a futile resistance to the British and Free French invasion that ousted the Vichy French from Syria during the Syria–Lebanon Campaign. After the Allied takeover, the army came under the control of the Free French and was designated the Levantine Forces. French Mandate authorities maintained a gendarmerie to police Syria's vast rural areas; this paramilitary force was used to combat political foes of the Mandate government. As with the Levantine Special Troops, French officers held the top posts, but as Syrian independence approached, the ranks below major were filled by Syrian officers who had graduated from the Homs Military Academy, established by the French during the 1930s.

In 1938 the Troupes Spéciales numbered around 306 officers. A majority of the Syrian troops were of rural background and minority ethnic origin Alawis, Druzes and Circassians. By the end of 1945 the army numbered about 5,000 and the gendarmerie some 3,500. In April 1946 the last French officers were forced to leave Syria due to sustained resistance offensives; the Syrian Armed Forces fought in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and were involved in a number of military coups. Between 1948–67 a series of coups destroyed the stability of the government and any remaining professionalism within the armed forces. In March 1949 the chief of staff, Gen. Husni al-Za'im, installed himself as president. Two more military dictators followed by December 1949. Gen. Adib Shishakli held power until deposed in the 1954 Syrian coup d'etat. Further coups followed, each attended by a purge of the officer corps to remove supporters of the losers from the force. In 1963 the Military Committee of the Syrian Regional Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party spent most of its time planning to take power through a conventional military coup.

From the beginning the Military Committee knew it had to capture al-Kiswah and Qatana—two military camps—seize control of the 70th Armored Brigade at al-Kiswah, the Military Academy in the city of Homs and the Damascus radio station. While the conspirators of the Military Committee were all young, their aim was not out of reach. A small group of military officers, including Hafez al-Assad, seized control in the March 1963 Syrian coup d'etat. Following the coup, Gen. Amin al-Hafiz discharged many ranking Sunni officers, Stratfor says, "providing openings for hundreds of Alawites to fill top-tier military positions during the 1963–1965 period on the grounds of being opposed to Arab unity; this measure tipped the balance in favor of Alawite officers who staged a coup in 1966 and for the first time placed Damascus in the hands of the Alawites."The Armed Forces were involved in the 1967 Six-Day War. Since 1967 most of the Golan Heights territory of southwestern Syria has been under Israeli occupation.

They fought in the late 1960s War of Attrition and the 1970 Black September invasion of Jordan. During the Yom Kippur War of 1973 the Syrian Army launched an attack to liberate the occupied Golan Heights, only narrowly repulsed with the help of the US. Since 1973 the cease-fire line has been respected by both sides, with few incidents until the Syrian uprising of 2011 began. Syria was invited into Lebanon by that country's president in 1976, to intervene on the side of the Lebanese government against a rebellion of PLO and Lebanese forces; the Arab Deterrent Force consisted of a Syrian core with participation by some other Arab League states. However, the other states withdrew their forces in the late 1970s. Syrian forces, stil

Swanee River (film)

Swanee River is a 1939 American film directed by Sidney Lanfield and starring Don Ameche, Andrea Leeds, Al Jolson, Felix Bressart. It is a biopic about Stephen Foster, a songwriter from Pittsburgh who falls in love with the South, marries a Southern girl is accused of sympathizing when the Civil War breaks out. Typical of 20th Century Fox biographical films of the time, the film was more fictional than it was factual; the family of Stephen Foster insists that he accept a seven-dollar-a-week shipping clerk job in Cincinnati, but he prefers to write songs. Stephen's prospective father-in-law Andrew McDowell has no faith in Stephen, who wants to write "music from the heart of the simple people of the South." The struggling composer is content to sell "Oh! Susanna" for fifteen dollars to minstrel singer E. P. Christy and allows Christy to take credit as its writer. Soon, the song is sweeping the country, Stephen follows it with "De Camptown Races" and goes on tour with Christy's troup, called Christy's Minstrels.

Solvent at last, Stephen marries Jane McDowell, a daughter Marion is born to them. Inspired by his wife's beauty, Stephen writes "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair." However, Stephen's prosperity ends when his classical music fails and the advent of the Civil War brands his music as traitorous. When he turns to drinking, Jane leaves him, but two years she returns to encourage him to write "Old Folks at Home." Stephen never hears the composition performed, however. Don Ameche as Stephen Foster Andrea Leeds as Jane McDowell Foster Al Jolson as Edwin P. Christy Felix Bressart as Henry Kleber Chick Chandler as Bones Russell Hicks as Andrew McDowell George H. Reed as Old Joe, McDowell's Coachman Richard Clarke as Tom Harper Diane Fisher as Marion Foster George P. Breakston as Ambrose Al Herman as Tambo Charles Trowbridge as Mr. Foster George Meeker as Henry Foster Leona Roberts as Mrs. Foster Charles Tannen as Morrison Foster Clara Blandick as Mrs. Griffin Nella Walker as Mrs. McDowell Harry Hayden as Erwin Esther Dale as Temperance Woman According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, David O. Selznick was interested in working on this film.

Material contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library adds that Richard Sherman worked on a treatment, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. In story conferences, Darryl F. Zanuck suggested Nancy Kelly for the role of Jane and Al Shean for Kleber. Twentieth Century-Fox publicity materials at the AMPAS Library note that some sequences were shot along the Sacramento River. Studio publicity adds that Don Ameche learned to dance the soft shoe and play the violin for his role in this film. A news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that Andrea Leeds was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn to make this picture. There was an earlier screen biography of Foster only four years before this one. In 1935, Mascot Pictures produced a film on Foster's life entitled Harmony Lane, directed by Joseph Santley and starred Douglass Montgomery. Still another fictionalized biopic of Foster would be made in 1952. A B-picture entitled I Dream of Jeannie, it was released by Republic Pictures and starred Bill Shirley as Foster.

In the film, Stephen Foster marries a girl from the South, but in real life, his wife was from Pittsburgh, as Foster was. Additionally, Foster was not known as a Confederate sympathizer nor was he or his songs criticized for this aspect during his actual life, unlike the film; the film's final scene is wholly inaccurate. P. Christy on the day Foster died. In reality, Christy died nearly two years before Foster. Foster himself died in January 1864. Nominated for an Academy Award in the Music Scoring category. Notes on Swanee River at the TCM database Swanee River at the TCM Movie Database Swanee River on IMDb Synopsis at AllMovie York, S.. Book reviews: Biography: "Composers in the Movies: Studies in Musical Biography," by John C. Tibbetts. Notes - Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, 62, pp. 979-981. Retrieved from

Thomas J. Autzen

Thomas John Autzen was a Danish-American pioneer in plywood manufacturing, founder of a family-run philanthropic foundation known as the Autzen Foundation, based in Portland, Oregon. The Autzen Foundation supplied the single largest donation, $250,000, to support the construction of the football stadium at the University of Oregon in Eugene that bears his name. Construction began in 1966, eight years after his death, was completed in 1967. Autzen's heirs, led by his son Thomas E. Autzen, operated the foundation after his death, per the terms of his will. Although his name is popularly associated with Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Autzen was an alumnus of today's Oregon State University in Corvallis, his foundation's donation to the University of Oregon was as a parent. Through their Portland Manufacturing Company and his family helped revolutionize wood-laminate milling methods still in use today; these discoveries, which were engineered and utilized at the Autzen plants, had an enormous impact on modern building methods and helped radically change plywood production throughout the industry.

Born to Danish immigrants in the bayside town of Hoquiam, Autzen grew up around logging. His father Peter spent his early adult life working as a logger through much of the late 1800s. In 1902, Peter purchased an established Northwest wood products mill known as Doernbecher and Holbrook. Once the Autzen family took over management, they renamed the mill "Portland Manufacturing Company." Under Peter's leadership, management at the St. Johns-based mill began pioneering some of the nation's earliest known, mass-produced, plywood panels. A self-engineered glue spreader, which allowed "plys" of wood to bond during mass-production, helped drive production levels to a new high. Thomas J. Autzen and the mill's superintendent, Oscar Mason, are credited with developing the device and marketing it into the company's greatest asset. Autzen graduated from Oregon State University in 1909 with a degree in electrical engineering. Known as Oregon Agricultural College during this period, Autzen became active in campus life and joined several clubs, including the Amicitia Literary Society, the Orange staff, the Associated Students, the college branch of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Autzen took over management of the family business following the untimely death of his father in 1918. His greatest contributions were in the area of sales and business administration, he played a leading role in resurrecting a company subsidiary from a devastating fire, which destroyed the plant's milling operations. As president, he is credited with growing the family's milling businesses into one of the Northwest's largest suppliers of plywood and helping develop used modern plywood bonding technologies. During the midst of America's Great Depression, sales had plummeted at Portland Manufacturing Company and, as with most businesses during this period, profits were slow to recover. Autzen opted to negotiate a profit-sharing deal with M and M Woodworking Company, which allowed him to retire his day-to-day management responsibilities. Over the next 20 years the family maintained an interest in M and M Woodworking Company, but this organization saw many changes in leadership and growth. M and M Woodworking Company became somewhat of a conglomeration, made up of multiple Northwest-area wood products companies.

The family's interest in the organization was sold to Simpson Timber Company in 1956. On September 8, 1958, after a fishing trip to Astoria earlier in the day, Autzen felt ill after dinner and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, where he died at age 70, he was buried at River View Cemetery in Portland. Thomas J. Autzen House Oregon Encyclopedia: Thomas J. Autzen Thomas J. Autzen at Find a Grave