Journalist killed after investigating US-backed death squads in Iraq

By James Cogan
1 July 2005

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On June 24, Yasser Salihee, an Iraqi special correspondent for the news agency Knight Ridder, was killed by a single bullet to the head as he approached a checkpoint that had been thrown up near his home in western Baghdad by US and Iraqi troops. It is believed that the shot was fired by an American sniper. According to eyewitnesses, no warning shots were fired.

The US military has announced it is conducting an investigation into Salihee’s killing. Knight Ridder has already declared, however, that “there’s no reason to think that the shooting had anything to do with his reporting work”. In fact, his last assignment gives reason to suspect that it was.

Over the past month, Salihee had been gathering evidence that US-backed Iraqi forces have been carrying out extra-judicial killings of alleged members and supporters of the anti-occupation resistance. His investigation followed a feature in the New York Times magazine in May, detailing how the US military had modeled the Iraqi interior ministry police commandos, known as the Wolf Brigade, on the death squads unleashed in the 1980s to crush the left-wing insurgency in El Salvador.

The Wolf Brigade was recruited by US operatives and the US-installed interim government headed by Iyad Allawi during 2004. A majority of its officers and personnel served in Saddam Hussein’s special forces and Republican Guard—veterans of killings, torture and repression. The unit has been used against the resistance in rebellious cities such as Mosul and Samarra, and, over the past six weeks, has played a prominent role in the massive crackdown ordered by the Iraqi government in Baghdad codenamed “Operation Lightning”.

On June 27, Knight Ridder published the results of its inquiry in an article jointly written by Salihee and correspondent Tom Lasseter. The journalists “found more than 30 examples in less than a week” of corpses turning up in Baghdad morgues of people who were last seen being detained by the police commandos.

The men, according to the central Baghdad morgue director Faik Baqr, had “been killed in a methodical fashion”. The article reported: “Their hands had been tied or handcuffed behind their backs, their eyes were blindfolded and they appeared to have been tortured. In most cases, the dead men looked as if they’d been whipped with a cord, subjected to electric shocks or beaten with a blunt object and shot to death, often with single bullets to their heads.”

A grocer in west Baghdad told Salihee that he had been detained by police with a man named Anwar Jassim on May 13. “When we were in detention, they put blindfolds and handcuffs on us. On the second day the soldiers were saying ‘He’s dead’. Later we found out it was Anwar.” According to the medical reports at the Yarmuk morgue where police dumped his body, Jassim had a “bullet wound in the back of his head and cuts and bruises on his abdomen, back and neck.”

Police commandos reportedly told the morgue director to leave the corpse “so that dogs could eat it, because he’s terrorist and he deserves it”.

In a second case, a brigadier-general in the Iraqi interior ministry related that his brother had been detained during a raid on May 14, in a working class Sunni suburb in Baghdad’s west. His body was found the next day bearing signs of torture. Witnesses told the general that the abductors “came in white police Toyota Land Cruisers, wore police commando uniforms, flak vests and helmets” and were armed with 9mm Glock pistols.

Glock sidearms are used by many US law enforcement agencies and have been supplied to Iraqi security forces by the US military.

The article also cited a third case. The body of Saadi Khalif was brought to Yarmuk morgue by police commandos several days after he was taken from his home by police on June 10. Saadi’s brother told Knight Ridder: “The doctor told us he was choked and tortured before they shot him. He looked like he had been dragged by a car.”

An article in the British Financial Times on June 29 provided further evidence of police commando atrocities. Mustafa Mohammed Ali, from the western Baghdad suburb of Abu Ghraib, told the newspaper he was detained by the Wolf Brigade on May 22, during the build-up to Operation Lightning. He alleged that he was held for 26 days.

The article reported: “He spent the first day in a barbed wire enclosure with hundreds of other detainees, without food, water or toilet facilities… On the fourth day, the interrogations began. Mr Ali says Wolf Brigade commandos attached electrical wires to his ear and his genitals, and generated a current with a hand-cranked military telephone.”

According to the figures given to the Financial Times, only 22 of the 474 people seized from their homes during the Wolf Brigade sweep in the Abu Ghraib area are still being held. Those released allege they suffered systematic abuse. “Mass detentions and indiscriminate torture seem to be the main tools deployed to crush an insurgency that could last ‘five, six, eight, 10, 12 years’ according to Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary,” the newspaper commented.

In light of the evidence gathered by Salihee, significant discrepancies in the official figures for Operation Lightning in Baghdad raise further concerns about the fate of detainees. In early June, the Iraqi government reported that 1,200 had been detained. Just days later on June 6, this was revised downward to just 887, with no explanation. Some of the deaths referred to in the Knight Ridder article coincide with this period.

Suspicions of wholesale killingsThe revelations about the conduct of the Wolf Brigade lend credibility to the claims made by Max Fuller, in a feature headlined “For Iraq, ‘The Salvador Option’ Becomes Reality” and published by the Centre for Research on Globalisation.

Over the past nine months, a terrifying new development in Iraq has been the discovery of dozens of bodies dumped in rubbish heaps, rivers or abandoned buildings. In most cases, the people had suffered torture and mutilation before being killed by a single shot to the head. The US military has consistently reported that the victims were members of the Iraqi army or police. The media has universally reported the mass killings as the work of anti-occupation terrorists.

Fuller noted, however: “What is particularly striking is that many of those killings have taken place since the police commandos became operationally active and often correspond with areas where they have been deployed.”

In Mosul, for example, dozens of men were detained by the commandos last November, as part of a US-led operation to bring the city back under occupation control. Over the following weeks, more than 150 tortured and executed bodies were found. In Samarra, dozens of bodies appeared in nearby Lake Thartar in the wake of operations by the commandos in that city.

From February through to late April, more than 100 bodies were recovered from the Tigris River south of Baghdad—one of the most rebellious areas of the country. The Iraqi government initially claimed they were villagers who had been kidnapped by insurgents in the village of Maidan. This has since been discredited. The victims are from a range of towns and villages, including Kut in the north and Basra in the south. Police in the area told the San Francisco Chronicle that many of the dead had been “motorists passing through the area when stopped by masked men bearing Kalashnikov rifles at impromptu checkpoints”.

Other killings have been discovered in Baquaba and the Syrian border town of Qaim in the aftermath of counter-insurgency operations by US forces and their Iraqi allies. Fuller also noted the suspicions surrounding the assassination of well over 200 university academics, most of whom were opponents of the US occupation of Iraq.

Dozens of bodies have been found over the past two months in Baghdad. In May, the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS)—the main public Sunni organisation opposed to the occupation—directly accused the Wolf Brigade of having “arrested imams and the guardians of some mosques, tortured and killed them, and then got rid of their bodies in a garbage dump in Shaab district” of Baghdad. AMS secretary general Hareth al-Dhari declared at the time: “This is state terrorism by the Minister of the Interior.”

The very existence of the Wolf Brigade underscores the criminality of the US occupation and the utter fraud of the Bush administration claims to be bringing “liberation” and “democracy” to Iraq. Many of the commandos would have been involved in murder and torture on behalf of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The American military deliberately recruited them in order to make use of their experience in mass repression and has directly modeled their operations on those of right-wing death squads in Central America.

The main US advisor to the Wolf Brigade from the time of its formation until April 2005 was James Steele. Steele’s own biography, promoting him for the US lecture circuit, states that “he commanded the US military group in El Salvador during the height of the guerilla war” and “was credited with training and equipping what was acknowledged to be the best counter-terrorist force in the region”. In a 12-year campaign of murder and repression, the Salvadoran units, trained and advised by people like Steele, killed over 70,000 people.

In his speech on June 28, George Bush declared his administration was working with the Iraqi interior and defence ministries to “improve their capabilities to coordinate anti-terrorist operations” and “develop their command and control structures”. The evidence is beginning to emerge that this means paying and equipping former Baathist killers to terrorise, torture and murder Iraqis who are believed to have links to the popular resistance, which an unnamed US analyst estimated for the June 27 edition of Newsweek had “as many as 400,000 auxiliaries and support personnel”.

The killing of journalists seeking to document or expose allegations of state-organised murder has accompanied every dirty war against a civilian population. Since the US occupation of Iraq began, dozens of reporters, cameramen and other media workers have been killed by American-led forces in suspicious circumstances that were never independently investigated.

Two more Iraqi journalists have been killed in the days since Yasser Salihee’s death. On June 26, Maha Ibrahim, a news editor with a television station operated by the anti-occupation Iraqi Islamic Party, was shot dead when US troops opened fire on her car as she and her husband drove to work. Two days later, Ahmad Wail Bakri, a program director for Iraqi al-Sharqiya television was killed by American troops as he reportedly tried to drive around a traffic accident in Baghdad.

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more chomsky

Published on Monday, March 18, 2002 in the San Francisco Chronicle

 

Since Sept. 11, Chomsky says, his speeches have been more heavily attended than ever, and his views have been disseminated more than ever.

“It’s not just me, incidentally. It’s everybody. There’s probably been more openness and dissent now than at any time in modern history.”


Noam Chomsky
MIT Linguist

Chomsky, the noted MIT linguistics professor who is best known for his scathing critiques of U.S. foreign policy, says the United States itself was practicing terrorism when it bombed Afghanistan and forced the Taliban from power. And it was terrorism, Chomsky says, when President Bush — without publicly providing conclusive proof, and without going to an international court of law — decided he wanted Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.””By the U.S. definition, those are textbook illustrations of international terrorism, which is the use of force or violence to attain political ends (and) the targeting of civilians through intimidation and fear,” Chomsky said in a weekend phone interview from his Massachusetts home, before flying to the Bay Area to make a weeklong series of talks.

Since Sept. 11, Chomsky has been deluged with requests to speak at universities, fund-raisers and public forums. He published a best-selling book, “9-11,” which explains — in a series of interviews with journalists — his view that the United States is “a leading terrorist state” that circumvents international law and wrongfully supports murderous conditions around the world, whether it’s in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Nicaragua or Indonesia.

“Right now, the United States is asking Turkey to become the international military force in Afghanistan,” said Chomsky. “Well, what’s Turkey? In the 1990s, funded almost completely by the Clinton administration, atrocities increased (in Kurdish areas of Turkey) — to the point that (up to 3 million) refugees were driven out and maybe 50,000 people were killed and thousands of villages were destroyed. That’s U.S. terrorism in the 1990s. I’m not talking about ancient history. And now Turkey is being asked to supervise the ‘war on terrorism?’ If some Martian observer were looking at this, he’d crack up in ridicule.”

Critics say Chomsky is reflexively anti-American, and publications as varied as the New Republic and the Weekly Standard have derided his post-Sept. 11 comments, especially remarks Chomsky made last November in Pakistan’s capital, when he reportedly told an audience, “The coalition forces are making plans to further destroy the hunger-stricken country (of Afghanistan). The consequences of their crimes will never be known and they are quite confident about that.”

Under the title of “Paging Jane Fonda,” the New Republic wrote that Chomsky “appeared in Islamabad to peddle his by now banal theories of American malfeasance” and that, “At the end of his speech, the audience of 1,500 gave Chomsky a standing ovation. He’d doubtless receive a similarly warm reception in Kandahar.”

Chomsky dismisses his critics as “commissars,” saying he takes their put- downs “for granted. It’s been done throughout history. How were dissidents treated in the Soviet Union? Let’s look at the First World War. The first thing that happened as the war opened was that 93 leading German intellectuals issued a proclamation requesting that intellectuals all over the world support Germany’s noble war effort. On the Anglo-American side, exactly the same thing happened. There were a couple of dissidents, like (author and philosopher) Bertrand Russell and (Socialist presidential candidate) Eugene Debs in the United States — and, yes, they ended up in jail.”

His speech in Islamabad, Chomsky points out, was arranged by Pakistan’s Eqbal Ahmad Foundation, “and Eqbal Ahmad was the leading opponent of religious fundamentalism and nuclear armament in Pakistan. He was also the leading proponent of democracy. That’s who I was speaking for — for the group of people who are radically opposed to Islamic fundamentalism. The liberal press (in the United States) presented it as if I was somehow giving a pro-Taliban speech.”

Tomorrow and Wednesday, Chomsky will give speeches on linguistics at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Then he’ll talk Thursday night at the Berkeley Community Theatre in a benefit for the Middle East Children’s Alliance, and Friday night at the Hyatt Hotel in Palo Alto in a sold-out discussion sponsored by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center. Chomsky’s Thursday night speech is titled “Middle East Peace in a 9-11 World,” and his Friday night speech is titled “Peering Into the Abyss of the Future.” All of his talks, including today’s, will touch on Afghanistan and a war against terrorism that he says is morally unfair and misdirected.

Since Sept. 11, Chomsky says, his speeches have been more heavily attended than ever, and his views have been disseminated more than ever.

“It’s not just me, incidentally,” Chomsky said. “It’s everybody. There’s probably been more openness and dissent now than at any time in modern history. ”

4th generation warfare

Understanding Fourth Generation War
by William S. Lind

Rather than commenting on the specifics of the war with Iraq, I thought it might be a good time to lay out a framework for understanding that and other conflicts. The framework is the Four Generations of Modern War.

I developed the framework of the first three generations (“generation” is shorthand for dialectically qualitative shift) in the 1980s, when I was laboring to introduce maneuver warfare to the Marine Corps. Marines kept asking, “What will the Fourth Generation be like?”, and I began to think about that. The result was the article I co-authored for the Marine Corps Gazette in 1989, “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation.” Our troops found copies of it in the caves at Tora Bora, the al Quaeda hideout in Afghanistan.

The Four Generations began with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the treaty that ended the Thirty Years’ War. With the Treaty of Westphalia, the state established a monopoly on war. Previously, many different entities had fought wars – families, tribes, religions, cities, business enterprises – using many different means, not just armies and navies (two of those means, bribery and assassination, are again in vogue). Now, state militaries find it difficult to imagine war in any way other than fighting state armed forces similar to themselves.

The First Generation of Modern War runs roughly from 1648 to 1860. This was war of line and column tactics, where battles were formal and the battlefield was orderly. The relevance of the First Generation springs from the fact that the battlefield of order created a military culture of order. Most of the things that distinguish “military” from “civilian” – uniforms, saluting, careful gradations or rank – were products of the First Generation and are intended to reinforce the culture of order.

The problem is that, around the middle of the 19th century, the battlefield of order began to break down. Mass armies, soldiers who actually wanted to fight (an 18th century’s soldier’s main objective was to desert), rifled muskets, then breech loaders and machine guns, made the old line and column tactics first obsolete, then suicidal.

The problem ever since has been a growing contradiction between the military culture and the increasing disorderliness of the battlefield. The culture of order that was once consistent with the environment in which it operated has become more and more at odds with it.

Second Generation warfare was one answer to this contradiction. Developed by the French Army during and after World War I, it sought a solution in mass firepower, most of which was indirect artillery fire. The goal was attrition, and the doctrine was summed up by the French as, “The artillery conquers, the infantry occupies.” Centrally-controlled firepower was carefully synchronized, using detailed, specific plans and orders, for the infantry, tanks, and artillery, in a “conducted battle” where the commander was in effect the conductor of an orchestra.

Second Generation warfare came as a great relief to soldiers (or at least their officers) because it preserved the culture of order. The focus was inward on rules, processes and procedures. Obedience was more important than initiative (in fact, initiative was not wanted, because it endangered synchronization), and discipline was top-down and imposed.

Second Generation warfare is relevant to us today because the United States Army and Marine Corps learned Second Generation warfare from the French during and after World War I. It remains the American war of war, as we are seeing in Afghanistan and Iraq: to Americans, war means “putting steel on target.” Aviation has replaced artillery as the source of most firepower, but otherwise, (and despite the Marine’s formal doctrine, which is Third Generation maneuver warfare) the American military today is as French as white wine and brie. At the Marine Corps’ desert warfare training center at 29 Palms, California, the only thing missing is the tricolor and a picture of General Gamelin in the headquarters. The same is true at the Army’s Armor School at Fort Knox, where one instructor recently began his class by saying, “I don’t know why I have to teach you all this old French crap, but I do.”

Third Generation warfare, like Second, was a product of World War I. It was developed by the German Army, and is commonly known as Blitzkrieg or maneuver warfare.

Third Generation warfare is based not on firepower and attrition but speed, surprise, and mental as well as physical dislocation. Tactically, in the attack a Third Generation military seeks to get into the enemy’s rear and collapse him from the rear forward: instead of “close with and destroy,” the motto is “bypass and collapse.” In the defense, it attempts to draw the enemy in, then cut him off. War ceases to be a shoving contest, where forces attempt to hold or advance a “line;” Third Generation warfare is non-linear.

Not only do tactics change in the Third Generation, so does the military culture. A Third Generation military focuses outward, on the situation, the enemy, and the result the situation requires, not inward on process and method (in war games in the 19th Century, German junior officers were routinely given problems that could only be solved by disobeying orders). Orders themselves specify the result to be achieved, but never the method (“Auftragstaktik”). Initiative is more important than obedience (mistakes are tolerated, so long as they come from too much initiative rather than too little), and it all depends on self-discipline, not imposed discipline. The Kaiserheer and the Wehrmacht could put on great parades, but in reality they had broken with the culture of order.

Characteristics such as decentralization and initiative carry over from the Third to the Fourth Generation, but in other respects the Fourth Generation marks the most radical change since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. In Fourth Generation war, the state loses its monopoly on war. All over the world, state militaries find themselves fighting non-state opponents such as al Quaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the FARC. Almost everywhere, the state is losing.

Fourth Generation war is also marked by a return to a world of cultures, not merely states, in conflict. We now find ourselves facing the Christian West’s oldest and most steadfast opponent, Islam. After about three centuries on the strategic defensive, following the failure of the second Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683, Islam has resumed the strategic offensive, expanding outward in every direction. In Third Generation war, invasion by immigration can be at least as dangerous as invasion by a state army.

Nor is Fourth Generation warfare merely something we import, as we did on 9/11. At its core lies a universal crisis of legitimacy of the state, and that crisis means many countries will evolve Fourth Generation war on their soil. America, with a closed political system (regardless of which party wins, the Establishment remains in power and nothing really changes) and a poisonous ideology of “multiculturalism,” is a prime candidate for the home-grown variety of Fourth Generation war – which is by far the most dangerous kind.

Where does the war in Iraq fit in this framework?

I suggest that the war we have seen thus far is merely a powder train leading to the magazine. The magazine is Fourth Generation war by a wide variety of Islamic non-state actors, directed at America and Americans (and local governments friendly to America) everywhere. The longer America occupies Iraq, the greater the chance that the magazine will explode. If it does, God help us all.

For almost two years, a small seminar has been meeting at my house to work on the question of how to fight Fourth Generation war. It is made up mostly of Marines, lieutenant through lieutenant colonel, with one Army officer, one National Guard tanker captain and one foreign officer. We figured somebody ought to be working on the most difficult question facing the U.S. armed forces, and nobody else seems to be.

The seminar recently decided it was time to go public with a few of the ideas it has come up with, and use this column to that end. We have no magic solutions to offer, only some thoughts. We recognized from the outset that the whole task may be hopeless; state militaries may not be able to come to grips with Fourth Generation enemies no matter what they do.

But for what they are worth, here are our thoughts to date:

  • If America had some Third Generation ground forces, capable of maneuver warfare, we might be able to fight battles of encirclement. The inability to fight battles of encirclement is what led to the failure of Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan, where al Qaeda stood, fought us, and got away with few casualties. To fight such battles we need some true light infantry, infantry that can move farther and faster on its feet than the enemy, has a full tactical repertoire (not just bumping into the enemy and calling for fire) and can fight with its own weapons instead of depending on supporting arms. We estimate that U.S. Marine infantry today has a sustained march rate of only 10-15 kilometers per day; German World War II line, not light, infantry could sustain 40 kilometers.
  • Fourth Generation opponents will not sign up to the Geneva Conventions, but might some be open to a chivalric code governing how our war with them would be fought? It’s worth exploring.
  • How U.S. forces conduct themselves after the battle may be as important in 4GW as how they fight the battle.
  • What the Marine Corps calls “cultural intelligence” is of vital importance in 4GW, and it must go down to the lowest rank. In Iraq, the Marines seemed to grasp this much better than the U.S. Army.
  • What kind of people do we need in Special Operations Forces? The seminar thought minds were more important than muscles, but it is not clear all U.S. SOF understand this.
  • One key to success is integrating our troops as much as possible with the local people.
  • Unfortunately, the American doctrine of “force protection” works against integration and generally hurts us badly. Here’s a quote from the minutes of the seminar:

There are two ways to deal with the issue of force protection. One way is the way we are currently doing it, which is to separate ourselves from the population and to intimidate them with our firepower. A more viable alternative might be to take the opposite approach and integrate with the community. That way you find out more of what is going on and the population protects you. The British approach of getting the helmets off as soon as possible may actually be saving lives.

  • What “wins” at the tactical and physical levels may lose at the operational, strategic, mental and moral levels, where 4GW is decided. Martin van Creveld argues that one reason the British have not lost in Northern Ireland is that the British Army has taken more casualties than it has inflicted. This is something the Second Generation American military has great trouble grasping, because it defines success in terms of comparative attrition rates.
  • We must recognize that in 4GW situations, we are the weaker, not the stronger party, despite all our firepower and technology.
  • What can the U.S. military learn from cops? Our reserve and National Guard units include lots of cops; are we taking advantage of what they know?

One key to success in 4GW may be “losing to win.” Part of the reason the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not succeeding is that our initial invasion destroyed the state, creating a happy hunting ground for Fourth Generation forces. In a world where the state is in decline, if you destroy a state, it is very difficult to recreate it. Here’s another quote from the minutes of the seminar:

“The discussion concluded that while war against another state may be necessary one should seek to preserve that state even as one defeats it. Grant the opposing armies the ‘honors of war,’ tell them what a fine job they did, make their defeat ‘civilized’ so they can survive the war institutionally intact and then work for your side. This would be similar to 18th century notions of civilized war and contribute greatly to propping up a fragile state. Humiliating the defeated enemy troops, especially in front of their own population, is always a serious mistake but one that Americans are prone to make. This is because the ‘football mentality’ we have developed since World War II works against us.”

In many ways, the 21st century will offer a war between the forces of 4GW and Brave New World. The 4GW forces understand this, while the international elites that seek BNW do not. Another quote from the minutes:

“Osama bin Ladin, though reportedly very wealthy, lives in a cave. Yes, it is for security but it is also leadership by example. It may make it harder to separate (physically or psychologically) the 4GW leaders from their troops. It also makes it harder to discredit those leaders with their followers… This contrasts dramatically with the BNW elites who are physically and psychologically separated (by a huge gap) from their followers (even the generals in most conventional armies are to a great extent separated fro their men)… The BNW elites are in many respects occupying the moral low ground but don’t know it.”

  • In the Axis occupation of the Balkans during World War II, the Italians in many ways were more effective than the Germans. The key to their success is that they did not want to fight. On Cyprus, the U.N. commander rated the Argentine battalion as more effective than the British or the Austrians because the Argentines did not want to fight. What lessons can U.S. forces draw from this?
  • How would the Mafia do an occupation?
  • When we have a coalition, what if we let each country do what is does best, e.g., the Russians handle operational art, the U.S. firepower and logistics, maybe the Italians the occupation?
  • How could the Defense Department’s concept of “Transformation” be redefined so as to come to grips with 4GW? If you read the current “Transformation Planning Guidance” put out by DOD, you find nothing in it on 4GW, indeed nothing that relates at all to either of the two wars we are now fighting. It is all oriented toward fighting other state armed forces that fight us symmetrically.

The seminar intends to continue working on this question of redefining “Transformation” (die Verwandlung?) so as to make it relevant to 4GW. However, for our December meeting, we have posed the following problem: It is Spring, 2004. The U.S. Marines are to relieve the Army in the occupation of Fallujah, perhaps Iraq’s hottest hot spot (and one where the 82nd Airborne’s tactics have been pouring gasoline on the fire). You are the commander of the Marine force taking over Fallujah. What do you do?

I’ll let you know what we come up with.

Will Saddam’s capture mark a turning point in the war in Iraq? Don’t count on it. Few resistance fighters have been fighting for Saddam personally. Saddam’s capture may lead to a fractioning of the Baath Party, which would move us further toward a Fourth Generation situation where no one can recreate the state. It may also tell the Shiites that they no longer need America to protect them from Saddam, giving them more options in their struggle for free elections.

If the U.S. Army used the capture of Saddam to announce the end of tactics that enrage ordinary Iraqis and drive them toward active resistance, it might buy us a bit of de-escalation. But I don’t think we’ll that be smart. When it comes to Fourth Generation war, it seems nobody in the American military gets it.

Recently, a faculty member at the National Defense University wrote to Marine Corps General Mattis, commander of I MAR DIV, to ask his views on the importance of reading military history. Mattis responded with an eloquent defense of taking time to read history, one that should go up on the wall at all of our military schools. “Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation,” Mattis said. “It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.”

Still, even such a capable and well-read commander as General Mattis seems to miss the point about Fourth Generation warfare. He said in his missive, “Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun. For all the ‘4th Generation of War’ intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc., I must respectfully say…’Not really…”

Well, that isn’t quite what we Fourth Generation intellectuals are saying. On the contrary, we have pointed out over and over that the 4th Generation is not novel but a return, specifically a return to the way war worked before the rise of the state. Now, as then, many different entities, not just governments of states, will wage war. They will wage war for many different reasons, not just “the extension of politics by other means.” And they will use many different tools to fight war, not restricting themselves to what we recognize as military forces. When I am asked to recommend a good book describing what a Fourth Generation world will be like, I usually suggest Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century.

Nor are we saying that Fourth Generation tactics are new. On the contrary, many of the tactics Fourth Generation opponents use are standard guerilla tactics. Others, including much of what we call “terrorism,” are classic Arab light cavalry warfare carried out with modern technology at the operational and strategic, not just tactical, levels.

As I have said before in this column, most of what we are facing in Iraq today is not yet Fourth Generation warfare, but a War of National Liberation, fought by people whose goal is to restore a Baathist state. But as that goal fades and those forces splinter, Fourth Generation war will come more and more to the fore. What will characterize it is not vast changes in how the enemy fights, but rather in who fights and what they fight for. The change in who fights makes it difficult for us to tell friend from foe. A good example is the advent of female suicide bombers; do U.S. troops now start frisking every Moslem woman they encounter? The change in what our enemies fight for makes impossible the political compromises that are necessary to ending any war. We find that when it comes to making peace, we have no one to talk to and nothing to talk about. And the end of a war like that in Iraq becomes inevitable: the local state we attacked vanishes, leaving behind either a stateless region (Somalia) or a façade of a state (Afghanistan) within which more non-state elements rise and fight.

General Mattis is correct that none of this is new. It is only new to state armed forces that were designed to fight other state armed forces. The fact that no state military has recently succeeded in defeating a non-state enemy reminds us that Clio has a sense of humor: history also teaches us that not all problems have solutions.

operation garden plot.- U.S. civil disturbance plan 55-2

Operation Garden Plot

  [Acquired via a circuitous route from the Internet. Sources have been deleted to protect their identity. Thanks to the tireless work of you guys out there. If the guy(s) who gathered this great scoop wish to be identified, please email me. Forest<glen@bayarea.net> ]


The United States Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2

The following information was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The original printing was of June 1, 1984. The information herein is UNCLASSIFIED and does not come within the scope of directions governing the protection of information affecting the national security.
It took a little more than three years to obtain a full copy of Operation Garden Plot from the U.S. Government, and was done so under the freedom of information act for unclassified documents. The implications within the full context of this document should make the hair on the back of your head stand on end!!!!!
In this document signed by the Secretary of the Army, is hereby assigned as DOD Executive Agent for civil disturbance control operations. Under Plan 55-2 he is to use airlift and logistical support, in assisting appropriate military commanders in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and US possessions and territories, or any political subdivision thereof.
The official name of this project is called “Operation Garden Plot.”
Under this plan for the deployment of Operation Garden Plot, the use of CIDCON-1 will be mandatory. This direct support of civil disturbance control operations is to be used by the Army, USAF, Navy, and Marine Corp. with an airlift force to be comprised of MAC Organic Airlift Resources, airlift capable aircraft of all other USAF major commands, and all other aerial reconnaissance and Airborne Psychological Operations. This is to include control communications systems, aeromedical evacuation, helicopter and Weather Support Systems.
If any civil disturbance by a resistance group, religious organization, or other persons considered to be non-conformist takes place, under Appendix 3 to Annex B of Plan 55-2 hereby gives all Federal forces total power over the situation if local and state authorities cannot put down said dissenters.
Annex A, section B of Operation Garden Plot defines tax protesters, militia groups, religious cults, and general anti-government dissenters as Disruptive Elements. This calls for the deadly force to be used against any extremist or dissident perpetrating any and all forms of civil disorder.
Under section D, a Presidential Executive Order will authorize and direct the Secretary of Defense to use the Armed Forces of the United States to restore order.
2 TAB A APPENDIX 1 TO ANNEX S USAF CIVIL DISTURBANCE PLAN 55-2 EXHIBIT POR:SGH, JCS Pub 6, Vol 5, AFR 160-5 hereby provides for America’s military and the National Guard State Partnership Program to join with United Nations personal in said operations. This links selected U.S. National Guard units with the Defense Ministries of “Partnership For Peace.” This was done in an effort to provide military support to civil authorities in response to civil emergencies.
Under Presidential Decision Directive No. 25, this program serves to cement people to relationships between the citizens of the United States, and the global military of the UN establishments of the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern European countries. This puts all of our National Guardsmen under the direct jurisdiction of the United Nations.
Section 3:
This plan could be implemented under any of the following situation:
(1) Spontaneous civil disturbances which involve large numbers of persons and/or which continue for a considerable period of time, may exceed the capacity of local civil law enforcement agencies to suppress. Although this type of activity can arise without warning as a result of sudden, unanticipated popular unrest (past riots), it may also result from more prolonged dissidence.
This would most likely be an outgrowth of serious social, political or economic issues which divide segments of the American population. Such factionalism could manifest itself through repeated demonstrations, protest marches and other forms of legitimate opposition but which would have the potential for erupting into spontaneous violence with little or no warning.
(2) Planned acts of violence or civil disobedience which, through arising from the same causes as (1) above, are seized upon by a dedicated group of dissidents who plan and incite purposeful acts designed to disrupt social order.
This may occur either because leaders of protest organizations intentionally induce their followers to perpetrate violent acts, or because a group of militants infiltrates an otherwise peaceful protest and seeks to divert it from its peaceful course.
Subsection C: (2) Environmental satellite products will be continue to be available. (d) Responsibilities. Meteorological support to civil disturbance operations will be arranged or provided by AWS wings.
The 7th. Weather Wing (7WW) is responsible for providing / arranging support for Military Airlift Command (MAC) airlift operations. The 5th Weather Wing (5WW) is responsible for supporting the United States Army Forces Command.
(3) SITUATION. Civil disturbance may threaten or erupt at any time in the CONUS and grow to such proportions as to require the use the Federal military forces to bring the situation under control.
A flexible weather support system is required under control. A flexible weather support system is required to support the many and varied options of this Plan.
ANNEX H: XXOW, AWSR 55-2, AWSR 23-6, AFR 23-31, AR 115-10, AFR 105-3.
Subsection B:
Concept of Environmental Support. Environmental support will be provided by elements of Air Weather Service (AWS) in accordance with refs a-f. The senior staff meteorologist deployed int the Task Force Headquarters (TFH) will be the staff weather officer (SWO) to the TFH.
Centralized environmental support products are requested in accordance with AWSR 105-18. (4) Weather support is provided by weather units located at existing CONUS bases or by deployed SWOs and / or weather teams to the objective areas.
(5) Support MAC source will be provide in accordance with the procedures in MARC 103-15. MAC forces will be provided in accordance with the procedures in AFR 105-3.
(a) Air Force Global Weather Central: Provides centralized products as requested.
REFERENCES : JCS Pub 18 – Doctrine for Operations Security AFR 55-30, Operations Security
1. GENERAL Opposition forces or groups may attempt to gain knowledge of this plan and ‘use that knowledge to prevent or degrade the effectiveness of the actions outlined in this plan. In order to protect operations undertaken to accomplish the mission, it is necessary to control sources of information that can be exploited by those opposition forces or groups.
OPSEC is the effort to protect operations by identifying and controlling intelligence indicators susceptible to exploitation. The objective of OPSEC, in the execution of this plan, is to assure the security of operations, mission effectiveness, and increase the probability of mission success.
2. RESPONSIBILITY FOR OPERATIONS SECURITY (OPSEC):
The denial of information to an enemy is inherently a command responsibility. However, since the operations Officer at any level of command is responsible to his commander for the Overall planning and execution of operations, he has the principal staff interest in assuring maximum protection of the operation and must assume primary responsibility instibility for ensuring that the efforts of all other staff elements are coordinated toward this
end. However, every other individual associated with, or aware of, the operation must assist in safeguarding the security of the operation.
3. OBJECTIVES:
a. The basic objective of OPSEC is to preserve the security of friendly forces and thereby to enhance the probability of successful mission accomplishment. “Security” in this context relates to the protection of friendly forces. It also includes the protection of operational information to prevent degradation of mission effectiveness through the disclosure of prior knowledge of friendly operations to the opposition.
b. OPSEC pervades the entire planning process and must be a matter of continuing concern from the conception of an operation, throughout the preparatory and execution phases, and during critiques, reports, press releases, and the like conducted during the post operation phase.
4. Specific operations orders and standard operating procedures “MUST be developed with the awareness that the opposition may be able to identify and exploit vulnerable activities.
Reference Material:
Released under Freedom of Information Act on March 30th, 1990. All material presented here has been declassified and supersedes USAD Operations Plan 355-10 of July 16, 1973. Information released by USAF under supervision of Alexander K. Davidson, BRIG. GEN, USAF, Dep. Director of Operations.
APPENDEX 5 TO ANNEX E TO USAF CIVIL DISTURBANCE PLAN 55-2 Annex Z. Other References: 10 United States Codes 331,332,333,8500,1385, MARC 105-1, MARC 105-18, AR 115-10, AFR 105-3, PDD-25.


Additional backup documents will be found on another site at

http://www.cafes.net/mo/Gardenplot.htm

That is a good site to read this type of material. Lots of curious stuff.

If I can give anyone credit for this great file, I give to the guys in the “cafes”. Thanks, guys.

Please notice that your “faithful” political servants did not tell you about this law. But they wrote and passed it. It took someone about there years to find it. And they had to force it out into the open. Congressman Gonzalez admits that it exists. Gee, thanks a lot, you guys.


List Operation Garden Plot Items[Some of these bills were pending at the time of posting.]

Check out the top secret PDDs, etc


Operation Garden Plot [Operation Garden Plot may be a name for a group of items.]

United States Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2 – Operation Garden Plot

ORIGINS OF OPERATION GARDEN PLOT: THE KERNER COMMISSION – http://infowar.net/warathome/warathome.html

Operation Garden Plot – http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/jtf-la.htm

Operation Garden Plot, Operation Cable Splicer, Concentration Camps, Global Government Persecution, New World Order – Concentration Camps in America – http://www.mt.net/~watcher/camp79.html. Run a search for “surg” and “pris” for some scary information.

FEMA, Martial Law, Alternative Three, UFO Conspiracy, Operation Garden Plot, Concentration Camps, Global Government Persecution, New World Order – http://www.mt.net/~watcher/camp97.html

[Read this post using your own judgement. I suggest looking up the documents used as quotes. Check it out. It appears to uncover much that we should know. It is our right to know what is planned for us. Forest]

 


Top Secret PDDs, etc

See the FEMA List


Go to the Controls ListGo to the Uhuh opening Title Page

Go the Uhuh Home Page


The President and Congress said they are reducing taxes and balancing the budget. uhuh. Sez who?
Smile and Force Congress to Kick the Debt & Taxes Habit with Money System Honesty for We People. We demand the whole truth with an honest viewpoint.
Don’t send money. Call Jo(e) Congress and send letters.
Click here to contact Forest.
Web Home Page: www.uhuh.com

Chomsky… if you’ve never read him, you should.

Chomsky: ‘There Is No War On Terror’

By Geov Parrish, AlterNet. Posted January 14, 2006.

For over 40 years, MIT professor Noam Chomsky has been one of the world’s leading intellectual critics of U.S. foreign policy. Today, with America’s latest imperial adventure in trouble both politically and militarily, Chomsky — who turned 77 last month — vows not to slow down “as long as I’m ambulatory.” I spoke with him by phone, on Dec. 9 and again on Dec. 20, from his office in Cambridge.

Geov Parrish: Is George Bush in political trouble? And if so, why?

Noam Chomsky: George Bush would be in severe political trouble if there were an opposition political party in the country. Just about every day, they’re shooting themselves in the foot. The striking fact about contemporary American politics is that the Democrats are making almost no gain from this. The only gain that they’re getting is that the Republicans are losing support. Now, again, an opposition party would be making hay, but the Democrats are so close in policy to the Republicans that they can’t do anything about it. When they try to say something about Iraq, George Bush turns back to them, or Karl Rove turns back to them, and says, “How can you criticize it? You all voted for it.” And, yeah, they’re basically correct.

How could the Democrats distinguish themselves at this point, given that they’ve already played into that trap?

Democrats read the polls way more than I do, their leadership. They know what public opinion is. They could take a stand that’s supported by public opinion instead of opposed to it. Then they could become an opposition party, and a majority party. But then they’re going to have to change their position on just about everything.

Take, for example, take your pick, say for example health care. Probably the major domestic problem for people. A large majority of the population is in favor of a national health care system of some kind. And that’s been true for a long time. But whenever that comes up — it’s occasionally mentioned in the press — it’s called politically impossible, or “lacking political support,” which is a way of saying that the insurance industry doesn’t want it, the pharmaceutical corporations don’t want it, and so on. Okay, so a large majority of the population wants it, but who cares about them? Well, Democrats are the same. Clinton came up with some cockamamie scheme which was so complicated you couldn’t figure it out, and it collapsed.

Kerry in the last election, the last debate in the election, October 28 I think it was, the debate was supposed to be on domestic issues. And the New York Times had a good report of it the next day. They pointed out, correctly, that Kerry never brought up any possible government involvement in the health system because it “lacks political support.” It’s their way of saying, and Kerry’s way of understanding, that political support means support from the wealthy and the powerful. Well, that doesn’t have to be what the Democrats are. You can imagine an opposition party that’s based on popular interests and concerns.

Given the lack of substantive differences in the foreign policies of the two parties —

Or domestic.

Yeah, or domestic. But I’m setting this up for a foreign policy question. Are we being set up for a permanent state of war?

I don’t think so. Nobody really wants war. What you want is victory. Take, say, Central America. In the 1980s, Central America was out of control. The U.S. had to fight a vicious terrorist war in Nicaragua, had to support murderous terrorist states in El Salvador and Guatemala, and Honduras, but that was a state of war. All right, the terrorists succeeded. Now, it’s more or less peaceful. So you don’t even read about Central America any more because it’s peaceful. I mean, suffering and miserable, and so on, but peaceful. So it’s not a state of war. And the same elsewhere. If you can keep people under control, it’s not a state of war.

Take, say, Russia and Eastern Europe. Russia ran Eastern Europe for half a century, almost, with very little military intervention. Occasionally they’d have to invade East Berlin, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, but most of the time it was peaceful. And they thought everything was fine — run by local security forces, local political figures, no big problem. That’s not a permanent state of war.

In the War on Terror, however, how does one define victory against a tactic? You can’t ever get there.

There are metrics. For example, you can measure the number of terrorist attacks. Well, that’s gone up sharply under the Bush administration, very sharply after the Iraq war. As expected — it was anticipated by intelligence agencies that the Iraq war would increase the likelihood of terror. And the post-invasion estimates by the CIA, National Intelligence Council, and other intelligence agencies are exactly that. Yes, it increased terror. In fact, it even created something which never existed — new training ground for terrorists, much more sophisticated than Afghanistan, where they were training professional terrorists to go out to their own countries. So, yeah, that’s a way to deal with the War on Terror, namely, increase terror. And the obvious metric, the number of terrorist attacks, yeah, they’ve succeeded in increasing terror.

The fact of the matter is that there is no War on Terror. It’s a minor consideration. So invading Iraq and taking control of the world’s energy resources was way more important than the threat of terror. And the same with other things. Take, say, nuclear terror. The American intelligence systems estimate that the likelihood of a “dirty bomb,” a dirty nuclear bomb attack in the United States in the next ten years, is about 50 percent. Well, that’s pretty high. Are they doing anything about it? Yeah. They’re increasing the threat, by increasing nuclear proliferation, by compelling potential adversaries to take very dangerous measures to try to counter rising American threats.

This is even sometimes discussed. You can find it in the strategic analysis literature. Take, say, the invasion of Iraq again. We’re told that they didn’t find weapons of mass destruction. Well, that’s not exactly correct. They did find weapons of mass destruction, namely, the ones that had been sent to Saddam by the United States, Britain, and others through the 1980s. A lot of them were still there. They were under control of U.N. inspectors and were being dismantled. But many were still there. When the U.S. invaded, the inspectors were kicked out, and Rumsfeld and Cheney didn’t tell their troops to guard the sites. So the sites were left unguarded, and they were systematically looted. The U.N. inspectors did continue their work by satellite and they identified over 100 sites that were systematically looted, like, not somebody going in and stealing something, but carefully, systematically looted.

By people who knew what they were doing.

Yeah, people who knew what they were doing. It meant that they were taking the high-precision equipment that you can use for nuclear weapons and missiles, dangerous biotoxins, all sorts of stuff. Nobody knows where it went, but, you know, you hate to think about it. Well, that’s increasing the threat of terror, substantially. Russia has sharply increased its offensive military capacity in reaction to Bush’s programs, which is dangerous enough, but also to try to counter overwhelming U.S. dominance in offensive capacity. They are compelled to ship nuclear missiles all over their vast territory. And mostly unguarded. And the CIA is perfectly well aware that Chechen rebels have been casing Russian railway installations, probably with a plan to try to steal nuclear missiles. Well, yeah, that could be an apocalypse. But they’re increasing that threat. Because they don’t care that much.

Same with global warming. They’re not stupid. They know that they’re increasing the threat of a serious catastrophe. But that’s a generation or two away. Who cares? There’s basically two principles that define the Bush administration policies: stuff the pockets of your rich friends with dollars, and increase your control over the world. Almost everything follows from that. If you happen to blow up the world, well, you know, it’s somebody else’s business. Stuff happens, as Rumsfeld said.

You’ve been tracking U.S. wars of foreign aggression since Vietnam, and now we’re in Iraq. Do you think there’s any chance in the aftermath, given the fiasco that it’s been, that there will be any fundamental changes in U.S. foreign policy? And if so, how would it come about?

Well, there are significant changes. Compare, for example, the war in Iraq with 40 years ago, the war in Vietnam. There’s quite significant change. Opposition to the war in Iraq is far greater than the much worse war in Vietnam. Iraq is the first war I think in the history of European imperialism, including the U.S., where there was massive protest before the war was officially launched. In Vietnam it took four or five years before there was any visible protest. Protest was so slight that nobody even remembers or knows that Kennedy attacked South Vietnam in 1962. It was a serious attack. It was years later before protest finally developed.

What do you think should be done in Iraq?

Well, the first thing that should be done in Iraq is for us to be serious about what’s going on. There is almost no serious discussion, I’m sorry to say, across the spectrum, of the question of withdrawal. The reason for that is that we are under a rigid doctrine in the West, a religious fanaticism, that says we must believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq even if its main product was lettuce and pickles, and the oil resources of the world were in Central Africa. Anyone who doesn’t believe that is condemned as a conspiracy theorist, a Marxist, a madman, or something. Well, you know, if you have three gray cells functioning, you know that that’s perfect nonsense. The U.S. invaded Iraq because it has enormous oil resources, mostly untapped, and it’s right in the heart of the world’s energy system. Which means that if the U.S. manages to control Iraq, it extends enormously its strategic power, what Zbigniew Brzezinski calls its critical leverage over Europe and Asia. Yeah, that’s a major reason for controlling the oil resources — it gives you strategic power. Even if you’re on renewable energy you want to do that. So that’s the reason for invading Iraq, the fundamental reason.

Now let’s talk about withdrawal. Take any day’s newspapers or journals and so on. They start by saying the United States aims to bring about a sovereign democratic independent Iraq. I mean, is that even a remote possibility? Just consider what the policies would be likely to be of an independent sovereign Iraq. If it’s more or less democratic, it’ll have a Shiite majority. They will naturally want to improve their linkages with Iran, Shiite Iran. Most of the clerics come from Iran. The Badr Brigade, which basically runs the South, is trained in Iran. They have close and sensible economic relationships which are going to increase. So you get an Iraqi/Iran loose alliance. Furthermore, right across the border in Saudi Arabia, there’s a Shiite population which has been bitterly oppressed by the U.S.-backed fundamentalist tyranny. And any moves toward independence in Iraq are surely going to stimulate them, it’s already happening. That happens to be where most of Saudi Arabian oil is. Okay, so you can just imagine the ultimate nightmare in Washington: a loose Shiite alliance controlling most of the world’s oil, independent of Washington and probably turning toward the East, where China and others are eager to make relationships with them, and are already doing it. Is that even conceivable? The U.S. would go to nuclear war before allowing that, as things now stand.

Now, any discussion of withdrawal from Iraq has to at least enter the real world, meaning, at least consider these issues. Just take a look at the commentary in the United States, across the spectrum. How much discussion do you see of these issues? Well, you know, approximately zero, which means that the discussion is just on Mars. And there’s a reason for it. We’re not allowed to concede that our leaders have rational imperial interests. We have to assume that they’re good-hearted and bumbling. But they’re not. They’re perfectly sensible. They can understand what anybody else can understand. So the first step in talk about withdrawal is: consider the actual situation, not some dream situation, where Bush is pursuing a vision of democracy or something. If we can enter the real world we can begin to talk about it. And yes, I think there should be withdrawal, but we have to talk about it in the real world and know what the White House is thinking. They’re not willing to live in a dream world.

How will the U.S. deal with China as a superpower?

What’s the problem with China?

Well, competing for resources, for example.

NC: Well, if you believe in markets, the way we’re supposed to, compete for resources through the market. So what’s the problem? The problem is that the United States doesn’t like the way it’s coming out. Well, too bad. Who has ever liked the way it’s coming out when you’re not winning? China isn’t any kind of threat. We can make it a threat. If you increase the military threats against China, then they will respond. And they’re already doing it. They’ll respond by building up their military forces, their offensive military capacity, and that’s a threat. So, yeah, we can force them to become a threat.

What’s your biggest regret over 40 years of political activism? What would you have done differently?

I would have done more. Because the problems are so serious and overwhelming that it’s disgraceful not to do more about it.

What gives you hope?

What gives me hope actually is public opinion. Public opinion in the United States is very well studied, we know a lot about it. It’s rarely reported, but we know about it. And it turns out that, you know, I’m pretty much in the mainstream of public opinion on most issues. I’m not on some, not on gun control or creationism or something like that, but on most crucial issues, the ones we’ve been talking about, I find myself pretty much at the critical end, but within the spectrum of public opinion. I think that’s a very hopeful sign. I think the United States ought to be an organizer’s paradise.

What sort of organizing should be done to try and change some of these policies?

Well, there’s a basis for democratic change. Take what happened in Bolivia a couple of days ago. How did a leftist indigenous leader get elected? Was it showing up at the polls once every four years and saying, “Vote for me!”? No. It’s because there are mass popular organizations which are working all the time on everything from blocking privatization of water to resources to local issues and so on, and they’re actually participatory organizations. Well, that’s democracy. We’re a long way from it. And that’s one task of organizing.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, shadow of the present

Sidney Blumenthal

The influential work of a neo-conservative pioneer is an ironic commentary on the failures of her successors, says Sidney Blumenthal.

The death on 7 December 2006 of Jeane Kirkpatrick – ambassador to the United Nations during Ronald Reagan’s first term and the highest-ranking neo-conservative in his administration – coincided with President Bush’s rejection of the Baker-Hamilton commission report on Iraq and his subsequent consultations with neo-conservatives to entrench his belief in “victory”.

But rather than providing a sobering but inspirational backdrop for Bush’s heroic stand against the foreign-policy establishment, Kirkpatrick’s passing illuminates the conflicting legacies of the ideological movement of which she was once an icon and the confusion that surrounds a president who demands certitudes.

In its obituary, the New York Times buried a surprising scoop about her last act of diplomacy, when she was sent by President Bush on a secret mission to Geneva in March 2003 to justify the invasion of Iraq to Arab foreign ministers. “The marching orders we received were to argue that pre-emptive war is legitimate”, Allan Gerson, her former general counsel, recalled. “She said: ‘No one will buy it. If that’s the position, count me out’.” Instead, she argued that Saddam Hussein was in violation of United Nations resolutions. Her hitherto unknown rejection of Bush’s unilateralism and extolling of international order apparently was her final commentary on neo-conservatism.

A warrior queen

“A neo-conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality”, neo-conservative godfather Irving Kristol remarked in a famously cynical line. At the time of her death, Kirkpatrick was a neo-conservative mugged by reality and a shadow of her former ferocious self. Once the warrior queen of neo-conservatism, she ended as an unexplained sceptic, less the Valkyrie than the world-weary doubter, akin to the disillusioned Francis Fukuyama but without the tears of an apologetic manifesto. She checked out silently, leaving no equivalent of a political testament.

Norman Podhoretz, who had been her editor at Commentary, disclosed near the end of an obituary he published in the Weekly Standard that she had grown disenchanted. “She had serious reservations about the prudence of the Bush Doctrine, which she evidently saw neither as an analogue of the Truman Doctrine nor as a revival of the Reaganite spirit in foreign policy”, he wrote. “Even so, she was clearly reluctant to join in the clamor against it, which for all practical purposes meant relegating herself to the sidelines.”

But Podhoretz declined to reveal more details of her disapproval. Abruptly, he assumed the pose of a commissar, praising her “brilliant service on the ideological front” and awarded her “laurels” for what she “earned in World War III,” though “what I persist in calling World War IV” failed to “tempt her back into battle.” Comrade Podhoretz’s oblique admission of her absence “on the ideological front” and the posthumous anecdote in the Times obituary are the runes of her alienation.

Jeane Kirkpatrick first came to public attention when her article “Dictatorships and Double Standards” was published in Commentary in November 1979. The Georgetown University professor’s slashing attack on the Carter administration, appearing just as the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the Iranian hostage crisis began, became one of the principal theoretical documents of neo-conservatism and platforms for the Reagan campaign. In this seminal piece, which immediately vaulted her to prominence, Kirkpatrick argued that Carter’s adherence to human rights undermined traditional authoritarian regimes allied with the United States in the cold war. “Authoritarian” states, she posited, could slowly change into democratic ones, unlike “totalitarian” ones. “The history of this century provides no grounds for expecting that radical totalitarian regimes will transform themselves”, she wrote.

History has not been kind to most of her ideas. The opening sentence of her essay betrays it as a howling anachronism. “The failure of the Carter administration’s foreign policy is now clear to everyone”, Kirkpatrick began. But where was she going? Her devastating punchline was that Carter’s “crowning achievement has been to lay the groundwork for a transfer of the Panama Canal from the United States to a swaggering Latin dictator of Castroite bent.” It may be hard to remember that Carter’s Panama Canal Treaty was then a red-hot rightwing cause, especially seized upon by Reagan as a surrender of America’s manifest destiny, and that the supposed “Latin dictator” is long gone.

Kirkpatrick’s central idea that communism was implacably resistant to change was, of course, belied by the collapse of the Soviet Union. And Carter’s advancement of human rights is generally acknowledged as a contributing factor in its downfall. Kirkpatrick’s awestruck description of gathering Soviet strength, universally shared on the right, was a fundamental misreading of the symptoms of a rapidly decaying system entering its terminal crisis. But in its time her view about the perpetual survival of communism was accepted as an eternal verity.

It may also be little recalled that alongside her mocking of human rights and “moralism” as “continuous self-abasement”, Kirkpatrick ridiculed Carter for not invading Iran, even before the hostage-taking. “Where once upon a time an American President might have sent Marines to assure the protection of American strategic interests, there is no room for force in this world of progress and self-determination”, she wrote.

A blind eye

Kirkpatrick’s record in office was as callous as her rhetoric was caustic. The barbarity of Reagan’s policies in Latin America is largely forgotten, while the sordid assault on constitutional government in the Iran-Contra scandal that flowed from it is rarely discussed. Kirkpatrick was obsessively fixed on central America as a decisive cockpit of the cold war and helped direct the administration’s focus there. In the name of ideological struggle, she rallied support for authoritarian juntas throughout the western hemisphere.

On 2 December 1980, a month after Reagan’s election, four Roman Catholic Maryknoll nuns, dedicated to assisting peasants in El Salvador, then ruled by a junta that had provoked a guerrilla insurgency, were murdered; independent investigations and a trial later proved that Salvadoran national guardsmen killed them on orders from above.

Two weeks after these targeted assassinations, Kirkpatrick, just named to the UN post, leapt to the defence of the junta. “I don’t think the government of El Salvador was responsible”, she declared. “The nuns were not just nuns; the nuns were political activists.”

Kirkpatrick was an ardent protector of the El Salvador junta, among other juntas from Guatemala (where the regime waged a genocidal war against Indian peasants) to Honduras, and from Chile to Argentina. After the national guard massacred more than 900 men, women and children in the Salvadoran village of El Mozote on 11 December 1981, the Reagan administration sent Kirkpatrick’s closest neo-conservative ally within the administration, Elliott Abrams, then assistant secretary of state for human rights, before a Senate committee to testify that the reports of slaughter at El Mozote, later proved conclusively, “were not credible.” (After pleading guilty to lying to Congress in the Iran-contra scandal, Abrams was pardoned; he is currently deputy national-security adviser in charge of middle-east affairs.)

In August 1981, Kirkpatrick flew to Chile to meet with General Augusto Pinochet, who had overthrown the democracy there eight years earlier. “Most pleasant”, said Kirkpatrick about their conversation. She announced that the Reagan administration’s intention was to “normalize completely its relations with Chile”, including reinstating arms sales. Two days after her visit, Pinochet used Kirkpatrick’s bestowal of legitimacy to expel the chairman of the Chilean Human Rights Commission and other prominent opposition leaders. One month later, Amnesty International issued a report noting that “torture still appears to be a systematic part of official policy.”

Kirkpatrick considered herself a special friend of the Argentine junta. On 2 April 1982, she attended a dinner at the Argentine embassy in Washington. While she was there, the regime launched an invasion of the British-governed Falkland Islands off the Argentine coast. The Argentines took Kirkpatrick’s presence as evidence of tacit official approval. The Falklands war that followed between an authoritarian regime and a democracy, between countries led by a military strongman and a conservative prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, to whom Kirkpatrick was occasionally compared, had not been foreshadowed in Kirkpatrick’s theories. Nor did she imagine the overthrow of the Argentine junta when it lost the war.

A test of reality

Another war between two authoritarian regimes required the United States to choose sides. In the Iran-Iraq war, Kirkpatrick played a key part in preventing international condemnation of Saddam Hussein’s use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). By 1983, Iraq was reeling from Iran’s human-wave attacks and in danger of losing, prompting a US tilt. In December, President Reagan sent a special envoy, Donald Rumsfeld, to meet with Saddam, a dictator with whom it was decided we could do business. Loans and trade deals were soon arranged. And Iraq unleashed chemical-weapons attacks against Iranian troops, contrary to international law.

After both the state department and the United Nations reported that Iraq was using WMD, Iran submitted a resolution demanding UN condemnation of Iraq’s violations. But US ambassador Kirkpatrick lobbied against its approval, urging “restraint” in denouncing Iraqi chemical warfare. Her action succeeded in thwarting any specific censure of Iraq, leading on 30 March 1984, to a UN Security Council statement against the use of WMD only in general terms. Saddam Hussein was spared.

By this time, the campaign of the right to install Kirkpatrick as national-security advisor had failed. Her support within came from CIA director William J Casey and secretary of defence Caspar Weinberger, but secretary of state George Shultz viewed her temperament as “not well suited to the job”, and she reached her ceiling.

From the beginning of the Reagan administration she had championed the Contras as a force to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. She construed this battle as the flashpoint of the Reagan doctrine that justified financing anti-communist guerrilla movements from Afghanistan to Central America. (Her theories did not anticipate that the funding of the mujahideen in Afghanistan would help foster the Taliban and al-Qaida.)

In March 1981, she participated in the White House meeting that authorised the $19 million in covert funding that created the Contras. Congress, however, passed legislation forbidding such subsidies. The Iran-Contra scandal began in the illegal effort by elements of the Reagan administration to evade the ban by tapping foreign sources of money. Eventually, missiles were sold to Iran in order to finance the contra war. In June 1984, Kirkpatrick attended the secret meeting where Casey argued for going around the law. “It is an impeachable offence”, Shultz warned. But Kirkpatrick, undeterred, argued, “We should make the maximum effort to find the money.” Her good luck was not to be appointed to any position in Reagan’s second term; if she had been, she would undoubtedly have been found in the thick of the scandal.

At the 1984 Republican convention she appeared as the keynote speaker, delivering a speech in which she railed against “the San Francisco Democrats” for “always blaming America first.” Using her identification as a nominal Democrat, her emblem as a neo-conservative, she lent credence to the atavistic cold-war fear of homosexual subversion. Thus her most memorable performance was less as foreign-policy mandarin than as J Edgar Hoover in drag.

After the fall

Despite the rapturous reception for her speech, it was her swansong. Conservative columnists lamented her leaving. George Will wrote, “She unites thought and action, theory and practice, better than anyone in government in this generation” and called her “the one indispensable person in government.” William Safire extolled her as “the only woman who could today be considered as a serious possibility for President of the United States.”

But she received no further appointments and returned to academic life. And after the Iran-contra scandal, Reagan purged his administration of ideologues and swiftly entered negotiations with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to end the cold war, the happy ending that Kirkpatrick had argued was an impossibility, the ultimate refutation.

In 1987, spurred by her pundit fans and anxious about the dangers of vice-president George HW Bush’s moderate tendencies, she considered running for the Republican nomination for president, but upon receiving no support within the party, she abandoned the quixotic campaign.

Without communism, neo-conservatism was an ideology lacking a political context. A peculiar variant of anti-communism, neo-conservatism had its origins as a strain of Trotskyism; it was composed of cadres imbued with a Leninist mentality, it had few adherents who had participated in Democratic electoral politics (Kirkpatrick was a glaring exception), and it was dependent on the patronage of a Republican White House for its influence.

In light of the fall of communism, Kirkpatrick’s seamless dialectics were proved wrong in nearly every important respect. Her principles appeared as instruments of expedience, her strategies as polemics, and supposed evidence as sheer assertions. More than her substance, her style remained. Neo-conservatives after Kirkpatrick carried on her stridency, denunciatory bullying, inflation and conflation of putative threats, fear-mongering and abuse of history, especially of the Munich analogy in which Democrats are accused of being appeasers and neo-conservatives posture as contemporary Churchillians.

During their post-Reagan, post-communism wilderness years, the neo-conservatives tried to reorganise themselves as a movement initially in opposition to the elder Bush’s foreign-policy realism and then against Clinton’s pragmatic internationalism. They considered Clinton’s emphasis on nation-building, the social problems of globalisation and the threat of terrorism hopelessly soft. All along they sought a new enemy on the scale of communism that would recommend their own indispensable relevance to a Republican president.

De te fabula narratur

Under Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld brought them back into power, and after the jolt of 11 September 2001, fixated on an invasion of Iraq, they seemed to surpass their former glory. But the post-communist version of neo-conservatism was Kirkpatrickism turned on its head. Neo-conservative theorists equated Saddam with totalitarians past and bundled him up with al-Qaida terrorism, cast as totalitarian as well, a rhetorical approach that evoked but twisted Kirkpatrick’s earlier work. Neo-conservatism had become more an attitude than a policy, much less a doctrine. Quietly, the original godmother of neo-conservatism dissented.

In their crusade to remake the middle east in the American image, the neo-conservatives mangled beyond recognition Kirkpatrick’s ideas, once the holy writ of Reaganism, and embraced the “moralism” she deplored. While her theories did not stand the test of time as applied to communism, they provide a stinging if unintended critique of latter-day neo-conservatism.

In her 1979 essay, she cautioned against simplistic thinking about transforming long-settled authoritarian regimes into democracies. “Although most governments in the world are, as they always have been, autocracies of one kind or another, no idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances,” she wrote. “This notion is belied by an enormous body of evidence based on the experience of dozens of countries which have attempted with more or less (usually less) success to move from autocratic to democratic government.”

Even more pointedly, she predicted the chaos that could envelop a country long ruled by a dictator upon his overthrow. Her description prophesies almost precisely the blunders of the Bush occupation of Iraq and reveals the omniscience of the neo-conservatives as mere naiveté. “The fabric of authority unravels quickly when the power and status of the man at the top are undermined or eliminated,” she wrote.

“The longer the autocrat has held power, and the more pervasive his personal influence, the more dependent a nation’s institutions will be on him. Without him, the organized life of the society will collapse, like an arch from which the keystone has been removed … The speed with which armies collapse, bureaucracies abdicate, and social structures dissolve once the autocrat is removed frequently surprises American policymakers and journalists accustomed to public institutions based on universalistic norms rather than particularistic relations.”

This passage reads like a recent report on the blind arrogance of the neo-conservatives and errors of the Coalition Provisional Authority. But the neo-conservatives did not bother to reread her yellowing article, and her qualms gave them no pause as they distorted her arguments and plunged headlong toward Baghdad. In the final irony, it turns out that the regime that cannot change is Bush’s

We already had plans to invade Afghanistan before 9/11????

 
S P E C I A L  R E P O R T S

India in anti-Taliban military plan
India and Iran will “facilitate” the planned US-Russia hostilities against the Taliban.

By Our Correspondent

26 June 2001: India and Iran will “facilitate” US and Russian plans for “limited military action” against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don’t bend Afghanistan’s fundamentalist regime.The Taliban controls 90 per cent of Afghanistan and is advancing northward along the Salang highway and preparing for a rear attack on the opposition Northern Alliance from Tajikistan-Afghanistan border positions.

Indian foreign secretary Chokila Iyer attended a crucial session of the second Indo-Russian joint working group on Afghanistan in Moscow amidst increase of Taliban’s military activity near the Tajikistan border. And, Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (the former KGB) chief Nicolai Patroshev is visiting Teheran this week in connection with Taliban’s military build-up.

Indian officials say that India and Iran will only play the role of “facilitator” while the US and Russia will combat the Taliban from the front with the help of two Central Asian countries, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to push Taliban lines back to the 1998 position 50 km away from Mazar-e-Sharief city in northern Afghanistan.

Military action will be the last option though it now seems scarcely avoidable with the UN banned from Taliban-controlled areas. The UN which adopted various means in the last four years to resolve the Afghan problem is now being suspected by the Taliban and refused entry into Taliban areas of the war-ravaged nation through a decree issued by Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar last month.

Diplomats say that the anti-Taliban move followed a meeting between US Secretary of State Collin Powel and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and later between Powell and Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh in Washington. Russia, Iran and India have also held a series of discussions and more diplomatic activity is expected.

The Northern Alliance led by ousted Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani and his military commander Ahmed Shah Masood have mustered Western support during a May 2001 visit to Dusseldorf, Germany.

The Taliban is using high-intensity rockets and Soviet-made tanks to attack Northern Alliance fighters in the Hindukush range with alleged Pakistani aid. But Northern Alliance fighters have acquired anti-tank missiles from a third country that was used in the fight near Bagram Air Base in early June. The Taliban lost 20 fighters and fled under intense attack.

Officials say that the Northern Alliance requires a “clean up” operation to reduce Taliban’s war-fighting machinery to launch an attack against the Taliban advance to the Tajik-Afghan border. This “clean up” action is being planned by the US and Russia since the Taliban shows no “sign of reconciliation”.

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will lead the ground attack with a strong military back up of the US and Russia. Vital Taliban installations and military assets will be targeted. India and Iran will provide logistic support. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already hinted of military action against the Taliban to CIS nation heads during a meeting in Moscow in early June.

India and Iran have been assisting the Northern Alliance and the Afghan people under their humanitarian programme since Taliban’s ouster of the Rabbani government in 1996. The US needs Russian assistance because of Soviet knowledge of the Afghan terrain. The former Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan in 1979 and withdrew in 1989.

Masood’s strategic stronghold of Panjsher valley has been threatened by the advancing Taliban militia for the last three months. The Northern Alliance has stepped up its attack on Taliban troops who have brought the valley within artillery fire range.

Military planners say that if Taliban were not given a blow now it would slowly make inroads into the Panjsher valley. The fall of Panjsher will enable Taliban to control the remaining 10 per cent of Afghanistan in possession of the Northern Alliance.

Russia says it has evidence that the Taliban aims to create “liberated zones” all across Central Asia and Russia and links its Chechnya problem to the rise of Taliban fundamentalism. The US is directly hit by the anti-US thrust of Islamic groups who use Afghanistan as their base for terrorism and is demanding extradition of Osama Bin Laden to face trial in the embassy bombing case.

Such Central Asian countries as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are threatened by the Taliban that is aiming to control their vast oil, gas and other resources by bringing Islamic fundamentalists into power. Now all the CIS nations are seeking assistance of Russia’s Federal Border Guard Service to overcome the Taliban threat.

General Konstantin Trotsky, director of the border force, said in a newspaper interview, “We are watching the opposition of the Northern Alliance and the Taliban in Afghanistan very closely.”

For its part, Shia Iran is reluctant to tolerate a Sunni militia regime on its border that gives Pakistan, a Sunni country and a sponsor of the Taliban, a “strategic sway” on considerable parts of the Iranian border. Iran is also affected by a Taliban-sponsored movement in Ispahan province where Sunnis have a sizable population.

Iran is also worried over the unending war effort of the Taliban to get supremacy in Afghanistan that is harming Iran’s economic interests. India, Iran and Russia, for example, are working on a broad plan to supply oil and gas to south Asia and southeast Asian nations through India but instability in Afghanistan is posing a great threat to this effort.

Similarly, India is apprehensive about the increasing infiltration of Afghan-trained foreign mercenaries into Kashmir. Security agencies have reported that as many as 15,000 hardcore militants have received training in such places in Afghanistan as Khost, Jalalabad, Kabul and Kandahar since 1995. There are 55 terrorist training camps located in Afghanistan that are funded and aided by Islamic fundamentalists to carry out attacks against non-Islamic nations.

The UN had sent a 12-member delegation to India in the first week of May to assess the feasibility of tough economic sanctions against Taliban. The same delegation met General Pervez Musharraf to convince him about the importance of Pakistani cooperation. The UN believes that the sanctions can be only as tough as Pakistan desires.

India’s official position is for a “peaceful and lasting solution” to the Afghan problem. But it strongly advocates strict economic sanctions against Taliban and is also not averse to a “limited military action” to weaken it.

India plans to raise the Afghanistan issue in the forthcoming G-8 summit in Geneva in mid-July.

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