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Latest Dark Politricks Articles

Here are the latest essays and articles written by myself for this site. I started this site with my own work and continue to write for it as much as I can. To read all my work check out the My Articles menu link. For other posts and latest news from a wide range of diverse sources please visit the news section.

This is what I mean, Saudi Arabia get guns, ISIS gets bombed!

March 18th, 2015
This is what I mean, Saudi Arabia get guns, ISIS gets bombed! By Dark Politricks This is what I mean when I stated in my last article that we are hypocritical when it comes to our treatment of Saudi Arabia in relation to ISIS. Saudi Arabia, has decided to lash a woman 200 times for being gang-raped by seven men. Her actual crime was leaving her... [read more]

Killing The Islamic State – ISIS

February 23rd, 2015
Killing The Islamic State - ISIS By Dark Politricks First things first, ISIS or "Islamic State" as they call themselves, is one of the most barbaric groups to have existed. However the misnomer of the term Islamic State is being used to justify attacks on all Muslims whether they are fundamentalists or moderates. Not all Muslims are the same just as... [read more]

David Camerons Plans To Crack Down On Encryption

January 26th, 2015
David Camerons Plans To Crack Down On Encryption Topsec Technology | News From the World of IT Security By Niall Mackey UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced legislative plans this past Monday to ban online messaging that can’t be accessed by government security agencies. His statements came as part of an initiative to resurrect the Data... [read more]

Russell Brand End The Drugs War

January 10th, 2015
Russell Brand End The Drugs War YouTube.com By Dark Politricks As someone who has been around drugs all my life in the UK it is interesting to see different people's perspectives on drugs. You can read my own thoughts on drugs and the war on it here: The Drug Laws Need Re-Thinking. If you know my history and my current conitions then you will... [read more]

Another Royal Sex Slave Scandal Involving Prince Andrew

January 4th, 2015
Another Royal Sex Slave Scandal Involving Prince Andrew By Dark Politricks No suprise to see that the Royals are involved in sex orgies and clandestine meetings with under aged girls. Rumours of sex scandals inside Buckingham Palace and with the Royal offspring (I guess the Queen is a bit too old to engage), have been running around for years... [read more]

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This is what I mean, Saudi Arabia get guns, ISIS gets bombed!



This is what I mean, Saudi Arabia get guns, ISIS gets bombed!

By Dark Politricks

This is what I mean when I stated in my last article that we are hypocritical when it comes to our treatment of Saudi Arabia in relation to ISIS.

Saudi Arabia, has decided to lash a woman 200 times for being gang-raped by seven men.

Her actual crime was leaving her house, thus making being gang-raped her own fault:

Gang Raped Saudi Woman Sentenced to 200 lashes, 6 months in jail.

Two “Islamic States”, one gets massive arms supplies, Royal visits and ignored when it comes to their human right abuses, including jailing and publicly humiliating a woman for being gang raped by 7 men!

The other, newer Islamic State, gets bombed and denounced as terrorists for doing the same thing in a cruder manner. However not all it what is seems.

Whilst I have no problem admitting these evil ISIS bastards are terrorists. We must remember that we helped create them with our divide and conquer strategy in the Middle East that seems to be for the Greater Israel project.

Keep the enemy fighting amongst themselves whilst Israel expands and Bibi gets standing ovations at Congress for denouncing Iranian nuclear bomb making that is based on flimsy evidence at best, on top of a whole lot of lies, and ignored data from reputable Atomic inspectors and agencies that prove he is talking out of his arse.

It seems as if the Israeli Prime Minister is more concerned about a non factual threat from Iran, whilst sitting on a whole pile of nuclear weapons that could destroy the Middle East himself, than the threat of ISIS on his door.

Why? Iran would be blown to bits if they tried to attack Israel which they won’t. So why isn’t Israel more concerned about a real Islamic threat right on their doorstep?

Bibi obviously wants Israel to remain the only nuclear power in the region. No competition. No MAD that could create some sort of stability that prevented any nuclear attacks between the USA and USSR for 50 years.

Why would the Israelis who were so concerned about al-Qaeda not feel the same threat from ISIS who are literally on their borders?

Instead they concentrate on Iranian bomb making and building one of the few countries along with Syria, Turkish Kurds and Iraq, who are actually on the ground fighting ISIS, into the big bad evil Islamic empire to be feared. All the while forgetting (or ignoring) the fact that Saudi Arabia has been funding ISIS as well as al-Qaeda.

Here we have 3 Islamic States, ISIS, Saudi Arabia and Iran, all being treated differently because of what they CAN do for their allies, and WHO they are allied to, rather than their REAL actual potential threat to the world.

If we had to order these three Islamic states by the amount of death, evil and crimes of humanity that they have committed to the outside world then Saudi Arabia, Israel’s ally against Iran and funder of terrorism around the world including 9.11 would surely sit at the top above ISIS with Iran at the bottom.

The Saudi’s practise a form of 18th century Wahhabist Islam that the European Parliament in 2013 labelled as the main source of global terrorism.

This brutal form of anti Shi’ite Islamic brutality has even led to attacks on American citizens on their homeland.

Yes, if you are American and believe the official story on the 9.11 attacks then you HAVE to believe that Saudi Arabia launched an act of war against your country.

In fact entire sections of the 9.11 commission report was blacked out keeping Saudi Arabia’s name from their findings.

The Saudis used bribery and their influence with the Bush regime to get this done.

Even this New York Post article explains it clearly.

“The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officialsnot just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and intelligence officers employed by the kingdom — helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war.”

“The findings, if confirmed, would back up open-source reporting showing the hijackers had, at a minimum, ties to several Saudi officials and agents while they were preparing for their attacks inside the United States. In fact, they got help from Saudi VIPs from coast to coast.

View the full article at nypost.com.

This can only be down to the close relationship between ex Saudi US ambassador, Prince Bandar and the Bush clan that prevented the natural course of a post 9.11 war on the real attackers, Saudi Arabia and their white washing from the attacks.

According to the official conspiracy theory, 15 of the hijackers were Saudi, with Saudi financing and Saudi help according to the leaked sections from the 28 full pages of the 800 page 9.11 commission report that were classified due to the Bush regimes say so.

Where 7,200 words once stood in the 9/11 commission report there are now just dots where a huge section related to the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the 9.11 attacks were laid out.

“A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.”

So why didn’t we see Saudi Arabia burned to a crisp rather than two unrelated countries that seemed to only further US and Israeli geopolitical goals.

Could it be the Bandar-Bush close ties or as some say “terrorist network”, that kept Saudi Arabia’s name from the report, despite their deep involvement in the killing of thousands of American citizens.

I keep being reminded of ex Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky and his book “By Way of Deception” when he repeats what he was told was the future of Saddam Hussein in the Middle East.

“After the bombing of Libya, our friend Qadhafi is sure to stay out of the picture for some time. Iraq and Saddam Hussein are the next target. We’re starting now to build him up as the big villain. It will take some time, but in the end, there’s no doubt it’ll work.”

“But isn’t Saddam regarded as moderate toward us, allied with Jordan, the big enemy of Iran and Syria?”

“Yes, that’s why I’m opposed to this action. But that’s the directive, and I must follow it. Hopefully, you and I will be done with our little operation before anything big happens. After all, we have already destroyed his nuclear facility, and we are making money by selling hlm technology and equipment through South Africa.”

In the following weeks, more and more discoveries were made regarding the big gun and other elements of the Saddam war machine. The Mossad had all but saturated the intelligence field with information regarding the evil intentions of Saddam the Terrible, banking on the fact that before long, he’d have enough rope to hang himself. It was very clear what the Mossad’s overall goal was. It wanted the West to do its bidding, just as the Americans had in Libya with the bombing of Qadhafi.

After all, Israel didn’t possess carriers and ample air power, and although it was capable of bombing a refugee camp in Tunis, that was not the same.

The Mossad leaders knew that if they could make Saddam appear bad enough and a threat to the Gulf oil supply, of which he’d been the protector up to that point, then the United States and its allies would not let him get away with anything, but would take measures that would all but eliminate his army and his weapons potential, especially if they were led to believe that this might just be their last chance before he went nuclear.

http://www.darkpolitricks.com/by-way-of-deception-victor-ostrovsky

It seems as if the Israeli’s are up to their old tricks again regarding Syria and Iran using proxies such as ISIS to do their fighting for them plus of course the axis of war, the US/UK, who think they can win wars by bombing from planes.

In reality many people think this war from the air is an excuse to supply ISIS with weapons to keep the war going. Numerous papers have reported on this.

Iraqi army downs 2 UK planes carrying weapons to ISIL

Here is the Washington Post trying to excuse the dropping of weapons to ISIS by saying it was an accident.

We can’t have the war on terror ending too soon can we! Not when the militarisation of our police forces at home isn’t yet complete and we still have a few liberties left.

Remember this war on terror was because we had to fight these evil terrorists who hated our freedoms.

Doesn’t anyone think it strange we have lost more freedoms in the years since this war started than in any time before.

Even when the IRA was at war with us for 30+ years we didn’t give up our liberties at home.

It was only with the installation of MI5 mole Tony Blair in the Labour party, who brought it so far into the centre ground that there was hardly any difference between it and the Tories, that we started handing our freedoms over on a plate and misusing them, such as Gordon Brown using anti-terrorism laws to freeze Icelandic money in UK banks after their financial crash.

I think the only left wing party left with any MP’s in the UK parliament is the Green Party who has one! All the rest are pro-war, pro-austerity, pro-US foreign policy and pro-globalist.

So whilst Saudi Arabia is allied with Israel due their common hatred of Iran, the ISIS terrorists that Iran are actually doing the main fighting against along with the Kurds are being built up as the next big bogey man we should attack.

A repeat of Mossads built up of Saddam Hussein as the big bogey man so that their “big brother” could beat it up in the school playground years before.

If ISIS don’t attack Israel with all their weapons, money from oil sales to western companies, supplies from the US/UK and a supposedly rabid fundamentalist approach to Islam then something is very strange!

Either it’s due to factions within Saudi Arabia that are still financing them and commanding them not to disturb their Israeli ally or the Israeli’s have some kind of control over the group.

Even al-Qaeda made repeated calls to annex the evil Zionist state but I have been dearth of hearing anything of that kind from the head of Islamic StateAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Are Mossad following their motto “by way of deception” or is something else going on?

© 2015 Dark Politricks

Posted in Analysis & Review, Anti War & Peace, Dark Politricks Articles, Intelligence Agencies, Iran, Islam, Israel & Zionism, War on terror.

Tagged with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Al-Qaeda, Bandar-Bush, European Parliament, Greater Israel, Intelligence Agencies, Iran, ISIS, Islamic State, Israel, Middle East, Mossad, Prince Bandar, Saddam Hussein, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Victor Ostrovsky, War on terror.


A Fly’s Eye View of America’s War Against Vietnam



A Flys Eye View of Americas War Against Vietnam

dissidentvoice.org
By T.P. Wilkinson

In 1966, the US anthropologist Jules Henry wrote in The Nation:

The establishment throughout Southeast Asia of industrial complexes backed by American capital is sure to have a salutary effect on the development of our foreign involvement: the vast lands cheap labour pool will permit competition with the lower production costs of Chinese and Japanese industry, which have immobilized our trading capabilities in Asia for many years The destruction of the Vietnamese countryside is the first, and necessary step, to the industrialization of Vietnam and the nationalization of its agriculture.1

Henrys assessment of US Asia-Pacific policy was quite controversial at the time, certainly not because it was peculiar but because it was open. Social science in the West has occasionally been critical but most of its practitioners, seated in well-endowed universities and research institutions, were wittingly and unwittingly complicit in the collection and analysis of data to advance corporate penetration of markets, both at home and abroad.2 Social scientists were first employed on a large scale in the US during the so-called Progressive Era. They replaced or augmented the work previously done by missionaries in the colonies. That is to say they were on one hand part of the informal intelligence apparatus supplying the data about indigenous cultures and social structures then used by colonial authorities to penetrate local communities either to turn them in favour of the invading forces or to make administrative and military measures against them more effective.

In the US itself, social science became a weapon against organised labour and other popular movements. Together with the professionalization of journalism, social sciences transformed the discourse of popular resistance to capitalism into specialised, institutional knowledge reserved for academically certified experts. This was the primary mission of the so-called liberal philanthropic foundations founded at the beginning of the 20th century; e.g., Rockefeller, Sage, Carnegie, and especially the Ford Foundation. Pulitzers funding of the first journalism school at the University of Missouri was a crucial step in killing partisan newspapers and creating todays propaganda cadre whose claim to public legitimacy was then based on objectivity a euphemism for corporate censorship. At the same time by offering lucrative employment and career opportunities to writers and activists, these foundations made it possible for the peculiar form of intellectual freedom to evolve in the US without the need to ban publications or imprison literate dissenters. Intellectual freedom became synonymous with whatever the market would tolerate whatever corporations could sell. Undesirable dissent simply did not sell or better said would not be sold. Paid professional writers and scholars acquired a vested interest in protecting their exclusive access to employment and publication. In the higher ranks of academia the peer review process served to enforce consensus by rewarding scholars for imposing self-censorship to assure continued funding and wider censorship in order to protect the resulting privileges. Just as Taylorism was promoted to enforce infinitesimal divisions of labour in what had been highly skilled crafts, corporate-supported specialisation reduced academic research to an ever-expanding class of cottage industries with little or no relationship to each other or to the popular movements that had previously published the dirt on capitalism and imperialism needed to guide their members.3

Henrys point-blank analysis of the strategic and tactical operations of Capital was certainly a source of embarrassment to those who were determined to keep imperialism cloaked in philanthropic garb. Yet his honest statement of the US regimes objectives in Southeast Asia (already a firm component in US Latin America policy) merely rendered a specific formulation of the primitive accumulation Marx described in Das Kapital. Marx explained in detail the importance of the Tudor confiscation of the monasteries during the Reformation and the Enclosures that began in 16th century England and intensified between 1760 and 1820.4 This policy had two primary objectives: a) creation of surplus population and b) the confiscation of land for capitalist exploitation of agriculture and sub-surface resources. British industrialisation depended upon forcing subsistence farmers off their land in order to create an additional supply of virtually free labour and initially an increase in the production of wool for its textile mills. When India was conquered by the first multinational , the British East India Company, the manual textile industry there was systematically destroyed to increase the competitiveness of Britains nascent textile industry and turn India into a market for British cotton manufactures. Part of the surplus population was also used to invade the two continents discovered in the 15th century where the massive amounts of new gold and silver helped finance even more European development. The new money enabled Europeans to buy their way into Asia and, together with the opium trade started by the Company, to reverse the chronic balance of payments deficit with China.5 The new wealth sucked out of the Americas, mainly captive slave labour stolen from Africa, eventually allowed European empires to subsidise a slightly better standard of living in the metropolitan countries facilitating social control.

These stages of development were certainly not unique in human history. Until the 15th century it would appear that the prevailing world power, China, had reached a dominant position in Asia by exporting its own population throughout Asia, establishing systems of trade and political domination not unlike those created by the inhabitants of the European peninsula.

Perhaps it is also fair to make at least a structural comparison between the power of China and its overseas Chinese and the Anglo-American empire with its multi-national corporations. If we allow this hypothesis, then it may be possible to articulate a theory of war, commerce and empire with some explanatory value in describing the fate of subordinate peoples throughout the world and the contradictory processes that seem to frustrate the projects and processes of human liberation. No doubt considerable understanding of human history at least in the past millennium has been obtained by analysing events distinctly as social, political, military and economic processes. Yet this separation, especially as it became professionalised, of human activity into distinct and separate forms of interaction also prevents any coherent examination of human society as a whole. Due to the consequences of this intellectual development, human social relations have been systematically degraded.

It is no accident that the most sophisticated and differentiated social formations states are almost universally genocidal when it comes to the treatment of the countryside especially so-called indigenous peoples who are then relegated to the status of primitive another euphemism meaning worthless or non-persons. The creation of states and their progeny, the multinational corporations, has exhibited what may be called nihilistic tendencies. These can be seen best in the continual destruction which accompanies supposed creativity and stabilisation.

Therein lies one of the central contradictions in both imperial crusades and wars of national liberation. In other words, if we take the finite nature of the planet seriously and with it the fact that humans are ultimately terrestrial (as opposed to aquatic or aerial) creatures, the basic struggle can be reduced to how any given portion of the human species establishes its ability to survive on the finite amount of land the planet offers. With the exception of the insignificant quantity of landfill concentrated in coastal and riverine regions, the amount of habitable land has not changed much in the course of human history. The allocation for occupation and exploitation of that land constitutes the underlying dispute at the core of all advanced political organisations. Yet this central issue remains one of the most obfuscated. This source of conflict in everyday life within so-called developed countries is obscured both by the high level of urbanisation and the subsequent derivative forms of land occupation and use found there. Suppression of this issue is one of the primary goals if not the ultimate goal of political warfare.

The legitimacy of any claim to control of land, whether individually or collectively asserted, is still all industrialisation and digitalisation notwithstanding the political aim of all social, economic, military or religious violence. Politics in this context means the organisation of the means to legitimate, enforce and exploit the claim to land abstracted as territory and endowed with metaphysical attributes from which the claimant asserts sovereignty. The title of Thomas Mores classic Utopia bears a certain irony in that the word means nowhere. One might argue that the search for an irrefutable claim to political order can only end in nowhere , in the denial of human habitation as a local and natural given, no different from that ascribed to flowers or even birds.

In 1953, US President Eisenhower told a conference of state governors:

Now, let us assume that we lost Indochina the tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming So when the United States votes 400 million dollars to help that war, we are not voting a give-away program. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can to prevent the occurrence of something that would be of most terrible significance for the United States of America, our security, our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of the Indonesian territory and from Southeast Asia.6

The wars in Indochina, concentrated in Vietnam, can be understood as wars over the control of land. However, that too is an oversimplification. In fact, the major complaint of the European and American forces, and those who led them, was that they often never felt able to control the land. Instead they were barely able to occupy it, albeit briefly, and destroy its utility for the indigenous inhabitants.

Unlike the North American continent, Indochina seemed to resist every means to which the US military was accustomed in the seizure of territory. The simplest explanation for this is that the forces of the United States no longer sought for reasons the explanation of which would exceed the scope of this essay to replace the native inhabitants with its own population imported as surplus from the US itself. The US ruling elite did not seek (and arguably could not have achieved) a resettlement on the scale necessary to become a dominant presence in Indochina, let alone Asia.

By 1965, Henry Cabot Lodge who was then Kennedys ambassador to South Vietnam was quoted in the Boston Globe:

Geographically, Vietnam stands at the hub of a vast area of the world Southeast Asia an area with a population of 249 million persons. He who holds or has influence in Vietnam can affect the future of the Philippines and Formosa to the east, Thailand and Burma with their huge rice surpluses to the west, and Malaysia and Burma with their rubber, ore, and tin in the south Vietnam does not exist in a geological vacuum from it large storehouses of wealth and population can be influenced and undermined.7

Gabriel Kolko distinguishes the initial US war aims:

… to quickly redress many of the post-war global dilemmas and frustrations of its military power, to confirm its symbolic credibility and the technical efficiency of its arms. The goal was to neutralize the rising potential throughout the Third World for revolutionary nationalist regimes. The primary origin of the Vietnam War was the American intervention and effort to establish and sustain an alternative to the Communist Party, and Washington assumed there was a sufficient indigenous basis to give it increasing hope for success.8

He goes on to argue that US foreign policy after WWII aimed to create an integrated capitalist world framework out of the chaos of World War II and the remnants of the colonial systems because it sought a controllable, responsive order elsewhere, one that would permit the political destinies of distant places to evolve in a manner beneficial to American goals and interests far surpassing the immediate interests of its domestic society. 9 However, as Philip Agee so poignantly argued, capitalism cannot survive without the repressive apparatus of its invisible army.

Kolkos staid formulations are like many that can be found throughout political science scholarship. How, then, are such objectives to be judged? What do these statements tell us about the kind of violence organised and unleashed against the Third World? Why should the US regime given the admittedly vast ignorance of its military and foreign policy establishment regarding Indochina have had any reason to believe that it could determine the nature of legal and accepted political organisations in Vietnam? To come to a reasonable understanding of what the US regimes aims in the war were, it is essential to know who sets those American goals and interests ? Why should the US population unscarred by war since 1865 be motivated to fight and die as well as submit to privation for the reasons Kolko enumerates? Moreover why were the war aims for the military ostensibly framed in conventional war doctrine as if this were a war between Germany and France over Alsace while the real war was fought in accordance with completely different principles? The answer to this question is not made any easier by noting that the US was (and still is) waging war throughout the world making Vietnam only one theatre of operations.

The US war aims at least in the terms comprehended by its own military institutions could not have been achieved by any amount of armed force applied. While this may seem obvious, especially in retrospect, the discrepancy between US military capability and the real as well as perceived success of US forces in Indochina ought to raise the question what the real war aims were and what is the proper understanding of strategic and tactical operations in Indochina between 1946 and 1975. A brief consideration of some highlights might help. Here it is important to pay attention as much to what is said as what is omitted, to the assumptions upon which self-deception fundamentally relies.

CBS News correspondent Morley Safer established the companys Saigon bureau in 1965. Shortly thereafter he was witness to a search and destroy mission conducted by US Marines in the village of Cam Ne, near Da Nang.10 His field dispatch became famous as he showed US Marines entering a village with no opposition and subsequently destroying it. His film was broadcast into US living rooms showing marines torching thatched cottages with Zippo lighters and flamethrowers, leaving the entire village homeless and destitute. An apparently astonished Safer can be seen looking into the camera while the marines are at work. The report caused an outrage, especially in William Paleys ultraconservative (mainstream) corporate headquarters. In reflecting on the report later David Halberstam added that this was certainly an uncommon and surprising scene because Americans had been brought up to think of “Indians”* burning villages and the US military coming to the rescue while here is was the US military torching the huts.

Safer then submitted a report on the Battle of Ia Drang.11 The dispatch was broadcast as a CBS News Special Report, introduced by Walter Cronkite and followed by Safers description of the event with the film. Safer explains that the US Army 1st Air Cavalry regiment was being sent to raise the siege against a Special Forces camp in Plei Mi, located in the central highlands near the Laotian border. The viewer is not told what Special Forces (Green Berets) do or why the Vietnamese might want to destroy the camp. The story continues more or less modelled on the reporting everyone has been taught in the newsreels. At the end of the story the US Army wins: the Army takes a hill that had been held by Vietnamese troops. The settlers have been saved from the Indians.

Thirty years later, he recounted the incident with the same bewilderment to an audience meeting at the State Department to discuss the American experience in Southeast Asia.12 He recalled how much trouble he had gotten because of this na’ve report. The vicarious shock was magnified by the doubts inserted as to whether this was premeditated arson or merely an extreme reaction to an invisible enemy.

Thus a report of what was essentially criminal activity by US troops was coated with dishonesty. By suggesting that the US Marines had assumed the role usually associated by Americans with the Indians he was, in fact, providing the subliminal rationale for the unacknowledged counter-terror campaign, which had been, and was to remain, the foundation of US military operations throughout the war.

Actually it was the US Army that had historically attacked Indians, burning their homes and destroying their means of subsistence if they were not killed outright. The burning settler homes enshrined in the penultimate US film and literary genres were misrepresentations of the ultimately futile Indian resistance to invasion of their lands and destruction of everything they needed to survive.

Morley Safer and others were shocked to the extent that they could not point to any white settlers that the marines or air cavalry had to defend. The story of the non-human communists in Vietnam, who were actually Vietnamese but could never be called that, had to be repeated daily and nightly in order for this ostensibly occasional violence to be rationalised as some kind of self-defence.

The war waged by the US in Vietnam had to be framed in terms of territorial defence. The vast incoherence between the territorial defence rationale for US conventional warfare actually the pretence of conventional warfare lies in the fact that aside from the War of 1812, which it nearly lost to the British, the US has never had to defend its territory from a foreign invader. The overall deceit underlying the war against Vietnam was not the concealment of military tactics but the cultivation of the perverse set of fears among US Americans manipulated according to the countrys most primitive but historically well-anchored founding myths and fantasies.

Even the landing of marines at Da Nang was not so much a military necessity as a narrative device to touch the hearts of the home front with imagined memories of the’D-Day landing during the good war. The purportedly most televised war in US history (at that time) would have made little sense to US viewers had they not been force fed Hollywood/War Department war films and newsreels for decades. Without the thousands of miles of Westerns exhibited as mass entertainment, the “Indian” analogy would have been accessible to relatively few viewers.

Moreover without television and cinema there would probably have been little support for the war at all. Eisenhower had been forced to end the Korean War not only because of Chinese intervention to help the North Koreans repel UN Forces but also by potential domestic disruption as what would be called the civil rights movement escalated. In fact, although the US corporate state has been voracious in its appetite for foreign wars, it has always taken enormous amount of propaganda and compulsion to persuade the majority of US Americans to fight abroad. At the same time, however, the massive violence and displays of overwhelming fire power was certainly not embarrassing to those in the US who had been bred to believe in the virtue of American might and invincibility real or imagined.

The public perception of the war was not only shaped by the reporting during the war but by the approximately two million US Americans who went to Vietnam in the course of the war. Some 55,000 of them died there. In contrast, 405,399 died in all combat theatres during World War II (1941-1945) and 36,516 died in the US war against Korea (1950-1953). Although this figure is modest in comparison to the number of Vietnamese dead, conservatively estimated at between 1.5 and 3.8 million (Korean deaths are also estimated at approximately 3 million), It was the perceived magnitude of US deaths that had the greatest, if not the only, decisive impact on American consciousness.13 What might be called Post-Vietnam Stress Syndrome triggers either bouts of self-pity or vindictiveness, sometimes both, in the US. American deaths were not only the major public issue for those opposing the war, while it was being waged; they fuel the retroactive appreciation of the war against Vietnam.

The war against Vietnam might be considered the first major war the US fought with a non-segregated military. However the rank and file were disproportionately black and poor. Perhaps it is also no coincidence that segregation ended in the US military once the enemy was no longer mainly white. The white command structure no longer had to fear unleashing black soldiers on white womanhood since Asians were not considered white within the meaning of the act. They too were only gooks. The de-segregated military was by no means purged of racism. Nor could it suppress the racism in its greatest reservoir of white cannon fodder the South. Returning soldiers rarely had noble and heroic tales to share (if that was ever a significant part of war memory). There is no way to measure the real damage done to the bodies and souls of draftees for whom professional killer had not been the occupation of first choice. Since the war ended ignominiously, the largely working class, poor and non-white veterans, had to accept at the same time having fought for nothing.

There were also those whose perceptions of the war triggered opposition: to the war, to the military or even to the government itself.

And yet the war perceived had very little to do with the war that was actually fought, even for those who had been there, been in Vietnam (or elsewhere in Indochina unofficially). Allowing for the distortions in memory over time, it is remarkable how few participant-observers have been able to present a coherent image of the war in which they fought. Frequently statements are made like, we always won, even if we dont know what. The PBS documentary Vietnam: A Television History seems quite typical at least of the film record.14 Not a single one of the ordinary soldiers interviewed was able to conclude from his experience what the wars aims were and whether they were even being achieved at the operational level, let alone at the command level. Even allowing for problems of interviewing methodology, the PBS series presented witness testimony at all levels, from ordinary soldiers to cabinet members. Nevertheless the viewer comes no closer to understanding the war as a whole since the story is told in the same way it was told during the war itself. The films and extracts available today in the Internet rely on essentially the same footage, occasionally with different editing.

Another problem, reflecting the real prosecution of the war, is the inconsistent, inaccurate or one might think deceptive designation of the participants interviewed. To give a few examples in the PBS production: John Negroponte is identified as a delegate to the Paris peace negotiations. This is accurate to the extent that the only statements used in the film were his descriptions of negotiations with the DRV in Paris. At the same time this obscures the extent to which he was involved in actually waging the war. Negroponte and his colleague Richard Holbrooke (who was not interviewed in the film) were both active participants in the rural pacification program an element of Phoenix.15 Negroponte went from rural pacification where he reported operations in II Corps, the military region of central Vietnam, to be the director for Vietnam of the National Security Council.16

Another example is the interview with William Colby.17 He was identified as the head of the Phoenix Program. The viewer might know that he later became director of the CIA. On one hand the US American Colby is identified as head of Phoenix while on the other hand the film says: Phoenix was run by the South Vietnamese with the help of US advisors. In fact, William Colby was the CIA station chief who is considered to be largely responsible for the creation of Phoenix out of a program called ICEX,18 Colby does not say what Phoenix was in the film only what it supposedly was not. The only descriptions of what Phoenix might have implied are left to Jane Barton, identified as a civilian aid worker. This is also confusing because although Ms Barton is described elsewhere (Internet) as an employee of the American Friends Service Committee, another person Everett Bumgartner is interviewed in the film, also identified as a civilian aid worker, Bumgartner was William Colbys deputy in the pacification (Phoenix) program and definitely CIA.19

The PBS film is a typical example of how an essential part of US strategy and tactics is presented as no more than a sideshow. Thus the focus on apparently conventional warfare is magnified to produce sustained confusion about the war and inadequate analysis at the same time. Today it is very difficult to draw any sensible conclusions about the war in Vietnam because there is almost no discussion about the war that was actually fought. The narrative of American foreign policy and military strategy is still determined on the official level by the myths of World War II. Any attempt to penetrate that screen which hides the unstated policies, strategy and tactics of the US regime ought to begin with the simply question of who specifically wants to control what exactly? Ultimately there are only two objects of war: land and people. However, humans have shown repeatedly through the centuries they actually have little control over land itself no one can live without it. So the central question becomes in reality: Who controls what people and how?

To show just how easily this issue can be actively concealed one can return to Morley Safer. At the American Experience conference he told the following story about a meeting with William Colby who had just assumed his post in Saigon.20 Colbys office called Safer and asked him to come meet the next day:

(Colby said) Look, can you disappear for three days? (Laughter.) And I said, I guess. (Laughter.) And he said, Well, be at the airport be at (inaudible) at the airport tomorrow morning at 5:30.

No, no. And I showed up and he said, Okay, here are the rules. You can see that Im going on a tour of all the stations. You cant take notes and you cant report anything you hear. And I spent three days made first of all, down in the delta and they were really, really revealing. There was only one meeting that he would ask me to leave the barracks. And it was fascinating because the stuff that these guys were reporting through whatever filters to you had been so doctored by the time it got to you I mean, to this day, I still feel constrained in terms of talking about.

As Telford Taylor once said to me, he said, Once you know a secret one you swear to keep a secret, you keep it to the grave. Well, I keep most secrets to the grave but and I so I dont want to go into detail, but and Ive often wondered what his motivation was, being a sceptic, why is he doing this, whats the real story. And to this day, I dont know unless he was wanted an uncommitted witness, some I just dont know.

Marvin Kalb responded in a manner that ought to seem bizarre now.

Well, at least Colby did it with you for three days. Think about McChrystal inviting a reporter from the Rolling Stone in for a month.

Of course, the remark is bizarre because Safer is still alive.21

Without knowing who the people are who are initiating, managing and conducting what are always called merely operations , it is impossible to draw any informed conclusions about the relationships between these people, the institutions they represent and the interests vested in those institutions the progenitors of the war against Vietnam and the wars for the control of land and population that have continued since.

* Author’s Note: The term “Indian” as used in this article does not refer to Native Americans. “Indian” appears as it was used in the language of the war and in the literature and film context of the Western genre in US film culture. Its use reflects the prejudices, racism, and other invidious references to the Native American population as found in “white” American culture, especially in the US military used during the Vietnam War as a metaphor for the “enemy, especially in the sense of “Indian country” as a reference to unpacified zones within Vietnam (or other places where the US military is deployed against non-whites in foreign invasions).

  1. Jules Henry, Capitals last frontier”, The Nation, 25 April 1966 []
  2. The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations have not only acted as conduits for covert funding of research, they have often provided cover for CIA operatives. Anthropology has had some notorious intelligence operatives such as Margaret Mead. Foundation-funded social science survey studies were used intensively during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s both to produce intelligence about popular movements in Latin America but to identify structures and personnel that were then targeted by state-sponsored death squads. More innocuously the foundations use their resources on the behalf of corporations and the State to reward ideological conformity or promote it. Not everyone who benefits from this largesse is aware of the source of their funding or the purposes to which it may be used or why it was funded. The fact that links are occasionally disclosed has yet to diminish the deniability these corporate institutions offer. The East-West Centre in Hawaii is one institution that has educated and trained numerous covert operatives in the Asia-Pacific region. []
  3. F.W. Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management (1911. []
  4. T P Wilkinson, Church Clothes: Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa (2004) and cited. []
  5. Andre Gunder Frank, Reorient (1998). []
  6. Dwight Eisenhower, Speech to the Conference of State Governors in Seattle (4 August 1953) cited in Gerald Colby Zilg, Beyond the Nylon Curtain (1974) re-issued as’e-book in the Forbidden Bookshelf. pp. 404-5. []
  7. Colby Zilg op. cit. pp. 413 []
  8. Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a War (1994) pp. 7-8 []
  9. Kolko (1994) pp. 72-73 []
  10. Cam ne safer []
  11. The Battle of Ia Drang Valley, 1965 []
  12. Media roundtable []
  13. It is exceedingly difficult to obtain reliable figures for Vietnamese or Korean deaths because of the nature of US warfare, especially the saturation bombing during both wars. While much has been made of the body count policy in Vietnam, there was no way to count the victims of B-52 raids (e.g. 126,615 some sorties for Rolling Thunder, Arc Light, Linebacker etc.) or murders committed by irregular forces and pacification. []
  14. WGBH-Boston (Public Broadcasting System), Vietnam: A Television History (1983). []
  15. John Negroponte would first gain notoriety among the Left when he served as ambassador to Honduras during the US wars in Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s. He then went on to serve as ambassador to occupied Iraq. These assignments are only surprising to those who do not know that he learned counter-insurgency doctrine and practice as a 27-year-old in Vietnam. The same applied to Richard Holbrooke who ran the political war against Serbia and before his death assumed overall responsibility for political warfare in Central Asia. []
  16. John Negroponte, Address to the US State Department conference, American Experience in Southeast Asia 1946-1975 (29-30 November 2005). []
  17. Vietnam: A Television History, (1983) Episode 7 []
  18. Douglas Valentine, The Phoenix Program (2000), re-issued as an’e-book in the Forbidden Bookshelf series []
  19. Valentine (2000), pp. 50 51. []
  20. Media Roundtable []
  21. Michael Hastings received the George Polk Award for Journalism as recognition for his Rolling Stone article The Runaway General (2010), a profile of General Stanley McChrystal. After the article was published, General McChrystal resigned his command. Hastings died in 2013 in a peculiar automobile accident in which his car apparently exploded into flames. []

Dr’T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket in Heinrich Heine’s birthplace, D sseldorf. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa (Maisonneuve Press, 2003). Read other articles by’T.P..

View the original article at dissidentvoice.org

Posted in Analysis & Review, Civil Rights and Privacy, Politics.

Tagged with China, Indians, Intelligence Agencies, John Negroponte, Morley Safer, Native Americans, Nylon Curtain, Phoenix Program, population, power, Rolling Stone, Scientific Management, South Africa, Southeast Asia, Special Forces, United States, Vietnam War, William Colbys.


A Fly’s Eye View of America’s War Against Vietnam



A Flys Eye View of Americas War Against Vietnam

dissidentvoice.org
By T.P. Wilkinson

In 1966, the US anthropologist Jules Henry wrote in The Nation:

The establishment throughout Southeast Asia of industrial complexes backed by American capital is sure to have a salutary effect on the development of our foreign involvement: the vast lands cheap labour pool will permit competition with the lower production costs of Chinese and Japanese industry, which have immobilized our trading capabilities in Asia for many years The destruction of the Vietnamese countryside is the first, and necessary step, to the industrialization of Vietnam and the nationalization of its agriculture.1

Henrys assessment of US Asia-Pacific policy was quite controversial at the time, certainly not because it was peculiar but because it was open. Social science in the West has occasionally been critical but most of its practitioners, seated in well-endowed universities and research institutions, were wittingly and unwittingly complicit in the collection and analysis of data to advance corporate penetration of markets, both at home and abroad.2 Social scientists were first employed on a large scale in the US during the so-called Progressive Era. They replaced or augmented the work previously done by missionaries in the colonies. That is to say they were on one hand part of the informal intelligence apparatus supplying the data about indigenous cultures and social structures then used by colonial authorities to penetrate local communities either to turn them in favour of the invading forces or to make administrative and military measures against them more effective.

In the US itself, social science became a weapon against organised labour and other popular movements. Together with the professionalization of journalism, social sciences transformed the discourse of popular resistance to capitalism into specialised, institutional knowledge reserved for academically certified experts. This was the primary mission of the so-called liberal philanthropic foundations founded at the beginning of the 20th century; e.g., Rockefeller, Sage, Carnegie, and especially the Ford Foundation. Pulitzers funding of the first journalism school at the University of Missouri was a crucial step in killing partisan newspapers and creating todays propaganda cadre whose claim to public legitimacy was then based on objectivity a euphemism for corporate censorship. At the same time by offering lucrative employment and career opportunities to writers and activists, these foundations made it possible for the peculiar form of intellectual freedom to evolve in the US without the need to ban publications or imprison literate dissenters. Intellectual freedom became synonymous with whatever the market would tolerate whatever corporations could sell. Undesirable dissent simply did not sell or better said would not be sold. Paid professional writers and scholars acquired a vested interest in protecting their exclusive access to employment and publication. In the higher ranks of academia the peer review process served to enforce consensus by rewarding scholars for imposing self-censorship to assure continued funding and wider censorship in order to protect the resulting privileges. Just as Taylorism was promoted to enforce infinitesimal divisions of labour in what had been highly skilled crafts, corporate-supported specialisation reduced academic research to an ever-expanding class of cottage industries with little or no relationship to each other or to the popular movements that had previously published the dirt on capitalism and imperialism needed to guide their members.3

Henrys point-blank analysis of the strategic and tactical operations of Capital was certainly a source of embarrassment to those who were determined to keep imperialism cloaked in philanthropic garb. Yet his honest statement of the US regimes objectives in Southeast Asia (already a firm component in US Latin America policy) merely rendered a specific formulation of the primitive accumulation Marx described in Das Kapital. Marx explained in detail the importance of the Tudor confiscation of the monasteries during the Reformation and the Enclosures that began in 16th century England and intensified between 1760 and 1820.4 This policy had two primary objectives: a) creation of surplus population and b) the confiscation of land for capitalist exploitation of agriculture and sub-surface resources. British industrialisation depended upon forcing subsistence farmers off their land in order to create an additional supply of virtually free labour and initially an increase in the production of wool for its textile mills. When India was conquered by the first multinational , the British East India Company, the manual textile industry there was systematically destroyed to increase the competitiveness of Britains nascent textile industry and turn India into a market for British cotton manufactures. Part of the surplus population was also used to invade the two continents discovered in the 15th century where the massive amounts of new gold and silver helped finance even more European development. The new money enabled Europeans to buy their way into Asia and, together with the opium trade started by the Company, to reverse the chronic balance of payments deficit with China.5 The new wealth sucked out of the Americas, mainly captive slave labour stolen from Africa, eventually allowed European empires to subsidise a slightly better standard of living in the metropolitan countries facilitating social control.

These stages of development were certainly not unique in human history. Until the 15th century it would appear that the prevailing world power, China, had reached a dominant position in Asia by exporting its own population throughout Asia, establishing systems of trade and political domination not unlike those created by the inhabitants of the European peninsula.

Perhaps it is also fair to make at least a structural comparison between the power of China and its overseas Chinese and the Anglo-American empire with its multi-national corporations. If we allow this hypothesis, then it may be possible to articulate a theory of war, commerce and empire with some explanatory value in describing the fate of subordinate peoples throughout the world and the contradictory processes that seem to frustrate the projects and processes of human liberation. No doubt considerable understanding of human history at least in the past millennium has been obtained by analysing events distinctly as social, political, military and economic processes. Yet this separation, especially as it became professionalised, of human activity into distinct and separate forms of interaction also prevents any coherent examination of human society as a whole. Due to the consequences of this intellectual development, human social relations have been systematically degraded.

It is no accident that the most sophisticated and differentiated social formations states are almost universally genocidal when it comes to the treatment of the countryside especially so-called indigenous peoples who are then relegated to the status of primitive another euphemism meaning worthless or non-persons. The creation of states and their progeny, the multinational corporations, has exhibited what may be called nihilistic tendencies. These can be seen best in the continual destruction which accompanies supposed creativity and stabilisation.

Therein lies one of the central contradictions in both imperial crusades and wars of national liberation. In other words, if we take the finite nature of the planet seriously and with it the fact that humans are ultimately terrestrial (as opposed to aquatic or aerial) creatures, the basic struggle can be reduced to how any given portion of the human species establishes its ability to survive on the finite amount of land the planet offers. With the exception of the insignificant quantity of landfill concentrated in coastal and riverine regions, the amount of habitable land has not changed much in the course of human history. The allocation for occupation and exploitation of that land constitutes the underlying dispute at the core of all advanced political organisations. Yet this central issue remains one of the most obfuscated. This source of conflict in everyday life within so-called developed countries is obscured both by the high level of urbanisation and the subsequent derivative forms of land occupation and use found there. Suppression of this issue is one of the primary goals if not the ultimate goal of political warfare.

The legitimacy of any claim to control of land, whether individually or collectively asserted, is still all industrialisation and digitalisation notwithstanding the political aim of all social, economic, military or religious violence. Politics in this context means the organisation of the means to legitimate, enforce and exploit the claim to land abstracted as territory and endowed with metaphysical attributes from which the claimant asserts sovereignty. The title of Thomas Mores classic Utopia bears a certain irony in that the word means nowhere. One might argue that the search for an irrefutable claim to political order can only end in nowhere , in the denial of human habitation as a local and natural given, no different from that ascribed to flowers or even birds.

In 1953, US President Eisenhower told a conference of state governors:

Now, let us assume that we lost Indochina the tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming So when the United States votes 400 million dollars to help that war, we are not voting a give-away program. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can to prevent the occurrence of something that would be of most terrible significance for the United States of America, our security, our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of the Indonesian territory and from Southeast Asia.6

The wars in Indochina, concentrated in Vietnam, can be understood as wars over the control of land. However, that too is an oversimplification. In fact, the major complaint of the European and American forces, and those who led them, was that they often never felt able to control the land. Instead they were barely able to occupy it, albeit briefly, and destroy its utility for the indigenous inhabitants.

Unlike the North American continent, Indochina seemed to resist every means to which the US military was accustomed in the seizure of territory. The simplest explanation for this is that the forces of the United States no longer sought for reasons the explanation of which would exceed the scope of this essay to replace the native inhabitants with its own population imported as surplus from the US itself. The US ruling elite did not seek (and arguably could not have achieved) a resettlement on the scale necessary to become a dominant presence in Indochina, let alone Asia.

By 1965, Henry Cabot Lodge who was then Kennedys ambassador to South Vietnam was quoted in the Boston Globe:

Geographically, Vietnam stands at the hub of a vast area of the world Southeast Asia an area with a population of 249 million persons. He who holds or has influence in Vietnam can affect the future of the Philippines and Formosa to the east, Thailand and Burma with their huge rice surpluses to the west, and Malaysia and Burma with their rubber, ore, and tin in the south Vietnam does not exist in a geological vacuum from it large storehouses of wealth and population can be influenced and undermined.7

Gabriel Kolko distinguishes the initial US war aims:

… to quickly redress many of the post-war global dilemmas and frustrations of its military power, to confirm its symbolic credibility and the technical efficiency of its arms. The goal was to neutralize the rising potential throughout the Third World for revolutionary nationalist regimes. The primary origin of the Vietnam War was the American intervention and effort to establish and sustain an alternative to the Communist Party, and Washington assumed there was a sufficient indigenous basis to give it increasing hope for success.8

He goes on to argue that US foreign policy after WWII aimed to create an integrated capitalist world framework out of the chaos of World War II and the remnants of the colonial systems because it sought a controllable, responsive order elsewhere, one that would permit the political destinies of distant places to evolve in a manner beneficial to American goals and interests far surpassing the immediate interests of its domestic society. 9 However, as Philip Agee so poignantly argued, capitalism cannot survive without the repressive apparatus of its invisible army.

Kolkos staid formulations are like many that can be found throughout political science scholarship. How, then, are such objectives to be judged? What do these statements tell us about the kind of violence organised and unleashed against the Third World? Why should the US regime given the admittedly vast ignorance of its military and foreign policy establishment regarding Indochina have had any reason to believe that it could determine the nature of legal and accepted political organisations in Vietnam? To come to a reasonable understanding of what the US regimes aims in the war were, it is essential to know who sets those American goals and interests ? Why should the US population unscarred by war since 1865 be motivated to fight and die as well as submit to privation for the reasons Kolko enumerates? Moreover why were the war aims for the military ostensibly framed in conventional war doctrine as if this were a war between Germany and France over Alsace while the real war was fought in accordance with completely different principles? The answer to this question is not made any easier by noting that the US was (and still is) waging war throughout the world making Vietnam only one theatre of operations.

The US war aims at least in the terms comprehended by its own military institutions could not have been achieved by any amount of armed force applied. While this may seem obvious, especially in retrospect, the discrepancy between US military capability and the real as well as perceived success of US forces in Indochina ought to raise the question what the real war aims were and what is the proper understanding of strategic and tactical operations in Indochina between 1946 and 1975. A brief consideration of some highlights might help. Here it is important to pay attention as much to what is said as what is omitted, to the assumptions upon which self-deception fundamentally relies.

CBS News correspondent Morley Safer established the companys Saigon bureau in 1965. Shortly thereafter he was witness to a search and destroy mission conducted by US Marines in the village of Cam Ne, near Da Nang.10 His field dispatch became famous as he showed US Marines entering a village with no opposition and subsequently destroying it. His film was broadcast into US living rooms showing marines torching thatched cottages with Zippo lighters and flamethrowers, leaving the entire village homeless and destitute. An apparently astonished Safer can be seen looking into the camera while the marines are at work. The report caused an outrage, especially in William Paleys ultraconservative (mainstream) corporate headquarters. In reflecting on the report later David Halberstam added that this was certainly an uncommon and surprising scene because Americans had been brought up to think of “Indians”* burning villages and the US military coming to the rescue while here is was the US military torching the huts.

Safer then submitted a report on the Battle of Ia Drang.11 The dispatch was broadcast as a CBS News Special Report, introduced by Walter Cronkite and followed by Safers description of the event with the film. Safer explains that the US Army 1st Air Cavalry regiment was being sent to raise the siege against a Special Forces camp in Plei Mi, located in the central highlands near the Laotian border. The viewer is not told what Special Forces (Green Berets) do or why the Vietnamese might want to destroy the camp. The story continues more or less modelled on the reporting everyone has been taught in the newsreels. At the end of the story the US Army wins: the Army takes a hill that had been held by Vietnamese troops. The settlers have been saved from the Indians.

Thirty years later, he recounted the incident with the same bewilderment to an audience meeting at the State Department to discuss the American experience in Southeast Asia.12 He recalled how much trouble he had gotten because of this na’ve report. The vicarious shock was magnified by the doubts inserted as to whether this was premeditated arson or merely an extreme reaction to an invisible enemy.

Thus a report of what was essentially criminal activity by US troops was coated with dishonesty. By suggesting that the US Marines had assumed the role usually associated by Americans with the Indians he was, in fact, providing the subliminal rationale for the unacknowledged counter-terror campaign, which had been, and was to remain, the foundation of US military operations throughout the war.

Actually it was the US Army that had historically attacked Indians, burning their homes and destroying their means of subsistence if they were not killed outright. The burning settler homes enshrined in the penultimate US film and literary genres were misrepresentations of the ultimately futile Indian resistance to invasion of their lands and destruction of everything they needed to survive.

Morley Safer and others were shocked to the extent that they could not point to any white settlers that the marines or air cavalry had to defend. The story of the non-human communists in Vietnam, who were actually Vietnamese but could never be called that, had to be repeated daily and nightly in order for this ostensibly occasional violence to be rationalised as some kind of self-defence.

The war waged by the US in Vietnam had to be framed in terms of territorial defence. The vast incoherence between the territorial defence rationale for US conventional warfare actually the pretence of conventional warfare lies in the fact that aside from the War of 1812, which it nearly lost to the British, the US has never had to defend its territory from a foreign invader. The overall deceit underlying the war against Vietnam was not the concealment of military tactics but the cultivation of the perverse set of fears among US Americans manipulated according to the countrys most primitive but historically well-anchored founding myths and fantasies.

Even the landing of marines at Da Nang was not so much a military necessity as a narrative device to touch the hearts of the home front with imagined memories of the’D-Day landing during the good war. The purportedly most televised war in US history (at that time) would have made little sense to US viewers had they not been force fed Hollywood/War Department war films and newsreels for decades. Without the thousands of miles of Westerns exhibited as mass entertainment, the “Indian” analogy would have been accessible to relatively few viewers.

Moreover without television and cinema there would probably have been little support for the war at all. Eisenhower had been forced to end the Korean War not only because of Chinese intervention to help the North Koreans repel UN Forces but also by potential domestic disruption as what would be called the civil rights movement escalated. In fact, although the US corporate state has been voracious in its appetite for foreign wars, it has always taken enormous amount of propaganda and compulsion to persuade the majority of US Americans to fight abroad. At the same time, however, the massive violence and displays of overwhelming fire power was certainly not embarrassing to those in the US who had been bred to believe in the virtue of American might and invincibility real or imagined.

The public perception of the war was not only shaped by the reporting during the war but by the approximately two million US Americans who went to Vietnam in the course of the war. Some 55,000 of them died there. In contrast, 405,399 died in all combat theatres during World War II (1941-1945) and 36,516 died in the US war against Korea (1950-1953). Although this figure is modest in comparison to the number of Vietnamese dead, conservatively estimated at between 1.5 and 3.8 million (Korean deaths are also estimated at approximately 3 million), It was the perceived magnitude of US deaths that had the greatest, if not the only, decisive impact on American consciousness.13 What might be called Post-Vietnam Stress Syndrome triggers either bouts of self-pity or vindictiveness, sometimes both, in the US. American deaths were not only the major public issue for those opposing the war, while it was being waged; they fuel the retroactive appreciation of the war against Vietnam.

The war against Vietnam might be considered the first major war the US fought with a non-segregated military. However the rank and file were disproportionately black and poor. Perhaps it is also no coincidence that segregation ended in the US military once the enemy was no longer mainly white. The white command structure no longer had to fear unleashing black soldiers on white womanhood since Asians were not considered white within the meaning of the act. They too were only gooks. The de-segregated military was by no means purged of racism. Nor could it suppress the racism in its greatest reservoir of white cannon fodder the South. Returning soldiers rarely had noble and heroic tales to share (if that was ever a significant part of war memory). There is no way to measure the real damage done to the bodies and souls of draftees for whom professional killer had not been the occupation of first choice. Since the war ended ignominiously, the largely working class, poor and non-white veterans, had to accept at the same time having fought for nothing.

There were also those whose perceptions of the war triggered opposition: to the war, to the military or even to the government itself.

And yet the war perceived had very little to do with the war that was actually fought, even for those who had been there, been in Vietnam (or elsewhere in Indochina unofficially). Allowing for the distortions in memory over time, it is remarkable how few participant-observers have been able to present a coherent image of the war in which they fought. Frequently statements are made like, we always won, even if we dont know what. The PBS documentary Vietnam: A Television History seems quite typical at least of the film record.14 Not a single one of the ordinary soldiers interviewed was able to conclude from his experience what the wars aims were and whether they were even being achieved at the operational level, let alone at the command level. Even allowing for problems of interviewing methodology, the PBS series presented witness testimony at all levels, from ordinary soldiers to cabinet members. Nevertheless the viewer comes no closer to understanding the war as a whole since the story is told in the same way it was told during the war itself. The films and extracts available today in the Internet rely on essentially the same footage, occasionally with different editing.

Another problem, reflecting the real prosecution of the war, is the inconsistent, inaccurate or one might think deceptive designation of the participants interviewed. To give a few examples in the PBS production: John Negroponte is identified as a delegate to the Paris peace negotiations. This is accurate to the extent that the only statements used in the film were his descriptions of negotiations with the DRV in Paris. At the same time this obscures the extent to which he was involved in actually waging the war. Negroponte and his colleague Richard Holbrooke (who was not interviewed in the film) were both active participants in the rural pacification program an element of Phoenix.15 Negroponte went from rural pacification where he reported operations in II Corps, the military region of central Vietnam, to be the director for Vietnam of the National Security Council.16

Another example is the interview with William Colby.17 He was identified as the head of the Phoenix Program. The viewer might know that he later became director of the CIA. On one hand the US American Colby is identified as head of Phoenix while on the other hand the film says: Phoenix was run by the South Vietnamese with the help of US advisors. In fact, William Colby was the CIA station chief who is considered to be largely responsible for the creation of Phoenix out of a program called ICEX,18 Colby does not say what Phoenix was in the film only what it supposedly was not. The only descriptions of what Phoenix might have implied are left to Jane Barton, identified as a civilian aid worker. This is also confusing because although Ms Barton is described elsewhere (Internet) as an employee of the American Friends Service Committee, another person Everett Bumgartner is interviewed in the film, also identified as a civilian aid worker, Bumgartner was William Colbys deputy in the pacification (Phoenix) program and definitely CIA.19

The PBS film is a typical example of how an essential part of US strategy and tactics is presented as no more than a sideshow. Thus the focus on apparently conventional warfare is magnified to produce sustained confusion about the war and inadequate analysis at the same time. Today it is very difficult to draw any sensible conclusions about the war in Vietnam because there is almost no discussion about the war that was actually fought. The narrative of American foreign policy and military strategy is still determined on the official level by the myths of World War II. Any attempt to penetrate that screen which hides the unstated policies, strategy and tactics of the US regime ought to begin with the simply question of who specifically wants to control what exactly? Ultimately there are only two objects of war: land and people. However, humans have shown repeatedly through the centuries they actually have little control over land itself no one can live without it. So the central question becomes in reality: Who controls what people and how?

To show just how easily this issue can be actively concealed one can return to Morley Safer. At the American Experience conference he told the following story about a meeting with William Colby who had just assumed his post in Saigon.20 Colbys office called Safer and asked him to come meet the next day:

(Colby said) Look, can you disappear for three days? (Laughter.) And I said, I guess. (Laughter.) And he said, Well, be at the airport be at (inaudible) at the airport tomorrow morning at 5:30.

No, no. And I showed up and he said, Okay, here are the rules. You can see that Im going on a tour of all the stations. You cant take notes and you cant report anything you hear. And I spent three days made first of all, down in the delta and they were really, really revealing. There was only one meeting that he would ask me to leave the barracks. And it was fascinating because the stuff that these guys were reporting through whatever filters to you had been so doctored by the time it got to you I mean, to this day, I still feel constrained in terms of talking about.

As Telford Taylor once said to me, he said, Once you know a secret one you swear to keep a secret, you keep it to the grave. Well, I keep most secrets to the grave but and I so I dont want to go into detail, but and Ive often wondered what his motivation was, being a sceptic, why is he doing this, whats the real story. And to this day, I dont know unless he was wanted an uncommitted witness, some I just dont know.

Marvin Kalb responded in a manner that ought to seem bizarre now.

Well, at least Colby did it with you for three days. Think about McChrystal inviting a reporter from the Rolling Stone in for a month.

Of course, the remark is bizarre because Safer is still alive.21

Without knowing who the people are who are initiating, managing and conducting what are always called merely operations , it is impossible to draw any informed conclusions about the relationships between these people, the institutions they represent and the interests vested in those institutions the progenitors of the war against Vietnam and the wars for the control of land and population that have continued since.

* Author’s Note: The term “Indian” as used in this article does not refer to Native Americans. “Indian” appears as it was used in the language of the war and in the literature and film context of the Western genre in US film culture. Its use reflects the prejudices, racism, and other invidious references to the Native American population as found in “white” American culture, especially in the US military used during the Vietnam War as a metaphor for the “enemy, especially in the sense of “Indian country” as a reference to unpacified zones within Vietnam (or other places where the US military is deployed against non-whites in foreign invasions).

  1. Jules Henry, Capitals last frontier”, The Nation, 25 April 1966 []
  2. The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations have not only acted as conduits for covert funding of research, they have often provided cover for CIA operatives. Anthropology has had some notorious intelligence operatives such as Margaret Mead. Foundation-funded social science survey studies were used intensively during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s both to produce intelligence about popular movements in Latin America but to identify structures and personnel that were then targeted by state-sponsored death squads. More innocuously the foundations use their resources on the behalf of corporations and the State to reward ideological conformity or promote it. Not everyone who benefits from this largesse is aware of the source of their funding or the purposes to which it may be used or why it was funded. The fact that links are occasionally disclosed has yet to diminish the deniability these corporate institutions offer. The East-West Centre in Hawaii is one institution that has educated and trained numerous covert operatives in the Asia-Pacific region. []
  3. F.W. Taylor, Principles of Scientific Management (1911. []
  4. T P Wilkinson, Church Clothes: Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa (2004) and cited. []
  5. Andre Gunder Frank, Reorient (1998). []
  6. Dwight Eisenhower, Speech to the Conference of State Governors in Seattle (4 August 1953) cited in Gerald Colby Zilg, Beyond the Nylon Curtain (1974) re-issued as’e-book in the Forbidden Bookshelf. pp. 404-5. []
  7. Colby Zilg op. cit. pp. 413 []
  8. Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a War (1994) pp. 7-8 []
  9. Kolko (1994) pp. 72-73 []
  10. Cam ne safer []
  11. The Battle of Ia Drang Valley, 1965 []
  12. Media roundtable []
  13. It is exceedingly difficult to obtain reliable figures for Vietnamese or Korean deaths because of the nature of US warfare, especially the saturation bombing during both wars. While much has been made of the body count policy in Vietnam, there was no way to count the victims of B-52 raids (e.g. 126,615 some sorties for Rolling Thunder, Arc Light, Linebacker etc.) or murders committed by irregular forces and pacification. []
  14. WGBH-Boston (Public Broadcasting System), Vietnam: A Television History (1983). []
  15. John Negroponte would first gain notoriety among the Left when he served as ambassador to Honduras during the US wars in Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s. He then went on to serve as ambassador to occupied Iraq. These assignments are only surprising to those who do not know that he learned counter-insurgency doctrine and practice as a 27-year-old in Vietnam. The same applied to Richard Holbrooke who ran the political war against Serbia and before his death assumed overall responsibility for political warfare in Central Asia. []
  16. John Negroponte, Address to the US State Department conference, American Experience in Southeast Asia 1946-1975 (29-30 November 2005). []
  17. Vietnam: A Television History, (1983) Episode 7 []
  18. Douglas Valentine, The Phoenix Program (2000), re-issued as an’e-book in the Forbidden Bookshelf series []
  19. Valentine (2000), pp. 50 51. []
  20. Media Roundtable []
  21. Michael Hastings received the George Polk Award for Journalism as recognition for his Rolling Stone article The Runaway General (2010), a profile of General Stanley McChrystal. After the article was published, General McChrystal resigned his command. Hastings died in 2013 in a peculiar automobile accident in which his car apparently exploded into flames. []

Dr’T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket in Heinrich Heine’s birthplace, D sseldorf. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa (Maisonneuve Press, 2003). Read other articles by’T.P..

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Posted in Analysis & Review, Civil Rights and Privacy, Politics.

Tagged with China, Indians, Intelligence Agencies, John Negroponte, Morley Safer, Native Americans, Nylon Curtain, Phoenix Program, population, power, Rolling Stone, Scientific Management, South Africa, Southeast Asia, Special Forces, United States, Vietnam War, William Colbys.


Pakistan Has Chosen To Build With China, Not Destroy With Saudi Arabia



Pakistan Has Chosen To Build With China, Not Destroy With Saudi Arabia

disquietreservations.blogspot.co.uk
By Saman Mohammadi

 For Pakistan, the options are clear: build with China, or destroy with Saudi Arabia. So far, it has chosen wisely.
Beijing wants to build up Pakistan’s infrastructure as part of their New Silk Road project. Riyadh and Washington will look to destroy Pakistan through the use of religious fanatics, jihadist mercenaries, and their proxy armies of drugged up terrorists, as they have done in Syria and Libya for the past four and a half years, and as they’re currently doing in Yemen. None of these nations will survive, let alone thrive and prosper, as long as Saudi Arabia stands. That’s the truth.

Saudi terrorism in Yemen is unwisely being backed by the world, but the long-term consequences of its criminal actions won’t be felt by Yemen alone. Saudi Arabia is a bigger cancer in the region than Israel will ever be. Rulers who accept their money like Sisi of Egypt will come to regret it. They are supporting genocide and welcoming the destruction of their own countries by accepting their bribes. Saudi-and-Turkish-backed terrorists in Syria are planning for the genocide of the Alawites, and most likely other minorities and “infidels” as well. Right now they lack the means to make their genocidal fantasies come true, but that will change in the near future.

The U.S. and Israel are actively aligned with these genocidal maniacs in Syria and Yemen. They’re not just protecting these terrorists rhetorically in their media by obnoxiously referring to them as “rebels,” they’re also providing them with tons of cash, air cover, high-tech weapons, medical aid, training, and other forms of military support.

For Pakistan to see the light, and understand that engaging in the destruction of a helpless country like Yemen is not in their best, long-term interests shows that it has some sense after all. It is good to see, even though it was Chinese money, and not morality or a sense of justice, that ultimately made them decline the invitation to the Saudi slaughterhouse.

An excerpt from, “Pakistan’s Neutrality in the Yemen Crisis: Brought to You by China” by Ankit Panda, The Diplomat, April 28, 2015:

A report published Monday in Pakistans Express Tribune makes the case that the impending Chinese financing buoyed Islamabads conviction in standing neutral while the Saudi-led coalition bombed Yemen. The billions in investment announced during Xis visit overshot what any of Pakistans Arab allies could offer. Certainly, it is preferable for China if its ally and beneficiary stays away from foreign entanglements when it faces a major security threat at home from extremist groups. Shortly after Xis departure, Pakistan announced that it would create a security force comprising nine army battalions and six wings into civilian security forces to protect Chinese workers in the country. Islamabad appeared to be doubling down its commitment to China over its Arab benefactors.

View the original article Pakistan Has Chosen To Build With China, Not Destroy With Saudi Arabia at disquietreservations.blogspot.co.uk

Posted in Analysis & Review, China, Middle East, War on terror.

Tagged with Beijing, cash, China, Egypt, Islamabad, Israel, justice, Libya, long-term, morality, Pakistan Neutrality, Pakistans Arab, Pakistans Express Tribune, Saudi Arabia, Syria, War on terror, Washington, Yemen.


Saudis Try Yemen Peace Initiative: For More Than an Hour



Saudis Try Yemen Peace Initiative: For More Than an Hour

dissidentvoice.org
By William Boardman

US-sponsored war crimes resume as Yemenis fail to give up their country

While the US publicly plays Pontius Pilate washing his hands clean, the Saudi-led coalition of Arab police states continue to enjoy US support for their one-sided war. The same Arab dictatorships that continue to wage aggressive war with impunity against a defenseless Yemen have, at the same time, scaled back on fighting the militant Islamic State despite its hold on large parts of two other Arab countries, Syria and Iraq. Seriously, why fight someone who might do you harm in return?

In a rational world, the unprovoked aerial and naval attacks on an impoverished Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its allied monarchies would seem more likely to draw objection than military support from the US and its somewhat-democratic allies. In a comprehending world, the public explanations for criminal aggression by the Saudis and the US would provoke howls of derisive laughter for their preposterous fabrications. In a principled world, a dedicated peace movement and a motivated left would be filling the streets with protest.

But we dont live in a rational, comprehending, or principled world. In our world, opposition to the criminal bombing of an internationally peaceful, defenseless, collapsing state draws scant objection from the international community except for quiet, pro forma critiques by China, Russia, and Iran. No nation actually threatens to defend the territorial integrity or independence of Yemen. As is traditional, the Yemenis are left to defend themselves, which they havent been able to do in the past. Now the Yemenis greatest offense is achieving some success in their chaotic search for a more representative government than any of their neighbors will allow.

Seldom has such a clear case of criminal war, of naked aggression, drawn such yawns from the world at large. Describing the current mad consensus of power in the American imperium, with a quiet objectivity to which no reaction is expected or forthcoming, The New York Times of April 22 reports in deadpan prose the irreconcilable contradictions of an insane policy or if there is no policy, just crazed tactics in the second paragraph of its lead story, under this headline:

SAUDIS ANNOUNCE HALT TO YEMEN BOMBING CAMPAIGN

… The announcement followed what American officials said was pressure applied by the Obama administration for the Saudis and other Sunni Arab nations to end the airstrikes. The bombing campaign, which has received logistical and intelligence support from the United States, has drawn intense criticism for causing civilian deaths and for appearing to be detached from a broad military strategy.

Written before the world realized that the bombing halt was actually only a brief pause in the Saudi terror campaign, the Times explanation was nevertheless ridiculous. With masterful flat affect, the Times assured us that the US applied pressure to get the Saudis to stop doing what we had helped them do from the beginning and were continuing to help them do. Say what?

Has there ever been a better use of the word detached in a piece not openly critical of authority? Not only is the Saudi air attack detached from any broad military strategy, it is detached from any military strategy at all, and it is detached from reality. Detachment from reality is one measure of insanity.

Another measure is ones insistence on continuing to do what one has been doing while at the same time claiming that what one has done has accomplished all its objectives. Or, as Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabias ambassador to the US, put it in his official statement on April 22 [with imagined honest annotations]:

We destroyed their air force. [Even though Yemen didnt really have an actual air force, due to corruption and neglect, which is why we were able to bomb the planes they had while they were still on the ground. And, technically, that was the Yemen government air force under the command of President Hadi, who happens to be living in Riyadh these days, but never mind about all that .]

We destroyed their ballistic missiles, as far as we know. [Because, after all, we dont really know if anyone in Yemen actually has any ballistic missiles. We know or we think we know they had some in 1979 and for awhile after that, but we dont know if they ever used any and by 2010 they had, maybe, 6 launchers and maybe 33 SCUD missiles and maybe 22 other SAMs, which are surface-to-air missiles which could shoot down Saudi F-15s, for example, if they had them, and if they knew how to use them, and we know none of our planes have been shot down, so you figure it out.]

We destroyed their command and control. [That sounds impressive, doesnt it, but I dont know what it really means either, in Yemen, where there are so many different factions under so many different commands and no perceptible control, except maybe the Houthis, whove been fighting for their independence for more than a decade without the need for sophisticated command and control bunkers and electronics and stuff.]

We destroyed much, if not most, of their heavy equipment. [Also an impressive accomplishment, until you ask how much heavy equipment they have, besides the handful of tanks we havent destroyed. But weve destroyed schools and hospitals and food aid depots and other heavy equipment like that, so when you add it all up, it comes to a lot of damage.]

And we made it very difficult for them to move, from a strategic perspective. [Nevermind that, strategically, they dont really need to move, since theyve held the capital city, Sanaa, for months now and theyve pretty well got Aden and the eastern part of the country, which is pretty much all they really want. So never mind that part. And never mind the reality that it hasnt been easy to move around Yemen for years, but that hasnt stopped the Houthis. What weve done, destroying roads and bridges where we could find them, is make it harder for people to move around Yemen when it wasnt easy in the first place, and that includes refugees and internally displaced people, and, really who cares, we did what we could with what they had.]

So weve degraded their capabilities substantially, and thereby eliminated the threat that they pose to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and, in a process, ensured the safety of our borders, our territory and our citizens. [That is such a good line, absolutely my best line, and Western media lap it up like limp puppies, they talk about how weve ensured the safety of our borders and our territory and our citizens and they never ever even stop to think: Hey, Joe, wait a minute what was the threat to Saudi Arabia? There was NO threat to Saudi Arabia, and that goes a long way toward making it possible for us to secure our unthreatened safety. And what about their capabilities, you might ask, are they not degraded? And the answer is, of course, theyve always been degraded and now theyre a little more degraded, which makes them even less of the no threat they posed to Saudi Arabia, and also has the benefit of making the Houthis more vulnerable to Al Qaeda and to the Islamic State, and were counting on them to go in and finish off the Houthis, because we certainly dont want to send Saudi boys to do the job Yemenis boys on one side or another should be doing themselves.]

That was the objective of Operation Decisive Storm, in addition, of course, to the protection of the legitimate government of Yemen. Those objectives have been achieved. [Sounding a little Monty Python here, that was the objective here, protect Saudi Arabia and the Yemen government, those were the two objectives here, but the Yemen government part is tricky because we had to bring it to Riyadh to protect it, those are the three objectives here, even though having the Yemeni government in the Saudi capital rather curtails its ability to run things in Yemen, at least its protected and, having installed it undemocratically once, we have every hope of installing it undemocratically again because, after all, nobody expects the Saudi Installation. So those are the objectives that have been achieved by our chief weapons, fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency, except the ones that havent been achieved.]

Having accomplished their objectives, the Saudis resume bombing

Having been the poorest country in the Middle East, and one of the poorest in the world when the US-supported Saudi attacks began a month ago, Yemens humanitarian condition has deteriorated. According to Robert Mardini of the International Committee of the Red Cross, on April 22, after a three-day visit there: Nowhere is safe in Yemen. People are really facing a lot of challenges no electricity, no water, no fuel, no public services, no garbage collection. The next day in Geneva Mardini emphasized the predictable result of US-supported Saudi war crimes: The humanitarian situation is nothing short of catastrophic.

In a meaningless word game, the Saudis say the short bombing halt marked the end of so-called Operation Decisive Storm, which has decided nothing. The Saudis call their new intensive bombing campaign Operation Renewal of Hope, as if to say that they are continuing to bomb defenseless targets in order to accomplish the same objectives they claim to have already achieved, in hope that achieving them anew will be made easier by already having claimed to have achieved them.

Or, as Saudi ambassador Jubeir said of the Houthis: The decision to calm matters now rests with them. At the same time, Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal announced that he would give a $200,000 Bentley luxury car to each of 100 Saudi fighter pilots, in apparent appreciation of their crimes against humanity, although he didnt put it that way.

An estimate by the UNs Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, based on Yemeni sources, reports the air war and ground fighting together have displaced some 150,000 people. The UN also estimates that of Yemens population of about 25 million, at least 7.5 million require humanitarian assistance, and the number continues to grow.

Asked to sponsor peace talks, the UN has delivered a limited embargo

For their part, the Houthis again called for UN-sponsored peace talks and political negotiations in which they have an equal role. This is a longstanding Houthi position that has yet to be honored by Saudi Arabia or anyone else. When the international cabal comprising the Saudis, the US, and others deposed Yemens President Saleh in 2012 and installed President Hadi in an undemocratic process, the Houthis were excluded from the process. Quite reasonably and accurately, the Houthis maintain that there is NO legitimate government of Yemen.

Because the UN did not authorize the Saudi-led war, it is by definition illegal. There is little evidence to suggest that the UN will address the questions of US-supported Saudi-led aggression in violation of the UN Charter any time soon, if ever. The UN Security Council did impose an arms embargo on Yemen, however, by a 14-0 vote, with Russia abstaining. Comparing this international behavior to American frothing over Ukraine illustrates the flexibility of application inherent in international law and the roundly pontificated moral principles supposedly underlying them.

The delusion making all this irrational, criminal, and murderous behavior seem plausible to the perpetrators and their camp followers is the claim that the Houthis are a hand puppet of Iran. President Obama says, with a straight face in public, that Weve indicated to the Iranians that they need to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem.

The big problem with that perspective is that it is detached from reality. There is no credible evidence available to suggest that Iran is anything more than a minor, largely insignificant player in Yemen, where most of the fighting on all sides is heavily supported by American weapons that have been flooding the region for decades.

Reporters at the State Department on April 21 asked what kind of evidence the administration has to support its claims against Iran, including the recent claim that Iran has been supplying the Houthis with weapons. In an evasive non-answer answer to the question, State Department flack Marie Harf effectively revealed that theres no cat in the bag:

Well, weve this isnt something new, unfortunately. Weve long talked about the support when it comes from funding or whether its weapons supplies that the Iranians are sending to the Houthi. This has been really an ongoing relationship for a very long time. Im happy to see if theres more evidence to share publicly of that, but this has been something weve expressed concern about for some time.

In other words, Harf is saying: look, this is something weve been saying for a long time, we dont have evidence and we dont need evidence because usually when we make the same claim over and over and over you come to accept it as true, thats the way propaganda works, thats the way propaganda is supposed to work, why are you giving us a hard time now? You cant possibly care about a minority cohort of Yemenis like the Houthis, can you?

For objective reporting of propaganda as news, try PBS or the Times

Frontline has a reputation for being about the best thing going in news reporting on PBS, which says more about PBS news reporting than it does about Frontline, none of it good. Heres Frontlines lead for an April 22 Yemen story, perfectly recapitulating the false Saudi line:

Late on Tuesday, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that launched a military campaign dubbed Operation Decisive Storm against Houthi rebels in Yemen nearly a month ago announced that it was ending the operation. Taking its place would be Operation Renewal of Hope.

The story quoted a Saudi general and a Saudi ambassador and went on to create the impression that American involvement consisted only of pressure to end the bombing, not an ongoing month of American logistical and intelligence support to the undeclared war on a neutral country.

Following up on its front-page Saudis Announce Halt to Bombing story that became so quickly inoperative, the next days Times had a front page headline claiming that:

SAUDI DEFIANCE REFLECTS LIMITS OF US STRATEGY

Later online editions of the story changed defiance to resolve, adding nuance to the propaganda. The story began by explaining that this all just goes to show the difficulty of finding a political solution to the crisis. Actually it doesnt show that so much as it shows the intransigence of the US and the Saudis and others in their unwillingness to accept the reality that the political solutions they have imposed on Yemen in the past have fallen apart because of the corruption and injustice on which they were built. And it shows how unwilling the US and Saudia and others are to enter into and abide by a genuine political solution that treats fairly the interests of all relevant parties.

And then theres the Saudi ambassador again, invoking the largely imaginary threat from Iran as a reason Iran should have no part in any peace talks relating to Yemen. Echoing President Obama, or cueing him, Ambassador Jubeir is quoted making the same propaganda point, that Iran is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

In fact, based on the evidence to date, the US and Saudi Arabia and its allies are the problem, and none of them are interested in what the Yemenis might accept as a solution.

And besides, theyre all betting no one will ever hold them accountable for this package of war crimes and crimes against humanity any more than anyone has been held accountable for such crimes relating to Iraq, or torture, or drone strikes.

William’M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This article was first published in Reader Supported News. Read other articles by William.

View the original article at dissidentvoice.org

Posted in Analysis & Review, Mainstream Media, Middle East, Politics, War on terror.

Tagged with Al-Waleed, bombing, International Committee, Iran, Iraq, Operation Decisive Storm, Operation Renewal, PBS, Pontius Pilate, President Obama, Public Broadcasting, Reader Supported News, Robert Mardini, Russia, Saudi Arabias, Sunni Arab, the State Department, Yemens President Saleh.


Motel 6 Sending Guests’ Personal Info to Police Every Night



Motel 6 Sending Guests’ Personal Info to Police Every Night

Guests will not be informed about police list upon check-in

Mikael Thalen
Prison Planet.com
April 27, 2015

A Motel 6 in Rhode Island is quietly sending its daily guest list to police, completely unbeknownst to its customers, a report detailed earlier this month.

According to Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, local police secured the deal with several of the motel chain’s corporate managers after the company complained about a rash of criminal activity.

Avedisian confirmed the agreement to the Providence Journal after a closed-door meeting with motel executives, Warwick’s police chief and a town administrator.

“We know everyone who is staying in the hotel tonight,” Avedisian remarked.

Upon receiving the list, police will examine the backgrounds of each motel guest in order to check for outstanding warrants, a policy Avedisian deems necessary due to suspected human trafficking in the area.

Multiple motel guests have already been arrested Avedisian said, although details on the alleged crimes have been minimal.

Despite the policy making local headlines, Motel 6 confirmed that guests will not be informed of the new measure. The motel will also raise the renting age to 21 from 18 and begin sharing its list of banned patrons with other locations nationwide.

If Motel 6 has identified someone who has caused trouble in their location, I think we want to be able to share that with other hotels, Avedisian said. So they dont experience the same type of difficulty.

Steven Brown, the Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, is calling the move a clear breach of privacy.

When visitors go to a hotel for the night, they expect to be treated like guests, not potential criminals, Brown said. There are many ways to deal with illegal activities at the motel without engaging in such a wholesale invasion of patrons privacy.

In response to the ACLU’s statement, Warwick Police Chief Col. Stephen’M. McCartney argued that his department had not demanded the list, but had been offered the list by Motel 6.

It was pretty clear that [Motel 6] corporate and the general manager had done an in-depth analysis of their business model and said: What are things we can do to attract the right kind of people here and make sure the undesirable, criminal element doesn’t come? McCartney said to the Providence Journal.

As noted by Tech Dirt’s Tim Cushing, the Supreme Court is currently debating the legality of law enforcement’s warrantless access to hotel records.

“Motel 6 has just decided to make it worse,” Cushing wrote. “While warrantless access to motel records is being challenged in the Supreme Court, the chain has decided to preemptively strip away any privacy expectations that may result from court rulings and just hand it all over to law enforcement because sometimes criminals stay in motel rooms.”

Whether or not the company’s bottom line will be affected by privacy-conscious detractors remains to be seen.

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View the original article at www.prisonplanet.com

Posted in Analysis & Review, Civil Rights and Privacy, Prison Planet Articles.

Tagged with American Civil Liberties Union, debating, law enforcement, Mikael Thalen, Providence Journal, Rhode Island Affiliate, Sending Guests Personal Info, Supreme Court.




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