Archive for December 2006

Another Dose of Morris the Revivalist

December 28, 2006

Man, Dick Morris has some funny stuff here.

Political strategist Dick Morris is so disgusted by the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency that he’s announced he’ll leave the country if she wins the Democratic nomination.

Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes,” Morris – a former aide to President Bill Clinton – said that Bill and Hillary both suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder: “When they don’t get enough attention, they’re disordered.”

On a more serious note, Dick has some great recommendations for Bush’s revival.

REVIVING THE BUSH PRESIDENCY

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

December 18, 2006 — The Republican loss of Congress puts President Bush at risk of becoming irrelevant – the same threat that the Democrats’ loss in 1994 posed to President Bill Clinton.

Clinton jumped into the fray to re-establish his power and relevance. A month after the defeat, he proposed a “middle-class bill of rights” and a tax cut to a prime-time TV audience. In his State of the Union address that January, he declared, “The era of big government is over” – but also took on the Republicans by challenging their proposed cuts in health and education programs.

President Bush has so far done almost nothing to get off the mat and back in the game. Indeed, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation and the Baker Report’s advocacy of retreat in Iraq have reinforced the impression of a presidency that has already ended.

Instead of vigorously asserting his power and showing a commitment to continuing his agenda, Bush has met defeat with a maddening passivity.

If he wants to avoid two years of slowly twisting in the wind, he needs to show that he is no PINO (President In Name Only).

The answers to his problems are not to be found in Iraq. The war certainly demands much of his time and energy, but even success in stabilizing the situation there won’t make Iraq a political asset.

But a president can always change the national agenda. The obvious places to start are Iran and North Korea, whose nuclear threats dwarf even Iraq in importance. If Iran gets the bomb, it gains not only the power to make good on its talk of wiping Israel off the map, but also greater ability to bully the entire Middle East.

Politically, the effort to curb Iranian nuclear ambitions and a high-profile push to get North Korea to destroy its nuclear arsenal will put Bush in a game he can win – one in which he still has plentiful options.

Diplomacy alone lacks credibility: Threats of a cutoff of purchases of Iranian oil and of direct military action are a must. The president should open talks with oil-consuming nations, too, pointing toward cutbacks in the purchase of Iranian oil. Japan – Iran’s top customer – has already cut its purchase of Iranian oil by 15 percent to protest Tehran’s nuclear plans.

The president should call for disinvestment in companies that invest in terror-sponsoring nations. Frank Gaffney, the former Reagan-era Pentagon official, has shown the way through his group disinvestterror.org – he’s persuaded UBS and Credit Suisse to stop investing in companies that do business in Iran or North Korea. Sarah Steelman, Missouri’s state treasurer, has indicated she’ll do likewise with the pension funds she controls. Bush should order the federal government to follow suit – indeed, push for a national and global disinvestment campaign.

Domestically, Bush should emulate Clinton in doing all he can do via executive action – issuing executive orders to advance his agenda and making public proposals on a range of issues, even if they’re outside the normal purview of presidential action.

There is a vast amount a president can do without Congress. Bush could advance the Republican agenda on a host of issues – border security, medical research, education standards, crime control, drug prevention – via executive action. Using the bully pulpit and the power of his office orders, he can make the kind of incremental changes in the lives of every American family that can revive his battered presidency.

Transcend Iraq, and focus on Iran and North Korea – problems he can solve; embrace small-bore domestic proposals. That’s how Bush can save his presidency.

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The Question of MacArthur and Truman

December 27, 2006

Here’s some interesting personal testimony and historical information detailing the rift between Truman and MacArthur and just what really was going on during the Korean War. Of course, if you read nothing else of the lengthy passages below, you should read MacArthur’s words himself here.

One perhaps interesting historical sidelight on the decency (or not) of Harry Truman, which I have debated posting, but what the hell, everybody’s long dead.

Harry Truman made a huge amount of political capital out of an event – well, his version of the event – that happened during the Korean War when he relieved MacArthur of command of US forces in the far east.

The (at one time) famous meeting with MacArthur on Wake Island. Protocol is that the senior member – which in this country is always the president – lands last, and is greeted formally once on the ground by everybody else. A minor thing, but a protocol thing: The president always lands last.

Truman made hay for years out of the fact that his pilot and and MacArthur’s pilot were arguing in the air about who would land first, and would therefore have to be the greeter as opposed to the greeted. Truman always said he finally had to order MacArthur’s plane to land first. He used this as an example of how out of control MacArthur was, how MacArthur thought he was God, etc., etc. This was all part of the of the “I fired him because he wouldn’t repect the office of the presidency, not because he didn’t respect me” stuff that Truman spent the rest of his life handing out in re: relations with MacArthur. Truman made so much hay out of this story that as late as 1974 he was still retailing it in the biography Merle Miller did: “Plain Speaking.”

The only problem with the story is, it isn’t true.

The two senior military officers present at Wake were MacArthur himself, and Major General William Ryan, who was in charge of supplies in the Far Eastern theater – and had in fact been in charge of all suppplies routed through and in the Pacific Theater during WWII.

In my life this particular two-star was known as Uncle Bill, and though he was not particularly fond of MacArthur himself, he always said the famous Wake Island story was absolutely untrue. He and MacArthur landed first, and were waiting on the runway when Truman’s plane landed, drawn up in full order to greet the Commander-in-Chief, as they should have been.

But there were so few people present that Truman was able to get away with a story that is 100% invention to add to his dossier of reasons for firing MacArthur.

I liked Truman, but not unreservedly. I’ve always had this little spot about him I’ve had to wonder about.

Private family story. No corroboration at all, except for mentions of Uncle Bill in various history books (so you can at least discover that he existed), and if you ever visit West Point you will find the grave he shares with Aunt Mary.

Comment by JJ | December 27, 2006

I was looking up for more data on Google and found this… interesting bit of propaganda. Anti-American, pro-Chinese, and pro-North Korean propaganda that is.

I must warn you, don’t take the below quoted timeline as accurate. You should know better by now, given recent American MSM incidents. However, there are ways to extract useful information, that I have used. It helps to know different views from other sources. I’ll write a shot interpretation on some of the passages. Click on the link for the rest.

Sept. 27, 1950 – The British intelligence learns of a Chinese military council decision to intervene in Korea. US ignores this information. Simultaneously Chou announces publicly that “China will send troops across the frontier to participate in defense o f North Korea.” The hawks at the State Dept. led by Acheson and Rusk label Chou’s statement a “bravado – part of a joint Soviet-Chinese diplomatic effort to save the North Korean regime.” This arrogance (or ignorance) is shared by the CIA.

Stalin got scared and has changed his mind about sending his air force to fight US. Stalin has realized that China and USSR have a mutual defense treaty which obligates him to fight on the side of Mao, if US goes to war with China. Stalin states that “Com rade Kim Il Sung must form a government in exile in northeast China” and that the best he can do for Mao is to send back the Chinese pilots in training in Russia. Stalin is playing a game with Mao and Kim. He wants to bleed US to death in Korea at the exp ense of Kim and Mao.

Mao Zedung continues – “With regard to the adoption of the positive policies described above, for China and Korea and Asia and even going out to world as a whole, this is very advantageous. If we do not send troops, the enemy will control all the way up t o the environs of the Yalu River, and, as far as the boasts of the reactionary forces within China are concerned. they would gradually grow higher and it would be disadvantageous for us in various respects. The whole of the Northeast Defense forces would be pinned down on the front line and the military forces in southern Manchuria would be completely dominated. For this reason. we came to the following conclusion. We must participate in the war. The benefits from participating in the war would be very gr eat. The damage from not participating in war would be very great.”

Some interesting political fighting going on there. I believe it is more or less accurate, the way people played the game back then.

Oct. 26 – N Korea (west): The Chinese regulars virtually wipe out [Image] the ROK 6th and 8th divisions at Onjin. Simultaneously, the ROK 1st Div. is hit hard and collapses at Unsan. The ROK Army in the west evaporates. The 8th Army’s advance comes to a halt and the entire front lines are in chaos. MacArthur’s intelligence chief (Gen. Willoughby – perhaps, the most incompetent man on MacArthur’s staff) is still repeating -“the auspicious time for intervention has long since passed.”

Nov. 1 – US X Corps (Gen. Almond) moves to Hamhung. MacArthur orders [Image] indiscriminate carpet bombing of every village, town and city still in the communists control. For the first time, Russian MiG’s manned by the Soviets appear to fight the America ns. The X Corps consists of the 1st Marine and the 7th Infantry. The Hamhung City Hall is the X Corps Headquarters.

…the enemy forces and withdraw to their mountain sanctuaries. Peng hopes that MacArthur has gotten the message and get out of N Korea without further losses. Peng needs to rest and resupply his troops. Peng needs time to assess battle performance of the enemy and refine his tactics.

MacArthur, Total War proponent. There is no misunderstanding with him, or at least there should not be.

Nov. 8, 1950 – Peng Dehuai was wrong – MacArthur did not get it. MacArthur orders his air force to starts a massive bombing of Manchurian border installations, and anything standing south of the border – “every factory, every city, and village.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff approve the order without consulting the State Dept. The air force commander, Gen. Stratemeyer, reports Mac’s order to his superiors in Washington which is leaked to the State Dept. All hell breaks out. The State Dept. countermands MacArt hur’s order. But Truman sides with MacArthur.

Gen. Ned Almond, the X Corps commander, flies to the Changjin Reservoir and tells Task Force Smith (the 7th Infantry Division) – “The enemy who is attacking you is nothing more than some remnants of Chinese divisions fleeing north. We are still attacking and we’re going all the way to the Yalu. Don’t let a bunch of Chinese laundrymen stop you.” Almonds hands out medals and returns to his hotel suite in Hamhung. Task Force Faith, including its commander, Col. Don Faith, is squashed that night by the Chines e. Captured GI’s are released to the US Marines stationed south of the Reservoir. Peng wants the 5th and 7th US Marine Regiments destroyed. Song Shilu’s 9th Army Group has more than 100,000 men assigned to encircle and exterminate some 20,000 US marines – the best fighting men of the world.

Peng Dehuai doesn’t care about the US 7th Infantry or the three ROKA divisions, numbering more than 100,000 men; he lets them escape from Wonsan, Hungnam and Chanjin via US, Japanese and S Korean ships.

Massive bombing, another proof of concept.

Nov. 28 – Washington: Truman hears the bad news and goes into a [Image] shock. He has been assured as recent as three days ago that MacArthur was about to wind up the war and send the boys home by X-mas. Now, MacArthur wants more US troops. An emerge ncy session of the National Security Council is convened. Gen. Bradley tells Truman that there is no more troops to send and that he is worried about the 300 Chinese bombers in Manchuria. The supply areas and air force bases of the UN Command are wide ope n to aerial attacks. The military wants preemptive strikes on the Chinese air fields, but Gen. Marshall advises against a general war with China. Marshall warns that a war with China will benefit the Soviets and open the continental US for Soviet nuclear and ground attacks. Truman is more worried about the negative impact the defeat would have on his political fortune. Truman loses confidence in the Joint Chiefs of Staff – “a bunch of gutless morons in fancy uniforms”. Truman wants all JCS messages to Mac Arthur cleared by him personally prior to their transmission.

Nov. 30, 1950 – Truman states in public: “The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons (A-bombs) as he always has.” Unbelievably, Truman is not aware of the Atomic Energy Act provision which dictates that only the Preside nt can authorize use of the atomic bomb. Truman’s statement shocks the international community. UN allies are ready to jump the ship.

Ultimately, Truman was bluffing you know. When Truman’s UN allies balked and started getting nervous over Truman’s nuke threats, Truman backed off. Now why isn’t that surprising, that when the UN calls, the US President obeys? Bad precedent in my view, to be obeying the UN.

Dec. 9, 1950 – MacArthur wants 26 atomic bombs. His plan is to “drop 30-50 bombs strung across the neck of Manchuria; then introduce half a million Chinese Nationalist troops at the Yalu and spread behind the front lines from the East Sea to the Yellow Se a – a belt of radioactive cobalt which has an active life of between 60 and 120 years.” He says that his plan is “a cinch.” Many in US support MacArthur’s plan. MacArthur and company also consider chemical weapons. MacArthur is not privy to the awful secr et that the Soviets have more nuclear bombs in stock than US does; and that US does not have 26 A-bombs in all of its arsenals.

I don’t think war is a game to MacArthur, for some reason.

Dec. 12, 1950 – The 3rd Army Division retreats to the outskirts of [Image] Hamhung and sets up a series of phased defensive lines for the Hamhung-Hungnam beachhead. The outermost line Charlie is centered one mile south of my country home in Orori. The t hird line Mike is drawn just north of Hamhung and it is the last defensive position for Hamhung. The 4th line Peter is south of Hamhung (the city is to be abandoned without fight), and the last line Fox is to defend Hungnam. (map: US 3rd Infantry defensiv e retreat battle plan – phased withdrawal of Gen. Soule. Defense perimeters are code-named Charlie, Mike, Peter, etc.)

It is a mystery why the Chinese are not attacking us in force. They have more than enough troops to finish us off. Some people say that it is because Truman has told Mao to go easy and let the Americans go in peace from Hamhung, or else he will drop the A -bomb. Others say that the Chinese don’t have the muscle to encircle and annihilate the Americans. Still others say that all China wants is to kick out the Americans.

Song’s initial attacks on the 1st Marine and the 7th Infantry were successful; but his continued attacks on the entrenched American positions cost him dearly in human lives and lost opportunities. Song should have bypassed the 1st Marine and moved south t owards the sea; and cut the US supply lines from Hungnam, Yongpo and Wonsan. Gen. Song succeeds in expelling the Americans from N Korea, but fails to annihilate the Americans. Kim Il Sung judges Song to be a timid and ineffectual commander. Song and the I X Army Group are rotated back to China upon completion of the Hamhung Battle.

You don’t get to fight the US Marines and get off without a boat load of casualties on your side. The Marines inflicted disproportionate damage on the Chinese divisions, even considering that the Chinese surprised and outnumbered the Marines, and that the Chinese were a lot closer to their supply lines than the Marines were to theirs.

April 6, 1951 – MacArthur vents his anger and frustration of fighting a limited war in a confidential interview with the Spanish and Portuguese diplomats in Tokyo. In a nut shell, he wants a global war (under his command) with Russia – he would first drop A-bombs all over China and then move on to deal with the Russians. What about N Korea? MacArthur wants to nuke N Korea – kill every damn gook. MacArthur is unaware that the National Security Agency (NSA) is monitoring all diplomatic transmissions in Toky o. The main NSA station in Japan is at Atsugi Air Force Base (also the CIA OPC base). The primary mission of the NSA is monitoring Chinese command cables, but diplomatic cables are also intercepted routinely. The NSA sends the intercepted cables directly to the White House. The cables contain MacArthur’s boast that he can turn the war into war with China. Truman decides to fire MacArthur but he cannot reveal the existence of the intercepted cables for national security reasons (at this time few people kn ow about the NSA or about its monitoring of diplomatic cables of US allies). Truman has to find other “official” reasons for firing MacArthur.

. Soon after the firing, MacArthur’s godlike myth starts to crumble. All sorts of facts, suppressed while Mac was in power, surface. His WW2 nickname “Dougout Dug” is brought up to remind his escape from battlefields in the early days of the Pacific War. He was given a large sum of money by the Philippine politicos. He wanted to become the Field Marshall of the Philippine Army upon his retirement. His wife had numerous affairs while he was away. Mac took her to the divorce courts several times. In 1932, he attacked with tanks the poor WW1 veterans groups seeking bonuses in Washington

While serving as the Chief of Staff, Mac rented an apartment on Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC and had weird parties with several prostitutes at a time. He would not have sex with the ladies, but loved to have the girls pamper him. More seriously, Mac h ad spells of deep depression with suicidal tendency. He would carry a loaded pistol and go through the motion of shooting himself on the head. On one occasion, Mac was about to jump out of a moving train at a spot (Tennessee River) where his father had wo n a Medal of Honor.

When WW2 broke out, the Philippine Army was mobilized and numbered 120,000 men. by December 1941. The Philippine Army included the 1st and 2nd regular divisions and mobilized reserve divisions of the 11th, 21st, 31st, 41st, 51st, 71st and 91st. Four of th e Filipino divisions had Filipino commanders while the rest had American commanders. The Filipino led divisions with Filipino generals included the 1st Division-Brig. Gen. Fidel Segundo, the 2nd Division-Maj. Gen. Guillermo Flores, the 21st Division-Brig. Gen. Mateo Capinpin and the 41st Division-Brig. Gen. Alfredo Lim.

Total forces under MacArthur’s command were: Philippine Army-120,000 men in 9 divisions, US Army in the Philippines-18,000 men mostly air, artillery and marine units and the Philippine Scouts-a unique US Army unit consisting of 5 regiments composed of 12, 000 Filipinos and 900 American officers. The Philippine Scouts was an elite unit and had the best training. Some military historians say that MacArthur fled to Australia in panic and that he had sufficient forces to hold back the Japanese – Mac lacked nei ther the skill nor the will to face the Japanese, man to man.

April 19, 1951 – The US Congress gathers to hear their war hero. MacArthur brings with him his wife and son and his old cronies. MacArthur tells the US Congress – “I address you with neither rancor nor bitterness in the fading twilight of my life, with bu t one purpose in mind: to serve my country… I now close my military career and just fade away – an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-bye.” Many congressmen weep openly. A lynching party is formed to go after Truman. Truman’s response: “Nothing but a bunch of bull shit… Damn fool Congressmen crying like a bunch of women.” MacArthur moves into Suite 37-A of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, compliment of the hotel management (actually, at a nominal rent of $4 50 per month. He stayed here until his death in 1964). A Gallup Poll shows 54% of the Americans supporting MacArthur’s plans for punishing China, but only 30% supporting war with China.

The JCS and others have repeatedly defined his job as an area commander of the Korean War, but MacArthur kept on exceeding his boundary and tried to dupe US into a wider war. His airplanes have “accidentally” bombed Chinese and Russian air bases. He had C hiang’s and Japanese navy participate covertly in the war. He has sent Korean and Chinese sabotage teams to China and Russia. He has openly threatened war with China and Russia. MacArthur’s statements often contradict documents prepared and signed by him. As for his “China is incapable of intervention” assurance to Truman at Wake, MacArthur tries to pass the buck to the CIA (justified) and oddly to the Chinese statements and glosses over the mountain of evidence gathered by his own G-2. Mac’s statement th at “the intelligence that a nation is going to launch a war is not…intelligence that is available to a commander, limited to a small area of combat. That intelligence should have been given to me.” He was given ample data, but he chose to ignore them an d rely on his own instinct.

How about the “home-by-Xmas” promise? MacArthur says that at the time when he made the statement at Wake, the N Korean Army was virtually gone (actually there were 120,000 NKPA left) and no Chinese (over 200,000 in Korea) in Korea. The only ‘problem’ was that his request to bomb Manchurian targets was denied by Truman and therefore, Truman was responsible for the UN ‘bugout’ in December 1950. The truth comes out that this old man had his head buried in sands and refused to face the reality. He states that Russians had no nuclear retaliatory capability in Korea or China, when in fact they are capable of nuking US installations in Japan, Europe and US proper. In a nutshell, MacArthur is confident that he can win a global war while ignorance of the enemy and US war making capacities.

Why not bomb the Manchurian sanctuaries? Gen. Marshall points out a fundamental fact that MacArthur and the fellow hawks fail to recognize – the communists are allowing UN sanctuaries in Japan and the rear areas in Korea. The Chinese and Russian air force volunteers have the means of hitting exposed docks in Pusan, supply transports and naval vessels, but they have not. Hitting their sanctuaries would invite retaliation. Beside China has a mutual defense treaty with Russia. More importantly, the US Air Fo rce do not have the capability to hit targets in Manchuria – “The air force of the Unites States…is really a shoestring air force and these groups that we have over there now doing this tactical job are really about a fourth of our total effort that we could muster today, and four times that amount of groups in that area over that vast expanse of China would be a drop in the bucket.”

This is probably the most important passage, because it highlights the interesting facet about how Truman knew about MacArthur’s intentions. Why would it be a surprise? I know how MacArthur would act, and I didn’t even know the man, surely Truman saw what he was as a man and a leader of men in WWII. Why is Truman surprised when we are not?

MacArthur hates limited wars. It is quite obvious. Even to amateur historians like me. This passage also raises the question of whether the CIA and Truman really did witheld information about Chinese plans and intentions from MacArthur. Wouldn’t be the first time that a commander on the ground, Admiral Kimmel, didn’t get the information that he needed to do his job. Whether this was due to actual malice, inter-political fighting, or just simple incompetence is another issue entire.

Jan. 21, 1952 – My career at the POW camp comes to an abrupt end. All translators have to wear US GI fatigues and the army cap. As we enter our office tent, we leave our cap on a table. The American GI’s do the same. All caps look alike. I make the mistak e of picking up a wrong cap. The GI’s set up a trap for me and I am caught in their trap. They accuse me of stealing the cap and I am fired on the spot.

Why do I get the sense that they fired him because he was a damn spy and had sympathies for the enemy? Read the link for some of his more overt propaganda messages, I didn’t really include the rather more explicit details because they were irrelevant to MacArthur.

Jan. 21, 1953 – Gen. Eisenhower is inaugurated president. Ike vows to end the war in one way or the other, and directs Gen. Bradley to recommend the best way to end the war. The general recommends “the timely use of atomic weapons should be considered aga inst military targets affecting operations in Korea”.

March 27, 1953 – The JCS recommends the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Korea and China – “The efficacy of atomic weapons in achieving greater results at less cost of effort in furtherance of US objectives in connection with Korea points to the desirab ility of re-evaluating the policy which now restricts the use of atomic weapons in the Far East. In view of the extensive implications of developing an effective conventional capability in the Far East, the timely use of atomic weapons should be considere d against military targets affecting operations in Korea, and operationally planned as an adjunct to any possible military course of action involving direct action against Communist China and Manchuria”.

Bull Bradley? Hrm. Should have used the nukes in the beginning, it is a little bit late now I think.

Now here is the stuff you’ve been waiting for. The Primary Documents. The word from the horse’s mouth himself.

General Douglas MacArthur’s speech before the joint session of Congress on April 19, 1951, after his abrupt dismissal as Commander in Chief of the United Nations forces in Korea, provoked a nation-wide controversy that recalled the fury over the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.

The son of the distinguished army officer Arthur MacArthur, Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, was brought up in various army posts, and was graduated from West Point at the head of his class in 1903. He served in the Philippines and Japan, and in the first World War achieved a notable record as Chief of Staff of the famous Rainbow Division and later as Commander of the 84th Infantry Brigade. After the war he was Superintendent of West Point (1919-22), Commander in the Philippines (1922-25), and Chief of Staff (1930-35), during which time he had the unpleasant task of directing troops against the depression “bonus army” that marched against Washington. He went again to the Philippines in 1935 to organize the islands against possible Japanese aggression. He retired from the army in 1939, but returned to duty in July, 1941, barely in time to head the defense of the Philippines after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On order from President Roosevelt, General MacArthur escaped to Australia, there to take command of the Allied forces in the South Pacific and to begin the long road back to Manila – and to Tokyo. At the time of the Japanese surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri General MacArthur broadcast to the world a plea for peace in a high, sonorous vein.

After the Japanese surrender he became Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Japan and, on South Korea’s being invaded, Commander of the United Nations forces there. He was relieved of both commands on April 11, 1951, when it was feared his strategy would lead to general war with China and the Soviet Union. He immediately flew back to the United States, made a triumphant trip across the country, reminiscent of the triumph of a returning Roman general, and accepted the invitation to speak before both Houses of Congress – an unheard-of procedure in American history.

General MacArthur surveys the beachhead on Leyte Island in 1944, soon after American forces swept ashore from a gigantic liberation armada into the central Philippines, at the historic moment when the General made good his promise `I shall return.’

In the end, I believe MacArthur to be someone that closely aligned with my personal beliefs on how war should be won. Everyone has their flaws. But what matters is what they do with them. MacArthur was in fact more charismatic and more in tune with Jacksonian America than Truman was. Which is why Truman had the 22% approval ratings, and not MacArthur.

Truman had his side of the story, justifications and so forth, and so did MacArthur. The Cold War and dealing with Stalin as well as whether to use nuclear weapons or not, probably weighed heavily on Truman’s mind. In addition to the guilt he felt for being the first man in history to use the atomic bomb. This gave him a level of force when he threatened to use nukes, but it also grabbed at him in his soul, it weakened his resolve. Remember, Truman had been two wars now. WWII and Korea. And Korea wasn’t even on American soil, it was very very hard to summon up resolve. Resolve requires defeats and sacrifices, the fear of an actual threat. Truman didn’t fear Chinese invasion of the US, so it was easy for him to give up North Korea. This meant the Kims would rule as tyrants, but it was no skin off the US’s back, as they say. Up until now anyways. You see, nothing is free in war. The consequences of your actions will always follow you, good or bad, and the nation you serve and act for. Few men can look into the infernal of war and tell the devil to “Bring it On’. MacArthur and Sherman could.

(Anti)Submarine Warfare developments

December 27, 2006

Some interesting developments on the high seas. Or is it the low seas considering we are dealing with how to detect silent subs?

We Have No Allies

December 27, 2006

This is what happens when you get into a hole thinking your allies will save your ass. They won’t, so stop complaining about “Bush blew off our allies”. We have no allies, recognize this fact and deal with it.

December 25, 2006: Germany, under great pressure from its NATO allies to allow its troops to join the fight against the Taliban, has made a gesture. So far, Germany has resisted calls to allow its combat troops in Afghanistan to actually engage in combat. However, mindful off all the ill-will this policy is creating with its allies, Germany has offered to send five Tornado warplanes to Afghanistan. These aircraft would only be used for reconnaissance (no dropping bombs, smart or otherwise), and would be available for taking pictures all over Afghanistan. This is another empty offer, as most reconnaissance these days is carried out with UAVs, which can stay over a target area for hours at a time. However, there will be some work for the Tornados dated reconnaissance capabilities. So it’s not a complete waste, although some German politicians are trying block even this effort.

The air force detachment will contain about 250 troops. Germany already has 3,000 troops in Afghanistan, and will withdraw some so that these new air force troops do not push the number over 3,000.

German troops have seen combat in Afghanistan. A detachment of German commandos arrived in Afghanistan during December, 2001. Shortly thereafter, the German commandos held a little ceremony to celebrate the first combat action by German soldiers in 56 years. When word of that got back to Germany, there was a bit of tiff, as Germany has been tried to get away from warfare since 1945. The struggle continues in Afghanistan. All this is believed to emanate from guilt over the great slaughter Germany inflicted on Europe during World War II. Less mentioned is the fact that Germany lost the last two wars it fought in, big time. So there might be more, unspoken, reasons for being gun shy, than the obvious ones.

I still remember the idiots on cable news talking about “Look, our allies are helping us fight in Afghanistan, it is only Bush’s diplomatic insults and mistakes that prevented help from our allies in Iraq”. Total BS.

Imported the old Sake Light blog

December 25, 2006

All of it is under the Humanity Category.

The Strategy of Intimidation and Rape

December 25, 2006

I blogged about this a long time ago. Can’t quite recall when. But to me, it was simply another reason to keep my self-defense training up and my exercise program updated.

You hear a lot of horror stories, and a lot of people think to themselves “it won’t happen to me”. I always found that mental state a bit flawed. It is not so much fear as it is duty.

Other people didn’t have my reactions to my first fight. My first fight involved extremely high endorphine and adrenaline levels, so high that I never felt more alive and powerful than I had at that moment. Pain that would otherwise have crippled me into ineffectiveness, was nothing during such a high.

That is a very strong motivation to learn how to fight. But it wasn’t enough, I had to have a purpose to fight for as well. Societal limitations prevented me from just going out and picking a fight, being arrested would not be good.

I thought everybody was like me, that everyone had an inner rage they could bring out and devastate their enemies with. Another reason to tred lightly amongst bigger folks. But everyone isn’t like me, a lot of men and women in this world fears pain, they fear being in a fight, and so their fear paralyzes them as no other weapon could. Except maybe the tazer gun.

I’ve seen the behavior and expected reactions from folks in Europe. They expect the police to save them. They rely upon the police, or even strangers, NOT themselves, to save them from violence and cruel death.

I understand their positions quite well. I was like them, once. Nobody should live in fear. Kill or be killed. I choose life, with no regrets and no pity for my enemies. But only you may free yourself from fear. The police, your family, or your friends cannot do it for you. Fear is something that is in your soul, and may only be excised by action, decisive and positive action.

In France, Samira Bellil broke her silence – after enduring years of repeated gang rapes in one of the Muslim populated public housing projects – and wrote a book, In the hell of the tournantes, that shocked France. Describing how gang rape is rampant in the banlieues, she explained to Time that, “any neighborhood girl who smokes, uses makeup or wears attractive clothes is a whore.”

Unfortunately, Western women are not the only victims in this epidemic. In Indonesia, in 1998, human rights groups documented the testimony of over 100 Chinese women who were gang raped during the riots that preceded the fall of President Suharto. Many of them were told: “You must be raped, because you are Chinese and non-Muslim.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported that in April 2005, a 9-year-old Pakistani girl was raped, beaten with a cricket bat, hanged upside down from the ceiling, had spoonfuls of chillies poured into her mouth, and repeatedly bashed while handcuffed. Her Muslim neighbours told her they were taking revenge for the American bombing of Iraqi children and informed her they were doing it because she was an “infidel and a Christian.”

Ha, these people believe themselves mighty and righteous. Protected and safe, even. “Taking revenge for unjust acts”. They know not the meaning of justice.

In a way I have Hollywood and the Left to thank. They have eternally showed me that the guilty will be released because they finagle the laws and buy off the police. That seething anger at such injustice, lead me to believe that laws cannot bring the powerful to justice. I don’t particularly care enough for the deaths of individual criminals that I would support vigilantism, I don’t really care whether they live or die, though I prefer that they die.

But for terroists, it is a tricky proposition. Because terrorists are not individual criminals, they are an organized faction. Killing one terrorist will not end the threat, executing Osama Bin Laden will not end the threat.

There is plenty of general details and more stories of injustice in this link, if you have the stomach for it. Some don’t. I can’t change that. But I can change myself.

Source Link

I am not like the Left. I don’t hate Bush and love “freedom fighters”. I’m not like the Palestinians either, my hate does not blind me to the realities and the laws of this world. Hate is a tool, a tool by which I will use to fullfill my aims and objectives.

I recall that new Star Trek movie about Picard and his clone. It is was an interesting confrontation, the clone saying “if you were in my place, you would not have been any better”.

Oh? *smiles* I think not. Terrorists telling me that I am not better than they, have got it all wrong. Course I am better. I am crueler, more full of hate, and more ruthless towards terrorists than they will ever be towards myself or innocents. Of course I am better.

There is also this article concerning sexual assault as a strategy for Muslim dominance.

Sexual deprivation may be a factor in the current wave of suicidal violence, unleashed by the Palestinian cause as well as revolutionary Islamism. The tantalising prospect of having one’s pick of the loveliest virgins in paradise is deliberately dangled in front of young men trained for violent death. And even those who are not trained to kill and die often live in authoritarian societies in which sex before marriage is strictly forbidden, in which women outside the family home are not only supposed to be untouchable, but invisible. Access to MTV, the internet, DVDs and global advertising reinforces the notion that westerners live in a degenerate garden of sinful delights. This makes the lot of millions of young Arab men even harder to bear, and can provoke a mixture of rage and envy.

Once in a while, this rage will explode in carefully orchestrated orgies of violence. It is said that Mohammed Atta visited a striptease bar before crashing a plane into the Twin Towers. Perhaps he craved one nibble at the forbidden fruit before his earthly extinction. The fact that it was forbidden – repulsive but also terribly seductive – marked his view of women in general. He made it clear in his will that he did not want any women to defile his grave with their presence.

Again, this is not to say that sexual frustration or bitter misogyny leads directly to mass murder. If it did, we would live in a very dangerous world indeed. But they cannot be dismissed as factors. It has long been assumed that young men are better fighters when they are deprived of sex, like slavering dogs fighting in a pit.

One of the many barbarities of war, in ancient times as well as in recent conflicts, is the promise to hungry, brutalised men that once a city is taken its women are part of the loot. The only difference between this and those fabled houris in paradise is that the objects of deferred lust are real and pay a horrible price for it.

[ . . . ] All this applies to sex with women. Sex with men can be a very different proposition. As a rule, societies that prize machismo and male honour do not take a kindly view of homosexuality. It is tolerated, at best, but only the active, “male” partner, especially if he is older and married, can escape from homosexual encounters with honour. The passive one is like a woman – submissive, weak, despicable. So it is still said to be in many Arab countries, as it was in ancient Greece.

But there are notable exceptions to this rule. Some of the most macho societies in history have prized homosexual relations. The Spartan army encouraged loving relationships between soldiers, as it would foster loyalty and courage. Samurai in feudal Japan had a similar attitude. Sex with women was fine, as far as it went, which was to produce children. But honour and nobility were to be found only in relations between men. The premise behind this is not so different from the homophobia in other macho cultures. Women are soft, and their proximity softens men, just as the wiles of Cleopatra softened the Roman general Mark Antony. True manliness must never be tainted by the female sex, or the domesticity it represents.

The Left and the Euros don’t have the heart to fight. They don’t have the rage and anger, that gives you strength to fight against injustice, for only a just and virtuous man feels anger at injustice. They just don’t have the soul for battle, the Great Soul.

To kill, to inflict pain, to hate, to cause the death of human beings, is a strain upon your soul. Most people are consumed by their self-destructive emotions, their hate suffuses their soul and subsumes their identities. Those with Great Souls feel the same corrupting touch of hate and rage, but they are able to resist, for a time. Because their duty to the innocent and the weak, to be protectors above all else, reinforces their Soul for Battle against the forces of evil.

Bookworm and Zarina both have up very good additional resources and posts concerning Rape by Muslims as an epidemic as well as a cultural strategy.

Vietnam a Look into the Past and Present

December 24, 2006

This source link concerning Vietnam, the media, and historical connections is a good primer to go with Neo-Neocon‘s post and the comments at Dean Esmay’s.

I posted comments at both sites, which you may wish to read for yourself. But there are some things I wanted to quote and save, not from my comments, but from the source link.

The Tet offensive of 1968 must surely be regarded as one of history’s chameleon campaigns. When the North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops assaulted targets throughout the Republic of Vietnam at the end of January 1968, they expected to trigger an uprising of the South Vietnamese people against their government. Despite some spectacular early successes, the attacks failed. The South Vietnamese did not embrace the cause; thousands of sappers, assault troops, and cadres met their deaths before overwhelming allied counterattacks; and the insurgent infrastructure was so decimated at the end of the fighting that no large enemy offensives could be mounted for four years.

Nonetheless, the Tet offensive was a turning point in the war, and the North Vietnamese were successful in altering the course of the war far beyond the accomplishments of their army. The American people were shocked that the Vietcong/ North Vietnamese Army (VC/NV A) possessed the strength to make the widespread strikes. In the public clamor that followed, President Lyndon Johnson announced a bombing halt and withdrew from the 1968 Presidential race. The policy of Vietnamization was launched, and many Americans concluded that the war was too costly to pursue.

It has always been clear that the press played a vital role in this dramatic shift of opinion. It has been evident that dissatisfaction with the war among media opinion-makers helped form an American public attitude of discouragement. Nonetheless, much of the assessment of the media’s role in the war has heretofore been impressionistic and conjectural.

The publication of Big Story now replaces impressions with fact, conjectures with cold analysis.* The book presents the findings of a truly staggering study of the role of the press in this crucial military event.

*Peter Braestrup, Big Story: How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington, 2 vols. (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1977, $45.00), xxxviii and 740 pages, index, and 706 pages of appendices, tables, and story and photo indices.

Correspondent Peter Braestrup, who reported for the Washington Post during Tet, prepared the study and interpreted the findings. A former Marine infantry officer in Korea and an experienced war reporter (Algeria and Vietnam), Braestrup brought to the study both firsthand experience and a personal dedication to truth. He amassed detailed content and photo analysis of both print and TV reporting, a review of public opinion findings, and his own investigation. Braestrup read every word published on the Vietnam fighting by three media groupings: the Associated Press and United Press International, the New York Times and the Washington Post, and Time and Newsweek. In addition he viewed tapes of every telecast aired during the offensive by the three networks.

media misconceptions

The sheer volume of press and TV reports on Tet is intimidating, and, of course, almost every conceivable interpretation of events can be found in them. Nonetheless, Braestrup’s analysis points to the emergence of several themes that came to dominate the coverage. The sober examination of these themes with hindsight reveals important misconceptions.

Misconception: There had been no warning of a coming offensive. Actually, the press ignored cautions expressed by General Earle Wheeler and General William C. Westmoreland in December and January.

Misconception: The offensive was a victory for Hanoi. The press corps, it is now clear, was stunned by the initial Tet attacks, many of which occurred in Saigon. When the allies met some initial reverses, the press reacted by emphasizing the enemy’s successes. As the weeks wore on and military intelligence clearly indicated defeat for the insurgents, the press still interpreted the offensive as a “psychological victory” for the Vietcong/ North Vietnamese Army, who “held the initiative,” “decide who lives and who dies… which planes land and which ones don’t,” who were unconcerned with losses, and could “take and hold any area they chose.” There was little objective analysis of the many enemy failures or of the severe toll that allied counterblows exacted from the enemy.

Misconception: The North Vietnamese military initiative bared the unreliability and inefficiency of our own allies, the South Vietnamese. Government of Vietnam (GVN) troops were described as “lolling in the sun,” failing to carry their load, and complacent. The press reported that the offensive shattered GVN control over the countryside and conclusively undermined the loyalty of the people.

A more truthful assessment: the GVN “muddled through” the crisis, Army of Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) performance was initially inhibited by the fact that half the Vietnamese troops were on Tet leave when the enemy struck, and many ARVN units gave a good account of themselves in the subsequent fighting. Press pronouncements that the offensive eroded loyalty to the GVN were ill-informed.

Misconception: The characteristic American response was to destroy city districts and villages with overwhelming, indiscriminate firepower. This misconception was fueled by the ill-advised comment of an Air Force officer at Ben Tre that “we had to destroy the town to save it” and by television clips focusing on urban damage.

The unavailability of weapons well adapted to street fighting (the 106mm recoilless rifle, for instance) forced some difficult decisions by tactical commanders. Press reports, however, suggested that destruction was typical. Some reports from Saigon indicated the city was a giant scarred battleground; from the air, however, reporters could see that 95 percent of the city was relatively unharmed.

American and ARVN commanders did have to use heavy weaponry in urban areas, but the response was not characteristic of the counteroffensive.

Misconception: The sapper raid on the American embassy, the fighting in Hue, and the siege of Khe Sanh typified the war. In fact, these engagements were not typical, but exceptional. Scores of press reports, however, identified these battles as microcosms of the war because they were visible, tangible, and conventional. The reassertion of government control throughout South Vietnam by American and GVN troops was virtually ignored.

Misconception: Khe Sanh was to be America’s Dien Bien Phu. The comparison between these two battles was a powerful media theme, always with dramatic forebodings of disaster. Braestrup demolishes the comparison with a cold historical examination of the two battles. The similarities existed mainly in the minds of reporters, who badgered officials in Vietnam and the United States with the “parallels.” General Westmoreland was completely confident of American victory with good reason (our superiority in airlift and firepower), but Washington decision–makers-e.g., President Johnson, General Taylor, and Walt Rostow–were intimidated by the spectre of defeat by Giap.

The effects of these errors of fact and interpretation in the United States were pronounced. The impact appeared less in opinion polls than in the minds of Washington policy-makers. Because the press had ignored earlier cautions expressed by military leaders, the public was “jolted into gloom and foreboding,” and a “credibility gap” emerged. In Congress and the bureaucracy, criticism became vocal, reflecting the “disaster” themes portrayed in the press and on TV. The embattled President announced the bombing halt and withdrew from the Presidential campaign.

a flawed institution

How could the press err so greatly in its Tet coverage with such impact on the nation? There is no simple answer to the question. Braestrup dismisses the idea that newsmen as a group were ideologically opposed to the war. Rather, the Tet coverage represents the institutional defects or flaws in the gathering, interpretation, and dissemination of news in Vietnam and the United States at the time of the offensive.

Flaw: The press corps lacked military experience and the ability to grasp and present matters of strategy and tactics. Press reports contained some remarkable errors in this regard, like the time the fall of the Special Forces camp at Lang Vei left a gaping hole in U.S. lines, or Harry Reasoner’s report that North Vietnamese trucks (having traveled at night through the A Shau valley) were “unloading at communist-held entrances in the wall” of the Hue Citadel. The press’s lack of knowledge and maturity resulted in a lack of discrimination in the presentation of hastily gathered or incomplete facts and contributed to the disaster theme.

The views of experienced military commentators like Joseph Kraft and Hanson Baldwin and the analyses of Douglas Pike were virtually ignored. The press reflected American ignorance of Vietnamese language and culture, had no expertise in the area of pacification, and almost no sources on the South Vietnamese government or army.

Flaw: The press was impressionable. General Bruce Palmer succinctly summed up the problem when he stated that the foe “took the battle down around the Caravelle Hotel and, so, from the standpoint of the average reporter over there, it was the acorn that fell on the chicken’s head and it said ‘The sky is falling.'”

Flaw: There was no willingness to admit error or correct erroneous reporting after the fact. The classic example was the Associated Press’s continued assertion that sappers had entered the U.S. Embassy building in Saigon more than twelve hours after it was clear the attack had been repulsed on the grounds.

Flaw: By the time of Vietnam, it had become professionally acceptable in some media to allow reporters to “explain” news, not merely report it. This interpretative reporting has generally improved the quality of American news, but Braestrup judges that in Vietnam the press corps lacked the competence to provide accurate analysis.

Flaw: In their commentary on events in Vietnam, reporters “projected” to the American public their own opinions and fears based on incomplete data and their own inclinations. This tendency is best described by the author in comparing the television clips on Khe Sanh and a comprehensive photo essay by Life photographer David Douglas Duncan.

One looks at the pictures by Duncan and remembers Khe Sanh. One views most of the film footage, especially those nervous standups, and remembers one’s own fears, those of a civilian suddenly thrust into an isolated, unfamiliar battleground amid strangers and unpredictable dangers, The Khe Sanh garrison comes through on TV film as an assemblage of apprehensive, unorganized, even hapless, individuals–like the exhausted reporters–not as a group of trained soldiers, organized into fighting units. . . (Vol. 1, p. 384)

The problem was that the reporters often had very little to go on, and events were confusing. But facing the need to give impact to their products, reporters–usually by inference–projected their own concerns even if facts were cloudy.

Two particular journalistic tendencies obscured this defect. One was the tendency to quote the opinions of “officials” or “observers.” “Observers” seems to have referred to media people themselves, and many of the “observations” communicated to the American public were little more than Caravelle Hotel speculation. Braestrup remarked of this tendency: “… the reader is left in the dark as to the relative importance, knowledge, or authority of the ‘officials’ or ‘certain officers’ quoted. None is identified as ‘senior,’ `junior’–or’ drinking companions.'”

A second tendency was the skill with which reporters chose their words to give impact. Ordinary events could be given undue emphasis with a well-chosen phrase or comparison. Marines fought “foot by blood-soaked foot.” Saigon was in “rubble” and appeared “like the flattened German city of Dresden.” Hue was described as “Monte Cassino” and “Iwo Jima” both. NV A troops were “suicidal” or “diehard.” Standoff attacks were “devastating.” Pacification was “torn to shreds.” Events were “ominous.” Even without explicit commentary, the choice of such words and phrases contributed to the dominant media theme that Tet was a “disaster” for the United States.

That’s a big chunk of the source link, but there’s still some more if you click on it the link.

It simply addresses many of the points brought up in Neo’s 2 post series and at the comments section at Dean’s. Read it for yourself and decide, because comprehending Vietnam is a very good primer in understand Iraq and just guerrila war in general.


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