Thursday, July 30, 2009

Busted for being Black in Boston!

The Day the President Turned Black

(But has he turned back?)

By Greg Palast -- Wednesday July 29, 2009

He's in hot water now. For a moment, on national television, the President of the United States turned black!

Last week, when his buddy "Skip" Gates got busted for being Black in Boston, Barack Obama forgot his official role: to soothe America's conscience with the happy fairy tale that his election marked the end of racism in the USA.

Instead, Obama, the excruciatingly middle-of-the-road President, was seized by Barack the militant State Senator from the South Side of Chicago, who reminded us that cops bust Black guys for no goddamn good reason all the goddamn time.

I'm reminded that it was not so long ago that we watched the vicious gang-beating by Los Angeles cops of a defenseless, handcuffed, Rodney King, an African-American. King's beating was unusual only in that it was caught on videotape.

Yeah, I know: we've come a hell of a long way. Obama won, Jessie cried, Beyoncé has her own line of perfume and Tiger Woods plays where 30 years ago he couldn't eat lunch.

Good on them.

But what about Robert Pratt, Mr. President?

Pratt, a United Auto Workers member, has five kids and a mortgage payment of $1,100 a month on a house in Detroit worth no more than $40,000. The payment's astronomical because he pays 11% on his mortgage balance, double the national average interest rate. Now, on those crazy terms, he's sure to lose his house.

How did that happen? Pratt, whose story we've been tracking, was "steered" into a sub-prime loan by Countrywide Financial. "Steering" is the polite term for forcing folk into crappy loan terms. And not just any folk: Black folk, like Pratt. Over 60% of African-American mortgage applicants were (and ARE) steered into "sub-prime" predatory loans.

According to exhaustive studies by the Federal Reserve Board and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), African Americans are 250% more likely to get a loan with an "exploding interest" clause than white borrowers - and notably, the higher the income and the better the credit rating of a Black borrower, the more likely the discrimination.

As an economist, I can tell you it's not a stretch to say that Obama's failure to deal with endemic racism in the finance system is killing off hope of the nation's economic recovery. The "exploding rate" attack centered on Black and Hispanic communities has, according to the CLR, caused 40.2 million homes to lose value due to their proximity to foreclosed properties.

Yet, not a peep from the Obama Administration about ending this Ku Klux lending practice which has laid waste Black neighborhoods and taken a hunk of White America's housing values with it.

Instead, Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is the honored guest of the Board of Directors of JP Morgan, owner of one of the most outrageous of the financial predators, Washington Mutual. Morgan/WaMu, with its racially-poisoned mortgage trickery, makes the Cambridge Police Department look like the NAACP.

(Indeed, Emanuel's host JP Morgan was sued last week by the NAACP for "systematic, institutionalized racism in making home mortgage loans.")

The cold truth is, financial attacks on the Black community continue as freely under Obama as under Bush, despite Obama's power to halt it instantly by banning loan-sharking as a condition of continued bail-outs for these banks. Obama has directed the FDIC to guarantee JP Morgan loans, saving the bank $3.1 billion this year. Obama has directed the FDIC to guarantee Mr. Pratt, uh, "hope."

And what about Thomas Johnson, Mr. President?

Johnson's a minister in Florida who lost his vote in 2000, alongside at least 94,000 others falsely accused of being felons without the right to vote. Most of the innocents accused and abused were Black, the minister included. I know, because I saw those state records with the carefully recorded "BLA" next to the voters' names.

I had an editor on the story, won't say his name because he was so typical, who asked me why Johnson, an African-American, didn't pound the table and DEMAND his ballot. Johnson's no Harvard professor in Boston with the President's phone number on his speed dial.

My extremely white editor, a Yale graduate, sitting in San Francisco, could not imagine what would happen if a dark-skinned Rev. Johnson had started making a scene in Alachua County, in the Deep Deep South. The Reverend was smart not to pull a "Skippy Gates" and lip-off at authority: just a couple months ago, Alachua cops 'Tased' an angry, but unarmed, Black man, then shot him dead with seven bullets.

Johnson's vote loss, you might say, was "so 2000." This is post-racial 2009. Bullshit. In last year's election, Florida went right back into the racially biased block-and-purge of Black voters, barring thousands from the ballot through new ID laws that would have made Jim Crow segregationists of the Fifties proud. (See the investigative report, "Block the Vote," by myself and Bobby Kennedy, from the October 2008 Rolling Stone).

Yet, the Obama Administration appears quite squeamish about taking down the nouvelle ballot-box Bull Connors.


What I'm saying is that the venom of structural racism in America continues to sicken us all, in our economy, in our voting stations, in our schools (don't get me started), our health care system, our ... well, you name it.

Yes, I joined the Hope Parade and voted for Obama, expecting just this one change: a direct attack on the remaining areas of official sanction of racist policies and practices. I'm still waiting.
It was quite inspiring, last Thursday, to the see a Black man appear, if momentarily, behind the Presidential seal. Unfortunately, Obama's swift demand for equal justice under the law was provoked only when the whip came down on someone, like himself, whose professional and class status had, they presumed, made them exempt from the daily insults and assaults visited on their less privileged brothers.

So much was made of Gates' Harvard post that the issue seemed to be It's not right to cuff a dark-skinned man who's a HARVARD PROFESSOR." The race-neutral rules of class privilege had been violated.

What's missing in America - and in the Oval Office . is any hint of outrage at the endemic, systemic cruelties visited on Black Americans, like Pratt and Johnson, who lack a key to the Harvard Alumni Club.


Greg Palast, an expert in finance and regulation, is the author of Armed Madhouse: Strange Tales and Sordid Secrets of a White House Gone Wild. His investigative reports for BBC Television and Democracy Now were recently released as a film on DVD: Palast Investigates: From 8-Mile to the Amazon, on the Trail of the Financial Marauders.

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posted by u2r2h at 9:18 AM 0 comments

Remember Spitzer???

... this was March 2008!!!

Eliot's Mess

The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked

By Greg Palast Reporting for Air America Radio.s Clout

March 14th, 2008

[To hear the Podcast of Eliot's Mess read by Palast, click on the link below.]Bernanke Explains why the 200 Billion is good for YOU

While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an .escort. $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush.s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there.s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush.s man Bernanke was using ours.

This week, Bernanke.s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks. mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.

Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers. bordello: Eliot Spitzer.

Who are they kidding? Spitzer.s lynching and the bankers. enriching are intimately tied.

How? Follow the money.

The press has swallowed Wall Street.s line that millions of US families are about to lose their homes because they bought homes they couldn.t afford or took loans too big for their wallets. Ba-LON-ey. That.s blaming the victim.

Here.s what happened. Since the Bush regime came to power, a new species of loan became the norm, the .sub-prime. mortgage and its variants including loans with teeny "introductory" interest rates. From out of nowhere, a company called .Countrywide. became America.s top mortgage lender, accounting for one in five home loans, a large chunk of these .sub-prime..

Here.s how it worked: The Grinning Family, with US average household income, gets a $200,000 mortgage at 4% for two years. Their $955 monthly payment is 25% of their income. No problem. Their banker promises them a new mortgage, again at the cheap rate, in two years. But in two years, the promise ain.t worth a can of spam and the Grinnings are told to scram - because their house is now worth less than the mortgage. Now, the mortgage hits 9% or $1,609 plus fees to recover the "discount" they had for two years. Suddenly, payments equal 42% to 50% of pre-tax income. The Grinnings move into their Toyota.

Now, what kind of American is .sub-prime.. Guess. No peeking. Here.s a hint: 73% of HIGH INCOME Black and Hispanic borrowers were given sub-prime loans versus 17% of similar-income Whites. Dark-skinned borrowers aren.t stupid -- they had no choice. They were .steered. as it.s called in the mortgage sharking business.

.Steering,. sub-prime loans with usurious kickers, fake inducements to over-borrow, called .fraudulent conveyance. or .predatory lending. under US law, were almost completely forbidden in the olden days (Clinton Administration and earlier) by federal regulators and state laws as nothing more than fancy loan-sharking.

But when the Bush regime took over, Countrywide and its banking brethren were told to party hearty -- it was OK now to steer.m, fake.m, charge.m and take.m.

But there was this annoying party-pooper. The Attorney General of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who sued these guys to a fare-thee-well. Or tried to.

Instead of regulating the banks that had run amok, Bush.s regulators went on the warpath against Spitzer and states attempting to stop predatory practices. Making an unprecedented use of the legal power of "federal pre-emption," Bush-bots ordered the states to NOT enforce their consumer protection laws.

Indeed, the feds actually filed a lawsuit to block Spitzer.s investigation of ugly racial mortgage steering. Bush.s banking buddies were especially steamed that Spitzer hammered bank practices across the nation using New York State laws.

Spitzer not only took on Countrywide, he took on their predatory enablers in the investment banking community. Behind Countrywide was the Mother Shark, its funder and now owner, Bank of America. Others joined the sharkfest: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup.s Citibank made mortgage usury their major profit centers. They did this through a bit of financial legerdemain called "securitization."

What that means is that they took a bunch of junk mortgages, like the Grinning's, loans about to go down the toilet and re-packaged them into "tranches" of bonds which were stamped "AAA" - top grade - by bond rating agencies. These gold-painted turds were sold as sparkling safe investments to US school district pension funds and town governments in Finland (really).

When the housing bubble burst and the paint flaked off, investors were left with the poop and the bankers were left with bonuses. Countrywide.s top man, Angelo Mozilo, will .earn. a $77 million buy-out bonus this year on top of the $656 million - over half a billion dollars -- he pulled in from 1998 through 2007.

But there were rumblings that the party would soon be over. Angry regulators, burned investors and the weight of millions of homes about to be boarded up were causing the sharks to sink. Countrywide.s stock was down 50%, and Citigroup was off 38%, not pleasing to the Gulf sheiks who now control its biggest share blocks.

Then, on Wednesday of this week, the unthinkable happened. Carlyle Capital went bankrupt. Who? That.s Carlyle as in Carlyle Group. James Baker, Senior Counsel. Notable partners, former and past: George Bush, the Bin Laden family and more dictators, potentates, pirates and presidents than you can count.

The Fed had to act. Bernanke opened the vault and dumped $200 billion on the poor little suffering bankers. They got the public treasure -- and got to keep the Grinning.s house. There was no .quid. of a foreclosure moratorium for the .pro quo. of public bailout. Not one family was saved -- but not one banker was left behind.

Every mortgage sharking operation shot up in value. Mozilo.s Countrywide stock rose 17% in one day. The Citi sheiks saw their company.s stock rise $10 billion in an afternoon.

And that very same day the bail-out was decided -- what a coinkydink! -- the man called, .The Sheriff of Wall Street. was cuffed. Spitzer was silenced.

Do I believe the banks called Justice and said, "Take him down today!" Naw, that.s not how the system works. But the big players knew that unless Spitzer was taken out, he would create enough ruckus to spoil the party. Headlines in the financial press -- one was "Wall Street Declares War on Spitzer" - made clear to Bush.s enforcers at Justice who their number one target should be. And it wasn.t Bin Laden.

It was the night of February 13 when Spitzer made the bone-headed choice to order take-out in his Washington Hotel room. He had just finished signing these words for the Washington Post about predatory loans:

"Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye."

Bush, Spitzer said right in the headline, was the "Predator Lenders. Partner in Crime." The President, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet.

Spitzer wrote, "When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners the Bush administration will not be judged favorably."

But now, the Administration can rest assured that this love story -- of Bush and his bankers - will not be told by history at all -- now that the Sheriff of Wall Street has fallen on his own gun.

A note on "Prosecutorial Indiscretion."

Back in the day when I was an investigator of racketeers for government, the federal prosecutor I was assisting was deciding whether to launch a case based on his negotiations for airtime with 60 Minutes. I.m not allowed to tell you the prosecutor.s name, but I want to mention he was recently seen shouting, "Florida is Rudi country! Florida is Rudi country!"

Not all crimes lead to federal bust or even public exposure. It.s up to something called "prosecutorial discretion."

Funny thing, this .discretion.. For example, Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, paid Washington DC prostitutes to put him in diapers (ewww!), yet the Senator was not exposed by the US prosecutors busting the pimp-ring that pampered him.
Naming and shaming and ruining Spitzer -- rarely done in these cases - was made at the .discretion. of Bush.s Justice Department.

Or maybe we should say, 'indiscretion.'

Greg Palast, former investigator of financial fraud, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

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posted by u2r2h at 9:11 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Operation Gladio CIA-Pentagon-NATO TERROR

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gladio style terror in Istanbul, New York, Jakarta, Mumbai and
London, linked to Moslem militants and Israel? Sultanvahideddin
Events in Turkey reveal a lot about false flag operations, where
fascists of various religions work in harmony.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is an extremist Moslem group which is supposed to
be trying to bring about an Islamic caliphate.

Reportedly, Hizb ut-Tahrir has links to the Pentagon, Israel and
Gladio-style terrorism.

Operation Gladio was a CIA-Pentagon-NATO operation which
reportedly carried out acts of terrorism in Italy in order to
keep the right-wing folks in power.

And it's not just in Jakarta and New York and Mumbai and London
that we now find Gladio-style terror.

Gladio style terror in Istanbul, New York, Jakarta, Mumbai and
London, linked to Moslem militants and Israel? Bologna The
Bologna Bombing was blamed on the CIA-NATO's Operation Gladio.

In Turkey, there is evidence that right-wing elements within the
military, known as Ergenekon, worked with Islamic militants to
destabilise the country and promote a fascist agenda.

Turkish police have recently detained nearly 200 suspected
members of Hizb ut-Tahrir. (Close relation between Hizb
ut-Tahrir, Ergenekon exposed)
An investigation has revealed that Ugur K. and Ismail G., two of
those detained, had, in the past, had several telephone
conversations with Ergenekon suspects, including Maj. Fikret

Gladio style terror in Istanbul, New York, Jakarta, Mumbai and
London, linked to Moslem militants and Israel?
terror+on+the+tube Gladio-style terrorism seems to be being used
in London, Jakarta, Mumbai...

The Turkish media tells us, on 28 July 2009, that the Close
relationship between Hizb ut-Tahrir and Ergenekon has been

"According to the Ergenekon indictment, Ergenekon leaders used
terrorist organizations in Turkey ... to create chaos in the
country, which they hoped would make it easier to realize their
ultimate goal of triggering a military intervention.

"The evidence suggests that the group had links to ... the
fundamentalist organization Hizbullah ... and Hizb ut-Tahrir...

"A past raid at the house of Kemal Aydin and Neriman Aydin, two
Ergenekon suspects, had revealed the terrorist organization's
close ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir...

"Istanbul police also said the leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir's Turkish
branch, Cemalettin B., started to lead his group from Israel,
where he settled after being released from prison in Turkey.
Cemalettin B. was sending e-mails to his followers from his
Israeli home and preparing his group for attacks in Turkey.

"Turkish police are now focusing on the relations between the
group's leader and Israel. Cemalettin B. has not been subjected
to police follow-up or legal action in Israel since he settled

Monday, October 22, 2007

Turkey, the PKK and Israel

PKK Fighters (Subtitled Version) - Turkey
Assad: If Iraq Splits Up, The Region Will Explode
NATO, U.S. Aiding PKK Terrorists In Turkey
The strategy of fragmentation suggested by Yinon in 1982 is not
strategic thinking... Israel wants all other countries in the
region to be restructured along sectarian, ethnic, doctrinal or
racist lines." - Manifest colonial domination
Armenian genocide resolution - "State Department diplomacy is the
only thing calming the Turks down enough to keep them from a
full-fledged attack on Kurdistan. The resolution has so enraged
the Turks that it is the Zionist hope that the State Department
will no longer be able to stop the Turks from attacking. Putting
Kurdistan into play is intended to cause Iraq to fall apart. The
Israelis have decided to instruct their American operatives that
breaking Iraq up is so important to Zionist colonialism that
Israel is prepared to sell out both its supposed allies, the
Turks and the Kurds (not to mention the Americans!)." - permanent

Ian Bremmer wrote in The Guardian, 22 October 2007, Comment is
free: Why Turkey's army will stay home :

"First, the Turkish military has no interest in embracing the
risks that come with involvement in Iraq's sectarian strife. A
full-scale invasion might well provoke Iraq's own Kurdish
guerrillas into a prolonged and bloody battle with Turkish forces
that can only undermine support for Erdogan's government at home
and abroad.

"Second, Turkey's government hopes to keep the country's bid to
join the European Union moving forward. An invasion of Iraq would
bring that process to a grinding halt. EU foreign policy chief
Javier Solana has made plain that Europe strongly opposes any
large-scale Turkish military operation in Iraq.

"Third, Turkey is well aware that an all-out attack inside Iraq
is exactly what Turkey's Kurdish separatists want. What better
way to damage Turkey than to pull its military into conflict with
Iraq, the US and the EU? Erdogan has no intention of being drawn
into that trap. Comment is free: Why Turkey's army will stay home


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posted by u2r2h at 11:05 AM 0 comments

2002 french Karachi mass murder by Pakistani Military

published 28 july 2009 on - but censored there, too. The posting should have been one of these:

2002 Karachi attack not Al Qaeda suicide bombing but by Pakistani military operatives

Now known as the "submarine affair" in France, it has transpired that Al Qaeda was willingly blamed by all sides while many knew it to be a lie.

A coach carrying French naval engineers and technicians was bombed as it left a hotel in Karachi in May 2002. The attack killed 14 people in all.

French magistrates Marc Trevidic and Yves Jannier had obtained a top secret internal memo in October 2008 from the state-owned shipbuilder which contained the allegations that the attack was orchestrated by unnamed Pakistani officials angry with France over non-payment of bribes tied to a defence deal.

It is healthy to see France taking the deaths of their nationals seriously enough to restore the dignity of the realtives who are entitled to the truth. The withheld truth about the 911 bombings mocks the bereaved of all nations' victims. An insult to our citizens by the government and media professionals -- to cover up for secret state elements of the US military who carried out the atrocities in New York and Washington.

About the french scandal one can get good information:

but - as usual - it is censored in the anglo-american "free press" karachi 2002 chirac

However, in France the story is being told:

When will media and government stop being cowards and have the grace to tell the story of 911 in Anglo-america??

PARIS: French magistrates investigating an attack in Karachi blamed on militants that killed 11 French nationals in 2002 are looking into allegations it was linked to corrupt deals, lawyers for the victims’ families said.

A coach carrying French naval engineers and technicians was bombed as it left a hotel in Karachi in May 2002. The attack killed 14 people in all.

Pakistani authorities at first blamed militants and two men were sentenced to death for taking part in the attacks, but their convictions were overturned on appeal in 2003.

French magistrates Marc Trevidic and Yves Jannier told the victims’ families they were now investigating allegations the attack was orchestrated by unnamed Pakistani officials angry with France over non-payment of bribes tied to a defence deal.

‘The investigating magistrates told us that they believed this scenario was extremely credible,’ one of the relatives’ lawyers, Olivier Morice, told reporters.

According to these allegations, some kickbacks ended up in the campaign funds of then French prime minister Edouard Balladur, a rival of Jacques Chirac in the 1995 presidential election, a judicial source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Sarkozy rejects suspicion
President Nicolas Sarkozy was Mr Balladur’s campaign manager in the ballot and was also budget minister when the lucrative sales contract for the French Agosta submarines was signed. He rejected on Friday the magistrates’ suspicions. ‘Listen, this is ridiculous,’ Mr Sarkozy told reporters at a news conference after an EU summit in Brussels.

‘This is grotesque ... We have to respect the grief of the families. Who would ever believe such a tale?’ he added.

Mr Balladur also denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. Asked about the allegation by French state television, Mr Balladur said: ‘As far as I am aware, everything was completely above board. I have nothing more to say. If anyone has any proof, let them speak up.’

Lawyer Morice said the investigating magistrates had obtained a top secret internal memo in October 2008 from the state-owned shipbuilder which contained the allegations.

The memo, copies of which were shown on French media on Friday, says French and Pakistani officials connived to take bribes as part of the sale of the submarines to Pakistan.

It says France stopped paying the bribes after the 1995 election, won by Mr Chirac, and that Pakistani officials kept asking for them for several years.

The allegation is that they eventually lost patience and organised in retaliation the attack on the bus full of French engineers, who were working on the Agosta submarine project.

Al Qaeda link?

Investigators had been looking into an Al Qaeda link to the attack. But lawyer Morice told AFP: ‘The Al Qaeda track has been totally abandoned. The motive for the attack appears linked to the non-payment of commissions.’

Magali Drouet, a daughter of one of the men killed, quoted magistrate Trevidic, as telling the families that this theory was ‘cruelly logical’.

She added that according to this scenario, the attack was carried out because the special payments were not made by France to a minister.

High-ranking politicians would likely be called in to testify, said Morice. Details of the payments emerged in 2008 as part of an investigation into French arms sales.

Police seized documents from the French firm, now known as DCNS, which discussed the companies used to pay fees in connection with arms sales.

One unsigned document spoke of Pakistan intelligence services using hardline militants. The document, which has been added to the case file, said those who employed the hardline group had financial aims.

‘It involved obtaining the payment of unpaid commissions’ linked to the sale of French submarines to Pakistan in 1994, it said.—Agencies

Sunday, July 05, 2009
PARIS: Anti-terror judges leading an inquiry into the 2002 killing of 11 French engineers in Pakistan have asked the French defence minister to open up classified government files, a source said on Saturday.

Judges Marc Trevidic et Yves Jannier want “all documents” pertaining to the Karachi attack — linked to a contract with the French state firm DCN and murky commissions — be made available, the French weekly Le Point added on its website.

The inquiry has focused on allegations of a link to a corrupt 1994 submarine deal with Islamabad, amid suspicions the attack could have been ordered as punishment after Paris stopped paying commissions to the Pakistani intermediaries.

The 11 engineers, along with three Pakistani victims, were employed on the submarine deal when a car packed with explosives rammed into their minibus on May 8, 2002.

The lawyer for the victims’ families, Olivier Morice, believed that the attack was directly linked to “a halt to commission payments” from France to Islamabad.

According to the Le Point, the investigating magistrates want Defence Minister Herve Morin to order the release of sealed documents revealing the recipients of these payments plus intelligence files on the attack.

Investigators suspect Chirac blocked the payments, because kickbacks were being siphoned off to fund a war chest for Balladur, who ran unsuccessfully against him in the 1995 race.

Balladur’s campaign manager was Nicolas Sarkozy. Now French president, Sarkozy last month dismissed any suggestion of links to commission payments as “grotesque”.

The Paris prosecutor’s office has also said there were “no objective elements” linking the attack to the submarine deal.

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posted by u2r2h at 12:43 AM 0 comments

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who is more guilty of monumental war crimes - the prime-movers or trigger pullers?

Who is more guilty of monumental war crimes - the prime-movers or trigger pullers?

Written by Zahir Ebrahim

Saturday, 11 April 2009 08:37
In Ref To: Murder Trumps Torture Says Bugliosi

"I have to say that I'm disappointed in the president ..."
- Vincent Bugliosi

Does Mr. Vincent Bugliosi not realize that the respected president of the United States, past, and present, are part of an interlocked corrupt oligarchic system of which vanilla or chocolate is merely the icing on the devil's cake?

Vanilla or Chocolate is merely the icing on the devil's cake!

There is something inherently gone wrong in a nation when its brightest and most moral peoples become inexplicably limited in their conceptionalization of the social discourse, and their moral discourse -- but of course, even Noam Chomsky is afraid of the charge otherwise, of 'conspiracy theorist', for even he, as "arguably the most important intellectual alive", prefers to assert that a monk in the Hindu Kush orchestrated 911. Although, it is certainly fashionable to simultaneously charge the United States government for crimes against humanity for its imperialistic aggression. But not to question its untouchable prime-mover axioms which enable that aggression in the first place.

Interestingly, it is also the intellectual who informs the ordinary plebeian how any discourse is meaningfully controlled in a democratic society, to varying degrees of course:

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate." -- Noam Chomsky

If only Mr. Vincent Bugliosi -- and I do respect him greatly for going one step further by asserting "Murder Trumps Torture" than Professor Jonathon Turley whom I also greatly respect -- will go all the way to full consummation of justice, Western intellectualism and Western morality might start carrying a bit more weight with a lowly plebeian like me beyond it being just a "lively debate".

So far, it only rings true of the more expedient words of the Chief Justice of the United States:

"Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes, that a name, a phrases, a standard has meaning only when associated with the considerations which give birth to nomenclature. To those who would paralyze our Government in the face of impending threat by encasing it in a semantic strait-jacket, we must reply that all concepts are relative." -- Justice Vinson, U.S. Supreme Court, 1951 AD

Only the degree of the "semantic strait-jacket" differs between the various protagonists of justice, that's all.

When will someone who is a 'somebody' unequivocally assert the following in the entire United States? Who will bring charges of murder and treason, subversion and sedition, and monumental crimes against humanity to the table of the globalist oligarchs?

The text below from a previous run on the same treadmill does not change in its substance even if the word "Impeachment" is replaced by Mr. Vincent Bugliosi's more daringly accurate charge of "Murder". But it might be worthwhile to also non-Polyanishly recall that "All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets". This is how President George W. Bush murdered. It is also the basis upon which his successor President Obama is being the judge-jury-executioner even as we speak, by authorizing the drone attacks on Pakistan which is killing innocent men women and children whose only crime is to be in the path of "imperial mobilization" enroute to one-world government, and by aiding and abetting Israel in its Shoah of the Palestinians from his very first day in office. But President Obama's agenda goes much farther -- if only one is willing to not remain blinded to the proclivities of his handlers, none of which is particularly a state-secret. Are all of these manifest monumental crimes of the President's own orchestration, or are they according to a long-held pre-planned agenda of the oligarchs who whet and install presidents, and who replace them with a new face whenever it suits them? Besides, only the victors have ever succeeded in administering 'justice', and only a 'victor's justice' at that, to all such murderers -- who are otherwise, always, 'aptly' celebrated as 'Emperors', and 'The Great'!

Full text of: Impeachment alone does not solve the problem! June 13, 2008

Let the people not forget, amidst all this hoopla and excitement over the 35 Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush, the two-term 43rd President of the mighty superpower United States of America, that:

1) A new set of monumental criminals are ready and waiting in the wings.

2) Who will re-instate the devastated tabula rasa of innocent nations? Who will bring sanity back to the lives of the barely living who have seen DU and Daisy Cutters rained down upon their loved ones? Who will pay them fair and just compensation for their cataclysmic loss, pain and suffering?

And those today waiting in the wings have each indicated their desire to nuclear decimate Iran. Pakistan can't be too far behind judging from the continuous mantras of "loose nukes" and "terrorists" emanating at an accelerated pace from its mightiest think-tanks.

3) Therefore, unless you kill the DNA, this round of 'Roundup' is only going to temporarily do away with this crop of deadly blood-sucking weeds!

4) And while for the Americans, it has taken some 4000 to 10000 dead, some say considerably more if the paid mercenaries of the private armies are counted, plus the 3000 innocent who died on 911 under the rubble of controlled demolition, the innocent dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the poisoning of their habitat and their DNA with DU for all future times, has taken at least three to four orders of magnitude greater toll today, and forever mounting in the future.

As part of atonement that barely even reaches the level of sincerity that a victim can even begin to accept, first in principle, and then in execution, full restitution and compensation for all this pain and suffering must equally be on the table!

Otherwise, perhaps this impeachment exercise may fool the American public about the famed American democracy in action -- it fools no one else!

Least of all the victims -- from Cambodia to Iraq, and heavens forbid, now Iran and Pakistan. The impeachment of Nixon did as much for Laos and Vietnam, as impeachment of Bush will do for Iraq and Afghanistan.

5) A bunch of Zionofascist criminals can so easily hijack a superpower nation with a 'legal' coup d'etat that isn't even recognized as such -- something more than just impeachment is necessary!

The system is not only broken, it was crippled at birth -- for it is so easily hijackable -- from Wounded Knee to Iran, with new "Pearl Harbors" cleverly used for "imperial mobilization" from the USS Maine to 911 to the new nookular '911' that President Bush keeps warning the Americans and the world about in these ominous words as late as February 13, 2008: "Good morning [America]. At this moment, somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning new attacks on our country. Their goal is to bring destruction to our shores that will make September the 11th pale by comparison." See Project Humanbeingsfirst's Press Releases of May 11, 2008, and June 12, 2008, and its underlying fundamentals in "From Balance of Terror to Unilateral Terror on the Grand Chessboard!"

Unless recognition of all of these afore-stated points is driven home as part of this 'spraying of Roundup' on this crop of monumental criminals, new set of killer-weeds lie just beneath the surface to carry on with the imperative of spreading the imperial virus of "primacy and its geostrategic imperatives".

It is one continuous predatory imperative, from the Truman Doctrine, to the Carter Doctrine, to the Reagan Doctrine, and now to the Bush Doctrine. What did impeachment of Richard Nixon ever accomplish or deter, never mind restore to America's millions of untold and unaccounted victims in Asia and South America?

Unless the mainstream embedded newsmedia, the embedded think-tankers and policy planners, the embedded oped-writers, the embedded NYT to WP editorial chain, the embedded ABC to FOX news chain, and the 'ubermensch' masterminds from William Kristol to all the PNAC participants to Donald Rumsfeld to Dick Cheney to Zbigniew Brzezinski to Henry Kissinger to Paul Wolfowitz et. al., are equally consigned to Guantanamo Bay, all of their considerable wealth and fortunes and trusts confiscated, and the monumental criminals of humanity among them -- as determined in trials similar to the one accorded to Eichmann in Jerusalem by his surviving victims and their traumatized families -- are given full 'enemy combatant' protocol, America's democracy is only the Godfather's democracy!

The sons quietly takes over from the forcibly retired godfather, but with the full team intact, with all the financiers, power-brokers, policy-makers, and puppetmasters still closely holding the strings, the newsmedia still ready to toot their mantras, and all ready to go back into the global business of "full spectrum dominance" to construct the "new world order" of "one world government" after re-constituting the front faces of their family!

With that reluctant re-facing as the last fallback option of the hectoring hegemons, please mark these humble words: before this Administration is ever impeached, the grotesque reality which has been so systematically and painstakingly put in place over the past seven years, will surely see the COG machinery running this country! Before anyone can become a real threat to this status quo, and if the threat cannot be deflected someway, and no sacrificial lamb can be burnt at stake to soothe the anger of the plebeians now seeking blood, the key harbingers of such a threat will be made to "sleep with the fishes"!

All it takes is to make an offer that one cannot refuse -- and the matters will end up right back on the treadmill of dog and pony show, much like the Iran-Contra riveting television entertainment that was enjoyed all over America better than any Dan Brown novel ever will be!

Having said all that -- which of course ought not come as a surprise to anyone except the most Polyanish -- kudos to the immensely courageous David Swanson and the untiring persistent efforts of all those who are still endeavoring to 'spray this crop of weeds'! A very special kudos to the conscionable Congressman from Ohio who is still able to muster the Chutzpah to attempt impeachment -- knowing fully well that it will go absolutely nowhere! But at least it gets documented in the official paperwork of the Congress -- for whatever that's really worth. A respite, however brief, is arguably still better than none!

And having also said that, the Articles of Impeachment introduced by the good Congressman from Ohio cannot absolve the United States Congress itself of its own culpability and equal willing participation in the supreme monumental crime of "imperial mobilization".

One given to reflection and study well understands how the American peoples are continually fooled, indoctrinated, and managed. One need only read the following Project Humanbeingsfirst report "Weapons of Mass Deception -- The Master Social Science" to get a good understanding of both "Manufacturing Consent" and "Manufacturing Dissent" among the larger plebeian Western society by its ruling elite. The Congress however, comprises the ruling elite. They are generally the third category of peoples identified by Hitler, as those able to think critically who are purposefully trained in the ways of empire, or co-opted to join and participate in the running of 'empire' with the allure of its riches. The Congress isn't "the crowd of simpletons and the credulous" of the American masses.

Therefore, it is more than slightly disingenuous to lump the fabricated 'misleading' of the Congress with the genuine misleading of the American public. The Congress wasn't misled -- unless it comprises only full spectrum C grade morons from Yale, an arguable premise which I refuse to accept -- it was, and still is, just as complicit in every single supreme crime that the Congressfolks now solely apportion to their leader.

From the very control of the purse strings that funds the war-mongering, to the passing of oppressive laws and unchallenged acceptance of Executive Orders that now enables the police-state, to the granting of carte-blanche to bomb Afghanistan and Iraq to smithereens -- the Congress willingly did it all! If an ordinary plebeian like this scribe can narrate it all in his 2003 book as the DU bombs on Iraq were falling, and can take a bold stand at his own front door and say NO to the State's security apparatus, it takes Congress another 5 years to come to that conclusion, ex post facto -- when all the faits accomplis have already been constructed and the "Mission [truly] Accomplished"?

Either this scribe is so ingeniously smart that he knew it all, in which case he and half a million other ordinary peoples in America who said NO to George W. Bush from 2001-2002 onwards until today at considerable risks to themselves, should be the Congress -- the new Peoples' Congress. Or the House and Senate are equally complicit in the aiding and abetting of supreme crimes against humanity. They could well have said NO when ordinary peoples in America dared to say NO! Look at this picture of a 10 year old saying NO in February 2003 along with tens of thousands of ordinary Americans!

The Articles of Impeachment that the honorable Congressman from Ohio imputes solely to his President, equally apply to impeaching every single Congressman and Congresswomen, except, to this scribe's humble knowledge, Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her uncommonly courageous solo stand on the very first imperial mobilization to Afghanistan immediately after 911 -- when she alone stood up to boldly say NO!

That first enabling seed, that green light to bomb Afghanistan and the passing of Patriot Acts without even reading them, enabled it all. And the blame, as per the precedent set at Nuremberg -- all culpability for aggression, and "all the evil that follows", is to the first aggression and to its enablers -- rests jointly with the nation of United States of America and its entire ruling elite who together railroaded "the crowd of simpletons and the credulous" of the American masses no differently than Hitler after his "Operation Canned Goods".

It is further remarkable that none of the Articles of Impeachment introduced by the Honorable Congressman from Ohio even suggest a controlled demolition on 911, or that it could have been an inside job and another 'operation canned goods' as no other rational explanation suffices. The Articles continue to mimic the same premise as untenably asserted by both the White House and the Pentagon from the very day of 911, that it was an invasion from abroad, rather than perhaps an insidious coup from within.

What kind of clever wool pulling is this Impeachment game which isn't even all that clever? I suppose the audience for it is exclusively the American public!

No offense is intended to the honorable Congressman from Ohio in this scribe 'calling a spade a spade'! Once again, Project Humanbeingsfirst humbly thanks even this brief respite if it can be effectively afforded to the miserable victims, playing whatever games necessary as permitted in the existing system!

Just don't let it fool anyone that it amounts to anything more than what it really is.

Thank you.
Project said:

Eustace Mullins had long ago laid it out
Iconoclast Eustace Mullins had spelled out over two dozen years ago some of the legalise which is already on the American Law Books that could be used by a courageous and patriotic people to indict the real murderers of humanity who continually mastermind from behind the scenes the "kill[ing] in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets".

Why is this phenomenal book, as the author's previous seminal 'Secrets of the Federal Reserve', now over 50 years old, ignored by Bugliosi, Turley, Velvel, their predecessors, the 'rebel' lawmakers, and the alternate newsmedia to help them get to the real prime-movers of crimes against humanity? After all the 'labeling' vilification has been processed, the two most precious treasures of the American goyem, poet-philosopher Ezra Pound and detective-scholar Eustace Mullins, have been entirely lost to them. But it is surprising that it is also lost to the rebellious thinking minds!

The following rendering of Socrates' famous admonition from the book's Preface is still an open invitation:

"Agree with me if I seem to you to speak the truth; or, if not, withstand me might and main that I may not deceive you as well as myself in my desire, and like the bee leave my sting in you before I die. And now let us proceed."

A Study in the Hegemony of Parasitism
by Eustace Mullins Copyright 1985
First Edition
Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 84-082357
PDF available online.

Pages 276 - 280

Despite its present hegemony, the World Order of parasitism realizes
that it is always subject to being dislodged, which, in effect, would mean its
destruction. Therefore, it is necessary to control not only the channels of
communication of the host, but his very thought processes as well; to
maintain constant vigilance that the host does not develop any concept of the
danger of his situation, or any power to throw off the parasite. Therefore, the
parasite carefully instructs the host that he exists only because of the "benign"
presence of the parasite -- that he owes everything to the presence of the
parasite, his religion, his social order, his monetary system, and his educational
svstem. The parasite deliberately inculcates in the host the fear that if the
parasite happens to be dislodged, the host will lose all these things, and be left
with nothing.
Although the World Order has control of the legal system and the
courts, it remains vulnerable to any enforcement of the pre-existing body of
law which the host had formulated to protect his society. This body of law
forbids everything that the parasite is doing, and forces the parasite to
maintain a precarious existence outside of the law. It the law were to be
enforced at any time, the parasite would be dislodged. The existing body of
law clearly forbids the operation of criminal syndicates, which is precisely
what the hegemony of parasitism and its World Order is. Criminal
syndicalism denies the equal protection of the law to citizens. Only by acting
against criminal syndicalism can the state protect its citizens.
Corpus Juris Secundum 16: Constitutional Law 213 (10) states : "The
Constitutional guaranty of freedom of speech does not include the right to
advocate, or conspire to effect, the violent destruction or overthrow of the
government or the criminal destruction of property. 214 : The Constitutional
guaranty of the right of assembly was never intended as a license for illegality
or invitation for fraud -- the right of freedom of assembly may be abused by
using assembly to incite violence and crime, and the people through their
legislatures may protect themselves against the abuse."
The assembly of any World Order organization, such as the Council on
Foreign Relations or any foundation, is subject to the laws against fraud (their
charters claim they are engaged in philanthropy), and enforcement of the laws
against criminal syndicalism would end the institutions through which the
World Order illegally rules the people of the United States, the illegal
conspiracies and the introduction of alien laws into our system by the
foundations instructions to Congress.
We have already shown that the Rockefeller Foundation and other key
organizations of the World Order are "Syndicates", which are engaged in the
practice of criminal syndicalism. But what is a "syndicate"? The Oxford
English Dictionary notes that the word stems from "syndic". A syndic is
defined as "an officer of government, a chief magistrate, a deputy". In 1601
R. Johnson wrote in Kingd and commonw "especiall men, called Syndiques,
who have the managing of the whole commonwealth." Thus the Rockefeller
Foundation and its associated groups are carrying out their delegated function
of managing the entire commonwealth, but not for the benefit of the people,
or of any government except the secret super-government, the World Order,
which they serve. The OED further defines a syndic as "a censor of the
actions of another. To accuse." Here too, the syndicate functions acording to
its definition -- the syndicate censors all thought and media, primarily to
protect its own power. It also brings accusations -- as many American citizens
have found to their sorrow. Not even Sir Walter Raleigh was immune. When
he interfered with the international money trade, he was accused of "treason"
and beheaded.
The OED defines a "syndicate" as follows : "3. A combination of
capitalists and financiers entered into for the purpose of prosecuting a scheme
requiring large sources of capital, especially one having the object of obtaining
control of the market in a particular commodity. To control, manage or effect
by a syndicate." Note the key words in this definition -- a combination --
prosecuting -- obtaining control. The scheme does not require "large capital"
-- it requires "large sources of capital", the bank of England or the Federal
Reserve System.
Corpus Juris Secundum 22A says of Criminal Syndicalism, "In a
prosecution for being a member of an organization which teaches and abets
criminal syndicalism, evidences of crimes committed by past or present
members of the organization in their capacity as members is admissible to
show its character." People v. LaRue 216 P 627 C.A. 276. Thus testimony
about John Foster Dulles financing the Nazi Government of Germany, his
telegram starting the Korean War, and other evidence can be used to indict
any member of the Rockefeller Foundation in any state or locality in which
the Rockefeller Foundation has ever been active in any way. Since these
organizations are all closely interlocked, and there is so much available
evidence of their illegal operations, it will be relatively simple to obtain
criminal convictions against them for their criminal syndicalist operations.
Corpus Juris Secundum 22, Criminal Law 185 (10); Conspiracy and
Monopolies : "Where the statute makes mere membership in an organization
formed to promote syndicalism a crime, without an overt act, this offense is
indictable in any county into which a member may go during the continuance
of his membership, and this is true although such member comes into a
county involuntarily. People v. Johansen, 226 P 634, 66 C.A. 343."
Corpus Juris Secundum 22, Criminal Law sec. 182 (3) states, "A
prosecution for conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S, may also be
tried in any district wherein any overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy is
performed. U.S. v. Cohen C.A.N.J. 197 F 2d 26." Thus a publication by the
Council on Foreign Relations promoting the stripping of sovereignty of the
United States of America, mailed into any county of the U.S.; the county
authorities can bring the Council on Foreign Relations, or any member
therein, to trial in that county,and any action by any member of the Council
on Foreign Relations in the past is admissible as evidence, such as starting
World War Il, subsidizing the Nazi Government, or subsidizing the USSR.
Criminal syndicalism can also be prosecuted according to Corpus Juris
Secundum 46, Insurrection and Sedition : sec. 461 c. "Sabotage and
syndicalism aiming to abolish the present political and social system, including
direct action or sabotage." Thus any program of a foundation which seeks to
abolish the present political or social system of the United States can be
prosecuted. Of course every foundation program seeks to accomplish just
that, and is indictable.
Not only individuals, but any corporation supporting criminal
syndicalism can be prosecuted, according to Corpus Juris Secundum 46 462b.
Criminal Syndicalism. "Statutes against criminal syndicalism apply to
corporations as well as to individuals organizing or belonging to criminal
syndicalist society; evidence of the character and activities of other
organizations with which the organization in which the accused is a member is
affiliated is admissible."
Not only can the members of the World Order be arrested and tried
anywhere, since they function worldwide in their conspiratorial activities to
undermine and overthrow all governments and nations, but because their
organizations are so tightly interlocked, any evidence about any one of them
can be introduced in prosecuting any member of other organizations in any
part of the U.S. or the world. Their attempts to undermine the political and
social orders of all peoples make them subject to legal retribution. The People
of the U.S. must begin at once to enforce the statutes outlawing criminal
syndicalist activities, and bring the criminals to justice.
Being well aware of their danger, the World Order is working frantically
to achieve even greater dictatorial powers over the nations of the world. They
constantly intensify all problems through the foundations, so that political and
economic crises prevent the peoples of the world from organizing against
them. The World Order must paralyze its opponents. They terrorize the
world with propaganda about approaching international nuclear war, although
atomic bombs have been used only once, in 1945, when the Rockefeller
Foundation director Karl T. Compton ordered Truman to drop the atomic
bomb on Japan.


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posted by u2r2h at 9:41 AM 0 comments

Friday, July 24, 2009

USA behind Coup Honduras US AIR BASE

Zelaya, Negroponte and the Controversy at Soto Cano

The Coup and the U.S. Airbase in Honduras


The mainstream media has once again dropped the ball on a key aspect of the ongoing story in Honduras: the U.S. airbase at Soto Cano, also known as Palmerola. Prior to the recent military coup d.etat President Manuel Zelaya declared that he would turn the base into a civilian airport, a move opposed by the former U.S. ambassador. What.s more Zelaya intended to carry out his project with Venezuelan financing.

For years prior to the coup the Honduran authorities had discussed the possibility of converting Palmerola into a civilian facility. Officials fretted that Toncontín, Tegucigalpa.s international airport, was too small and incapable of handling large commercial aircraft. An aging facility dating to 1948, Toncontín has a short runway and primitive navigation equipment. The facility is surrounded by hills which makes it one of the world.s more dangerous international airports.

Palmerola by contrast has the best runway in the country at 8,850 feet long and 165 feet wide. The airport was built more recently in the mid-1980s at a reported cost of $30 million and was used by the United States for supplying the Contras during America.s proxy war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua as well as conducting counter-insurgency operations in El Salvador. At the height of the Contra war the U.S. had more than 5,000 soldiers stationed at Palmerola. Known as the Contras. .unsinkable aircraft carrier,. the base housed Green Berets as well as CIA operatives advising the Nicaraguan rebels.

More recently there have been some 500-to-600 U.S. troops on hand at the facility which serves as a Honduran air force base as well as a flight-training center. With the exit of U.S. bases from Panama in 1999, Palmerola became one of the few usable airfields available to the U.S. on Latin American soil. The base is located approximately 30 miles north of the capital Tegucigalpa.

In 2006 it looked as if Zelaya and the Bush administration were nearing a deal on Palmerola.s future status. In June of that year Zelaya flew to Washington to meet President Bush and the Honduran requested that Palmerola be converted into a commercial airport. Reportedly Bush said the idea was .wholly reasonable. and Zelaya declared that a four-lane highway would be constructed from Tegucigalpa to Palmerola with U.S. funding.

In exchange for the White House.s help on the Palmerola facility Zelaya offered the U.S. access to a new military installation to be located in the Mosquitia area along the Honduran coast near the Nicaraguan border. Mosquitia reportedly serves as a corridor for drugs moving south to north. The drug cartels pass through Mosquitia with their cargo en route from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

A remote area only accessible by air, sea, and river Mosquitia is full of swamp and jungle. The region is ideal for the U.S. since large numbers of troops may be housed in Mosquitia in relative obscurity. The coastal location was ideally suited for naval and air coverage consistent with the stated U.S. military strategy of confronting organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism. Romeo Vásquez, head of the Honduran Joint Chiefs of Staff, remarked that the armed forces needed to exert a greater presence in Mosquitia because the area was full of .conflict and problems..

But what kind of access would the U.S. have to Mosquitia? Honduran Defense Secretary Aristides Mejía said that Mosquitia wouldn.t necessarily be .a classic base with permanent installations, but just when needed. We intend, if President Zelaya approves, to expand joint operations [with the United States].. That statement however was apparently not to the liking of eventual coup leader and U.S. School of the Americas graduate Vásquez who had already traveled to Washington to discuss future plans for Mosquitia. Contradicting his own colleague, Vásquez said the idea was .to establish a permanent military base of ours in the zone. which would house aircraft and fuel supply systems. The United States, Vásquez added, would help to construct air strips on site.

Events on the ground meanwhile would soon force the Hondurans to take a more assertive approach towards air safety. In May, 2008 a terrible crash occurred at Toncontín airport when a TACA Airbus A320 slid off the runway on its second landing attempt. After mowing down trees and smashing through a metal fence, the airplane.s fuselage was broken into three parts near the airstrip. Three people were killed in the crash and 65 were injured.

In the wake of the tragedy Honduran officials were forced at long last to block planes from landing at the notoriously dangerous Toncontín. All large jets, officials said, would be temporarily transferred to Palmerola. Touring the U.S. airbase himself Zelaya remarked that the authorities would create a new civilian facility at Palmerola within sixty days. Bush had already agreed to let Honduras construct a civilian airport at Palmerola, Zelaya said. .There are witnesses,. the President added.

But constructing a new airport had grown more politically complicated. Honduran-U.S. relations had deteriorated considerably since Zelaya.s 2006 meeting with Bush and Zelaya had started to cultivate ties to Venezuela while simultaneously criticizing the American-led war on drugs.

Bush.s own U.S. Ambassador Charles Ford said that while he would welcome the traffic at Palmerola past agreements should be honored. The base was used mostly for drug surveillance planes and Ford remarked that .The president can order the use of Palmerola when he wants, but certain accords and protocols must be followed.. .It is important to point out that Toncontín is certified by the International Civil Aviation Organization,. Ford added, hoping to allay long-time concerns about the airport.s safety. What.s more, the diplomat declared, there were some airlines that would not see Palmerola as an .attractive. landing destination. Ford would not elaborate or explain what his remarks were supposed to mean.

Throwing fuel on the fire Assistant Secretary of State John Negroponte, a former U.S. ambassador to Honduras, said that Honduras could not transform Palmerola into a civilian airport .from one day to the next.. In Tegucigalpa, Negroponte met with Zelaya to discuss Palmerola. Speaking later on Honduran radio the U.S. diplomat said that before Zelaya could embark on his plans for Palmerola the airport would have to receive international certification for new incoming flights. According to Spanish news agency EFE Negroponte also took advantage of his Tegucigalpa trip to sit down and meet with the President of the Honduran Parliament and future coup leader Roberto Micheletti [the news account however did not state what the two discussed].

Needless to say Negroponte.s visit to Honduras was widely repudiated by progressive and human rights activists who labeled Negroponte .an assassin. and accused him of being responsible for forced disappearances during the diplomat.s tenure as ambassador (1981-1985). Moreover, Ford and Negroponte.s condescending attitude irked organized labor, indigenous groups and peasants who demanded that Honduras reclaim its national sovereignty over Palmerola. .It.s necessary to recover Palmerola because it.s unacceptable that the best airstrip in Central America continues to be in the hands of the U.S. military,. said Carlos Reyes, leader of the Popular Bloc which included various politically progressive organizations. .The Cold War has ended and there are no pretexts to continue with the military presence in the region,. he added. The activist remarked that the government should not contemplate swapping Mosquitia for Palmerola either as this would be an affront to Honduran pride.

Over the next year Zelaya sought to convert Palmerola into a civilian airport but plans languished when the government was unable to attract international investors. Finally in 2009 Zelaya announced that the Honduran armed forces would undertake construction. To pay for the new project the President would rely on funding from ALBA [in English, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas] and Petrocaribe, two reciprocal trading agreements pushed by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez. Predictably the Honduran right leapt on Zelaya for using Venezuelan funds. Amílcar Bulnes, President of the Honduran Business Association [known by its Spanish acronym COHEP] said that Petrocaribe funds should not be used for the airport but rather for other, unspecified needs.

A couple weeks after Zelaya announced that the armed forces would proceed with construction at Palmerola the military rebelled. Led by Romeo Vásquez, the army overthrew Zelaya and deported him out of the country. In the wake of the coup U.S. peace activists visited Palmerola and were surprised to find that the base was busy and helicopters were flying all around. When activists asked American officials if anything had changed in terms of the U.S.-Honduran relationship they were told .no, nothing..

The Honduran elite and the hard right U.S. foreign policy establishment had many reasons to despise Manuel Zelaya as discussed in previous articles. The controversy over the Palmerola airbase however certainly gave them more ammunition.

Nikolas Kozloff is the author of Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008)

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posted by u2r2h at 11:45 AM 0 comments

Thursday, July 23, 2009

US empire - IRAN

Here is another article by neo-colonialist jewish-american
right-wing paid thinker-whore:

America and Iran

Iranian Persian Gulf Strategy, Operations, and Tactics in the 1980s

David B. Crist July 20th 2009

Washington Institute Contributor

Iran.s military approach in its 1980s clashes with the United States show that the Teheran regime pursued one simple objective in opposing the U.S. escort of Kuwait.s tankers: force the U.S. Navy out of the Persian Gulf.

Iran.s leaders viewed the U.S. decision to safeguard the Kuwaiti tankers as a direct intervention in their war with Iraq. It was a common belief in Tehran at the time that the Iraqi invasion had been carried out at the behest of Washington to undermine the Islamic Revolution. With Iran.s dramatic seizure of the al-Faw Peninsula in February 1986, the United States had intervened to support Baghdad. According to U.S. intelligence, one Iranian commander at Bandar Abbas stated that the United States seemed intent on doing everything to "protect" Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.s war machine. And since Kuwait was one of Iraq.s chief financial supporters, safeguarding the emirate.s oil tankers was tantamount to aiding Baghdad.s war effort.

Iranian caution and restraint

To achieve its immediate war goal, Tehran moved cautiously. While a few Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers advocated a direct confrontation with the "Great Satan," Iranian leaders did not want to take overt action that might produce a significant military response for which they were unprepared, or an action that would undermine their standing in the international community as the victim of Iraqi aggression. One of the first indications of this policy occurred after Saudi Arabia shot down an Iranian F-4 in June 1984. Privately, the Saudi government feared the downing of the Iranian fighter would lead to an escalation of Iranian attacks on Saudi shipping, yet the Iranians drew a very different lesson from the incident: They never again challenged the Fahd Line or used their aviation resources to attack shipping in the northern Persian Gulf.

Iranian officials also showed great prudence in taking overt military actions against the United States. A good example of this was the decision not to use their recently acquired Chinese Silkworm cruise missiles against U.S. forces. While guided by relatively unsophisticated radar systems, Silkworms carried a thousand- pound warhead. Beginning in February 1987, Iran constructed a series of nine Silkworm missile sites ringing the Strait of Hormuz, on Qeshm Island, and near Kishk outside the Gulf. Any ship entering the Gulf had to pass through the Silkworm missile envelope, and the Pentagon regarded these missiles as the most potent conventional threat to convoy operations.

Palestine two state solution cartoon

According to then National Security Agency director Lt. Gen. William Odom, the Iranian government viewed these missiles as a strategic asset: The control of the missiles was highly centralized, and their use required release authority from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini. In June 1987, the United States relayed a stern warning to Tehran via the Swiss embassy against using Silkworm missiles. Washington viewed use of the Silkworms against the Kuwaiti convoys as a serious matter.tantamount to a declaration of war.4 While Iran never responded to the U.S. demarche, it understood the message.

Despite all the hostility between the two nations over the coming year, Iran never fired a single Silkworm missile from its sites around the Strait of Hormuz. Although there were reports of Silkworm missiles being used during Operation Praying Mantis, the after-action review revealed no evidence of a Silkworm missile being used around the Strait of Hormuz, although Iran may have modified a Maverick missile for surface-to-surface use. The threshold warnings against the use of Silkworms appeared to be somewhat lower in the northern Gulf, especially in Iran.s attacks against Kuwaiti ships and port facilities.

In response to the firefight a week earlier between U.S. helicopters and an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) speedboat, Iran fired two captured Iraqi Silkworms at Kuwait on October 15 and 16, 1987, with each striking a the reflagged Kuwaiti tanker Sea Isle City. During Operation Praying Mantis, Iran launched another Silkworm from al-Faw in the general direction of the Mobile Sea Bases, just before Iraqi forces overran the missile position.

Iran.s selective use of the Silkworms was part of its overall attempt to perform a balancing act in regional policy: inflict enough damage and casualties to rouse a skeptical U.S. Congress to demand a withdrawal from the Gulf, while maintaining plausible deniability to avoid international retribution. In Tehran.s eyes, Washington appeared unwilling to pay a high price for its involvement in the Middle East.

The bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah had forced the U.S. withdrawal from Beirut. Despite vows of retribution by President Ronald Reagan, Washington never retaliated militarily. The Iranian government noticed the outcry in Congress and even within the U.S. Navy to reduce the military presence in the Gulf following the inadvertent Iraqi attack on the USS Stark in May 1987, which killed thirty-seven sailors. Both of these incidents reinforced Tehran.s view that America was unwilling to accept casualties for a presence in the region.

After seven years of war and revolution, Iran had limited conventional military capability to threaten the U.S. convoys. A combination of spare parts shortages and combat losses greatly diminished its fleet of fixed-wing combat aircraft. Iran.s once impressive navy under the shah was also in disrepair: By 1986, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) had 15,000 men and eighteen surface combatants. Spare parts shortages effectively reduced this number of combat vessels by half. At any given time, only 10 percent of the Iranian fleet was at sea; Iran had only one functioning Harpoon antiship missile. The bulk of IRIN operations fell to four 1,500-ton British Vosper-built frigates, each armed with small Sea Killer antiship missiles and a 4.5- inch rapid-fire main gun.

The most substantial force available to combat the United States was the newly formed IRGCN. In July 1985, the IRGCN executed one of its first naval operations by seizing and briefly holding the Kuwaiti freighter al-Muharraq. The IRGCN quickly grew and by early 1987, became the primary means of attacking Gulf shipping. The backbone of the IRGCN was an improvised fleet of a hundred small boats, a combination of "Boston Whaler".type boats and fast Swedish-built Boghammers. In 1984, over American objections, the Swedish government allowed the sale of nearly forty of these so-called cabin cruisers to Iran, and the IRGCN impressed every boat. Forty-one feet long and powered by twin Volvo engines, they could reach a speed of forty-five knots. Armed with 107-millimeter rockets, RPG-7s, and 12.7-millimeter machine guns, this "mosquito fleet" lacked the firepower to sink an oil tanker, but could inflict serious damage and kill its crewmen.

Asymmetric attacks: U.S. fears and Iranian realities

Two indirect, or asymmetrical, methods were available for Iran to attack U.S. forces.namely, terrorism and mining. Tehran actively employed terrorism to strike and intimidate the Islamic Republic.s enemies, while maintaining the outward appearance of comity within the region. As with its shipping attacks, Tehran.s terrorism centered on Iraq.s supporters, particularly Kuwait. On December 12, 1983, a series of car and truck bombings rocked Kuwait City and nearby industrial areas, targeting the U.S. and French embassies, the airport, the main oil refinery, and the Shuaiba petrochemical plant. Those responsible turned out to belong to a terrorist group called al-Dawa ("The Call"), an Iranian-backed Shiite group headquartered in downtown Tehran. On March 27, 1984, a joint CIA.Defense Intelligence Agency estimate warned of further Iranian terrorist attacks, and the warnings validated when Iranian-sponsored bombings took place in Kuwait in June 1986 and January 1987.

The U.S. Navy worried about Iranian suicide boats or saboteurs attacking the convoys or ships in port.a fate that later befell the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000. To counter possible Iranian commando assaults, the Navy deployed proximity sensors, underwater strobe lights, and antiswimmer nets around the U.S. anchorage at Mina al-Suleiman Pier. At one point, even specially trained dolphins were sent to Bahrain to detect Iranian frogmen. Tragically, on the evening of November 1, 1987, the frigate Carr was escorting a U.S. merchant ship when it opened fire with its heavy machine gun on a suspected suicide vessel, which a subsequent investigation revealed to be a small craft smuggling goods to Iran.

Despite these concerns, there is no evidence that Iran ever attempted either a suicide attack or a commando operation against U.S. forces. Suicide bombing was not in the IRGCN.s operational playbook in the 1980s, and as one retired intelligence officer has noted, Iranians have preferred to use surrogates to commit suicide attacks. However, the IRGCN did at least consider using swimmers to plant mines on the hulls of anchored U.S. warships, but Iran lacked both the trained personnel and the means to effectively deliver their swimmers to Bahrain.

Plausible Deniability

In August 1984, a Libyan ship laid mines in the Red Sea, playing havoc with Western shipping in the Suez Canal. Although U.S. intelligence soon uncovered Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi.s culpability, the incident remained mysterious enough that Libya suffered no consequences from its mining of international waters.12 Such plausible deniability afforded by naval mines strongly appealed to the Iranian leadership: It provided a low-risk means of striking at the United States and ran a minimal risk of retaliation. Unless an Iranian vessel was caught in the act of laying mines, Iranian officials believed, it would be difficult for Washington to justify a military response.

In 1981, in order to blockade Iraq, the Islamic Republic purchased stocks of two different types of unsophisticated moored contact mines from North Korea: the small Myam (SADAF-01) mine with only a forty-four-pound explosive charge and the much larger M-08 (SADAF-02). The latter was a pre. World War I, Russian-designed mine, packing an explosive charge of nearly 250 pounds. Neither mine could be used in deep water, such as the Strait of Hormuz, but both could be laid throughout the shallower Arab side of the Persian Gulf. The IRGC reverse engineered the North Korean mines and began producing an Iranian version of these two mines. By July 1985, the first of the Iranian-designated SADAF-01 and SADAF-02 mines began rolling off the production lines at an ammunition plant north of Tehran; about twenty SADAFs were produced each week.

There was general agreement among the various factions in the Iranian government on using mines. Iran publicly praised those responsible for laying the mines as "God.s angels that descend and do what is necessary." From the first authorized mining of Kuwait harbor in May 1987 until April 1988, Iran laid ninety-one mines in six separate attacks directed at the American convoy operation.

Initial success emboldened Iran in using mines. The IRGCN cautiously employed mines in its first operation, using simple local dhows (small boats) to lay fourteen mines at night at the entrance to Kuwait.s main shipping channel. Despite damaging four ships, Iran faced no recriminations. Tehran.s next operation was more audacious, with the IRGCN laying a string of mines directly across the path of the first U.S. convoy during Operation Earnest Will, one of which was struck by the tanker Bridgeton. The IRGCN came back later to lay another row of shallower SADAF-01 mines, deliberately targeting the U.S. countermine vessels deployed to clear the first mine line. Washington failed to retaliate despite positive proof obtained by U.S. and British intelligence that mines used in both the Bridgeton and Kuwaiti attacks had been produced in Iran. The next month, Iran employed a large IRIN logistics vessel to target the rendezvous of convoy off the United Arab Emirates (UAE) coast. And when alerted of a scheduled deployment of the flagship of the U.S. naval force, the USS LaSalle, Iran brazenly decided to target it with the Iran Ajr.

The Iranian reaction following the U.S. capture of the Iran Ajr sheds significant light on Iran.s operational calculations. The operation had backfired, prompting European nations to dispatch their own minesweepers to the Gulf and increasing Gulf Cooperation Council support for the U.S. military effort against Iran. For the next six months, Iran refrained from any further mining operations.

H1 Airfield US bases Iraq (Oil for Israel's mlitary)

H-3 air base cluster located 435 kilometers from Bagdad in western Iraq. The main H3 airfield was originally built to support the H-3 oil pumping station.

However, after eight years of war with Iraq, Iran.s economic and military ability to continue the war was in question. Time was not on Iran.s side: In early 1988, Iranian leaders debated the wisdom of renewing their mining campaign. The more truculent members of the Iranian leadership vocally argued that Iran needed to deal a decisive blow. Others advocated avoiding a confrontation with the United States: Iran had enough trouble with Iraq, they argued, to embark on an action that would induce greater U.S. military commitment against Iran. But those demanding action won the debate. Once again, the IRGCN deliberately targeted U.S. ships, laying mines across the convoy route. One of these mines found the Samuel B. Roberts.

The drubbing experienced by the Iranian military during the subsequent Operation Praying Mantis, reinforced by the Iran Ajr fiasco, strengthened the more pragmatic factions within the government. According to both U.S. and British intelligence reports following the engagement, there were political recriminations in Tehran against those who had advocated the mine attack on the Roberts. For the next three months, until the ceasefire ended the Iran-Iraq War in July 1988, the IRGCN never again conducted a mining operation.

Additionally, the sparing of the Sabalan had a surprising effect on the Iranian leadership. Those leaders who understood the power of the U.S. military were surprised that Washington had spared the ship. "It was as if God himself had gently touched her with his little finger," a senior Iranian official remarked. In a meeting with an Arab counterpart, Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati expressed amazement that the United States did not sink the ship: "I never expected the United States to show that kind of mercy." How much impact this had on Iranian politics is not known, but it appears that the power displayed by the United States undercut the hardliners. arguments for attacking U.S. forces. Such reluctance was maintained even after the Vincennes.s accidental downing of Iran Air Flight 655.

Mining Tactics

Iran employed conventional tactics in its mining operations. Initially it used large fishing dhows, which mingled with the normal fishing and smuggling traffic. Later, the IRGCN switched to using IRIN logistics or amphibious vessels with a large flat open deck for storing and dropping the mines. Despite the fact that the amphibious craft operated from IRIN vessels, the mining was always conducted and controlled by an IRGCN special missions unit.

Because the deepwater channels of the Persian Gulf were located in the Iranian exclusion zone, the U.S. convoys were forced to travel through the Gulf along a shallower southern route. This route offered the IRGCN a number of areas where the Iranian- produced mines, which were not suitable for use in deep water, could be deployed. Iran closely monitored the first convoy.s progress, ascertaining its speed and location, and laid a line of mines over the shallow Shah Allum shoals, west of Farsi Island and directly in the convoy.s path.

Subsequent Iranian mining operations followed a similar modus operandi. Under the cover of darkness.preferably with zero percent illumination. the minelayer would dim its navigation lights and maintain a consistent speed and heading, guiding from navigation buoys or fixed light on the horizon. One IRGCN officer held a stopwatch while other men methodically inserted detonators into the black spherical objects arranged on top of the flat open deck. Every ten or fifteen seconds (depending on the ship.s speed and the desired distance between mines) the officer ordered a mine dropped, with each carefully rolled to the edge of a plank protruding off the side and pushed into the blackness below.

The IRGCN improved on its technique. The first mining operation off Kuwait in May 1987 was conducted by two large Iranian dhows from Bushehr. Each laid seven mines in two parallel rows that radiated from one of the navigation buoys. The mines were only thirty meters apart, meaning that they were pushed off one after the other. The Bridgeton mine line was evenly spaced to cover the entire tanker track and was supported by another small line of Myams targeted at the U.S. countermine vessels. The April 1988 mining that damaged the Roberts was conducted by a much larger

ship: the 200-foot Charak. Twelve mines were arrayed in a circular pattern, where shoals forced the tanker route into a natural deepwater channel, intending to saturate the area and increase the chances of finding a target. Either that night or the next, another ship (probably the Charak.s sister, the Souru) undertook a similar mission some sixty miles to the southeast, along an early Operation Earnest Will tanker track that had not been used for several convoys.

To minimize interference with their own fishing and smuggling boats, the Iranians set the mines. depth to at least fifteen to twenty feet, well below the depth of a dhow, but high enough to strike a large oil tanker. But because of the poor quality of the SADAF-02 design, the mines often failed to deploy at the correct height, with some deploying at such a shallow depth that they were clearly visible bobbing on the surface of the water.

Command and Control

The Iranian military struggled to conduct joint operations. A significant part of the problem stemmed from the decision to operate two independent navies: the regular navy and the IRGCN. The two forces operated from some of the same bases, particularly Bandar Abbas and Bushehr, but the IRGCN maintained a parallel and independent command. Both the regular navy and IRGCN were (and still are) divided into four district commands. Each had the same designations, so the First Naval District in Bandar Abbas or the Second Naval District in Bushehr was the same headquarters. name for both the regular navy and IRGCN. Nevertheless, other than the title, the two commands operated separately. In 1987, the Iranians attempted to form a joint headquarters to coordinate IRGCN and regular naval operations, but the effort failed when the IRGCN refused to cooperate and subordinate its operations under a single command. As a result, coordinating joint operations.even from the same port. proved problematic with the two separate chains of command.

As the conflict with the United States escalated, the regime began to question the loyalty of the IRIN. The naval wing of the IRGC was formed much later than its land counterpart to augment its depleted conventional air and naval capabilities. Yet it also served as somewhat of a check against an IRIN whose many officers still harbored affection for their former ally, the United States. As a result, Tehran began to rely more on the IRGCN, which rapidly became the more powerful of the two navies. One of the first examples of the IRGCN.s growing power occurred in June 1985, when the IRGCN forced the IRIN commander to resign over his opposition to the IRGCN.s brief seizure of a Kuwaiti-flagged ship.

Not surprisingly, the relationship between the IRGCN and the regular navy was poor, but the contentious relationship went deeper than simply turf battles and influence: The IRIN was a professional force whose senior officers had been trained in the West; the IRGCN consisted of amateur officers who made up for their lack of training with revolutionary élan. IRGCN rank-and-file sailors were a blend of dedicated revolutionaries and impressed conscripts. One IRGCN sailor had been a deserter from the army, yet the IRGCN press-ganged him off the street. Privately, many professional Iranian naval officers held the IRGCN in contempt, viewing its members as arrogant and undisciplined. The IRGCN saw the regular navy as too conservative and still too sympathetic to its former ally, the U.S. Navy.

At times, both forces showed a lack of discipline. Individual commanders disregarded orders from their respective district headquarters. In July 1987, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, then speaker of the Majlis, assured Japan.s foreign minister that Iran would not attack Japanese shipping in the Gulf. But independent-minded IRGCN officers subsequently attacked two Japanese tankers. The captain of the Navy frigate Sabalan, Lt. Cdr. Abdollah Manavi, who later rose to the rank of vice admiral and head of naval operations, earned the reputation of being a rogue commander. A zealot, Manavi on numerous occasions ignored orders from First Naval District headquarters in Bandar Abbas not to fire on specific merchant ships. In the Japanese tanker incident, Manavi acknowledged receipt of the order and then opened fire on the hapless tanker, reputedly aiming at the bridge and living quarters to kill as many of the crew members as possible. For this, Captain Manavi earned the apt nickname "Captain Nasty."

Coordination between the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) and the naval forces proved equally ad hoc. Iran never established a joint command to facilitate air and naval operations. Instead, the regime installed hotlines between the naval district headquarters and the IRIAF operation center at Bandar Abbas and Bushehr, respectively, which enabled the verbal sharing of intelligence and radar tracks on hostile aircraft or U.S. Navy warships. The two services loosely coordinated operations: IRIAF C-130s relayed tracking data to the naval forces on potential targets, and IRIAF jets responded to ongoing naval engagements with Iraq or the United States. Nevertheless, the lack of a unified command invariably led to uncoordinated air and naval attacks.

The strains of combat during Operation Praying Mantis revealed the serious deficiencies in Iranian combined operations. Iranian air, naval, and IRGCN operations were not coordinated, leading to a series of piecemeal commitments of forces. When news of the U.S. attacks on Sirri and Sassan reached Capt. Amir Yeganeh, commander of the First Naval District in Bandar Abbas, he directed his surface forces to move against the Americans. However, the Iranian ships were at various levels of readiness. Rather than wait until all his ships were ready and able to be sent out en masse, Captain Yeganeh ordered each to move as it became available. What small chance of success Iran had evaporated as the Iranian fleet sortied piecemeal from Bandar Abbas, and the vastly superior U.S. forces dealt with each in turn.

Captain Yeganeh first directed the missile boat Joshan, returning from escorting a shuttle tanker to Kharg Island, to head south and reinforce Sirri. Commanded by Lt. Cdr. Abbas Mallek, the Joshan headed toward the powerful U.S. surface group without any support. Complicating Mallek.s mission was the fact that the IRIN operated under strict rules of engagement, as did its U.S. counterpart. The Iranian Navy was specifically prohibited from firing first at a U.S. warship. What Mallek was supposed to do once he confronted U.S. warships at Sirri remained ambiguous, but he brought his boat on a southerly course toward the overwhelmingly powerful U.S. force. Without any support it was suicide, and it is a testament to Mallek.s courage and U.S. timidity that he came so close to nearly crippling a U.S. cruiser.

In addition to diverting the Joshan toward Sirri, Captain Yeganeh ordered the two frigates Sahand and Sabalan, along with an older World War II.era destroyer, to get under way. The Sahand was the first out of Bandar Abbas, and it was quickly dispatched by U.S. air and naval forces. Four hours later, the Sabalan finally ventured out, and it was saved only by U.S. benevolence and strict adherence to the rules of engagement. The third destroyer struggled with mechanical problems; by the time it was ready to sail, it was dark, and the Iranians prudently decided to keep the ship in port.

In between the Sahand and Sabalan sorties, the IRGCN conducted its own attacks on UAE oil fields. Its second attack came when the United States had only two strike aircraft aloft (the rest were being armed and refueled); had it been coordinated with the Sabalan.s movement, at least one effort might have succeeded. Instead, the two navies failed to coordinate operations and both were separated by enough time to allow the same two U.S. aircraft that stopped the Boghammer attacks to move north to attack the Sabalan.

However, despite the Iranian government.s concerns about the loyalty of the regular navy, the IRIN showed more fortitude than the IRGCN during Operation Praying Mantis. Senior U.S. commanders were greatly impressed by the courage of Commander Mallek in steaming his tiny missile boat directly toward a vastly superior U.S. force, including a cruiser thirty times the Joshan.s size. The Sahand commanding officer displayed equal did the Sabalan.s skipper, who headed out when ordered despite almost certainly knowing the fate that had befallen his sister ship a few hours earlier. In every case, the IRIN did not hesitate to open fire on the Americans: the Joshan when ordered to abandon ship, and the two frigates when menaced by low-flying U.S. aircraft.

However, unlike its regular navy counterparts, the IRGCN showed little stomach for the fight. The IRGCN had amassed more than sixty small boats at Abu Musa Island before Operation Praying Mantis. It intended to conduct a mass attack against both the UAE and the U.S. Navy, but it managed to conduct one small attack. After U.S. aircraft sank one of its boats, the remainder were beached, while the other IRGCN boats remained safely at pier for the duration of the fight.

The IRIAF suffered the same problems of disconnection. After the U.S. attacks on the Sassan and Sirri platforms, the Iranian air command in Bandar Abbas remained ignorant of the ongoing American attacks or the order for the Joshan to close on Sirri. When Iranian air search radar detected a U.S. F-14 fighter only twelve miles from Iranian airspace, the IRIAF commander believed this was yet another provocative move and ordered his aircraft aloft to chase the U.S. plane away. Only five of his eleven F-4 fighters were functional, and his entire command was distracted by grief, having lost a number of airmen in a C-130 crash three days before. U.S. F-14s immediately responded, supported by EA-6B electronic warfare aircraft that jammed both the Iranian F-4s and Iran.s Hawk antiaircraft missiles that covered the Strait. The Iranian aircraft turned back toward the Iranian mainland, not wishing to tangle with the U.S. fighters. This cat-and-mouse game repeated itself several times, with the Iranians pilots refusing to leave the safety of Iranian airspace. When news of the U.S. attacks finally reached the IRIAF fighter command, a pair of F-4s was ordered southwest; one peeled off and headed out into the Gulf with its search radar active. The Wainwright, having already sunk the Joshan, had plenty of time to switch its focus to the new aerial threat, firing two surface- to-air missiles, one of which seriously damaged one of the Iranian F-4s.

Intelligence and Surveillance

The one area where Iran seemed to coordinate operations reasonably well was in surveillance and tactical intelligence collection. In order for Iran to prosecute attacks on shipping , it needed to monitor ships. movements in the Persian Gulf. A few aircraft remained in Iran.s inventory for this mission, such as U.S.-made P-3s and C-130s. The P-3s were adept at monitoring U.S. convoys around the Strait of Hormuz and relaying their movements back to the First Naval District in Bandar Abbas. This helped Iran discover the gap in the U.S. surveillance coverage, allowing for the successful mining in April 1988 that nearly sank the Samuel B. Roberts. Iran kept a P-3 aloft during the mining operation and immediately afterward, presumably to ensure that there were no U.S. ships nearby to intervene. In addition, IRIAF C-130s had been used to relay targeting data to the Silkworm missiles, which is why an Iranian C-130 was engaged during Operation Praying Mantis.

Iran showed surprising intelligence collection abilities. For instance, it frequently monitored unsecured radio communications with the reflagged tankers. Several C-130s were outfitted with signals intelligence collection equipment before the fall of the shah, and they proved useful in monitoring U.S. and Iraqi ground and air forces and in ascertaining port destinations of neutral ships, relaying this information to the naval district headquarters.

But the key link in the Iranian monitoring scheme was the Iranian-held islands and oil platforms in the Persian Gulf, which sat astride the tanker routes. Under the command of the IRIN, these venues served as both command and control sites and as forward operating bases. They became staging bases, initially for helicopters and later for IRGCN small boats. They provided an important communications link between the land-based headquarters and naval forces operating in the Gulf some 100.200 miles away. With the exception of Farsi Island, which reported back to the Second Naval District in Bushehr, all of the platforms and islands reported back to the larger First Naval District command in Bandar Abbas.

In February 1986, the First Naval District headquarters published a detailed operations order for tracking and monitoring prospective targets, including U.S. Navy warships. The command divided the southern Gulf and Strait of Hormuz into eastern and western zones and formed subordinate headquarters on Larak, Abu Musa, and just outside the Gulf at the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. These subordinates reported directly back to Bandar Abbas over a common radio net to notify the Iranian command of any "suspicious" vessels. Additionally, the IRIN stationed four men on every platform. Operating undercover as employees of the National Iranian Oil Company, they were assigned the mission of monitoring all ships passing their respective platforms and relaying the information back to Bandar Abbas. If the district commander determined that a ship should be attacked, the order would be relayed to any one of the platforms or islands along the ship.s projected path, and IRIN vessels or IRGCN small boats would sally forth. More than one-third of all the Iranian attacks on shipping occurred within fifty nautical miles of the three key platforms of Sirri, Rostam, and Sassan.

IRGCN Small-Boat Operations

By 1987, the IRGCN had assumed the primary role of attacking both neutral ships and threatening U.S. convoys. While deployment of mines represented the most serious threat, small boats accounted for the majority of Iranian attacks. The first such attack occurred in April 1987, and forty-two other vessels met a similar fate that year.

The IRGCN developed simple procedures to attack ships. Operating in groups of three to five boats, they approached their intended target, then sprinted ahead and simply waited for the ship to go by and, from a stationary firing position, raked its bridge and superstructure with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. Later the IRGCN developed more sophisticated tactics: their boats approached a ship at high speed from opposite directions, spraying the ship with gunfire in repeated, coordinated passing attacks.

Offshore oil platforms served as important bases and staging areas for IRGCN small boats. While the IRIN ran the platforms. operations, the IRGCN small boats were required to use the platforms as staging bases, because they could not operate for any length of time out in the open water. On any given day, IRGCN small boats clustered around each platform, using the regular navy.s radios to relay commands back to IRGCN headquarters.

When the IRGCN began mine-laying operations, the platforms served as a staging base for these operations as well, with orders transmitted to the minelaying vessel via the platforms. One study conducted by the British Royal Navy on Iranian mining operations stressed the importance of these oil platforms: "For successful tactical mining it is necessary for the minelayer to be able to respond at short notice to intelligence and surveillance information giving data of the potential target.s likely movements... The minelayer would berth alongside an oil platform waiting for these target details. When alerted, it would sortie out and lay a number of mines... across an area of water that would span the assessed track of the target."

Despite CENTCOM.s fears of large-scale IRGCN "swarming" attacks against U.S. warships, the IRGCN attempted this on only two occasions. One was during Operation Praying Mantis, when Iran amassed nearly fifty small boats at Abu Musa Island. Despite this impressive congregation, during the day.s fighting the IRGCN attempted only two attacks using fewer than five boats; after U.S. aircraft sank one Boghammer, the boats remained safely ashore.

The other massing attack was more substantial. In early fall 1987, Iran amassed IRGCN small boats (with at least one Kaman-class patrol boat as a flagship) at Bushehr, perhaps intending to attack the Khafji oil field off the Saudi Arabian coast. When the operation commenced on the evening of October 2, the missile boat serving as the command ship became disoriented in the dark and veered off course. High seas prevented IRGCN small boats from following, and Iranian commanders could not get the multitude of small boats moving together in any cohesive formation. At least one small boat sank in the rough water.

Iran tried again on October 8. The IRGCN divided its force into two pincers. The main task force would descend from the north, while a smaller force would approach Saudi Arabia from the east and Farsi Island. That morning, the eastern pincer, consisting of a Boghammer and two smaller boats, departed Bushehr. After stopping at Farsi Island, at nightfall the small flotilla, with a total of thirteen men aboard, headed west toward Middle Shoals Buoy. To the north, the Iranians staged their main force, a larger flotilla of perhaps 20.30 small boats.

It is not clear if the Iranians realized that the United States had deployed the Mobile Sea Base. The commanding officer of the Hercules reported that his barge had been under surveillance by an IRGCN dhow, which had reported his position back to Farsi Island. The Iranians took along several surface-to-air missiles in anticipation of a U.S. military response. However, it is unlikely the IRGCN fully understood the size and capabilities of the U.S. Special Forces deployed on the Hercules.

The IRGCN displayed good operational security, avoiding radio communications that would compromise the operation. In fact, neither Saudi nor U.S. intelligence knew of the impending attack, despite deploying additional surveillance assets only a week earlier, based on concerns of just such an attack. The first indication of an Iranian operation occurred when U.S. Army Special Forces helicopters stumbled across the three IRGCN boats from Farsi, tied up alongside the Middle Shoals Buoy.

Although the IRGCN showed credible communications discipline, ultimately it proved tactically inept. For the most part, the boat crews consisted of untrained conscripts. When confronted by the U.S. helicopters, all three small boats were drawn alongside Middle Shoals Buoy, with their crews smoking and talking among themselves. Not a single weapon had been manned and no lookouts posted. As the helicopter closed to within forty feet, an Iranian leaped up to a heavy machine gun and opened fire on the U.S. helicopter, but lacking night vision goggles, he could only spray in the general direction of the chopper. Gasoline engines powered two of the boats, which immediately ignited when hit and incinerated their crews. The IRGCN crew on the Boghammer fought slightly better: It managed to launch two rockets (either SA-7s or RPGs) at the U.S. helicopters and managed to get up speed and maneuver to avoid incoming fire.a futile effort, it turned out, when a well-placed U.S. rocket sank the boat.

This brief skirmish effectively ended the IRGCN operations around Farsi Island. Instead, the Revolutionary Guard moved its small-boat operations further south, around Abu Musa Island. Occasionally, the IRGCN would test the barges. defenses by approaching at high speed, then withdrawing at the first challenge. But with the exception of one small engagement between U.S. helicopters and IRGCN small boats in July 1988, in which one IRGCN boat was damaged and its crew inadvertently blinded by a laser designator, aggressive patrolling by U.S. small boats and helicopters ended Iranian operations around Farsi Island.

David B. Crist, a senior historian in the Joint History Office, Joint Chiefs of Staff, has written and spoken extensively about contemporary military history, especially on operations in the Middle East. He is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and has served tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq with Coalition Joint Special Operations Task Forces. The views expressed are his own and do not represent those of the Department of Defense. This article is an outgrowth of his dissertation research, and is adapted from his larger work Gulf of Conflict: A History of U.S.-Iranian Confrontation at Sea, a Policy Focus published by the Washington Institute for Near East Studies.

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