Sunday, August 27, 2006

DANSE MACABRE ,by Zimmerman/Gassman

Misdeeds and their Reward

If the Democrats really want to pursue accountability in the 08 election, suggest the following platform plank: RESCIND AWARD OF THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM GRANTED TO AMBASSADOR PAUL BREMER, GEORGE TENET AND GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS.

Massive malfeasance by this trio as they are linked to the Iraq War is clearly stated in two recently published Books: COBRA II by General Zinni and Michael Gordon, and FIASCO by Thomas E. Ricks. Investigative congressional staffers' work is simplified. Just ask the three at committee in sworn testimony WHAT ABOUT THIS AND WHAT ABOUT THAT – they would all probably take the Fifth Amendment or give a lame excuse that they were following orders. If they say they were following orders, ask: “WHOSE?”. Then the lure of the chase for accountability will become even more intriguing.

Lost track of DEAD WRONG, SLAM DUNK Tenet. Given the bad intelligence the Israelis had in the Lebanese war, there is a high probability he was advising them. As Director of Central Intelligence, he provided corrupt intelligence on 9/11 warning and the debacle in Iraq. A massive amount of resources were spent on searching unsuccessfully for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after the war, to justify his flawed estimates – WMD was the reason we invaded Iraq – remember? Troops needed to stop the looting, secure ammo dumps and provide security were sent on desperate searches for WMD. Tenet was a disgrace. He was a major player in misleading the US into War in Iraq.

General Tommy Franks’ place in history will go down as the worst military planner who planned winning a battle but failed to plan to win the war. The last time I saw him on TV was a few months ago on Matthews’ HARDBALL. He was asked about criticisms of his role in the invasion of Iraq contained in the book Cobra II. He refused to answer the questions Matthews posed; when asked why, he replied that he did not want to help sell the book. He has been described by subordinates as cunning, but not smart. In this case, he was neither; came across simply as a horse's ass. General Franks’ war plan did not have enough troops and had no operational plan for phase IV: the occupation. Unsecured ammo dumps were looted by the insurgents and looters stole just about everything from government buildings and hospitals to include toilet bowls. Twenty-five percent of treasured artifacts from the Baghdad Museum are still missing. US troops watched the Baghdad Library burn. His plan did not anticipate Iraqi paramilitary forces which later folded into the insurgency. And he was unable to close the borders, because of insufficient troops. General Franks was from Texas; went to the same school as Laura Bush. Like the President, he simply reached his level of incompetence. He did capture Baghdad, so give him credit for that; but that was only the start of a war that is still raging. He quickly retired after that with his military campaign unfinished; some say to write a book and capture the royalties while he was still GENERAL, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED...

Ambassador Bremer, AKA the father of the Iraqi insurgency, was last heard from organizing a Catholic College or University somewhere out West – the American people have a bone to pick with him on how billions of dollars slipped through his fingers as chief of the Coalition Government In Iraq. His performance as chief of the Coalition Government in Iraq is textbook for failure. Contrary to the advice of US Iraqi military leadership and CIA in Iraq, he made three major policy decisions that inflamed the situation and led to the current insurgency: a) Enforced a ruthless program of debaathefication in all sectors of Iraqi society; b) Disbanded the Iraqi military forces and police; and c) Closed unprofitable state run enterprises. The net result was to create a large pool unemployed enraged Iraqis which eventually formed the insurgency. There is a story that at a convocation at Coalition HQs of tribal leadership from all over Iraq, one of Bremer's deputies was asked by a leading Sunni Sheik whether the Americans came to Iraq to liberate it or occupy it – the deputy responded: SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN. At that, nearly half the Sheiks walked out of the meeting – the Sheik who asked the question said as he left: WE WILL FIGHT YOU EVERY INCH OF THE WAY – and they have. Bremer was put in by Rumsfeld and his neocons to have more influence over the occupation, and his staff included large numbers of neocons. He replaced a dismissed General Garner who was not that sympathetic to the neocons or their policies. Bremer was unqualified and inept, and controled by the neocons – remember he proposed a new Iraqi flag with Israeli colors. His outrageous occupation policies and massive arrests and torture, were straight out of the doomed Israeli occupation playbook.

Awarding of Presidential Freedom medals to these three failures was a crass effort to propagandize, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, a contrived success of the war by Bush. By now, it has dawned on the American people that they have been misled and HAD by Bush's Iraqi war. Napoleon said medals are the baubles men die for – Bush just found another cynical use for medals. No other word but despicable can describe what he did: he awarded medals to Tenet, Franks and Bremer for failure, pretending accomplishment. Colonel RE Bartos USA RET

Monday, August 21, 2006

Final Plot Thickens – GW Bush’s War in Lebanon

GW Bush and his Israeli cohorts planned the bombardment of Lebanon together. That, according to Seymore Hersh's recent article in the NEW YORKER magazine. Hezbollah bunkers and tunnels were built to Iranian standards. Giving the Israelis the green light to bomb Lebanon, Bush was eager to determine whether the Israeli Air Force, with American weapons, could penetrate Iranian style built tunnels and bunkers. This test was to be a prelude to war on Iran. The Bush administration denies this is true.

Stephan Hadley, Bush's National Security Chief made the declaration that Hersh’s article was untrue. Hersh, a gadfly, always controversial, broke the My Lai Massacre and Abu Gharib stories. Recently he carried a story that the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon kicked back and refused a White House request to plan the use of nuclear weapons employment to bombard Iran.

Quite frankly whom would you believe? Hadley, who was Condoleezza's pistolero at NSC and was caught flat footed at 9/11, then misled the US in the invasion of Iraq, along with Yellow Cake, mushroom clouds, ties to Al Qaeda, cake walks etc.; or Hersh, who represents a reputable magazine, whose editors vetted the sourcing for this story and has a track record of solid investigative reporting. Answer is easily Hersh.

The way that Bush's Lebanese war was to play out is that the Israelis would react to any provocation by Hezbollah to launch a massive raid on Hezbollah bunkers in South Lebanon and all the Lebanese infrastructure. Blasting the infrastructure was designed to turn the Lebanese people against Hezbollah by blaming them for the Israeli inflicted death and destruction. If this scenario worked, Bush believed it could be applied to Iran: i.e., bomb the daylights out of Iran and the Iranians would turn against the ayatollahs, revolt and make GW Bush and Israel happy by ending an Iranian quest for nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately this twisted thinking is typical of the Israeli First Neocon policy that dominates the Bush Administration; always based on false assumptions and corrupted intelligence.

Ruthless bombing of Lebanese infrastructure backfired on Bush and Israel. By the time the cease-fire started, Hezbollah popularity increased significantly not only in Lebanon, but also in the Sunni Arab world... To make matters worse for Bush Inc., it did not defeat Hezbollah on the South Lebanese battlefield and to its chagrin, 250 undamaged katyushas hit Israel on the eve of the cease-fire. No prisoners were returned unconditionally to Israel. So far there is no evidence that Hezbollah turned in weapons, nor does there appear to be an intention to do so. There is still confusion on the makeup and deployment of the UN force. Bush and Israeli claim victory, but neither have any credibilty. American Jewish circles are in despair – the Israeli government most likely will fall, because of the faulty conduct of the war... Even the born again Zionist Christian, Reverend Pat Roberts, said the war was pointless.

As Hezobollah goes about cleaning up war damages and writing $12,000 checks for bombed out victims, you can find banners on piles of rubble in Beirut declaring, MADE IN THE USA...

Despite damage to transportation net-works, you can assume Hezbollah is being resupplied as Lebanese caravans return south. Underground tunnels from Syria also will insure resupply of military equipment and supplies to Hezbollah. No blockade by Israel or the UN can stop the resupply... Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are crowing victory over Israel and US. Assad Beshar of Syria declared there can be no peace in the Middle East as long as Bush is president. US still has the Iranian nuc problem which has been complicated by the results of the war... Bush has to talk directly to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah; otherwise, he will isolate the US as Israel is cut off diplomatically.

Smoking gun documentation of whether Bush used the Lebanese war as a tune up for the bombing campaign of Iran will come as a US or Israeli source is tempted by book royalties and TV glory... There is no question that Bush and Condoleezza intentionally delayed the cease-fire as long as they could to give the Israeli Defense Forces time to destroy the Hezbollah and Lebanese infrastructure – there is no question the US provided state of the art weapons to destroy Hezbollah formations and Lebanese infrastructure. That it failed, may preclude the foolish bombardment of Iran now advocated by the Neocons, and tempts GW Bush so much. This may be positive, but certainly an unintended consequence for Bush's bloody adventure.

Mr. Bush appears to have the King Midas touch for disaster: 9/11, Katrina, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and now Lebanon. He has demonstrated he can start wars, but he cannot win them – that is a serious flaw in the man.

One thing Mr. Bush insured in his war in Lebanon: the US will go down in history with the Nazis in the Spanish Civil War by testing tactics and weapons in one small war for another much larger. Thank you Mr. Bush for this dubious distinction – you did it again. Colonel RE Bartos USA RET

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dancing in the Dark

Condoleezza told us on CNN Larry King Live a few days ago that Lebanon is better off today, because the Syrians have left. Oddly, she is either still dutifully reading old Israel talking points or the lady has lost her marbles.

Lebanese infrastructure, and urban areas have been wrecked by Israeli aerial bombardment – many villages in Southern Lebanon reduced to rubble. Devastation inflicted: over 900 dead Lebanese civilians, fishing fleets destroyed, Lebanese farmers loading produce splattered in a parking lot, and Arab children crushed in bombed buildings. Twenty-five percent per cent of the Lebanese population is in refugee status, so Condoleezza's hopelessly deluded outlook is starkly obvious to the whole world and dangerously continues to undermine US credibility. Perhaps Mademoiselle Secretary should just sit stoically at the piano and play Drifting and Dreaming – less damage to the US that way... Even our old pal the Saudi Foreign Affairs minister blasted Condoleezza's recent foolish neocon comments on the birth of a new Middle East through chaos...

Additional to IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) air forces’ SHOCK and AWE, commando attacks deep on a Lebanese territory on hospital and housing projects to destroy Hezobollah leadership has certainly killed people; whether or not the Hezbollah leadership was killed or just civilians during these raids is an open question. IDF progress on the ground seems painfully slow as the ground forces try to depend on artillery and air strikes to solve tactical problems. They bomb critical terrain features over and over, but fail to occupy them... IDF has to get out of the villages and off the roads to close with Hezbollah or the rockets will continue to rain – IDF vexation is obvious as it desperately turns to more unrestrained aerial bombardment of civilian targets. Israel propagandists tell the world how they intentionally avoid civilians in their operations – it is not true. On the contrary, the IDF claims it drops bombs on suspected rocket launch sites or Hezbollah logistic nets or transport, but without remorse. It consistently smashes infrastructure, ports, road nets and bridges – indiscriminately killing civilians by the hundreds in the process. Over-wrought Israeli flaks who over populate US TV, concerned that support for Israel is slipping in the US, keep saying MISSION ACCOMPLISHED SOON, but still no white flags from Hezbollah and Katyushas stream into Israel.

Battle of Stalingrad in Russia WWII demonstrated that the more rubble the Germans produced from bombardments of the city, the more the disturbed terrain provided greater cover and concealment for the Russian soldiers; who, in the end defeated and captured a 500,000 man German army at its gates. Lebanon is not Stalingrad by a long shot, but rubble is rubble and its careless production by Israel has unintended consequences both tactically and strategically.

Bombing transport networks will cripple Hezbollah logistic patterns, but not destroy them. Ask American commanders in Iraq and Vietnam about their experience with interdiction of covert enemy supply routes.

Apart from Condoleezza's airhead flourishes, also on the diplomatic front there finally appears to be the birth of a new resolution to create a ceasefire in Lebanon, sponsored by the US and France. French talked to Syria. US talked to Israel. Nobody talked to Hezbollah. Oh sure, somebody talked to the Lebanese government, but by now you should have noticed that it does not run Lebanon; even with AAA capability, the Lebanese Army cannot even shoot down the Israeli drones that that call in fire regularly on Beirut – even primitive Afghan tribesman can do that.

Unless convinced otherwise, I remain certain that the Christian leadership of the Lebanese Army is promoted on the basis of the girth of the individual officers. There is also the fact 30-40% rank and file of the Lebanese Army is Shiite which certainly complicates its replacement of the Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. Lebanese government is prepared to call up 15,000 troops for duty in the South... What the hell have the troops been doing until now? There always has been a historic love affair between the Lebanese Christians and Israelis. Remember Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camp massacre in Beirut of Palestinians in the 80s? Ariel Sharon would remember, if he were conscious... Keep in mind the US Marines got themselves in trouble in Beirut when the US decided along with Israel to support the Christian militias in the 80s.

Hezbollah has announced that there will be no ceasefire deal unless every Israeli soldier departs Lebanon. Folks, now that is a deal breaker. Since most of the Hezbollah armaments have MADE IN IRAQ/SYRIA stamped on them, might be good idea to bring the Iranian ayatollahs and Syrian Beshar into the negotiation tent. It will make the Israelis squeal, but so what.

Afraid the old fixes the US has used in the Middle East are over-taken by events. Generous foreign aid packages to moderate Arab states with outraged citizens, and permitting choice picks by Israel from the US weapons bazaar without real cost, just will not work this time around. GW Bush's strategically stupid invasion of Iraq, cheered on by Israel, has empowered Iran. Now, buttressed by a Shiite majority in Iraq, it has become a new fanatic player in the region. This was dramatized vividly in Baghdad a few days ago by thousands of pro-Hezbollah Shiite demonstrators who burned US and Israeli flags and proclaimed DEATH TO THE US – DEATH TO ISRAEL. Condoleezza was asked about this clearly watershed event last Sunday on MEET THE PRESS. Like some detached twit, she replied that Iraq is a young democracy and needs time to work things out – meanwhile in Iraq this past July, the US had 44 KIA and spent another 6 billion dollars on the war. Colonel Robert E Bartos RET

Monday, August 07, 2006


Mel Gibson is an actor not an icon unless you are vapid enough to make him one. He was arrested for drunk driving – 87 MPH in 40 MHZ – in his flashy Lexus late at night with a partially filled bottle of Tequila in his car. Tested drunk as a skunk, he asked the Jewish arresting officer if he was a Jew and then went into a rant that claimed the Jews were responsible for all wars.

The very hot media coverage of the story concentrated on Gibson's post arrest remarks not his dangerous drunk driving conduct and its implications. It reached a high point of hysteria with an appearance of a Philadelphia radio talk show host named Smerconish, who was on MSNBC TV Hardball this week. Smerconish characterized Gibson's remarks as so dreadfully anti-semitic that this story was more important than the Israeli/Palestine/Lebanese war – Smerconish moronically contended that pop culture trumps war, death and destruction of war as a news story, and he went on to pay his dues to the Israeli Lobby by emotionally excoriating Gibson for his remarks.

Anybody who is a Gibson fan, whether Mad Max/Lethal Weapon series or Braveheart, senses the actor borders on madness in all these roles. Are we certain he was acting? He successfully produced and directed the film Passion of Christ and it was characterized as anti-semitic by many Jews who did not want to be publicly reminded of the Jews' role in the death of Christ... Now Gibson has done the obligatory mea culpa – apologizing to Jewish groups for his drunken remarks. Whether this impacts on Gibson's next film, who cares; but if I were a Jew, doubt I would buy a ticket, although most of his fans are probably unconcerned over the Jewish angst and will pay the price of admission to see their favorite star.

As for asking a person whether he is Jewish is an anti-semitic statement bewilders me... Does this mean a Jew is ashamed to admit he is a Jew? Blaming Jews for all the wars is egregiously anti-semitic, and Gibson will pay a price for that – for a drunk, like they say, in vino veritas. Unlike his hero in Braveheart, Gibson decided to grovel and kiss a lot of Hollywood film industry asses to regain his old footing. That is too bad, because much of his charm was his spunk, independence and devil may care persona.

In the big scheme of things, Gibson’s problems are unimportant. What is fascinating is how an ethnic slur between two people, subsequently widely broadcast, destroys a man of substance... The incident occurs at a time when traditional US support for Israel is being questioned as the US promotes Israeli reckless killing of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Let us make it clear that criticism of Israel is not anti-semitism; on the contrary, as things are developing, it is pro-American, because like the Iraq debacle, US blind support of Israel is contrary to US interests – creates terror against the US and alienates oil producing countries. In Iraq the US forces commonly have been characterized as the "Israelis" by Iraqis. And who can forget Bremer's coalition government blunder when it tried to introduce a new Iraqi flag made up from the colors of the Israeli flag.

It is a common mistake by misguided politically correct politicians, journalists and the man on the street to confuse opposition to Israeli murderous policies with the religion of many Israeli citizens. The Jewish religion does not bring a disgusting reaction, but Israel’s ruthless aggressive pursuit of national interests under US auspices does. The attempt by many in the US to brand any group or person anti-semitic that opposes Israel polices is as disgusting as anti-semitism itself.

Seeking redemption, Gibson will probably donate to Jewish charities, speak at a Hollywood Temple during the Yom Kippur day of atonement, and visit Auschwitz during dead winter. No more heroic roles – he is now qualified to play only a schlemiel. RE Bartos Colonel USA RET