Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Temptations of Intervention – Iran et. al.

To fish in troubled waters or not? That is the question. The recent tizzy and follies over Iran pushes the issue front and center.

When Castro took Cuba in 1959, the US right wing wanted to stage a counter revolution and snatch Fidel's New Years prize from him; however, the left wing led by the NY Times prevailed. Many believed Castro was not a Communist, but rather an agrarian reformer; this foolishness persisted well after Castro lined up his opponents before a firing squad and nationalized US commercial interests in Cuba without compensation.

All this developed right under Republican President's I like Ike's nose. If there was ever a historical moment to intervene, a Cuban intervention by the US was it – succeeding history has made this clear; the time was ripe and the US has paid a costly price for its hesitation and military failures.

The Hungarian Revolution in 1956 was another period of political chaos. The Hungarians were encouraged by the Voice of America to revolt against the Soviet occupation. When the Soviet Union proceeded to slaughter about 2500 Hungarian freedom fighters, the US just stood by, meeting 200,000 refugees at the Austrian border with bandages and US visas – for the US, it was a debacle.

Despite the call for revolt, the US was not prepared to fight the Red Army over Hungarian freedom; on the contrary, the Red Army would fight for Hungarian captivity. After suppressing the revolt, to make this clear, the USSR increased the size of its garrison with more motorized infantry and tank divisions.

When the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia, I had a birds-eye view as a US Army Military attache stationed in Moscow. It was clear from Washington's skeptical reaction to cables that portended Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, that no one in high places wanted to hear of any such possibility. Anyone on the ground knew the Soviet Union would not twiddle its thumbs as Dubček with his so called Prague Spring would be permitted to withdraw from the Warsaw pact. I had a well-placed source in Moscow that reported regularly to me on the build-up of Soviet forces. These reports alarmed Washington to the extent that I was ordered not to send the reports by cable, but forward them by pouch only. (FYI Pouch is much slower and has lower level dissemination.)

A few days after the invasion, in the last week of August 1968, I met my source at a diplomatic reception. I asked him half-jokingly why he did not provide me the date/time on the invasion. He replied with: What difference would it had made? All your country would do is protest. He added that he had the invasion routes, troop lists and Warsaw Pact components. He then suggested we follow a Russian proverb which advises, what will be, will be, but it is always necessary to drink. At that he dragged me to the bar and we polished off a brandy snifter filled with Armenian cognac toasting the proverb...

Weeks later we learned that negotiations for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks had been initiated and the US Administration stupidly could not believe the USSR would jeopardize them with an invasion of Czechoslovakia.

The US Ambassador in Moscow confessed to a congressional delegation visiting Moscow that half his staff believed the Soviets would invade and the other half did not. CIA told him what he wanted to hear and his military attaches the opposite. CIA was to repeat its pitiful bootlicking in a SLAM DUNK run-up to the Iraq war later in 2002-3, with much more damage to US interests.

The invasion of Kuwait was Phase I of the invasion of Iraq. President GHW Bush called for the Iraqi Shiites to revolt as coalition forces exited Kuwait/Iraq after ejecting Saddam. Weapons captured from the Iraqis were held on Iraqi land. When Shiites requested these weapons to fight Saddam in an insurrection, their repeated requests were denied by the US. An estimated 60-100 thousand Shiites were slaughtered by Saddam as they rose against him. Loose lips by dopey American pols have had people killed.

Many Republicans in congress have criticized Obama for not intervening politically during the current crises in Iran. Both houses of congress, however, passed resolutions finding abuse of the Iranian people morally repugnant. Ron Paul was the only member from both houses who refused to vote for it. He should be congratulated for not joining the knee-jerk stampeding congressional herd.

Some Republican senators, obediently following Israeli policy, are calling for a regime change. You have to wonder whether these people are Israeli lap dogs or running dogs. US military and political entanglement in Iran is not in the US interest. This is why Obama tries to hold the US criticism on a moral level. By this time the American people should have figured out that what is good for Israel is not good for the US.

What Bomb Bomb McCain and his Israeli pals wish would backfire badly; it would inflame Persian nationalism; Iranian leadership would scapegoat the US for their internal problems to include the bloody suppression of anti-regime elements. It would destroy any hope for US/Iranian rapprochement.

As with the pictures from Somali during starvations there during the Bush/Clinton periods, the over-excited main stream media again wants action. Shepard Smith at Fox News last weekend nearly had a calf over the brutal photography from Iran. He almost wept over his vexation that he had serious problems confirming facts. Glen Beck also at Fox News cries easily too. He gives us tears weekly. Come on girlie-boys, the US ain't really got a dog in this fight.

There is almost no difference in Ahmadinejad and his opponents – all want a religious state; all have centralized economics and, all hate the West as they are children of the Iranian revolution. Let us hope both sides lose. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Funny how the NY Times advised against war with Castro, but seems hell bent on getting us into a war in the Middle East. Wonder why that might be?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't teach old dogs new tricks!Have we ever came out on the good end of the stick.It seems evertime we open our big fat mouths we stick our size 13 shoe in it. We as Americans don't win but the big cog gets greased, someone always has their back pocket in mind when making horrible decisions.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home