Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Did South Korea trigger N. Korean attack with submarine incursion?

False Flags Galore......



November, 2010 -- Did South Korea trigger N. Korean attack with submarine incursion?

WMR's Asian sources report that last week's North Korean bombardment of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, just twelve miles off the heavily-fortified North Korean coast, may have been triggered by a failed South Korean operation to covertly ex-filtrate North Korean military defectors from the North.

Some intelligence from China confirms that the South fired a barrage of artillery rounds to screen off North Korean patrol boats that were in pursuit of a crippled South Korean submarine carrying the North Korean military defectors.

North Korea claimed it retaliated after South Korean artillery fire from Yeonpyeong island hit North Korean territory. On November 28, South Korea had to admit its forces on the southern side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Gyeonggi Province "accidentally" fired a 155-mm howitzer into the DMZ.

Just as South Korean President Lee Myung-bak used a purposeful or accidental sinking of the South Korean anti-submarine warfare corvette, Cheonan, by either South Korea, U.S. naval forces, or a combination to the two, to provide himself with a military boost in the polls, the latest incident with North Korea has now injected the USS George Washington battle group into the Yellow Sea and China's exclusive economic zone for joint naval exercises with the South Korean Navy. This has prompted warnings and stern protests from both China and North Korea.

The Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang issued a press release stating the U.S.-South Korean war games near disputed waters amounted to "no more than an attempt to find a pretext for aggression and ignite a war at any cost."

The Cheonan incident resulted in Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reneging on his campaign promise to eject the US Marines from an airbase on Okinawa, which resulted in the fall of his center-left government and replacement with a more pro-U.S. government in Tokyo led by Naoto Kan. The Japanese government has strongly backed Seoul and Washington in their confrontation with North Korea, and, due to Pyongyang's alliance with China, Beijing, as well.

Lee's bellicosity and brinkmanship with the North is largely a result of his being a front man for the Pohang Gang, a group of Presbyterian neo-crusaders and South Korean heavy-industry and defense sector tycoons allied with the liberal-turned-neocon former president, Kim Young-sam. Pohang is the home town of Lee Myung-bak and the center of his political base. Ironically, the Cheonan was a Pohang-class patrol combat corvette.

It is believed that the Pohang Group has strong links to the Arlington, Virginia-based "Fellowship," a group of Christian defense corporation moguls and neocon politicians who promote a projection of U.S. military and political power abroad through the use of Jesus Christ as a tax-avoidance tool and deceitful expedient. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is a member of the Fellowship. The right-wing war mongering of the Lee government is, in many ways, a throwback to the Methodist Syngman Rhee government. What Lee and Rhee have in common is that they both represent a distinct minority with ties to U.S. evangelicals in contrast to the progressive-left mainstream Protestant churches.

The net result of the South's military showdown with the North is the purge of liberal elements in the Pyongyang regime, just at the time North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is handing power over to his son, Kim Jong Un, who may have sympathies with the liberal elements within the Communist Party and military. For Washington, which is caught in an economic death spiral, with Beijing holding the financial cards, the end game may be a Pacific War, designed to bail out a collapsing economy and forestall the end of the American empire....

Ahmed Rashid: Karzai going all anti-American


Ahmed Rashid, who knows Afghanistan like Peter Gammons knows the Red Sox, is always interesting on Hamid Karzai, but his new piece about the Afghan president is particularly striking. The must-reading meat of it:

Afghan president Hamid Karzai is a changed man. His worldview now is decidedly anti-Western. When I spoke with him earlier this month at the presidential palace in Kabul, Karzai told me that the United States has been unable to bring peace to Afghanistan or to secure cooperation from Pakistan, which continues to give sanctuary to the Taliban… By the end of our talk, it was quite clear to me that his views on global events, on the future course of NATO’s military surge in southern Afghanistan, and on nation building efforts throughout his country have undergone a sea change. His single overriding aim now is making peace with the Taliban and ending the war — and he is convinced it will help resolve all the other problems he faces, such as corruption, bad governance, and the lack of an administration.

Karzai’s new outlook is the most dramatic political shift he has undergone in the twenty-six years that I have known him.

This reminds me of something David Kilcullen was saying a couple of years ago, that maybe the only way to get out of these wars will be to get kicked out by the government you helped create.....

To further complicate matters Pakistan and India are fighting a proxy war in Afghanistan. These two successor states are most of what was British India. They divided on the basis of Muslim nationalism and have been enemies ever since. Kashmir is the great prize in this struggle but Pakistan believes that Indian power behind the scenes in Kabul would constitute a threat to its existence. President Karzai's clique is believed in Islamabad to be an instrument of Indian power. To defeat and block the growth of such Indian power Pakistan supports mujahid groups who contest the growth of Karzai's (and Kabul's) "reach" across the country.

These varying narratives are probably mutually exclusive.....

Monday, November 29, 2010

War for Caspian Sea inevitable?


42407.jpegThe countries of the Caspian region are trying to find a solution to a long-standing dispute about the Caspian Sea. There is something to argue about indeed: sturgeons, crude and natural gas deposits, as well as the transportation of oil and gas. The leaders of Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan gathered in Baku (the capital of Azerbaijan) to discuss the problem in detail....http://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/15396/

The legal status of the Caspian Sea has not been solved yet. Consequently, not all Caspian states could settle the question about sea borders. Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan seem to have agreed on the issue, but the state of affairs in the southern part of the Caspian Sea is still unstable.

Iran's position is the main problem here. This country claims its rights for one-fifth part of the sea, which is unacceptable for all other Caspian states.

Russia Today: Caspian nations discuss sea's legal status

Similar problems exist in the relations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, as well as between Azerbaijan and Iran. These countries still argue about the borders of their sectors of the sea.

The Caspian dispute has triggered the militarization of the Caspian Sea. Turkmenistan's President Gurbangully Berdymuhammedov approved the establishment of the Navy of Turkmenistan. The country only had patrol boats before, and it was obvious that Turkmenistan was too weak to compete against the navy of Azerbaijan, which has the second largest navy in the region (following Russia).

"The Caspian Sea is not just a pool, as many people call it. The sea is very rich with oil and gas reserves. A special agreement, signed by the Caspian states, divides the sea into several zones, but some members of the agreement still argue about its terms. It seems that there is no peaceful solution to the problem, so the navy will play an important role at this point. One should also take account of the destructive influence of the West, the USA, first and foremost, as they attempt to destabilize the situation in the region," the expert said.

"Andrey Grozin, a senior expert with the Institute for CIS and Baltic States, believes that any country, including Turkmenistan, wants to defend its interests.

"The dispute between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan is one of the key ones. They fight for the right to develop three large oil fields. Azerbaijan already develops two of the three disputed fields, which Turkmenistan considers its own. Western partners hoped that it would be possible to change the situation for the better after Turkmenistan had a new leader, but the problem still remains unsolved," the expert said.

Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan realize their importance to the West as fuel suppliers and they compete with each other. Turkmenistan understands that Nabucco will not happen without Turkmen gas. The resources of Azerbaijan play an important role in the work of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline. Azerbaijan is much more important when it comes to the transit of Central Asian gas to Europe.

It is an open secret that neither Iran nor Russia were considered as partners for Nabucco project. As for Russia, Nabucco was designed to eliminate Russia's influence in the transportation of natural gas to Europe.

Sergey Balmasov

Read the original in Russian

Sunday, November 28, 2010

China and India take to the Sea....




Iskander Rehman, Transatlantic Academy Fellow, Friday 12th November 2010, Washington DC.

I) Two Land Powers Look out to Sea

As Asia gradually becomes the world’s main throughfare for maritime trade, its two rising powers, India and China, are taking to the seas, bolstering their already significant blue-water capabilities
India, which already boasts Asia’s sole aircraft carrier battle group, plans to field a fleet of 140-145 vessels, centered on two new carrier battle groups, over the next decade. In July 2009, the Indian navy launched its first indigenous nuclear submarine, which is expected to be commissioned in 2012.
The Chinese Navy, which is already said to comprise at
least 260 ships, including more than 75 principal combatants and 60 submarines, is engaged
in a process of unremitting expansion.
At its current rate of induction, the PLAN may soon be able to deploy a larger submarine flotilla than the US Navy. Beijing has also perfected the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missiles and since 2007, when a PLA lieutenant general stated to the press that China’s aircraft carrier project was proceeding smoothly, there have been a number of statements from Chinese military or political officials confirming China’s long suspected intention to acquire aircraft carriers.


This shared focus on maritime power is interesting, as both countries’ histories are largely continental in nature, barring certain notable exceptions .As such, their parallel quest for simultaneous preeminence on both land and sea is something of a novelty. Even the United States, it could be argued, was above all a maritime power before it developed a full-spectrum capability.

(Colin Gray, in "Another Bloody Century, Future Warfare", Phoenix, 2005, writes the following; “For reasons best summarized as geopolitical, polities traditionally were stronger either on land or at sea; very few were pre-eminent in both domains. History reveals the recurring strategic problem of how superior land power and superior sea power struggled to find ways to translate their geographically specialized advantage into a war-winning advantage. From Athens and Spartan through Rome and Carthage, Macedonia and Persia, Byzantium and the Arabs, all the way to Britain and Napoleonic France, there was a pattern of struggle between land-bound tigers and sea-confined sharks.” p.46)

- India’s Himalayan Corset


Historically, India’s maritime vision has been somewhat stifled by the mental barrier or corset of the Himalayas whose frozen passes, throughout Indian history, would be anxiously scrutinized by the people of the Gangetic plains for Central Asian invaders. India’s martial history is largely a land-driven one,that is until the arrival of the Europeans in the modern era. This explains why when it comes to India,the strategic conceptualisation of a blue-water navy has been present since independence, and this was undoubtedly in part a direct heritage from the traditional British emphasis on sea power. After a series of brutal frontier conflicts , however, in which navies played a sideline role, India’s main priorities were to strengthen its land borders, and build up its army and airforce, which were the primary actors in the event of a conflict with China or Pakistan along the Himalayas. Once more the Himalayas loomed large, and The Indian Navy, no longer considered as strategically relevant, was relegated to the backseat, and its share in the defence budget plummeted to about 3%.
Under the tenures of Indira and Raijv Gandhi, the navy regained some of its impetus, but it has only been over the past fifteen years that India’s political leadership has actively endorsed an ambitious blue-water role.

- China’s Continental Shackles

When it comes to China, however, its current naval build-up is far more of a revolution in terms of strategic thought. China’s history has been defined by the struggle in-between the sedentary peoples of the fertile river basins and the nomadic peoples of the steppe.
And, unlike India, modern China’s first naval force structure was that of a coastal defence force, before adapting to revolve around a strategy of “offshore active defence” after the mid-1980s. It is only over the past decade that Chinese policy makers have decided to tack to the blue waters.

So why are both nations looking out to sea? Both have highly pragmatic reasons to do so. In both cases, global economic trends and geopolitical evolutions undergird long-term strategic evolutions.

In India’s case one could posit the following overarching reasons:

• Globalization and the growth of maritime trade which has provided India with a more outward and seaward looking orientation.
• The impact of maritime terrorism along India’s vulnerable 7,500km coastline.
• Concerns due to China’s rise and forays into the Indian Ocean
• Availabilty of funding due to steady GDP growth.

For China one could say the following:

• The absence of a traditional overland security threat (the nomadic hordes to the north during much of Imperial Chinese history, the Soviet Army during the second half of the Cold War), which means that Beijing can now redirect its attentions towards the sea.
• A tremendous leap in economic growth and foreign trade, which has compelled China to look seaward, and has provided it with the necessary funds to engage in a massive overhaul of its fleets.
• Last but not least, the security of China’s seaborne energy supplies has become a major priority for Chinese decision-makers. On January 19th of this year, Directors of China's 4 major energy research centers all declared that the ratio of China's dependence on foreign oil has exceeded the warning line of 50 percent in 2009, which means that oil imports hav replaced domestic oil output to meet the majority of China's oil consumption.

II) Drawing on the Old to Buttress the New: the Forging of Two Maritime Narratives

Both nations, however, as they turn seawards, and however pragmatic the reasons for doing so, need to construct a new form of maritime narrative, which draws on the richer moments in their maritime history in order to justify and strengthen their wading into the deep waters. Whereas India’s efforts have not been as conscious or as savvy as those of Beijing, it, like its transhimalayan neighbor, has begun to draw on its past to find meaning for the present. And like China, Delhi seeks to project the image of a benevolent seapower, which views the maritime expanses as a medium for trade and diplomacy rather than pure power projection and conflict. I will not be focusing on both nation’s naval strategies, but on the maritime narratives which underpin those same strategies. And while the historical events and periods at the core of these narratives are in large part genuine in nature, we shall also see that any narrative, by nature, is selective..by what it chooses to omit or gloss over.

A) India’s soft power narrative

India has arguably a far richer maritime history than that of China. But it is only recently that Indian strategists and thinkers have been making a concerted effort to delve back into the past to buttress the present. Whereas the Chinese efforts, as we shall see, are blatant and even government sponsored, India’s are more incremental and gradual. It would seem however, that a form of Indian ‘soft power narrative’ is beginning to take form and crystallize.

-Ashokan Pacifism and the Buddhist Legacy

The Emperor Ashoka, of the Mauryan Dynasty, is widely acknowledged in India as one of the most enlightened rulers the subcontinent has ever known, along with Akbar the Great far later during the Mughal Era. The Emperor Ashoka ruled over the entirety of the subcontinent over two thousand years ago. Having inherited vast tracts of land from the bloody campaigns of his grandfather Chandragupta, he chose to extend Mauryan rule through the Buddhist concept of ‘dharma’ or exemplary conduct. This was accomplished in large part through the dispatch of high-profile Buddhist missionaries such as his daughter Sangamitra, to Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Some in India’s strategic community have advanced that the Ashokan notion of dharma as a form of pre-modern Indian soft power, and point to India’s long-standing history as both a birthplace of ideas, and of peaceful cultural diffusion. Whereas China invaded and occupied Vietnam for more than a thousand years, India spread Buddhism and the Hindu concept of sacred kingship to Southeast Asia not by sword and flame, but via trade and itinerant missionaries. The fact that ancient India never engaged in long-term occupation or widespread forcible conversion in Southeast Asia is not without significance. The peaceful propagation of Buddhism is a multi-millennia old bond that India shares with the rest of the Asian continent that acts as a testament to the power of its civilizational pull.

- The Age of Hindu Maritime Supremacy

Indeed, one tends to forget how interconnected the ancient world was, and that India, by virtue of its centrality in the Indian Ocean, was the hub of maritime trade in-between the western and eastern hemispheres. The monsoon trade winds were already used by the early people of the subcontinent more than three thousand years ago, enabling merchants to travel from India’s west coast during the northeastern monsoon period (November to March), to return from Africa and the Middle East with the onset of the southwestern monsoon (April to September). Roman and Greek traders sailed along the Indian coast in search of precious spices, along what Pliny the elder called ‘the cinnamon route’. Many of Africa’s staple foods such as rice, sugar and coconuts arrived in the dhows of Indian sailors, who also supposedly initiated the Egyptians to the secrets of cotton cultivation and fabrication. Until they were displaced by the Arab merchants during the middle ages, Hindu seafarers from the Indian subcontinent’s western and southern seaboards formed one of the greatest maritime trading communities in the world. Certain preeminent figures in India’s strategic community such as the Former Head of the Navy Arun Prakash have urged India to use this period to show that “In consonance with India’s ancient maritime tradition” (…) the Indian Navy will be a force for peace, friendship and goodwill, which will reach out to extend a helping hand wherever needed in our maritime neighbourhood.”
(Prakash, Arun. "Maritime Challenges", Indian Defense Review 21 n.1 January 2006:pp.49-52)

B) Zheng He and the benign Sino-Centric Order:

China, like India, seeks to be viewed as a benevolent maritime power, and to use history as a tool to emit reassuring predictions of its future behavior. Unlike India, however, the process has not been incremental and organic but proactively pursued by the central government.
Zheng He, the Ming Dynasty eunuch admiral who plied the waters of Asia and beyond with a gargantuan fleet composed of hundreds of ships with more than 28 000 crewmen, officials, marines and soldiers, has become a central figure in the regime’s public diplomacy.
Much attention is drawn by Chinese officials to the fact that this vast armada was never used as a tool of imperial conquest, and that it solely engaged in voyages of discovery and trade. It is therefore presented as not only a sign of Chinese technological superiority over the Europeans of the time in terms of shipbuilding etc, but also as a sign of moral superiority. Zheng He’s travels are shown to be indicative of the fundamentally benign nature of the Sino-centric system at the heart of Asian diplomacy and trade throughout much of known history. The underlying message is that China’s current naval build up is but an avatar of this peaceful and glorious period in Asian naval history.

The mariner’s odyssey has also been used to validate a growing Chinese presence throughout Asia and beyond. Indeed, every year it would seem as though the hardy eunuch had in fact discovered another land, whether it be, in some of the more fanciful claims, America, or Australia. In an example of how the admiral is regularly conjured up in Chinese officials discourse, Hu Jintao has cited his name in speeches in countries ranging from South Africa to Australia.

After hearing of an old Kenyan folk tale which claimed that some Chinese survivors from a shipwrecked vessel of the Treasure Fleet had swum ashore and married local African women, the Chinese government promptly dispatched a team of archaeologists to recover the shipwreck, and a team of scientists which took DNA swabs of the Swahili families living along the coast. Surprisingly enough, it would seem as though many of the locals did present evidence of some Chinese ancestry, and some Chinese coins were recently found. This was subsequently broadcast all over Chinese news networks. Chinese officials claimed that this was a sign of China’s centuries-old relationship with Africa, based on harmony and mutual trade. A 19 year old Kenyan woman was flown over to China to study traditional Chinese medicine at the expense of the government.
These announcements came at a time when criticism is rising in Africa and the West regarding China’s growing presence in the continent.

III) A Selective Reading of History?

The poet and author T.S Eliot once said that “ History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors and issues.”
It can be tempting for a nation to construct a bold, linear narrative that arches through the maze of history, providing a clear, solid bridge for its aspirations. Unfortunately, narratives can always only be selective in nature, and thus somewhat imperfect.

a) The Chola Era Maritime Trade Wars

Ashokan pacifism and the era of Hindu maritime trade supremacy provide attractive frameworks in the construction of an Indian maritime narrative revolving around soft power. There are however other periods in the subcontinent’s history, little explored until now, which do seem to indicate that maritime power could also be used for aggressive
purposes, and not just for the peaceful ones so often mentioned. A prime example would be that of the maritime trade wars in-between the Chola Empire, which held sway over much of Southern India, Sri Lanka and the Lakdashweep islands in the Arabian Sea and the Sri Vijaya Kingdom, which lay nestled on the Malacca Straits, in the XIth century.
Recent studies by Indian historians show that in the early XIth century, the Sri Vijaya kings were accused by their Chola neighbours of strangulating trade towards China, demanding massive levies of over 20 000 dinars before allowing merchant ships to pass on through the straits towards China. Enraged by what he considered tantamount to economic imperialism, the Chola King Rajendra Cholaveda the first assembled a small armada composed of a hodge-podge of merchant vessels, catamarans, and dhows, filled them up with thousands of soldiers and took over control of the sea lanes of communication by soundly defeating the Sri Vijaya armies.
This little known episode of Indian history would indicate that maritime power was not only trade-oriented, but could also be exerted in a more predatory manner. It also reveals the enduring power of geography. Then, just as now, control of the Malacca Straits ensured control over the sea lanes of communication and over trade in and out of Asia.

b) The Darker Side to the Zheng He Narrative

The treasure fleets was not composed of a jolly group of merchants and sailors. The massive ships, which carried thousands of Chinese soldiers and marines were awe-inspiring floating symbols of Ming sovereignty. The tributary system embodied by the trade they brought to the coastal communities they encountered throughout Asia was at the heart of a highly hierarchical Sino-centric system. Even in the days of the late Qing dynasty, several hundred years later, the Chinese Imperial Court had no foreign ministry but a Tribute Reception Department.
Conveniently left out of the historically sanctioned narrative is the fact that Zheng He’s expeditions, were not only economic and pacifist in nature, as it is claimed, but were also a political extension of the Imperial tributary system. When a ruler, such as the Sri Lankan king Alakeswara, refused to pay tribute and thus recognize himself as the Chinese Emperor’s vassal, he was promptly deposed and ferried back to the Ming Court in chains. I recently came across this Ming-era poem which relates the Chinese marines’ intervention in Sri Lanka in very unpolitically correct terms:

"Straight away their dens and hideouts we ravaged, And made captive their entire country, bringing back to our august capital their women, children, families and retainers, leaving not one, Cleaning out in a single sweep those noxious pests, as if winnowing chaff from grain..These insignificant worms,deserving to die ten thousand times over, trembling in fear…Did not even merit the punishment of heaven. Thus the august emperor spared their lives. And they humbly kowtowed, making crude sounds, and praising the sage-like virtue of the Imperial Ming ruler.”
(Ming-era poem, quoted and translated in Leviathes, Louise "When China Ruled the Seas, The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne", 1405-1433. Oxford University Press, New York 1994, p.115)

c) The Yuan Dynasty’s Maritime Imperialism

The great glory days of the treasure fleets were in fact remarkably short-lived, as they only lasted from 1405 to 1433 before the Imperial court ordered the fleet’s destruction in order to focus once more on perceived continental threats. There is another rich period in China’s maritime history, however, that is perhaps just as significant as that of Zheng He, and more long lasting, but which has not been incorporated into the nation’s maritime narrative.
In the thirteenth century, a China divided in-between northern and southern dynasties was overrun by the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan. After the destruction of the north, Genghis Khan’s successors, his nephews Mongke and Kubilai, launched a massive campaign against the Song Chinese in the South. Whereas before the horse-borne, lightning fast cavalry archers of the Mongols had had little difficulty in defeating their enemies, they soon found that the muddy, river threaded terrain of Southern China made them lose their comparative advantage. In the face of continued Song resistance, the Mongols, ever a pragmatic people when it came to bloody destruction, adapted by coopting Chinese and Korean engineers to build ships to engage in riverine and maritime warfare against their enemies. Once the Song had been subjugated at last, Khubilai Khan the ruler of the newly formed Yuan Dynasty , decided to use his newly acquired naval expertise to launch a massive amphibious invasion of Japan. In 1274 and 1275 two huge naval armadas were set afloat to attack Japan, and both, due to Japanese tenacity, epidemics and terrible weather conditions were repulsed. To give you an idea of the size of these armadas, the one launched in 1275 comprised 3 500 ships, with more than 6 700 Korean sailors, and close to 100 000 Chinese and Mongol troops. Barring operation Overlord, this is the biggest amphibious operation in history.

And yet, it bears little mention in China’s sanctioned maritime narrative. This is undoubtedly due to its starkly imperialistic nature. Chinese historians will argue that the relatively short-lived Yuan Dynasty (it lasted only a century) was not Chinese, but Mongolian, and does not fit in neatly with today’s Han-dominated Chinese government’s discourse. But then the Qing dynasty, whose early days are being celebrated once more, was of Manchu descent, and the great Zheng He himself, ironically, was a Hui Muslim of Mongolian descent..All this points once more to a selective reading of the nation’s maritime history.

IV) Intersecting Maritime Narratives: Overlapping Spheres of Influence?

While both nations’ maritime narratives are highly selective in nature, they do provide an insight into both nations’ mental maps, and thus into their perceived justifiable areas of interest and spheres of influence.

By focusing on both nations’ historical narratives, one can clearly see that their perceived spheres of maritime influence overlap. Whereas in past centuries both civilizations, while aware of each other, were separated by buffer zones, whether it be on land via Tibet, or by sea through Southeast Asia, their long shared and unresolved land border and their growing and more wide ranging navies mean that for the first time in history both civilizations are shoulder to shoulder, breathing down each others necks. As the Asian hemisphere shrinks in size as both nations expand, and as their maritime mental maps overlap more and more, will this lead to greater rivalry? This is something which is for the future, and maybe for my more distinguished fellow panelists to decide.....

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China is the barometer of US-China relations.... When anything negative happens, it has greater impact on the military-military relations between the two countries than on the economic relations. While the PLA rules out the danger of any global military conflict involving China and the US, it does not rule out the danger of regional conflicts. According to the PLA, the US views China as a major strategic opponent. While there could be tactical improvements in the military-military relations, any enduring and strategic improvement would depend upon the US permanently stopping arms sales to Taiwan, removing discriminatory legislations affecting sensitive US exports to China and stopping the alleged intrusion of US naval ships and planes into the areas that China looks upon as its exclusive economic zones. China is still only a regional power but with global influence. While its relations with the US are important, its relations with its neighbours are equally important. It must improve its relations with them if it wants to keep them away from embracing the US. These are some of the points figuring in year-end discussions in China on the significance of the forthcoming visit to China by Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, which will be followed by a State visit to Washington DC by President Hu Jintao.

2.The new year will see Gates visiting China from January 9 to 12 and President Hu visiting Washington on January 19. Will these two important visits reduce the tensions that had cropped up in the relations between the US and China during 2010 ? The tensions were initially due to the decision of the administration of President Barack Obama to sell a new package of arms to Taiwan and subsequently due to the open interest taken by the US in the South China Sea dispute between China and some ASEAN countries and the joint naval exercises by the US and South Korea after the sinking of a South Korean naval ship by North Korea in March last year.

3. Beijing retaliated against the US decision to sell arms to Taiwan by suspending the on-going military-military dialogue between the two countries. A series of military exchange programs planned by both sides were canceled , including a visit to China by Gates, exchange of visits between Chen Bingde, Chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and Admiral Mike G. Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and exchange of visits by warships of the two countries.

4. However, Beijing did not allow its anger over the sale of arms to Taiwan come in the way of the visit of President Hu Jintao to Washington in April last year to attend the nuclear security summit. It also did not carry out its initial threats to impose sanctions against US companies selling military equipment to Taiwan in disregard of the Chinese protests.

5. The reaction from the Chinese military leadership to these developments was, however, stronger than the reaction from the political leadership. Apart from stepping up military exercises in the Yellow Sea and the adjoining coastal areas as a counter to the joint US-South Korean naval exercises, the PLA remained strongly opposed to an early resumption of the military-military exchanges. It is believed that it was largely the opposition from the PLA leadership to a visit by Gates which stood in the way of a visit by him to China after attending a conference in Singapore (the Shangri-La Dialogue) in June last.

6. In October, there were indications that the PLA leadership was relenting in its opposition to resuming the military exchanges with the US. Liang Guanglie,State Councilor and the Chinese Defence Minister, met Gates in Hanoi for the first time last year in the margins of an ASEAN-sponsored Defence Ministers’ conference. During the meeting, Liang Guanglie reportedly invited Gates to visit China in early 2011 and Gates accepted it. In December, Ma Xiaotian, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, and Michele Flournoy, the US Under Secretary of Defense, jointly chaired the 11th China-US defense consultation in Washington, D.C.

7. It was announced subsequently that at the invitation of Liang Guanglie, Gates will be visiting China from January 9 to 12, 2011. The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Research Center on Sino-US Relations of the Tsinghua University jointly held a workshop to discuss the relationship between the armed forces of the US and China. The dates on which this workshop was held are not known, but the “PLA Daily” had carried a report in three installments on this Workshop on December 29,30 and 31.

8.A perusal of the salient points of the speeches made in the Workshop as reported by the “PLA Daily” would indicate that even though the PLA leadership had lifted its opposition to the resumption of military exchanges with its US counterpart, it still has mental reservations on the scope for such exchanges. Some of these salient points are given below:

  • Rear Admiral Yang Yi (former director of the Institute for Strategic Studies of the National Defense University of the PLA): The military contacts are the “wind vane” of the China-US relations. China and the US hold different points of departure in military exchanges. The US, through these exchanges, wants to learn about the goings-on in the PLA and the intention of the Chinese military, whereas China adheres to the stance that the military ties must serve the overall situation and should not dance to the baton of the US. China should never slack down its efforts to realize its strategic goals despite the alleged concerns of the US. However, it could hold strategic communication with the US.
  • Prof. Wang Baofu ( of the National Defense University of the PLA): Why the China-US military relations are so fragile? The reason is that the military affairs are sensitive. When something wrong occurs in the China-US relations, the military contacts are prone to be suspended. Comparatively speaking, the impact of negative developments on the military-military relations is more than that on the economic relations. China-US military relations are still developing as reflected in progress made in the contact and negotiation on the nuclear weapons and the outer space issues.

  • Prof. Ouyang Wei ( of the National Defense University of the PLA): The root cause for the lack of military co-operation between China and the US is the absence of strategic mutual trust. China-US relations are complex involving both competition and cooperation. Such relations concern both local and overall relationships which are asymmetrical. In many cases the local relations are confrontational while the overall ones are not necessarily so. China should behave as a regional power having global influence. It should be concerned not only with its own security , but also with the security of other countries. We need to consider the issues concerning multiple countries from the perspective of global strategy, instead of considering them from the bilateral perspective. I propose a concept of “East Asia Economic and Security Community” to make East Asian countries dependent in economy and trustful in security. From this standpoint, the China-Japan relations can also realize the situation of “seeking common ground while reserving differences”. Thus, the influence of the Japan-US alliance can be mitigated. “

  • Maj. Gen. Peng Guangqian (Deputy Secretary-General of the National Security Policy Committee of the China Association of Policy Science Study): The paradox confronting the current China-US military relations is that globalization deepens interest inter-dependence on the one hand and exacerbates the interest friction on the other. The interest inter-dependence may lower the risk of a world war to some extent, but it does little to prevent small-scale conflicts, let alone root out the cause for war. The balance of nuclear power deterrence may cut down the risk of an all-round nuclear war, but can’t prevent the outbreak of conventional war. The US has already put China in the position of a major potential strategic opponent challenging its interests in future. In addition, the eastward movement of the US military strategic deployment focus from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region and the adjustment with Guam as the new military strategic hub are basically completed. The US has been verifying its combat ability and theory through a series of test-oriented actual-combat exercises, including the US-South Korea (ROK) military exercises and the US-Japan military exercises.

9.In a commentary on Gates’ visit carried on December 29, the “PLA Daily” said: “Some experts pointed out that a visit might not be enough to completely eliminate the three major obstacles impeding the development of military relationship between the two sides. “US arms sale to Taiwan, relevant bills passed by the US Congress to restrict exchanges between the two militaries and frequent reconnaissance to the exclusive economic areas of China by US warships and warplanes have been the hurdles that hinder the effort to establish mutual trust and develop cooperation between the two militaries,” said retired Chinese Rear Admiral Yang Yi. Military relationship has always been seen as a “wind vane” or “barometer” that reflects state-to-state relationship. Experts think that Gates’ visit can not only push forward the military cooperation between the two sides but also promote and supplement the China-US relationship.”

10. In a year-end interview disseminated by the State-owned Xinhua news agency on December 29, the Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie said:"Without the military of more than two million troops...China will be a weak country. A major aspect of its strong national power, I think, is a strong defense. Despite growing national power and global influence, the international situation remains complex, while more and more unstable factors are shadowing China's security. A war which involves the whole country is impossible at the moment, but there is a possibility that a mishap or accident might ignite regional conflicts. To enhance our comprehensive national power, (we have to ensure) our core interests are not hampered. We have to put the nation's sovereignty and security in the top position, that is the common understanding of the whole Party (Communist Party of China) and all the people."

11. As China prepares to receive Gates, the PLA is making sure that its views and perceptions are taken note of in matters concerning US-China relations. The conventional wisdom has been that in military matters, the Party decides and the PLA implements. In matters concerning the relations with the US, the party decides but with the concurrence of the PLA. The PLA is not just a subordinate without a mind of its own. It has a mind of its own and is prepared to express it in public and not necessarily only within the confines of the party or the Central Military Commission. That is the message that has been coming out. ...!

India and China will face the same Balkanization of the EU, Circa 1996...and MENA Circa 2011 shortly....as of 2015. That's the true intentions of the ZIOCONS on the Potomac in DC...

India is day-dreaming...

Criticism of India’s perceived reluctance to endorse the democratic urgings surfacing in many Arab countries is misplaced. The Indian media has, of course, covered the upsurge in Egypt very extensively, to the point that outside observers may conclude that our public had deep interest in Egyptian affairs and great affinity with its people. Both conclusions would be erroneous, as post Nasser Egypt has found negligible space in Indian political, press and public concerns.

Our relationship with Egypt since President Sadat’s advent, when the country moved into the US camp and became a linchpin of its West Asian policy of preventing any large scale Arab-Israeli war, has lacked political substance. Though of late our trade and investment relationship with Egypt had begun to expand, economic ties too have been deficient when compared to flourishing trade contacts between India and the Gulf countries and our enormous expatriate presence there.

Some quarters here think that as a democratic country India should be more vocal in supporting the surge of democratic aspirations in the Arab street. It is argued that we should not be squeamish about “interference” in the internal affairs of other countries, and that boldness in adopting a position in favor of spread of democracy world-wide behooves a country like India that seeks a global role. If are to be taken seriously by the world, we have to take our own international responsibility as a democratic country more seriously, we are told.

The expansive coverage of developments in Egypt in India can be explained in part as a spill over effect of the voluminous writing and commentary in the western media on the unfolding events in a region that is geo-politically of cardinal importance for its energy resources, Israel’s security and spread of dangerous undercurrents of Islamic radicalism there.

Those who believe that democratic states behave moderately have looked to a democratic transition in Arab countries to stabilize West Asia, resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict and usher in economic growth and prosperity. In that context the resistance to autocrat rule sweeping the Arab world is generating exciting and panoramic coverage. The Indian media has been swept by this tide, without any previous display of such interest in democratic change in other countries, as, for example, when colored revolutions scoured the erstwhile Soviet space.

In reality, democratic change in Egypt affects us little. It was not the autocratic Egyptian regime under Mubarak that accounted for indifferent ties with India. President Nasser, no less an autocrat, drew the country close to us. Egypt’s ties with the US was the determining factor in both cases. Change in Tunisia, Yemen, Libya or Bahrain, likewise, will impact us little. The ties of these countries with India will depend not on the democratic factor but what the two sides can concretely put into the relationship. The Islamic factor, Pakistan’s negative role, the Kashmir issue etc will not disappear as obstacles.

Take Turkey’s case. As a staunchly secular state with a democracy subject to military oversight Turkey’s pro-Pakistan leanings have been problematic for our bilateral relationship. With the blossoming of democracy there within a more Islamic dispensation, our ties have not only not improved, the Pakistani factor has become more troublesome.

It is too early to conclude that the uprising in these Islamic countries will usher in veritable democratic change notably marked by pluralism, secularism and human freedoms. The current unrest purportedly led by face-book activists belonging to the middle class is being construed as a west-leaning phenomenon and as an acceptance of western liberal values.

This obscures the reality of historical tensions in the region arising from Israeli policies, the unremitting support Israel gets from the US, the energy interests of the West, its perceived anti-Islamic posture as demonstrated by the combat against international terrorism ascribed mainly to Islamic groups, not to mention the general dis-satisfaction with the western dominated international system.

All this will not materially change whatever the rhetoric, and this is where the disconnect is between US support for democratic change in the region and the compulsions of its interests and commitments there. An elegant, reaching-out speech or two by President Obama is not going to change some fundamental realities. The pro-western autocrat Arab regimes batted for western interests even as they promoted their own at the cost of the people. The new, more people oriented regimes may prove more difficult to manipulate.

Those in India who deprecate our timidity in politically backing democratic change in West Asia are echoing muted disapproval in western circles of the low profile we have maintained on the subject. After the India-US nuclear deal, the US freely emphasizes the common values that unite us to the West, with the expectation that we would actively join it in speeding these values globally. But was the India-US nuclear deal that has transformed the bilateral relationship a strategic rapprochement or one of values? Our values have remained democratic, pluralist and secular for over six decades; the nuclear deal came about in 2005. The issue in fact is not common values but their application to particular situations in conducting foreign policy. The US is selective in application, making compromises where its larger interests dictate this. India need not therefore unthinkingly join in sloganeering for democratic change in areas sensitive for its diplomacy.

In his address to the Indian parliament in November last year President Obama’s bluntly noted India’s shyness in speaking out on human rights issues, and mentioned specifically Myanmar for suppression of democracy. He sought to discredit the argument that speaking up for people’s rights in other countries constituted interference in their internal affairs. Some had viewed his remarks as a veiled signal to India that its candidature for permanent membership of the Security Council would be evaluated in the light of the public solidarity it showed with the West on such issues. The problem with the US is that instead of allowing a natural collaboration arise from an affinity of thinking, it must lecture or hector others to subscribe to its activist approach.

With the rise of authoritarian China in mind and growing concerns about its future policies US opinion makers may be stressing increasingly of late the element of shared democratic values with us. In their eyes, the reversal of authoritarian trends in Russia would be a great gain for global democracy. India is seen as a country that can decisively retain the balance in favor of a liberal world order based on democracy and pluralism in the years ahead in conjunction with the West. Not surprisingly, both China and Russia have expressed wariness about the street revolt in the Arab world. China has reportedly blanked out news abut the Egyptian developments in its media. Russia has voiced misgivings about them.

The active promotion of democracy is not simply preaching the good, it is primarily power play. We have to play this game with restraint and in the light of our own judgments. We don’t have to prove ourselves or win accolades from others. The Prime Minister is right in welcoming the dawn of democracy everywhere if concerned countries want to move toward democratization, but without India seeking to advise them. .....

NATO and South Asian security


M.K. Bhadrakumar


From a seemingly reluctant arrival in Afghanistan seven years ago, NATO is deepening its presence and recasting its role and activities on a long-term basis.
The summit meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Lisbon constituted a significant event for South Asia. The alliance is transforming itself into playing a global political-military role. “We are firmly committed to preserving its [NATO's] effectiveness as the globe's most successful political-military alliance.” Its core task will be to defend Europe and ensure the collective security of its 28 members, while the Strategic Concept adopted at Lisbon envisages NATO's prerogative to mount expeditionary operations globally.

The document is explicit: “Where conflict prevention proves unsuccessful, NATO will be prepared and capable to manage ongoing hostilities. NATO has unique conflict-management capacities, including the unparalleled capability to deploy and sustain robust military forces in the field.” The alliance pledged to strengthen and modernise its conventional forces, and develop the full range of military capabilities. It will remain a nuclear alliance while developing a missile defence capability. The Strategic Concept reaffirmed that NATO would forge partnerships globally and reconfirmed the commitment to expand membership to democratic states that meet the alliance's criteria.


As an emerging regional power, India needs to take note of NATO's transformation. Indian discourses blithely assumed that NATO would have no appetite for far-flung operations anymore and was desperately looking for an exit strategy in Afghanistan. But on the contrary, the NATO psyche comes out unscathed. Will NATO be prepared to subject itself to the collective will of the international community as represented in the United Nations or will Article 5 of its Charter be the overriding principle? India hopes to become a permanent member of the Security Council in a not-too-distant future. Historically speaking, India's worldview opposed military blocs and alliances and placed primacy on the U.N. Charter and international law. Again, the world order needs to be factored in — NATO assertively proclaims its transatlantic moorings on a global plane while Europe's (western world) dominance in international politics is on the wane and the locus of power is rapidly shifting to Asia.

But what is of great import for South Asian security is that from a seemingly reluctant arrival in Afghanistan seven years ago in an “out-of-area” operation as part of the U.N.-mandated ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), with a limited mandate, NATO is suo motu stepping out of ISAF, deepening its presence and recasting its role and activities on a long-term basis. South Asian security will never be the same again. This has grave implications for Indian strategies as an emerging power in the Indian Ocean region.

At the Lisbon summit, NATO and Afghanistan signed a Declaration, the thrust of which is on affirming “their long-term partnership” and building “a robust, enduring partnership which complements the ISAF security mission and continues beyond it.” It recognises Afghanistan as an “important NATO partner … contributing to regional security” and, in turn, expects that country to provide the alliance with “necessary assistance to carry out its partnership activities” while recognising the “importance and relevance of broader regionally-owned cooperation, coordination and confidence-building between Afghan and its regional partners, as exemplified in the Istanbul Statement.”

In short, NATO and Afghanistan will “strengthen their consultation on issues of strategic concern” and, to this end, develop “effective measures of cooperation” which would include “mechanisms for political and military dialogue … a continuing NATO liaison in Afghanistan … with a common understanding that NATO has no ambition to establish a permanent military presence in Afghanistan or use its presence in Afghanistan against other nations” (emphasis added). NATO and Afghanistan will initiate discussion on a Status of Forces Agreement within the next three years. The Declaration also provides for the inclusion of “non-NATO nations” in the cooperation framework.

The Lisbon summit confirmed that the NATO military presence in Afghanistan will continue even beyond 2014, the timeline suggested by President Hamid Karzai for Kabul to be completely in charge of the security of the country. United States President Barack Obama summed up: “Our goal is that the Afghans have taken the lead in 2014 and in the same way that we have transitioned in Iraq, we will have successfully transitioned so that we are still providing a training and support function.” Even after 2014, NATO will maintain its counterterrorism capability in Afghanistan “until we have the confidence that the al-Qaeda is no longer operative and is no longer a threat.” NATO may even undertake combat operations beyond 2014 if and when need arises. As Mr. Obama put it, by 2014 the “NATO footprint in Afghanistan will have been significantly reduced. But beyond that, it's hard to anticipate exactly what is going to be necessary … I'll make that determination when I get there.” Clearly, the U.S. will be in the driving seat in the Hindu Kush for the long-term. The billions of dollars the U.S. has been pumping in for upgrading Soviet-era military bases in Afghanistan and constructing new military bases now fall into perspective.

It almost seems that New Delhi has been quietly preparing for this moment, backtracking unobtrusively from its traditional stance of seeking a “neutral” Afghanistan. Of course, the bottom line for the government is that the foreign policy should be optimally harmonised with U.S. regional strategies. But then, the geopolitics of the Afghan war cannot be equated with New Delhi's longing for permanent membership of the Security Council or viewed merely through the prism of U.S.-India “strategic partnership.” Nor can India as a responsible regional power fundamentally regard the NATO military presence in zero-sum terms — or in terms of U.S.-China rivalries. On balance, New Delhi's motivation seems to be tactical — a lingering hope that an open-ended NATO presence may sooner or later prompt the Obama administration to confront the Pakistani military on its policy of using Taliban militants to gain “strategic depth” and of conceiving terrorism as an instrument of state policy. However, this would be a short-sighted approach for two reasons: one, it wrongly assumes that the American and Pakistani objectives in Afghanistan are irreconcilable and, two, it overlooks that a great power invariably distinguishes between tactic and strategy.

The following elements reveal how, despite the prickly nature of their partnership, the U.S. and Pakistan are like Siamese twins: Both seek a peaceful Afghanistan but have divergent approaches to how to achieve it; both agree that durable peace is not possible without legitimising traditional Pashtun aspirations; the U.S. knows that Pakistani military leadership wields influence over the insurgents; it accepts that Pakistan's cooperation is vital not only for reaching a settlement but also ensuring that peace will be durable so that Afghanistan stabilises; Pakistan remains hesitant to give up its “strategic assets” lest Washington overlook its strategic needs; NATO operations will run into serious difficulty without the supply routes via NWFP and Baluchistan but then Pakistan receives billions of dollars in aid annually and it cannot afford to antagonise the U.S. either; the Pakistani military is averse to undertaking operations in North Waziristan but at the same time it tacitly provides basing facilities (and probably intelligence) for the U.S. drone operations in the tribal areas, besides permitting hundreds or thousands of American intelligence operatives to function all over the country; all in all, the U.S. has limits to its capacity to pressure Pakistan, which seamlessly leverages its “all-weather friendship” with China.

Quite clearly, Pakistan and the U.S. are under a strong compulsion to reconcile their divergent approaches and work toward an Afghan settlement. The main sticking point is the strategy currently pursued by U.S. commander David Petraeus, who hopes to degrade the insurgents so that the Americans can eventually talk with the Taliban leadership from a position of strength. Indian pundits shouldn't exaggerate the gravity of this discord.

Overarching these considerations comes the U.S. strategy visualising NATO as the provider of security to the Silk Road that transports the multi-trillion dollar mineral wealth in Central Asia to the world market via the port of Gwadar. The Afghan-Pakistan trade and transit agreement concluded last month was a historic milestone and was possible only because of Washington's sense of urgency. Without doubt, Pakistan is assured of a key role in the U.S. regional strategy. This will keep foreign money flowing into Pakistan's economy and the Pakistani military will willingly accelerate the partnership programmes with NATO, and even upgrade them.

India's ability to tap into the Silk Road depends on the settlement of differences with Pakistan which would, hopefully, encourage the generals in Rawalpindi to jettison their “India-centric” mindset. Being NATO member- countries alone didn't really help Turkey and Greece through four decades and ultimately it was the sustained bilateral initiative by Ankara, keeping in view the imperative of accession talks with the European Union, that improved the climate of relations with Athens....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

USA a kid in a NATO candy store...

USA a kid in a NATO candy store...
By Pepe Escobar


As clinically on target as a pat-down in a major United States airport, the Pentagon got a fabulous box of chocolates - and then some - from its 27 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies at last weekend's Lisbon summit.

The chocolates come in a full spectrum of flavors.

One: NATO's new "Strategic Concept", complete with European-wide cyber-warfare subordinated to a "meet the old boss, same as the old boss" pattern - the Pentagon's new Cyber Command, euphemistically defined as "centralized cyber protection".

Two: The promise of the whole of Europe - in theory - enveloped by a missile defense dome ("missile defense will become an integral part of our overall defense posture").

Three: US tactical nuclear weapons indefinitely stationed in five bases scattered across European soil.

Four: 20 NATO "partners" still shelling out troops for the Afghan war for, well, forever. (At least the Lisbon-summit declaration did not beat around the bush: "Transition will be conditions-based, not calendar-driven, and will not equate to withdrawal of ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] troops.")

NATO has also acquired what seems to be a new missile-defense "partner" all across Eurasia - from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean: Russia. But contrary to the Western corporate-media narrative, Russia has only agreed to a study of "possible" missile threats and to engage in a vague "dialogue" before a possible joint decision by defense ministers from NATO countries in June 2011.
The Pentagon/NATO Star Wars remake has been relentlessly spun as defense against a highly hypothetical full-scale ballistic missile attack by either Iran or North Korea. Even assuming this is not a Marvel Comics stunt, such a system would rely on Airborne Warning and Control Systems, which even a moderately skilled hacker could jam. And all this assumes that the respective leaderships of "axis of evil" members Iran and North Korea are in the business of committing seppuku - ritual suicide.

So, essentially, the "dome" is a public-relations myth. But if this Star Wars remake is interpreted as a sort of large-scale improvised explosive device conceived to "contain" strategic competitor China in a not-so-distant future, then the script gets much juicier.

A prodigy of intelligence
NATO pledged to hand over security in Afghanistan to Afghans by the end of 2014. But, just in case, it also pledged to keep occupying it indefinitely. Even 2014 (anybody remember 2011?) is an "aspirational" goal, according to Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. As to how many US/NATO troops will be getting a piece of the action from 2015 onwards, that's a classic example of one of former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld's "known unknowns".

As far as a "known known" goes, nothing beats the Fake Mullah Dude gambit.

A diplomat told the New York Times that Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, the alleged number two to invisible Taliban leader Mullah Omar involved in discussions with the Karzai government, is not the real mullah: he is a fake. General David Petraeus had to run to the rescue - if not for cover - saying that the Pentagon suspected something was off. NATO was involved in the discussions - which have been going on for a few months now. The fake mullah did not fail to bag a lot of cash in the process. And obviously Mullah Omar's gang in Quetta must be laughing their turbans off.

Once again, NATO's fabled multilingual skills don't mean that you can dust up your Polish when you need to think in Pashto. File this one as another spectacular triumph of Pentagon/NATO intelligence.

NATO's self-described "mission" since 2001 has been to fight against "international terrorism". Even low-level Central Intelligence Agency operatives know there are no "al-Qaeda" in Afghanistan, apart from 20 or 30 invisible jihadi trainers. So this war is not about al-Qaeda.

On the other hand, Pashtuns comprise 42% of Afghanistan's population.

NATO is attacking anyone from the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar faction to the Jalaluddin Haqqani network, and all the disgruntled tribal guerrilla factions in between. The Pentagon/NATO "strategy" has been essentially to take out mid-level Taliban or guerrilla commanders. Problem is, most are Pashtun tribal leaders. Inevitably their tribes rebel en masse, be they Taliban-affiliated or not, and vow to kill the invaders. The bottom line: Afghanistan is nothing but a Western war against Pashtuns.

In yet one more spectacular PR failure, Pentagon/NATO even forgot to inform the Pashtuns about it. A report by a International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) think tank has just showed that 92% of Pashtuns in Helmand and Kandahar provinces know absolutely nothing about 9/11. The report noted that the "relationship gap" between Afghans and the "international community" was "dramatic". File this one as understatement of the decade.

So a bunch of angry Pashtuns are in fact the ultimate threat to NATO and its global, non-stop expansionist drive from the Balkans to the former Soviet Union - instilling supreme fear in NATO's 36 divisions, 120 brigades, 11,000 tanks, 23,000 artillery pieces and 4,500 fighter jets (and that's only what's stationed in Europe).

If NATO is scared to death of Pashtuns, imagine when it turns its attention to the nomadic Tuareg - the indigenous population of most of central Sahara and the Sahel, with impressive numbers in the north of both Niger and Mali. In the current, concerted Western campaign to define them as pawns of "evil" al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM), NATO should be warned that the Tuareg can be every bit the bad asses that the Pashtuns are. God help the white man's burden.

NATO did make a deal with Moscow to send logistical support to Afghanistan through Russia - and not Pakistan. That does put Islamabad on the spot. Next time Washington won't even ask permission to ramp up the drone war. In fact, this game is already on.

The operative mood now is not only bomb the tribal areas (especially after the Haqqani network scattered northwards, from North Waziristan to Kurram); it is also bomb Quetta, Balochistan's capital - where Taliban leader Mullah Omar may be hiding (and laughing his turban off).

Pakistan's Ministry of Interior duly denies everything - even as the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence "increase their cooperation". So one should expect major upcoming "collateral damage" in and around Quetta; and the Balochistan separatist movements will be having a ball. The bottom line: real men go to Quetta.

The war boutique
Whatever the drama quotient involved, one may be certain that NATO's nuclear/cyber-warfare/missile defense embrace will be striving to include the whole white world. As the Lisbon summit declaration proclaimed: "The promotion of Euro-Atlantic security is best assured through a wide network of partner relationships with countries and organizations around the globe." Translation: Europe, apart from posing as an oversized boutique seducing the Asian consuming hordes, now exists primarily as a forward operating base for war around the globe.

In fact, the US, NATO and the European Union are now on the way to becoming essentially the same entity - as in the president of the EU's European Council, faceless Belgian bureaucrat Herman Van Rompuy, telling NATO leaders in Lisbon: "The ability of our two organizations to shape our future security environment would be enormous if they worked together. It is time to break down the remaining walls between them." Pashtuns of the world unite; if you keep rocking, these walls will definitely crumble.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Most U.S. government officials would have us all forget November 22, 1963.....and the infamous White House Murder INC,.....of today.....


Most U.S. government officials and the POWER behind the POWER in DC, would have us all forget November 22, 1963.....and the infamous White House Murder INC,.....of today.....

November 22, 2010 -- From the archives -- how JFK assassination conspiracy has been put on the back shelf and an UPDATE....


Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura was refused permission by the Army Department to film an episode of his TV program "Conspiracy Theory" at the John F. Kennedy rave site at Arlington National Cemetery. An Army spokesman named Kenneth Hawes said Ventura would not be permitted to film an episode of his program dealing with the Kenedy assassination conspiracy at the grave site. Hawes added that the Army Department, which ultimately answers to Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, does not like Ventura's program.





The JFK grave site has been misused for political purposes in the past. From the archives:

The following article ran in November 2004:



Wayne Madsen

Washington, DC - November 22 still has meaning for me. Although I was in elementary school on this day in 1963, I vividly remember the shock and horror of a nation that experienced the brutal murder of its young and popular president on a Dallas street. But November 22 apparently no longer means much to either George W. Bush or his neo-con cabal who are currently consolidating their dominance over the Pentagon and setting their sights on the CIA and State Department. http://truthrocker.livejournal.com/tag/jfk

Sign greeting those who wished to go directly to Kennedy
grave site on the morning of November 22, 2004.

This morning I decided to pay my respects to President and Mrs. Kennedy by doing something I don't do very often in Washington - visit a memorial. I first noticed something amiss when I walked through the main gate to Arlington National Cemetery from Memorial Drive, the same causeway that, on November 25, 1963, bore President Kennedy's horse-drawn coffin from Washington to be laid to final rest upon a hilltop overlooking the city. Roosevelt Drive, a pedestrian walk that pedestrians once took as the most direct route to the JFK Memorial was blocked by chain link fences and the iron gate was closed. Those wishing to visit the Kennedy gravesite were forced to walk over a mile out of their way, much of it uphill, to the site. For the old and infirm, the walk would have been too much. Taking the long route around to the JFK grave, it became apparent that other access routes near the memorial had also been closed, including Weeks Drive, a shortcut to Roosevelt Drive. There was no noticeable construction and the barricades prohibiting direct access to the Kennedy site were temporary in nature.

For seemingly no reason, Roosevelt Drive from a spot around the corner from the Kennedy site is closed to the public on the 41st anniversary of the president's assassination in Dallas.

When I finally arrived at the grave, I was not surprised to find it - for a short time - devoid of other visitors. A sole National Park Service guard stood duty. It was as if November 22, 1963 and what happened that day was some insignificant factoid of American history.

Making matters worse, there is now a video game from Britain called "JFK Reloaded" in which a player can be Lee Harvey Oswald and earn points by shooting Kennedy from the Texas School Book Depository. The player loses points if he or she hits Jackie. But the Bush administration, which rails against indecency on television and radio, does not feel compelled to have the Federal Trade Commission rule against the marketing of such a game to young people in the United States. Not surprisingly, the premise of the game is that Oswald did it, alone; that's exactly what the Bush family would have us believe. But more on that later.

A spokesman for Senator Edward Kennedy called the game "despicable." That word applies aptly here, too: those with the power to do so have walled off most of the easiest access routes to the Kennedy grave site. And it is probably no more despicable in having as the White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, whose father and Texas attorney, Barr McClellan, penned a book suggesting that Lyndon Baines Johnson was behind the assassination. In fact, Johnson always suspected that the CIA, whose ranks included one Texas oilman named George H. W. Bush, was somehow involved with the assassination of President Kennedy.

Closed Roosevelt Drive, main access route to the Kennedy grave, from
the Memorial Drive entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.

Just why the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army would need to close off the major access routes to President Kennedy's grave site on November 22 is anyone's guess. Washingtonians are accustomed to barricades around our most cherished and popular monuments and landmarks, but this is a new level of symbolic aggression and contempt. The National Cemetery Administration told me that complaints about closing off the route to the Kennedy grave should be directed to the Departments of the Army and Defense.

Weeks Drive, one of the direct access routes to the Kennedy
grave site on the morning of November 22, 2004.

It was the intention of the Kennedy family and his administration that the President be buried on federal property so the grave would be accessible to the American people. That was the wish of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara after he heard that initial plans were to bury the President in the Kennedy family's plot in Holyhood Cemetery near Brookline, Massachusetts. McNamara, in his capacity as Secretary of Defense, made special plans to inter Kennedy at Arlington. The current Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, apparently saw no problem with blocking easy access to the Kennedy grave site on this 41st anniversary of the President's assassination.

The Kennedy grave site on the morning of November 22, 2004. Once the scene of November 22 memorial services, today only a sole National Park Service ranger stands vigil.

Perhaps the memory of Kennedy is a bit too much for the neo-cons in the Pentagon. Just consider the differences between Bush and Kennedy. One was a bona fide war hero who was beloved by the American people and the world. The other is a draft dodger who failed to show up for his required medical exams and mandatory training and duty and is hated throughout the world. One started the Alliance for Progress to create better living conditions in Latin America. The other permits his thuggish Secret Service agents to get into a fracas with Chilean security agents and creates a diplomatic incident by requiring Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation banquet guests in Santiago to go through a metal detector. One brought the world to peace from the edge of nuclear war. The other seeks to plunge the world into a series of never-ending wars. One was brutally murdered in Dallas. The other used Dallas as a base to feather his financial nest by making deals on money-losing oil exploration companies, a taxpayer-funded baseball stadium, and shady political accommodations with crooked politicians and terrorist-connected Saudis that would make the politicians of Tammany Hall uncomfortable.

Three roses atop President Kennedy's grave.

There is something about the name "Kennedy" that seems to make the Bushes quite upset. The USS John F. Kennedy was even dispatched on a dangerous deployment in the Persian Gulf as part of an exercise aimed primarily at future military action against Iran. Morale on board the Kennedy is at an all-time low, and in recent months its Commanding Officer and a fighter squadron commander have been relieved for cause. E-mails from Navy personnel on the ship confirm that tempers against the Pentagon and Bush are running high.

But there is something else about John F. Kennedy in particular that makes the Bushes jumpy. The name "George Bush" appears much too frequently in documents, some newly released, relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. Since there is no statute of limitations on murder or accessory to murder, I can understand why Bush pere and fils may want to erase November 22, 1963 from the history books.

The document trail linking George H. W. Bush to those involved in the assassination of President Kennedy is nothing less than chilling. First is a memo dated November 22, 1963, from FBI Special Agent Graham Kitchel to the FBI Special Agent in Charge in Houston. The subject is "Unknown Subject; Assassination of President John F. Kennedy." The memo states:

At 1:45 p.m. Mr. George H. W. Bush, President of the Zapata Off-shore Drilling Company, Houston, Texas, residence 5525 Briar, Houston, telephonically furnished the following information to writer by long distance telephone call from Tyler, Texas.

BUSH stated that he wanted to be kept confidential but wanted to furnish hearsay that he recalled hearing in recent weeks, the day and source unknown. He stated that one JAMES PARROTT has been talking of killing the President when he comes to Houston.

BUSH stated that PARROTT is possibly a student at the University of Houston and is active in political matters in the area. He stated that he felt Mrs. FAWLEY, telephone number SU 2-5239, or ARLENE SMITH, telephone number JA 9-9194 of the Harris County Republican Party Headquarters would be able to furnish additional information regarding the identity of PARROTT.

BUSH stated that he was proceeding to Dallas, Texas, would remain in the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel and return to his residence on 11-23-63. His office telephone number is CA 2-0395.

So we have George H. W. Bush telling the FBI that he did not know the source of the information but knew that a John Bircher named James Parrott, who was the same age as Lee Harvey Oswald (24), wanted to kill President Kennedy in Houston. Bush did not know much about Parrott but gave the name of two Republican Party officials in Houston. Of course, Bush's Zapata Off-Shore Drilling Company had been a CIA front since 1960 and had supplied the Bay of Pigs invasion (code named "Zapata") force with two of his company's ex-U.S. Navy landing craft, renamed the "Barbara J" and the "Houston." In any case, Bush's phone call to the FBI was a false lead, and Parrott was cleared. However, Bush's phone call creates more questions about him than about Parrott. First of all, there is no evidence that Bush was in Tyler when Kennedy was shot. There was no Caller ID in those days that would have allowed Special Agent Kitchel to know, for a fact, that Bush was calling from Tyler. Bush's wife, Barbara, claimed he was in Tyler but Bush once said he may have been in Port-au-Prince, Haiti that day. But Bush himself admits to the FBI that he was booked into the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas on November 22.

Bush always had a keen interest in what files the government had on Kennedy's assassination. When he was CIA Director in 1976, Bush wanted to see all the agency's files on the Kennedy assassination. His memos specifically requested information on Oswald, Jack Ruby, and others linked to the assassination. In her book The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, author Kitty Kelley writes that "Years later, when [Bush] became president of the United States, he would deny making any attempt to review the agency files on the JFK assassination… when he made this claim, he did not realize that the agency would release 18 documents [under the Freedom of Information Act] that showed he had indeed, as CIA director, requested information-not once, but several times-on a wide range of questions surrounding the Kennedy assassination."

Then there is the business of the November 29, 1963 memo from the Director of the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research to J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director. The subject is "Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963." The memo states:

Our Miami, Florida, Office on November 23, 1963, advised that the Office of Coordinator of Cuban Affairs in Miami advised that the Department of State feels some misguided anti-Castro group might capitalize on the present situation and undertake an unauthorized raid against Cuba, believing that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy might herald a change in U.S. policy, which is not true.

Our sources and informants familiar with Cuban matters in the Miami area advise that the general feeling in the anti-Castro Cuban community is one of stunned disbelief and, even among those who did not entirely agree with the President's policy concerning Cuba, the feeling is that the President's death represents a great loss not only to the U.S. but to all of Latin America. These sources know of no plans for unauthorized action against Cuba.

An informant who has furnished reliable information in the past and who is close to a small pro-Castro group in Miami has advised that these individuals are afraid that the assassination of the President may result in strong repressive measures being taken against them and, although pro-Castro in their feelings, regret the assassination.

The substance of the foregoing information was orally furnished to us, George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency and Captain William Edwards of the Defense Intelligence Agency on November 23, 1963 by Mr. W.T. Forsyth of this Bureau.

A copy of the above memo was furnished to the Director of Naval Intelligence. That is important for reasons that will be explained in the following paragraph.

Not only was George H. W. Bush, a known CIA operative, in Dallas on November 22 but he was also keeping track of the stance of pro-Castroites in Miami. That would have been important because Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy's accused assassin was supposed to be a pro-Communist member of the "Fair Play for Cuba Committee." But he was also associated with the "Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean" and "Friends of Democratic Cuba." And his apparent control officer was FBI agent Guy Bannister, formerly of the Chicago FBI office and a former Naval Intelligence officer, whose office "Guy Bannister Associates, Inc." a CIA cut-out for training anti-Castro Cubans, was located at 544 Camp Street in New Orleans. 544 Camp was also the address used by Oswald's "pro-Communist" "Fair Play for Cuba Committee." The local Office of Naval Intelligence was across the street from 544 Camp.

The Director of Naval Intelligence is made privy, as an "info addee," to the aforementioned State Department memo on the reaction of pro- and anti-Castro Cubans in Miami to Kennedy's death.

Oswald, while stationed at a classified U-2 base in Japan as a U.S. Marine, would have had his security clearance adjudicated by the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Bush's role as a CIA operative in the Bay of Pigs invasion, a military action in which the Office of Naval Intelligence was closely involved, suggests that the other links between Bush, ONI, and the anti-Castro Cuban exiles are not benign.

George H. W. Bush has still other, more oblique links to Kennedy assassin. The Houston-based conspirator James Parrott, Guy Bannister was a fervent John Bircher. Bannister was not only associated with Oswald but also David Ferrie, the commander of a Louisiana Civil Air Patrol unit whose members included not only Oswald but also James Reynolds Bath, the future buddy and Texas Air National Guard pal of George W. Bush. According to one of Bath's former Houston business associates, Bath became a pilot through the cadet program of the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol, a known recruiting ground for future CIA agents. Six days before Pearl Harbor, the Civil Air Patrol was founded by Dallas oilman David Harold Byrd who also owned the Texas School Book Depository from the 1930s to 1972. Another supporter of the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol was Claire Chennault, the founder of China's "Flying Tigers" and the notorious "Civil Air Transport" of China that later became Air America. Chennault died in New Orleans' murky intelligence-connected Ochsner Foundation Hospital in 1958. In 1964, Byrd apparently removed the "Oswald" window pane from the fifth floor of the Texas School Book Depository and made it a souvenir fixture in his home.

Another connection between Bush and the assassination is George DeMohrenshildt, an anti-Communist White Russian-émigré who befriended fellow White Russian Marina Oswald and her husband Lee upon their emigration from the Soviet Union to Texas, where DeMohrenshildt was involved in the oil business. DeMohrenshildt's son-in-law told the Warren Commission that is was likely that his father-in-law was involved with the Kennedy assassination. DeMohrenshildt had an interest in pursuing oil exploration contracts with Haitian President Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier - something that may have involved George H. W. Bush's one-time alibi that he was in Port-au-Prince on November 22, 1963. In March 1977, the House Assassinations Committee was due to interview DeMohrenshildt but just a few hours before his scheduled appearance he was found dead of a "self-inflicted" gun shot wound. When DeMohrenshildt's personal address book was discovered, it was found to contain the following entry:

"Bush, George H.W. (Poppy) 1412 W. Ohio also Zapata Petroleum Midland" Number: "4-6355"

From the directory entry it appeared that DeMohrenshildt, who was rumored to be with the CIA, knew George H. W. (or Poppy as his family calls him) from before 1959, when Bush moved from Midland to Houston. It is also noteworthy that while he was taking care of the Oswalds during 1962, DeMohrenshildt was in close contact with Admiral Henry Bruton, the former Director of Naval Communications, who would have played an important supporting role for Naval Intelligence's activities in the Bay of Pigs invasion.

As I walked away from President Kennedy's grave site this morning - looking forward to another one mile detour around the normal direct access walkway - I pondered why the Pentagon and the White House would dishonor our 35th President in such a manner on the anniversary of his murder. But then the words of President Kennedy's Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961 sprang to my mind: "In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it-and the glow from that fire can truly light the world."

The "Eternal Flame" - still casts a glow on an otherwise dark and gloomy Washington.

Kennedy spoke of light. The Bushes speak of fear and gloom and they represent darkness. If he were alive today, Kennedy would agree that as with World War II and the Cold War, freedom is once again in its "hour of maximum danger" - a danger from within the United States, from within the country's own institutions of government. By closing off the roads leading to Kennedy's Eternal Flame, the Bush administration is once again showing its contempt for America's traditions, its past. But as suggested in this article, the Kennedy assassination may be something the Bushes do not want that Eternal Flame to illuminate.

Ironically, on the morning of this 41st anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, the Associated Press filed this report from Houston:

A private jet that was en route to Houston to pick up former President Bush clipped a light pole and crashed Monday as it approached Hobby Airport in thick fog, killing all three people aboard.

The Gulfstream G-1159A jet, coming into Houston, went down about 6:15 a.m. in an undeveloped area 1 1/2 miles south of the airport, officials said. The former president had been scheduled to travel to Ecuador for a conference.

God does, it appears, work in mysterious ways.


UPDATE: WMR has learned from an informed CIA veteran in Texas that on the evening of November 21, 1963, the operational conspirators behind the assassination of President Kennedy met at Campisi's Egyptian Restaurant in Dallas. Present, according to our source, were Jack Ruby, aka Jacob Rubenstein; Lee Harvey Oswald, aka Alex Hidell, who, according to recently-revealed information, had infiltrated the conspirators on behalf of loyal factions within the CIA and FBI in an attempt to prevent the assassination of Kennedy; the CIA's embedded Dallas policeman J. D. Tippitt, who was allegedly shot by Oswald the next day; E. Howard Hunt, one of the clean-shaven "tramps" detained at the railroad yard behind the Grassy Knoll after Kennedy was shot; the CIA's Ted Shackley, the chief of the CIA's JM/WAVE station responsible for the Bay of Pigs invasion and multiple attempts to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and Tony Poe, aka Anthony Poshepny, one of the CIA's top men in Southeast Asia and the reported inspiration for the "Colonel Kurtz" character played by Marlon Brando in the film Apocalypse Now; and several other ground personnel who made up a "Who's Who" of CIA and mafia brigands and hit men who were gathered in Dallas to help facilitate the "Big Event."

The information about the assassination eve meeting at Campisi's was passed to this editor by Houston area sources close to the late CIA operative Roland "Tony" Carnaby, who was gunned down by two Houston policemen in April 2008. Carnaby was particularly close to George H.W. Bush and allegedly carried out "special tasks" for the ex-President.....


Perhaps President Kennedy had a clairvoyant inkling of future events. On one occasion, in the White House, Kennedy doodled on a piece of paper. He jotted "9/11" and circled it and wrote the word "conspiracy," underlining it, next to the prophetic date. Two major conspiracies -- 11/11/63 and 9/11/01 would be historical book ends around America's slide into dictatorship.

One of the biggest outrages committed by President Obama was his awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former President George H. W. Bush, who the historical record now amply confirms was not only present on Dealey Plaza while President Kennedy was being shot but who was involved in the conspiracy to assassinate the President.....

December , 2010 -- Re-confirmation of CIA tampering with Zapruder film....

JFK assassination evidence tampering by CIA a fact.....

WMR recently had the opportunity of meeting a source who this editor first spoke to fifteen years ago about his work for a CIA contractor that removed two extremely critical frames from the Bell & Howell Zoomatic film of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy captured by Abraham Zapruder.

On November 21, 2008, WMR reported on the revelation from the source who worked at Itek Corporation, a Lexington, Massachusetts firm owned by Laurence Rockefeller, which processed and analyzed CORONA spy satellite photos for the CIA, that the firm was instructed by the CIA to remove two critical frames from one of the copies of the Zapruder film and re-order the sequence of the frames to bolster the pre-conceived conclusion of the Warren Report that Kennedy was shot from the rear and not from the front. In 1975, and not coincidentally, CBS News asked Itek to analyze the Zapruder film for a news special hosted by Dan Rather on the Zapruder footage. Not surprisingly, Itek concluded that based on the copy of the film it analyzed Kennedy had been struck from the rear....

Our source re-confirmed that sometime during 1964 -- now at 80 years old, he does not remember the month or day -- it was he and other engineers at Itek, acting on behalf of the CIA, who removed frames 208 to 211 from a first-generation copy of the Zapruder film, and that the four frames included two critical frames that would have disproved the conclusions of the Warren Commission, that Kennedy was struck three times from the rear by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Frames 208 to 211 would have shown Kennedy's limousine before it passed behind a traffic sign. Two critical frames in the sequence likely provided evidence of a shooter not accounted for by the Warren Commission....

In 1983, Itek was acquired by Litton Industries, a major defense and intelligence contractor. Litton was eventually taken over by Northrop Grumman.....


.....My files on LBJ/CIA Assassination of JFK

by Robert Morrow

Lyndon Johnson made a dirty deal with CIA Republicans to murder John Kennedy in the 1963 Coup d’Etat. (People like Clint Murchison Sr., H.L. Hunt, Nelson Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, top Nelson Rockefeller aide Henry Kissinger, George Herbert Walker Bush and Gen. Edward Lansdale all are excellent candidates for elite sponsorship.) Lyndon Johnson and Allen Dulles may very well have been co-CEOs of the JFK assassination; with the CIA in charge of the killing of JFK, and Lyndon Johnson and (his close friend and neighbor of 19 years in Washington, DC) FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in charge of the cover up.

Clint Murchison, Sr – more so than even H.L. Hunt – was a key player in the JFK assassination because of his close ties to the inner core of US intelligence (Allen Dulles, Nelson Rockefeller, John J. McCloy), close ties to Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI, bankers Rockefellers; Murchison was even friends with key Kennedy-hater mafia godfather Carlos Marcellos of New Orleans. Not only that, Murchison, Sr. was a patient and partner of Dr. Alton Oschner, the former president of the American Cancer Society and who ran covert cancer research for the CIA. Oschner, likewise was a Kennedy-hater. John Simkin: “One of Ochsner's friends described him as being ‘like a fundamentalist preacher in the sense that the fight against communism was the only subject that he would talk about, or even allow you to talk about, in his presence.’”

When JFK was slaughtered, Russia’s Khrushchev was literally crying, fearing nuclear war. Cuba’s Castro feared a US invasion and gave an impressive speech the next day deconstructing the CIA’s deception provocation for war....but Castro is a phony CIA agent himself.... Meanwhile at Clint Murchison’s home, the family maid May Newman describes the scene: “The mood in the Murchison family home was very joyous and happy. For a whole week after like champagne and caviar flowed, every day of the week. But I was the only one in that household at that time that uh felt any grief for his assassination."

My Files on the LBJ-CIA Assassination of JFK