FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONAAMERICAN/GLOBAL AFFAIRS
1. The “Anaconda” Embarrassment: “We
Do Mountains” (Powell in 1994)
“Anaconda” Embarrassments: No Sleeping
Bags for Mountain Duty; Women and Children Killed by
U.S. Bombs; Ex-spy Chief: Al Qaeda Has U.S. PrisonersMar. 14, 2002
1b. Taliban/Al Qaeda Said to Be Bargaining
for 18 Captured U.S. TroopsMar.
Operation “Anaconda:” Vietnam in the HimalayasMar.
U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo Closed due to Al Qaeda ThreatMar.
Chicago 1e. Chicago Prof to Pro-Albanian Senator: “You Are Fostering Mayhem and Genocide”Mar. 25, 2002
Washington 2. The Washington Embarrassment: Double Jeopardy - Bush,
Congress Ram Through Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants;
Yet Rail against the INS
Washington 3. How the House Voted
San Francisco 4. Ups and Downs of Immigration, San Francisco Style
in 1994: “We Don’t Do Mountains”… We Still Don’t, and
AFGHANISTAN, Mar. 13 - “Declare victory, and run like hell,” seems to be an apt description of today’s Pentagon announcement about an impending end to the embarrassing “Anaconda” operation in eastern Afghanistan. Named after a snake that squeezes the life out of its victims, this American-Afghan “Anaconda” let its most highly prized pray slip away. Again.
(Americans) were weakening our morale, it was better for them to go,”
commander of the Afghan government troops, Allah Mohammed, told the London
Times (Mar. 12).
Shah Mahood Popal,
the (Afghan) deputy commander, believed it was self-preservation that
stopped the Americans from launching a more decisive attack. “They
didn't want to risk losing lots of fighters. Afghans don't care if they
lose lots of fighters, so we are better suited for the task. They should
stick to bombing,” he told the Times.
Of course, Pentagon’s “victory” declaration was accompanied by a bombastic claim that our troops had killed over 800 Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters during the two-week operation. That sounds like a tall tale. At least the Afghans who have fought alongside the American troops think so. Here’s an excerpt from the Mar. 12 London Times report:
commanders believe that the US has exaggerated the number of casualties in
the bombing campaign, saying that at least several hundred al-Qaeda forces
are up in mountain caves ready to fight back.
have been very close to their positions and we have seen no dead
bodies," Commander Mohammed said.”
Meanwhile, we (America) are supposed to have suffered no losses beyond the eight U.S. soldiers killed at the outset in a helicopter incident, again, according to the Pentagon.
The only thing more embarrassing than the Pentagon’s “Anaconda” performance was a lack of probing questions by our lamestream media.
For two weeks now, hundreds of U.S. troops have been under heavy enemy fire in a treacherous mountainous terrains. Reinforcements kept being sent in all the time - both U.S. and Afghan troops. Yet not a word about additional casualties. Not a peep from our lapdog media about them, either.
It’s all reminiscent of the “lie and deny”-style military reporting that we all witnessed almost three years ago now, during the NATO bombing of Serbia. For 78 days and nights, we fought an air war flying tens of thousands of sorties. And when it was all over, our then commander-in-chief went on national TV and told the nation that we have suffered no combat casualties (see “NATO Losses Revisited,” May 2000).
Only a lapdog media reporter or a brain-dead citizen would have believed Bill Clinton’s claim in June 1999. Only a lapdog reporter or a brain-dead citizen would buy the official Pentagon line today. Yet a poor performance of the American troops in the mountainous terrain of Eastern Afghanistan should surprise no one. Least of our Secretary of State, a former military man, who has evidently done a turn-about-face in his new job.
“We don’t do mountains, we only do deserts,” a younger and wiser Gen. Colin Powell rebuffed Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of State, back in 1994, when Powell was still the Chief of General Staff, and she was the U.S. ambassador at the U.N. (see “Mountains Ground U.S. Apaches,” S99-86, Day 60, May 22, 1999).
Albright, whom this writer (among others) had dubbed “Madam Halfbright” long before she amply justified that epithet during the 1999 NATO bombing, chided Powell over his reticence to commit U.S. troops to Bosnia:
“What good is having the world’s most powerful military if you don’t use it” (to weigh in on the side of the Bosnian Muslims and Croats and against the Serbs). The preceding was the extent of Madam Halfbright’s “military doctrine,” on the basis of which she would have sent the American troops into harms way.
Eight years ago, Albright’s arrogant and ignorant attitude was shocking. Today, such attitudes are banal. They are the norm, not an exception, in today’s Washington. Eight years ago, Clinton’s New World Order hawks were silenced by a saner majority in our government. Today, the Bush league hawks roam, reign and rain terror freely. Now, the truth and the American people are silenced, not just the peace doves.
Here’s a case in point. While the Washington brass was making its “Anaconda” “victory proclamations,” the public in Britain and France, for example, was able to get an entirely different picture of what actually went on in Eastern Afghanistan during the last two weeks.
As you read the following excerpts from the European media, keep in mind that both the British and the French have their own troops deployed in Afghanistan. Which means their own military intelligence and their own war reporters. The only difference seems to be that their media aren’t as subservient to and gagged by the military.
Here’s, for example, an excerpt from a Mar. 12 report by the London Times, filed from Afghanistan:
'Inadequate' US troops pulled out of battleground;War on terror
PHILP IN LEG DIWAWL, AFGHANISTAN OVERSEAS NEWS
of American troops were pulled out of the ground battle with al-Qaeda
forces because they failed to adapt to the guerrilla tactics required for
fighting in the mountains, according to their Afghan allies.
than 1,000 Afghan troops rushed to the front line yesterday to take up the
slack after the withdrawal of 400 US troops from the mountains of eastern
American military has described the withdrawal as a tactical reappraisal
of their battleplan, but Afghan commanders told a different story of
inexperienced American soldiers unable to advance through the unfamiliar
mountains to track down al-Qaeda and Taleban foes. […]
leaders say the many pathways through the mountains are providing not only
escape routes for the fighters but a means of replenishing their ranks.
has been called the last bastion of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but there is
evidence that other pockets of resistance still exist in provinces to the
south. Commanders say that before Operation Anaconda began, there had been
only a small number of al-Qaeda in the mountains.
were attempting to negotiate a surrender when the offensive began,
bringing al-Qaeda forces from all over the south running to Shahi Kot to
help in the battle. "We were communicating with them, but the
Americans would not allow us to negotiate," Commander Mohammed said.
"This paved the way for the other Arabs to join them."
Arabs are thought to have made their way here from a number of locations
in southern Pakistan and Afghanistan, in particular, a secret Taleban base
in Zabul Province, north of Kandahar. Former Taleban sources predict that
the base could be the scene of the next operation against al-Qaeda.
"This battle will not be the last," one former official said.
"The network is far from dead."
For the full
London Times story, click
here (you have to be a subscriber to read it.
TiM Ed.: In other
words, the U.S. military and its “Anaconda” operation only made
matters worse for our local allies. What
else is new… (any South Vietnamese among our readers?).
Nor are the Afghans the only American allies who have a bone to pick with Washington’s military strategy and tactics. Consider the excerpts from this French report, filed from Afghanistan, and also published in English by the "Dawn" newspaper in Pakistan:
US making tall claims on fighting: French mly
By Paul Michaud
March 11: French defence sources say that the allied bombing of Gardez has
proved to be much less successful than official Washington sources have
"pockets of resistance" that the Pentagon says it's destroyed in
recent days "continue to exist," according to French military
sources, indeed the resistance being put up by the Taliban and their
allies "is so formidable that the number of points of resistance has
multiplied in recent days, instead of decrease," says one of the
fact, says the French source, the problem with the allied attack on Gardez
and its region is one of reliable intelligence, with Washington, he says,
making claims "that, in our eyes, don't hold up".
he says, the surveillance of the pockets of resistance in and about
Gardez,"has not been as effective as Washington would have it."
Then too, he adds, "when night falls, the surveillance is so
ineffective that the combatants manage to regroup or indeed create new
pockets of resistance".
he adds, the allied forces have discovered that the combatants in and
around Gardez, when allied ground forces have been able to make their way
into some of the grottoes and underground passages where they've been,
have been surprised by the "enormity," he says, of the stocks of
armaments and reserves of food and water.
the lack of adequate intelligence on the true situation of the Taliban
combatants, and their allies, on the ground, says another French defence
source, Washington has been ordering strikes "whose final goal is not
to destroy forces that have been localised in a given area, as Washington
pretends, but rather 'cosmetic strikes,' intended to give the
impression that the allied action is making progress when in fact we often
don't know with sufficient precision where the Taliban are located."
is why, he notes, "we've had to refuse on more than one occasion
to heed Washington's instructions and refuse to take part in missions
that we know to be purely cosmetic." The source said that such
decisions were recommended by local French forces on the ground in
Afghanistan, but that the final decision to refuse to take part in the
Allied missions were taken in Paris, jointly by President Chirac and Prime
Minister Lionel Jospin. [emphasis
added by TiM].
notes the French defence source, "we have taken part in more than
twenty missions, and have dropped a dozen laser-guided 230-kg bombs, but
only when we were pretty certain of our objective". […]
the light of criticism levelled against France in recent days, both
President Chirac and Prime Minister Jospin have found it necessary to
affirm France's commitment to the allied effort, with Prime Minister
Jospin saying that France was "totally determined to break what
remains of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan."
For the full "Dawn" story, click here.
More “Anaconda” Embarrassments: No Sleeping Bags for Mountain DutyMar.
Women and Children Killed by U.S. Bombs; Ex-spy
chief: Al Qaeda Has U.S. Prisoners
WASHINGTON, Mar. 13 - The “Anaconda” embarrassments that we described in Item 1 of this TiM Bulletin were far from an exception in Afghanistan. Here’s, for example, an excerpt from a Mar. 10 Associated Press report, quoting comments made by some U.S. troops who had just returned from the battle zone:
Afghanistan (AP), Mar. 10 -- Exhausted and muddy, hundreds of U.S.
soldiers returned from an eight-day battle in the mountains Sunday as the
military said the few remaining enemy forces were hunkering down in caves. […]
Chinooks flew in low in formation over the valley beside the base. With
the helicopter blades still turning, visibly relieved soldiers carrying
huge backpacks and heavy machine guns hopped out and walked slowly toward
troops arriving here said they had not expected to find so many Taliban
and al-Qaida forces waiting for them when they moved into the rugged
mountains of Paktia province on March 2.
soldiers were unprepared for the subfreezing temperatures at 10,000 feet
-- some said they hadn't even brought sleeping bags. They spoke of
staying awake at night and sleeping by day when it was warmer.
There were cases of hypothermia, they said, and drinking water
would freeze (emphasis
added by TiM).
Our defense budget has already soared to about $343 billion per year. But that was not enough for the “death merchants” Washington stooges, such as George Bush and Dick Cheney,
no time for a chance to gouge the flag-waving public, the Bush
administration has already marshaled huge increases in our nation’s
defense spending (an additional $59 billion in fiscal 2003 alone; $675
billion over the next 10 years - see the chart in the TiM Bulletin Bush
League All-Stars - Feb 3, 2002).
And now, we discover that our fighting men in the Afghanistan mountains were not even issued sleeping bags! That’s far worse than the $500 hammers that the Pentagon of the 1970s had reportedly purchased. This is incompetence laced with criminal neglect. How many troops did the Pentagon lose or injure because of it?
It all goes to show us that the price of stupidity is infinite; that no amount of additional spending will protect this nation and our troops from incompetence of our leaders. Nor the civilian population of the countries that Washington’s New World Order juggernauts choose to target.
As we were writing The “Anaconda” Embarrassment report, the news broke that our mighty warriors manage to kill some more innocent Afghan women and children.
Here an excerpt from a Mar. 13 Associated Press report:
and children were among 14 people killed in a U.S. airstrike in eastern
Afghanistan last week, military officials said. A wounded child survived
and was reported in stable condition at a military hospital.
officials believe the 15 people in the vehicle were linked in some way to
the al-Qaida terror network, Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Martin
Compton said Tuesday.
vehicle was attacked by two U.S. fighter jets on the morning of March 6 in
eastern Afghanistan, the command said.
at both the Pentagon and the Central Command, which is responsible for
U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, said Tuesday they still lacked
key details about the incident. Officials said they did not know how many
women and children were among the 14 killed, whether they were Afghans or
the kind of vehicle attacked.
fighters attacked the vehicle after it left what Compton described as a
compound known to be used by al-Qaida members.
The compound was in Paktia province near the border with Pakistan
and close to the Afghan village of Shikin, Compton said….
why the incident was not disclosed earlier, Compton said U.S. military
officials needed time to piece together what happened before making the
officials have said repeatedly during the five-month war that they take
special precautions to minimize civilian casualties. Pentagon officials
have said that is important to counter propaganda by al-Qaida and their
Taliban allies that the U.S. war is targeting innocent Muslims.
Sure thing… just as NATO “made sure” they did not target “innocent Serbs” in 1999, while destroying the country’s civilian infrastructure, and killing more than 1,000 civilians, 79 of them children - the “collateral damage.”
Was the above incident an exception? Hardly. We’ve even killed our own allies assuming they were the Taliban or Al Qaeda. On Feb. 21, for example, nearly one month after one such incident, the Secretary of Defense was forced to eat crow in public. Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times (Feb. 22) report:
Feb. 21 — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today that 16 Afghan
fighters killed by American troops north of Kandahar last month were not
members of the Taliban or Al Qaeda. While he described the deaths as
"unfortunate," he issued no apology and said there was no reason
for disciplinary action.
describing the results of the official inquiry into the Special Forces
mission, Mr. Rumsfeld said the United States alone generated the
intelligence that pointed to two compounds in the Hazar Qadam Valley as
has been mounting that the two raids, carried out overnight on Jan. 23,
resulted in deaths and detainment of fighters loyal to the new interim
Afghan government. Some officials had speculated that the United States
might have been duped into mounting the attacks by false information from
A number of questions remained unanswered today — officials said Mr. Rumsfeld himself asked for clarification on some points from the United States Central Command — and certain details contradicted reports from villagers in Hazar Qadam, including assertions that 21 people died in the raid.
And then there were strikes against purely civilian targets, such as some residential neighborhoods in Kabul that were hit in late October. Here’s an excerpt from an Oct. 29 Associated Press report:
Bombs Reportedly Kill Some 13 Afghan Civilians
Afghanistan (AP), Oct. 29 - American airstrikes meant to punish the
Taliban spilled over Sunday (Oct. 28) into residential neighborhoods of
the Afghan capital, killing 13 civilians, witnesses said. It was the
second time in as many days that missiles have accidentally hit homes and
Sunday, U.S. jets were back over the skies of the beleaguered Afghan
capital, and strong explosions could be heard in the direction of the main
road from Kabul to the opposition-controlled Bagram air base (now
in American hands - TiM Ed.).
families buried their dead hours after the morning bombardment, apparently
aimed at Taliban targets to the north and east of Kabul. "I have lost
all my family. I am finished," said a sobbing woman in the Qali
Hotair neighborhood on Kabul's northern edge.
Washington, Pentagon spokesmen had no immediate comment on the latest
strikes and civilian casualties involved. It has stressed repeatedly that
civilians are never deliberately targeted. […]
Sunday morning's airstrikes, witnesses said 10 people were killed in the
Qali Hotair area. An Associated Press reporter saw six bodies, four of
them children. A wailing father hugged
the dead body of his son, who looked barely 2. Bereaved women slapped
themselves with grief.
other people died near an eastern housing complex called Macroyan,
Kabul's Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital, a semiconscious 13-year-old named Jawad
did not yet know that all eight other people in his family had been
asked me, 'How is my family?'" said a neighbor, Mohammed Razi,
ushering a journalist out of the boy's hospital room. "I said, 'They
are all OK. You were walking in your sleep, and you fell down the well by
your house, and I rescued you.'" […]
strikes that hit Kabul came only 12 hours after stray bombs landed
Saturday evening behind the rebel military alliance's battle lines north
of the capital. Areas behind Taliban lines were also reported hit.
Eight or nine civilians were killed - most of them in alliance-held areas, according to witnesses.”
Once again, such “collateral damage” tragedies are reminiscent of the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. America’s most-decorated living soldier, Col. David Hackworth, summed up the basic military doctrine of the cowardly war criminals who run the New World Order armies as follows:
“Bomb the civilians and the civilian structures until that country's military can't stand to watch it anymore.” (see “Hackworth,” Sep. 1999)
And just think - such crimes against humanity are being perpetrated in our name and with our money. But for the number of victims, what makes such state terrorism any better than the Al Qaeda kind?
Speaking of Al Qaeda and their Afghan hosts, the Taliban, the UPI newswire reported that the enemy the Pentagon claimed to have defeated are actually holding some U.S. soldiers prisoner. Here is an excerpt:
Ex-spy chief: Al Qaida has U.S. prisoners
Anwar Iqbal, UPI South Asian Affairs Analyst
3/13/2002 6:13 PM
March 13 (UPI) -- A former Pakistani spymaster with links to the Taliban
claims that al Qaida has captured American prisoners in eastern
Afghanistan, forcing U.S. troops to end the siege of their stronghold and
officials have denied the claim.
to United Press International from his home in Islamabad, Gen. Hamid Gul,
the former chief of Pakistan's main spy agency Inter Services
Intelligence, said the United States sent "some Americans to Shahikot,
dressed as Afghans."
is the mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan where U.S. forces and
their Afghan allies taking part in "Operation Anaconda" have
been bombing and fighting several hundred al Qaida and Taliban fighters
holed up in a series of cave complexes since March 1.
to Gul the Americans sent to infiltrate the mountain strongholds could
speak the local language of Pashto, and some even had beards.
"The idea was to slip through the Taliban defenses into the al
Qaida hideouts in the mountains. But they were detected and
said this forced the Americans to make a deal with al Qaida and Taliban
fighters and withdraw their troops. "The
withdrawal of U.S. troops allowed most of the Taliban and al Qaida
fighters to escape and melt away among the Pashtun tribesmen living in the
area," said the Pakistani general.
wonder what the Americans were trying to achieve with this Hollywood-style
operation. Afghanistan is no Hollywood. It is a traditional tribal society
where even a dog from another tribe is noticed by everyone."
also claimed that not many Taliban or al Qaida fighters were killed in
eastern Afghanistan as there was "no face-to-face fighting" and
the "bombing is not very effective against those hiding in the
on the claim of U.S. prisoners, Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said:
"We have no servicemen missing."
have no information at all about any American being taken prisoner ... it
is totally inaccurate," added a U.S. Central Command spokesman,
TiM Ed.: The photos of the dead and injured Afghan children shown above were taken in the second half of October 2001. Some had been already published in earlier TiM Bulletins. Most are from Russian sources, as the U.S. media have been loathe to show such disturbing pictures to the flag-waving American public, especially during the World Series.
Taliban Said to Be Bargaining for 18 Captured U.S. TroopsMar.
News Reports Contradict Pentagon’s Claims
PHOENIX, Mar. 25 - Remember the swift and steadfast
denial by the Pentagon
spokeswoman, Victoria Clarke, about the former Pakistan spymaster’s
allegation that the Taliban/Al Qaeda had captured some U.S. soldiers
during the “Anaconda” operation in eastern Afghanistan?
“We have no servicemen missing,” Clark was reported to have
said on Mar. 13 (see Item 1a of this TiM Bulletin).
Well, now other Pakistan-based news reports have surfaced that are
contradicting the official Pentagon line.
The Taliban are holding 18 American troops with whose lives they
are reportedly bargaining, according to the Pakistan News Service (PNS).
Here’s an excerpt from their Mar. 21 news story:
(PNS), Mar. 21 - Missing 18 US soldiers have made number of news in the
local newspapers here in Pakistan. It's widely reported that while the
American Special Forces are continuing their efforts to locate the 18 US
soldiers who are reportedly taken hostage by the Taliban and AlQaida
fighters during the most intense fighting in the snow covered peaks of the
Arma region of the eastern Paktia Province, bargaining efforts are going
on at highest level between the Americans and the Taliban who now are
demanding the safe release of more than 350 Taliban and non Afghan
prisoners languishing in X-Ray Cells in Cuba.
was reported that more than 400 American forces had not only withdrawn
from the Gardez region but also provided safe passage to the AlQaida and
Taliban forces for the safety of the US soldiers who were taken hostage
during a night time operation.
For the full PNS
After the news leaked to the media in late February about a disinformation
unit was being considered at the Pentagon (read professional “lie and
deny” specialists), the U.S. defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld,
announced that he had abandoned the idea. Well, looks like the lies and denials have a way of
perpetuating themselves in inept militaries whether or not officially
sanctioned. If true, the
above PNS story puts another feather in the cap of our professional “lie
and deny” news spinsters. J
Operation “Anaconda:” Vietnam in the HimalayasMar.
WASHINGTON, Mar. 25 - Longtime TiM readers may remember the contributions that Ben Works of Washington, DC, had made to our coverage of the Kosovo conflict. His June 1998 article, "Kosovo Heating Up" - (Ben Works) - TiM GW Bulletin 98/6-4 (6/15/98), is just one example. To read some others, you can run a Search at our web site using “Ben Works” as keywords.
This time, this former Vietnam veteran adds his own
perspective to our recent Afghanistan war coverage, which we titled “The
‘Anaconda’ Embarrassment (see Item 1 above).
Here are some excerpts
from a March 21 Ben Works’ report:
Anaconda as an "Underwhelming Farce"
is an option of difficulties." - Gen James Wolfe; comment before his
death at the Battle of Quebec, 1759
on your seat belts, the next few months are going to get bumpy.
I have already recalled the intimate connections between Al Qaeda,
the Chechens and the KLA. Well, SIRIUS -and many others- see every
prospect for a three-front crisis growing as the snows melt in the
Balkans, Caucasus and the Himalayas.
TiM Ed.: Not to
training mission in Georgia, trying to close the back door on the Chechens
in order to assist Russia and Georgia should suffice in that theater, but
the KLA still think they have the US government neutralized and bamboozled
and are prepared to run riot in the Balkans when the snows are gone, and
the campaign against Al Qaeda will get worse before it gets better: in the
wake of Anaconda, Al Qaeda mounted a fair-sized attack against our forward
base in Khost, killing 3 of our local allies and wounding an American,
while losing 10 dead gunmen.
Operation Anaconda ended with a fizzle, as its leaders, Col. Wiercinski
and MGen Hagenbeck had to back off from their high body count estimates as
it became clear that we could not find nearly enough corpses to support
those estimates. As it
happens, the majority of those Al Qaeda gunmen present on the first day of
the operation melted away into the hills to live and fight another day.
the end of the two week operation, it also became clear that Al Qaeda was
tipped off to the operation a good 24 hours before it began and also
fairly clear that senior leaders, probably including Ayman al-Zawahiri,
were present just before the operation began (see Christian Science
Monitor, March 18; http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0318/p01s02-wosc.html). That article reports that the next fight may well be at
[Quote] "Mister Bill Ghar" - ghar meaning mountain in Pashtu. It
is named for a British Army officer who did battle with Afghans here
almost a century ago. The caves in the inaccessible mountain, which lies
southwest of Khost, the provincial capital, and southeast of Shah-i-Kot,
was used by the mujahideen to fight Soviet soldiers in the 1970s.[End
is ample evidence of mediocre operational leadership that goes hand in
hand with individual heroism and some very good tactical leadership. In
the previous report (SIT 02-03-08) SIRIUS took note of the distinguished
conduct of Capt. Kevin Butler, commander of Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion,
187th Regiment of the 101st Airmobile Division for his creative
counter-mortar tactics. In
this report SIRIUS is aghast to report that some units of the 10th
Mountain Division's 87th Infantry Regiment, went into those high mountains
(9-11,000 feet) without their sleeping bags.
battalion had to be withdrawn after four days, as many soldiers were
suffering from hypothermia! This
in front of our tough local allies who were substantially less than
impressed by that battalion's performance The AP; With Qaeda Hidden in
Caves, Some U.S. Soldiers Pull Out, March 10, 2002: [Quote]
The soldiers were unprepared for the subfreezing temperatures at 10,000
feet -- some said they hadn't even brought sleeping bags. They spoke of
staying awake at night and sleeping by day when it was warmer. There were
cases of hypothermia, they said, and drinking water would freeze. [End
for the Afghan allies' opinions see, The Times (London), March 12,
'Inadequate' US troops pulled out of battleground; http://www.thetimes.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-1029-233669,00.html).
something wrong with our core doctrine: "Anaconda" was chosen as
the operation's name to indicate we would box the enemy in to a roughly
sixty square mile area and squeeze the enemy to death. Instead, it appears that hundreds escaped our embrace.
should be obvious that 2,000 Americans and 1,000 Afghans would be
insufficient to close off even the major approaches to an area that size.
Consider that a 60-mile area has a perimeter of some 32 miles
(6+10+6+10). Divide that number by the thousand Afghans originally
assigned to seal the perimeter and you have 31 men per mile of perimeter.
Need I run the math any further?
One man per 57 yards, per 171 feet.
forces would box that perimeter and then sweep in from at least two sides,
herding the enemy "sheep" into a smaller and smaller area.
But for some reason, airmobile and airborne troops would rather
jump somewhere into the middle of the enemy, right into the heart of the
is one reason why this operation so clearly resembled the 1965 battle at
Landing Zone X-ray in the Ia Drang Valley (in the film "We were
Soldiers). In both cases,
there was no pre-positioned heavy artillery support available to assist
the surrounded troops.
must speak up for the Captains and Corporals -the Generals and Colonels
have already taken care of themselves. We have a most screwed up situation
in Afghanistan, an appalling mess, a FUBAR (fouled-up beyond all
recognition). Our men are dying because our generals are not sufficiently
TiM Ed.: Vietnam
in the Himalayas.
has been informed that the 6 men who died trying to rescue Navy Seal Neil
C. Roberts bled to death because no helicopter could get into rescue the
wounded for 18 hours because there was insufficient support infantry ready
to reinforce them, nor heavy bombardment to cover their position so that a
MedEvac helicopter could get in to take the wounded out. Yet that is a mission precisely tailored to the AC-130U
Spooky gunship -creating a safety zone for MedEvacs. In such an extreme,
the Spooky should be able to run this kind of mission in daylight or at
SIRIUS is reliably informed that the real reason Al Qaeda was given the
weekend of March 9-10 to surrender while our boys hunkered down and backed
off, is that there are inadequate infantry reserves and our leaders need
the time to fly in the artillery that was left at home - Centcom needed
another smokescreen to cover its entrenched incompetence.
a result of this, the 3rd Battalion of the 187th Rikkasans was redeployed
to Afghanistan from Kentucky during the last week. (I am informed by an
alumnus of that regiment that the real translation is "man with
umbrella" and that in correct Japanese transliteration, it should be
spelled Rak- not Rik).
we have some bitter lessons that we learned once in Vietnam and have to
re-learn in Afghanistan. At the same time, Al Qaeda has now escaped
destruction twice: at Tora Bora and at Shahikot.
These are moral victories for our enemies and we can expect more
such engagements, in smaller scale (their groups will usually be 100 or
fewer) across a broader area of terrain.
Anaconda has been handled even worse than the revised SIT-Rep posted at
the SIEI-US website on Sat. March 9, indicates. Not only was the Intel
bad, the leadership was beyond sloppy at upper echelons, from Brigade on
up. And when our fine rifle
companies came under fire, not only did they not have any 81mm, 4.2 inch
(106mm) or the new 120mm mortars (and civilian readers should know that
the larger the mortar's diameter, the farther it will fly) to suppress Al
Qaeda's 82mm mortars and their harassing fires, there was not a single US
howitzer in Afghanistan. All the American heavy mortars and tube artillery
were safe and warm, back at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.
Nice job, generals!
men deserve much better. Tommy Franks is not showing himself as a
competent commanding general, he is squandering the efforts of American
soldiers and our Afghan and European allies. It is so bad that President
Bush had to embarrass himself by spinning to the Media for General Franks,
observing that Tommy and Laura Bush were in the same high school together
back, in the long-ago.
Powell's war-fighting doctrine, which dates back to the Reagan years,
bespeaks of applying overwhelming force.
Operation Anaconda degenerated, instantly, into a farce precisely
because it imported underwhelming force. Powell is right. "Bring more
than you need to the fight," is axiomatic in warfighting.
For the full
version of this and other Ben Works reports, check out the www.siri-us.com
U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo Closed due to Al Qaeda ThreatMar.
SARAJEVO, Mar. 23 - Half way around the world from the “Anaconda” military embarrassments, the U.S. intelligence agencies were trying to prevent another potential hit by the Al Qaeda. Islamic terrorists planned a devastating attack on Americans in Sarajevo after meeting in Bulgaria to identify European targets, a high-ranking Bosnian official told the Associated Press on Saturday (Mar. 23).
The official, who insisted on anonymity, told The Associated Press that intelligence reports on the meeting in Sofia prompted a special Bosnian government session Thursday night in which threats against the U.S. Embassy and other European embassies were discussed.
“In Sarajevo something will happen to Americans similar to New York last September,” said the official. The report did not specify when the Al Qaeda meeting was held or who attended.
The U.S. Embassy in Bosnia on Wednesday (Mar. 21) shut down to the public after receiving word of a possible terrorist threat. The embassy was closed entirely on Friday and was reopened only today (Mar. 25).
On Tuesday, just a day before the U.S. Embassy received the threats, Bosnian police raided an Islamic charity, Bosnian Ideal Future, also known as Benevolentia International Foundation, seizing weapons, plans for making bombs, booby-traps and bogus passports. On Friday, Bosnian police announced they had arrested Munib Zahiragic, a Bosnian citizen and the head of the Bosnian chapter of the charity. Zahiragic is also a former member of the Bosnian Muslim secret police, AID.
Zahiragic was arrested on charges of espionage, which carries a maximum 10 years in prison. No details on whom he was supposed to be spying for were released.
As a part of the war on terrorism, Bosnia's government in January ordered an investigation into the work of foreign humanitarian agencies. Two weeks ago, investigators reported funds were missing from three Islamic charities, among them Benevolentia. The United States recently froze the assets of Benevolentia, with head offices in Illinois and New Jersey.
The U.S. and British embassies were closed for several days in October due to terrorist threats (see the TiM Bulletin, 2001/10-3). They reopened after local police arrested six naturalized Bosnians, all of them Algerian natives, suspected of plotting post-Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. interests in Bosnia and elsewhere.
The suspects were handed over to U.S. authorities in January, and now are being held at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Five of the six were employed as humanitarian aid workers; one was suspected of being Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant for Europe.
During the Bosnian civil war (1992-1995), Washington had overtly and illicitly supported the Bosnian Muslims, allowing thousands of foreign (Islamic) mercenaries and weapons to enter the country and fight against the Christian Serbs. Bin Laden himself had been seen meeting with the Bosnian Muslim leaders in Sarajevo [see the TiM Bulletins “Osama bin Laden Aided by Albanian, Bosnian Muslims,” Nov. 17, 1999 and “Bin Laden in Sarajevo” (in 1994)].
And now, America is experiencing another blowback. This time, innocent U.S. civilians are paying with their lives for Washington’s shortsighted foreign policy.
Chicago Prof to Pro-Albanian Senator: “You Are Fostering Mayhem and
CHICAGO, Mar. 25 - Finally, here’s what a Chicago professor emeritus, J.P. Maher, a name with which old-time TiM readers should also be familiar, had to say in his today’s letter to Senator Patrick Leahy (VT), one of the pro-Albanian government officials in Washington, DC:
Lantos said of the holocaust of a million Serbs in WWII by Catholic
Croatia (I'm Irish Catholic, like you) and Muslim Bosnians -- under Nazi
flags -- "that was 50 years ago".
The same week, I heard from a Jewish MD from Yugoslavia, that
Lantos was collecting money for himself from US Jews, pleading "Never
watching in 1995 when Ben Gilman, on "TV Victory" (pan-Albanian
outlet), in the streets of Skopje, visibly intoxicated, was whooping it up
with his Albanian hosts, who were saying "the trouble in Macedonia is
the Macedonians and the Serbs."
-- That's code for "kill 'em" and steal their lands.
listening in 1999, when, on a Sunday morning talk show, your colleague Joe
Biden raged for "a Japanese-German style occupation" of the
fostering mayhem and genocide with your advocacy of the Albanian cause.
Feel free to call on me for an independent opinion. Meanwhile, please
investigate the sources of funding for US politicians advocating the cause
of Greater Albania.
Prof. J. P. Maher, Chicago
TiM Ed.: Check out also Senator John McCain's support of the Albanian causes, such as his appearance on Feb. 11, 2000 in New York with Joe DioGuardi, draped in an Albanian flag-shawl, at a fundraising rally held across the street from the Senator’s New York City hotel (see the photo in "McCain: Our Fraud Hero," March 2000).
Congress Ram Through Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants, Then Rail against the
WASHINGTON, Mar. 13 - “Embarrassment” seemed to be the operative word in Washington on Wednesday (Mar. 13) . The President used it. The opposition leader used it (Tom Daschle). The Republicans used it.
No, they were not referring to the “Anaconda” embarrassment in Afghanistan which has leaked out through foreign media (see Item 1 of this TiM Bulletin). Nor to the national embarrassment that 275 Member of Congress displayed on March 12, when they kow-towed to our Pretzel Prez’s kow-towing to Mexico (by voting to grant amnesty to millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants in this country). Our Beltway pols were embarrassed by a domestic media leak (NBC) that the Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS) had approved student visas for two of the World Trade Center hijackers.
And then, in a typical “passing the buck”-style, George W. Bush proceeded to lash out at the INS for alleged inefficiency, instead of giving himself some well-deserved lashes for his own pro-immigration, anti-American stance. The House, under pressure from Bush to reach out to Hispanics, narrowly approved a bill the day before the INS-terrorist visa story broke, that would grant amnesty to some illegal immigrants.
Here’s an excerpt from a Mar. 13 Washington Times report:
Bush, whose advisers are promoting an aggressive strategy of courting
Hispanic voters, lobbied congressional leaders last week on the
immigration bill. Republican sources said Majority Whip Tom DeLay of Texas
had reservations, but told the president he would not actively oppose the
measure and that it would be the only immigration bill to move in the
House this year.
about the measure yesterday, Mr. DeLay said only, "The president says
he needs it, and we're going to do it."
a Republican aide, "That's the only reason we're doing it. What the
president wants, the president gets".
What the President wants, the President gets. And that’s “democracy?” What about the American voters? Does anyone care about what they want? Guess some politicians do, including 137 Members of Congress who voted against the amnesty bill, including all but one Arizona Republicans (Arizona is one of the states being flooded by legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico).
bills on that calendar are approved by voice vote only, although opponents
in this case have asked for and received a recorded vote. The issue
generated an outpouring of criticism. Tancredo's office reported a
"huge" increase in phone calls yesterday, according to the
Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who voted no, said a deluge of phone
calls and e-mail messages from groups such as Numbers U.S.A., an
immigration reform group based in Washington, persuaded many members to
vote against the amnesty bill.
are a lot of groups out there that are not pleased with what they see as
loose-kneed immigration rules," Mr. Flake said. "After September
11, we ought to scrutinize [immigration rules] a little better than we
have in the past."
conservative House Republicans attacked the measure as a politically
expedient gesture to lawbreakers.
a nation at war," said Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Arizona Republican.
"To move forward with this in wartime ... sends the wrong message,
especially to those who try to play by the rules."
Mujica, chairman of the advocacy group U.S. English that promotes learning
English, said he was "ashamed" of the bill. Mr. Mujica said the bill sends this message: "Illegal
Mexicans, come one, come all. You take precedent over any other
nationality. Come to America and jump the line by breaking the law."
Tancredo said Mr. Bush wanted the bill approved before his visit to Mexico
next week for a meeting with President Vicente Fox.
"Fox needs this to bolster his own sagging support in his
congress," Mr. Tancredo said.
TiM Ed.: And what
Fox wants, Fox gets. So
that’s the President the “Republican aide” was referring to. J
First, the Clinton-Bush teams sold out our national interests to
China (see “China:
Real Cold War Winner”, Mar. 2002), now they are offering the
remainder to Mexico.
bill had been scheduled for a vote on September 11, but the terrorist
attacks caused House leaders to put off the action for several months.
Republican leaders placed the matter on the "suspension"
calendar, usually reserved for inconsequential legislation requiring a
two-thirds majority for passage.
bill was approved 275-137, one vote more than the two-thirds majority
needed under the special rules with which it was brought to the floor.
Opponents credited a furious grass-roots campaign by immigration reform
groups that nearly succeeded in defeating the measure.
have to believe that September 11 had something to do with it," Rep.
Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican and leading opponent of the bill, told
the Times about the stronger than expected opposition. "The White
House has got to be a little bit concerned about this."
leaders coupled the measure, which would benefit foreigners who illegally
entered the United States or overstayed their visas, with a provision to
beef up border security that had stalled in the Senate. The tactic
infuriated opponents of the amnesty measure.
"It's underhanded," Mr. Tancredo said. "It's not
about border security."
To read the rest of the Washington Times story, click here.
In case you want to give your Representative a piece of your mind about his/her vote on the amnesty bill, here is an excerpt from an Associated Press report on how the House voted (Y = Yes means for the amnesty bill; N - No indicates a vote against it - the Y emphasis added by TiM):
275-137 roll call Tuesday by which the House voted to allow some illegal
immigrants to stay in the country while their residency paperwork is being
processed, and to increase border security.
yes were 182 Democrats, 92 Republicans and 1 independent. Voting no were
13 Democrats, 123 Republicans and 1 independent.
denotes those not voting. Present denotes those who said they were
"present" at the time of the vote but did not vote
"yes" or "no" on the issue.
There are no vacancies in the 435-member House.
Cramer, Y; Hilliard, N.
Aderholt, N; Bachus, N; Callahan, N; Everett, N; Riley, N.
Flake, N; Hayworth, N; Kolbe, Y; Shadegg, N; Stump, N.
Berry, Y; Ross, Y; Snyder, Y.
Baca, Y; Becerra, Y; Berman, Y; Capps, Y; Condit, Y; Davis, Y; Dooley, Y; Eshoo, X; Farr, Y;
Harman, Y; Honda, Y; Lantos, Y; Lee, Y; Lofgren, Y; Matsui, Y; Millender-McDonald, Y;
George Miller, Y;
Napolitano, Y; Pelosi, Y; Roybal-Allard, Y; Sanchez, Y; Schiff, Y; Sherman, Y; Solis, Y; Stark, Y; Tauscher, Y; Thompson, Y; Waters, Y; Watson, Y; Waxman, Y; Woolsey, Y.
Bono, Y; Calvert, Y; Cox, Y; Cunningham, Y; Doolittle, X; Dreier, Y;
Gallegly, N; Herger, N; Horn, N; Hunter, N; Issa, Y; Lewis, Y; McKeon, Y; Gary Miller, N; Ose, Y;
Pombo, N; Radanovich, Y;
Rohrabacher, N; Royce, N; Thomas, Y.
DeGette, Y; Udall, Y.
Hefley, N; McInnis, N; Schaffer, N; Tancredo, N.
DeLauro, Y; Larson, Y; Maloney, Y.
Johnson, Y; Shays, Y; Simmons, Y.
Boyd, N; Brown, Y; Davis, Y; Deutsch, Y; Hastings, Y; Meek, Y; Thurman, N; Wexler, X.
Bilirakis, N; Crenshaw, N; Diaz-Balart, Y;
Goss, Y; Keller, N; Mica, N; Dan Miller, N; Jeff Miller, N; Putnam, N;
Ros-Lehtinen, Y; Shaw, Y; Stearns, N; Weldon, N; Young,
Bishop, Y; Lewis, Y; McKinney, Y.
Barr, N; Chambliss, N; Collins, N; Deal, N; Isakson, N; Kingston, N;
Linder, N; Norwood, N.
Abercrombie, Y; Mink, Y.
Otter, Y; Simpson, Y.
Blagojevich, X; Costello, Y; Davis, X; Evans, Y;
Jackson, Y; Lipinski, X; Phelps, Y; Rush, Y; Schakowsky, Y.
Biggert, Y; Crane, N; Hastert, X; Hyde, Y;
Kirk, Y; LaHood, N; Manzullo, N; Shimkus, N; Weller, Y.
Carson, X; Hill, Y; Roemer, Y; Visclosky, N.
Burton, X; Buyer, Y; Hostettler, N; Kerns, N; Pence, N; Souder, Y.
Ganske, N; Latham, Y; Leach, Y; Nussle, Y.
Moran, N; Ryun, N; Tiahrt, Y.
Fletcher, Y; Lewis, N; Northup, Y;
Jefferson, Y; John, Y.
Baker, N; Cooksey, N; McCrery, N; Tauzin, Y;
Allen, Y; Baldacci, Y.
Cardin, Y; Cummings, Y; Hoyer, Y; Wynn, Y.
Bartlett, N; Ehrlich, Y; Gilchrest, Y; Morella, Y.
Capuano, Y; Delahunt, Y; Frank, Y; Lynch, Y; Markey, Y; McGovern, Y; Meehan, Y; Neal, X; Olver, Y;
Barcia, N; Bonior, Y; Conyers, Y; Dingell, Y; Kildee, Y; Kilpatrick, Y; Levin, Y; Rivers, Y; Stupak, N.
Camp, N; Ehlers, Y; Hoekstra, N; Knollenberg, Y;
Rogers, N; Smith, N; Upton, N.
Luther, Y; McCollum, Y; Oberstar, Y; Peterson, N; Sabo, Y.
Gutknecht, N; Kennedy, Y; Ramstad, N.
Shows, N; Taylor, N; Thompson, X.
Pickering, N; Wicker, N.
Clay, Y; Gephardt, Y; McCarthy, Y; Skelton, Y.
Akin, N; Blunt, N; Emerson, N; Graves, N; Hulshof, N.
Bereuter, N; Osborne, Y; Terry, Y.
Bass, N; Sununu, Y.
Andrews, Y; Holt, Y; Menendez, Y; Pallone, Y; Pascrell, Y; Payne, Y; Rothman, Y.
Ferguson, N; Frelinghuysen, N; LoBiondo, N; Roukema, N; Saxton, N;
Skeen, Y; Wilson, Y.
Ackerman, Y; Crowley, Y; Engel, Y; Hinchey, Y; Israel, Y; LaFalce, Y; Lowey, X; Maloney, Y;
McNulty, Y; Meeks, Y; Nadler, Y; Owens, Y; Rangel, Y; Serrano, Y; Slaughter, Y; Towns, Y; Velazquez, Y; Weiner, X.
Boehlert, Y; Fossella, Y; Gilman, Y; Grucci, Y; Houghton, Y; Kelly, Y; King, Y; McHugh, Y; Quinn, Y; Reynolds, Y; Sweeney, X; Walsh, Y.
Clayton, Y; Etheridge, Y; McIntyre, Y; Price, Y; Watt, Y.
Ballenger, N; Burr, N; Coble, N; Hayes, N; Jones, N; Myrick, N; Taylor,
Brown, Y; Hall, Y; Jones, Y; Kaptur, N; Kucinich, Y;
Strickland, Y; Traficant, X.
Boehner, Y; Chabot, Y; Gillmor, Y; Hobson, Y; LaTourette, Y; Ney, Y; Oxley, Y; Portman, Y; Pryce, Y; Regula, Y; Tiberi, Y.
Istook, N; Lucas, N; Sullivan, N; Watkins, Y;
Blumenauer, Y; DeFazio, Y; Hooley, Y; Wu, Y.
Borski, Y; Brady, Y; Coyne, Y; Doyle, Y; Fattah, Y; Hoeffel, Y; Holden, Y; Kanjorski, Y; Mascara, Y; Murtha, Y.
English, Y; Gekas, N; Greenwood, N; Hart, Y;
Peterson, N; Pitts, N; Platts, N; Sherwood, N; Shuster, N; Toomey, N;
Kennedy, Y; Langevin, Y.
Clyburn, Y; Spratt, Y.
Brown, N; DeMint, N; Graham, N; Wilson, N.
Clement, N; Ford, Y; Gordon, N; Tanner, Y.
Bryant, N; Duncan, N; Hilleary, X; Jenkins, N; Wamp, N.
Bentsen, X; Doggett, Y; Edwards, Y; Frost, Y; Gonzalez, Y; Green, Y; Hall, N; Hinojosa, X; Jackson-Lee, X; E.B. Johnson, Y;
Lampson, Y; Ortiz, X; Reyes, Y; Rodriguez, Y; Sandlin, Y; Stenholm, Y; Turner, Y.
Armey, Y; Barton, X; Bonilla, Y; Brady, N; Combest, N; Culberson, N; DeLay, Y;
Granger, N; Sam Johnson, X; Paul, Y; Sessions, N; Smith, Y;
Cannon, Y; Hansen, N.
Boucher, Y; Moran, Y; Scott, Y.
Cantor, N; Jo Ann Davis, N; Tom Davis, Y;
Forbes, N; Goodlatte, N; Schrock, N; Wolf, N.
Baird, Y; Dicks, Y; Inslee, Y; Larsen, Y; McDermott, Y; Smith, Y.
Dunn, Y; Hastings, Y; Nethercutt, Y.
Mollohan, Y; Rahall, Y.
Baldwin, Y; Barrett, X; Kind, Y;
Green, Y; Petri, Y; Ryan, Y; Sensenbrenner, Y.
Also see the House Immigration Borders Roll Call: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16260-2002Mar12.html
4. Ups and Downs of Immigration, San Francisco Style
Just before heading out of San Francisco for a beautiful coastline drive to Santa Cruz in mid-February, the TiM editor took these two photos at Mason Street's intersection with Columbus Avenue. Thought the street car sign visually reinforced the "Decline of the West" picture that Pat Buchanan paints in his latest book by that title.
Ultimately, this may lead to another editorial on immigration, dovetailing on this writer's 1995-1996 pieces "When Cultures Collide" (WT column, 8/18/96), "Plutocrats of the New World Order" (WT, March 1997), "Toward Nations of Obedient Mutts" (Jan. 1999), and "A Demographic Earthquake Strikes California" (July 5, 2000). For now, however, the visual "ups and downs of immigration San Francisco style" should serve as an introduction.
Also check out... Bush League All-Stars, “Enronizing Pretzelitis:” New Alzheimer Strain Strikes Potus Potatus Primus, Censorship Comes to America, Collateral Damage Hits Home, Grotesque and Pathetic War, Clash of Greens, End of Folly, Not of World
Also, check out... Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Christianity Under Siege," "Silence Over Persecuted Christians", "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"
Or Djurdjevic's NEW DAWN (Australia) magazine columns: "Macedonia: Another Farcical American Oil War," "Anti-Christian Crusades," "Blood for Oil, Drugs for Arms", "Washington's Crisis Factory," and "New Iron Curtain Over Europe"