Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Should American Military Employ “Comfort Women”?

June 11, 2017

“Make love not war” was a popular slogan in the late sixties.   Soldiers in many wars  have found that “making love” is a way to forget the realities of war.

Sex and war have been connected since the first time men from one village attacked another village to kidnap women.    Invading armies often have a problem with soldiers sexually assaulting local  women.
American military forces have an ongoing problem with male personnel sexually assaulting female personnel.

Although genes don’t control human behavior the way genes control the behavior of other animals,  genes do influence human behavior.    It may be significant that in species in which  males may fight each other to the death, the fighting is over acquisition of females.

During World  War II Japan decided to try to  prevent the rape problem by hiring women  to serve as “comfort women” who would provide sexual services for Japanese soldiers.   The size of the Japanese military hampered the effort to have an all volunteer unit.  Japan dealt with this situation by conscripting  women in the countries Japan conquered.  The controversy over the practice continues to  hamper relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Although I would not advocate the use of “comfort women”, I recognize “comfort women”  could provide an option for reducing rapes by male personnel.

Women providing sexual services would probably have a military job title like “personal therapist”.  The men they provide services to would be officially listed as “patients” and the “treatment” they receive would have the same privacy protection as other medical treatment.  Patients would have to pass some basic physical exam to make sure they don’t have contagious diseases or medical conditions that sexual activity might affect.   Therapists  would inform patients that a doctor or nurse might monitor their treatment by video.  Any monitoring  would be for quality control as well as to protect the therapists.   There are rare cases in which even young seemingly healthy athletes have heart attacks during strenuous activity because of undetected heart conditions.

Therapists  would receive  training as counselors and be expected  to watch for problems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so men could  receive treatment as early as possible.
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Outside  the building where the services are provided therapists would wear the same uniforms as other female personnel during the time when they are expected to be in uniform.     To guarantee personal privacy their living quarters would be separate from where the work area even if the living quarters are in the same building.    Therapists would receive hazardous duty pay because of the disease risk.   They would have a clothing allowance for their “work clothes”.

I realize that some people will question  having the military encourage what they consider an immoral practice.   I would ask these people if they  consider war a more moral activity than making love.   What many ignore is that prostitution is a business relationship rather than a personal relationship.   Although some prostitutes enjoy their work,  they don’t become involved with their clients.  The “personal therapists” I’m proposing would be providing a therapeutic service to those who are asked to risk their lives for their fellow Americans.  How can that be immoral?

Part of the rape problem is the failure of   American culture to teach men that they should learn to control their sexual nature.  Instead American culture encourages men to expect women to serve their sexual desires.   Unfortunately it isn’t practical for the military to change men’s sexual attitudes.   The most practical alternative is to employ women whose profession involves serving men’s sexual needs.

A Hero’s Last Mission

May 24, 2017

This is the city, Fallujah, Iraq. When insurgents took over the city, elements of the 3rd Marine Regiment went to work to force them out.

It was Monday November 15th. It was hot in Fallujah. As part of Operation Al Fajr Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment was clearing houses of insurgents.

Sgt. Rafael Peralta volunteered to join an undermanned squad participating in the operation even though he wasn’t required to. Although Peralta wasn’t born in the United States, he was so grateful for being given a green card he decided to enlist in the Marines.

[Psychology professors often conduct an experiment in which someone enters the classroom does something and then leaves the room. Students typically give a variety of different accounts of what happened. If this happens in a stable situation, imagine the difficulty of recognizing and remembering what happened in a chaotic situation when someone is shooting at you and all are moving.

Those of us who have watched videos of football plays which last only a few seconds know it is sometimes necessary to rewind the video a few times to tell what happened and what order various actions occurred. The entire incident in Iraq from the opening of the door to the explosion of the grenade might have taken six seconds or less.]

After clearing several houses the Marines entered a house where they found two rooms. After clearing the first two rooms the Marines found that the two rooms were linked at the other end where they found the closed door to a third room. .

Sgt. Peralta opened the door to the third room and they were met by gunfire. In the confusion that followed. combat correspondent Lance Corporal T.J. Kaemmerer thought that Peralta was hit in the face with gunfire,. However, this claim is inconsistent with the pathologist report that his fatal head wound was in the back of the head rather than the face. The statement that “he jumped into the already cleared, adjoining room”indicates Peralta was not seriously wounded by the initial gunfire.

I doubt Kaemmerer’s description of a grenade “bouncing” into the room Peralta was in. Grenades don’t bounce very well and a grenade coming in like that wouldn’t have gotten much past the door. I think it is more probable that Peralta followed the grenade into the room. Peralta was in the best position to see the grenade come through the doorway. His view of the doorway could have allowed him to see the grenade as it left the insurgent’s hand. His movement after he opened the door might have been intended to help him try to catch the grenade or deflect it. If the insurgent noticed Peralta he likely tried to throw the grenade so it would be difficult for Peralta to catch.

Gravity would have caused the grenade to hit the floor less than half a second after it was thrown. The insurgent would have had to throw the grenade at a speed of at least 30-45 mph [44-66 feet per second] to get it into the room with the Marines It likely would have exploded in four seconds or less. It would have been difficult for someone who didn’t see the grenade coming toward him to see it until it was on the floor.

Peralta wouldn’t have had time to think about what he was doing. He would only have had time to react. Peralta might have tried, and failed, to catch the grenade. The grenade could have hit him in the face if he had gotten in it’s path. In this case, others might have interpreted his motions as an indication he had been shot.

Based on Kaemmerer’s description of the rooms,I am wondering if the grenade could have landed where the Marines saw it unless Peralta deflected it, possibly while trying to catch it. If he had deflected it to an area with other Marines he would have felt an obligation to follow it. He would have “jumped into the room”, as Kaemmerer says, to save time. When he thought he was close enough he would have tried to dive onto the grenade to save time. This motion would have drawn the attention of the other Marines to the grenade. They would have seen him first and then the grenade and assumed the grenade arrived after he was on the floor. If his dive had left him short of the grenade, he would have had to reach for it.

Peralta could not have pulled the grenade under his body directly if he had been lying face down on the floor. He would have had to have rolled onto his side to get enough clearance so the grenade would fit under his body when he rolled back onto it. The other Marines describe him as pulling the grenade to his body which is how it would have looked to them even if he used his hand to “bat” the grenade toward his torso to save time. The time required for this maneuver would likely have meant the grenade would have exploded before he could have rolled onto it. He still could have protected those who were behind him. If the grenade exploded as it was moving the fuse might have hit his body armor with the fragments hitting another area of the body. The grenade might even have bounced off the body armor as it exploded.

As I noted above, I doubt that Peralta received the controversial head wound when he opened the door. If he had been wounded at that time he would have fallen in the doorway rather than moving into the adjoining room. It is unlikely he could have been hit in the back of the head at that time. Insurgents bullets would have hit him in the face. “Friendly fire” at point blank range would have dropped him where he stood. Insurgent fire would have been unlikely to have hit him directly once he moved away from the doorway. However, there would have remained the possibility of a ricochet off a hard wall. .

The most likely time for him to have been hit in the back of the head was after he was on the floor. One of the Marines might have fired accidentally in the confusion after seeing the grenade. [Although my duties in an army post office in Vietnam didn’t involve clearing buildings there was always the possibility that the enemy would have gotten inside the perimeter at night. In that situation I would have kept my finger on the trigger in spite of the danger of accidentally putting just enough pressure on the trigger to fire a round.] If the floor where Peralta lay was hard enough a round could have ricocheted off the floor and hit his head. The Marines probably would not have noticed the sound of a rifle fired nearly simultaneously with the explosion of the grenade. A Marine who reflexively placed a little too much pressure on the trigger might not have noticed what he had done if he had been preoccupied with the grenade.

Something strange happened that November morning in a Fallujah building. A grenade went off in a room with several Marines and only one of the them was killed. The Marines who survived said that the dead Marine. Sgt. Rafael Peralta, used his body to protect them from the grenade. A pathologist claims a head wound would have prevented Peralta from covering the grenade even though Peralta might have been wounded after he moved to cover the grenade. Unless someone can come up with an alternate explanation of why only one man died, the Pentagon should accept the explanation of the eyewitnesses and award a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor to Sgt. Peralta.

Hillary Clinton Acts Guilty in Ambassador Stevens Death

April 26, 2016

There is no question that American Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was murdered in Benghazi. The question I have been dealing with in two previous posts is whether or not Stevens was placed in Benghazi so he would be killed much like Israel’s King David ordered his general to have Uriah the Hittite assigned to a place in a battle where his death was virtually certain.

I don’t expect to prove who was responsible if Americans assigned Stevens to Benghazi to be killed. Such proof might require the investigative skills of a real life Sherlock Holmes.

Ian Fleming once observed: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” Prior to the 2008 presidential primaries two known homosexuals who were acquainted with Barack Obama died violent deaths. In November, 2011, Larry Sinclair who wrote a book claiming to have had an affair with Obama, was killed by a hit and run driver. Chris Stevens who was murdered by terrorists at Benghazi was also a known homosexual.

[Correction: Larry Sinclair is alive. A rumor about his death was posted on the Free Republic possibly as part of a pattern of intimidation reported by Kevin Dujan who had scheduled a radio interview with Larry Sinclair to discuss Sinclair’s allegations about Obama being homosexual and using drugs.]

Stevens wouldn’t be the first high American official whose assassination was approved by someone in the United States government. Military historian Robert Wilcox in his book “Target Patton” claims that in December, 1945, OSS head “Wild Bill” Donovan ordered OSS marksman Douglas Bazata to kill Gen. George Patton because Patton was threatening to expose what Patton considered allied collusion with the Soviets that cost American lives. The World War II era OSS was the predecessor of the CIA.

Some believe Ambassador Stevens might have been killed because he was about to blow the whistle on a questionable “gun running” scheme to send old Libyan government weapons to Syrian “Contras” [or whatever Syrian rebels are called] or some other group. A problem with this explanation is that an attack on Stevens in Benghazi would draw attention to whatever the CIA was doing there. The fact the CIA facility was located so close to the consulate could indicate that the “intelligence” officials involved weren’t very intelligent. If the CIA had an operation going in Libya, locating it in the same city as a diplomatic facility would severely hamper keeping the operation secret. The attack on the CIA compound indicates the terrorists suspected what the CIA was up to. Their abuse of Stevens’ body indicates they knew he was homosexual.

Those who don’t understand government would likely say if the government wanted Stevens dead, President Barack Obama would have ordered the killing. However, unless the situation was similar to the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Obama probably wasn’t involved. Archbishop Thomas Becket was killed in 1170 by followers of King Henry II of England who believed the King wanted him killed. President Harry Truman probably did not know about the killing of General Patton.

Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could have been responsible, but I doubt she’s intelligent enough to come up with such a plot. It would be more likely that she went along with a plan developed. by someone else. Her behavior before and after the incident implies she is guilty of something. Her use of a private email service implies she was doing something improper, if not illegal. Her attempt to avoid responsibility for the incident by inventing a easily disproved story about a riot caused by an anti-Muslim video implies she was covering up something, particularly considering that she came up with the story so soon after the incident.

Clinton’s use of a private email server could have allowed terrorists to monitor her email. If so they would have known the United States wouldn’t protect its diplomats in Benghazi. They might have also learned Stevens was homosexual which could have provided an added incentive to want to kill him.

If the murder of Stevens was part of a pattern that included the murders of Obama’s homosexual acquaintances, the person in charge was probably someone associated with Obama’s financial backers. They might have assigned someone to “protect their investment” by eliminating those who could pose a threat to Obama’s election chances by raising the homosexual issue.

Before I started this series I thought it was more likely that Stevens’ death was the result of incompetence. Now, I think it is more likely someone wanted him to be killed. I believe the test Sen. Saw Erwin used for President Richard Nixon and Watergate applies to Secretary of State Clinton and Benghazi. If she knew Stevens was likely to be killed she is a crook. If she didn’t she is incompetent.

Were Benghazi Deaths Result of Incompetence or Murder One?

April 17, 2016

After I published the previous post suggesting the Benghazi massacre demonstrated Hillary Clinton’s incompetence I received an email asking about the possibility that Clinton or someone intended for Ambassador Chris Stevens or another American to be murdered. I’m still inclined to believe the best explanation is incompetence, but I recognize the incident could have involved premeditated murder.

The death resembles an ancient murder from Israeli history. King David of Israel had gotten Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers named Uriah the Hittite, pregnant. When an attempt to cover up the situation failed, David sent orders for Uriah to be placed in the hottest part of the battle and have the army pull back so he would be killed. David then married Bathsheba so that most people would think her baby was the result of the marriage. Ambassador Stevens was also placed in a situation in which death was virtually certain.

A potential problem with this scenario is that Clinton had no apparent motive for killing Stevens. However, President Barack Obama could have had a motive if claims about his and Stevens personal lives are accurate. I’m not sure whether or not the claims are true, but believe that those who read this blog deserve the opportunity to make up their own minds.

There are claims that both Barack Obama and Chris Stevens. The claim that Stevens was homosexual seems to be more accepted than claims that Obama is even though the claims that he is homosexual have been made by those who describe themselves homosexuals. Larry Sinclair wrote a tell all book claiming to have had an affair with Obama. Homosexual blogger Kevin Dujan claims that Obama is homosexual.

The mother of Trinity Church choir director Donald Young believes his murder was to protect Obama from Young claiming to have had a homosexual relationship with Obama. There also has been a claim that Trinity Church had a program to help homosexual men avoid exposure. The killing of accuser Larry Sinclair by a hit and run driver is a disturbing coincidence that could support a claim that Chris Stevens was sent to Benghazi to die.

I’m a commentator rather than an investigative reporter. The death of Ambassador Chris Stevens certainly needs further investigation. I still believe the Benghazi incident indicates Hillary Clinton is incompetent, possibly in more ways than one. A competent politician certainly wouldn’t have gotten involved in a situation in which she could be accused of murder.

Conservative organizations have been claiming that Obama is blocking an indictment of Clinton for her violation of security regulations by using a private email service. Perhaps Obama is worried she might expose his involvement in the death of Stevens.

Is Obama Losing the War on Terror?

September 28, 2012

The recent violence in the Middle East indicates Obama is losing the war on terror. If Walter Cronkite were alive and doing the evening news he might have said the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya meant the U.S. could not win the war. The attack was more successful than the attack on the U.S. embassy in Saigon in the 1968 Tet Offensive.

If President Barack Obama really believes that the attacks are a “speed bump” he may be dangerously out of touch with reality. The 9/11 attack was preceded by attacks on American embassies in Africa. The new attacks may give al Qaeda confidence that it can pull off an attack on America or American interests.

The most disturbing thing about the Libyan attack is that the Obama administration should have been prepared for it. The continued instability resulting from the U.S. led overthrow of the Libyan government reduces the ability of Libyan authorities to deal with terrorists. The situation is comparable to the situation that existed after the fall of the Shah of Iran. The primary difference is that the people who attacked in Libya weren’t interested in taking prisoners.

Al Qaeda operative Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi was involved at the start in the attempt to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi. Al Qaeda has now “rewarded” Obama for his assistance in helping them get established in Libya.

There are conflicting reports about whether the White House received specific warnings about possible embassy attacks. The White House and embassy officials shouldn’t have needed warnings about the danger of an attack on or about the anniversary of the 9/11 attack. Whether or not attacks occur on specific targets on 9/11 of any given year may depend in large part on how prepared American facilities appear to be. Terrorists are more likely to attack sites that appear to be unprepared. If the White House didn’t have intelligence that attacks could occur, it’s because the White House doesn’t have intelligence.

Egypt is another country that is still unstable after the fall of the old regime and thus vulnerable to terrorist actions.

The Obama administration has encouraged mass demonstrations, some of which turned violent, in the Middle East over the last few years. The success of such demonstrations in changing governments has encouraged residents of the region to believe demonstrations might help achieve other goals including changing U.S. policies.

A recent anti-Muslim film in the U.S. was used by activists to get people to conduct demonstrations in several countries. Sony corporation is planning to release a movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden. We might consider bin Laden to have been public enemy number 1 at the time, but many Muslims might view the killing of Muslims by Americans in a different context. They may ignore the reason the U.S. wanted to kill bin Laden and just view it as another anti-Muslim action by the U.S. They may even decide that the mass murdering bin Laden is a martyr. In war the actions of our forces that we regard as heroic may be regarded as murder by those on the other side and vice versa. For example, Libyans welcomed the may responsible for bombing a plane over Lockerbie, Scotland as a hero after he was released for medical reasons. Obama needs to use all his persuasive abilities to discourage the release of this film.

Recent attacks on Allied personnel by Afghan forces indicates Obama is mishandling the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Withdrawing troops from a combat zone can cause host country forces that are remaining to feel the withdrawing troops are deserting and should be punished. Obama needs to delay withdrawal until he can convince local forces that American forces are withdrawing because they are no longer needed. He needs to convince Afghan forces that they can handle the situation. His job will be more difficult because of the American failure to provide any type of assistance, including military supplies, to our former South Vietnamese allies when North Vietnamese forces invaded in 1975.

The War on Terror is more like the Cold War than past shooting wars. The WOT is an endurance contest testing who has the most will to continue the fight. Afghanistan is a major battlefield of that war rather than being the war itself. Withdrawal from Afghanistan would merely shift the fighting to some other location. Withdrawal from Afghanistan could provide al Qaeda with a major propaganda victory. If the withdrawal isn’t done properly, al Qaeda could use it to claim that terrorism can defeat the U.S. and use it to recruit more terrorists.

The 1968 Vietnam Tet Offensive failed to achieve its goal of provoking a general uprising against the United States. Muslim terrorists have the same goal of provoking a general uprising against the United States. They don’t have an army to launch attacks, but they can use provocations by Americans which could include any “accidental killing” of civilians in Pakistan. Obama needs to suspend all operations in Pakistan until the situation cools down.

I realize allowing terrorists to use Pakistan as a sanctuary could increase the risk to American forces in Afghanistan. I was in a similar situation in Vietnam. Communist forces were able to use Cambodia as a sanctuary. The Nixon administration held off going into Cambodia until the Cambodian government requested our help to keep Cambodia from asking for Chinese assistance against the U.S. Attacking sanctuaries in Pakistan could create pressure by Pakistanis to force their government to turn against the U.S. Civilian causalities in Pakistan at the present time could be used by terrorist agitators in other countries to spark anti-U.S. demonstrations throughout the Middle East. Recent anti-American demonstrations in Pakistan could intensify if American forces conduct operations in Pakistan or if the movie about the killing of bin Laden is released.

World Net Daily is reporting a rumor that Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens was homosexual. Regardless of whether the rumor is true or not, if Libyan terrorists believed the rumor it might explain the brutality of his murder including his rape. The assignment of a suspected homosexual ambassador would have been particularly provocative when it coincided with the release of the movie “Innocence of Muslims” which portrays Muhammad as a homosexual pedophile.

I don’t know what the intent behind the anti-Muhammad movie was, but the Obama administration needs to investigate the possibility that a person behind the movie, although probably not all of those involved, could have been an al Qaeda undercover agent. It wouldn’t be the first time someone produced a fictional movie to inflame passions. Hitler produced a phony atrocity film in World War II. Nearly a century ago in the U.S. the movie “Birth of a Nation” falsely portrayed the Reconstruction era in a way that inflamed whites against blacks.

Thoughts on 9/11

September 13, 2011

I learned about the 9/11 attack a little later than most people. I worked second shift and usually got up around 10:30.

When the clock radio came on the announcer wasn’t making much sense to a brain that wasn’t completely awake. He was saying something about the Pentagon and Vice President Cheney with the word “unprecedented” being mentioned. I thought at first that something had happened to Cheney.

I went into the living room and turned on the television to one of the news channels. With the frequent replays of the morning’s events it took some time for me to determine what had already happened and what was happening at that time.

I was glad that ABC New Commentator Paul Harvey had returned to work by 9/11. He had been off for an extended period due to a throat problem, but had returned in August. Harvey had a positive attitude and frequently reminded his listeners that whatever the situation was it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. He recognized that emphasizing the negative made the situation seem worse than it was.

I wasn’t surprised that something like the 9/11 attack had happened. I wasn’t expecting anything of that scale, but I was expecting more terrorist attacks such as those that had been happening against American interests elsewhere in the world

The media had been reporting lapses in airline security for some time, so I wasn’t surprised that terrorists might hijack airplanes. There had been movies about terrorists using aircraft in this manner. I wouldn’t have expected President George W. Bush to anticipate such a possibility but the people at the FBI and the CIA should have.

U.S. support for the tyrant known as the Shah of Iran had led to an attack on the American embassy in Tehran after the Iranian people overthrew him.

After I learned the identities of the suspected hijackers I realized I was right that the decision to base American forces in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War was a very bad idea. Western nations, including the U.S., have been pushing around Middle Eastern countries for too long.

The basing of American forces in what Muslims regard as their Holy Land may have been enough to push some Saudis over the edge and provoke them to commit suicide by flying planes into various American buildings. The U.S. had ignored the significance of a previous attack on American forces in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government might have welcomed American bases to protect them from Iraq, but may of their citizens viewed the bases as the home of an foreign occupation force.

American leaders often seem ignorant of the fact that members of other cultures sometimes view the world and military conflicts differently from Americans. The failure to recognize this difference in viewpoint hampered the U.S. war effort in Vietnam.

I learned from one of the recent broadcast 9/11 related documentaries that Osama bin Laden had wanted the U.S. to invade Afghanistan because he believed the U.S. would lose. Bin Laden may not have contemplated a traditional military victory. Instead of a traditional victory he may have been thinking in terms of dragging out the fighting until Americans got tired of the battles and left like they did in Vietnam.

North Vietnam never won a major battle in Vietnam until two years after American forces left. The Tet offensive was not a communist victory because they couldn’t keep any places they took and much of the Viet Cong was destroyed. When the U.S. left Vietnam its allies were in charge of the government that controlled South Vietnam which was the American goal in Vietnam. However, the American media had previously decided the war was lost because it lasted so long.

Bin Laden may have been hoping for a similar outcome. Dragging out the fighting until Americans decided they couldn’t “win” would allow him, or his successors, to claim they had defeated the “Great Satan” and use the “victory” as a recruiting tool.

The 9/11 attack was the start of a war that is continuing. We cannot afford to abandon the war effort just because the war appears to be endless. Americans often mistakenly claim that the Vietnam War was the nation’s longest war. Actually Vietnam was merely a conflict within the long running Cold War, as was the Korean War. America stood firm in the Cold War and eventually the enemy quit.

We must continue to stand up to the terrorists because if we don’t take the war to them, they may bring the war back to us. One of the reasons the terrorists haven’t launched another major attack on the U.S. is because they are busy fighting our army.

Obama’s Silly Conspiracy Theory

May 27, 2011

President Barack Obama suffers from the delusion that there must have been some massive conspiracy to hide Osama bin Laden from the U.S.

President Barack Obama apparently thinks that the fact that he needed an army of attorneys to keep his stupid birth certificate secret means that bin Laden must have had a large group helping him stay hidden. Or, maybe Obama doesn’t believe that an Arab could be smart enough to hide from the U.S. without help, even an Arab smart enough to be responsible for the 9/11 attack. .

Obama should know better because the CIA has already said that the most any of the al Qaeda members they captured knew was that there was some mysterious courier who might have direct access to bin Laden. If bin Laden didn’t trust members of his own organization with his hiding place, why would he trust Pakistani government agencies which he certainly was aware could have been infiltrated by agents working for the CIA or other intelligence agencies particularly Mossad (Israel) and MI6 (Britain) .

There is a claim that India’s RAW and Mossad have combined efforts to infiltrate Pakistan government agencies. Even if a foreign agent didn’t learn where he was hiding, someone in the government might have found the $25 million reward too tempting to pass up.

Any ability al Qaeda might have to obtain inside information from Pakistani agencies would not be the same as those agencies helping al Qaeda anymore than an ability to obtain inside information from American agencies would indicate those agencies were helping al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda likely has agents planted in governments in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as on some NATO bases in Afghanistan, much like the Viet Cong had agents planted in the South Vietnamese government and on American bases during the Vietnam War. If al Queda/Taliban can plant potential suicide bombers on American base they can plant spies. In Vietnam, the Viet Cong often had radios capable of eavesdropping on American radio traffic.

The Wikileaks situation demonstrates that the Obama administration has poor information security. The administration has alleged that an army PFC in Iraq was able to place documents on the web he should not have been able to access. The leaking of the fact that the U.S. was attempting to track bin Laden’s cell phone in 2001 came from Americans rather than Pakistanis.

If Pakistani agencies were supposedly helping bin Laden stay hidden what were they doing while the SEALS were at his compound. Military or intelligence officials would have been aware of the possibility of Americans coming in by helicopter.

Why wasn’t the compound surrounded by command detonated mines in case that happened? Why wasn’t someone in a protected position with a weapon capable of disabling a helicopter? Why, in a military area well inside Pakistan, didn’t his “protectors” call for a force to keep the Americans from leaving?

The ease with which the SEALS got in and out indicates that bin Laden had no support from individuals in the Pakistan government. If Pakistan’s forces were involved their role was to allow the Americans to leave without interference while pretending to be unaware of what was happening.

Obama cannot understand the obvious fact that the best way to keep something secret is to limit the number of people who know the secret. If you had a $25 million buried treasure that you didn’t want someone else to dig up, you wouldn’t tell anyone you had any doubts about, particularly strangers in a government agency.

Many fiction writers recognize that keeping locations secret involves limiting who knows the location. On the old “Batman” tv series even Batgirl and the police commissioner didn’t know the location of the bat cave. Limiting who knows a secret hideout reduces the chances of someone inadvertently revealing the location or revealing the location under torture. One way to get someone to reveal a hideout is to trick him into going to the hideout while he’s being followed.

Bin Laden’s choice of a hiding place was brilliant. The last place anyone would expect to find him would be in an area away from his supporters. Living in a mansion sized compound would create the impression that the occupant was wealthy, possibly with a fear of being robbed or kidnapped, or someone involved with drugs or smuggling.

The presence of cannabis plants in the area would be consistent with a drug dealer as the resident of the compound. The media have referred to the plants as marijuana, but they were more likely being grown for production of hashish which has been used in the Middle East for centuries. Marco Polo and others suggested it was used by members of the Medieval Order of Assassins from which al Qaeda is descended.

Osama bin Laden probably wasn’t familiar with American masked avengers but his choice of accommodations is similar to Batman and Zorro. When Batman wasn’t running around catching criminals he was the liberal wealthy philanthropist Bruce Wayne. When Zorro wasn’t riding around carving a “Z” with his sword he was wealthy foppish Don Diego de la Vega.

Is bin Laden’s Death Good or Bad?

May 6, 2011

I grew up watching old Hollywood westerns in which the Indians always stopped fighting if their chief was killed, or at least they stopped until they selected a new chief. The killing of Osama bin Laden may provide a great deal of emotional satisfaction for Americans, but it won’t necessarily improve the chances of defeating al Qaeda. The killing might even invigorate al Qaeda.

I was serving in Vietnam when North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh died. His death didn’t change what was happening in the war.

Bin Laden’s presence in an area far removed from the action indicates he might have become little more than a spiritual adviser to al Qaeda with operations controlled by others. If so his death at the hands of the Americans wouldn’t affect operations, but his conversion to a martyr could provide a new rallying point.

(Incidentally, criticism of Pakistanis for not realizing he was at that compound ignores the fact that Pakistan has far more drug dealers / smugglers than terrorist leaders and drug dealers might also prefer to live in a fortress.)

Al Qaeda has been relatively ineffective for years, possibly because bin Laden has not provided effective leadership. Subordinates might have been afraid to challenge him because of his past role with the organization. His death could allow a more dynamic, imaginative, aggressive leader to take over. When a shrub stops growing, pruning off the old wood can give it new life.

Existing al Qaeda leaders might compete for the top position by conducting terrorist missions. Other organizations such as Hamas might seek a role in the new al Qaeda.

Perhaps members would be more willing to seek an alliance with an existing nation, particularly Libya which is fighting European “crusaders”. An alliance wasn’t practical before bin Laden’s death because Qaddafi would both have wanted to be the leader. Qaddafi previously supported international terrorism.

The killing of Qaddafi’s son and grandchildren shortly before the killing of bin Laden gives Libya and al Qaeda a common desire for revenge. Qaddafi can offer financing to al Qaeda in exchange for assistance fighting the NATO backed contras, or whatever the rebels are calling themselves.

Libyan rebel leader Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi is an al Qaeda veteran and potentially take over if he came to power in Libya and was able to divert part of its oil revenue to al Qaeda.

Some in the Pakistan military may be so upset at the embarrassment caused by conduct of such an attack near their capital that they will give advanced weapons to al Qaeda and the Taliban. We can only hope that the Pakistan government adds extra security for its nuclear weapons.

Pakistan is not a tiny banana republic like Venezuela. It has half the population of the U.S. and the world’s 7th largest military, including nuclear armed missiles.

Pakistan is a democracy which means the government must consider popular sentiment which could become more anti-U.S. as a result of the raid. If Obama’s critics are correct about him visiting Pakistan in 1981 as a student using an Indonesian passport (possibly under the name of Barry Soetoro or Barry Durham) and Pakistan had a record of that visit, Pakistan could embarrass him by releasing the information. I don’t know if embarrassing Obama after he embarrassed Pakistan by violating its sovereignty would be enough to quiet any public outcry against the U.S.

Obama’s decision to secretly bury bin Laden at sea could be a blunder. The action sounds like a coverup because when criminals “bury” a body in the water it’s to prevent discovery of the crime.

If al Qaeda could find someone who looks like bin Laden and could imitate his voice, it could make a video claiming the U.S. killed the wrong man.

It would have been better to have had someone other than bin Laden’s wife and U.S. experts provide identification for the body. His wife might have identified the body as his so the U.S. would stop looking for him.

Burying him at sea won’t prevent someone from establishing a shrine to him, but instead would allow a shrine to be build any place, including the place where he was killed, or in their view where he became a martyr..

The U.S. could have avoided the possibility of a shrine at his grave site by turning the body over to family members who had disowned him for burial at an secret site in Saudi Arabia which had revoked his citizenship.. Acceptance of the body by family members, who would not have been identified, would have provided more reliable identification of it.

Releasing of photos of the shooting won’t provide proof he was killed. Hollywood routinely simulates the killing of actors in movies. Jay Leno has occasionally shown doctored videos showing bin Laden at various locations, including the White House. Release of the photos would be more likely to inflame his supporters than to prove he was killed.

Fortunately, Obama’s release of his long form birth certificate prior to the death of bin Laden gives Obama more credibility than he would have had. Without that release, al Qaeda members might have compared the “missing” body to his missing birth certificate.

Europeans Reverting to Barbarism

March 29, 2011

he ancestors of today’s Europeans couldn’t understand the significance of what they were doing when they vandalized Rome. The modern descendants of those Vandals are capable of understanding the significance of their actions.

The Vandals who sacked Rome had nothing to lose from the destruction. The Vandals who are sacking Libya have a lot to lose from the destruction.

The destruction of the Libyan military is creating an opportunity for al Qaeda to take over Libya. Al Qaeda is a long time adversary of Muammar Qaddafi, but had been too weak in Libya to challenge him.

NATO’s attacks on Qaddafi’s military are rapidly changing that balance. Afghan war veteran Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi is already taking advantage of the situation to lead the anti-Qaddafi effort in Darnah. He potentially could use his combat experience to take over the rebel movement.

If al Qaeda takes over Libya, it will have access to oil money and perhaps gain an opportunity to blackmail European governments to get out of Afghanistan. If al Qaeda takes advantage of NATO’s overthrow of Qaddafi to take over Libya many NATO leaders will join their Arab counterparts in the unemployment line.

Some might even face criminal prosecution for treason (giving aid and comfort to the enemy). In the U.S. a latter day Joe McCarthy might emerge and use the incident to attack individuals who had nothing to due with the decision.

British Prime Minister David Cameron would likely be classified with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who gave in to Adolf Hitler’s demands to obtain what he called “peace in our time”.

NATO is risking creating anarchy. Anarchy tends to produce tyrants The difficulties of replacing anarchy after the fall of a tyrant can produce a new tyrant like Napoleon or Lenin. Anarchy in Libya could also cause a cutoff of oil until someone restores order.

The U.S. is still in Iraq because of the difficulties of restoring a stable government. The American presence prevented al Qaeda from taking over Iraq as it attempted to do even with the American presence.

NATO needs to be preparing to move a peacekeeping force into Libya to replace the government NATO is destroying. Marines from NATO nations should be on the ships offshore now or be in route to them. American paratroopers in Italy and the paratroopers of other NATO members should be loading planes with equipment and preparing their gear so they can take off at any time. Turkey would be the best choice to control post-Qaddafi Libya because it’s a Muslim nation. .

Who Will Administer Libya?

March 29, 2011

Have the Allies decided who will be in charge of preserving order and providing government services between the time Muammar Qaddafi is overthrown and a new government can be established?

Democracies don’t miraculously appear after the overthrow of tyrants. Working out differences about what type of government is desired takes time. Someone has to run the interim government until differences can be resolved like the U.S attempted to do in Iraq.

Iraq isn’t the only country that has had trouble developing a democratic government to replace a tyrant. Examples from European history demonstrate that the difficulties of establishing democratic government to replace tyrants.

The overthrow of the French monarchy in the late 18th Century was followed by various governments until a new strongman named Napoleon was able to establish a stable government. He then decided to expand the size of his empire to include most of Europe into Russia.

The fall of the Russian monarchy late during World War I also eventually produced a tyrant with a desire for empire. An initial attempt at democracy failed and the country descended into chaos with the communist party led by Lenin eventually conquering the country. His successor Joseph Stalin used the situation after World War II to expand the country’s boundaries into Eastern Europe.

The Allied attack on the Libyan military means it will not be available to reestablish order even if people would accept its leaders after their efforts to keep Qaddafi in office. The problems other governments in the area are having mean they cannot assist with reestablishing order in Libya. One or more of the Allies will have send in a caretaker force to run things.

Qaddafi has many loyal supporters, particularly among those who have benefited from his rule, who might use guerrilla tactics against the interim government as happened in Iraq. Al Qaeda will certainly be interested in attempting to take advantage of the situation and use terrorism to force the interim government out as happened in Iraq.

The lawlessness in Somalia demonstrates what can happen without a government capable of establishing order.