"As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it, now or ever." - Reagan, January 20, 1981

"In Vietnam, we tried and failed in a just cause. No More Vietnams can mean we will not try again. It should mean we will not fail again." - from No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Rosenbergs, infamous communist atomic spies, are also responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of Americans and allies

The guilt of the Rpsenbergs has been proven to be so overwhelming that the it is not even worth debate here - despite the ever more intellectually challenged theories the left may cook up.

But the amount of American and allied blood on their hands and the hands of their communist spy ring go far beyond the widely known atomic espionage.

Note: for the sake of laziness, all soviet spy agencies will be called KGB here.

Ronald Radosh, co-author of The Rosenberg File, shed some light on the damage by the spy ring after one of it's members (finally) admitted that he was a spy.

The Sobell confession, made to journalist Sam Roberts of The New York Times, reveals that Sobell admitted to espionage, but “never thought of it as that in those terms, only as helping a wartime Soviet ally,” and that what he gave the Soviets were only “defensive” military weapons that did not harm his own countrymen. As for Rosenberg, Sobel claims, the so-called atomic information he obtained from his brother-in-law David Greenglass was only “junk.”

Sobell would not acknowledge that, in fact, the supposedly harmless data he and Rosenberg stole had caused the deaths of Americans in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. Sobell in particular had handed over the SCR 584 radar that was used by the MIG planes to shoot down US aircraft. Moreover, the MIG design itself came from one of Rosenberg’s key agents, William Perl. And Rosenberg himself gave the his Soviet handler Alexander Feklisov the proximity fuse, which was used to track Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 plane and to shoot it down during the Eisenhower administration. The evidence that the Rosenberg ring did manifest serious harm to American national security is overwhelming.

In 2009, 1,115 pages of notes from the KGB archives taken by Alexander Vassiliev, a former KGB officer, reveal more from a translated verbatim a copy of a 1947 KGB document dealing with Julius Rosenberg (codenamed "Liberal")

Liberal [Born in 1918 in NY. Became a Young Communist League member in 34 and a CP USA member in 39. Recruited by Sound in early 42.] “During the war a great many valuable materials for our national industry were received personally from “Liberal.” Since March 1945 alone detailed, complete sets of materials were received on the radars AN/APS-2,
AN/APS-12, SM, AN-CRT-4, AN/APS-1, AN/APN-12; on infrared communications equipment, and so forth. We should take special note of the materials given us by the agent
on the AN/CPQ-1 bomb fuze and a model of the fuze itself, which were given the highest marks by the Council on Radar. “Liberal’s” successful work in handling agents and in supplying us with valuable secret materials was repeatedly cited by the center, and it was rewarded with large monetary payments.
“Liberal” is definitely a person who is completely devoted to us and accumulated significant experience during the war years in illegal work. He views working with us as the main purpose of his life. The recent splits in the CP USA have not affected him in the least.”

These were publish in conjunction with a great book, Spies. A review of the book gives more detail on the Rosenberg ring's damage

The Vassiliev notebooks also shed light on the impact the Rosenberg ring had on the Korean war. Combined with declassified FBI files and other sources, the Vassiliev notebooks make it possible to construct a detailed timeline of Julius Rosenberg's espionage ring that reveals that it provided the USSR with detailed information about hundreds of weapons systems, including many that were developed too late for use in World War II that were used in anger for the first time in Korea.6 These weapons, such as land- and air-based radar, the proximity fuse, analog computers for aiming antiaircraft artillery, and jet airplanes, were the core military technologies of the early Cold War.

The Rosenberg espionage ring provided information that could have been used against American troops in Korea. The notebooks reveal that when Soviet intelligence officers contacted Rosenberg in July 1948 after a two-year hiatus, they were surprised to learn that he had kept his network intact and had continued to collect technical intelligence.7

The eleven agents in Rosenberg's network in the summer of 1948 included agents who had access to specifications about American aircraft and radar that were later deployed in Korea -- specifications that would have been invaluable to Soviet military planners and weapons designers. The fact that Soviet engineers had some success in Korea jamming American radar, a practice that endangered the lives of American pilots and ground troops, can almost certainly be attributed to information provided by members of the Rosenberg ring.

An earlier book on the topic by the same authers shed light on the topic as well

William Perl, a brilliant young government aeronautical scientist, provided the Soviets with the results of the highly secret tests and design experiments for American jet engines and jet aircraft. His betrayal assisted the Soviet Union in quickly overcoming the American technological lead in the development of jets. In the Korean War, U.S. military leaders expected the Air Force to dominate the skies, on the assumption that the Soviet aircraft used by North Korea and Communist China would be no match for American aircraft. They were shocked when Soviet MiG-15 jet fighters not only flew rings around U.S. propeller-driven aircraft but were conspicuously superior to the first generation of American jets as well. Only the hurried deployment of America's newest jet fighter, the F-86 Saber, allowed the United States to match the technological capabilities of the MiG-15. The Air Force prevailed, owing more to the skill of American pilots than to the design of American aircraft.

The ring's KGB handler, Alexander Feklisov, provided more insight

Feklisov's account provided missing links about the extent of the damage done by the Rosenberg spy network. He testified about the major successes. The most important piece of information that the Rosenberg gave the Soviets was an actual proximity fuse detonator. The fuse allows a shell to explode at a short distance from an airborne target, guaranteeing a direct hit. It also corrects the path of an explosive charge toward a plane, a precursor of missile homing devices. The Soviets used one to shoot down Major Francis Gary Powers's U–2 plane in 1960, thereby derailing the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit.

Other members of the ring, Joel Barr, Al Sarant and William Perl, provided equally important data such as the SCR584, a device that determines the speed and trajectory of V–2 rockets, that was part of some 600 pages of texts and drawing photographed by the ring members in one evening. Perl, a scientist working for NACA, the predecessor of NASA, gave Feklisov advanced aeronautical data about high-performance military jet aircraft. Through this material, the Soviets build the MIG fighter jets used against the Americans in the Korean War.

The Air Force Historian for the United States Air Force, Dr. Richard P. Hallion, provided more

NOVA: At the time of the X-1 program, were there concerns that other countries were spying on us?

HALLION: During the second World War, even as the war was going on, we were already seeing some of the hallmarks of the Cold War. Namely we were seeing espionage directed against the United States by the Soviet Union, and we were seeing a counter-intelligence effort by the United States to try to find out what the Soviets were up to in terms of what they were trying to learn about us. So during the second World War we had the beginnings of a program that had some tremendous significance. It was called Venona, and it began in February 1943. It was run by the U.S. Army's Signal Intelligence Service. That's a forerunner of the present day National Security Agency. The purpose of Venona was to examine and possibly exploit encrypted Soviet diplomatic communications. Many messages were accumulated by the Venona team, but because these were encrypted it was very, very difficult to translate them. And many of the wartime messages were in point of fact not translated until after the war. From our translation activities of Soviet communications we learned that there was a very active effort by the Soviets to collect information on the United States.

NOVA: So we didn't find out about the Soviet espionage until after the war?

HALLION: Because of the volume and the nature of the traffic, many of these messages were not able to be broken until after the second World War, simply because the process of breaking them was so difficult. They were all encrypted in a cipher system. We had to break the cipher systems, and we had to find the keys in order to break those. Now what was very interesting, as we found out later, was that there were a number of people in various key government organizations that were targeted by the Soviets to be sources of information or who in fact, were themselves Soviet agents. One of these was an individual working in the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. His name was William Perl. William Perl was part of a spy ring established by Julius Rosenberg. Now the Rosenberg spy ring has always been thought of primarily as an atomic espionage ring. But in point of fact in its early years it was targeting the aeronautical industry and the electronics industry. As early as 1943, Perl was passing information to the Soviets on jet engine design. Perl later joined the Louis Research Center of the NACA, now NASA, and while there was engaged in the design of supersonic wind tunnel facilities, consulting on engine development and also did a lot of work related to the atomic airplane program. So Perl was a very highly placed source of information for the Soviets and was transmitting a great deal of information to them.

NOVA: How did the Soviets benefit from this information?

HALLION: There's a technology transfer that you see very clearly. The Mig fighter family is the classic example to use. If you take a look at when the designs of the Mig 15 and 17 are actually fixed (and they're developed in the immediate post World War II era) I think that the Soviets were not able to get the information that they needed in time to make those aircraft what they could have been. Instead where we see this [espionage] material radically transform Soviet military aviation is in the next generation of Mig aircraft, the Mig 19. The Mig 19 is the first Soviet supersonic jet fighter. It appears contemporaneously with the first American supersonic jet fighter, the F-100. They both appear in 1953. They both have roughly the same performance capabilities. In fact, one could argue that the Mig 19 actually had a slightly higher performance. And so what this shows is the gap closed.

NOVA: What was Britain's relationship with the Soviet Union during and after the war?

HALLION: Britain's relationship with the Soviets in the 1940s was a very interesting one. At the same time that we see Winston Churchill giving us the Iron Curtain metaphor, and we start seeing the emergence of the Cold War, we see the British government willy nilly selling high technology to the Soviets. And the classic example of what they sold were two high performance jet engines, the Rolls Royce Durwent and the Rolls Royce Nene. And the Nene engine, interestingly enough, in Korea, powered not only the Mig 15, but it also powered some of the American Airplanes (because it had been sold to the United States in license built form) that we were using against the Mig 15. For example, in Korea, in November, 1950, a U.S. Navy fighter airplane called the F 9 F Panther confronted the first production Soviet Mig 15's that were being flown in Korea—the two airplanes were flying using essentially the same engine. You could have interchanged the engines in these airplanes.

The CIA's website has more

Barr, Sarant, and Rosenberg held low-level positions during World War II helping to design manufacturing processes and performing quality assurance inspections. In contrast to more senior scientists and engineers, who typically were aware of the details of only a few specific projects and who were subject to intense security precautions, the Rosenberg group had jobs that provided unfettered access to a wide range of sensitive technologies.

Military security officials attempted to compartmentalize R&D—for example by assigning the design of the various components in a weapons system to teams at different institutions. At some point, however, all the pieces had to be assembled and tested by people who understood how they fit together and what they were supposed to do. As manufacturing engineers, Barr and Sarant were exactly at that point. In order to help design and optimize manufacturing processes, they had to comprehend the basic principles underlying a particular weapon and to have detailed knowledge of all of its components. Men assigned to figure out how to mass produce advanced technologies were in an excellent position to teach the Soviets how to do the same.

Because practical “how-to” experience from related projects was often relevant to their own work, manufacturing engineers were encouraged to study weapons systems that they were not specifically assigned to work on. Barr and the other engineers working in his department “had complete freedom of the plant and were permitted to go into any other sections,” one of his former supervisors at Western Electric later told the FBI.[1]

Barr and Sarant worked on, or had access to, detailed specifications for most of the US air- and ground-based radars; the Norden bombsight; analog fire-control computers; friend-or-foe identification systems; and a variety of other technologies. Working from a makeshift microfilm studio in a Greenwich Village apartment, they copied and turned over to Soviet intelligence more than 9,000 pages of secret documents relating to more than 100 weapons programs during World War II, according to Alexander Feklisov, one of their case officers.[2] In addition to Feklisov’s memoir, some details of the secrets Barr and Sarant stole are mentioned in the “Venona” decrypts, decoded diplomatic cable traffic between Moscow and Soviet intelligence officers in New York. For example, a December 1944 cable noted that Sarant had “handed over 17 authentic drawings” of the AN/APQ-7 radar.[3]

According to Feklisov, Barr turned over blueprints for the SCR-584, a microwave radar system designed at MIT’s radiation lab that the army hailed as one of the most important technological breakthroughs of the war. He also passed plans for the M-9 gun director, an analog computer that predicted a moving object’s future position based on radar input and then automatically aimed and fired artillery.[4]

While the Rosenberg group’s technology transfer probably did not have a decisive impact during World War II—the USSR had great difficulty keeping up with the demand for basic weapons systems and was in a poor position to absorb high technology—it was extraordinarily useful in the immediate postwar period when Russia quickly brought its armaments up to American levels of sophistication.

Much of the information Barr and Sarant borrowed from Western Electric’s filing cabinets ended up in the hands of Adm. Axel Berg, the man Stalin assigned during World War II to create a Soviet radar industry. Detailed information about American R&D helped Berg take Soviet radar production from zero in 1940 to a level in 1955 that equaled or exceeded the United States’ output in quantity and capabilities.[5] Russian radar bore a striking resemblance to American designs, particularly the radar sets manufactured at Western Electric. In 1949, for example, the USSR started mass-producing replicas of the SCR-584, as well as clones of the AN/APQ-13 radar, a close cousin of the AN/APQ-7.

In conjunction with the technology of the US proximity fuse—which Rosenberg literally wrapped up and delivered to Feklisov as a Christmas present in 1944—upgraded Soviet versions of the SCR-584 and M-9 allowed Moscow to shoot down Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 plane over Sverdlovsk on May Day 1960.

In addition to data on radars, analog computers, and the proximity fuse, the Rosenberg group turned over a treasure trove of secret information about jet engine design and radio and computing technologies. The group’s total contribution amounted to over 20,000 pages of technical documents, plus the entire 12,000-page design manual for the first US jet fighter, the P-80 “Shooting Star.”[6] In addition to designs for specific weapons systems, the data gave Soviet scientists and planners invaluable insights into America’s development strategies. In technology development, information about a rival’s mistakes and dead ends is almost as valuable as details of its accomplishments.

More to come, when I have time...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Idi Amin and East Germany

I took a great book out of the library about East Germany's (GDR) policy in Africa. Here is what it says about the GDR and Idi Amin

It seems that two East German official who died in the GDR's embassy in Kampala at the time of the Tanzanian-backed invasion of Uganda in 1979, immediately before deaths had been desperately endeavoring to remove all compromising materials which linked the GDR with the operations of the notorious Ugandan secret police and Amin's "State Research Bureau".

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Cold War Hero - Patriot and Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Robert L Howard - Laid to Rest

FoxNews has the story

One of Nation's Most Highly Decorated Soldiers Laid to Rest
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One of the nation's most highly decorated veterans was being laid to rest on Wednesday.

Ret. Colonel Robert L Howard, a Medal of Honor recipient who was awarded eight Purple Hearts for his service in the Vietnam War, was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Howard, who died on Dec. 23, was 70.

Howard was wounded 14 times during 54 months of combat duty — five tours — in Vietnam. He retired from the Army as a full colonel in 2006 after 36 years in the U.S. military — including more than 33 years on airborne status.

He was hailed as one of the nation's most heroic soldiers — and the most highly decorated soldier since World War II.

According to a biographical sketch issued by the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), Howard also participated in two movies starring John Wayne, making a parachute jump in "The Longest Day" and appearing as an airborne instructor in "The Green Berets."

President Richard Nixon presented the Medal of Honor to him on March 2, 1971.

He never stopped serving his country, and supporting the brave men and women who also take up the call

From The Congressional Medal of Honor Society


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Howard (then Sfc .), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an American-Vietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam. The platoon had left its helicopter landing zone and was moving out on its mission when it was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion. 1st Lt. Howard saw his platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader. As 1st Lt. Howard was administering first aid and removing the officer's equipment, an enemy bullet struck 1 of the ammunition pouches on the lieutenant's belt, detonating several magazines of ammunition. 1st Lt. Howard momentarily sought cover and then realizing that he must rejoin the platoon, which had been disorganized by the enemy attack, he again began dragging the seriously wounded officer toward the platoon area. Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy. For 3 1/2 hours 1st Lt. Howard's small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all were aboard safely. 1st Lt. Howard's gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

RIP - Gen. Alexander M. Haig. A Cold War Hero

I want to thank Fox News and Newsmax's Dave Eberhart and Arnaud de Borchgrave for separately giving Gen. Haig the honorable tributes he deserves.

It was June 25, 1950. Alexander Haig Jr., then just a junior Army officer fresh out of West Point and assigned to the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Tokyo, took the phone call offering ominous news: The North Korean communists had just crossed the 38th parallel and started a war.

Haig awoke a sleeping MacArthur to inform him of the [Stalin approved] surprise attack.

And he was there on the frontline when the tide turned: "Haig missed World War II, graduating from West Point in 1947, and then saw action in ... the Korean War (including action at the Inchon landing that turned the tide against North Korea) ..."

He then went on to serve with distinction in Vietnam

Lt. Col. Haig was a battalion commander in Vietnam when he won the Distinguished Service Cross during a battle near [Ap Gu]. He went on to command a brigade.

As the CO of 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, Haig boarded a helicopter and flew to where his troops were engaging a superior enemy force. An excerpt from Haig’s citation for his exceptional conduct follows:

“When two of his companies were engaged by a large hostile force, Colonel Haig landed amid a hail of fire, personally took charge of the units, called for artillery and air fire support and succeeded in soundly defeating the insurgent force. . . the next day a barrage of 400 rounds was fired by the Viet Cong, but it was ineffective because of the warning and preparations by Colonel Haig.

“As the barrage subsided, a force three times larger than his began a series of human wave assaults on the camp. Heedless of the danger himself, Colonel Haig repeatedly braved intense hostile fire to survey the battlefield. His personal courage and determination, and his skillful employment of every defense and support tactic possible, inspired his men to fight with previously unimagined power.

“Although his force was outnumbered three to one, Colonel Haig succeeded in inflicting 592 casualties on the Viet Cong.”

He then "was tapped by Henry Kissinger to be his military adviser on the National Security Council under President Richard M. Nixon. Haig 'soon became indispensable,' Kissinger later said of his protege."

It was Haig who broke the news of the "Pentagon Papers" leak to President Nixon.

He first rose to national prominence as chief military aide to national security adviser Henry Kissinger in the Nixon White House. He quickly became President Richard Nixon’s principal military adviser, not an official position, but the president liked him and they talked frequently informally. Promoted to brigadier general, he rose quickly to major general.

Kissinger also liked the handsome, brilliant young general, and made him his de facto chief of staff. He became a key player in organizing Kissinger’s secret trip to China to prepare for Nixon-Mao summit, and the Vietnam peace initiative.

Communist China's Propaganda channel itself acknowledged Haig's key behind the scenes contribution to the US-Chicom rapprochement initiative.

But he was certainly not immune from the controversies

His central role in the White House's internal negotiation that paved the way for Nixon's resegnation and Ford's pardon was discussed on Meet The Press in 2001

MR. RUSSERT: Seven months later, and things were moving very, very quickly. Bob Woodward, this is how you portray the scene: “At 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 1, 1974, Nixon’s chief of staff, Alexander Haig, entered the vice president’s suite. He looked troubled and on edge. ‘Are you ready, Mr. Vice President, to assume the presidency in a short period of time?’ Haig asked. New Watergate tapes, he said, would show Nixon had ordered the coverup of the burglary. Ford was stunned. Haig presented Ford with six scenarios: Nixon could step aside temporarily under the 25th Amendment, he could just wait and delay the ongoing impeachment process, or he could try to settle for a formal censure.

In addition, there were three pardon options. Nixon could pardon himself and resign. Or he could pardon the aides involved and then resign. Or Nixon could agree to leave in return for an agreement that the new President Ford would pardon him. Haig handed Ford two pieces of paper. The first sheet contained a handwritten summary of a president’s legal authority to pardon. The second sheet was a draft pardon form that needed only Ford’s signature and Nixon’s name to make it legal. ‘It’s my understanding from a White House lawyer,’ Haig said, ‘that the president does have authority to pardon even before criminal action has been taken against an individual.’”

After that meeting, Gerald Ford met with this staff. What happened?

MR. WOODWARD: Well, of all kinds—this is one of the most dramatic moments in Watergate, to say the least. And of course I’ve interviewed Ford extensively about that moment. And he acknowledges that he believes that Haig was offering him a deal. I mean, to, to hand a draft pardon, and say, “Oh, by the way.” Ford got it, but he—when he told his staff, they said, you, you know, “You have—you’ve entered into dangerous legal territory. You have to call Haig and say there’s no deal.” Ford also acknowledges that he was naive about all of this, and at the same time—and again, there’s, there’s a complexity in this that doesn’t yield a sound bite. Ford had his reasons for granting the pardon, to get over Watergate and Nixon. At the same time, this, this loyalty and friendship with Nixon was intense, and he gave the pardon. I, I think it turns out to be very, very wise. But he—it, it was, on one level, the last, last act of loyalty.

Now, what, what is most significant to history in all of this, part of the arrangement with the pardon was that Ford insisted that the government keep Nixon’s tapes. And we now know this rather complete history of Watergate because of Ford’s decision. And there was a wise lawyer in the White House who told Ford, “Don’t give Nixon those tapes, he’ll burn them. It will be considered the last act of the coverup.” So having the tapes, most important to understanding the Nixon presidency.

Haig can be heard discussing the tapes here.

After the Watergate storm had passed, he did his time under Ford and Carter as head military commander of NATO, during which

[Haig] was the first to blow the whistle ... on the still secret, one-per-week deployment of the Soviet SS-20, a medium range nuclear missile designed to change the balance of power in Europe in Moscow’s favor.

The NATO counter became known as “Euromissiles,” and communist-controlled or influenced unions pulled out all the stops against their deployment. Haig’s forceful views prevailed and the Soviet SS-20 ploy was checkmated.

On June 25, 1979, Haig was the target of an assassination attempt in Mons, Belgium. A land mine detonated under a bridge as Haig’s car passed over it, narrowly missing Haig’s car but wounding three of his bodyguards in a car that was following it. The Red Army Faction was blamed, and a German court sentenced an RAF member to prison for the assassination attempt.

In July 1979, Haig resigned from his NATO post, reportedly because of President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to remove the Shah of Iran from power during the Iranian Revolution. Haig predicted that the fall of America’s strong ally, the Shah, would lead to negative repercussions throughout the region. Haig once said in an interview that the Carter administration “stabbed him [the Shah] in the back.”

I don't know if it was intentional, I highly doubt it. Although, as Reagan said, he certainly didn't do enough to help him.


In 1979, he retired from the army to become chief operating officer of United Technologies, a major defense firm that produced the Sikorsky helicopter family. While there, he underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery.

Upon recovery, he also tested the waters for a run for the White House and soon concluded he would rather back Ronald Reagan, who also took a shine to Haig’s strong conservative views, tough anti-communist and anti-Soviet positions, links to the Republican establishment, and made him his first secretary of state. His confirmation hearings were stormy.

The “namby-pamby” liberals once denounced by Haig seized the opportunity to retaliate. Haig lasted only 18 months at the State Department. An equally strong personality with strong views and an intense dislike for the four-star general as secretary of state was Richard C. Allen, the new national security adviser, also a hawk, but not a super hawk. Their turf battles were the stuff of countless news articles.

I'll skip the BS.

Two months into the new administration, Haig was portrayed as pounding a table in frustration when the chairmanship of a crisis management team went to Bush. Despite the clashes, Haig received high praise from professional diplomats for trying to achieve a stable relationship with the Soviet Union.

He also conducted shuttle diplomacy between the British and Argentine governments in an unsuccessful attempt to avert a war over the Falkland Islands.

Well, the "running feud over turf with Allen led to Haig submitting his resignation to Reagan once too often. Reagan finally said, 'Al, I accept your resignation,' which stunned Haig, according to Allen." But he received thanks from those who worked with him, even PM Thatcher.


Almost all public figures since they left office were assessed severely. His least known accomplishment was a close working relationship with Irving Brown, the AFL-CIO’s roving ambassador abroad. Together, at SHAPE HQ, Brown and Haig got together to assist Poland’s Lech Walesa as he led the Lenin shipyard workers in Gdansk against their communist overlords.

It was the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire. Brown received the Medal of Freedom for his efforts. Haig’s contribution to the same endeavor that changed the world and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union was critical.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Indira Gandhi and Communist countries were for a long time responsible for the civil war in Sri Lanka

According to CNN, the Indian Army and Intelligence trained the LTTE in the 1980s under the direction of Indira Gandhi

And the LTTE, according to a former high ranking member, says they were armed by then-communist Ukraine

"The LTTE purchased most of its weapons from [former Soviet Republic of] Ukraine," Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, best known as Colonel Karuna Amman said.

"There were many other supply sources in Asia and Africa, but the main source was Ukraine," the stocky Karuna, a former bodyguard to slain Velupillai Prabhakaran told Japan's Kyodo News in an interview in his tightly guarded office here.

That was until India and LTTE waged war on each other from 1987 to 1990

Afterwards, according to the article quoted above, Communist China picked up the tab - and India helped Sri Lanka finally defeat LTTE in 2009.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Iran is moving towards a military dictatorship.”

“We see that the government in Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the Parliament, is being supplanted and that Iran is moving towards a military dictatorship.” - Hillary, today

this probably wouldnt have stuck out to me IF i hadn't been hearing it more and more frequently
cnn, june 28, 09 -

ZAKARIA: When you watch what's going on inside Iran, do you think it's pretty clear that the government has the ability to really consolidate power and crack down on this?

BAER: Fareed, I'm quite sure there's been a military coup d'etat by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran. They've taken over. And the fact that the Basij came out so quickly, they could have only done that on orders from the IRGC.

The fact that Ahmadinejad is a former IRGC officer, he has the backing of senior officers, I think what we've seen is a military coup against the old clerical establishment.

newsmax jan 8, 2010 -
“Even though Ahmadinejad owes his job and his legitimacy to Khamenei, he privately detests him,” a source in Tehran tells Newsmax.

Ahmadinejad is secretly working behind the scenes to get rid of Khamenei and ultimately the office of supreme leader itself, to install a military-style dictatorship run by himself and allies in the IRGC. “He is grooming Mashai as his successor,” the source added.

Secrets such as these are leaking with increasing frequency to the opposition and to the outside world, especially from inside the Revolutionary Guards and the bassij, congressional analyst Katzman told Newsmax.

“There’s a lot of hedging going on. Lots of Revolutionary Guards are moving out of the country, sending family members to Dubai or to India. Others are putting out feelers to the opposition, to guarantee themselves a future if the regime goes down,” he said.

Digital recordings of intelligence service internal meetings have made their way to the opposition, where they have discussed the best tactics to use in crushing non-violent protests and how to place informants inside opposition organizations.

A recent example of the “hedging” Katzman refers to involves Revolutionary Guards officer Mohammad Reza Madhi, a former top security officer in Khamenei’s office, who sought refuge in Thailand last year and now is calling openly for regime change.

A familiar figure in Iran because of his prominent position in a veterans association of victims of chemical warfare (known as the Bonyad-e Janbazan), Madhi said in a recent interview that he was in touch with his former colleagues and others inside Iran for 10 hours or more every day. “I use mobile phones, e-mails, and other means to communicate with them. I know what is going on in Iran every day.”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gorby has to get his story straight on Afghanistan

Let's break down what the former head of the USSR wrote in the NYT:

In 1979, the Soviet leadership sent troops to Afghanistan, justifying that move not just by the desire to help friendly elements there but also by the need to stabilize a neighboring country.

The real reason is very different, and is clearly spelled out in a brief memo KGB head Andropov sent to Soviet dictator Brezhnev on December 1, 1979 (events leading up to these events can be seen here):

1. After the coup and the murder of Taraki in September of this year, the situation in Afghanistan began to undertake an undesirable turn for us. The situation in the party, the army and the government apparatus has become more acute, as they were essentially destroyed as a result of the mass repressions carried out by Amin.
At the same time, alarming information started to arrive about Amin's secret activities, forewarning of a possible political shift to the West. [These included:] Contacts with an American agent about issues which are kept secret from us. Promises to tribal leaders to shift away from USSR and to adopt a "policy of neutrality." Closed meetings in which attacks were made against Soviet policy and the activities of our specialists. The practical removal of our headquarters in Kabul, etc. The diplomatic circles in Kabul are widely talking of Amin's differences with Moscow and his possible anti-Soviet steps.
All this has created, on the one hand, the danger of losing the gains made by the April [1978] revolution (the scale of insurgent attacks will increase by spring) within the country, while on the other hand - the threat to our positions in Afghanistan (right now there is no guarantee that Amin, in order to protect his personal power, will not shift to the West). [There has been] a growth of anti-Soviet sentiments within the population.
2. Recently we were contacted by group of Afghan communists abroad. In the course of our contact with Babrak [Karmal] and [Asadullah] Sarwari, it became clear (and they informed us of this) that they have worked out a plan for opposing Amin and creating new party and state organs. But Amin, as a preventive measure, has begun mass arrests of "suspect persons" (300 people have been shot).
In these conditions, Babrak and Sarwari, without changing their plans of opposition, have raised the question of possible assistance, in case of need, including military.
We have two battalions stationed in Kabul and there is the capability of rendering such assistance. It appears that this is entirely sufficient for a successful operation. But, as a precautionary measure in the event of unforeseen complications, it would be wise to have a military group close to the border. In case of the deployment of military forces we could at the same time decide various questions pertaining to the liquidation of gangs.
The implementation of the given operation would allow us to decide the question of defending the gains of the April revolution, establishing Leninist principals in the party and state leadership of Afghanistan, and securing our positions in this country.

Eleven days later the Soviet Politburo approved the invasion, or the "measures", of "A" and during Christmas week 150,000 Soviet troops crossed the border, the capital was attack, the presedential palace stormed by KGB commandos and Amin executed. His economic advisor, Abdul Shams, escaped and lived to tell about it (parts 4 and 6, in other parts of his speech about advanced CIA aid not reaching the Muj are mistaken, because the stingers did in deed make it to the Muj).

back to Gorby NYT:

The greatest mistake was failing to understand Afghanistan’s complexity — its patchwork of ethnic groups, clans and tribes, its unique traditions and minimal governance.

And the fact that you tried to impose atheism on a deeply religious people. And the fact that they tried to destroy Pakistan through proxy a few years before the invasion of Afghanistan, making USSR not very popular with Pakistan.

Gorby NYT:

The result was the opposite of what we had intended: even greater instability, a war with thousands of victims and dangerous consequences for our own country. On top of it, the West, particularly the United States, kept fueling the fire in the spirit of the Cold War; it remained ready to support just about anyone against the Soviet Union, giving no thought to possible long-term consequences.

First off, you better believe we didn't want your commie stooges in control of the country. But there is a myth here he continues to push, and I'll resort to the 9/11 commission in reply:

Saudi Arabia and the United States supplied billions of dollars worth of secret assistance to rebel groups in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet occupation. This assistance was funneled through Pakistan: the Pakistani military intelligence service (Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISID), helped train the rebels and distribute the arms. But Bin Ladin and his comrades had their own sources of support and training, and they received little or no assistance from the United States.

Gorby NYT:

As part of perestroika in the mid-1980s, the new Soviet leadership drew conclusions from our troubles in Afghanistan.

El Rushbo quoted Gorby's book to describe what perestroika was all about. His book says - "I stress once again, perestroika is not some kind of illumination or revelation. To restructure our life means to understand the objective necessity for renovation and acceleration, and that necessity emerged in the heart of our society. The essence of perestroika lies in the fact that it unites socialism with democracy and revives the Leninist concept of socialist construction, both in theory and in practice. Such is the essence of perestroika which accounts for its genuine revolutionary spirit and its all-embracing scope."

Gorby NYT:

We made two crucial decisions. First, we set the goal of withdrawing our troops. Second, we intended to work with all parties in the conflict and with the governments involved to achieve national reconciliation in Afghanistan and make it a peaceful and neutral country that threatened no one.

This is not true, recently, he personally talked about the communist gov he in deed did leave behind until it's eventual overthrow.

Gorby NYT:

To succeed, we needed sincere and responsible cooperation from all sides. The Afghan government was ready to compromise and went more than halfway to achieve reconciliation. In a number of regions, things started to improve.


Gorby NYT:

However, Pakistan, particularly its top brass, and the United States blocked all avenues to progress. They wanted one thing: the withdrawal of Soviet troops, which they thought would leave them in full control. By denying Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah’s government even minimal support, Boris Yeltsin played into their hands when he took office.

We don't consider Soviet imposed communist Government as "progress". And your country should learn how to treat it's veterans.

Gorby NYT:

During the 1990’s, the world seemed indifferent to Afghanistan. In that decade the country’s government fell into the hands of the Taliban, who turned Afghanistan into a haven for Islamic fundamentalists and an incubator of terrorism.

Yep, we screwed up that part.

That's basicly the cold war context of Gorby's thing. I'll update this post more tommorow, it's late.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How Russia's Afghan war veterans are treated

The great Russian whistleblower and now martyr Alexander Litvinenko has left us with an extraordinary indictment of Russian Government corruption, including stealing from veterans of Soviet-Afghan War. Here is an excerpt:

Another freelance special group was the organisation of GRU Colonel Valery Radchikov, the head of the Russian Fund for Afghan War Invalids. The group was founded in 1991 via the GRU. At the final count some 37 people connected with the invalids' fund were killed, and another 62 were injured.

In 1994, the fund's first manager, Mikhail Likhodei, was blown up in the entrance of his apartment block. In October 1995, Radchikov only survived by a miracle when he was seriously wounded by six bullets but managed to evade the killers who attacked him in his car. However, his legal advisor and deputy, Dmitri Mateshev, never recovered consciousness and died following the shoot-out. On 10 November 1996, 14 people were blown to pieces and 26 mutilated by an explosion at the Kotlyakovskoe Cemetery. The dead included Likhodei's widow, Elena Krasnolutskaya, who was the financial director at the invalids' fund, and Likhodei's friend and successor, Sergei Trakhirov. Radchikov was accused of planning the bombing. On 3 September 1998, when Radchikov was already in jail, another of his assistants, the general director of a new Afghan War fund, Valery Vukolov, was shot dead.

For all these years, money had been embezzled from the fund, which, after all, is the norm in Russia, but the extent of the embezzlement was exceptional. The most conservative estimates put the amount at about $200m (£100m). The case was investigated by the finest men in the public prosecutor's office, led by the investigator for especially important cases, Danilov. He was assisted by four other "bigwigs" and over 100 operatives (making in total a team of more than 180). But they were unable to work out where the millions stolen from the Afghan War invalids had gone. Radchikov himself was accused of stealing only two-and-a-half million dollars.

A few days after Radchikov's arrest, his deputy at the fund, Valery Voshchevoz, who monitored all of the fund's cash flows and was one of Yeltsin's agents for the presidential campaign of 1996, was hastily dispatched to the Amur region as the president's plenipotentiary representative. The trial of Radchikov and his two accomplices, Mikhail Smurov and Andrei Anokhin, lasted 10 months. On 17 January 2000, the state prosecutor demanded sentences of 13, 15, and 10 years for the accused.

Radchikov was accused of plotting in 1996 to kill his competitor in the "Afghan movement", the chairman of the invalids' fund, Sergei Trakhirov, and of giving a pistol and at least $50,000 for this purpose to one of his neighbours in the apartment block, the Afghan War veteran Andrei Anokhin. He, in turn, persuaded Mikhail Smurov to take part in the murder for $10,000.

Killing Trakhirov was not easy. Everywhere he went he was accompanied by bodyguards from the Vityaz unit, which was under the command of Sergei Ivanovich Lysiuk, who worked closely with the FSB. "Hero of Russia" Lysiuk, the founder and first commander of the Vityaz interior forces' special operations unit of the MVD RF, had been recruited into the ranks of the secret agents of the Special Section of the KGB when he was still a senior lieutenant. The last member of the special service to act as Lysiuk's contact was the head of the military counter-intelligence unit, Vladimir Yevgenievich Vlasov, who actually removed Lysiuk's name from the listings of the FSB's secret agents (so that he would not be given a new controller) and made him a so-called "archive agent". (Lysiuk won his "Hero of Russia" for commanding the Vityaz unit in the defence of the Ostankino television centre in 1993. He was the one who gave the order to open fire on the supporters of the putsch.)

Under the new circumstances, Vlasov was one of Lysiuk's deputies in his commercial firm. Operational information indicates that the commercial activities of Lysiuk's firm included training contract killers, including members of Lazovsky's group, but Lysiuk himself might not have known anything about that, even though the Moscow region criminal investigation department reported frequent sightings of Lazovsky at Lysiuk and Vlasov's base.

So the conspirators decided to blow up Trakhirov at the Kotlyakovskoe Cemetery during the wake for Mikhail Likhodei, the chairman of the Afghan War invalids' fund who was killed in 1994. Amazingly enough, just a few days before the bombing, Trakhirov's bodyguards were changed. The new bodyguards were killed in the explosion, but the old ones from Vityaz survived. We can assume that Lysiuk might have known about the forthcoming assassination attempt from Vlasov or other people in his entourage.

The court hearings on the case of the bombing concluded on 18 April. The accused were offered a final word, and all three of them said that they had "nothing at all" to do with the terrorist attack, and thus asked the court to find them innocent. Radchikov's lawyer, P Yushin, declared that the case had been deliberately fabricated.

On 21 January, the Moscow District Military Court, under the chairmanship of Colonel of Justice Vladimir Serdiukov, acquitted the accused because "their involvement in the crime committed had not been proved". The court regarded the arguments of the investigation into the case of the explosion at Kotlyakovskoe Cemetery as unconvincing. The acquittal was founded on the results of the court's analysis of the remains of the explosive device, which diverged significantly from the results of the analysis carried out during the investigation.

In addition, a female acquaintance of one of the accused, Mikhail Smurov, testified that on the day of the explosion Smurov was at home and could not possibly have set off the explosive device, as the investigators accused him of doing.

Valery Radchikov was also acquitted on the charge of embezzling two-and-a-half million dollars from the fund. All three accused were released directly from the courtroom. On 25 July, 2000, the Public Prosecutor's Office lost its appeal to the Supreme Court for the acquittal to be set aside. Radchikov was intending to take the dispute to the European Court. However, at about eight o'clock in the evening on 31 January 2001, he was killed in an automobile accident 39 kilometres along the Minsk Highway on his way back to Moscow in a Moskvich 2141 automobile. That same day the Novosti press agency announced that the law enforcement agencies were of the opinion that Radchikov's death might not have been a simple accident.

Dozens of dead bodies, millions of dollars missing, and not a single criminal caught - taken altogether this is simply a statistical impossibility for the world of crime. And you don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out which group was behind this complicated and highly successful game in which the main player suffered a fatal automobile accident at such a convenient moment.

The Russian secret services

FSB: Federal Security Service, effectively the latter-day KGB

UFSB: Regional FSB

GRU: Russian Ministry of Defence's foreign military intelligence operation

MB-FSK: Ministry of Security and the Federal Counter-intelligence Service. (The KGB, effectively, was first renamed as MB, then as FSK, and only later as FSB)

SBP: President's Security Service

MVD RF: Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation

ATT: Anti-terrorist centre of the FSB

GUVD: Division of the MVD

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1958 mob in Venezuela (ironically) saved Nixon from communist assassination

For a quick recap, see this old newsreel.

I have recently discovered a fascinating article by foreign service agent Russ Olson - who was working in Caracas during VP Nixon's visit. In it, he discusses how the hostile mob forced the VP away from the planed assassination point!

Nixon knew full well he was going to face trouble in Caracas. The only question was how serious it would be. Deputy Under Secretary Murphy subsequently told the Senators, "Three reports of possible assassination attempts were forwarded to the Vice President and the matter was made public by the Secret Service on the eve of the Vice President's departure from Colombia for Caracas." If that weren't enough warning, he had CIA and other reports and he also had it first hand from Chuck Burrows, the Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission, who had flown to Bogot[a] to accompany (and brief) the Vice President to Caracas. Burrows laid out the problem. In his book, Nixon claimed he had been misled, that security had been inadequately arranged by the Venezuelans. The root of the problem was neither the Embassy (which had suggested as strongly as it could that he not come) nor the Venezuelan security measures. The real problem was Nixon's insistence on keeping the military at arm's length in order to avoid adverse impact on the American media. He later claimed that the Venezuelan police did nothing to protect him - and he was absolutely correct. During the January revolution, less than five months before, the people had turned on all aspects of the vicious dictatorship, including the police, most of whom escaped only by burning their uniforms and disappearing from their home neighborhoods. Consequently, the police, when Nixon came, were both green and well aware of the public's attitude towards the uniforms. They weren't about to fight people in the streets. The only respected forces, the Navy, the Air Force and the National Guard (but not the Army, which had stood by Perez Jimenez until the last moment) could have protected the Nixons easily if only he had let them.

With that background, the Nixon party flew into Maiquetia airport on the morning of May 13 (maybe the date was the problem?). The Vice President, in a dark blue suit, and Mrs. Nixon, in a red suit and hat, stepped from the US Air Force DC-6 with its red, white and blue propeller tips, to face the usual group of dignitaries lined up along the traditional red carpet in order of protocol. The waves and broad smiles of the Nixons quickly disappeared as they saw the hostile crowd on the balcony of the terminal and along their path. By the time they reached the bottom of the plane's steps, a very grim Vice President and lady stepped onto the tarmac, hearing anti-Nixon shouts and looking at banners reading, "Go home, Nixon," "Go away, Nixon," "Out, dog," "We won't forget Guatemala" (a reference to the ouster of the left-wing Arbenz regime in Guatemala with US assistance), etc.

At Venezuelan insistence, the motorcade was parked in front of the terminal. Consequently the Vice President's party had to walk under the balcony from which hundreds of people were spitting down on us, through the terminal and out to the front. We were spat upon all the way out to the cars and literally had to shove people aside to get the Vice President inside. We thought the worst was over. It wasn't.

The motorcade was "buzzed" by cars on the highway up to the city. Ironically, Communist propaganda had been so effective that a group (mob would be a better word) of teenage kids and their organizers attacked us as we entered the city streets. That point could have been catastrophic, and it did get bad enough that one of the Secret Service men drew his gun. Had he fired, the mob might have become incensed enough to have really gone after us. However, a decision was made to run for it directly to the American Ambassador's residence, where the Nixons holed up for the rest of their visit. American troops, drawn from the Embassy Marine guards and the US Military Mission, came to stand guard at the residence for the duration of the visit. No one knew what to expect but no attack ever materialized at the residence, a lovely home on a hilltop in a suburban neighborhood and an area too far to walk from any public transport, a key factor. Years in Latin America have convinced me that Latin revolutionaries, rioters and the like, will risk being beaten, shot, and even tortured but they will neither walk very far nor stay out in the streets and get wet if it rains. In any event, Nixon was safe for the moment.

The decision to flee to the security of the residence saved the Nixons' lives and ours. Unknown to those of us in the motorcade, several of our people waiting at the National Pantheon with the wreaths Nixon was to have laid at the tomb of Simon Bolivar, were attacked by a mob. The commander of the Venezuelan Honor Guard there called for help. When the troops moved in they picked up over two hundred Communists with Molotov cocktails. Had the motorcade of big Cadillac's turned into that area of the old city with its very narrow streets, we would have been burned to death. That mob of kids had saved us from the professionals.

Once we were settled in the residence, I went outside for some air and happened to look at the car. It was hard to believe that that black Cadillac with diplomatic license plates 63-CD had borne the Vice President of the United States. The rear windows were shattered, sputum was all over it and the windshield was just a white smear as the driver had tried to remove the spit with the wipers. It was difficult at that moment not to hate Venezuelans.

You have to give Richard Nixon credit. He and his wife had gone through a harrowing experience. Yet, shortly after arriving at the residence he held a press conference on the veranda. Col. Vernon Walters (later lieutenant general and Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency) interpreted for him. He was completely composed and in control, said all the right things and handled himself magnificently.

(Emphasis added)


How stupid are communists? seriously!

So, because of the communist's own stupidity in Venezuela, Nixon lived to fight another day. And when it was his tern, he hit back hard, supporting the removal their greatest ally and foiling their plot, which is revealed in a March 1973 KGB memo (stolen from the KGB archives and recently transcribed in a book):

In the near future the President [of Chile] will be able to send his emissary to Venezuela for the purpose of ascertaining the situation in that country on the eve of the presidential elections coming up in November of this year. Amoung his trusted personal contacts, Allende named [Luis] Beltran Prieto [Figueroa], the leader of the progressive [marxist] Venezuela party called the People's Election Movement [Movimento Electoral del Pueblo].

(Emphasis added)

So Mr. President, what are ya' gonna do?