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REVISITING VIETNAM WAR (IMAGES)

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MASTERS OF DECEPTION

Major General Smedley.D.Butler of United States Marine Corps wrote in his book “War is racket”:

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

Nobody could have ever imagined how right was Major General Butler, when he wrote this book in 1935. Society was not as much resilient and proactive as it is today. These were the years when nobody had any doubts about what their government told them. In those days people believed that Presidents don’t lie, especially to the public and it was precisely this naive and gullible attitude that resulted in deaths of over 420,000 young Americans in Second World War. Manipulation and exploitation of civilians have always been an integral part of any Politician’s arsenal of weapons. Renowned Psychologist Sigmund Freud once stated “Thought process of the civilian populations is like a glass. If you try to bend it with force then it will break and you will end up cutting your hand in the process. But if you heat the glass up and then gently apply force to it, it will bend with ease”. What Freud meant was that public perception cannot be dictated by force, because it will result in Public revolting against the dictator. But if you successfully create artificial crisis within the society and to solve this crisis public would have to agree to your original plan of action”.

This process is also called Problem-Reaction-Solution. First you create a problem for the public, then you wait for the public to react to this problem and when public becomes desperate enough to do anything to solve this crisis, you come and apply the solution or changes that you had always intended to.. But now you can not only implement your desired changes but also win admiration of the public for solving the crisis. This is one of the favorite method of Politicians for manipulating and altering the perception of public. Government of United States of America has time and time again lied to its citizens, in order to manipulate them into supporting some of the most controversial and outright immoral decisions. For example Americans would never have allowed such high expenditures on weapon developement had US government not scared them to death by lying about the level of communist threat posed by Soviet Union towards USA. For 45 years, US government continuously hounded its citizens with an over-exaggerated threat that Soviet Union posed post-Second World War years.

By a well designed propaganda campaign, US government brainwashed American citizens into really believing that Soviet Union was a real threat to the American people. And this perceived threat from USSR really quadrupled after Russia successfully tested its first nuclear bomb in 1954. Reality was totally opposite. After Second World War, Russia was in ruins. Every major city and town had been leveled to the ground by Nazi bombings. Russia’s most important industrial hub Stalingrad was completely obliterated. Famine of 1921 and the war had claimed over 60 million Russian lives. So not only was their economy in tatters but even work force had fallen tremendously. And to assume that a country going through such hardship would still be able to attack the world’s lone superpower on the other side of the world would be utterly ludicrous. Government persuaded US citizens that to keep US secure from Soviet threat we have to increase our military strength and defense capabilities and tragically people went along with it. And this is how US government kept spending nearly 50% of its GDP on weaponisation.And these high expenditures helped to create and sustain the Military Industrial Complex. Had US citizens demanded from their government to stop spending money on weapons and instead spend it on the developement of social, economical and educational sectors, then may be America would not have been in the kind of economic collapse that it is in today. Its hardly an understatement when i say that our leaders have become the masters of deception, when it comes to their abilities of coercing, manipulating and influencing the thought process of the masses into a state that is beneficial for their cause. Now lets discuss some historic and monumental lies, that US Presidents have told American people over the years, which in effect has changed the course of America’s future.

 

WOODROW WILSON AND THE SINKING OF LUSITANIA

RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner, holder of the Blue Riband and briefly the title of world’s biggest Ship. She was launched by the Cunard Line in 1906, at a time of fierce competition for the North Atlantic trade. As German shipping lines tended to monopolise the lucrative passage of continental emigrants, Cunard responded by trying to outdo them for speed, capacity and luxury. Lusitania and her running mate Mauretania were fitted with revolutionary new turbine engines, able to maintain a speed of 25 knots. Equipped with lifts, wireless telegraph and electric light, they provided 50% more passenger space than any other ship, and the first class decks were noted for their sumptuous furnishings. image The year was 1915, and Europe was completely engulfed in the first war to be fought at a global stage, the very First World War. Britain and Germany were locking horns on a daily basis. The military strength and technological advancement of Germany was proving out to be little too hot to handle for the United Kingdom. United Kingdom and its allies were on the verge of collapse. But American public was not all interested in risking their lives for saving Britishers, whome they themselves were fighting against 140 years ago. Both England and France were substancially disliked by the Americans because of the roles that these two countries played during the Colonial years of America.

AMERICAN AID TO UNITED KINGDOM

ww2-35So US President decided to send military, monetary and logistical aid to Britain and France. But by 1915, German submarines the infamous U-Boats had a huge presence in the Atlantic Ocean and were monitoring the sea traffic to and from America. Out of every 100 Supply ships sent to Britain, only 30 were reaching Britain. This was becoming a matter of huge concern for US President Woodrow Wilson, he knew that if destruction of supply ships continued then he won’t be able to hide this operation from American public anymore. To safeguard the vessels supplying aid to Britain, a new plan was formulated. To avoid being attacked by German U-Boats, USA and UK decided that from now on they would used unmarked civilian ships especially large cruise liners to send supplies to Britain.

This solution worked perfectly for sometime. An international law known as Cruiser Rules, prohibited any kind of attack to be launched at a civilian vessel by the Naval vessels of any nation. Hence whenever any German U-Boat spotted a civilian ship on its way within UK and US, they stood down. But Germany was well known for their Intellegence gathering abilities, German spies were literally everywhere in Britain. So it didn’t take much time for them to realise what was happening. Soon Germany realised that US was supplying weapons and ammunition to Britain by transporting them in civilian vessels. Using civilian vessels to transport military weapons and personnel was itself an illegal activity according to Cruiser Rules. Hence U-Boats started attacking and sinking American and British Vessels which were transporting weapons and ammunitions to Britain.

ZIONIST PLAN TO DRAG AMERICA INTO THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Soon, Britain was once again crippled by the German Navy and as a result British troops fighting in Europe were at the verge of defeat. At this point seeing that Britain was desperate, a group of German Zionist Jews approached Britain and presented a proposition to them. These Zionist Jews assured Britain that they could make America enter the war, but in return they wanted Britain to handover Palestine to them. Majority of the Middle East was under British rule so they agreed to the demand. As most other international industries, a significant proportion of shipping industry was owned by Zionist Jews. These were the same guys who owned most Multinational Corporations. These people were the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Morgans, Carnegies and Warburgs. Amongst themselves these families owned 70% of the world’s wealth. And they owned Cunard Line Shipping Corporation also. These people collaborated with US President Woodrow Wilson who was their agent in America. After all it was Wilson who helped this Banker Elite to take control of US currency and economy when he helped them setup private owned Federal Reserve as the Central Bank of America in 1913

By this time German Navy had already identified Lusitania as a transport ship which was being used to deliver weapons and ammunition to Britain. During last three journeys between New York and Liverpool, Lusitania had traveled along side upto 5 destroyers and other naval vessels to protect it from U-Boat attacks. US Navy vessels provided protection to Lusitania upto 8 miles outside of British waters because British Waters had been declared warzone by Germany. British Royal Navy provided protection to Lusitania the remainder of its journey. Britishers knew that U-Boats were present in and around British Isles. So they ordered Naval Destroyers not to join up with Lusitania after US Navy Ships had turned back.

SINKING OF LUSITANIA

On 17 April 1915, Lusitania left Liverpool on her 201st transatlantic voyage, arriving in New York on 24 April. A group of German–Americans, hoping to avoid controversy if Lusitania was attacked by a U-boat, discussed their concerns with a representative of the German Embassy. The embassy decided to warn passengers before her next crossing not to sail aboard Lusitania. The Imperial German Embassy placed a warning advertisement in 50 American newspapers, including those in New York. image This warning was printed adjacent to an advertisement for Lusitania’s return voyage. The warning led to some agitation in the press and worried the ship’s passengers and crew. Lusitania departed Pier 54 in New York on 1 May 1915. imageOn 7 May Lusitania was nearing the end of her crossing, as she was scheduled to dock at the Prince’s Landing Stage in Liverpool later that afternoon. She was running parallel to the south coast of Ireland, and was roughly 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale when the liner crossed in front of U-20 at 2:10 p.m. It was sheer chance that the liner became such a convenient target, since U-20 could hardly have caught the fast vessel otherwise. Schwieger, the commanding officer of the U-boat, gave the order to fire one torpedo, which struck Lusitania on the starboard bow, just beneath the wheelhouse. Moments later, a second explosion erupted from within Lusitania’s hull where the torpedo had struck, and the ship began to founder in a much more rapid procession, with a prominent list to starboard. Almost immediately, the crew scrambled to launch the lifeboats but the conditions of the sinking made their usage extremely difficult, and in some cases impossible due to the ship’s severe list. In all, only six out of 48 lifeboats were launched successfully, with several more overturning, splintering to pieces and breaking apart. Eighteen minutes after the torpedo struck, the bow struck the seabed while the stern was still above the surface, and in a manner similar to the sinking of Titanic three years earlier, the stern rose into the air and slid beneath the waves. Lusitania_sunk_8_May_1915Of the 1,959 passengers and crew aboard Lusitania at the time of the sinking, 1,195 lost their lives that afternoon in the waters of the Celtic Sea. Just as had been seen with Titanic, most of the casualties were from drowning or from hypothermia. In the hours after the sinking, acts of heroism amongst both the survivors of the sinking and the Irish rescuers who had heard word of Lusitania’s distress signals brought the survivor count to 764. By the following morning, news of the disaster had spread around the world. While most of those lost in the sinking were either British or Canadians, the loss of 128 Americans in the disaster, including American writer and publisher Elbert Hubbard, outraged some in the United States.

 

AFTERMATH

The sinking caused an international outcry, especially in Britain and across the British Empire, as well as in the United States, considering that 128 of 139 US citizens aboard the ship lost their lives On 8 May Dr Bernhardt Durnburg, a German spokesman published a statement in which he said that because Lusitania was carrying weapons & ammunitions and also because it was classed as an Auxillary naval vessel, Germany had a right to destroy her regardless of any passengers aboard. Dernburg further said that the warnings given by the German Embassy before Lusitania departed from New York clearly points to the fact that all probable passengers were informed about the risk they would face if they decided to travel on it. Lusitania was indeed officially listed as an auxiliary war ship,and her cargo had included an estimated 4,200,000 rounds of rifle cartridges, 1,250 empty shell cases, and 18 cases of non-explosive fuses, which was openly listed as such in her cargo manifest.

The day after the sinking, the New York Times published full details of the ship’s military cargo. Later it was revealed that the 1250 boxes containing empty shells were in fact 1248 boxes of filled 3″ shell, 4 shells to the box, totalling 103.000 pounds or 50 tonnes. Assistant Manager of the Cunard Line, Herman Winter, denied the charge that she carried munitions, but admitted that she was carrying small-arms ammunition, and that she had been carrying such ammunition for years. The fact that Lusitania had been carrying shells and cartridges was not made known to the British public at the time.

PLAN FALLS APART

The British Government as they were assured by their Zionist collaborators felt that the Americans had to declare war on Germany. But the real issue that Wilson was facing in America was that somehow information about British Government’s deal with Zionist Jew lobby had been leaked within the US Congress. And numerous congressmen had connected the dots and realised the role Woodrow Wilson had been playing in this conspiracy. These Congressmen had warned Wilson that if he tried to get Congressional authority to enter the war than they would blow the cover off this conspiracy which would have meant a certain end of Wilson’s Presidency. So Wilson continued to insist that the German government must apologise for the sinking, compensate US victims, and promise to avoid any similar occurrence in the future. The British were upset at Wilson’s actions – not realising that it reflected the bind Woodrow Wilson was in at that time.

Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned because he felt the Wilson administration was ignoring Britain’s actions which were in contravention of the International Law and that Wilson was deliberately leading the USA into the war. Jennings’s resignation raised even more doubts about the Woodrow Wilson’s real motives and about his already wavering integrity and morality as the President of United States of America. At this point Wilson realised that any decision regarding America’s involvement in the war would become the last nail in the coffin of his Presidency. So he had no other choice but to wait out the storm.

WOODROW WILSON GETS WHAT HE WANTED

In August of 1915, Woodrow Wilson, British Ambassador Sir Cecil Spring Rice and Zionists met in a meeting in Washington DC. During this meeting a systematic plan to generate public support for entering the war was finalised. In this plan several psychological elements like Propaganda and raising the fear factor were to be utilised upon Americans to manipulate them into supporting America’s entry into the war. And during this operation a Psychological Operation called The Zimmermann Telegram turned out to be most effective. The Zimmermann telegram was a fake 1917 diplomatic proposal portrayed as having sent by Foreign Secretary of German Empire Arthur Zimmermann for Mexico. In this fake telegram Zimmermann had urged Mexico to join the Central Powers, in the event of the United States entering the war on the side of the Entente Powers. The proposal was presented as if it was intercepted and decoded by British intelligence. The plan worked perfectly as the revelation of the message outraged American public opinion.

President Woodrow Wilson quickly siezed the opportunity and moved to arm American merchant ships to defend themselves against German submarines which he announced were attacking US Merchant Ships regularly now. Wilson had previously tried to get Congressional approval for weaponising American Merchant Vessels once. But his proposal at that time was blocked by the same anti-war Congressmen who upto now had successfully halted Wilson’s plans to shove America into the war. In the wake of the Zimmermann Telegram controversy, Wilson siezed his opportunity and once again proposed weaponising of US Merchant ship citing their necessity to be able to defend themselves against German U-Boats which he said were attacking every vessel now. This announcement together with the Zimmerman Telegram and the resentment Americans had towards Germany for sinking of Lusitania pushed US public opinion over the tipping point and on 6 April 1917, the United States Congress followed President Wilson’s request to declare war on Germany and gave him Carte Blanche authority to take any action as he deemed fit.

HUMAN COST: 117,465 DEAD+300,000 INJURED

And Woodrow Wilson marched his troops into the War which had already set the record for being bloodiest war in the history of mankind at that time. As a result 117,465 Americans lost their lives in those muddy trenches of Europe. In the end everybody got what they wanted. Zionist Bankers earned millions of dollars worth interest on the loans they gave to both sides of the war along with Palestine. British Empire saved itself from a humiliating defeat in the hands of Germany and they also prolonged the existence of British Empire as a colonial power by 18 more years. Woodrow Wilson along with the US Congress earned huge favours from the Zionist Lobby. But American people gained nothing from this war, only thing they got from this war was the deaths of 117,465 young American.

BOTTOM LINE: Woodrow Wilson knew that if he sent another arms shipment to Britain via Lusitania, German U-Boats would definitely torpedo it. But he allowed it to happen because he needed this kind of disaster to rally public ‘s support behind his decision for entering the war in Europe. His motives behind American participation in the First World War were not philosophical and humanitarian in any way, all his  reasons were more to do with business and global economics than anything else. Wilson was continuously being pressurized by Rothschild, Rockefeller and Morgan banking families who were hoping to earn billions of dollars in profit by charging interest on the money that US would have borrowed from these banks to buildup its weapon arsenal before going to war. Contrary to common belief no war is started spontaneously or in the heat of the moment, there are many things that have to be taken care of before declaring war. For Example billions of dollars are required for  ammunition and weapons. Millions of gallons of fuel is required for all transport and combat vehicles. Billions of dollars have to be spent for creating a logistical infrastructure needed for efficient performance of any army. And for all these expenses, Governments borrows huge sums of money from these banking Corporations. That’s why it is said that every war is a banker’s war. And in First World War 117,465 Americans lost their lives just so, these bankers could earn profits. Although it might have been the first global conflict perpetrated by the bankers but it for sure wasn’t to be the last one.

THE PEARL HARBOR DECEPTION

People get very offended when I say to them that President F.D.Roosevelt was one of the most shrewd, immoral, unethical and corrupt president in the history of America. I feel this way because of the way FDR betrayed Americans time and time again throughout his 3 terms as president.

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT’S PROVOCATIONS FOR JAPAN

Despite being a neutral country thus far, President Roosevelt had been trying his best to provoke Japan. FDR tried everything he could to enrage Japan into attacking America. FDR knew it very well that Britain was at war with the Japanese in Indo-China despite this he continued to supply Britain with weapons and financial support, this in itself should have been considered as declaration of war by Japan. But Japanese Government showed a tremendous amount of restrain while dealing with America. Roosevelt had no rights to aid and support Britain while they were engaged with Japan in South East Asia. Roosevelt froze all American accounts of Japanese Corporations and Japanese nationals. Further US halted all trade to and from Japan. Roosevelt knew it very well that Japanese Economy is production based and requires constant supply of raw materials from America and other South American countries.

This was all done to provoke Japan into attacking US first, so that Roosevelt could use this attack as an pretext for entering Second World War. When US Navy started to substancially expand its Pacific fleet stationed on the West Coast, this assured Japanese that US was contemplating an anticipatory attack on them in the Pacific. Hence they decided to attack this ever increasing Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour at Oahu, Hawaii. Americans at that time were totally against any kind of US military involvement in the Second World War. Roosevelt knew that if he entered the war without public’s support for it, his presidency could be seriously jeopardised. So he needed Japan to attack US to sway public’s perception about the war.

INFORMATION ABOUT COMING JAPANESE ATTACK

Weeks before the attack on Pearl harbour, military analysts at Pentagon had successfully broke the encryption code of Japanese encrypting machines. Now US generals were listening to all every correspondence between Japan and Japanese Embassy in Washington. And from one such correspondence on 29th November, it became apparent that a Japanese task force consisting of 6 Aircraft Carriers, 2 Battleships, 2 Heavy Cruisers, 1 Light Cruiser, 9 Destroyers, 8 Tankers, 23 Submarines, 5 Small Submarines and 414 Aircrafts, was on the way towards a Pearl Harbour. On 1st December, another correspondence between Japanese Embassy and Tokyo, made it clear that attack would happen on early morning of 7th December. Despite getting all this vital information, Roosevelt ordered his Generals to not to convey this message to Commander of Pacific Fleet Husband Kimmel. On 2nd December, Captain of a patrolling submarine in the Pacific saw the approaching Japanese Armada and reported it to the Navy Head Quarters in Washingon immediately. But even this warning didn’t reach those people who needed this information most. imageOn 5th December, Japanese Abassador Kicisaburō Nomura visited White House. He handed over an official letter from Empror of Japan to Roosevelt, informing him that Japan is severing all diplomatic ties with United States of America. c3a48ca6f1f1a07a843c920a6f6998c8Letter also had a warning to United Staes that a naval attack on the western coast of America was imminent in next 3-4 days. But there was no declaration of war made by either Empror or the Japanese Ambassador. And even after receiving so many verifiable and credible reports, Roosevelt, his White House Staff and Joint Chiefs of Staff decided not to inform Commander Kimmel about the impending Japanese attack.

ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOUR AT OAHU, HAWAII

On early hours of 7th December 1941, first wave of 183 planes dived down on th Pacific Fleet of United States of America stationed at Pearl Harbour, Oahu, Hawaii. Within hours of the big inning of the attack, it was over. US suffered staggering losses in the attack. US Navy lost 4 Battleships(sunk), 3 Battleships(damaged), 1 Battleship(grounded), 2 Auxillary Ships(sunk), 3 Cruisers(damaged), 3 Destroyers(damaged), 3 Auxillary Ships(damaged), 188 Aircraft(destroyed), 159 Aircraft(damaged), 2503 Naval Officers(killed) and 1178 injured. And Japan lost 29 of its 414 Planes, 4 Midget Submarines(sunk) and 64 Personnel killed. imageRoosevelt could have avoided this destruction of infrastructure and life, had he passed on the intel he had about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Commander of Japanese Task Force Isoroku Yamamoto was himself shocked at the destruction. He radioed back to high command that US had not been warned about the attack, because there were no preparations done to repell the attack. He said that all the ships were conveniently anchored in the middle of the bay, which proved that they didn’t knew about the coming attack. But the Japanese leaders assured Yamamoto that US had been already warned about the attack and also that Roosevelt had been specifically told by Ambassador Kichisaburō Nomura that attack will take place on the western coast of United States. Japanese just couldn’t understand why US had not heightened alert on Pearl Harbour despite the attack warnings. image

A DAY OF INFAMY

Day after the attack i.e on 8th December 1941, President a Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his famous “day of infamy” speech at the Joint Session of Congree. He called the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbour a dastardly and a surprise. 7th December 1941 was a day that will forever live in infamy because it was a day on which an US President deliberately allowed his own soldiers to die for his own agenda. Attack of Pearl Harbour impacted the mindset of Americans so severely that on 6th December 62% of Americans were against joining the war in Europe and on 9th December more than a million young men had volunteered to go and fight in Europe. Roosevelt was being constantly hounded by the Rothschild and Rockefellers to enter into the war because by staying out of the war, US was not contributing in making vast proffits for these banking families. Roosevelt knew that after the destruction of First World War, Americans will never agree to joining the war in Europe. So with the guidance of Ed Bernays, Roosevelt decided to use attack on Pearl Harbour as his weapon of manipulating the public. And by shoving US into the Second World War he literally signed the death sentence of 420,000 young Americans.

BOTTOM LINE : Franklin Delano Roosevelt was well aware of the impending Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He had received this information from several different sources, so he knew that the intelligence was authentic and accurate. But despite this he deliberately kept this information from the commanders at Pearl Harbor. Because he knew that if several hundred naval officers died in what people would believe was a surprise attack by Japanese Empire then this will enrage Americans and as a result change the population’s sentiments from anti-war attitude to a pro-war  mindset. And it was precisely this kind of transformation that FDR required for people to accept and support his decision to enter the war in europe.

COUP IN GUATEMALA (1951)

In 1951, Jacobo Arbenz was democratic20080429085635.000000ally elected as leader of Guatemala. Up untill them previous regimes in Guatemala had favoured US Corporation operating in Guatemala. One of the biggest US Corporation in Guatemala was Rockefeller owned United Fruits Company. During previous regimes United Fruit Co had siezed the lands of several small scale farmers to such an extent that by 1951, United Fruits Co owned 41% of agricultural land of Guatemala, Landless peasants were living in sever poverty and starvation.

So when Arbenz came to power he initiated a land reform project in which he gave small patches of land free of cost to landless peasants, in order to make them self sustaining and independent from the exploitation of US Corporations. Jacobo Arbenz also wanted to nationalise Guatemala’s mining industry so that Guatemalan people could benefit from the revenues generated from selling precious metals lie gold, silver, nickel, cobalt and tin.

All major Guatemalan mines in Guatemala were leased and managed by US Corporations. Previous regimes had allowed these corporation to act unilaterally. So all these Corporation were exporting all the mined materials to America by just paying a fraction of products entire value as bribe to previous regimes.

Guatemalan people were getting poor and poorer while these US Corporation were getting rich and richer by exploiting natural resources of Guatemala. This is why Arbenz wanted to nationalise mining industry in Guatemala so that Guatemalans could benefit from sale of their nation’s neutral resources.

 

060312-opinions-history-bananas-cohen-2-ss-662w-at-1xArbenz’s second goal was to turn struggling land less peasants into self sustaining and totally independent farmers to stop them from being exploited by United Fruits Co. This was a threat to United Fruit Co profiteering policies and to monopoly it enjoyed in Guatemala. Because of United Fruit Co being the only food exporter in Guatemala, farmers had no choice but to sell their products to United Fruit Co even if it meant getting a below par price from the corporation. If more and more farmers became independent then they could export their products collectively in large quantities. If this would have happened then no farmer in his right mind would sell his products at such cheap prices to the United Fruits Co. And this would have certainly jeopardised United Fruits Co’s profit making policies. Rockefeller convinced President Truman to do something about this issue.

Truman authorised newly formed CIA take necessary steps to solve this issue. CIA started a propaganda campaign against Arbenz, making him into a communist and an agent Soviet Union. Even though Guatemala didn’t even had any diplomatic relations with Soviet Union at that time, but nevertheless CIA continued with their plan. Then they bribed certain corrupt generals of Guatemalan Army to overthrow Arbenz’s government in a coup. And that’s precisely what happened.

Backed by America Guatemalan Army overthrew Jacobo Arbenz’s democratically chosen government on 27th June 1953. The new regime quickly turned everything to the way it was before Arbenz came to power. This is another example of US Government using lies and deceits to protect America’s economic interests in foreign countries. Sadly this was niether the first nor the last such incident.

BOTTOM LINE : Coup in Guatemala was the earliest case of deliberate regime destabilisation in a foreign country by CIA. When these US corporations like United Fruits Co first arrived in Guatemala, they were primarily exporter of fruits which they purchased from thousands of local farmers. But slowly United Fruits Co started purchasing their own land and started growing their own fruits. Soon United Fruits Co had most of the land under their control and they were the only producers of fruits in the country. But the land reform policy of Arbenz would have once again increased the number of people growing same food products as the United Fruits Co. This would have definitely challenged the monopoly enjoyed by these US Corporations and especially United Fruits Co in Guatemala. So David Rockefeller approached his long time confidante to resolve this situation in Guatemala. Truman ordered CIA to overthrow the Arbenz regime and instead of him install some other leader who would remain loyal to the interests of US and its  Corporations. And by loyal I mean, that these leaders would put the economic interests of American Corporations above the welfare and interests of his own people.

COUP IN IRAN(1953)

About the time when JacoboShah_of_iran Arbenz won the election in Guatemala, another country conducted its first democratic elections ever. Iran had been suffering greatly under the monarchical regime of Shah, who was put in power by US and UK governments. Under the reign of Shah, British and American Oil Companies lik BP and SHELL were given absolute authority over vast oil reserves of Iran. The Colonial era had ended but Britain was still adamant about keeping tight grip on natural resources of its former colonies. And wherever British interest lay, so did the America’s. In 1949, there was an assassination attempt made on Shah’s life. But he survived the attack and just one bullet hit him and that too just grazed past his cheek. This incident created a little sympathy in the eyes of Iranian. After Shah returned from hospital he immediately started measures to increase his own powers by amending and changing the Iranian Constitution. And as his powers grew so did his brutality. Under the reign of Shah, Iranian people had been subjected to great oppression and brutality. While Shah along with British and American Corporation were getting rich by selling Iran’s oil, at the same time Iranian people were even struggling to put food on table daily. This gave rise to protests against Shah’s regime all over Iran. Gradually all these protests happening in Iran was unified into a single revolution lead by leader of National Front Political Party Mohammed Mosadegh. Despite numerous attempts of Shah to crush the rebellion by use of force, revolution gained more and more momentum with each passing day along with its leader Mohammed Mosadegh’s popularity. By 1951, opposition to Shah’s regime was shaking the foundations of his monarchy. Eventually fearing for his life Shah along with his famili fled to Baghdad and from there to Rome. That same year election were conducted for the first time without the interference of the Shah.

 

 

Mohammed Mosadegh and his political party National Front won the elections with absolute majority. eff211cb9339c361_largeMohammed Mossadegh was sworn in as Prime minister of Iran. Mossadegh’s main issue with Shah was the allowances he had given to British and American Corporations. These corporations were literally robbing Iranians off their oil. These corporations were dividing the oil shares at a ratio of 9:1. Which meant that these corporations were getting 90% of the share in revenues and Iran was given just 10% of the total revenue. Mohammed Mossadegh believed that Iranian people should be the major benefactors from the revenues generated by selling its oil.

So he wanted to nationalise oil fields of Iran to utilise generated funds by oil trade to improve lives of Iranians. Second Objective of Mossadegh was to overhaul and strengthen infrastructure of education system, health care and transport system. But his decision about nationalisation of Iranian oil was as expected not going well with BP and SHELL. President Harry Truman once again decided to let CIA handle this problem because they had already proved their competence by secretively overthrowing Jacobo Arbenz’s democratically chosen government in Guatemala just few months earlier. Heading CIA’s task team for this operation was the grandson of former US President Teddy Roosevelt, Kermit Roosevelt.

Operation Ajax was the name given to this operation by the CIA. Decision was made to employ similar tactics that were used in successful overthrow of Arbenz’s government in Guatemala. Plan was to paint Mossadegh as a communist who had close ties with Soviet Union. Second step was to pay some Iranian supporters of Shah to conduct violent protests against Mohammed Mosadegh for being a communist. Third step was to conduct several false flag operations within Iraq which were to be blamed on Mossadegh to reduce his public support.

 

And finally when movement against Mossadegh gained enough momentum then bribed Army officials would overthrow Mossadegh’s government by force. Main architect of the this elaborate plan to overthrow Mohammed Mossadegh’s government was Kermit Roosevelt. Soon CIA operatives imagesput the plan in motion. By paying of editors of prominent newspapers, CIA got articles alleging Mossadegh being a communist was printed on the first page of every newspaper. Fake documents about Mossadegh meeting up with Soviet Leaders were forged and released to the newspapers. Rumour soon became like a forest fire and reached even the farthest corners if Iran. After 3 weeks of propaganda, second step was initiated and the supporters of Shah started orchestrating riots all over Iran which gave an illusion to the Iranian that an armed revolution was underway. Although people believed that somebody was waging a revolution against Mossadegh, but they remained away from these incidents.

Majority of Iranians still supported Mossadegh and his policies. After this point thing really got violent. CIA operatives assassinated an Islamic cleric who was widely loved by Iranians. After murdering the cleric, CIA operatives left a forged letter at the crime scene which portrayed as if Mossadegh was threatening this cleric for a long time and now he had decided to eliminate him. At this point Mossadegh’s support started changing. Then finally by bribing Iranian Generals with large sums of money, CIA along with Iranian Army overthrew the government of Mohammed Mossadegh forcefully on 19th August 1953, Shah was reinstated as the monarch ruler or Iran. Shah wanted to execute Mohammed Mossadegh but Kermit Roosevelt advised him that if Mossadegh ended up dead, then rage of Iranian people will not only overthrow your rule but even lynch you outside your own palace. Shah agreed to spare Mossadegh but exiled him from Iran for life.

 

As soon as Shah came back to power he renewed all contracts and leases with BP and SHELL, and turned everything to the way they were before. CIA fulfilled the wishes of US Government by reclaiming authority over Iranian oil fields but this reinstatement of Shah ended up causing deaths of thousands of innocent Civilians which resulted in Shah’s overthrow once again in 1979.

 

BOTTOM LINE: Over the years, one thing has been firmly substantiated that one of the biggest factor influencing American and British foreign policy in last 70 years is oil. Both countries have been continuously engaged in regime destabilisation covert operations in many of the Middle eastern countries which include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Whenever a nationalistic government came to power in any of these countries and tried to nationalise their oil industry to use the revenues generated from oil trade, towards development of its people and improvement in their standard of living, CIA and MI6 immediately engaged in covert operations and overthrew that government and replaced it with their puppet regime who will allow American and British Corporations to loot their country ‘s natural resources. In fact the presently ongoing war on terror should be called War for oil, because that would be much accurate analogy for it or better yet “WAR OF TERROR FOR OIL”.

 

GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT

45th-Anniversary-of-JFK-assassination_11After the assassination of President Kennedy on 22nd November 1963, Vice-President Lyndon Baine Johnson was sworn in as President. So far Kennedy had resisted the pressure from his Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon to authorise a large scale military action in Vietnam.

Kennedy had made up his mind from the very beginning that he won’t jeopardise lives of young Americans in civil war of some foreign country, half way around world. At the most he was willing to send military advisors to South Vietnam and even those were not allowed to actively engage against the guerrillas.

JFK just was not willing to send young Americans to Vietnam to fight a guerilla war in one of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. Along with sending military advisors, Kennedy also agreed to increase military and monetary aid to South Vietnam.

LYNDON BAINE JOHNSON

When Lyndon Baine Johnson became president, he immediately started feeling the pressure JFK had felt throughout his presidency for authorisation of a full scale military deployment in Vietnam. But Johnson was not as resilient as JFK was and his main concern was, how would American public respond to his decision of sending US troops to Vietnam to fight the communist guerrillas. Johnson’s worst fear was losing the support of American public and he didn’t wanted to do anything that could turn this fear of his into reality. Just like FDR in 1941, LBJ also needed a catalysing incident to fool the American public into supporting the military action in Vietnam.

THE GULF OF TONKIN INCIDENT

USS_Maddox_(DD-731)On 2nd August 1964, USS Maddox was conducting a signals intellegence patrol (SIP) in the northern region of Gulf of Tonkin. USS Maddox radioed it was under attack from three North Vietnamese Navy P-4 torpedo boats 28 miles (45 km) away from the North Vietnamese coast in international waters.

USS Maddox stated she had evaded a torpedo attack and opened fire with its five-inch (127 mm) guns, forcing the torpedo boats away. Four USN F8 Crusader jets launched from the aircraft carrier USS Tecondoruga then attacked the retiring P-4s, claiming one was sunk and one heavily damaged.

USS Maddox suffering very minor damage from a single 14.5-millimeter machine gun bullet, retired to South Vietnamese waters where she was joined by the destroyer USS Turner Joy.

The North Vietnamese claimed that Maddox was hit by one torpedo, and one of the American aircraft had been shot down. But this was a fabrication by South Vietnamese to exaggerate the impact of the attack.

This account, however, has come into sharp dispute with an internal NSA historical study which stated on page 17: At 1500G, Captain Herrick (commander of the Maddox) ordered Ogier’s gun crews to open fire if the boats approached within ten thousand yards. At about 1505G, the Maddox fired three rounds to warn off the communist boats. This initial action was never reported by the Johnson administration, which insisted that the Vietnamese boats fired first. North Vietnamese interpretation of the attack was that The Maddox when confronted, was approaching Hòn Mê Island, three to four miles (6 km) inside the twelve-mile (19 km) limit claimed by North Vietnam. This territorial limit was unrecognized by the United States.

After the skirmish, President Johnson ordered the Maddox and Turner Joy to stage daylight runs into North Vietnamese waters, testing the twelve-mile (19 km) limit and North Vietnamese resolve. These runs into North Vietnamese territorial waters coincided with South Vietnamese coastal raids and were interpreted as coordinated operations by the North, which officially acknowledged the engagements of 2 August 1964. Others, such as Admiral Sharp, maintained that U.S. actions did not provoke the August 2 action. He claimed that North Vietnamese radar had tracked Maddox along the coast, and was thus aware that the destroyer had not actually attacked North Vietnam and that Hanoi (or the local commander) had ordered its craft to engage Maddox anyway. North Vietnamese General Phung The Tai later claimed that the Maddox had been tracked since July 31 and that it had attacked fishing boats on August 2, forcing North Vietnamese Navy to “fight back.” On August 4, another DESOTO patrol off the North Vietnamese coast was launched by Maddox and the Turner Joy, in order to “show the flag” after the first incident.

This time their orders indicated that the ships were close to no more [less] than 11 miles (18 km) from the coast of North Vietnam. During an evening and early morning of rough weather and heavy seas, the destroyers received radar, sonar, and radio signals that they believed signaled another attack by the North Vietnamese navy. For some four hours the ships fired on radar targets and maneuvered vigorously amid electronic and visual reports of enemies. Despite the Navy’s claim that two attacking torpedo boats had been sunk, there was no wreckage, bodies of dead North Vietnamese sailors, or other physical evidence present at the scene of the alleged engagement.

 

CAPTAIN HERRICK ALLEGES ATTACKS MIGHT NOT HAVE HAPPENED AT ALL

Commodore HerrickAt 01:27 Washington time, Herrick sent a cable in which he acknowledged the attack may not have happened and that there may actually have been no Vietnamese craft in the area:

“Review of action makes many reported contacts and torpedoes fired appear doubtful. Freak weather effects on radar and overeager sonarmen may have accounted for many reports. No actual visual sightings by Maddox. Suggest complete evaluation before any further action taken”.

One hour later, Herrick sent another cable, stating, “Entire action leaves many doubts except for apparent ambush at beginning. Suggest thorough reconnaissance in daylight by aircraft.” In response to requests for confirmation, at around 16:00 Washington time, Herrick cabled, “Details of action present a confusing picture although certain that the original ambush was bona fide.” At 18:00 Washington time (05:00 in the Gulf of Tonkin), Herrick cabled yet again, this time stating, “the first boat probably launched a torpedo at the Maddox, which was heard but not seen.

All subsequent Maddox torpedo reports are doubtful in that it is suspected that sonarman was hearing the ship’s own propeller beat”

PRESIDENT JOHNSON’S BLATANT LIES TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC

Within thirty minutes of the 4 August incidengulf-of-tonkin-resolutiont, President Johnson had decided on retaliatory attacks. Even though Captain Herrick himself had reported that due to bad weather none of alleged attacks could be verified. But this was just the kind of opportunity that Johnson was looking for to gather public support for the escalation of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Shortly before midnight on August 4, President Johnson made a speech by radio in which he described an attack by North Vietnamese vessels on two U.S. Navy warships, USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy and requested Congress for the authority to undertake a military response. Johnson’s speech repeated the theme that “dramatized Ho Chi Minh and North Vietnam as the aggressor and which put the U.S. into a more acceptable defensive posture.”Johnson also referred to the attacks as having taken place “on the high seas,” suggesting that they had occurred in international waters.

He emphasized commitment to both the American people and the South Vietnamese government. He also reminded Americans that he had no desire for war. But in this address to the nation Johnson made no indication of the nature and extent of covert land and air measures that already were operational. He didn’t tell the American public that American naval vessels were engaged in covert warfare against North Vietnam at the time of attack. He totally hid the fact that US Navy ships in Gulf of Tonkin had already sunk a number of North Vietnamese patrol boats in the days leading up to the alleged attack. Johnson’s statements were short to “minimize the U.S. role in the conflict; a clear inconsistency existed between Johnson’s actions and his public discourse.”

 

REACTION OF CONGRESS

1389194227000-XXX-AP934862190792-001While President Johnson’s final resolution was being drafted, Senator Wayne Morse attempted to hold a fundraiser to raise awareness about faulty records of the incident involving the USS Maddox. Morse supposedly received a call from an informant who has remained anonymous urging Morse to investigate official logbooks of the Maddox.

These logs were not made available to Congress before President Johnson’s resolution was presented to them. After urging Congress that they should be wary of President Johnson’s coming attempt to convince Congress of his resolution, Morse failed to gain enough cooperation and support from his colleagues to mount any sort of movement to stop it. Immediately after the resolution was read and presented to Congress, Morse began to fight it.

He contended in speeches to Congress that the actions taken by the United States were actions outside the constitution and were “acts of war rather than acts of defense.” Despite numerous attempts of Senator Wayne Morse to gather enough support to block the resolution, US Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution on 7th August 1964 with a vote of 88-2. On 10th August 1974, Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees convened a joint session to discuss the joint resolution along with Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which would give President Johnson the Carte Blanche authority.

After fewer than nine hours of committee consideration and floor debate, Congress voted in favour of a joint resolution authorizing the president “to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, requesting assistance in defense of its freedom” Morse’s efforts were not immediately met with support, largely because he revealed no sources and was working with very limited information. It was not until after the United States became more involved in the war that his claim began to gain support throughout the United States government. Morse was defeated when he ran for re-election in 1968. His political career was deliberately destroyed for his attempts to reveal white lies of Lyndon Johnson.

PROPAGANDA AND DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN

Evidence was still being sought on the night of August 4 when Johnson gave his address to the American public on the incident. Messages recorded that day indicate that neither President Johnson nor Secretary McNamara was certain of an attack. Various news sources including Time, Life and Newsweek ran articles throughout August on the Tonkin Gulf incident. Time reported: “Through the darkness, from the West and south…intruders boldly sped…at least six of them… they opened fire on the destroyers with automatic weapons, this time from as close as 2,000 yards.” Time Magazine stated that there was “no doubt in Sharp’s mind that the U.S. would now have to answer this attack”, and that there was no debate or confusion within the administration regarding the incident. johnson gulf of tonkin deceptionAll major news agencies in America deliberately published totally distorted accounts about the attack on USS Maddox and tried to entice American public into supporting the US action in Vietnam by appealing to their patriotic emotions. On May 4, 1964, William Bundy called for the U.S. to “drive the Communists out of South Vietnam”, even if that meant attacking both North Vietnam and Communist China. Even so, the Johnson administration in the second half of 1964 focused on convincing the American public that there was no chance of war between North Vietnam and the U.S. North Vietnamese General Giap suggested that the DESOTO patrol had been sent into the Gulf to provoke a North Vietnamese attack which would give US an excuse for escalation of the war.

Various government officials and men aboard the Maddox had suggested similar theories. American politicians and strategists had been planning provocative actions against North Vietnam for some time. George Ball told a British journalist after the war in 1976 that “at that time…many people…were looking for any excuse to initiate bombing”. According to Raymond McGovern, a retired CIA officer, President Lyndon Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy all knew full well that the evidence of any armed attack on the evening of Aug. 4, 1964, the so-called “second” Tonkin Gulf incident, was highly dubious….During the summer of 1964, President Johnson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were eager to widen the war in Vietnam. They stepped up sabotage and hit-and-run attacks on the coast of North Vietnam”. The Maddox, carrying electronic spying gear, was to collect signals intelligence from the North Vietnamese coast, and the coastal attacks were seen as a helpful way to get the North Vietnamese to turn on their coastal radars.

For this purpose, it was authorized to approach the coast as close as eight miles and the offshore islands as close as four; the latter had already been subjected to shelling from the sea.

In his book “Body of Secrets”, James Bamford who spent three years in the United States Navy as an intelligence analyst, wrote:

“Primary purpose of the Maddox “was to act as a seagoing provocateur and to poke its sharp gray bow and the American flag as close to the belly of North Vietnam as possible, in effect shoving its 5-inch cannons up the nose of the Communist navy ….. The Maddox’ mission was made even more provocative by being timed to coincide with commando raids, creating the impression that the Maddox was directing those missions …” Thus, the North Vietnamese had every reason to believe that the Maddox was involved in these actions”.

 

LYNDON JOHNSON GOT WHAT HE WISHED FOR

Using the Carte Blanche authority given to him by US Congress, Lyndon Johnson authorised Operation Flaming Dart, Operation Arc Light and Operation Rolling Thunder. All these operations dealt with comprehensive Air bombing raids of all major North Vietnamese facilities and infrastructure. Although Johnson never publicly admitted that he had even authorised the bombing in civilian residential areas but he had authorised bombing of the city of Hanoi. These operations required a large US Air Force presence in South Vietnam. So several small airports in Vietnam countryside were converted into US Air bases. Multiple asphalted runways, bunkers, hangars and underground resting areas were constructed.

But as US increased its bombing campaign on North Vietnam, it became evident to VietCong that US Planes were taking off from within South Vietnam. They were thinking that Planes were taking off from US Aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin. But quicker response time of Planes made them realise that planes were coming from Air bases much closer in proximity. Soon they located all the US Air Force Bases in South Vietnam and started regularly attacking them. One such attack resulted in deaths of 5 US Airmen and destruction of two F118 jets. After several attacks upon them, it became evident that US Air Force bases needed more protection as the South Vietnamese military seemed incapable of providing security.

AMERICAN GROUND WAR BEGINS IN VIETNAM

On 8 March 1965, 3,500 US Marines were d92940236ispatched to South Vietnam. This marked the beginning of the American ground war. U.S. public opinion overwhelmingly supported the deployment. In a statement similar to that made to the French almost two decades earlier, Ho Chi Minh warned that if the Americans “want to make war for twenty years then we shall make war for twenty years. If they want to make peace, we shall make peace and invite them to afternoon tea.” Contrary to what President Johnson was telling American public the primary goal of the war was to reunify Vietnam and secure its independence.

President Johnson had long argued without any concrete evidence that the policy of North Vietnam was not to topple other non-communist governments in South East Asia. And CIA did its best to give credence to this outrageous notion by presenting an even more outrageous theory that if South Vietnam fell to communism then it will initiate a domino effect in which several South East Asian countries like Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia and even Australia will fall to communism and the whole of Asia will become a Communist Stroghold.

 

ESCALATION OF WAR AND INCREASE IN TROOPS. (JOHNSON 1963-1969)

1955 No soldiers + Aid worth 1 billion dollars to South Vietnam 1959 No soldiers + Additional aid of 1.5 billion dollars to S.Vietnam 1961 No soldiers + Additional aid of 700 million dollars to S.Vietnam 1962 3000 US Military advisors(non combatants) + Military aid worth 5 billion dollars. 1965 3000 advisors + 3500 US Marines + Military aid worth 3 billion dollars 1966 200,000 US Soldiers + 12 billion dollar for US infrastructure in S.Vietnam + 1 billion of aid 1967 350,000 US troops + aid worth 3.5 billion dollars to S.Vietnam + 1 billion dollars US expenses 1968 536,100 US troops in Vietnam + aid worth 10 billion dollars in Vietnamisation process 1975 95% troops withdrawn from South Vietnam

FINAL CASUALTIES (upto 1975)

vietnam-veterans-memorial-858,220 US Soldiers lost their lives in the Vietnam war. Approximately 3.5 million South East Asian died (including South and North Vietnamese, Laosians, Cambodians. Civilians and Soldiers both included and figure does not include Khmer Rouge victims). All Asian victims dies as a result of actions taken by US Army, Air Force, Navy and CIA.

Had Lyndon Johnson decided not to escalate and expand war into North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia millions of Asian lives and thousands of American lives could have been saved. During Lyndon Johnson’s presidency the total number of troops stationed in South Vietnam increased from mere 3000 to 536,100. He deployed more than half a million US soldiers in Vietnam. For an escalation that was achieved by lying to the American public, this was one of the costliest interventions for America. Basically Lyndon Johnson’s lies claimed over 58,000 lives of US Soldiers. After causing so much pain and suffering for American public he behaved as if by not accepting his party’s presidential nomination, he was doing American people some favour and as if he himself was making ultimate sacrifice.

Questions about Vietnam war have always been passionately debated by the both sides of the spectrum. Accepting that Vietnam War was an unjustified invasion of a sovereign nation and its people is a proposition that Vietnam veterans simply just can’t accept, because agreeing to the statement that Vietnam war was an unjustified and immoral war, would also mean that all their friends, comrades and brothers in arm died for an unjustified and immoral goal. And they just can ‘t do that. They just can’t betray the memories of their fallen brethren by saying that they died for a meaningless cause. And nor should they be forced to do so.

BOTTOM LINE: Vietnam War was just one of many conflicts that rose because of the specific geo-political policies and America’s communist phobias during the Cold War. Everything during Cold War was either red(communist) or red-blue-white(USA). President Lyndon. Johnson knew that no attack had taken place in the gulf of Tonkin, but this was the just the kind of incident that he needed to distract people from real issues and shove them into a crazed frenzy of of rage and retribution. And Johnson used this momentary lapse in judgement of  the people and the Congress, and got Gulf of Tonkin resolution passed. Resolution gave Johnson basically Carte Blanche authority to do  whatever he deemed fit to contain the so called communist expansion in South East Asia. Johnson deliberately lied and distorted the facts about the incident in the gulf of Tonkin and it was because of his lies, that he got Carte Blanche authority, which allowed him to send US troops into South Vietnam. As far as American people were concerned, quite like Vietnamese people this war was being imposed on them too, irrespective of the fact that whether they wanted it or not. At first in 1965 Johnson deployed 3500 US Marines, by 1967 this number rose to 130,000, by 1968 there were 300,000 US soldiers in Vietnam and by the end of 1969 the number had reached an all time high during the war, 525,000. And in the end, the lies and deceits of Lyndon Johnson claimed the lives of 58,220 Americans and over 2 million Vietnamese civilians.

COUP IN CHILE(1973

In the year 1969, Chilean people democratsalvador-allendeically chose Salvador Allende as their new President. At that time Chile had been going through tough times because of US Corporations in Chile were exploiting the natural resources, under the reign of previously corrupt US backed regimes. Allende was very proponent of nationalisation of Chilean resources because of that US Corporations in Chile were very vary of Allende and had tried their level best by to sabotage his election by pouring large sums of money to Allende’s opponents.

But despite that Allende won the election by a small margin because Chilean people were striving for change in the country and their best chance of change was Salvador Allende. Salvador Allende favoured Marxist Political ideology, because of this he was at extremely good relations with Cuban President Fidel Castro and Soviet Union.

This irritated the US President Richard Nixon and his national security advisor Henry Kissinger. Moreover Nixon was being pressurised by his Corporate Wall Street friends to remove Allende from Presidency. President of the Pepsi Co and ATT were the people who were demanding immediate action against Allende in Chile.

 

ATT’s subsidiary company ITTCorporation at that time owned 70% of Chitelco a Chilean telecommunications company and if Allende had nationalised the telecommunication industry then ATT would have lost millions of dollars. Second Corporation which felt threatened by Allende’s nationalisation policies was Pepsi Co. Pepsi ulatitude-1120-hunt-blog480pto that time had been given huge subsidies and allowances by the previous US backed corrupt Chilean Governments. And if Allende had come to power, he would certainly have removed all these illegal allowances enjoyed by Pepsi Co. So along with ATT, Pepsi Co was the other US Corporation that was pressurising Nixon to act against Salvador Allende.

A memo declassified in 1990, quoted Henry Kissinger talking about Allende regime in Chile in 1970, “I don’t know why we should sit and watch another Latin American country fall to communism, just because of the stupidity of its people”. This statement clearly reveals Henry Kissinger’s disregard and contempt for fee choice of South Americans to choose their own government and their democratic rights. Once Nixon gave Kissinger authorisation to overthrow Allende’s government, then Kissinger took charge of the operation. Like most other country’s Chile had a transitional period of 60 days for the old regime to hand over the reigns to the new President after his presidency had been confirmed by the Chilean Congress. While Allende was waiting for confirmation from the Chilean Parliament, Kissinger with the help of CIA operatives in Chile contacted corrupt Chilean Military Generals to bribe them to orchestrate a coup against Allende before he was confirmed by the Parliament.

 

schneiderBut Chilean military replied back to Kissinger that as long as General Rènè Schneider was in charge of the Military, no such actions can be taken by Chilean Armed Forces. General Rènè Schneider was a hardcore constitutionalist and was extremely loyal to the Chilean people and Government.

To successfully overthrow the Government of Salvador Allende, General Schneider had to be dealt with. To achieve this objective Kissinger authorised a plan for kidnapping Gen.Schneider with help of local Chilean mercenaries directed by CIA operatives. Despite all the preparations that went into formulating the plan, the kidnapping attempt failed miserably. At this moment the US Embassy in Santiage got wind of the CIA operation against Allende and Schneider.

US Ambassador to Chile Nathaniel Davis personally wrote to the President that Salvador Allende posed no threat to American interests in Chile. When he didn’t receive any reply from White House, Davis threatened to resign if CIA continued with their operations against Allende and Schneider. Davis was thinking that Henry Kissinger and the CIA were conducting this operation without any authorisation or knowledge of President Nixon.

After he threatened to resign, he was called to Washington DC by President Nixon. Only after meeting President Nixon, did Davis realise that it was all the doing of Kissinger and Nixon. Nathaniel Davis tried to persuade Nixon that Salvador Allende posed no threat to United States but little did he know the threat that was worrying Nixon was economical and not geo-political. Davis later revealed that when he met President Nixon, Nixon was punching his palms and calling Allende an insect that had to be squished before it spreads to others Latin American countries”.

 

 

Nixon persuaded Nathaniel Davis that if any covert operation was launched against Allende regime, he will be notified of it beforehand. Nathaniel Davis returned to Santiago, knowing well enough what was going to happen. General Schneider who had foiled two attempts of corrupt military officers organising a coup against Allende and also an abduction attempt against him was becoming an eyesore for the corrupt Generals in the Chilean Army. Moreover these Generals were being bribed by US to overthrow the Allende regime. So now they had double reasons for eliminating General Schneider. Henry Kissinger was personally contacting CIA operatives in Chile to receive updates on the operation.

On October 22, 1970, the coup-plotters again attempted to kidnap Schneider. His official car was ambushed at a street intersection in the capital city of Santiago. Schneider drew a gun to defend himself, and was shot point-blank several times. He was rushed to a military hospital, but the wounds proved fatal and he died three days later, on October 25. The attempt to kidnap him was because Schneider was the army Commander-in-Chief and considered a constitutionalist, which in practical terms meant that he would not support a coup. This incident and his death provoked national outrage, and caused the citizens and the military to rally behind the just-elected Allende, who was ratified by the Chilean Congress on October 24.

It also helped to ensure an orderly transfer of power to Allende. Military courts in Chile found that Schneider’s death was caused by two military groups, one led by Viaux and the other by General Camilio Valenzuela. Viaux and Valenzuela were eventually convicted of charges of conspiring to cause a coup, and Viaux also was convicted of kidnapping. The lawsuit asserted that the CIA had aided both groups, but the charges were never satisfactorily proven, with the expectation of tens of thousands of dollars and also machine guns given to them by the CIA. On October 26, 1970, President Eduardo Frei Montalva named General Carlos Prats as Commander-in-Chief to replace Schneider. Ironically this happened at the same time that $35,000 were given by the CIA to the kidnappers as “humanitarian” assistance. When press questioned Kissinger about his involvement in General Schneider’s murder, he replied that United States doesn’t engage in assassinations of foreign officials. But later on Kissinger’s every lie was revealed when the CIA operative who paid the alleged kidnappers $35,000 stated in the Chirch Committee that Kissinger was himself directing him about the operation and had every detail about the operation.

In the mean time Allende was sworn in as President of Chile. He immediately started nationalising several public services like water supply and health care. Salvador Allende started strengthening health care infrastructure in the remote regions of the Chile. Another one of Allende’s major projects was of providing milk and foods to the schools so that children can be fed properly. Before Allende took office 70% of Chile’s children were suffering from malnutrition and Chile had an infant mortality rate of 30%. Within a year of Allende’s presidency malnutrition level of children in Chile had fallen below 15% and infant mortality rate below 10%. This was really a testament to his commitment to improving lives of people of Chile. Salvador Allende’s government introduced special projects in which landless peasants were given a small patch of their own land to farm on. Aim behind this policy was to end the stranglehold of poverty on Chile’s population. Allende stopped giving all unjust allowances to US Corporation that previous governments had given them.

First company to get affected by it was Pepsi Co whose director was already shouting in the ears of Richard Nixon to do something. Allende’s finance minister introduced a budget in which he completely removed all taxes of people earning less than $ 30,000 per year and increased income taxes for multinational companies and other rich industrialists. This really pissed of members of Christian Democratic Party of Chile which was a party primarily comprising of individuals who were either involved in big industries themselves or were primarily supported by those industrialists. CDP launched a public campaign against Salvador Allende’s government and started asking Army to intervene and remove Allende from office. But the main reason behind CDP’s disagreement with Allende’s policies was that CDP was primarily funded and controlled by US Corporate Houses like ATT, Pepsi Co, United Fruits Co etc. In 1970, the U.S. manufacturing company ITT Corporation a subsidiary of AT&T owned of 70% of Chitelco, the Chilean Telephone Company, and funded El Mercirio, a Chilean right-wing newspaper. The CIA used ITT as a conduit to financially aid opponents of Allende’s government.

On 28 September 1973, ITT’s headquarters in New York City, was bombed by the Weather Underground for the alleged involvement of the company in the overthrow of Allende. CIA(US) backed dissidents slowly started convincing the Military Generals that Allende had to be removed from power by a coup. Henry Kissinger personally assured General Augusto Pinochet that US would recognise him as a legitimate leader of Chile. Kissinger just asked for one thing that after siezing power, Pinochet would adopt a pro US Corporate stance in policy making and open Chilean economy for free market trading. Offcourse Pinochet agreed. On 11th September 1973, Chilean Army revolted against Allende and overthrew his government in a coup.

Just prior to the capture of La Moneda(the Presidential Palace), with gunfire and explosions clearly audible in the background, Allende gave his farewell speech to Chileans on live radio, speaking of himself in the past tense, of his love for Chile and of his deep faith in its future.

He stated that his commitment to Chile did not allow him to take an easy way out, and he would not be used as a propaganda tool by those he called “traitors” (he refused an offer of safe passage), clearly implying he intended to fight to the end.

President Salvador Allende’s final address to the Chilean people, moments before he committed suicide on 11th September 1973:

Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in mind that, much sooner than later, the great avenues will again be opened through which will pass free men to construct a better society. Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!”

Shortly afterwards, the coup plotters announced that Allende had committed suicide. An official announcement declared that the weapon he had used was an automatic rifle. Prior to his death he had been photographed several times holding an AK-47, a gift from Fidel Castro. He was found dead with this gun. But this was not true. Allende shot himslelf in the head with a pistol just before the soldiers broke through the door.

pinochet1After the death of Allende as promised US praised and recognised General Augusto Pinochet as legitimate ruler of Chile. As soon as Pinochet came to power, he immediately started an extermination campaign against Allende’s friends, family and supporters. Then Pinochet changed the economic policies of Chile and turned it into a free market country which opened gates for US Corporations to flood into Chile and exploit all its natural resources at a dimes value. Anybody and everybody who voiced his opposition against Pinochet ended up in Pinochet’s own version of concentration camps where dissidents were tortured and executed.

Majority of the victims of Pinochet’s barbarity were poor Chileans who were starving to death while US Corporations were getting rich by exploiting their land. Pinochet’s murderous regime lasted for 17 years in which he murdered more than 500,000 innocent people. In 1998, Spanish court issued arrest warrants against Augusto Pinochet in relation to murders of two Spanish citizens in year of 1972 in Santiago, Chile.

Augusto Pinochet had fled to UK after he was removed from power in 1990. And he was arrested by Scotland Yard and extradited to Spain. After Pinochet’s arrest, in another case of murders in Chile, a French judge ordered US Government to handover all its documents about US and CIA’s involvement in Coup against Salvador Allende. This really shook that old bastard Henry Kissinger because all those documents would reveal that it was he himself who carried out both operations of assassination of Gen. Schneider.

But then US President Bill Clinton pardoned Henry Kissinger of all wrong doing. And that old bastard didn’t even spend a single night in prison for his involvement in deaths of Schneider, Allende and thousands of innocent Chileans.

BOTTOM LINE: Coup d’état in Chile was the same old modus operandi that CIA was famous for. They had employed similar tactics in Guatemala and Iran in 1953, in which they overthrew the democratically chosen governments. It’s quite an irony that the country that considers itself a messenger of freedom and democracy and the protector of humanity, would turn out to be the biggest threat to freedom, democracy and for the whole humanity. In Chile, Salvador Allende ‘s government was the first ever government in the history of Chile, that was truly committed to the development and welfare of its people. Chile up to now  had been plagued by corrupt Governments who had allowed US Corporations to steal the natural resources of Chile without paying a single dime to the Chilean people. Allende was adamant about changing this senseless theft of Chile ‘s natural resources. He wanted to nationalise Chile’s vast mining and oil industry, which were currently being plundered by US Corporations. And this is why he became a target for American Government and especially an eyesore for Nixon and Henry Kissinger. And on 11th September 1973, US murdered Salvador Allende and along with him they also murdered his dream of a prosperous and rich Chile. US replaced Allende with ruthless dictatorial rule of Chilean Army’s General Augusto Pinochet, whose genocidal policies ravaged Chile for next 27 years and claimed nearly 500,000 Chilean lives.

IRAN CONTRA CONSPIRACY

After CIA overthrew the democratically chosen government of  Mohammed Mossadegh  in 1953, Shah was reinstated as the legitimate ruler of Iran. Shah was an avid supporter of US and UK and by collaborating with them Shah was working against the welfare and interest of the Iranian people. Shah had given foreign corporations like British Petroleum and SHELL absolute control over the Iran’s vast oil reserves. As long as these corporations agreed to the ratio of 50:50 for sharing the revenues generated by the sale of oil with the him, Shah cared little about what else these corporations were doing. When CIA reinstated Shah as the ruler of Iran, they advices Shah to create a secret intelligence service called SAVAK, whose only job would be to eliminate the political and social dissidents of Shah’s policies and his rule. Objective of this organisation would be to induce tremendous fear in the mind of the common man.

CIA trained SAVAK operatives in various techniques of interrogation and torture and above all in the art of espionage. Soon murders, broad daylight shootings, abductions, agonising screams of anguish during torture and disappearances became a norm for SAVAK. CIA’s main reason behind setting up SAVAK was to keep Shah’s dissidents in check and to reduce the chances of another revolution rising up in Iran to remove Shah from power, like in 1951. SAVAK is recognised as the organisation that is responsible for highest number of human right abuses in the history by the renowned UN Organisation Amnesty International. Amnesty estimates that SAVAK was responsible for deaths of over 210,000 innocent Iranian civilians and unlawful imprisonment of upto 300,000 Iranians. Cruelty and brutality of SAVAK was the main reason behind rise of another revolution in 1979.

 

 

ANOTHER COUP IN IRAN (1979)

In 1979, Iran was once again amidst a revolution. After suffering 26 years of criminal, brutal, exploitory and murderous regime of the Shah, Iranian people finally rose against the tyrant. During the reign of the Shah, his very own Gestapo known as SAVAK murdered thousands of Iranians who had courage to speak out against the Shah. For 26 years, Shah used SAVAK to purge his political enemies and public dissidents. Shah with his British and American collaborators, exploited the vast oil reserves of Iran without paying a single buck to the Iranian people. Shah continued to buil vast estates overseas in Europe and America and on other hand Iranian people kept sliding deeper and deeper into poverty.

Pierre_Khomein_by_RanginkamanFinally an Imam rose up against this tyrannical regime of the Shah. He was widely respected and loved by the Iranian people. His name was Ayatollah Rehollah Khomeini. Ayatollah saw Iranian people were missing the guidance and advice that Mohammed Mossadegh gave them during 1951 uprisings. Ayatollah concluded that without an unifying leader, this uprising will not last much longer.

So he took on the role of a political, religious and spiritual leader for Iranian people. By mid-December 1978 the Shah’s position had deteriorated to such a point that he himself realised that his days of power were gone now, so only thing he was asking of revolutionaries was to allow him to live in Iran.

In late December, he requested to leave the country temporarily for medical treatment but once again his request was turned down. On January 16, 1979 the Shah and the empress were allowed to leave Iran temporarily for medical reasons. By that time Shah had already transferred his vast wealth into Swiss and American banks, so there was no logical reason for returning to Iran where he was possibly going to be executed for the atrocities that he had committed during 26 years of his reign.

So Shah fled from France to United States. Scenes of spontaneous joy and celebrations broke out all over the country and within hours almost every sign of the Pahlavi dynasty was destroyed. Eventually an interim government by the Army was setup to carry out, all day to day functions of the government untill the elections were conducted.

US EMBASSY IN TEHRAN STORMED BY REVOLUTIONARIES

In November 1979, a group Iranian students who were also avid followers of Ayatollah Khomeini decided to occupy US Embassy in Tehran for a short period of time. Their main objective was to use the media attention to spread their message to the world. Iranians stated that their motivation was fear of another American backed coup against their popular revolution, as was done in 1953. They claimed that in 1953, the American embassy acted as a “den of spies” from which the American coup was organized. Documents were later found in the embassy suggesting that some workers in the embassy were actually CIA operatives.

After the Shah’s entry into the United States, the Ayatollah Khomeini called for street demonstrations. Aban-13On November 4, 1979, in guise of conducting a demonstration, organized by Iranian student unions loyal to Khomeini, gathered at the main gates of the Embassy. Another reason behind this attempt to occupy the US Embassy was the leverage to demand the return of the Shah to Iran for trial in exchange for the hostages. Around 6:30 a.m. on November 4, 1979, the ringleaders gathered between 300 and 500 selected students, thereafter known as Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line, and briefed them on the battle plan.

A female student was given a pair of metal cutters to break the chains locking the embassy’s gates, and she hid them beneath her chador. At first, the students’ plan to only make a symbolic occupation, release statements to the press, and leave when government security forces came to restore order was reflected in placards saying “Don’t be afraid. We just want to set-in”. When the embassy guards brandished firearms, the protesters retreated, one telling the Americans, “We don’t mean any harm”. But as it became clear the guards would not use deadly force and that a large angry crowd had gathered outside the compound to cheer the occupiers and jeer the hostages, the occupation changed.

According to one embassy staff member, buses full of demonstrators began to appear outside the embassy shortly after the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line broke through the gates. When Iran’s foreign minister told Ayatollah Khomeini about the situation, Ayatollah got enraged and told him to kick the students out of the embassy.

At that time Ayatollah Khomeini didn’t knew that the Embassy takeover was lead by his supporters. When Ayatollah Khomeini was told that it was his avid supporters who had led the takeover of the embassy, he issued a statement supporting the seizure and calling it “the second revolution”, and the embassy an “American spy den in Tehran”. The occupiers bound and blindfolded the embassy Marines and staff and paraded them in front of photographers. In the first couple of days, many of the embassy staff who had sneaked out of the compound or not been there at the time of the takeover were rounded up by Islamists and returned as hostages. Six American diplomats did however avoid capture and took refuge in the British embassy before being transferred to the Canadian Embassy, and others went to the Swedish embassy in Tehran for three months. A joint Canadian government and CIA covert operation, known as the Canadian caper, managed to smuggle them out of Iran using Canadian passports and a cover story disguising them as a Canadian film crew on January 28, 1980.

 

HARDLINERS ENTER THE PICTURE

During the early days of the hostage crisis, US President Jimmy Carter refused to negotiate with the Islamic Students occupying the embassy citing the core American policy of not negotiating with the terrorists. But US public pressurised Carter to negotiate with the the Iranians as the people holding the hostages were not terrorists in any way but rather were Islamic Students. 107255-2b75271e-baac-11e3-a30e-7fa6d7d0bb68Initially the leaders of the Students inside the embassy told American negotiators that they should not be considered kidnappers and that they only ask for the Shah to be returned to Iran to stand in trial for his atrocities against Iranian civilians. US negotiators kept telling the students that Shah was in very bad shape and any attempt to move him would cause his death.

And this was all proved when Shah died from his medical condition in July 1989. After Shah’s death, students saw no reason to continue the occupation anymore and were considering withdrawal from the embassy in August 1980.

By August 1980, Iran was being invaded by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces in the west. Most Iranians believed that Saddam Hussein was encouraged to attack Iran be US Government in an attempt to mount pressure on Iranian Government for the release of the hostages.

Secondly ever since this hostage crisis began in November 1979, in an attempt to cripple Iranian authority in the region, US had requested to all European countries to halt weapons and arms sale to Iran. The invasion by Iraq combined with the weapon sale embargo, really started to hurt Iran’s capability to defend itself. So when hardliners in the Khomeini camp heard about the withdrawal of students from the US Embassy, they saw an tremendous opportunity to turn the tables on America. Students in the embassy were asked to leave the Embassy and were replaced by Khomeini hardliners.

 

RONALD REAGAN MAKES A SECRET DEAL WITH IRANIAN FOR RELEASE OF HOSTAGES

In the mean time Ronald Reagan won the presidential elections and during the government’s transition period, he traveled to Tangiers in Algeria to negotiate with the Iranian delegation in a meeting mediated by government of Algeria. At this summit Iranian delegation demanded an agreement by the US Government for the multi billion dollar sale of US made weapons and arms to Iran. According to the experts Reagan agreed and signed the deal and it was agreed that sale and delivery of weapons will be done over a period of two years and will only begins after the release of all remaining hostages.

In an undestading between Ronald Reagan and Iranian it was finalised that all hostages would be released within minutes of Reagan’s sworn in ceremony as the President of United States. Ronald Reagan was sworn in as 40th President of the United States of America on 20th January 1980. And as per the agreement between Regan and Iranians, all 52 of remaining hostages were released minuted after Reagan’s sworn in ceremony. And with this a 444 days long ordeal, one of the longest international hostage crisis in the history ended.

 

REVOLUTION IN NICARAGUA

For over six decades Nicaragua was ravaged by the US backed dictatorial regime of Samosa family. Samosas were put in power by US President Woodrow Wilson with the use of US Marines Corps to crush the rebellion against the Samosas in Nicaragua in the year 1917. Since that day, Nicaragua had remained under the control of Samosa family where one generation was replaced by next generation in powerful political and military positions in Nicaragua. From the year 1917 to 1978, Nicaraguans were exploited, oppressed and subjugated by the tyrannical rule of Samosa family. Samosa family aided and collaborated with notorious US Corporations in the systematic heist of Nicaragua’s natural resources like copper and silver mining and large scale farming of fruits. By the year 1975, Anastasio Samosa and the Samosa family had become one of the richest families in all of Latin America.

On the other hand by 1975, 70% of Nicaraguans were living below poverty line, 80% of population was suffering from starvation and at an average were eating one meal every two days, infant mortality rate was 50%, 90% of the Nicaraguan children were suffering from chronic malnutrition, average life expectancy of Nicarguan people was 45 years and 95% of the population was illiterate. Anastasio Samosa was a very sadistic dictator who never shied from getting his political dissidents tortured, decapitated, kidnapped and exterminated by his very own Gestapo like force called Presidential guards. One of the Samosa’s favourite methods of execution was throwing victims into the Volcano from a helicopter. Experts estimate that about 300,000 Nicaraguans lost their lives during the reign of Anadtasio Samosa. From above mentioned social conditions, human right abuses and the shear desperation of Nicaraguan people to improve their life, a revolution was born. This revolution was named after a famous Nicaraguan Revolutionary in early 1910s called Sandino who died in a battle against US Marines in 1917.

4939737603_7cd09bf890_zThe revolutionaries called themselves Sandinistas and their main objective was to end the tyrannical regime of Samosa family and establish the very first government chosen by the people themselves. In 1979, Sandinista revolutionaries successfully defeated government forces. Anastasio Samosa with the rest of his family fled to Miami.

As soon as Sandinistas came to power they nationalised all major projects regarding natural resources of Nicaragua and kicked out all the US Corporations who had been a constant ally of Samosas in the exploitation of natural resources of Nicaragua. Sandinista government started several projects that specifically dealt with the issue of starvation and malnutrition.

Within a couple of years infant mortality dropped to below 15%, child malnutrition below 20%, starving population under 20% and population below poverty line to less than 30%. Sandinistas initiated a project of establishing medical care centers in the each and every village, so that people don’t have to rush to town in case of a medical emergency.

One of the biggest projects of the Sandinistas was establishing over 5000 schools all over Nicaragua which brought the illiteracy rate below 15% from 95% two years ago. Most importantly Sandinistas started a land reform project in which poor landless peasants were given small patches of land free of cost in order to make them independent and self sustained. All these developments worried US Government that if other populations of Latin American countries saw what Sandinistas were achieving in Nicaragua, then they might also adopt similar tactics in their country. US corporations had all of South America in their stranglehold and were making billions of dollars worth of profits by robbing these Latin American people off their resources.

Poverty and hunger had become a common condition for most of the people in South America. But if these people saw how Sandinistas had successfully eradicated all these social issues, then that might motivate them to break free of US Corporate shackles too. So in mind of US President Ronald Reagan, Sandinistas had to be eliminated at any cost. And once again if you have something illegal and unethical to do then who else would you call other than CIA. CIA contacted nearly 15,000 former Presidential Guards who had all fled to Honduras fearing that they too will be put on trial for the atrocities they committed during Anastasio Samosa’s reign.

CIA sent it experts to Honduras to train and rearm these Presidential guards to wage a guerilla war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. contras-2These guard were given a new name Contras, and were told to conduct small scale raids to the villages close to the border of Honduras and Nicaragua.but what CIA didn’t realise was that these people were a sadistic force who took pleasure in murdering people in most horrible ways.

Soon hundreds and thousands of Nicaraguans became a target of these people and ended up getting murdered by these Contras. Soon News about the atrocities committed by a CIA supported group called Contras reached Washington. Ronald Reagan tried his level best to decieve US Congress by portraying Contras as patriotic freedom fighters who were fighting for the rights and freedom of Nicaraguans. But Congress saw right through these lies and passed a Bipartisan Congressional Resolutions which outlawed all and any kind of support to the Contras whether it be weapons and arms aid, logistical and training aid or monetary aid. And this resolution further endorsed that any kind of activity in contradiction to the resolution would be considered as treasonous act. Ronal Reagan still wanted to support Contras in their murderous activities but he was prohibited by the Congress from using Government funds to aid the Contras anymore. He had to find some other alternative method of generating funds while keeping it hidden from US Government.

HOW IRAN-CONTRA CAME TOGETHER?

rrcontrasAs Ronald Reagan was contemplating how to generate funds for supporting Contras in Nicaragua, he was delivered the very first order list of weapons from the Iranian government. This where he realised that the deal with the Iran was a top secret operation which was secured by national security clause. So he realised that it was nearly impossible for the contents of the deal to fall in wrong hands. Hence Reagan along with his faithfuls in CIA, Department of Defense, Whitehouse staff and handful of Military Generals decided that the proffits made by selling weapons and arms to Iran, would be used to support Contras in Nicaragua. Col.Oliver North in the National Security Council was put in charge of the operation. Exact value of weapons sold to Iran is still unknown but experts believe total value of Weapons had to be around $12-18 billion dollars. And approximate proffits made from the sale would be in the range of $500-800 million.

DISCOVERY AND SCANDAL

After a leak by Iranian Mehdi Hashemite, the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa exposed the arrangement on November 3, 1986. This was the first public reporting of the weapons-for-hostages deal. The operation was discovered only after an airlift of guns was downed over Nicaragua. Eugene Hasenfus, who was captured by Nicaraguan authorities, initially alleged in a press conference on Nicaraguan soil that two of his coworkers, Max Gomez and Ramon Medina, worked for the CIA. 1727-004-10154F82He later said he did not know whether they did or not. The Iranian government confirmed the Ash-Shiraa story, and ten days after the story was first published, Reagan was shocked but decided to announce his ignorance about the Nicaraguan part of the scandal.

President Reagan appeared on national television from the Oval Office on November 13, stating:

“My purpose was… to send a signal that the United States was prepared to replace the animosity between [the U.S. and Iran] with a new relationship… At the same time we undertook this initiative, we made clear that Iran must oppose all forms of international terrorism as a condition of progress in our relationship. The most significant step which Iran could take, we indicated, would be to use its influence in Lebanon to secure the release of all hostages held there.”

The scandal was compounded when Oliver North destroyed or hid pertinent documents between November 21 and November 25, 1986. During North’s trial in 1989, his secretary, Fawn Hall, testified extensively about helping North alter, shred, and remove official National Security Council (NSC) documents from the White House.

According to the New York Times, enough documents were put into a government shredder to jam it. North’s explanation for destroying some documents was to protect the lives of individuals involved in Iran and Contra operations. It was not until years after the trial that North’s notebooks were made public, and only after the Nationsl Security Act and Public citizens sued the Office of the executive counsel under the Freedom of Informatio Act. oliver-north-testimont-iran-contra-affairDuring the trial North testified that on November 21, 22, or 24, he witnessed Poindexter destroy what may have been the only signed copy of a presidential covert-action finding that sought to authorize CIA participation in the November 1985 Arms shipment to Iran.

US Attorney General Edwin Meese admitted on November 25 that profits from weapons sales to Iran were made available to assist the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. On the same day, John Poindexter resigned, and Oliver North was fired by President Reagan. Poindexter was replaced by Frank Carlucci on December 2, 1986. In one of his books author/journalist Bob Woodward chronicled the role of the CIA in facilitating the transfer of funds from the Iran arms sales to the Nicaraguan Contras spearheaded by Oliver North.

Then Director of the CIA, William J Casey allegedly admitted to Woodward in February 1987 that he was aware of the diversion of funds to the contras confirming a number of encounters documented by Woodward. The controversial admission occurred while Casey was hospitalized for a stroke. On May 6, 1987, William Casey died the day after Congress began its public hearings on Iran–Contra.

WHAT CAUSED SO MUCH UPROAR?

There were many different reasons that this Scandal caused so much uproar and outcry by the people and politicians alike.

  1. One of the reasons was that after the overthrow of Shah’s regime in Iran, US Government and leaders including Reagan had called Iran an Islamin terrorist haven. Reagan himself had accused Iranian Imam Ayatollah Khomeini a leader of a terrorist front operating in Iran and that Iran under his leadership poses the biggest threat to the national security of USA and its allied countries in Asia and Europe. But despite all these claims Reagan willingly agreed to sell US made weapons to the Iran that according to Reagan was a threat to USA.
  2. Second reason was that despite knowing the facts that Contra rebels were nothing more than Samosa’s very own Gestapo, CIA and Ronald Reagan decided to support and aid them to wage a war against a democratically chosen government of Sandinistas in Nicaragua. And even after getting the reports that Contras were engaged in and committed brutal, violent and most heinous crimes against humanity, Ronald Reagan Administration still continued to support them.
  3. Even after congress prohibited Ronald Reagan from supporting the Contra rebels who by now had murdered over 40,000 Nicaraguan civilians, Ronald Reagan autonomously decided to continue his support to the Contras by illegal means.
  4. Another thing that troubled many Amricans was that according to constitution US Congress is the ultimate authority in Government and nothing can supercede its position in the hierarchy of authority. But Ronald Reagan knowingly acted in total contradiction to the decision of US Congress. If a President thinks that he is entitled to supercede US Congress then what is stopping him from becoming a dictator.
  5. US support to the Contras resulted in deaths of over 250,000 Nicaraguan people. These people were just trying to improve their lives and break free from the oppression of US Corporations and US Government. But their vision was a little too close to the ego of American imperialism so Ronald Reagan lied and betrayed American a public to stop and eliminate these innocent Nicaraguan civilians. And tragically this cost that all South American countries are forced to pay every one a while.

BOTTOM LINE: I think the Iran-Contra Scandal really reveals the extent of moral and ethical decay that is rampant within the political system of America. Like Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter before him, Ronald Reagan’s presidency was also plagued by scandals and controversies. Just the idea of funding a ruthless and genocidal group like Contras, with the profit made during the illegal sale of US made weapons to Iran, is totally mind boggling. And the shear arrogance in which the people who carried out this whole operation, admitted their role in this scandal was unbelievable. People like NSC member Oliver North, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, CIA Head William Casey and National Security Advisor John Poindexter who were all involved in this scandal didn’t even spend a night in jail for their involvement in the murder of over 400,000 innocent Nicaraguans. And their ringleader Ronald Reagan continued and even won another term as President of United States.

 

IRAQ AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

The year was 2003, war was still raging on in Afghanistan. Fictional terrorist group called Al Qaeda was still engaged in a bitter war in the mountains of Hindukush. This was a time of uncertainty but even in this time of uncertainty George Bush and his cronies were certain about one thing, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The UN weapons inspector who lead an UN contingent of weapons inspectors to Iraq was refuting all claims being made by George Bush and his minions as lies. Everyday George Bush was telling a new lie about Saddam Hussein’s WMDs. He was even claiming that he knows the location of these WMDs as well.

UNITED NATIONS WEAPONS INSPECTIONS

United_Nation_Observers_in_Iran_4Following the passage of Resolution 1441 in United Nations, on 18 November 2002, weapons inspectors of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission returned to Iraq for the first time since being withdrawn by the United Nations. Whether Iraq actually had weapons of mass destruction or not was being investigated by Hans Blix, head of the Commission, and Mohammed Elbaradei, head of International Atomic Energy agent. Inspectors remained in the country until they withdrew after being notified of the imminent invasion by the United States, Britain, and two other countries. In early December 2002, Iraq filed a 12,000-page weapons declaration with the UN.

After reviewing the document, UN weapons inspectors, the US, France, United Kingdom and other countries thought that this declaration failed to account for all of Iraq’s chemical and biological agents. Many of these countries had supplied the Iraqi regime with the technology to make these weapons in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war. On December 19, US Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that Iraq was in “material breach” of the Security Council resolution. Blix has complained that, to this day, the United States and Britain have not presented him with the evidence which they claim to possess regarding Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. On January 16, 2003, inspectors discovered 11 empty 122 mm chemical warheads.

These components had not been previously declared by Iraq. Iraq dismissed the warheads as old weapons that had been packed away and forgotten. After performing tests on the warheads, UN inspectors believed that they were new. While the warheads are evidence of an Iraqi weapons program, they were in no way connected to chemical or biological weapons. Unless some sort of chemical agent was also detected in the shells, they cannot be linked to any kind of chemical or biological weapon. No such evidence was ever found. Hans Blix believed there to be large quantities of weapons materials still unaccounted for. Other UN inspectors blamed Blix for having a biased attitude in favour of the United States and Britain’s claims. shamseddin20130829151339223Despite finding no evidence of any biological and chemical weapons, Hans Blix was adamant about Iraq possessing WMDs and this claim was being challenged by all other UN Inspectors.

This created a big divide between Blix and rest of the team. Finally On January 27, 2003, UN inspectors reported that Iraq had cooperated with monitors and no evidence of any biological and chemical weapons was ever found. But Blix issued another statement regarding his believes that Iraq had not demonstrated a “genuine acceptance” of the need to disarm unilaterally. In addition, by the 28th, a total of 16 Iraqi scientists had refused to be interviewed by inspectors. The United States claimed that “sources” had told them that Saddam Hussein had ordered the death of any scientist who speaks with inspectors in private. No scientist has confirmed this, and Iraq has insisted that they were not putting pressure on the scientists.

All members of the weapons inspection team criticised Hans Blix about his biased approach for the inspection. But many other UN inspectors were not so conservative in their criticism of Blix. A couple of UN inspectors accused Hans Blix of being an biased investigator who was secretively working for validating claims made by US and UK governments. In the wake of all this controversy, Hans Blix gave an interview to a renowned news agency in which he clearly stated that he is absolutely sure that Iraq possesses no biological and chemical WMDs. Furthermore he blamed George Bush and Tony Blair for trying to manipulate the findings of the UN team of inspectors. Blix denied all rumours about any kind of disagreement between him and other inspectors. Hans Blix finally stated that according to him Iraq doesn’t possess any kind of Biological or Chemical weaponry and if US and UK decided to take any kind of military action against Iraq, that action would be totally illegal.

COLIN POWELL’S PRESENTATION AT UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL

After 9/11, Colin Powell’s main job was to gather as much international support for developing a coalition force to invade Iraq to destroy the alleged Weapons of mass destruction. And one of the most significant factor that would have possibly generated massive support for the invasion of Iraq was Colin Powell’s presentation about Iraq’s WMDs at the plenary session of United Nations Security Council. image.imgOn February 6, 2003, Powell appeared before the UN to “prove” the urgency to engage a war with Iraq. Although the presentation failed to change the fundamental position of the Security Council, including France, Russia, China and Germany. But what Powell did succeed in was hardening the overall tone of the United Nations towards Iraq.

Powell also claimed that Iraq harbored a terrorist network headed by Al-Qaeda operative Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Colin Powell had no evidence to support his claim, on the other hand there was a lot of evidence pointing to the contrary of what Powell was claiming. Powell also showed photos of what he said was a poison and explosives training camp in northeast Iraq, operated by Al-Qaeda. When this camp was visited by a British journalist two days later, all that was found was a few dilapidated buildings and no evidence or signs of any terrorist activity, chemical or explosives.

Powell alleged that these training camps had been operating with help from Iraqi agents, despite them being in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan “a no fly zone” and thus outside of de facto Iraqi control. Powell also claimed that Iraqis visited Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan and provided training to al-Qaeda members, although thousands of Arabs from many countries did the same. US intellegence agencies found no evidence of any substantive collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.

While Colin Powell’s statement to the UN may have been accepted as “proof” by many in the US, this was not the case in Europe, where there was widespread scepticism of any links between Iraq and al-Qaeda.The British government’s intelligence services did not believe there was any link at all, given the mutual hatred between Islamists hard liners and the secular regime in Baghdad. Colin Powell even showed a Computer-generated image of an alleged mobile production facilities for creating biological and chemical weapons. These images were presented by Powell as fool proof evidence of Iraq’s biological and chemical capability at the UN Security Council. Absence of more substantial proofs undermined the credibility of Powell’s presentation. Russian experts have always questioned the likelihood of such mobile facilities, which are extremely dangerous and difficult to manage.

SORRY NO WMDs HERE

NoWMDs-thumbWhen no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, Colin Powell was asked about his statements in the United Nations Security Council. Colin Powell replied to the questions by saying that we were misled by the inaccurate intellegence reports from CIA and Military intellegence units. At the time of presentation, Colin Powell repeatedly suggested that he had studied all the WMDs related documents to the absolute limit and only made up his mind after careful evaluation of all these documents.

But when asked about the WMDs in TV interview with Barbara Walters, Colin Powell claimed that everything that he was given or everything he had was inaccurate and possibly older intellegence reports. Later in the Interview Colin Powell described the mistakes he made during his campaign to gather international support for invasion, a blot on his long illustrious career as a soldier. Even now Colin Powell was not ready to admit that he had lied in the United States Security Council, and shifted all blame towards CIA analysts who had deliberately lied to him about the intel on Iraq, probably at the behest of US President George Bush and his entourage.

Colin Powell would later admit that few claims he made in his speech at United Nations Security Council had no factual basis and were completely unreliable. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Powell contended that prior to his UN presentation, he had merely four days to review the data concerning WMD in Iraq.

A Senate report on intelligence failures would later detail the intense debate that went on behind the scenes on what to include in Powell’s speech. State Department analysts had found dozens of factual problems in drafts of the speech. Some of the claims were taken out, but others were left in, such as claims based on the yellow cake forgery. The administration came under fire for having acted on faulty intelligence, particularly what was single-sourced to the informant known as Corveball (former Iraqi Army Offocer now living in exile). Powell later recounted how Vice President Dick Cheney had joked with him before he gave the speech, telling him, “You’ve got high poll ratings; you can afford to lose a few points.” Powell’s longtime aide and Chief of Staff from 1989–2003, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, later characterized Cheney’s view of Powell’s mission as to “go up there and sell it, and we’ll have moved forward a peg or two. Fall on your damn sword and kill yourself, and I’ll be happy, too.” The war that was initiated on lies led to the death of over 1.5 million Iraqi civilians.

And this number is rising every single day. But the people who are responsible for this was and deaths of 1.5 million civilians are still roaming freely and not a single one of them have been brought to justice. George.W.Bush, Dich Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleza Rice and especially Colin Powell should all be charged with war crimes and hung if found guilty. A society where one group of people are incarcerated indefinitely without showing any evidence to prove their guilt and where another group that deliberately lied and those lies led to the deaths of 1.5 million people, still roam freely, cannot be called a fair society.

UN SANCTIONS: CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

Its hardly a mystery anymore that why did US invade Iraq. No it was not to free Iraqi people. They were already free and the only hardship that was their in their lives was either due to first gulf war or due to UN embargo on Iraq. It was all done to control the vast oil reserves of Iraq. And this theory was further validated by actions of Obama administration to destabilise Libya and Syria. Because after Iraq these two countries were the biggest exporters of oil behind Saudi Arabia. It was all done for economic reasons and it had nothing to do with humanitarian reasons.

Moreover if that bastard George W Bush was so worried about the weapons of mass destruction that he alleged that Iraq still possessed than first person he should have dealt with would have been his very own Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld. Because it was Donald Rumsfeld who made a deal for selling Chemical and Biological Weapons to Saddam Hussein on 20th December 1983, when he was appointed as Special Envoy for Middle East by President Ronald Reagan. Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein at a time when Iraq-Iran war was going on. So main purpose of Donald Rumsfeld’s visit to Baghdad was that he wanted to discuss the prospect of Iraq becoming a crucial US ally in the Middle East to counter the Syrian and Iranian expansion of influence in other Arab countries. 

 Just 2 days before Rumsfeld met with Saddam, Saddam Hussein had attacked the Kurdish Villages with nerve gas which had resulted in more than 10,000 deaths of Kurdish civilians. And many even claim that the weapon that Saddam used on Kurdish rebels was supplied by US itslef. So for US to claim in 2003 that Iraq was a threat to world because of its chemical and biological weapons, which ironically US itself delivered it to Saddam, is totally a ridiculous theory and should be considered an insult by any competent person, because thinking that people would believe this nonsense certainly reflects that US government thinks that it citizens are incapable of rational thinking.

imagesIn the end everything comes down to this fact that Saddam Hussein and Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and nor did he had any desires to own them. After the first Gulf War of 1991, US Airforce had destroyed all the majority of Iraqi civilian infrastructure deliberately to cripple Iraq. 

 US Forces had destroyed over 15 water treatment plants, electricity generating units, big Pharnaceutical companies which provided bulk of the medicinal requirements i.e over 80% of Iraq’s medicine requirements were supplied by these companies. Another favourite target of US pilots was food processing plants. One such plant that fulfilled 75% of Iraq’s requirement of milk by producing powdered milk, was completely destroyed.

So quite understandable Saddam Hussein had several other more pressing issues to ponder about before any other consideration.

Mortality rate of Infants was at more than 50% and with wide spread poverty and hunger even pregnant mothers were suffering from malnourishment. There was no supply of clean drinking water, electricity, adequate food and medicine to ensure the safety of both mother and child. And this was a constant state of affairs in Iraq ever since 1991, when United Nations placed economic sanctions on Iraq halting all international aid from entering into the country.

What I don’t get is what was the function of the UN sanctions on Iraq? I can understand the ban on sale of Iraqi oil, but what I simply can’t understand is the need of sanctions about halting the medicine and food supply to Iraq. During the years of UN embargo on Iraq, as many as one million children mostly infants died from easilly curable diseases like diarrhea, pnemonea and viral infections. Ban on delivery of repair and reconstruction material to Iraq meant that Iraqi’s were not even able to repair water treatment plants which were deliberately bombed by NATO forces. And unhealthy drinking water was the main cause of children falling ill. What did those little babies had to do with anything? There was no power supply to the majority of Iraqi rural area because most of the electricity generating plants were bombed and destroyed by NATO bombings and then tools to repair them were not allowed to be supplied to Iraqis. 

This UN embargo that claimed lives of more than a million Iraqi children was a genocide and a crime against humanity and the Secretary General of UN during this embargo should be indicted for these crimes. Main purpose of UN was to establish peace and help the needy by humanitarian efforts, but this shameless institute has been reduced to nothing more than another ally of NATO. I think United Nations has lived out its usefulness for the humanity and should be dissolved now.

BOTTOM LINE:  By 2003, everybody knew that Iraq had no Chemical or Biological weapons capability. Even UN inspectors who conducted elaborate inspections of key facilities in Iraq stated that Iraq had fully co-operated with them and that they were sure that Iraq possessed no WMDs. Despite this Bush administration remained adamant and defiant about their claims that Iraq still possessed WMDs. It was all for black gold “Oil” and the attitude of Washington about Oil is more the merrier. I believe that if it came out that Narnia has huge oil deposits then we’ll see Obama within hours claiming that Narnia possesses weapons of mass destruction and that US is invading Narnia to free its furry creatures from oppression…..

 


Aside

THE VIETNAM DILEMMA

For last 50 years, Vietnam War has been one of the most emotionally and intellectually debated subjects in America and even globally. Was the Vietnam War a just cause? Should America have interfered in the internal issue of Vietnamese people? What was the reason for which 58272 young Americans lost their lives?

 American society in the 60’s and 70’s was divided because of two totally contradicting ideologies. One half of American society supported the war because they believed that US troops in Vietnam were fighting for the freedom of South Vietnamese people and for the sake of peace in the world while other half totally opposed war because they saw this war as a unjustifiable attack on the sovereignty of the poor Vietnamese purely for economic and financial motives. People who believed in anti-war ideology argued that lives of thousands of young Americans are being needlessly sacrificed in Vietnam. Hence they were demanding immediate end to the war and for the return of all US troops from Vietnam.

A wave of hate and hostility was sweeping throughout America, especially between pro and anti war supporters. But oblivious from this ever increasing civil tension back home, more than 500,000 American soldiers stationed in South Vietnam were engulfed in an epic struggle of life and death. They had no interest and nor the time for such things. Only thing occupying their mind was survival, only thing worth pondering over was, how can they stay alive for one more day? They all were tired and wounded to the core of their being by watching their friends fall one by one, all around them. Only thing they wanted to defeat was death and only thing they were striving for was life.

By the year 1969, the American belief of a quick and decisive victory in Vietnam had been shattered. US troops serving in Vietnam themselves believed by 1969 that the war was a lost cause. But question that was troubling the world was how did weak and meager Vietnamese people endured the wrath of American military power and technological superiority and remained resilient to the very end. Answer to this question lies in the history of Vietnam. Throughout the history, Vietnam was constantly under attack by its larger and stronger neighbours.

During last thousand years, Vietnamese people had constantly fought the oppressive foreign invaders like China, Cambodia and Thailand. During the peak of colonialism, European powers had most of the South East Asia under their grip. British were in control of India, Burma and Thailand. And France were controlling the region they called Indo-China which included Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. During the the Second World War most of the region ruled by European colonial powers was captured by Japanese. 


RISE OF HO CHI MINH AND VIETMINH

While the war in Europe was still raging, a freedom struggle was gathering momentum in Vietnam. In 1944 resistance group known as VietMinh under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh liberated Hanoi from the Japanese. After liberating the capital, Ho Chi Minh immediately announced the Independece and sovereignty of Republic of Vietnam. And British forces defeated Japanese in the southern city of Saigon. A record 200,000 Japanese troops surrendered to British forces. After the surrender of Japanese Empire to Americans in pacific theatre, Second World War was finally over. But France was still adamant of maintaining colonial rule over Indo-China. France refused to recognise the Declaration of Independence announced by Ho Chi Minh and French troops began to return to Vietnam. But VietMinh leader Ho Chi Minh had only two things in mind, to drive out the French from Vietnam and to win absolute autonomy for Vietnamese people.

As soon as French troops started returning to Vietnam they were immediately attacked by VietMinh. In 1945 France was at its weakest because of the devastation caused by Second World War hence to assist French in their ongoing battle with VietMinh, Britain decided to rearm and deploy 200,000 Japanese POWs to combat communist forces of VietMinh. But even deployment of 200,000 Japanese was not enough to halt the VietMinh’s approach towards Saigon. By 1948 VietMinh had captured 75% of Vietmam as well as areas adjoining Vietnamese border with Laos and Cambodia. VietMinh leader Ho Chi Minh was master tactician of gorilla warfare, his plan of continously flooding Southern Vietnam with VietMinh troops and weaponry by a mountainous route named after him, the Ho Chi Minh trail was very successful. French were suffering high casualties in their battle against VietMinh which was generating huge outcry and anti war sentiments within France.


THE FALL OF DÍÉŃ BÍÉŃ PHÙ

In 1950, Russian leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese premier Mao Zhedong declared their recognition and support for the Republic of Vietnam and to Ho Chi Minh as its legitimate leader. This piled even more pressure of French forces to quickly defeat VietMinh before they were even more strengthened by Soviet and Russian aid. 

To launch an all out attack on Hanoi in North Vietnam, French troops decided to build up a command base on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia. This base was named Dien Bien Phu and more than 25,000 French troops were stationed there to launch an offensive against VietMinh. But soon all their plans of an offensive were reduced to desperation for survival when the base of Dien Bien Phu was surrounded by more than 80,000 VietMinh soldiers. A long bloody battle ensued in which French and VietMinh troops fought with everything they had for every inch of Dien Bien Phu. VietMinh forces completed their encirclement of Dien Bien Phu by fall of 1950, severing the all connection of French troops with other French bases. During this time French were totally dependant on parachute drops of supplies and reinforcements at Dien Bien Phu, but soon the noose around the Dien Bien Phu’s neck was tightening. Eventually by the order of French High Command, the French troops in Dien Bien Phu waved the white flag and surrendered to the VietMinh forces.


GENEVA PEACE ACCORD BETWEEN FRANCE AND NORTH VIETNAM

By the end of 1950, a cease fire was in place in Vietnam and peace talks between VietMinh and France were well underway under the watchful eye of Unites States of America in Geneva. VietMinh representatives had arrived at the peace talks as victors which they were and because of that they were expecting freedom of the all of Vietnam from its colonial rulers. But they were shocked to know that France and United States had no desire to allow the entire Vietnam to fall under communist rule of VietMinh. Peace talks entered a deadlock when VietMinh negotiators demanded the withdrawl of every French soldier from VietNam. At one point during the peace talks VietMinh representatives also most withdrew from the negotiating table and US President had to threaten them with nuclear attack to force them back to the negotiations. 

Eventually after months and months of negotiation and deliberation a peace accord was signed by both France and VietMinh. According to this accord:

  1. VietMinh were required to relinquish all occupied territories with in Laos and    Cambodia as both countries were freed from French rule and were to be recognised as two sovereign nations.
  2. Vietnam was divided into two separate States at the 17th Parallel.
  3. Northern half was to be governed by VietMinh on a communist model with Ho Chi Minh as its leader.
  4. Southern half of Vietnam was to be ruled by an interim government for six months to allow France to safely withdraw from the region. And a referendum was to be conducted after six months to allow the people of South Vietnam to freely decide whether they wanted to join the northern communist state or to choose their own democratic Government.
  5. North Vietnam was to station 80,000 of VietMinh troops in Southern city of Saigon and similarly 60,000 of South Vietnamese soldiers were to be stationed in northern city of Hanoi. This was done to ensure that both parties would remain loyal to the Geneva peace accord and fulfill all its conditions.
  6. At 17th parallel a 3 mile demilitarised zone created on both sides of the border to avoid any skirmishes from taking place.

 

AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT IN VIETNAM CRISIS

Up untill 1950, USA had remained totally neutral in the crisis of Vietnam and had no desire to get involved in the conflict. But all this was about to change soon. In fall of 1950, the communist forces of North Korea invaded South Korea in an attempt to reunite entire Korean Peninsula under one communist rule. When UN forces led by United States forced the North Korean communist forces to withdraw back into their territoriy, they were completely caught off guard by powerful Chinese attack. UN troops were now engaged in full scale war with more than 300,000 Chinese troops. Eventually the Korean War ended in a deadlock and boundaries were restored to the way they were before the North Korean attack on South. USA suffered huge loss of life in the Korean War but they also realised the threat, communist China was posing in South Asia. Because of this USA decided that it will stop the spread of communism at any cost in South East Asia. American leaders feared that if one more country fell to the communism, it will start a domino effect in which all countries in South East Asia will fall one by one to communism. Hence they were determined to stop the spread of communism any further. 

 

HO CHI MINH THE IDEALIST

Although disappointed by the terms of the treaty, North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh still complied to all terms of the accord. French established an interim government lead by Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam upon their withdrawl. But Diem had no desire to step down from presidency after six months. And he proved this when he refused to conduct the referendum, that was agreed upon to allow South Vietnamese people to freely choose their own fate, in the Geneva peace accord. In 1955, American advisors in Saigon pressurised Diem to conduct election even if it was just a sham, to show South Vietnam’s compliance to the Geneva Peace accord. So a completely rigged election was conducted under the supervision of Diem’s brother Ngo Dinh Nhu.

And as expected Diem emerged as the winner by 98.2% votes. This was just the beginning of the corruption and injustices committed by Ngo Dinh Diem. Soon after the French withdrawl from South Vietnam, Diem started a wave of oppression and exploitation of South Vietnamese people. Within a year of coming to power in South Vietnam, Diem family had became the wealthiest in whole of Vietnam. But while Diem was becoming richer and richer, the condition of South Vietnamese people was worsening with every passing day. Nearly 80% of the population in South Vietnam were starving to death because of wide spread poverty.

After refusing the demands of Ho Chi Minh to again conduct a fair referendum, Diem immediately started a campaign of persecution and extermination of the 80,000 VietMinh soldiers that were stationed in Saigon. Diem then ordered the South Vietnamese troops stationed in Hanoi to conduct attacks on the North Vietnam Army(NVA). But the troops in Hanoi refused to follow his orders and defected to North Vietnam. While the North Vietnam was going through a wave of transformation and developement under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, the humanitarian situation in South Vietnam was getting worse and worse. Ho Chi Minh was still loved and widely supported by the South Vietnamese people and on other hand the depth of hate and contempt of South Vietnamese people, for Ngo Dinh Diem was deepening. A resistance group called VietCong started conducting gorilla attacks on bases and offices of South Vietnamese Government.

President of North Vietnam Ho Chi Minh had so far resisted the urges of his followers to commence a military campaign against the dictatorial regime of South Vietnam, to end the suffering of South Vietnamese people and to reunite the nation of Vietnam. So far Ho Chi Minh had tried to settle the humanitarian crisis in South Vietnam by utilising his relations with Soviet Union and China to put diplomatic pressure on America to make the Diem regime in South comply to the conditions of Geneva accord. He warned Ngo Dinh Diem to immediately stop the persecution of South Vietnamese people and release the imprisoned VietMinh soldiers. But neither America and nor Diem paid any attention to Ho Chi Minh’s warnings. Infact to add salt to wound, America made South Vietnam a signatory in the South East Asian Treaty Organisation(SEATO) which mutually binded both nations in a mutual defense agreement. Hence now any form of attack on South Vietnam was to be considered as a declaration of war on United States itself. This made Ho Chi Minh accept the fact that there was no way of reuniting Vietnam without getting America involved in the conflict.

 

NORTH VIETNAM SUPPORTING THE VIETCONG GORILLAS

In 1958, Ho Chi Minh finally got tired of watching his people being mistreated and persecuted in South Vietnam, hence he started supporting the gorilla fighters of VietCong by providing them logistical, monetary, weaponry and personnel aid. Minh also decided to send 10,000 NVA soldiers to infiltrate into South Vietnam to support and train the VietCong gorillas in their war against the Diem regime. 

VietCong bolstered by support from North Vietnam, immediately started attacking and capturing enemy strongholds in South Vietnam. South Vietnam forces were suffering heavy losses in the hands of VietCong gorillas. By 1960, South Vietnamese Government was being put under tremendous pressure by a string of simultaneous attacks by VietCong gorillas in and around Saigon. President of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem urged American president Dwight.D.Eisenhower for immediate assistance saying that South Vietnan was facing a real possibility of falling to communist gorillas. Eisenhower having seen the attrocities committed by Soviet Communist forces in Second World War, absolutely hated communists. So Eisenhower immediately sent military aid worth 5 billion dollars consisting of Fighter Planes, B52 Bombers, Tanks/Armoured Vehicles, Attack/Patrol Boats and Rifles, to the South Vietnamese Government. Eisenhower also deployed 3000 US Military officials to South Vietnam to train the ARVN(Army of Republic of Vietnam) troops in gorilla warfare and to teach them how to use and operate the American weaponry. 

Escalation of American involvement in South Vietnam was a troubling news for Ho Chi Minh and North Vietnamese leadership. Fearing that they will not be able to match the firepower of US weaponry, Ho Chi Minh asked Chinese premier Mao Zhedong for help. Mao Zhedong immediately supplied nearly 100,000 AK47 rifles to North Vietnam to arm the VietCong gorillas in South. By this time VietCong numbers in South Vietnam had swelled to over 300,000 and were posing serious threat to the government of South Vietnam. And by 1961 the Government of South Vietnam was on brink of defeat and possibility of South Vietnam falling to communist forces was becoming more and more realistic. 


PRESIDENT JOHN FRANK KENNEDY

John Frank Kennedy had just started his presidency and the issue of Vietnam was low on his list of priorities. But unlike Kennedy, US Joint Chiefs of Staff were adamant about launching a full scale military engagement in South Vietnam. At that moment President Kennedy was not willing to risk American lives in a gorilla war half way around the world. Hence, Secretary of defense Robert Macnamara devised a plan that satisfied both President and Joint Chiefs of Staff. This plan called for a military aid worth 12 billion dollars to be given to South Vietnam to strengthen its armed forces so that it can withstand even a large scale invasion from North Vietnam or even China.

The decision of strengthening South Vietnamese defensive forces worked perfectly and with the help of newly delivered American helicopters the ARVN troops started to overpower the VietCong gorillas and registered major victories in southern highlands. To combat the strengthened forces of South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh started using supply routes through Laos and Cambodia to supply weapons and ammunitions to the VietCong gorillas. These secret jungle supply routes came to be known as Ho Chi Minh trails. North Vietnamese government immensely supplied anti aircraft guns and artillery guns to the VietCong gorillas via Ho Chi Minh trail. 

Soon the South Vietnamese forces and their American advisors started feeling the pinch of Anti-Aircraft guns and heavy artillery fire. South Vietnamese forces started incurring heavy losses in their battles with VietCong gorillas. By this time American advisors in South Vietnam had realised that there was no chance of ARVN forces defeating the VietCong gorillas without a substantial US engagement in Vietnam. But President Kennedy was not interested at all in risking lives of American soldiers in another country’s civil war. And despite being as corrupt as he was, even Ngo Dinh Diem didn’t wanted a direct American involvement in the conflict. Diem too had realised that if American troops engaged in direct battle with VietCong it will surely result in mass civilian casualties. Both Presidents were under considerable pressure of their Generals who wanted a strong American engagement in the war.

CIA ORCHESTRATED COUP IN SOUTH VIETNAM

CIA agents in Saigon conspired with the disgruntled ARVN Generals to overthrow Diem’s government in a coup d’état. President Kennedy was totally unaware of CIA’s plans because Kennedy had always loathed the agency for its unethical actions in Guatemala which had resulted in death of his friend Jacobo Arbenz. 

Hence there were serious trust issues between CIA and JFK. CIA brass in Washington gave green light to the operation but only on one condition that President Diem and his family will be allowed a safe passage out of the country. Eventually Diem became aware of the coup being planned against him by ARVN generals and the CIA. He immediately went to the American Embassy in Saigon to meet Ambassador Henry Cabot who was liaison between Diem and Kennedy administration. But to his shock Cabot refused to meet with him, it was at that moment when Diem realised that the whole plan of coup against him was orchestrated by the Kennedy’s special envoy to South Vietnam 

W. Averell Harriman and Ambassador Cabot behind president Kennedy’s back. These individuals had been demanding direct American involvement in Vietnam for a long time but Diem’s refusal to do so was a big obstacle in their path. They believed that by eliminating Diem they can pave the path for direct American engagement in South Vietnam.

ASSASSINATION OF JFK AND EXECUTION OF DIEM

Despite the orders from Pentagon, Harriman assured the ARVN generals that US forces would make no attempt to rescue Diem. CIA operative Lucien Conein even paid $42,000 to the ARVN generals to orchestrate the coup. ARVN general Duong Van Minh and his co-conspirators overthrew the government on 1 November 1963 in a swift coup. On 1 November, the generals called the palace offering Diem exile if he surrendered. However, that evening, Diem and his entourage escaped via an underground passage to Cholon, where they were captured the following morning on 2nd November. Both Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother were assassinated under orders from Duong Van Minh, while they were attempting to reach Vietnamese Joint General Staff headquarters. Diem was buried in an unmarked grace in a cemetery next to the house of the U.S. ambassador.

The news of Diem’s death came as a huge shock to the entire Kennedy administration. US Vice President Lyndon Johnson suspected that CIA had something to do with this incident, but he decided to wait for President Kennedy’s return from two day visit of Texas, to discuss this with him. But as fate had it, President Kennedy never returned from Texas. 

 

On November 22nd 1963, President John Frank Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. With in a period of three weeks, two men who were opposing direct American engagement in Vietnam had been eliminated and now path for American troops to enter South Vietnam was paved.

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON

At midnight 23rd November 1963, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as 36th President of Unites States of America. Remaining loyal to the wishes of President Kennedy, Johnson too refused to send American troops into Vietnam. But slowly as pressure of US Generals started pilling on President Johnson, he tried to accommodate the US Generals by launching a full scale bombing campaign on military installations in North Vietnam. On 2nd August, 1964 Shrewd US Generals created a hoax of US naval vessel Maddox being attacked by North Vietnamese attack boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. 

This false flag incident provided a pretext for the American involvement in South Vietnam. President Johnson had been delaying the full scale engagement in South Vietnam, fearing a public backlash. But the hoax of Gulf of Tonkin generated enough public support for Johnson to deploy US troops in Vietnam. Five days after the staged hoax of Gulf of Tonkin, on 7th August 1964 US Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that authorised President Johnson to take any steps that he deemed necessary to solve the crisis on South Asia.

 

General Westmoreland was in charge of operations in Vietnam. President Johnson asked General Wesmoreland, that how many soldiers would be required to defeat the VietCong? Gen.Wesmoreland told President Johnson that at least 400,000 US troops would be enough for defeating the VietCong Gorillas. President Johnson was willing to send whatever Gen.Wesmoreland asked for. By the end of 1966, US troops in Vietnam were 130,000. By the end of 1967, number had risen to 330,000. And by the end of 1968, total number or US soldiers in Vietnam was 440,000. And during the peak of Vietnam War there were more than half a million US soldiers stationed in Vietnam. When debating about the war most people cite this number of 500,000 to overpowering presence of US soldiers in Vietnam. But what most people didn’t realise was that for every single combatant soldier more than 3 personnel were required for logistical and administrative duties. This included aircraft maintenance engineers, personnel needed for delivery of supplies, US naval personnel on board aircraft carriers and destroyers and the personnel at the US high command. So even when more than 500,000 American troops were stationed in Vietnam, there were only about 1,20,000 active combatants in Vietnam.

Up untill Vietnam war, US troops had no experience of fighting a gorilla war in lush rainforests of Asia. Little experience that some senior officers had was from Second World War when they were fighting Japanese forces on pacific islands of Guadacanal and Papua New Guinea. None of the combating troops had any experience in gorilla warfare. And the thing that was most troubling for US troops was the hot, damp and humid weather of Vietnam. Diseases like malaria and cholera were rampant throughout the Vietnam war, with one out of every ten soldiers getting sick with malaria or cholera. And for the fresh recruits who had just arrived in Vietnam after graduating from Army schools, Vietnam was like hell on earth. They had never expected that they would have to engage enemy in such deplorable conditions.

OPERATION ROLING THUNDER AND OPERATION FLAMING DART

US involvement in Vietnam War had started well before 1965 when first marines landed in Vietnam. Since 1961, US Air Force had been assisting in deployment of South Vietnamese Soldiers at remote locations with helicopters. By 1962, US Air Force and planes from aircraft carriers were taking part in campaigns against VietCong gorillas. At an average 40 sorties were being conducted over South Vietnam in 1962. After the death of JFK, President Lyndon Johnson had approved air strikes in NVA and VietCong bases on the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia. 

After the hoax attack in Gulf of Tonkin was successfully staged, US congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that gave President Johnson absolute authority to use whatever measures he deemed fit to solve the crisis in South East Asia. And on 6th August 1964, day after the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was passed, President Johnson approved strategic strikes at Military, Airforce and Naval targets in North Vietnam. Consequently Operation Flaming Dart was launched and US bombers started targeting the strategic targets in North Vietnam. 

Operation Flaming Dart called for precise and accurate bombing raids over Hanoi and other important defense bases in North Vietnam. Operation Flaming Dart turned out to be a colossal strategic disaster for US because it resulted in huge civilian casualties. Furthermore during Operation Flaming Dart less than 20% of the pre-approved targets were actually hit by the bombers. 14 US planes were downed in the operation. At the time of Operation Flaming Dart a soviet contingent headed by Alexei Kosygin was visiting Hanoi. Watching the devastation caused by US bomb raids, Alexei Kosygin asked Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev to supply North Vietnam 50 Mig21 interceptor fighters and more than 500 Soviet Suface to Air missiles. In the end Operation Flaming Dart resulted in substantial increase in Soviet and Chinese military aid to North Vietnam.

After the failiure of Operation Flaming Dart, President Lyndon Johnson was reluctant in authorising further air strikes in North Vietnam. Eventually he concede to the demands of Joint Chiefs of Staff for authorising Operation Rolling Thunder. By this time North Vietnam had acquired huge quantities of Anti-Aircraft Guns and Land to Air missiles from China and Soviet Union. As a result during the very first campaign of Operation Rolling Thunder, US lost 6 air crafts over the North Vietnamese skies. But this bombing raid was considered a strategic victory because most of North Vietnamese Railway Routes towards South were totally destroyed. More than a dozen ammunition depots were also destroyed both in North Vietnam and also on Ho Chi Minh trail.

Although US had lost bomber aircrafts in the Operation too, but the damages induced to the North Vietnam logistical infrastructure was considered as a huge strategic victory. But this was nothing more than a wishful thinking because damage caused by these raids wasn’t crippling for North Vietnam. Whatever railway routes, bridges, ammunition depots and fuel tanks were destroyed in these raids were repaired or replaced with a week of the attacks.

Second reason why, Operation Rolling Thunder and Operation Flaming Dart were such a colossal strategic failures was the number of US aircrafts shot down during these raids. By the start of Operation Rolling Thunder, North Vietnam had already acquired Russian 100 Mig21 fighters. Their pilots were being trained at Chinese Air Bases. Hence the North Vietnamese pilots were highly competent and were quite capable of defending their country from US Air Raids. By 1967, North Vietnam had also received over 1000 SAMS(Surface To Air Missile Systems) from Russia. These were highly advanced radar guided anti-aircraft missiles that had a range of 20 nautical miles and were capable of hitting targets flying above 10,000 feet altitude. Over next three years Russia and China would supply North Vietnam with over 1400 Fighters and over 5000 SAMS. SAMS had a kill ratio of 3:20 which meant for every 20 missiles launched, three enemy aircrafts were destroyed. All these advancements in air defense systems resulted in huge aircraft losses for US.

Operation Rolling Thunder continued for three and a half years and ended up causing more damage to US than to the North Vietnam. In total US lost 902 Aircrafts and lives of over 818 pilots during the three year campaign. About 260 US pilots were captured when they had to bail out over North Vietnamese cities and were now held as POW. North Vietnam lost 120 MIGs and lives of 100 pilots during their skirmishes with American fighters. About 10 planes were downed by friendly fire. And the US Bombings resulted in the deaths of 182,000 civilians.

SEARCH AND DESTROY

Right from the beginning of US operations in Vietnam, US Generals and Commanders had decided to conduct search and destroy campaigns against VietCong gorillas. Search and destroy campaigns worked like this, whenever US forces got any intellegence about the location of VietCong gorillas, they immediately started measures to encircle the gorillas and to cut off their escape into Cambodia. Then artillery cannons and Fighter bombers would commence initial assault on VietCong camps and bases. And finally US troops would be deployed via helicopters in the target area. 

After this US troops would conduct an expeditionary search into the jungle to eliminate any and all VietCong gorillas. Although US troops conducted hundreds of search and destroy campaigns but they were not finding large VietCong contingents but despite that they were losing much more of their soldiers in ambushes and boobytraps orchestrated by VietCong gorillas. 

General Westmoreland was convinced that only way of defeating VietCong was to lure or force them to fight an open war, because only then US would be able to inflict high damages to VietCong with its supreme Air and Ground fire power.

VIETCONG AND THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE 

Contrary to the believes of US planners, VietCong was not an indisciplined and unorganised rash tag organisation like they believed it to be. VietCong gorillas were guided and trained by experienced Officers of NVA. VietCong forces were organised and run in a militaristic structure. They had different units, battalions, regiments and divisions designated to conduct operations in a highly efficient and disciplined manner. VietCong followed their own rules of engagement and withdrawl depending on the kind of situation they were facing. 

VietCong gorillas were specialists in digging tunnel systems which they utilised for conducting surprise attacks and escaping if they were being overpowered by enemy. These tunnels systems were many miles long and had upto five different level. One tunnel system in the region of Iron Triangle in South Vietnam was more than 20 miles long. This tunnel system was the area HQ of VietCong in South Vietnam. It consisted of kitchens, sleeping rooms, planning rooms, hospitals, ammunition storage depots and some even had 5-6 mile long tunnels connecting two separate tunnel systems. 

During the initial stages of American engagement in Vietnam, US Soldiers were completely oblivious of these tunnel systems. Often during search and destroy missions, they used to find abandoned VietCong bases. They usually left after setting the abandoned base above on fire, totally unaware of the fact that the entire base and the VietCong force was safe just beneath their feet. Sometimes during search and destroy campaigns, when VietCong gorillas were getting overpowered by US troops then entire VietCong regiments used to disappear into these tunnels, escaping totally unscathed. And US troops had no clue about where did VietCong disappeared into. 

Slowly and steadily from the information provided by VietCong POWs and things learned from invaluable combat experiences, US troops finally found these tunnel systems. They destroyed as many entries into these tunnels as many they were able to discover. But this method hardly ever made a difference because each tunnel system havd dozens of entries and many of these entries were so well disguised that US troops had no chance of finding each of these entrances. Most often US troops would destroy whatever entrances they can find and then they withdrew thinking that they had destroyed the entire cave system, leaving majority of the cave system and VietCong gorillas completely intact.

By 1968, US campaigns of search and destroy were failing miserably. Out of 100 search and destroy operations conducted, US forces would only be successful on 5 occasions in engaging with the enemy. Most of VietCong gorillas were instructed not to engage in direct fight with US forces. Rather they were told to execute hit and run manouvres and only engage with enemy for 10 minutes at most and then withdraw from that area. US Generals were getting frustrated by the capability of VietCong to start fight wherever & whenever they desired and then end it & vanish into the jungle at their whim. But little did US brass knew that the VietCong were about to change their tactics.

TET OFFENSIVE

30th January 1968, Day of “Tet” the Vietnamese New Year. This day was a sacred festival for Vietnamese people on which they worshiped and honoured their anscestors. The festivities lasted for two days. Hence an unofficial two day truce was practiced by all parties in respect of Tet celebrations. But this time VietCong had decided to launch major offensive operations in over 100 villages, town and cities in South Vietnam. The idea was to exploit the element of surprise that this attack had to quickly occupy key strategic locations in South Vietnam before South Vietnamese and US Armed forces react to the situation. More than 130,000 VietCong gorillas were to take part in this offensive. Furthermore NVA had planned attacks on some key locations in northern part of South Vietnam. 

 These attacks were planned with only one motive in mind, to attract the attention of South Vietnamese Government and US Army and to fool them into believing that a major North Vietnamese invasion was happening so that they would relocate majority of their forces near the border, away from populated areas where the real attack by VietCong was scheduled to take place. Although the plan of NVA deception worked to some extent but South Vietnamese and US Army didn’t relocate the troops to the North to such an extent that NVA had hoped for. 

2:30 AM, 30th January 1968. VietCong commenced their planned Tet offensive by attacking more than 100 key locations all over South Vietnam simultaneously. Strongest of all these operations was to be carried out in Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. A strong force of 8,000 VietCong gorillas attacked Sigon in the early hours of 30th January. Main targets in Saigon were Independence Palace, US Embassy, ARVN Headquarters, US Military Headquarters, Government Radio and South Vietnamese Naval and Air base. Most of the South Vietnamese troops were on two day holiday for Tet celebrations and even US troops had relaxed the security in and around the city because of expected Tet celebrations in Saigon. Because of these factors VietCong easilly occupied their targets with minimum resistance.

But as soon as the news of attack spread through South Vietnam, ARVN and US forces immediately responded to the crisis. Soon they had all the VietCong targets surrounded and were engaging with the VietCong gorillas inside. And by the morning of 1st February, ARVN and US forces had neutralised or captured more than half of VietCong gorillas who took part in the attacks and the remaining gorillas withdrew from Saigon & other cities and vanished into the jungles.

In total more than 9000 US, NATO & ARVN Soldiers lost their lives in the Tet Offensive. But the casualties suffered by VietCong and NVA were much more devastating. VietCong and NVA lost lives of more than 45,200 of its soldiers and more than 5000 VietCong gorillas were captured. Majority of South Vietnamese, NATO and US fatalities occured in the battles of Saigon City, Historic city of Hue and the US base at Khe Sanh. Both City of Hué and the base of Khé Sánh were attacked by more than 27,000 soldiers of NVA(North Vietnamese Army). Nearly 13,000 NVA soldiers were killed in these two campaigns and about 1000 were captured. But the heaviest toll was paid by civilians in the Tet offensive with more than 14,000 killed and over 12,000 seriously wounded.

BATTLE OF KHE SANH

On 4th Jauary 1968, North Vietnamese Army started their attack on the US Marine base at Khe Sanh less that 3 miles from the demilitarised zone. More than 20,000 MVA soldiers descended upon the Khe Sanh Marine Base. Khe Sanh was located in a valley surrounded by small hills on all sides. Almost all of the adjoining hills had been secured by US marines but NVA were able to capture two of the highest peaks around Khe Sanh. They had established artillery fire bases on both of these hills but only issue was neither of the peaks had direct line of sight of the base. So they had to rely primarily on soldiers radioing in the adjustments to be made in the trajectory of the guns. NVA had another 6 fire bases with  battery of artillery guns at distance of about 15 miles from Khe Sanh just inside Laosian borders. These guns fired huge 134 mm shells with unbelievable accuracy and precision and had a range of 21 miles. 

Furthermore NVA had entire regiment dug in around Khe Sanh who were firing upto 500 mortar rounds per day. And Khe Sanh base was getting hit by more than 600 artillery shells per day. On 21st January, Khe Sanh base was hit by record 1200 shells in 10 hours. That meant that Khe Sanh was hit at an average 120 times per hour. Majority of the casualties that occured at Khe Sanh base were caused by the artillery shelling and mortar hits.

One regiment of Marine Corps(6000 marines) was stationed at Khe Sanh and supporting them was a battalion of South Vietnamese Army(2000 ARVN soldiers). So in total 8000 soldiers were defending the Marine Combat Base of Khe Sanh. They were up against two full divisions i.e 304th and 325th Divisions of North Vietnamese Army. Assisting them were 15 fire teams of 134 mm gunners. From the very beginning of offensive at Khe Sanh, US planners were expecting an all out invasion from North. But North Vietnamese Commanders had no intentions of engaging in stand piece battles with US Marines because they knew any such attempt would result in substantial casualties because of superior US air and artillery firepower. 

So they rather adopted the tactics used in First World War and started digging miles long trenches to facilitate their approach towards the base. Initially US marines were unable to detect the ever closing trenches just outside their perimeter because NVA utilised precise artillery fire to cover the progressing trenches. Because of the continous artillery fire, US marines rarely ventured out of the base perimeter which allowed NVA troops to reach as near as 1000 feet of the Khe Sanh base.

But soon the trench system of NVA was discovered by the US Recconaissance aircraft. Initially US Marines tried their level best to destroy the NVA trenches with artillery and mortar shells but as it was revealed in First World War, it takes more than 1000 direct mortar hits to destroy 100 yards of trench. Hence damage induced on the NVA trenches was minimal. So US planners decided to bring in the big guns and these big guns were mammoth B52 bombers. B52 bombers dropped over 8 thousand tonns of bombs less that 1000 yards from the marine base, this was the first time such an enormous bombing campaign was carried out so close to the friendly base. And with in two days 90% of the NVA trenches had been completely obliterated. 

The later part of the Khe Sanh offensive involved an organised attack by MVA gunners on the air crafts delivering supplies at the Khe Sanh base and the neighbouring US controlled peaks. NVA artillery gunners were so efficient and accurate that they were able to hit a US Hercules C130 while it was landing on the airstrip in the base. NVA were also successful in destroying more than 6 helicopters trying to deliver supplies to US soldiers holding positions at hills around Khe Sanh. But soon an organised air bombing and artillery shelling roaster was designed to save the supply helicopters from enemy fire.

And just like the attacks started suddenly, they also seized the same way. Crippled by the huge loss of men to American Air bombing and artillery campaigns, the NVA forces realised that there was no possibility of destroying or capturing Khe Sanh Marine base without calling in 3 more divisions. Hence they decided to withdraw from the Khe Sanh ending a 77 day siege of the base. In the end the Battle of Khe Sanh resulted in deaths of 274 US marines and significant injuries to 1000 marines. ARVN suffered 600 casualties with 100 dead and 500 wounded. But these numbers were nothing in comparison to casualties suffered by NVA. More than 15,000 of the soldiers in the two divisions which attacked Khe Sanh ended up dead. And more than 4000 suffered serious injuries. Attack on Khe Sanh was a disasterous move by NVA command and it assured NVA commanders that any such mass deployments will never work against the American troops and further that they have to rely on hit and run gorilla tactics.

AFTERMATH OF TET AND KHE SANH OFFENSIVES

Tet Offensive turned out to be a disaster for the VietCong and NVA. VietCong lost nearly 30% of its soldiers who were the best fighters they had. Secondly Tet Offensive resulted in major loss in public support for VietCong gorillas and their movement. 

After Tet Offensive majority of South Vietnamese urban population started viewing VietCong as a brutal and murderous communist terrorist Group. But little did VietCong knew that this disaster of theirs was about to have such an impact on American public that it would ignite a flame that would eventually become an enraging inferno and result in withdrawl of US troops from Vietnam.

As news coverage of the Tet offensive started showing gruesome images of VietCong gorillas getting killed in Saigon, throughout households in America, it made people realise the brutality in which this war in Vietnam was being fought. Majority of population was sickened by the fact that US Soldiers were getting killed in order to stop an oppressed and mistreated population from fighting for their freedom. They started realising that this struggle in Vietnam would have ended long time ago had US not intervened in another country’s civil war.

BODY COUNT METHOD

One of the most controversial method, employed by US Forces was the Body Count Objectives. Traditionally during wars, the levels of successes and failures were calculated from area of land won or lost in the battle. But this method only made sense if one enemy had invaded others country. Situation in Vietnam was totally different because on most occasions VietCong gorillas deliberately abandoned their bases to counter the US Forces’s approach. Hence here winning or losing land made no difference at all because VietCong gorillas were active in patches throughout the South Vietnam. Clearing the VietCong bases in front of you didn’t necessarily meant that there were no bases behind you either.

 

So to measure the level of success and failiure in Vietnam, a totally new approach was utilised. US Generals had estimated that VietCong had nearly 300,000 gorillas active in South Vietnam. So they decided to utilise enemy body count as a measure of progress because they assumed that once abode count reached 300,000 this would mean that victory has been achieved. But one thing that US Generals forgot to take into equation was that number of cadres joining the VietCong per month was also increasing with the progress of the war.

The real controversy that body count method caused was that each and every platoon was allocated a fixed quota of bodies that they had to achieve in order to be allowed to return to base. For example if a platoon was allocated the target of 100 VietCong Gorilla combatants then they were not allowed to return to the base unless they had successfully killed 100 VietCong Gorillas. This strategy resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilian villagers, as US soldiers started shooting at everything and anything that they can find, just to meet their quota and return to the base. A lot of reports about Human Right abuses and war crimes committed by the US forces started surfacing in 1968.

US CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN VIETNAM WAR

In 1968, the Vietnam War Crimes Working Group (VWCWG) was established by the Pentagon task force in the wake of the My Lai Massacre, to attempt to ascertain the veracity of emerging claims of war crimes by US armed forces in Vietnam, during the Vietnam War period.

 The investigation compiled over 9,000 pages of investigative files, sworn statements by witnesses and status reports for top military officers, indicating that 320 incidents had factual basis. The substantiated cases included 7 massacres between 1967 and 1971 in which at least 137 civilians were killed; seventy eight further attacks targeting non-combatants resulting in at least 57 deaths, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted; one hundred and forty-one cases of US soldiers torturing civilian detainees or prisoners of war with fists, sticks, bats, water or electric shock. Over 800 alleged atrocities were investigated but only 23 soldiers were ever convicted on charges and most served sentences of less than a year. A Los Angeles Times report on the archived files concluded that the war crimes were not confined to a few rogue units, having been uncovered in every army division that was active in Vietnam. But these numbers were not even one tenth of number of casualties that were actually caused US Forces.

In 2003 a series of investigative reports by the Toledo Blade uncovered a large number of unreported American war crimes particularly from the Tiger Force unit. Some of the most violent war criminals included men such as Sam Ybbara and Sergeant Roy E. “the Bummer” Bumgarner, a soldier who served with the 1st Cavalry Division and later the 173d Airborne Brigade.

In 1971 the later U.S. presidential candidate, John Kerry testified before the US Senate and stated that over 150 U.S. veterans testified during Winter Soldier Investigations and described war crimes committed in Southast Asia.

“They told the stories of times that they had personally raped, cut off the ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”—John Kerry testifying before the U.S. Senate in 1971

According to testimonies given by soldiers who served in Vietnam:US soldiers and many willingly participated in attrocious crimes against humanity in the Vietnam War. More than 1200 young Vietnamese girls and women were raped by US Soldiers. Youngest of these girls was 11 year old girl. Out of these 1200, about 800 ended up dead. Many were killed after they were raped. Many died of injuries sustained during the rape and from beatings before or after the rape. On almost all of these incidents, women were raped by many Soldiers. One incident that was reported was of 25 soldiers raping a 15 year old girl. Some girls and women were raped in front of their parents and all of the villagers.

US soldiers repeatedly shot innocent men, women and children for no apparent reason. US soldiers would come into a village, round up all of the villagers and just open fire on them. Most publicised incident was of the massacre of over 200 innocent civilians in a village called My Lai.

But what media didn’t report was that this was not a single incident. Such attrocities were committed daily and much more regularly than what media made it look like. 

Several US Soldiers reported that they witnessed innocent Vietnamese civilians being stabbed and while they were still alive, their body was cut open and all their internal organs were pulled out. Other testimonies reported of innocent civilians being decapitated by knives and then their heads were put on sticks pushed into the ground. 

Approximately 60,000 innocent civilians were allegedly killed by US Soldiers. About 15,000 of these were killed in mass executions where every villager in the village was murdered, not even dogs, cats, buffaloes, pigs and cows were spared. About 800 were the rape victims who later died or were killed. About 20,000 people were killed by deliberate bombings and shelling of civilian villages who had nothing to do with VCs. About 10,000 of these are reported to have died because of exposure to Agent Orange and CS. And about 4,000 innocent Vietnamese were killed during or after they were interrogated. And nearly 10,000 were killed in most sadistic manners like being pushed out of planes for fun or during friendly challenges between US Soldiers like whoever kills the most gooks, wins. The shear sadistic nature of crimes committed against innocent Vietnamese people is mind boggling. Its hard to believe that any normal sane person would do such things. But reality is they did committ these atrocities and nobody was ever made to pay for their crimes. 

Nick Turse, in his 2013 book, Kill Anything that Moves, argues that a relentless drive toward higher body counts, a widespread use of free-fire zones, rules of engagement where civilians who ran from soldiers or helicopters could be viewed as Viet Cong, and a widespread disdain for Vietnamese civilians led to massive civilian casualties and endemic war crimes inflicted by U.S. troops. One example cited by Turse is Operation Speedy Express, an operation by the 9th Infantry Division, which was described by John Paul as “Many My Lais”. 

Air force captain, Brian Wilson, who carried out bomb-damage assessments in free-fire zones throughout the delta, saw the results firsthand. “It was the epitome of immorality…One of the times I counted bodies after an air strike—which always ended with two napalm bombs which would just fry everything that was left—I counted sixty-two bodies. In my report I described them as so many women between fifteen and twenty-five and so many children—usually in their mothers’ arms or very close to them—and so many old people.” When he later read the official tally of dead, he found that it listed them as 130 VC killed. 

Another controversial action of US Forces in Vietnam was the extensive use of Agent Orange. US planes sprayed more than 200,000 gallons of Agent Orange over the suspected VC villages and bases. Agent Orange is an pesticide that contains very lethal dioxin toxin and when sprayed over an area, no vegetation would grow there for decades. If Agent Orange comes in contact with human skin, it causes unbearable pain because of slow tissue burns and results in peeling of skin. Even washing with water has no effect on the burn and pain.

If inhaled, agent orange results in a slow and agonising death as victims lungs and trachea slowly burns up. Agent Orange has also been associated with genetic mutation of the new born children whose parents came in contact with Agent Orange. During the course of the Vietnam war US sprayed 200,000 gallons of Agent Orange over approximately 6 million acres of rice paddies, lush rain forests and villages which makes up about 1/4 th of entire land in Vietnam.

 

PHOENIX PROGRAM 

In 1965 Presudent Lyndon Johnson authorised a special operation known as the Phoenix Program to be carried out by Central Intellegence Agency the infamous CIA. Phoenix program called for a covert operation in South Vietnam to identify the VietCong supporters and sympathisers and to eliminate them. 

In 1965, US troops had just landed in Vietnam and were conducting search and destroy operations in South Vietnam. In these missions, upon getting an intellegence about the location of VietCong gorillas, a platoon of US Soldiers was sent to search for the rebels, to engage and eliminate them. But soon US soldiers realised that VietCong gorillas enjoyed great deal of support and help from Vietnamese villagers. Although this might have been true in some cases, but to brand every villager in Vietnam a VC sympathiser was an utterly irresponsible decision.

Hence to identify VC supporters, sympathisers or even VietCong themselves being in disguise of common villagers from the rest of the population, President Johnson authorised Phoenix program which was to be conducted by both CIA operatives and Military Intellegence Officers.

What followed after that were some of the most heinous crimes against civilians committed by any intellegence agency in the history of espionage. CIA operatives along with members of US Marine Corps committed mass murders of thousands of villagers without conducting any enquiry that whether the accused villagers were connected in any way to VietCong or not. All villagers were lined up in the fields and were just mowed down by M15 bullet rounds. Not even women and children were spared. And in many cases even dogs, cats, buffaloes, cows, goats and pigs were shot, I think this clearly shows the sadistic side of American troops. Innocent civilians were stabbed with knives in front of their families and while they were still alive, US Soldiers then used to slash open their abdomen and pull out their internal organs. And all this was done in front of that person’s family. 

A famous quotes from one of the soldiers in Vietnam clearly portrays the mindset of US Soldiers in  Vietnam, when asked how did they identified if a villager was a VC or not, soldier replied “a dead Vietnamese was always a VC, so basically anybody you kill will be considered a VC”. During the course of Phoenix Progran(1965-1969) approximately 80,000 villagers were executed on suspicions of being a VietCong gorilla or a VietCong supporter. Yet you won’t find any US politician seeking justice for all these innocent Vietnamese civilians who were murdered by mentally sick and sadistic soldiers.

US WITHDRAWL FRON VIETNAM

By 1971, it was becoming quite apparent to US Military planners that Vietnam War was a lost cause and cannot be won. Even after 7 years of relentless and bloody war, the number of VietCong gorillas had doubled since the time when US entered the war. So main reason why US entered into the Vietnam conflict was to neutralise the VietCong threat in South Vietnam and they weren’t even able to achieve this goal. Any further participation of US Forces seemed unnecessary and illogical. Newly elected President of United States Richard Nixon had campaigned on promises of ending the war in Vietnam. So people now were demanding Nixon to fulfill his promise. The Anti-War movement had spread throughout the country by now. Public support for Vietnam War had reduced to less than 20%. And there was no militaristic solution in sight for the conflict of Vietnam. Hence US President Richard Nixon initiated the Paris peace talks with leaders of North and South Vietnam in 1971. A peace accord was signed by all parties in 1973 which paved the path for US withdrawl from South Vietnam.

After withdrawl of US troops from South Vietnam, North Vietnam violated the Paris Peace Accord and openly invaded South Vietnam. Despite all the military weapons and assets left behind by the US, North Vietnam fell in just 3 days. Finally Vietnam was reunited as a single sovereign nation under a communist government. So reason for which US waged war for eight years and lost 58,282 of its soldiers, turned out to be totally illogical and impractical because whatever they were fighting to avoid happened any way. This meant that lives of over 2.5 million Vietnamese civilians, 200,000 VietCong Rebels, 500,000 South Vietnamese soldiers, 300,000 North Vietnamese soldiers, 210,000 North Vietnamese civilians, 10,000 Laotians civilians and rebels, 5,000 Cambodian civilians and 58,282 US Soldiers were sacrificed for nothing. All these lives were lost in vain. Had US not intervened in Vietnam’s internal conflict in 1959, this war would have ended within days. South Vietnam as in 1975, had no significant defensive capability in 1959 either, so North Vietnam would have defeated South Vietnam without causing any significant damage of infrastructure and life of Vietnamese people.

CONCLUSION

Now you know what happened in Vietnam War and what role America played in it. Can you judge now that whether US should have intervened in Vietnam’s civil war? I think answer to this question may vary from person to person. To answer this complex question, we need to ask ourselves that what was the real motives behind intervening in Vietnamese civil war. Some people will say that answer to this question is simple, US intervened in Vietnam to save South Vietnamese people from horrors of communism and to halt the spread of communism through out South East Asia. But reality is that the whole theory of communists trying to take over the world and to destroy America was nothing more that a scary tale parents tell their kids so that they don’t wander out in the dark. 

Truth of the matter is that Soviet Union was not even capable of invading and occupying Eastern Europe much less attacking United States of America. Russia was in ruins after the end of Second World War. All of its major cities like the industrial centre of Russia the city of Stalingrad were in ruins. They had been totally devastated by the nazis. Russia had lost over 20 million of its people in the war. And just two decades before that Russia had lost upto 50 million civilians in the famin of 1921. Hence there was no communist danger from Russia to America. What American leaders did was they deliberately over exaggerated capabilities of Russia and China to facilitate their invasions of foreign nation, which they did primarily for economic and corporate motives. After being continously involved in wars for more than three decades, the majority of US economy had became dependant on wars for sustenance. The military industrial complex would not have lasted any longer if there hadn’t been any more wars. So to save the war dependant economy of America, US leaders under the influence of Corporate oligarchs decided to commence a campaign of continous wars some small scale like the invasion of Grenada and some full fledge wars like Vietnam war and Korean War. 

Waging continous wars requires huge amounts of weapons and this is where the military industrial complex comes in. US waging continous wars would mean that the business would be very brisk and profitable for the Corporations supplying weapons, aircrafts, vehicles and ammunitions. And to buy all these things US needed huge sums of money and they got this money in form of debts from international banking corporations like World Bank and International Mometary Fund. And these corporations would earn substantial proffits from interest on the loans. You would think that why would government engage in tactics that only benefits the Corporations and generates debt for itself? But isn’t that the very crisis US is going through with its national debt estimated to be 13 trillion dollars. But many experts believe that even this number of 13 trillion is not the accurate number. They estimate US national debt to be around 130 trillion dollars. 

So now just for the sake of argument assume that real motives behind Vietnam War were economical and financial . Now think, were 3 million lives worth these economic benefits? Did Vietnamese people deserved the brutality and cruelty that they were subjugated to by US Soldiers? Were 58,272 American lives worth losing over monetary gains? 

If you say yes to all these questions then I think you are not the kind of person I wrote this article for.