TBR News June 22, 2017

Jun 22 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., June 22, 2017: “We will be out of the office until June 23, 2017” ed

Table of Contents

  • Are rightwing pundits right that America is on the brink of a civil war?
  • German parliament backs plans to withdraw troops from Turkey
  • Tests on external materials of other towers blocks in Britain conducted after the Grenfell Tower fire showed instances of combustible cladding. The aftermath of the fire has also forced a local administrator to resign.
  • Destroying Great Mosque of al-Nuri ‘is Isis declaring defeat’
  • Kissing the Specious Present Goodbye
  • Boom time for Colombian cocaine, Afghan opioids
  • Spying Scandal: German Intelligence Also Snooped on White House
  • The Lord of Alamut: The first Muslim Terrorists

 Are rightwing pundits right that America is on the brink of a civil war?

A sense has been developing on the right that the old political adversaries are deadly enemies and that the US is headed for a profound, perhaps bloody crisis

June 22, 2017

by Jason Wilson

The Guardian

Lately on the right, a sense has been developing that the American project is heading for a profound, perhaps bloody crisis. More and more, we hear talk of “civil war” – some say we have already embarked on a “cold” one.

The shooting of representative Steve Scalise pulled these ideas into sharper focus, but “civil war” talk had already been subsisting on fears of violence from anti-fascist (“antifa”) groups. Several violent confrontations have occurred throughout the country this year as right wing activists, claiming to speak for “free speech”, have gathered to square off with their masked enemies.

This is worrisome for a number of reasons. First, the idea of a second civil war has an analogue in the fantasies of outright fascists like William P Peirce, whose fantasies of race war inspired Tim McVeigh to detonate a federal building in Omaha City (journalist Alexander Reid Ross has recently offered a good discussion of the long history of civil war talk).

The people who wrote the pieces below are not fascists, but some of their articles depict political adversaries as deadly enemies with whom there can be no rational accommodation. If we really decide that we can’t occupy the same country as our adversaries, the stage is set for a turn much darker than anything we have so far experienced.

Why conservatives still attack Trump

 Publication:  National Review

Author:  Dennis Prager is a conservative talk show host, a columnist at National Review and elsewhere, and in recent years he has launched his own online agitprop outfit that goes by the education-flavored title of “Prager U”.

Why you should read it:  Dennis Prager might be the guy who got the most recent iteration of the “second civil war” meme circulating. This week he’s upset about politicians breast-feeding, but over recent months he has been arguing that the contemporary left is so fundamentally opposed to basic American values that “there will be unity only when the Left vanquishes the Right or the Right vanquishes the Left”. He has spent a lot of time, including in this most recent instalment in the argument, trying to persuade his fellow conservatives that the left represents a real, existential threat.

Extract: “I have concluded that there are a few reasons that explain conservatives who were Never-Trumpers during the election, and who remain anti-Trump today.

“The first and, by far, the greatest reason is this: They do not believe that America is engaged in a civil war, with the survival of America as we know it at stake.

“While they strongly differ with the Left, they do not regard the left–right battle as an existential battle for preserving our nation. On the other hand, I, and other conservative Trump supporters, do.”

Are we nearing civil war?

Publication:  The American Conservative

Author:  Pat Buchanan is a former presidential candidate, ardent “paleoconservative” nationalist and publisher of The American Conservative. He has been disappointed by Trump’s abandonment of his isolationist campaign rhetoric, but he has been unwavering in his loyalty.

Why you should read it:  Buchanan’s “civil war” is a limited one, and mostly to be understood metaphorically. Nevertheless, he urges Trump to understand the media, the federal bureaucracy and the intelligence apparatus as enemies to be purged and defeated. It’s hard to imagine that Trump’s relations with the press corps becoming worse than they are, or for his administration to be more dysfunctional. But Buchanan urges him down this road, depicting it as the path of righteousness.

Extract:  “Trump has had many accomplishments since his election. Yet his enemies in the media and their deep state allies have often made a purgatory of his presidency.

“What he and his White House need to understand is that this is not going to end, that this is a fight to the finish, that his enemies will not relent until they see him impeached or resigning in disgrace.

“To prevail, Trump will have to campaign across this country and wage guerrilla war in this capital, using the legal and political weapons at his disposal to ferret out the enemies within his own government.”

The cold civil war

Publication: Claremont Review of Books

Author:  Angelo M Codevilla is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute and professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University.

Why you should read it:  This long essay, in a journal that presents itself as the intellectual powerhouse of conservatism, affects a tone more of sadness than anger. Americans, Codevilla thinks, have diverged too far in their values to live together under the same law. Overreach from federal governments and the judiciary has permanently alienated large segments of the country from one another. We may not have to break up, but we may need to loosen things up, so that different parts of the country can run things in accordance with their own mores.

He therefore uses the current political situation to relitigate arguments that conservatives have been making since the civil rights movement, or even the civil war.

Extract: “So many on all sides have withdrawn consent from one another, as well as from Republicanism as defined by the Constitution and as it was practiced until the mid-20th century, that it is difficult to imagine how the trust and sympathy necessary for good government might ever return. Instead, we have a cold civil war.

“Statesmanship’s first task is to prevent it from turning hot. In today’s circumstances, fostering mutual forbearance may require loosening the Union in unfamiliar and unwelcome ways to accommodate differences that may otherwise become far worse.”

It’s time to stop our cold civil war from heating up

Publication:  The Federalist

Author:  Clifford Humphrey is a Georgia native currently living in Michigan where he is a PhD student at the Van Andel School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. His interests include the American founding, federalism and political philosophy.

Why you should read it:  Humphrey translates Codevilla’s arguments for the Federalist’s rightwing millennial set. Mutual hostility is increasing, on his view, because of the left’s “intolerance”, incivility and willingness to use federal institutions to get its way. Only a recommitment to federalism – ie letting socially conservative states pursue socially conservative policies without federal interference – will divert us from the road to bloodshed. The fault lies with “those who have given up on the power of argument to persuade and have resorted to force”. You may have guessed that he’s not referring to the alt-right.

Extract:  “In other words, one would rather risk death in mortal combat than exercise patience and argumentation within the strictures of our rulebook, the constitution. Such a stance only makes sense if one believes – like the slaveholders and extreme abolitionists did of the Lincolnian Republicans – that the opposition represents an existential threat that politics cannot resolve.

“Such a stance only makes sense if one has completely lost faith in the constitution. If people no longer believe that ballots are a sufficient substitute for bullets, then violence is the logical consequence.”

Let’s consider secession

Publication:  The Resurgent

Author:  Erick Erickson used to run RedState. Now he hosts a radio show in Atlanta and blogs at The Resurgent. Like many conservatives, over recent months he has made the transition from #nevertrump to anti-anti-Trump. He remains an influential conservative voice.

Why you should read it:  Erickson advocates not a second civil war, but the same actions that precipitated the first one: secession.

Conservative areas are not allowed by the overweening federal government to honour their own values. A loosened federalism would not help, because corporate power is also arrayed against conservatism. The only solution is to carve out another country altogether. Erickson’s article was too much even for some of his fellow conservatives, but he was voicing a widespread sentiment on the right.

Extract: “In our present atmosphere, there is no escape from the American Isis that is the political left. Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it seeks to silence good. Evil is now dominant – but the partisan line is blurred.”


German parliament backs plans to withdraw troops from Turkey

June 21, 2017


FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s parliament on Wednesday approved the planned withdrawal of troops from the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey after Ankara’s refusal to allow German lawmakers access to its soldiers there.

Turkey has refused to allow German lawmakers to make what they see as a routine visit to the base, saying that Berlin needs to improve its attitude towards Turkey first.

Turkey was infuriated when Germany, citing security concerns, banned some Turkish politicians from campaigning on its soil, where many Turks live. Ankara responded by accusing Berlin of “Nazi-like” tactics and reigniting a dispute over Incirlik.

“The German Bundestag (parliament) regrets very much that conditions for the continued stationing of the Bundeswehr in Incirlik are not met,” the Bundestag said in a document that laid out its decision.

It said a transfer of the 280 German troops from Incirlik to an air base in Jordan should go ahead swiftly.

The Bundestag said on Wednesday its members must have access to troops stationed abroad to fulfill its constitutional duties.

German armed forces are subordinated to parliament, not the government, meaning lawmakers have oversight of the troops. Wednesday’s approval followed an earlier government decision that troops must move.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, running for a fourth term in the September election, stressed earlier this month that Germany and Turkey have mutual interests and must keep talking even after the withdrawal.

Critics accuse Merkel of cosying up to President Tayyip Erdogan to secure his help in stemming the flow of migrants to western Europe.

Relations between the NATO allies have soured significantly in the past year.

Turkey reacted angrily to German and European criticism of a domestic security crackdown after a failed coup attempt last July. Berlin is also demanding the release of a German-Turkish journalist in jail in Istanbul on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting violence.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Combustible cladding on buildings similar to Grenfell Tower, says British PM Theresa May

Tests on external materials of other towers blocks in Britain conducted after the Grenfell Tower fire showed instances of combustible cladding. The aftermath of the fire has also forced a local administrator to resign.

June 22, 2017


British Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons on Thursday that combustible cladding has been found on “a number” of publicly owned tower blocks similar to Grenfell Tower.

“Shortly before I came to the chamber, I was informed that a number of these tests have come back as combustible,” she said.

The prime minister’s office estimated that 600 high-rise buildings in England have cladding similar to Grenfell Tower.

“We are obviously in touch with all the local authorities to encourage them to urgently send us the samples and then we will carry out the checks that we need,” the prime minister’s spokeswoman said.

May has launched a public inquiry as well as a criminal investigation after a fire in the 24-story Grenfell Tower killed at least 79 peoplelast week. The aluminum composite material is being studied to see if it contributed to the quick spread of the fire, which engulfed the building in less than an hour in what was the worst fire in the United Kingdom since World War II.

“We cannot and will not ask people to live in unsafe homes,” May said. She also apologized for mistakes leading to the aftermath of the disaster and said “no stone will be left unturned” in the judge-led inquiry.

“For any guilty parties there will be nowhere to hide,” she added.

Despite warnings from local residents regarding fire safety, the cladding was installed for beautification and insulation as part of a major refurbishment of the tower completed last year. The fire has fueled animosity at government cuts to local authority funding and drawn accusations of criminal negligence.

“This has been a wake-up call for the whole country,” said opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. “At least 79 people are dead – it is both a tragedy and an outrage because every single one of those deaths could and should have been avoided.”

Local administrator to step down

Nicholas Holgate, the chief executive of the Kensington and Chelsea council, has also resigned Thursday, saying he was forced out by May’s government.

He said in a statement the Communities Minister Sajid Javid had required Nicholas Paget-Brown, the leader of the council, to seek his resignation.

Despite my wish to have continued, in very challenging circumstances, to lead on the executive responsibilities of the Council, I have decided that it is better to step down from my role, once an appropriate successor has been appointed,” Holgate said.

May said it was right that Holgate resigned.

Holgate had come under intense scrutiny after local authorities struggled to handle the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Residents who survived lost everything and received little help or information as to how to get back on their feet.

Destroying Great Mosque of al-Nuri ‘is Isis declaring defeat’

Iraqi PM denounces levelling of Mosul building where Islamic State leader declared a caliphate three years ago

June 22, 2017

by Martin Chulov and Kareem Shaheen

The Guardian

The Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has said the destruction of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul is an admission by the militants that they are losing the fight for the country’s second-largest city.

One of Islam’s most venerated sites, the mosque has been destroyed by explosions as Iraqi forces battled Islamic State fighters who had holed up nearby.

“Daesh’s bombing of the al-Hadba minaret and the al-Nuri mosque is a formal declaration of their defeat,” Abadi said, using the Arabic acronym for Isis.

Iraq’s military blamed Isis for levelling the mosque, almost three years after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ascended a pulpit inside to proclaim himself leader of a new Islamic caliphate.

“The Daesh [Islamic State] terror gangs committed another historical crime by blowing up the al-Nuri mosque and its historic al-Hadba minaret,” the militarysaid.

The terrorist group said US-led airstrikes had caused the damage.

Images showing the mosque area and aerial photographs provided by the US military depicted scenes of widespread damage, with its renowned leaning minaret no longer standing and the compound largely in ruins.

The Iraqi military later released video footage, which showed the minaret tumbling to the ground after explosives detonated near its base. The blast was indicative of bombs being deliberately placed to bring it down.

The US military denied it had carried out airstrikes in the area.

The destruction came as Iraqi troops edged to within 50 metres of the mosque, in a densely packed neighbourhood of central western Mosul, more than eight months into the battle to free the city.

“As our Iraqi security force [ISF] partners closed in on the al-Nuri mosque, Isis destroyed one of Mosul and Iraq’s great treasures,” said Maj Gen Joseph Martin, commanding general of the US-led coalition fighting Isis.

“This is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organisation must be annihilated. The responsibility of this devastation is laid firmly at the doorstep of Isis, and we continue to support our Iraqi partners as they bring these terrorists to justice.

“However, the battle for the liberation of Mosul is not yet complete, and we remain focused on supporting the ISF with that objective in mind.”

Isis had vowed to defend the city it seized in July 2014 and had been fiercely resisting advancing forces this summer.

“They blew it up because they did not want the place they announced the caliphate from to be the place where the Iraqi military announces its victory over them,” said Hisham al-Hashimi, an author on extremist groups and a former government adviser.

The loss of the site is another devastating blow to Iraq’s heritage, which has been ravaged by 14 years of war since the US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein. The militants’ control over northern Iraq has taken a particularly heavy toll, with globally significant archaeological sites being vandalised and pillaged.

“When I looked out of the window and saw the minaret was no longer there, I felt a part of me had died,” Ahmed Saied, a 54-year-old schoolteacher in Mosul, told Reuters.

“In the early morning, I climbed up to my house roof and was stunned to see the Hadba minaret had gone,” Nashwan, a labourer living in the Khazraj neighbourhood near the mosque, said by phone. “I broke into tears. I felt I had lost a son of mine.”

The mosque was destroyed on the Night of Power, one of the holiest dates in the Islamic calendar, when the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It was built in the 12th century by Noureddine al-Zanki, a famed commander and a contemporary of Saladin, whose family ruled the provinces of Aleppo and Mosul on behalf of the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad.

The mosque was one of the great monuments in Islam after the grand mosques of Mecca and Medina, al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, rivalling others such as the Amr ibn al-’As mosque in Egypt and other more modern structures built in recent centuries.

“This new destruction deepens the wounds of a society already affected by an unprecedented humanitarian tragedy,” Unesco chief Irina Bokova said.

Iraqi officials had privately expressed hopes that the mosque could be captured in time for Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan, which this year is on 25 June in Iraq. The fall of Mosul would, in effect, mark the end of the Iraqi portion of the “caliphate” even though Isis would continue to control territory west and south of the city.

Baghdadi has left the fighting in Mosul to local commanders and is believed to be hiding in the border area between Iraq and Syria, according to US and Iraqi military sources.


Kissing the Specious Present Goodbye

Did History Begin Anew Last November 8th?

June 22, 2017

by Andrew J. Bacevich

Tom Dispatch

Forgive me for complaining, but recent decades have not been easy ones for my peeps. I am from birth a member of the WHAM tribe, that once proud, but now embattled conglomeration of white, heterosexual American males. We have long been — there’s no denying it — a privileged group.  When the blessings of American freedom get parceled out, WHAMs are accustomed to standing at the head of the line. Those not enjoying the trifecta of being white, heterosexual, and male get what’s left.

Fair?  No, but from time immemorial those have been the rules.  Anyway, no real American would carp.  After all, the whole idea of America derives from the conviction that some people (us) deserve more than others (all those who are not us). It’s God’s will — so at least the great majority of Americans have believed since the Pilgrims set up shop just about 400 years ago.

Lately, however, the rules have been changing in ways that many WHAMs find disconcerting.  True, some of my brethren — let’s call them one percenters — have adapted to those changes and continue to do very well indeed.  Wherever corporate CEOs, hedge fund managers, investment bankers, tech gurus, university presidents, publishers, politicians, and generals congregate to pat each other on the back, you can count on WHAMs — reciting bromides about the importance of diversity! — being amply represented.

Yet beneath this upper crust, a different picture emerges.  Further down the socioeconomic ladder, being a WHAM carries with it disadvantages.  The good, steady jobs once implicitly reserved for us — lunch pail stuff, yes, but enough to keep food in the family larder — are increasingly hard to come by.  As those jobs have disappeared, so too have the ancillary benefits they conferred, self-respect not least among them.  Especially galling to some WHAMs is being exiled to the back of the cultural bus.  When it comes to art, music, literature, and fashion, the doings of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, gays, and women generate buzz.  By comparison, white heterosexual males seem bland, uncool, and passé, or worst of all simply boring.

The Mandate of Heaven, which members of my tribe once took as theirs by right, has been cruelly withdrawn.  History itself has betrayed us.

All of which is nonsense, of course, except perhaps as a reason to reflect on whether history can help explain why, today, WHAMs have worked themselves into such a funk in Donald Trump’s America.  Can history provide answers? Or has history itself become part of the problem?

Paging Professor Becker

“For all practical purposes history is, for us and for the time being, what we know it to be.” So remarked Carl Becker in 1931 at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association.  Professor Becker, a towering figure among historians of his day, was president of the AHA that year.  His message to his colleagues amounted to a warning of sorts:  Don’t think you’re so smart.  The study of the past may reveal truths, he allowed, but those truths are contingent, incomplete, and valid only “for the time being.”

Put another way, historical perspectives conceived in what Becker termed “the specious present” have a sell-by date.  Beyond their time, they become stale and outmoded, and so should be revised or discarded.  This process of rejecting truths previously treated as authoritative is inexorable and essential.  Yet it also tends to be fiercely contentious.  The present may be specious, but it confers real privileges, which a particular reading of the past can sustain or undermine.  Becker believed it inevitable that “our now valid versions” of history “will in due course be relegated to the category of discarded myths.”  It was no less inevitable that beneficiaries of the prevailing version of truth should fight to preserve it.

Who exercises the authority to relegate?  Who gets to decide when a historical truth no longer qualifies as true?  Here, Becker insisted that “Mr. Everyman” plays a crucial role.  For Becker, Mr. Everyman was Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, or the man in the street.  He was “every normal person,” a phrase broad enough to include all manner of people.  Yet nothing in Becker’s presentation suggested that he had the slightest interest in race, sexuality, or gender.  His Mr. Everyman belonged to the tribe of WHAM.

In order to “live in a world of semblance more spacious and satisfying than is to be found within the narrow confines of the fleeting present moment,” Becker emphasized, Mr. Everyman needs a past larger than his own individual past.  An awareness of things said and done long ago provides him with an “artificial extension of memory” and a direction.

Memories, whether directly or vicariously acquired, are “necessary to orient us in our little world of endeavor.”  Yet the specious present that we inhabit is inherently unstable and constantly in flux, which means that history itself must be pliable.  Crafting history necessarily becomes an exercise in “imaginative creation” in which all participate.  However unconsciously, Everyman adapts the past to serve his most pressing needs, thereby functioning as “his own historian.”

Yet he does so in collaboration with others.  Since time immemorial, purveyors of the past — the “ancient and honorable company of wise men of the tribe, of bards and story-tellers and minstrels, of soothsayers and priests, to whom in successive ages has been entrusted the keeping of the useful myths” — have enabled him to “hold in memory… those things only which can be related with some reasonable degree of relevance” to his own experience and aspirations.  In Becker’s lifetime it had become incumbent upon members of the professoriate, successors to the bards and minstrels of yesteryear, “to enlarge and enrich the specious present common to us all to the end that ‘society’ (the tribe, the nation, or all mankind) may judge of what it is doing in the light of what it has done and what it hopes to do.”

Yet Becker took pains to emphasize that professional historians disdained Mr. Everyman at their peril:

“Berate him as we will for not reading our books, Mr. Everyman is stronger than we are, and sooner or later we must adapt our knowledge to his necessities.  Otherwise he will leave us to our own devices… The history that does work in the world, the history that influences the course of history, is living history… It is for this reason that the history of history is a record of the ‘new history’ that in every age rises to confound and supplant the old.”

Becker stressed that the process of formulating new history to supplant the old is organic rather than contrived; it comes from the bottom up, not the top down.  “We, historians by profession, share in this necessary effort,” he concluded.  “But we do not impose our version of the human story on Mr. Everyman; in the end it is rather Mr. Everyman who imposes his version on us.”

Donald Trump as Everyman’s Champion?

Becker offered his reflections on “Everyman His Own Historian” in the midst of the Great Depression.  Perhaps because that economic crisis found so many Americans burdened with deprivation and uncertainty, he implicitly attributed to his everyman a unitary perspective, as if shared distress imbued members of the public with a common outlook.  That was not, in fact, the case in 1931 and is, if anything, even less so in our own day.

Still, Becker’s construct retains considerable utility.  Today finds more than a few white heterosexual American males, our own equivalent of Mr. Everyman, in a state of high dudgeon.  From their perspective, the specious present has not panned out as it was supposed to.  As a consequence, they are pissed.  In November 2016, to make clear just how pissed they were, they elected Donald Trump as president of the United States.

This was, to put it mildly, not supposed to happen.  For months prior to the election, the custodians of the past in its “now valid version” had judged the prospect all but inconceivable.  Yet WHAMs (with shocking support from other tribes) intervened to decide otherwise.  Rarely has a single event so thoroughly confounded history’s self-assigned proctors.  One can imagine the shade of Professor Becker whispering, “I warned you, didn’t I?”

Those deeply invested in drawing a straight line from the specious present into the indefinite future blame Trump himself for having knocked history off its prescribed course. Remove Trump from the scene, they appear to believe, and all will once again be well. The urgent imperative of doing just that — immediately, now, no later than this afternoon — has produced what New York Times columnist Charles Blow aptly calls a “throbbing anxiety” among those who (like Blow himself) find “the relentless onslaught of awfulness erupting from this White House” intolerable. They will not rest until Trump is gone.

This idée fixe, reinforced on a daily basis by ever more preposterous presidential antics, finds the nation trapped in a sort of bizarre do-loop.  The media’s obsession with Trump reinforces his obsession with the media and between them they simply crowd out all possibility of thoughtful reflection.  Their fetish is his and his theirs.  The result is a cycle of mutual contempt that only deepens the longer it persists.

Both sides agree on one point only: that history began anew last November 8th, when (take your pick) America either took leave of its senses or chose greatness.  How the United States got to November 8th qualifies, at best, as an afterthought or curiosity.  It’s almost as if the years and decades that had preceded Trump’s election had all disappeared into some vast sinkhole.

Where, then, are we to turn for counsel?  For my money, Charles Blow is no more reliable as a guide to the past or the future than is Donald Trump himself.  Much the same could be said of most other newspaper columnists, talking heads, and online commentators (contributors to TomDispatch notably excepted, of course).  As for politicians of either party, they have as a class long since forfeited any right to expect a respectful hearing.

God knows Americans today do not lack for information or opinion.  On screens, over the airways, and in print, the voices competing for our attention create a relentless cacophony.  Yet the correlation between insight and noise is discouragingly low.

What would Carl Becker make of our predicament?  He would, I think, see it as an opportunity to “enlarge and enrich the specious present” by recasting and reinvigorating history.  Yet doing so, he would insist, requires taking seriously the complaints that led our latter day Everyman to throw himself into the arms of Donald Trump in the first place.  Doing that implies a willingness to engage with ordinary Americans on a respectful basis.

Unlike President Trump, I do not pretend to speak for Everyman or for his female counterpart.  Yet my sense is that many Americans have an inkling that history of late has played them for suckers.  This is notably true with respect to the post-Cold War era, in which the glories of openness, diversity, and neoliberal economics, of advanced technology and unparalleled U.S. military power all promised in combination to produce something like a new utopia in which Americans would indisputably enjoy a privileged status globally.

In almost every respect, those expectations remain painfully unfulfilled.  The history that “served for the time being” and was endlessly reiterated during the presidencies of Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama no longer serves.  It has yielded a mess of pottage: grotesque inequality, worrisome insecurity, moral confusion, an epidemic of self-destructive behavior, endless wars, and basic institutions that work poorly if at all.  Nor is it just WHAMs who have suffered the consequences.  The history with which Americans are familiar cannot explain this outcome.

Alas, little reason exists to expect Becker’s successors in the guild of professional historians to join with ordinary Americans in formulating an explanation.  Few academic historians today see Everyman as a worthy interlocutor.  Rather than berating him for not reading their books, they ignore him.  Their preference is to address one another.

By and large, he returns the favor, endorsing the self-marginalization of the contemporary historical profession.  Contrast the influence wielded by prominent historians in Becker’s day — during the first third of the twentieth century, they included, along with Becker, such formidables as Henry Adams, Charles and Mary Beard, Alfred Thayer Mahan, and Frederick Jackson Turner — with the role played by historians today.  The issue here is not erudition, which today’s scholars possess in abundance, but impact.  On that score, the disparity between then and now is immense.

In effect, professional historians have ceded the field to a new group of bards and minstrels.  So the bestselling “historian” in the United States today is Bill O’Reilly, whose books routinely sell more than a million copies each.  Were Donald Trump given to reading books, he would likely find O’Reilly’s both accessible and agreeable.  But O’Reilly is in the entertainment business.  He has neither any interest nor the genuine ability to create what Becker called “history that does work in the world.”

Still, history itself works in mysterious ways known only to God or to Providence.  Only after the fact do its purposes become evident.  It may yet surprise us.

Owing his election in large part to my fellow WHAMs, Donald Trump is now expected to repay that support by putting things right.  Yet as events make it apparent that Trump is no more able to run a government than Bill O’Reilly is able to write history, they may well decide that he is not their friend after all.  With that, their patience is likely to run short.  It is hardly implausible that Trump’s assigned role in history will be once and for all to ring down the curtain on our specious present, demonstrating definitively just how bankrupt all the triumphalist hokum of the past quarter-century — the history that served “for the time being” — has become.

When that happens, when promises of American greatness restored prove empty, there will be hell to pay.  Joe Doakes, John Q. Public, and the man in the street will be even more pissed.  Should that moment arrive, historians would do well to listen seriously to what Everyman has to say.


Boom time for Colombian cocaine, Afghan opioids

Some 30 million narcotics users are hooked worldwide and deliveries are “thriving,” especially cocaine to Europe and North America, according to the UN’s drugs and crime agency. Opioids kill 190,000 sufferers annually

June 22, 2017


The Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) cited a sharp increase in cocaine and opium production profiting criminal gangs and terror groups in its annual report published Thursday.

“There is much work to be done to confront the many harms inflicted by drugs, to health, development, peace and security, in all regions of the world,” said Yury Fedotov, the head of the agency.

Its report describes a coca plant boom in Colombia that appeared to have resulted in increased cocaine deliveries to Europe and North America.

A peace deal between the Colombian government and rebels foresees farmers switching to legal crops, but rebel groups and drug traffickers were still involved in Colombia’s coca business, the agency alleged.

Taliban profiting

Global production of opium, the precursor for heroin, had jumped 30 percent in 2016 – after previous weak yields – because of a sustained Afghan poppy harvest.

The business was controlled by Taliban insurgents, it said, making between $150 million to $200 million (135 million and 179 million euros) a year from taxing farmers and smugglers.

Africa had seen “some of the sharpest increases in heroin use” of any world region because users lived along the so-called southern trafficking route that connects Afghanistan and Europe, the agency said.

It cited rising numbers of users in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

Cocaine seizures in Asian countries had increased by 40 percent in 2015.

Increasing flows of Mexican heroin into the United States had exacerbated America’s epidemic of synthetic opium-type drugs. Some 33,000 people had died from opioid overdoses in the US in 2015.

183 million cannabis users

Large cannabis seizures had taken place in North and South America, as well as Northern Africa. In Europe, the biggest producers were in the Netherlands and Albania.

Summarizing usage worldwide, the UNODC estimated that 183 million people use cannabis.

Amphetamine users totaled 37 million, those of opium-type drugs 35 million, the synthetic narcotic ecstasy 22 million and cocaine 17 million.

Organized crime gangs constantly changed their practices and were using new technologies such as the “darknet” to traffic drugs, said the UNODC.

Fedotov said that while “the international community is equipped to respond swiftly… there remains an enormous need for capacity-building and technical assistance, and funding continues to fall short of political commitments.”


Spying Scandal: German Intelligence Also Snooped on White House

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is famous for the terse remark she made after learning her mobile phone had been tapped by the NSA. “Spying among friends, that isn’t done.” As it turns out, Germany was spying on America too, even targeting the White House.

June 22, 2017

by Maik Baumgärtner, Martin Knobbe and Jörg Schindler


The chapter is only a few pages long, but it addresses a potentially explosive suspicion: Did Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, spy on its most important partner, the United States, in the past?

For Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, the answer is clear. The BND has never spied on the United States, members of both the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and their government coalition partner, the center-left Social Democrats, are fond of saying, quoting former BND President Gerhard Schindler. And if it was true, then it was only a “coincidental capture” of data, that has since been deleted.

After three years of work, the German parliament committee of inquiry investigating NSA spying on Germany will release its final report next week. It will also contain a chapter drafted by the coalition on “findings about EU and NATO partners.” The committee, the draft version of the report states, had no doubts about the statements made about the U.S.

But it should.

Documents that SPIEGEL has been able to review show that the BND, until a few years ago, actually had considerable interest in the United States as a target of espionage. The document states that just under 4,000 search terms, or selectors, were directed against American targets between 1998 and 2006. It is unknown whether they continued to be used after those dates.

The German intelligence agency used the selectors to surveil telephone and fax numbers as well as email accounts belonging to American companies like Lockheed Martin, the space agency NASA, the organization Human Rights Watch, universities in several U.S. states and military facilities like the U.S. Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, the secret service agency belonging to the American armed forces. Connection data from far over 100 foreign embassies in Washington, from institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Washington office of the Arab League were also accessed by the BND’s spies.

The entries also prove the existence of a top-secret anti-terror alliance between Western intelligence services, including those of Germany, the United States and France. SPIEGEL already reported back in 2005 on the elite unit, which is named Camolin. The papers now show several BND selectors were “Camolin-related.”

It’s Unlikely Spying Was Unintentional

Also on the selector list were lines at the U.S. Treasury Department, the State Department and the White House. Were they really all just “coincidental capture” as the former BND head claimed? Was it just an oversight?

That’s unlikely.

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency does not comment publicly on its operations. The BND’s current president, Bruno Kahl, who has been in office for just under a year, is only willing to point to the future. “The question of who the BND is permitted to surveil, and who it cannot, will not only be the subject of a stricter approval process in the future, but also more ambitious controls.”

It also remains unclear just how extensive was the U.S. data captured by the BND — or what it contained. But it does help to explain why the German government remained so reserved initially when revelations about the NSA’s spying first emerged. People either knew or likely suspected that their own service had been just as unscrupulous in monitoring its closest partners. In light of the documents, the efforts by the chancellor’s office to come to a so-called no-spying agreement with the Americans now appear to have been a farce. The truth is that the Germans were snooping far more extensively than they ever wanted to admit.

Originally, the parliamentary inquiry committee had been tasked with investigating cooperation between Germany’s BND and the NSA. The investigation was launched in response to the revelations about the NSA spying on Germany that were exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. But in October 2015, it emerged that the BND, even absent a request to do so from the U.S., had conducted extensive spying on its partners in the European Union and NATO. As the papers relating to the selectors show, nearly every foreign embassy in Berlin had been monitored. When the news emerged that the NSA had surveilled her own mobile phone, Angela Merkel said, “spying among friends, that simply isn’t done.” Looking back from today’s perspective, it’s clearly a hollow statement.

Spying on the British Library

But how forthcoming was the intelligence service with the members of parliament sitting on the inquiry committee? And what did their work achieve? Ultimately, the parties on the panel proved unable to agree. The closing report includes two different assessments — one from the coalition parties in government, and another from the opposition.

For their part, the Christian Democrats and the SPD claim that the new BND law passed recently “takes the correct and necessary action from the substantiated evidence, even before the end of the investigation.” But opposition parties claim that the new rules are insufficient and even go in the wrong direction.

And so it is that, after 134 meetings of the investigative committee, decisive questions remain unanswered. Questions such as why the BND, which is actually supposed to be hunting terrorists, weapons dealers and money-launderers, is so interested in academic institutions like the British Library. One of its lending sites had been on the list of surveillance targets since the early 2000s.

The Lord of Alamut: The first Muslim Terrorists

June 22, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

Hasan-i Sabbah, from whose name the words “assassin” and “hashish” have been reputed, rightly or wrongly, to have been derived, was born into a Shiite family in concealment in the city of Ray in Persia around 1050. Nothing is really known of his early life, but like many other noted leaders, he is said to have been converted to his life’s work after an illness.

However he became an Ishmaeli, he was apparently quite charismatic from the start. Hasan conquered his first fortress by persuasion alone. He was smuggled into the otherwise impregnable castle and converted all the guards. When the castellan realized he was no longer in charge, Hasan presented himself with the promise of gold and a safe conduct, which he kept.

So Hasan took the rock of Alamut, which became his headquarters and training base. He expelled women, children, the old and infirm, and ultimately even his wife and daughters. He fortified it further, stocked it with supplies to resist sieges, and possibly even built his legendary garden of delights there.

In any case, it was there that he began his program of terrorism; to train, equip, and send forth his deadly agents. These young men were chosen for strength of body and mind, and firmness of character. They could be thrown out for any sign of weakness or lack of seriousness, even for simply playing the flute. From a young age, they were instructed in disguises, languages, and court etiquette along with the use of the dagger. By secret oaths, mysterious rites, and isolation from the world, the fidai were thoroughly indoctrinated in the cult. They were taught that revealed religion was for the masses, that only the true Imam and his representative (Hasan) to whom they owed unquestioning obedience possessed divine truth, and that as they gained his secret knowledge, so would they gain hidden powers.

According to Marco Polo, often they would be sent to kill someone in the local area first, so their resolve could be secretly observed, before being sent after bigger targets farther afield. Thus when someone important had to be eliminated, the Master could send proven and proficient daggermen. Timing as well as choice of victim was essential, in order to sow the maximum amount of confusion, hampering the operations of their enemies by taking out key leaders usually just before the start of a campaign.

Hasan’s actual military conquests were few, and mainly confined to hilltop fortresses, as he had to fend off the Seljuk Turks’ persistent attempts to besiege him as well as the Sunni backlash. But as his fanatic followers spread chaos, so did his reputation for utter ruthlessness add to the fear. He even had both his sons executed, the elder for participating in a murder plot against another Assassin, the younger for drinking a skin of wine.

Amazing stories are told of the fiery zeal of the fidai. To demonstrate his power to the emissaries of the Sultan Sanjar whom he had just warned with one of those daggers in the tent, he once had one of his followers slit his own throat and another throw himself off a parapet. The Turk was impressed enough to sign a truce. A similiar scene was later witnessed by the titular King of Jerusalem at the behest of Sinan, the wily head of the Syrian Assassins.

The followers’ families could also be equally devoted. Thus a mother, told that her son had been killed on a mission, rejoiced and put on her brightest gown; when he returned alive, she then put on her mourning robes (which sounds like a story from the West Bank today). When the fortress of Shahdiz was doomed to fall, the wife of the commander bedecked herself with jewelry and leapt to her death, while her husband, one of the few defenders captured alive, was marched through the streets of Isfahan, mocked, pelted with filth, and flayed alive.

But even with such followers, Hasan never reached his goal of supplanting the Caliph or the Sultan, though at last reaching some sort of compromise with the latter. He died peacefully in his bed in May, 1124 C.E., after choosing his successor, Umid. It is said that just before he passed away, he whispered to him, “Remember, nothing is true; everything is permitted.”

Then, according to a Sunni historian, Hasan departed for Hell.

The Later Assassins

The passing of Hasan-i Sabbah did not end the threat of the Assassins by any means. In the following millennium, his heirs claimed the semi-divine status of Imam themselves, and their followers spread to Syria where they fought with the Crusaders and the Knights Templar.

They roamed further afield, to India and even to that ancient graveyard of armies once again in the news, Afghanistan, and were remarkably transformed in the process.

All this, and what conclusions can be drawn from history about what the West faces in this strange conflict, will be related in the following essay, Assassins Among Us.

From Mastery towards Godhood

Events continued much as they had after the death of Hasan-i Sabbah. Alamut was besieged by the Turks, while Assassins in return struck down the Sultan’s Grand Vizir, and both the rival Egyptian and Arab Caliphs for good measure.

Gradually, the position of Master became even more exalted. Hasan did not want to found a dynasty — or in any case was prevented by his executions of his own sons — but his successor, Umid, did not have such limitations. Three days before his death in 1138 C.E., he named his son Muhammad as his successor.

Muhammad’s learned and popular son, Hasan II, who had avidly studied the writings of his namesake, interpreted doctrine more freely than his father did. Many came to believe he was the real Imam rather than merely his servant, fortified in their conviction by the rumor that he drank wine and was thus above the law. Muhammad denounced these ideas, and reportedly put to death 250 of his followers, which were strapped onto the backs of 250 others who were expelled.

As soon as Hasan became Master, things changed. During Ramadan, the Muslim penitential season (somewhat like Lent in the West), in 1164, Hasan declared to his assembled followers that he had received a message from the invisible Imam, and revoked the ritual law. The Ramadan fast was ended, even though it was only halfway through the month, and the feasting began.

The secret doctrine was made public, and Hasan was declared to be the Mahdi and the bringer of the Resurrection. By dispensing his followers from following Islamic practice, he brought a final rupture with the Sunni and in effect renounced the effort to conquer Islam. The Sunni were deemed henceforth to be spiritually dead.

Later it would be claimed that Hasan was actually the Imam Nazir’s physical descendant as well as spiritual son. All this was too much to bear by his brother in law, who stabbed him to death only two years later.

His successor, Muhammad II, further developed the theology of the Imam, declaring that upon the Imam, the one, only, sinless, and infallible source of the knowledge of God, depended the world’s very existence. He is the Proof of God, the earthly focus of their religious life, and salvation solely depends upon knowing and following his will.

Assassin and Templar

In 1099, the Crusaders reached the Holy Land and took Jerusalem in a bloodbath that spared no-one. Their first contact with the Assassins seems to have been at Apamea, where Syrian Assassins had recently burrowed under the wall and slain the ruler of the city and his household. The Regent of Antioch, Tancred, took the town, held some of the Assassins for ransom, and turned their leader over to the ruler’s surviving sons, who tortured him to death. Yet this intervention by the Christians does not seem to have roused the ire of the Assassins, who remained much more concerned with their Islamic enemies.

In fact, because of the enemies they had in common with the Crusaders, they took refuge among them, while still trying to take mountain strongholds in Syria as a base for further operations. One Assassin leader joined Raymond of Antioch, against Nuraddin, the lord of Aleppo, and fell with him in battle. Yet at other times they fought the Westerners, even murdering Count Raymond II of Tripoli. For this the Crusaders made war on the Assassins and even imposed tribute.

It is ironic that it should be the Knights of the Temple who exacted tribute, for founded a generation after the Assassins to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, their organization seems to have owed much to them. They took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, formed a hierarchy and also wore white. The weapon of assassination was ineffective against an order of their nature, for they could not be disorganized by the murder of their Grand Master. If he was killed, he was immediately replaced by a fellow knight.[1]

In 1162, Hasan II sent a new dai to represent him in Syria, Sinan, physically lame but quick-witted, who became infamous for his devious ploys and deceits. Many tales surround him, often echoing those of Hasan-i Sabbah. Appearing first in Syria as a saintly ascetic, it was supposedly only after he had been serving the chief dai for seven years did he admit to the old man on his deathbed that he was his replacement.

A plot formed against him among the fidai, but Sinan was warned by his own spy network. Disconcerted by their discovery, the plotters thought he was clairvoyant and submitted. Some other stories involve a belief in reincarnation, such as the one that he prevented his guards from killing a large snake because it was actually a recently dead Assassin leader being punished for his sins.

He used spies and a secret system of carrier pigeons to communicate. One night, his attendant caught him talking to such a pigeon, and Sinan informed him it was the late Hasan II.

Then one day, Sinan called his fidai into his chamber. On the floor was a plate with the head of one of their comrades, apparently decapitated after the accomplishment of a murder. Addressing it, Sinan asked whether he wanted to return to Earth. The head replied without hesitation that it preferred Paradise, describing it in glowing terms. After the fidai left, Sinan was said to have uncoupled the plate from the neck of the man, whose body was hidden in a space below the floor. He then rewarded the young man who had just spoken so rapturously of Paradise by sending him there with a single blow of his scimitar.

One of Sinan’s enemies was Saladin, renowned for his chivalry, who took over Egypt and returned it to the Sunni confession after the death of the last Shiite Caliph. His push into Syria caused no less than three attempts on his life, but he finally came to some sort of agreement with Sinan, who left him unmolested while Saladin took Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187. Sinan however did send his fidai disguised as Christian monks after Conrad of Montferrat, the titular King of Jerusalem who was rebuilding forces to try to regain the city. The fidai were slow-roasted and flayed alive, naming Richard the Lion-Hearted as the one who had hired them. Although Richard’s previous choice for King of Jerusalem, Henry of Champagne, married the widow and was acclaimed King with unseemly haste, it seems unlikely. (Henry later made peace with Sinan, it will be recalled, after witnessing fidai throw themselves off the parapet at their Master’s whim.)

The Wrath of the Mongols

Hasan III became Imam in 1210 and seemingly converted to the Sunni faith, restoring Muslim ritual law and invited Sunni teachers to come to Alamut. He was the first to recognize the danger of the Mongols and sought to pledge allegiance to the new terror of the steppes.

His son, Muhammed III or Aladdin (“Height of the Faith”), went back to the old ways, but his reign was overshadowed by his own madness. Anyone who contradicted him risked mutilation, amputation of limbs, and dead by torture. Whether it was his insanity or his determination to resist the Mongols, the Assassin leaders swore fidelity to his son Khurshah, but before he could act, the father was mysteriously murdered, apparently by a former favorite catamite.

The initial friendly relations between Assassins and Mongols quickly waned, and Hulagu Khan was sent from Karakoram to destroy the Assassins. He slowly and deliberately went after each mountain stronghold. Khurshah submitted and pleaded that Alamut be spared, but it was not. Neither was he — finally being murdered on the way back from a useless trip to try to see the Great Khan. Through trickery and brutality, the Mongols slew all the Assassins they could find, including babies.

Then Hulagu advanced on Baghdad, besieged it, and when the Caliph surrendered, butchered his retinue. The last Arab Caliph was trampled to death by horses after he revealed the hiding place of his treasury. Then Baghdad was raped, pillaged, and sacked — 800,000 were slaughtered indiscriminately. The ancient irrigation system was wrecked and Mesopotamia never recovered.

However, some Assassins of Alamut survived. Several years after Marco Polo visited, it was retaken by them, only to have the fortress finally reduced by the Mongols.

The Mongols advanced on Syria, causing the Assassins there to seek a treaty with St. Louis of France. The hordes were finally being stopped near Nazareth in 1260, thus sparing Egypt. Later Assassins stabbed King Edward I five times at Acre at the behest of the Sultan of Egypt, but Edward survived. The Assassins, however, had acquired a reputation for political murder among the Europeans, and would be blamed for many such in Europe until the 1600s at least.

Assassins in India

Islam, which had produced a magnificent, tolerant civilization, became narrow, rigid, and adverse to new ideas after the Mongol holocaust, even though the Mongols converted. After them came Tamerlane, another butcher from the steppes, but slowly Persia recovered under the Safavid dynasty. But around 1780, Aga Muhammad began to conquer the land. Castrated as a child, he brought brutality to new levels. Enraged by the resistance of one city, he ordered the defenders’ eyes torn out, personally counting 7,000 of them and assuring his officer in charge that had one had gone missing, his own would have been added to the pile. He gave the women and children of the city to his warriors. Yet he created modern territorial state of Iran, which includes neither Iraq nor Afghanistan — the latter having become independent in 1747.

In the meantime, the belief that the Assassins had been wiped out by Hulagu and Tamerlane proved false. The Imams remained in Persia and gradually came out of concealment, although in 1817 one was slain by a mob led by enraged mullahs.

The Shah, fearful of revenge, tortured the murderers (the leader was thrown into an icy pond and beaten to death with thorny sticks), and bestowed on the slain Imam’s son the title of Aga Khan, the hand of his daughter, a governorship and lands.

During this period, while some Assassins reverted to the old practice of concealing their faith, others had fled to India and the Himalayas. In India, several missionary dais or pirs (“saints”) were particularly successful. Some performed miracles, including raising a child and some fried birds from the dead. Others adopted their doctrine to the Hindus, teaching that Ali was a long-awaited incarnation of Vishnu. The Indian Assassins became known as the Khojas (“honorable converts”) and paid their tithes to the Imam, but they should not be confused with the Thugees, the stranglers devoted to the bloody Hindu goddess Kali.

Bloody Afghanistan

In 1840, the Aga Khan, who had moved to Bombay, sought to make his own kingdom in Afghanistan. Defeated, he turned to the British who were occupying Kandahar for assistance. The British, fearful that the Persian Shah might try to invade India with Russian help, were willing to listen.

The ruler of Afghanistan, Dost Muhammad, had welcomed a Russian representative. This alarmed the British, who invaded in 1839, captured the emir and sent him to captivity in India. They were still engaged in hostilities with his son when the Aga Khan arrived and offered them his sword.

In January 1842, the British occupation of Kabul became untenable, and it was decided to retreat through the passes to India. 17,000 left Kabul yet only one single man made it through. In the course of less than a week all the others were slain through betrayal, the inept leadership of their commanders, the winter weather, and the constant ambushes by the Afghanis. It is arguably the worst disaster in British military history.

The redcoats returned the next year, and in revenge, blew up the grand bazaar in Kabul, and rampaged indiscriminately. The First Afghan War inspired many Aghanis with hatred for the West and with their own invincibility that served them well in the war with the Soviets a century and a quarter later, and now perhaps in the conflict the Taliban (“religious students”) find themselves in today.

Ishmaelis Today

In 1850, some dissidents, claiming that the Aga Khan was not divine, refused to pay the tithe. This so enraged the orthodox Assassins that a band invaded the rebels’ council hall and killed four of them. A British court ordered four of the assailants hung. The hanged men were regarded as martyrs and the Aga Khan himself wrote verses from the Qu’ran on their shrouds. But as far as is known, this was the last time the Assassins settled a dispute in their traditional manner.

The Aga Khan and his descendants generally remained friends of the British, supporting them during the Sepoy Mutiny and also the First and Second World Wars. From playboys and libertines, they slowly matured through several generations into spokesmen for the Muslims in India and worked for Indian independence.

The Lessons of History

As the song says, what a long, strange trip it has been for the Assassins, from murderous insurgents to social reformers and organizers of charity. The lesson here is that cults and cultures can change. Terrorism takes root only when there is crushing poverty, despair, and such powerlessness that such things as otherworldly cults fomenting murder make sense.

These underlying causes must be fought in this “war against terrorism” as well as the hidden minions of bin Laden and others like him. As history shows, military might can be used to destroy networks and support, but as even the Mongols could not wipe out the Assassins, neither will we ever be able to prevent every fanatic from succeeding in a suicide mission.

There is another obvious lesson here as well: do not seek to occupy Afghanistan. Let us hope our leaders have read their history very carefully.

Objectives of the Group

  1. For a resistance movement to come into being and to grow to m maturity, certain conditions must exist:
  2. The people must favor it;
  3. The terrain in which its units operate must be difficult enough to give security to its bases and cloak its operations and to discourage continued pursuit;

c .The regular army at which it strikes must not be overly strong.

  1. Individual irregular units operating independently can be destroyed by timely action of line troops but unorganized resistance movement, once well started, is extremely difficult to combat. Therefore the surest way to combat a resistance movement is to strike at its roots, that is, never let it get started.
  2. The best preventive measures are:
  3. Proper detailed occupational planning executed prior to the occupation;

b .A clear understanding of the people themselves with whom the occupation must deal, psychological, ethnological, and ideological characteristics;

c.A unified and centrally controlled administration of the areas occupied; and

  1. A firm but fair occupation administration combining, as Jomini saw it, courtesy, gentleness, severity, and just dealing. If the mass of the people can be won over, or at least induced not to aid the partisans, the movement will die on the vine.
  2. If an army in the middle of an operational campaign should find itself confronted by a resistance movement in its zone of communications, it should;
  3. Never allow the partisans to divert it from its primary mission of front-line combat to the extent of weakening this front.
  4. Rather than view the situation in its proper perspective, remembering that partisans as such have a very limited combat value, and react accordingly.
  5. Strike hard with sufficient front-line troops or, if such should not be feasible at the time, pull itself in on its major communication axes and let the rest go for the time being, confident that it possesses the organization and strength to clear the rear if it later becomes necessary.

In the field of antipartisan tactics the following basic principles should be applied:

  1. The objective of an antipartisan operation should always be complete annihilation of the enemy in the attacked area, not expulsion from the area.
  2. Command should always be unified under an experienced frontline commander no matter now diverse the composite elements of the force.
  3. Preparation for an antipartisan operation should be made by a General Staff operations section and as carefully as in the case of an operation at the front.
  4. The most complete and up-to-date information possible should be obtained prior to the operation and should be kept current during the course of the operation.
  5. The most complete security possible should be maintained during the planning and the assmbly of troops in order to preserve the element of surprise.

6 In view of the difficult terrain generally encountered in this type of operation, the units comprising the attack force should be provided with ample signal equipment.

  1. Encirclement of the entire area to be cleared should be closely followed by a surprise attack.
  2. The area should be carefully combed during the course of the operation.
  3. Following the completion of the operation, the area cleared should either be secured by strong garrisons or, if such should not be feasible, all buildings in the area should be completely destroyed and all persons evacuated from the area in order to dissuade the partisans from returning.








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