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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 09:16 PM
Original message
Successful Strategic Bombing
Old, but seems worth it.

In one of history?s shortest and most successful strategic bombing campaigns, Islamic Fourth
Generation forces have brought about ?regime change? in Spain. The conservative Popular
Party, which had allied itself closely with American President George W. Bush and sent Spanish
troops to Iraq, was badly defeated in Spain?s national election following last week?s bombings on
Spanish commuter trains. As one Popular Party MP said to the Washington Post, ?The terrorists
have killed 200 people and defeated the government - they have achieved all their objectives.?
The new Spanish government will be headed by the Socialist Party, which has promised to pull
the Spanish army out of Iraq, withdraw from the U.S.-British axis and realign Madrid with Paris,
Berlin and Moscow.

How could a strategic bombing campaign waged with a handful of explosives-filled backpacks
attain such dramatic results when strategic by bombing fleets of aircraft has usually failed?
The answer lies not in the purely military sphere but in the larger field of politics, where
Spain?s Popular Party government had left itself extraordinarily vulnerable.

The Popular Party?s error was trying to wage a cabinet war typical of the 18th century under
modern conditions. In terms of national interests, Spain had nothing at stake in America?s
war with Iraq. Polls indicated that the Spanish people were strongly opposed to sending the
tercios to Iraq, by as much as 90%. But the Popular Party?s Prime Minister, Jose Maria
Aznar, saw a chance to get his name up in lights. And he did, with frequent invitations to
the White House and even President Bush?s Texas ranch. He felt like one of the big boys,
and the price seemed small - a few dead Spanish soldiers. Like Bush and Blair, he assumed
that war could be a one-way street where only the enemy suffered.

And now he?s out in the cold, his party defeated in an election the polls said it would handily
win. The Madrid bombings brought the war home to Spanish soil, which suddenly made
Spain?s participation in it issue number one. Why was Spain in Iraq? The government had
no answer, because there really was none.

Free Congress Foundation
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. just the last straw in the aznar failure
he lied/misstated the amount of damage the oil tanker did to the Spanish coast,his failure to heed the protest of the Iraqi war and blaming the Basque terrorists instead of heeding the warnings of the French ,German ,and his own security forces on the threat of rail bombs from Tunisia terror groups
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Free Congress Foundation" is a RW think tank:
Edited on Sun Jul-25-04 10:03 PM by struggle4progress

While I am tempted to cheer when conservatives admit that "Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction" and that "Saddam was not working with Americas real .. enemies," this article has some serious problems: a major objective of the article, for example, is to push the idea that "terrorists want to sway our elections -- but we must stay the course," and this requires the author to misrepresent the real reasons that Aznar lost.

... Most Spanish political scientists agree it was less a vote for the socialists than a referendum on Aznar and his party, widely, graphically accused of "lying" to the country by insisting on blaming Thursday's Madrid terrorist bombings on the Basque separatists of ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or Basque Homeland and Liberty) even when all the leads started pointing to the global jihad ...

<edit: removed garbage>

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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-04 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. Anzar's loss had nothing to do with the bombings
He ignored popular sentiment throughout his tenure.

This meme is something the intel pukes came up with. The ties between Spanish security domestic security agents and the terrorists are extremely suspicious. These train bombings are just what the doctor ordered. The problem is that European populations are too sophisticated. They've seen it all before.

Notwithstanding the failure of the P2 like bombings intended to scare the populace, the branded interference in the electoral process foreshadows plans for American elections. Whatever the outcome, favorable or unfavorable, the adumbrated plans for American elections would have a paradigm. "We don't want to be weak like the Europeans," or had they had the intended P2 effect, "we need to be like the courageous Spanish electorate and re-elect the rightest security state, to protect us."
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-04 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yeah, it's bullshit.
But interesting bullshit, creative I thought.

The bombing might have motivated some people to go vote,
but Aznar made a habit of pissing people off, and the
handling of the investigation is what really did the job.

Lind keeps hammering away at his 4th Generation War stuff.

I dunno what they are going to do here. Bush looks toasted
the way things are, but still three months to go. I am somewhat
heartened by the the determined way Bush has alienated the
intelligence services, but it's hard to say what will come of
that besides what we have already.

What is "P2", does not translate.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. P2 was a fascist lodge in post WWII Italy
Edited on Sat Jul-31-04 06:57 AM by teryang
The group of former Il Duce backers, supported by the CIA, would bomb public facilities in Italy before the elections and then the press would blame the local communist party so their popular candidates would lose the election.

Early in the administration, Rumsfeld made public a Pre-emptive Plans Special Operations Group (P2SOG) he organized to provoke "terrorist responses" in order to wipe them out. This IMHO was an open reference to the P2 provocateur technique.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Run P2 and/or Operation Gladio through Google
It's a gold mine of intelligence techniques for interference in electoral politics.

<P2 essentially a Right-wing parallel government, was aligned with a super-secret Italian organization called Il Gladio set up in 1956 with the help of British Intelligence and the CIA. Gladio was part and parcel of MI5 and the CIA's 1948 efforts to establish a European "Stay Behind" network of guerrilla fighters who would conduct covert operations after a Soviet invasion using arms and explosives which had been previously cached. <snip>

<One unforgetable example of this wave of terror was the Bologna railway bombing in 1980, that killed 80 people and injured over 160. While reportedly masterminded by P2 members Stefano Delle Chiaie and Licio Gelli, the attack was blamed on the Red Brigades to discredit the Italian Communist party. According to author Steve Mizrach:
Some Italian political analysts believe that P2 and "Ordine Nuova" (New Order) may have cooperated with the CIA . <snip>

<This covertly-orchestrated "strategy of tension" would repeat itself in Belgium in the mid-80s, in a bizarre series of killings called the "Supermarket Massacres," in which hooded gunmen walked into crowded supermarkets and began firing away. The massacres, orchestrated by a group calling itself the "Killers of Brabant," were later discovered to be linked to Belgium's Gladio unit.<snip>

<snip><However, it was the Bologna bomb that led to the unravelling
of the link between Italian fascist paramilitaries; P2; the
secret services and Gladio. The 1982 testimony of a P2 member in
prison in Switzerland, revealed that the outrage was instigated
by that organization and involved elements of the secret
services. Subsequent investigators revealed that the explosive
used probably came from Gladio arsenals.<snip>

<The 1990 revelations in Italy had a wider impact. After all,
Gladio was simply the Italian branch of a European wide network.>

<After the dramatic communist victories of 35% of the vote in 1976, a landslide by Italys electoral standards, a series of monstrous bomb attacks rocked the country, including a 1980 attack on the train station in Bologna that left 85 dead.
Four avowed fascists were later convicted of planting the bomb with Gladio materials and even the "puppet-master" Licio Gelli was sentenced to prison for creating an elaborate scheme to protect the bombers. After seven months, higher courts overturned the convictions prompting the original trial Judge, Liberato Mancuso to lament (as reported in the Guardian, 3/8/90):

"It is now understood among those engaged in the matter of democratic rights that we are isolated, and the objects of a campaign of aggression. This is what has happened to the commission into the P2, and to the magistrates. The personal risks to us are small in comparison to this offensive of denigration, which attempts to discredit the quest for truth. In Italy there has functioned for some years now a sort of conditioning, a control of our national sovereignty by the P2 - which was literally the master of the secret services the army and our most delicate organs of state." <snip>

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Ah, yes, thanks.
The agent provocateur goes way back. All us old VietNam
protest hands know about the FBI plant who wants you to
bomb the shit out of something or spit on the troops. If you
are dumb enough to bite, you get screwed and they get all this
great propaganda.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with. It
will have to be good this time around. Kerry has been careful to
avoid letting the bad labels stick, and as in Spain, a badly
chosen or badly handled "incident" can backfire as well as not.

Thanks for the links.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. The P2 MO

<The covert objectives of Gladio were to spread panic and unrest through the implementation of "terrorist outrages," and also to directly attack the Left in an attempt to provoke them into an armed response. The purpose of this strategy was to demonize the Left and isolate them from popular support, while providing an excuse to curtain civil liberties. As a 1969 memo from Aginter Press, a fascist front group, explained:

Our belief is that the first phase of political activity ought to be to create the conditions favouring the installation of chaos in all of the regime's structures. This should necessarily begin with the undermining of the state economy so as to arrive at confusion throughout the whole legal apparatus. This leads on to a situation of strong political tension, fear in the world of industry and hostility towards the government and the political parties. In our view the first move we should make is to destroy the structure of the democratic state, under the cover of communist and pro-Chinese activities. Moreover, we have people who have infiltrated these groups and obviously we will have to tailor our actions to the ethos of the milieu propaganda and action of a sort which will seem to have emanated from our communist adversaries and pressure brought to bear on people in whom power is invested at every level. That will create a feeling of hostility towards those who threaten the people of each and every nation, and at the same time we must raise up a defender of the citizenry against the disintegration brought about by terrorism and subversion.>

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Raises some interesting thoughts in connection with current events.
If, as seems clear, Shrub and his minions set out to end the
last vestiges of the American Republic, then the various events
of the last 3.5 years, bad economy, enemies without and within,
discrediting of the political structure, all fit in.

OTOH, I think I would have expected a more determined, sustained,
and violent campaign at home under this scenario. All we have is
the WTC attacks, spectacular but isolated so far. Another on that
scale could well backfire, and a campaign of smaller atrocities
ought to be well underway by now to have the desired effect.

Of course, Dumbsfeld's record of incompetence must be considered too.
They may have had this in mind but botched it, pissed off the spooks,
not dare because of pissed off spooks, etc. We live in interesting
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holly73 Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. You can say that again
You can say that again
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. We live in interesting times.
Welcome to DU.
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holly73 Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. The Belgian super market massacres
Edited on Sat Jul-31-04 06:33 PM by teryang
...have their counterpart in the sniper attacks of fall 2002 just before the mid term elections. If you throw in the WTC, the Pentagon, and the anthrax attacks with all the false terrorist alerts and scare stories thrown in and broadcast indiscriminately by the press, a climate of fear was created legislatively in which anything goes. The anthrax attacks ranged from Florida to Connecticut.The rumors during 911 were wild and scary. The flight hijackers were in florida, oklahoma, california, massachusetts and new york. The snipers took a course from the Northwest to the South and then to the mid Alantic states. During the sniping attacks there was a pall of fear cast over the country which definitely affected mid term elections.

In response, the Congress basically abandoned its constitutional prerogatives, gutted the organizational structure of the executive branch with Homeland Security, made a paper doll of the Bill of Rights with the Patriot Act, and gave the President carte blanche to go to war and to establish a full spectrum gulag.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. True that.
I tend to discount those things because of my own attitudes,
and because some of them (snipers) appear to be spontaneous,
but certainly the Congress and the courts have both abandoned
defense of our Constitutional liberties, and even defense of
their own prerogatives in a number of cases.

One does have a sense of a growing consensus that Shrub and the
buffoons that surround him cannot be trusted with power, but that
is not the same thing, unfortunately, as a sense that a end to
autocratic rule is necessary.

I have not paid attention to the Belgian story, do you think that
has spook involvement?
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I'm looking at the overall picture
...yes I do but that is just my opinion.

More interesting was an analysis I read of the Malvaux trial, which took the kitchen sink approach to proving murder beyond a reasonable doubt yet left out certain killings because they could not have been carried out by the two men as alleged because of the time limitations. Namely, twenty minutes between some shootings miles apart in the greater DC area. Ever driven there? Rule of thumb, it can take an hour to go ten miles. Odd that one of the victims was an FBI counter-terrorism analyst. She must have been a Sibel Edmonds type problem. Perhaps she was an example. Also odd that Mohammed and the Chief of Police belonged to the same Army reserve unit and that the chief was mobilized to active duty right after the crimes were "solved." The Chief seemed to be using a pre-arranged code to call in the "assassins." Another weird fact is that the two "snipers" were actually stopped by Baltimore police and let go before the murder spree was over. The apprehension of the two killers was extraordinarily slow after their location was called in to police.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-04 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. The whole sniper thing was terminally wierd.
But then, life IS wierd. I can list them off: Jonestown,
the Comet people in San Diego, David Koresh, Manson, and so
on, as wierd and as far back in history as you care to go.
Randy Carpenter up there in Idaho, where did he think he was
going? Why were the feds in such a snit about him? The Oklahoma
City bombing. On and on.

But then, if you are a spook with a removal problem, the sniper
crisis was a golden opportunity. Spontaneous occurrences are
like a gift when they fit with your agenda. I sometimes think it
doesn't matter much whether it was LIHOP or MIHOP, the point was
that it was something they wanted, admitted they wanted, whether
it was accidental or precisely what was desired is beside the point,
the point was that these assholes viewed such an occurrence as
a good and useful thing, and they immediately jumped in and used
it for their own ends after it occurred.

My point about WTC is that while there has been plenty of fearmongering,
there have been no real, big fat attacks here in the "homeland"
since then. You have to wonder why not? I do not believe it is
due to the efficiency of the "Homeland Security Department". I think
its just that a repeat does not work for any of the likely parties
in the present situation, but in the leadup to a losing election
desperate measures might be considered.

Yeah, I've driven in DC, it's worse than LA, much worse.
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