Joseph T. Palastra: One Of The Greatest Generals You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

Joseph T. Palastra: One Of The Greatest Generals You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

Early this past March, a stately looking, silver-haired, eighty-three-year-old man quietly passed away in the small, Mayberryish town of Highlandville, Missouri. He was known, by his neighbors and the fellow parishioners at his church, simply as “Joe.”

“Joe’s” passing was routinely and unceremoniously noted in a small, eight line obituary which told us very little about “Joe”
the man. He was survived by his beautiful and intelligent wife, of over a half century, Anne. Unmentioned, were the four of his five children and a number of grandchildren who he had also left behind.

The obituary also mentioned that, per “Joe’s” wishes, there were to be no funeral services. This last bit of information seemed most telling for a man who spent his life putting others before himself – God, County, family and the million plus different soldiers he commanded over the course of his stellar career as one of the Army’s top officers. Yes, not everyone seemed to know that, “Joe” the humble farmer in their midst, was once a four star General who commanded all US Army personnel in the Continental United States.

Born, during the depths of The Great Depression, on November 10, 1931 was
Joseph T. Palastra, Jr. Little is publicly known about his childhood. The record for “Joe” begins in 1954 when he graduated, with distinction, from the United States Military Academy at West Point. With handsome features a thatch of thick dark hair, “Joe” was respected for his high intelligence, work ethic and integrity. As a young Army Lieutenant , already considered a rising star, “Joe” was selected, with a group of other promising young officers, to be loaned out to the CIA for service in Vietnam in 1955 – some ten years before the deployment of combat forces there.

Still in his early 20s, “Joe” spent his time in Vietnam learning about the people, their culture and politics. This would serve him well in the following decade when he deployed for three tours in Vietnam-including two as a unit commander.

In the late 1960s, during two of his three tours, “Joe” commanded Company B, 4th Aviation Battalion as well as the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry respectively. By this time, the war had grown unpopular. Most of the soldiers were draftees. Many didn’t want to be in country. Drug use among the soldiers in Vietnam was rampant. Morale was low and, in some units, soldiers rebelled against their officers. In some cases, unpopular officers and Sergeants were murdered by their own troops in a practice known as “fragging.”

Many incoming unit commanders, under the circumstances, were reluctant to fully assert their authority and maintain high standards and discipline. Not “Joe.” Palastra believed that if one were “placed in charge he must take charge.” “Joe” was not afraid to “take charge” and restore discipline where needed. The first unit he took command of in Vietnam was an important combat aviation unit that he would later, and understatedly describe as “not functioning well.” As the incoming commander he had zero tolerance for disobedience and was unwilling to look the other way like many other commanders were doing. He insisted that his men adhere to the highest standards while he and his soldiers aggressively pursued the enemy on the battlefield. When he left his command, his aviation unit went from being one of the worst in its sector to being one of the best.

In 1969, when “Joe,” then a Lieutenant-Colonel, took command of the 1st Battalion of the 12th Infantry, that unit was functioning much better than most. Yet, through leading by example and setting the highest standards for himself and his men, he transformed 1st Battalion from a good unit into a great one that could be relied upon to accomplish the most challenging of missions. What “Joe” knew was something that many other officers in Vietnam didn’t appear to grasp: Soldiers actually prefer to be part of a well disciplined and accomplished unit led by officers who set high standards and who actually care for them.

After his time in Vietnam, “Joe” had accumulated an impressive array of accomplishments and awards including eight Air Medals, Three Bronze Stars for Valor and the coveted Silver Star Medal. Even more important, he established himself as a superb combat leader.

That period from the middle 1970s to the early to middle 1980s, known in the Army as “the post Vietnam era” were some of the Army’s darkest days. The military was unpopular with most Americans. In the wake of Vietnam, the Army’s budget was drastically cut and commanders lacked the necessary amounts of fuel and ammunition to conduct adequate training. Standards were low as was soldier morale. Racial tensions and violence were rampant throughout the Army. The military was unable to attract significant numbers of quality recruits.? In the Army, it was not uncommon for those charged with felonies to be offered the opportunity to serve in the Army in lieu of a conviction and prison sentence. While not as prevalent as in Vietnam, there still existed among a large portion of the lower enlisted ranks, a culture of disobedience and disrespect toward their leaders. In this post Vietnam era, many fine officers chose to leave the Army. Fortunately for the Army and our nation, “Joe” chose to stay.

Continuing to excel in his new role as an officer in the peace time Army of the 1970s, Joe was promoted to Colonel and selected for Brigade command in the famed 101st Airborne Division. As during his time as commander, “Joe” was lauded for the measurable improvements to his brigade’s morale, performance and readiness. Few were surprised when “Joe” Palastra was promoted to General and later given command of the US Army’s 5th Infantry Division.

Yet it was in the early 1980s when “Joe,” now sporting three stars on his collar, took command of the 60,000 plus soldiers in the US Army’s I Corps at Fort Lewis, Washington. The election of Ronald Reagan as the 40th US President brought many changes to the Army which received, once again, adequate training funds as well as thevcomplete modernization of its inventory of equipment, weapons and vehicles.

Still, the soldiers continued to be influenced by the post Vietnam culture. Standards were still relatively slack and discipline was somewhat lacking. “Joe” come onto Fort Lewis like a whirlwind and immediately raised the bar. It quickly became clear to all under his command that “Joe” wasn’t fooling around. He expected the highest of standards and would not suffer those hapless souls who were content with mediocrity. His soldiers would speak of him as “being everywhere.” A Company standing around on the side of the road, on base, in an aimless cluster, might very well see their Corp commander pulling over in his vehicle to take charge of the situation and impart an important and forceful lesson to the unfortunate Captain who commanded the unsightly company. A Military Police Commander drew “Joe’s” ire when he decided to punish an overweight and sub-standard soldier Military Policeman by placing him on duty, at night, on the front gate. “What?” He snapped incredulously at the cowering MP commander. “Any soldier you assign to the main gate is the first impression most will have of this post and you assigned this man?!!!

It seemed as though nothing happened in I corps which escaped notice of General “Joe.” Once a soldier driving a 2 1/2 ton truck in convoy down I-5 took off his helmet
(A major safety violation) and began to eat a Big Mac (another violation) – the next day, the soldier’s commander was made to answer for it. General Palastra didn’t believe in micro-managing his subordinates. He did, however, believe in micro-monitoring everything in his command.

General “Joe” loved all of his soldiers but his Military Police had a special place in his heart. They were his eyes and ears and the agents who helped him transform I Corp into a highly disciplined organization through enforcing the high standards he set. It was said that he even monitored the Fort Lewis MP’s police scanner. When his MPs complained that they were being brow beaten by officers that they pulled over for traffic infractions, “Joe” gave his military policemen some special guidance. From that day forward, things changed and the interaction with disgruntled officers who were ticketed went something like this:

Angry Officer: “This is #%**+# – you can’t do this to me!”

MP: “Sir, if you wish to file a complaint I have been ordered to give you the name and phone number of my boss.”

Angry Officer: “Yes, #%!?%%# I have a thing or two I’d like to say to him. Give it to me.”

MP: “Sir, My boss is General Polastra and he insists on hearing about complaints right away. His phone number is———-.”

It always worked to diffuse the situation and Needless to say, General “Joe” never received and complaints.

Leaders in the Army and the Department of Defense recognized how “Joe” was able to make drastic improvements to the morale, professionalism and proficiency of the soldiers under his command. It seemed a natural progression in his career when he was promoted to four star General and tasked with turning around the entire US Army within the continental United States when he was made commander of the US Forces Command in 1986.

“Joe” knew we were overdue for a war – maybe in Europe or maybe in the Middle East. He had witnessed, first hand, how poorly trained and unprepared soldiers do in combat. He was determined to make sure the hundreds of thousands of soldiers under his command were ready for anything that could be thrown there way. Using the same formula that had served him and his soldiers so well in the past, he took to transforming the bulk of the US Army. Always an advocate of higher recruiting standards, he saw a much higher caliber of new soldier enlisting for service. Singularly possessed to effectuate change, some would accuse “Joe” of being a “hard ass.” Yet, as a General Joe was was almost universally admired by his men. From his earliest days as a Lieutenant to the twilight of his career, as a four star General, “Joe’s” soldiers knew his drive was not selfishly motivated by his own career advancement but, rather by his love for and desire to see his soldiers become the best they were capable of being.

To most, having such responsibility for so many soldiers might seem like a daunting task. Yet, “Joe” enjoyed the privilege of being able to bring out the best in so many young people. In an interview, he summed up his experiences thus:

“I went to Atlanta to Fort McPherson. I was in charge of 18 divisions, 275,000 active duty soldiers and another 350,000 U.S. Army Reserve Units. I was also responsible for training and mobilizing 430,000 National Guard members,.”

On his retirement, General “Joe” Palastra left a US Army that was unrecognizable from the Army he served in both during and in the years immediately following the Vietnam War. No small part of the credit goes to him. Through it all, he could always count on the support of his lovely wife Anne, his equal in spirt and intellect, who was always there to improve the Army community of wherever they were stationed and mentor and comfort young Army wives all they while raising five extraordinary children who went on to become accomplished in their own right.

Shortly after his retirement, “Joe’s” beliefs in a future war were confirmed when in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait which lead to the first Gulf War. It might have helped the career of the Commander of US Forces in that war, General Norman Schwarzkopf, that his previous assignment had been to take over command, of the recently whipped into shape I Corps, from General “Joe.” Undoubtedly “Joe’s” amazing work with I Corp would later also reflect positively on Schwarzkopf.

Then, as Forces Commander, “Joe’s” second great gift to Schwarzkopf were the hundreds of thousands of well trained and highly motivated soldiers he had prepared for their eventual service under Schwarzkopf in the Gulf War.

If anyone ever doubted that “Joe” Palastra was a humble man, all such doubt was removed after his retirement from the Army when he and Anne settled in a small community in rural Missouri to take up a quiet and near anonymous life as simple farmers and active church goers. With “Joe” his work was done and there was no jockeying for political appointments, media commentary gigs, or cushy defense contractor positions.

As a civilian he never made much out of his Army career to others in his community and was content to be simply addressed as “Joe.” “Joe’s” career and Army retirement spanned a period in our history before the Internet and thus, there is little today to document his life and career online. Yet, to those who served with and under him, his legacy lives on in their hearts and memories.

On March 3, 2015 General “Joe” Palastra went before his maker. Undoubtedly his maker said unto him:

‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:21

See you on the high ground sir!

Felix Rodriguez: The Man Who Took Down Che Guevara

IMG_1289-0.JPG

Felix Rodriguez, pictured above on the left next to Che Guevara, is a Cuban exile turned U.S. Citizen, and a personal friend of President George H.W. Bush. Rodriguez is also a highly decorated former U.S. Soldier and CIA Operative. He is perhaps best known for his role as the CIA operative responsible for the capture of Che Guevara. Rodriguez successfully fled Cuba during the blood bath following Communist dictator Fidel Castro’s violent overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista. However, most of Rodriguez’s family, including his father and two brothers, were murdered by Castro’s Communist henchmen in Cuba. It’s likely that Che Guevara played a role in most, if not all of the Rodriguez family executions. In the end, like many others, they were murdered merely for being wealthy.

Seeking revenge for the murder of his family and many friends, Mr. Rodriguez soon joined and became a leader in the CIA backed “Operation 40” and “Brigade 2506.” These groups were part of the United States plan to overthrow the Castro regime by training and equipping a Brigade of Cuban exiles to invade their homeland – later becoming known as the “Bay of Pigs invasion” during the Kennedy administration. Felix Rodriguez played a key role in the ill-fated invasion as he volunteered for the highly dangerous assignment clandestinely infiltrating Cuba a couple of weeks prior to the actual invasion in order to gather critical intelligence which was used in the planning and preparation for the invasion. Unfortunately, his bravery was for not as President Kennedy would later backtrack on using U.S. combat aircraft for the crucial air support which was needed for the invasion to succeed.

In addition to those killed, some 1200 Cuban exiles were taken prisoner and virtually all were tortured – some executed. Again, the driving force behind the executions and torment was Comrade Che. Felix Rodriguez could never have imagined then, that some six years later, he would be in a unique position to settle scores with the Red Butcher, Che Guevara.

The Chickens Come Home to Roost

Che was never an accomplished battlefield tactician during the Cuban revolution. After that revolution, when given the task of industrializing Cuba, he failed miserably. His subsequent revolutionary adventurism in Africa was equally ill fated. The only thing Guevara was really accomplished at was murdering others. During the revolution, Castro promoted him not for his brilliance as a military strategist or for his leadership abilities but rather, because Che had no qualms with murdering those who Castro asked him to kill. Whenever a local peasant refused to cooperate with Castro’s men or objected to the guerillas taking his crops or, for that matter, was suspected of talking to government forces, Comrade Che was always more than happy to do the dirty work that most of the others in Castro’s rag tag army would not do. Even after Che was promoted to a leadership position in the guerilla movement, he left the tactical planning of operations to some of his otherwise more competent subordinates.

As mass executions in Cuba began to slow to to a trickle, Che began to contemplate his future. His failures in other administrative duties of state caused Castro to lose confidence in his ability to play a significant role in the new Communist government. With little future in Cuba, Che decided it was time he lead a new revolution in South America. He picked Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in South America, because it bordered five other countries which, so he thought, would afford an insurgent force like his own the opportunity to train and set up camps just outside of Bolivian territory. He foolishly assumed that because Bolivia was lacking in natural resources, the United States would be less inclined to assist the Bolivian government. His assumptions were wrong.

By 1967, Felix Rodriguez was rising star in the CIA’s Special Activities Division. He was considered the agency’s top field operative for Central and South America. It was, in a sense, poetic justice of sorts when Rodriguez was chosen to be the CIA’s point man in the search for Guevara. When intelligence reports indicated that the Red Butcher was operating in Bolivia, Rodriguez was sent down to coordinate the effort to find and take him out. As a cover, Rodriguez wore a Bolivian Army uniform and assumed the rank of a Major in that Army. Rodriguez, along with Bolivia’s 2nd Ranger Battalion, which had been trained by U.S. Special Forces, moved into action near the Yuro ravine on October 7, 1967 after a deserter from Che’s guerilla force went to the authorities and informed them of Che’s whereabouts.

In a glaring violation of Operational Security, Che failed to relocate his force of some fifty rebels from their encampment after knowing that one of his men had deserted. Accordingly, Che and his men, whom Che had positioned in a depression with high ground on all sides of them, were attacked the next day by the Bolivian Rangers and Alex Rodriguez. In addition to placing his men in the worse possible tactical position, with no means of escape, Che failed to position sentries on the perimeter of his encampment. As a result, Che’s group was taken completely by surprise while finding themselves without any prospect of retreat, thanks to Guevara’s shocking incompetence. It was a turkey shoot for the Bolivian soldiers who rained hot lead down upon Che and his hapless followers.

While Guevara lacked the competence to adequately train or lead his doomed rebels, he had successfully engrained onto their impressionable

psyches that they must never surrender. Che repeatedly urged his followers to “fight to the last breath” and to “save the last bullet” for themselves. When the Bolivian Rangers attacked them on October 8, 1967, that is exactly what his men did.

Despite being poorly equipped and led, Guevara’s men fought on in an impossible situation. As Guevara’s rebels courageously followed his directive to “fight to the last drop of blood” and while being mercilessly gunned down, Che made a run for it! Guevara simply bolted away from his men in the heat of battle. While his men bravely fought on, Guevara managed to climb out of the depression and dart out into the open. As two Bolivian Rangers leveled their weapons at him, Guevara dropped his own fully functional rifle, with a near full magazine, and begged, “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot! I am Che Guevara and I am worth more to you alive than dead!” As his small guerilla force was being decimated below, in the very trap he had led them into, Guevara’s only concern was for himself as he continued to plead with the Bolivian Rangers not to kill him.

Separating Che Fact from Che Fiction

Che’s life as a Marxist Revolutionary has been romanticized by the American Left for decades. The Left, while conveniently overlooking his well documented history as a bloodthirsty mass murderer, has chosen to present him as a courageous type of Robin Hood who gallantly took up the fight for the poor against those who he perceived as the exploiters of the poor. This revisionism has been quite successful. Hollywood movies extol Che’s noble struggle against these so called oppressors of the weak. It is now chic to wear clothing which displays his image. Also, certain pseudo historians have tried to portray Che as a selfless, ultra-brave, larger than life military genius. The problem is that none of it is true.

Che, it is said by some of his admirers, only surrendered after being “wounded in both legs and having his rifle rendered inoperative by an enemy bullet.” The truth is that at the time of Che’s cowardly and hypocritical surrender, he had only a minor flesh wound from a bullet that passed cleanly through a small portion of his lower left calf muscle. This superficial wound, more akin to a nick, likely occurred while he was running away and only caused him to limp slightly as he surrendered to the Bolivians. He was later seen walking that day by others and again, the next day, in village of La Higuera. He also apparently had no problem walking outside of the schoolhouse, that he was being kept in, the following day where he posed with Rodriguez, for the photo above. The minor wound on his calf was dressed and treated with a bandage. The “seriously wounded in both legs” story is a fiction promulgated by his Leftist, crypto-Marxist admirers within American academia and media circles.

Perhaps even less credible is the odd fiction of Guevara’s rifle having been “rendered inoperative by an enemy bullet.” Statements from the Bolivian Rangers indicated that not only was Guevara’s rifle fully operational but he had a near full magazine of ammunition. If these facts were not enough, upon surrendering to his Bolivian captors, they found a fully loaded Walther PPK pistol on his person – also with a full magazine of ammunition. As Guevara cooperated fully with his captors, by offering his hands up to be tied by the soldiers, his erstwhile comrades were fighting on and dying – following his admonishment to “fight to the last breath.”

Yet, what shocked the Bolivian soldiers and Felix Rodriguez more than Che’s sissified desertion of his men and surrender was the strange whimpering and ingratiating manner he took on with his captors after surrendering himself.

“What’s your name,” a cooing Guevara asked of one of the young Bolivian Rangers after his capture. “What a lovely name for a Bolivian soldier,” Che said with a smile.

After meeting Captain Prado, a company commander in the Bolivian Rangers, a chatty and overly ingratiating Guevara beamed, “you are a very special person Captain. I have been talking to some of your men and they think very highly of you.”

Che, the medical school dropout, inquired of his captors, upon seeing a wounded Bolivian soldier, “Shall I attend to (medically treat) him?” The Red Butcher, suddenly humbled and keenly aware that he was not the man portrayed in the fawning news clippings written by his liberal admirers, began chatting away through a nervous smile to anyone who came near him. “What will you fine and brave men do with me? I don’t think you want to kill me as I am much more valuable to you alive,” Che whimpered to Rodriguez.

“Now please tell me what you intend to do with me? I can be quite helpful to you!” Guevara continued to whine, beg and persuade the Bolivians and Felix Rodriguez to spare his life. While doing this he never once expressed any interest in or concerns regarding the fate of his guerilla comrades- those foolish and naïve souls who agreed to follow him and who ultimately died for him.

Che Goes Out with a Whimper

Che spent the evening tied up inside a school house in the village of La Higuera as his fate was being decided by the civilian and military leadership of Bolivia. On October 9, 1967, the coded order came in on the radio. Che was to be executed. Surprisingly, Felix Rodriguez, who lost most of his family at the hands of Guevara, magnanimously argued that the bumbling revolutionary’s life should be spared. Rodriguez wanted him taken to Panama where he could be questioned by the CIA. Yet, the Bolivians would have nothing of it. The Red Butcher was to receive his comeuppance and the world would be free of this bloodthirsty terrorist.

When the call for a volunteer to execute Guevara was made throughout the ranks of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, virtually ever Bolivian soldier stepped up to perform the task. In the end, the honor was given to a Sergeant who saw three of his soldiers killed in action during the battle.

There have been many different fictitious accounts floated as to what happened when that Sergeant entered the school house to execute Guevara. Most of these have Guevara defiantly and courageously taunting his executioner. Some of these accounts have included fabricated quotes and descriptions which are alleged to have come from the Sergeant. These purport to be what he heard and saw immediately before Guevara’s swift and humane execution.
In reality, Guevara’s executioner had spoken very little as to what transpired in that school house. He believed that even the death of a monster like Che deserved at least a modicum of dignity. What has been made clear for decades is that in the moments before his execution, Guevara was a broken, teary eyed, whimpering man who silently lowered his head the moment before the trigger was pulled. In an instant, Guevara was no more. His was a quick and painless death. It was the merciful type of ending that was denied most of the many thousands of his victims. Knowing that Rodriguez’s family had murdered by Che, the Bolivian Army officers at the scene, presented Felix with Guevara’s Rolex wristwatch. He still proudly wears it on his wrist to this day.

Rodriguez Continues in his Service to America

Felix Rodriguez went on to a distinguished career in the CIA. Two years after the death of Che he would volunteer for combat duty in Vietnam. There he flew over 300 combat missions and was shot down five times. His awards and decorations are numerous and include the very rarely awarded CIA Intelligence Star for Valor and nine Crosses for Gallantry by the South Vietnamese Government among many others. Rodriguez continued to serve in the CIA through most of the 1980s. Today, he lives in Miami and is a respected leader in the Cuban American Community.

Roberto D’Aubuisson: A U.S. Ally in the Fight against Soviet Sponsored Communist Terrorism in Latin America.

aaa RobertoDAubuisson

The recent and despicable celebrations by communists in Great Briton and worldwide, over the death of Baroness Thatcher have yet again demonstrated how anyone who has made it their life’s mission to fight Communism, is forever vilified not just by Marxist but, by their progressive ideological cousins in the media, publishing and Hollywood. Think of any person, living or dead, who stood up to Communism and take note of how the internet, as well as popular media, is awash with hateful smears and character assassinations directed at them. No better example of this is demonstrated in the life of the Salvadorian politician Roberto D’Aubuisson.

Roberto D’Aubuisson, a career Salvadorian Army officer and politician, was born in Born in Santa Tecla, La Libertad Department, El Salvador and graduated from the national military academy in 1963. He was trained in communications at the School of the Americas, Fort benning Georgia, in 1972, subsequently joining Salvadoran military intelligence.

As a young officer, D’Aubuisson quickly gained a reputation as a bright and talented leader. Had his military career not been cut short in the 1980s due to his entry into electoral politics, many of his contemporaries believed he might have one day served in the top echelons of the Salvadorian Military.

One of the co-founders of the, Right of Center, ARENA Party, a young D’Aubuisson, as its standard bearer, led his fledgling party to an electoral victory in the 1982 National Assembly elections. The primary reason for the stunning success of the ARENA Party was its steadfast opposition to the Soviet financed and supplied Communist Terrorists which were holding the rural countryside hostage in its “take no prisoners” style of Marxist revolution.

The FMLN, the Marxist revolutionary organization in El Salvador, was notorious for raping women, kidnapping prominent citizens for ransom and assassinating Salvadorian public officials. This, when they weren’t engaging in a campaign of outright terror to intimidate and extort the people of El Salvador. They were as much a criminal organization as a political one. Whenever their troop levels ran low, mostly though desertions, they would simply kidnap young teenage boys from the countryside and press them into service.

FMLN abuses against the civilian population often took place outside of its conflict with the democratically elected government of El Salvador. Some of the people these Communist FMLN guerrillas kidnapped included the Salvadoran foreign minister in 1978 (he was subsequently executed). Beginning in the 1970s and continuing throughout the conflict, the FMLN summarily executed civilians suspected of being government informants. Such individuals were known as orejas, or “ears.”

Targeted killings and disappearances of civilians by the FMLN constituted serious violations of international humanitarian law to say nothing of the laws of El Salvador. Victims included more than eleven mayors, who were executed between 1985 and 1988 in areas the guerrillas considered their “zones of control.” Also killed were four off-duty U.S. Marines, who were machine-gunned at an outdoor café in 1985; and conservative public figures such as Attorney General José Roberto García Alvarado and intellectual Francisco Peccorini, both assassinated in 1989. Other episodes of FMLN abuse included the mass execution of a group of captured civilians in Morazán (1984), the kidnapping of the daughter of President José Napoleón Duarte (1985), and the killing of civilians who refused to stop at guerrilla roadblocks. Scores of civilians were killed and hundreds were wounded by the guerrillas’ indiscriminate use of land mines. On numerous occasions, the use of crude and inaccurate homemade weapons and explosives resulted in innocent civilian deaths.

Many of the family members of these FMLN victims sought revenge. Some of these family members were in the Salvadorian Army although most were not. Hence was born the myth of the so called “Right Wing Death Squads.” In short, a Salvadorian peasant or city dweller who sought spontaneous revenge against their Marxist tormentors for murdering a family member or friend was soon identified with some imaginary and vast Right Wing conspiracy involving the planned and organized murder of FMLN members. In truth, the vast majority of FMLN members were killed on the battlefield by government troops in open conflict. The FMLN barrowed a page from their ideological role model, Vladimir Lenin, who called on his followers to falsely accuse opponents of his revolution with engaging in the same murder and humanitarian abuses as they themselves were engaged in. Enter Roberto D’Aubuisson. D’Aubuisson, the face and voice of the Salvadorian people’s opposition to the Communist terrorists was soon labeled with being terrorists himself. Soon, the FLMN was painting D’Aubuisson, with help from their allies in the Western media, as being the head of the alleged “death squads. A devoted family man and devout Catholic, who seldom missed a Sunday Mass, he would soon even be accused of masterminding the death of the Salvadorian Catholic Archbishop as well as the rape and murder of several Catholic Nuns.

There was never objective (non-FMLN) evidence in support of any of the charges against D’Aubuisson but, that didn’t stop leftists in the Western media from repeating and expounding on the baseless charges as though they were an accepted fact. Years later, many in El Salvador have come to the conclusion that the murder of Archbishop Romero and the Catholic Nuns was actually performed by the FLMN for the sole and sinister purpose of blaming these shocking atrocities on the government and D’Aubuisson. They way the communist propaganda machine churned out the stories; one might believe that D’Aubuisson, a mere Army Major, was somehow coordinating the government’s “genocidal” campaign against the FLMN guerrillas. In truth, D’Aubuisson was a mid- level officer in the Salvadorian Army who did not set policy.

Had he not ventured into a successful career in politics, no one would have ever heard of this obscure Major. It was, rather, his success in rallying the Salvadorian people against the Communists which put him in the crosshairs of the FLMN. D’Aubuisson was ultimately the driving force in the eventual defeat of the communists.

Unable to kill him as they had tried to do, unsuccessfully, for years; they instead settled on a prolonged campaign to smear his name and besmirch his honorable character. Does this sound familiar?

Editor’s Note: The iconic photo of the late Major D’Aubuisson (above) was taken by the acclaimed photojournalist Mr. Robert Meacham.

CHE GUEVARA: PSYCHOPATHIC COWARD

By: Humberto Fontova

The U.K. Guardian last year interviewed Oscar-winning actor Benicio del Toro regarding his Cannes-winning role as Che Guevara in Stephen Soderbergh’s movie Che.
“Dammit This Guy Is Cool!” was the interview title. “I hear of this guy, and he’s got a cool name, Che Guevara!” says del Toro. “Groovy name, groovy man, groovy politics! So I came across a picture of Che, smiling, in fatigues, I thought, ‘Dammit, this guy is cool-looking!’”

Well, there you have it. In effect, Benicio del Toro, who fulfilled an obvious fantasy by starring as Che Guevara in the four-and-a-half-hour movie he also co-produced, revealed the inspiration (and daunting intellectual exertion) of millions of Che fans.

As a celebrity-hipster fan of Che Guevara, del Toro has plenty of company. Johnny Depp often wears a Che pendant and in a Vibe magazine interview proclaimed his “digging” of Che Guevara.
In fact, had del Toro or Depp been born earlier and in Cuba and attempted a rebel lifestyle, their “digging” of Castroite Cuba would have been of a more literal nature. They would have found themselves chained and digging ditches and mass graves in a prison camp system inspired by the man they “dig.” Had their digging lagged, a “groovy” Communist guard might have shattered their teeth with a “groovy” Czech machine-gun butt, or perhaps slashed their buttocks with some “groovy” Soviet bayonets.

In a famous speech in 1961, Che Guevara denounced the very “spirit of rebellion” as “reprehensible.” “Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates,” commanded Guevara. “Instead, they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service, should learn to think and act as a mass,” wrote Guevara.
Those who “choose their own path” (as in growing long hair and listening to “Yankee-imperialist” rock & roll) were denounced as worthless “roqueros,” “lumpen” and “delinquents.” In his famous speech, Che Guevara even vowed “to make individualism disappear from Cuba! It is criminal to think of individuals!”
Tens of thousands of Cuban youths learned that Che Guevara’s admonitions were more than idle bombast. In Guevara, the hundreds of Soviet KGB and East German STASI “consultants” who flooded Cuba in the early 1960s found an extremely eager acolyte.

By the mid ’60s, the crime of a “rocker” lifestyle (blue jeans, long hair, fondness for the Beatles and Stones) or effeminate behavior got thousands of youths yanked out of Cuba’s streets and parks by secret police and dumped in prison camps with “Work Will Make Men Out of You” emblazoned in bold letters above the gate and with machine gunners posted on the watchtowers. The initials for these camps were UMAP, not GULAG, but the conditions were quite similar.
Today, the world’s largest image of the man that so many hipsters sport on their shirts adorns Cuba’s headquarters and torture chambers for its KGB-trained secret police. Nothing could be more fitting.
The most popular version of the Che T-shirt, for instance, sports the slogan “fight oppression” under his famous countenance. This is the face of the second in command, chief executioner and chief KGB liaison for a regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin’s and murdered more people in its first five years in power than Hitler’s murdered in its first six.

“When you saw the beaming look on Che’s face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart by the firing squad,” former Cuban political prisoner, Roberto Martin-Perez, recounted to this writer, “you saw there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.”
“Castro ordered mass murder,” remembers Martin-Perez, “but for him it was a utilitarian slaughter, in order to consolidate his power. A classic psychopath, the butchery didn’t seem to affect him one way or the order. But Che Guevara, as his chief executioner, obviously relished the slaughter.”

As commander of this prison/execution yard, Che often shattered the skull of the condemned man by firing the coup de grace himself. When other duties tore him away from his beloved execution yard, he consoled himself by viewing the slaughter. Che’s second-story office in La Cabana had a section of wall torn out so he could watch his darling firing squads at work.
One day before his death in Bolivia, Che Guevara—for the first time in his life—finally faced something properly describable as combat. So he ordered his guerrilla charges to give no quarter, to fight to their last breaths and to their last bullet. With his men doing exactly what he ordered (fighting and dying to the last bullet), a slightly wounded Che snuck away from the firefight and surrendered with fully loaded weapons while whimpering to his captors: “Don’t Shoot! I’m Che. I’m worth more to you alive than dead!”

His Bolivian captors viewed the matter differently. In fact, they adopted a policy that has since become a favorite among Americans who encounter (so-called) endangered species threatening their families or livestock on their property: “Shoot, shovel and shut-up.”
Justice has never been better served.

Pinochet: Friend of the United States and Thorn in the Side of Communists throughout the Americas

images-1 

Chile had long been a hotbed for Communist rebels well before 1948. However, it was a chance meeting between two young, ambitious and bright men in the Chilean back lands which would on day alter the destiny of this South American Nation. In that year, a young Chilean Army officer named Augusto Pinochet  was assigned as Commandant of a prisoner of war camp for Communist terrorists.  The then Captain Pinochet, was already marked as a rising star in his country’s military.  He was a devout Catholic and political conservative who had no use for the Communist rebels who engaged in barbaric acts of murder amongst the rural Chile population and who would often raid farmer’s of their crops, live stock and son’s who were conscripted into service with the rebels. One of Chile’s young Leftist Senators, Salvador Allende, had flown in to Pinochet’s camp out of concern for the prisoner’s welfare. After touring the prisoner camp unaccompanied, Allende was himself amazed at how humanly the prisoner’s were being treated. Expecting to find widespread abuse and neglect, Senator Allende instead learned that the prisoner’s were not only well housed, feed and provided with exceptional medical care but, that the young officer in charge had strictly forbidden any mental or physical abuse of the prisoner’s. The Senator and Captain Pinochet quickly developed a friendship which would last for years. Each man respected the others intellect and passion. Although they disagreed in many of their political beliefs, Allende was also impressed by Pinochet’s character and Pinochet also with Allende’s idealism and disarming wit. Both of these men were in their early 30’s when they first met and both would, one day, hold the office of President of Chile.  The men would remain in contact throughout the years with Pinochet as an unofficial adviser to Allende on security and defense issues and Allende was a powerful benefactor for Pinochet’s Army career in the government. Little could either man have predicted in 1948, that they were on a collision course culminating in Allende’s forced removal from office by his old friend, General Pinochet, and choice to be leader of the Chilaen armed forces.

The follwing article was written by Chuck Morse.

Gen. Augusto Pinochet — hero of the Chilean people

By Charles A. Morse web posted May 29, 2000

No one alive today is more loathed by the Communists and their fellow travelers and camp followers than Chilean General and former President Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. The reasons are two fold. Pinochet defeated the hated Communist terrorist militias, the internationally armed financed, and staffed “revolutionaries” on the battlefield and by doing so, ended their attempt to communize Chile in the name of “the people”. Pinochet then “transformed” Chile into a peaceful democracy with one of the most prosperous economies in the region. With an extraordinary record of achievement in social and economic reform, the establishment of democratic institutions, and a free election, Pinochet retired in 1990 leaving a grateful Chilean people free of the terror of International Socialism, probably forever.

The pro-Communist media is filled with lackeys willing to lie and prostitute their souls either for career advancement or because they are true believers in the Communist faith. That they have been effective with their “atrocity propaganda”against Pinochet is testament to the enduring influence of the Communist idea amongst the world’s power elite. They have, so far, pulled off the Big Lie with regard to Pinochet except with Chilean people. The Communist, of course, approaches atrocity dialectically rather than fundamentally. They have no problem with atrocities when governments such as those of Castro, Stalin, Mao, Paul Pot et al commit them, as these “struggles”, they inform us, are for the “common good”as they liquidate tens of millions.

An excellent example of this is Willy Meyer, parliamentary spokesman for Izquerida Unida, the renamed Communist Party of Spain. Meyer, commenting on the arrest of Pinochet in Britain, stated that “We do not consider that Fidel Castro is a dictator…We respect the Marxist-Leninist legality by whose definition political persecution, torture, and disappearances cannot exist in Cuba. We are dividing the world between good guys and bad guys…There is a vacuum in the international enforcement of human rights and we realize that whoever seizes the initiative to punish violators wins the high ground”. An excellent source for further information is an article by William Jasper, New American Vol. 15 No 19 PP 23-34.

Obviously, the left has no moral or practical right to discuss atrocity since they recognize it only dialectically and not actually. Their insufferable caterwauling concerning “human rights” is the equivalent of Hitler, their National Socialist comrade, complaining about anti-Semitism.

Pinochet was at war with a force that would stop at nothing to achieve victory, which would have amounted to complete subjugation under a Communist jack-boot. This truly was, to paraphrase Meyer, a battle between good guys and bad guys. The Pinochet coup was a defensive action and a direct response to formal requests by the Judiciary, the Legislature, and prominent citizens for military intervention as the situation under Salvador Allende were rapidly deteriorating. By 1980, the Chilean people voted 68 per cent to approve a new constitution presented by the Pinochet government. This was the first step on the heroic road to the Republican democracy Chile is today.

Allende will be covered in coming weeks, however, it must be pointed out that documents and arms captured after Allende was overthrown, Sept. 11, 1973 proved that he was planning a coup of his own scheduled for Sept. 19, and to liquidate his opposition Castro style. Pinochet, who had served Allende as Army Chief of Staff during his three years in power, acted strictly out of a sense of duty and honor, and at great personal risk given Allende’s extensive Gestapo, to save his nation from catastrophe. Pinochet was the quintessential career military man and had no ambition to involve himself in civilian affairs. Due to a traditional Latin American code of honor, he felt he had no choice.

On Sept 8, days after the coup, at a ceremony at the Church of National Gratitude, three former Chilean presidents endorsed the Pinochet government. Socialist Gabriel Gonzalez Videla stated “I have no words to thank the armed forces for having freed us from the clutches of Marxism. They have saved us…because the totalitarian apparatus that was prepared to destroy us has been itself destroyed” Eduardo Frei, himself a Marxist, stated “The military has saved Chile and all of us…a civil war was being well prepared by the Marxists. And that is what the world does not know, refuses to know”.

Pinochet, once in power, acted with amazing restraint toward those who were plotting a Communist takeover. Allende declined his offer of safe passage and instead chose suicide. He deported thousands of Communist foreigners who were planning firing squads if they achieved power, and released Chilean citizens involved in treasonous activities including the dangerous KGB and Cuban agent, as well as darling of the American left establishment, Orlando Letelier.

Under the guidance of University of Chicago economists, the Pinochet government cleared out economic regulations, reduced tariffs from 100 per cent to 10 per cent and returned businesses and property, “expropriated” by Allende, to the rightful owners. Foreign investment poured in as confidence and stability returned. Taxes and inflation were reduced, Social Security was privatized, and government bureaucrats were able to find jobs in a thriving private sector. Our American government could learn some valuable lessons from Chile.

A relentless war was waged against Pinochet and the Chilean people during the years, 1973-1990. Bill Jasper points out that in 1984 alone, there were 735 terrorist bombings with responsibility clamed by the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (MRPF) the Communist cadre supported by Cuba, Nicaragua, Libya, East Germany, and the Soviet Union. On Sept. 7, 1986, Pinochet and his 10-year-old grandson narrowly escaped an ambush by Communists armed with automatic rifles, rocket launchers, bazookas, and grenades. Many terrorists and their supporters were killed in this war of attrition both by Pinochet’s forces and by civilians seeking vengeance and. given the situation, many of their bodies went unidentified. Jasper states that “we have seen no evidence to sustain the charges that Pinochet ordered, knew of, or approved of, any plan for the use of murder or torture against his political opponents”.

In 1988, Pinochet called for elections and a return to civilian rule. In an unprecedented move, he retired from public life in 1990 a hero to freedom loving Chileans. Communism makes inroads during economic crisis and often employs violence and terror as well to make the argument for totalitarianism. Allende deliberately created dire economic conditions and introduced an unprecedented level of violence so as to create the right “conditions” for a Castro style takeover. His dastardly plot was dashed by the heroic efforts of General Pinochet. The bloody soaked, International Communist behemoth was defeated and for this, they will forever despise General Pinochet.

Chuck Morse is a syndicated talk show host on the American Freedom Network and a contributing writer to Enter Stage Right and Etherzone.

General Walker: Defamed Patriot and War Hero

General Walker Oversaw the Integration of the Public Schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Edwin Anderson Walker was born on Nov. 10, 1909, in Center Point, Tex. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1931.

During World War II, the then Colonel Walker commanded a special operations force comprised of Americans and Canadians in the Aleutian Islands, Italy and France. This unit, known as the Special Service Force, was trained for airborne, amphibious, mountain and ski operations; it fought and secured the bloody Anzio beachhead in Italy and played a key role in the Normandy Invasion of occupied France. A movie about this, the most elite of the allied elite units, was made starring actor Cliff Robertson. He later commanded the 417th Infantry Regiment, attached to the Third Army, and at V-E Day he was commanding a special task unit in Oslo.

During the Korean War, he commanded the Third Infantry Division’s Seventh Regiment with distinction in some of the war’s fiercest engagements and was senior adviser to the First Korean Corps. He later served as military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek of Nationalist China. In 1957, as commander of the Arkansas military district, General Walker led the troops ordered to Little Rock by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to quell disturbances resulting from the integration of public schools there.

By this time Walker had established himself as one of our military’s most gifted and accomplished officers. His career seemed on a fast track to four stars and even appointment to the Joint Chiefs. It should be noted that had General Walker not resigned from the Army in 1961, he might have very well ended up appointed as the U.S. Forces Commander during the Viet Name War. But alas, it was not to be.

 In 1959, General Walker’s stellar career led him to a command of the famous 24th Infantry Division, then stationed in Germany.  The Division was a crucial force in the defense of Western Europe from the Warsaw Pact Forces.  It was an assignment indicative of someone who was expected to rise to the upper most echelons of the U.S. Army.

General Walker’s command of the 24th Division was praised by senior leaders throughout the Army. By early 1961 his term as the Division’s commander was nearly over and Walker was about to receive promotion to Lieutenant General when his fortunes seemed to change in an instant.

In that year, several months after the inauguration of President Kennedy, signs of tension between the Kennedy administration and the Pentagon began to surface. The Kennedy administration did not trust the military and feared public embarrassment over the consensus among military leaders that Kennedy lacked any firm commitment in the world wide struggle against Communism. The failure of Kennedy to authorize the requested air support during the Bay of Pigs invasion was the lynchpin of the operation’s failure for which Kennedy took sole responsibility. In short, the nation’s military establishment believed Kennedy was in “over his head” and his appointment of leftist ideologues to the Defense Department further alienated the brass.

Lacking the public support to challenge the Joint Chiefs directly, Kennedy and his people were looking for someone to make an example of in hopes of keeping the military in check.

They found what they were looking for when an obscure overseas newspaper, which was circulated among the G.I.s stationed in Europe, and billed as the Leftist alternative to The Stars and Stripes, published libelous and unsubstantiated charges that General Walker had made unflattering comments about certain prominent American liberals and further that he was “indoctrinating” his soldiers with material from the rightist John Birch Society. In fact, both charges, which Walker had vehemently denied all along, were later proved to be completely false by the official government inquiry into the matter.  Unfortunately, not before Walker was summarily relieved of his command by liberal academic turned Kennedy Secretary of the Army Elvis Stahr. A purge of other lower level “anti-communist” flag officers followed.

This resulted in considerable outrage among millions of veterans in America. Having been publically humiliated, General Walker chose to resign rather than subject himself to further character assassination.

 Upon returning to his home state of Texas, General Walker was welcomed to Dallas by the Mayor and over a thousand of the city’s most prominent citizens.  A video of this event is embedded above showing General Walker receiving an award from the Mayor of Dallas.  Soon thereafter, General Walker began to speak out as a private citizen often lambasting the Kennedy administration over its shiftless foreign policy and political correctness.  In fact, the Case of General Walker and those who followed him mark the first real appearance of a leftist political correctness from any level of government.

General Walker began attracting large crowds to his speeches while Kennedy’s popularity in the Southern and Western states began to wane.  Walker’s image was placed on the cover of Time magazine and the clarion call he was sounding to America was quickly gaining an ever widening audience.

In the State of Mississippi, after making a public statement with the state’s Governor, a riot erupted on the campus of the University of Mississippi in protest of the federal government’s forced integration of the college. At one point during the clash with federal authorities, General Walker climbed a statute on the campus and made a public and forceful plea for the violence to stop and for the protestors to return home.

Despite this, then Attorney General Robert Kennedy indicted General Walker, his brother’s political nemesis, on charges of inciting a riot. The charges never even got past the grand jury and were dismissed as baseless. Yet before this, the Kennedys had Walker committed to a Federal Insane Asylum to discredit him publically. This unwarranted and politically motivated action shocked many in the psychiatric medicine community at the time especially as it was a common ploy of the communist leadership in the former Soviet Union to place political dissidents in mental hospitals.

General Walker’s reputation and career were perhaps the first in a long succession of those of other military officers to be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.  Many more would follow and will continue to do so until the patriots of this country take their land and culture back.

Edwin Walker’s decorations included the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with cluster and the Legion of Merit, as well as honors from France, Britain, Norway and South Korea.

 

Communist Plans to Invade Western Europe During Comrade Gorbachev’s Perestroika.

It’s been some twenty years since the collapse of Eastern Europe’s Communist regimes. Historians are still pouring through the billions of pages of documents and files kept by these totalitarian regimes during the cold war. What shocking things we have learned about the diabolical secret policies and practices of the Communists governments of the former Soviet Union and their Warsaw Pact puppet states. Perhaps most frightening, is the discovery of the well-documented and admitted plans for the invasion of western Europe which were pushed by the Soviet military and political hardliners virtually right up until the fall of the Berlin wall.   The following paper is bone chilling!

 By Dr. Michael M. Boll

This article was researched and written for publication in the U.S. Army War College’s publication, Parameters.

On 13 May Î990, the Soviet Ambassador to West Germany, Yuli Kvitsinsky, left Bonn for Moscow to receive instructions on how to handle the growing drive for German unification. The four powers with residual rights in Germany as a result of their victory in World War II had just ended their first meeting on that topic, and Kvitsinsky realized that the Soviet government had yet to work out its own approach to this burning issue. “The existence of the DDR [or GDR, German Democratic Republic] was only a question of months, and we faced the choice in the time remaining whether to engage actively in the solution of the issue or to simply accept what those in the West would create without our contribution.”1

 Although Kvitsinsky’s boss, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, had realized as early as 1986 that “in the near future the German question would define Europe,” Kvitsinsky found little support for a diplomatic solution outside his own ministry.2 “It was disturbing that . . . many deputies of the Supreme Soviet did not wish to accept the developments, that a massive attack against the foreign minister appeared in the press, and we were overwhelmed with criticisms from other government departments, especially from the military.”3

 Apparently unknown to the Soviet Ambassador were the far-reaching plans drafted decades earlier by Communist leaders for an alternative, more “favorable,” and most bloody solution to the “German question.” These plans called for a rapid military strike across the German plains to the Atlantic if and when possible. The plans were premised upon the retention of East Germany within the Warsaw Pact and the use of East German territory as the key staging area for a massive nuclear and conventional attack. Eleven well-trained East German divisions (five of which were unknown to the West) were assigned to the attack. Their mission entailed offensive action followed by unification of West and East Germany under a common Communist regime. These well-developed plans help to explain why the hopes of Kvitsinsky and Shevardnadze for a diplomatic solution met such strong resistance.

 The details of the extensive Warsaw Pact offensive plans, designed to destroy NATO forces in West Germany and, if possible, effect total domination of Western Europe, now are emerging from documents found in East German files following peaceful reunification in 1990″. Despite the destruction of many papers in the archives of the East German army, some 25,000 files remain, containing more than 500,000 classified documents. When combined with interviews of former East German officers, these sources “show unambiguously how, through political decisions made by the highest officials, the forces of the former

Eastern Bloc were so organized that a sole option was given for an offensive and how, through regular exercises, [this plan] was refined.”4 Equally disturbing,

 Pact exercises of this basic offensive doctrine, complete with the simulated use of nuclear weapons, continued until 1990—long after Gorbachev had pledged to restrict Soviet doctrine to one based upon “Defensive Sufficiency,” and three years after the Warsaw Pact’s formal renunciation of offensive plans.

 The Planned Attack

 In 1992, a year after the demise of the Warsaw Pact, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev provided his own confirmation of the detailed planning which supported the offensive nature of this former military alliance. As we  know, there used to be the Warsaw Pact, and it provided the basis for creating the first and foremost strategic line, a springboard for further offensive operations. This line ran along the borders of the GDR.

 The breach of subsequent defense lines required only a threefold superiority. It is obvious that in preparation for the performance of such tasks, there should have been a concentration of the appropriate troops, not just “large in numbers” but also excellently drilled and perfectly trained. Elite troops, to put it briefly, indeed, such elite troops were actually concentrated along the main strategic line,’

 The East German documents and extensive interviews reveal that Warsaw Pact forces planned a massive offensive through West Germany along five different axes, with a sixth possible under certain conditions.6  It must be emphasized that these were not merely contingency plans—the kind which most military establishments prepare to cover possible outbreaks of conflict. Pact offensive plans had the participating units already assigned, the goals specified, and the potential nuclear targets identified. AH that was required for execution was last-minute updates and mobilization of the required units.

 The East German army was to play a major role in attacks on four of the six axes. It was expected to mobilize 11 divisions^ 2500 artillery systems, 2300 main battle tanks, and more than 5000 armored fighting vehicles. Six of the East German divisions were capable of achieving full combat readiness within 24 hours, in part the result of strict military regulations which required that between 70 and 80 percent of all army personnel be physically present in garrisons at all times. The remaining five East German divisions would be ready for battle within one week.7

 The mobilized East German forces possessed munitions adequate for 90 days of combat with a 100-percent redundancy. Once the borders of West Germany had been cleared of enemy troops; the East German units would begin occupation duties in the long-coveted reunited fatherland.8

  At that moment, a central goal of the East German regime would be realized. Other Pact troops, however, would continue their drive westward. Among the main objectives, as East German Defense Minister Heinz Hoffman reported to his National Defense Council, was “to reach the Bay of Biscay and the Spanish border on the thirtieth and thirty-fifth day.”9

 Axis One of the grand offensive consisted of a two-pronged thrust along the Baltic Coast in the direction of Jutland, with the objective of conquering the northwestern German region of Schleswig-Holstein, establishing control of the Baltic Sea, and seizing existing NATO air bases for use in subsequent operations. The designated objectives were to be attained within 100 hours after the outbreak of hostilities. Three East German, one Soviet, and one Polish division, accompanied by various support units, would bear the brunt of the fighting.

 Lothar Ruehl, former head of the West German Ministry of Defense Planning Staff, noted perceptively that such a stringent deadline for reaching the contested objective—100 hours—implies extraordinary effort and the rapid destruction of NATO forces positioned to block such an offensive: “Staff officers of the Bundeswehr who are familiar with Warsaw Pact operational planning maintain that it would have been difficult to conduct an . . .offensive such as this . . . [and that] in order to be successful, the Warsaw Pact would have needed much larger forces and it would have had to use chemical and nuclear arms at an early stage of the campaign.”10 East German documents reveal that between 78 and 90 tactical nuclear weapons with warheads ranging from three to 100 kilotons were available to support the East German troops.

 Delivery systems included SS-21 and Scud B missiles as well as a number of nuclear-capable Soviet aircraft. First and follow-on use of such weapons was planned, with targets already selected deep in NATO’s corps areas.  Unfortunately, no information has yet been discovered to shed light on the precise political decision making process involved in the final authorization for nuclear strikes. It is assumed that the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party would make the basic decision to use nuclear weapons.” Such crucial decisions would hardly be delegated to East German authorities.  East German forces also were assigned prominent roles in the three axes to the south of the Jutland offensive. Axis Two encompassed the northern section of West Germany in the area of Bremen and Hamburg, continuing on into the Netherlands. Axis Three proceeded from the East German region of Magdeburg toward Hannover and Braunschweig, into the Ruhr and further into Belgium. Axis Four traversed the famous Fulda Gap toward Frankfurt am Main and on to the Rhine, with possible expansion into the French regions near Reims and Metz.

 In addition to these planned assaults, a fifth route of advance would take Pact forces without East German participation through Bavaria an BadenrWuerttemberg, over the Rhine, and into France. A sixth route, apparently not fully worked out, would take Pact forces through neutral Austria and Switzerland (Lake Constance, Basel) into France in the area of Besançon. A follow-on stage of the southern two axes, operating without East German forces, would take Pact forces into the interior of France in an effort to destroy suspected NATO reserves, with the Bay of Biscay and the Spanish border representing the limits of advance.12

 Occupation

 The conquest of West Germany would be the signal for East German forces to commence their occupation of the conquered land, a goal for which detailed plans had long been made. East German intentions concerning West Berlin provide an example of the meticulous attention to detail in East German plans for the occupation.

 West Berlin was divided into two sectors for the initial assault, withdesignated East German units assigned to take the western area (District One), and to provide assistance to Soviet forces engaged in District Two. Approximately 32,000 Pact forces and East German policemen would confront 12,000 NATO soldiers and 6000 West Berlin police.

Early in the conflict, Tempelhof and Tegel airports would be taken by parachutists. Allied casernes and strongholds, including the Allied Kommandantur on Kaiserswerther Strasse, the US Mission on Clayallee, and the Turner caserne, were to be seized and turned over to the invading Pact forces for their use.13 Details for the ensuing administration of West Berlin, drafted as earlyas 1985 and signed by the head of the East German district administration (Bezirksverwaltung), Lieutenant-General Schwanitz, provided a key role for East German security forces.

 The initial task was to seize and intern “enemy forces,” which in this context meant leading politicians, bureaucrats, and well-known economists, scientists, and technology specialists. The list also included individuals particularly odious to the East German authorities, such as secret agents employed by the West German military, leaders of disliked organizations, and journalists who had been critical of the East German state. “The most significant enemy centers,” were to be occupied and secured, with General Schwanitz confirming a list of some 170 installations originally identified in a 1978 document. The objectives mentioned just in the district of Kreuzberg give an indication of the East German thoroughness. Here, the police weapons depot, the main Customs Bureau, the Customs Investigator Bureau (Zollfahndungsamt), the State Printing Shop, the Telecommunications Bureau, the Artisans’ Chamber of Commerce (Handwerk-skammer), and the sewage treatment plant were to be immediately taken.

 The 12 existing West Berlin Districts were to be controlled through the institution of District Administrative Centers (Kreisdienststellen), long in use in East Berlin. Each center was assigned 40 to 47 high-ranking officials who would direct activities in the reunited sections of Berlin. These, in turn, were subordinated to a Command Group complete with 80 appointed officials.  Four areas of responsibility within the Command Group corresponded to identical bureaus within the East German secret police, and were to be responsible for counterespionage, security of ministerial organs, security in the economy, and security of transportation. The fifth of these “Operative Groups” had a more general task: It was to combat “political-ideological diversions” and “underground activities.” Based upon the organization of a similar East German department, it would form a network of secret agents capable of supervising every activity of the conquered population.

 The organizational plans for the occupied city, in which many of the positions already carried the name of the intended office-holder, aimed both at creating Communist rule as soon as possible and defeating any resistance which the local citizens might attempt. Until such anticipated civilian resistance was crushed, the Berlin Wall would remain in place, and security forces in both East and West Berlin would stand at the ready. When this threat had passed, the long-sought unification would be complete.

 As another unambiguous sign of its determination to integrate West Berlin into the East German economy, the communist government, as early as 1980, printed and stored for future use 4.9 billion marks in occupation currency to be introduced immediately upon termination of the fighting. In Î985, 8000 special military medals to be awarded for bravery (Tapferkeit) to the victorious East German units were struck and stored in a special “medals-cellar” awaiting the day of decision.1,1

 Given the attention to detail included in plans for the occupation of West Berlin, one suspects that equally painstaking efforts were made for the assimilation of the Federal Republic as a whole. With the well-known communist penchant for large, centralized structures of administration, it seems

 In 1985, 8000 special military medals to be  awarded for bravery to the victorious East German units were struck and stored…

awaiting the day of decision. “

 unlikely that the federated forms of rule characteristic of West Germany would have remained as we knew them. Perhaps one or more “supra” German provinces would emerge, similar in size to Prussia in the prewar period of German history. Unfortunately, such plans, if indeed they escaped the shredders’ efforts, haven’t yet been released to the public.

 Diplomacy and the Nuclear Question

 The evidence already available supports the conclusion that an alternative plan for German unification and in propitious circumstances, the conquest of Western Europe—existed at the very moment the Gorbachev government was negotiating a peaceful solution to the so called “German Issue.” The painstaking care andcompleteness of the Pact’s alternate plan, however, raises two issues which require further analysis.

First, the exact decision making process for approving the use of nuclear weapons by Pact forces hasn’t been found among the many files already examined. What, therefore, leads Western analysts familiar with the documents to conclude that nuclear war was intrinsic to Pact plans? And second, how is it possible—three full years after the Warsaw Pact officially announced it was moving to Defensive Sufficiency as the basis of its military strategy—that such clearly offensive plans as detailed above continued to form the basis of Pact thinking? Curiously, these two issues may be closely related.

 The grounds for concluding that Pact forces would indeed have received permission to employ nuclear weapons from the beginning of their offensive lie in the numerous war games practiced by the Warsaw Pact and followed closely by NATO observers.  As the former German Federal Defense Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg concluded in a 1992 press conference: The employment of tactical atomic weapons was an integral component in the[military] exercises of the [Warsaw Pact] at the Army Command-level [Fuehrungsebene Armee] and higher. In the conceptions of the military command, their [nuclear weapons’] employment should above all serve the goal of breaking through the opposing defenses. Examples were the 1979 Staff Exercise “Attack of the Front with or without Nuclear Weapons,” or the 1981 Command Staff Exercise of the Front “Soiuz 81” with the exercise goal of “Command of the strategic offensive operation with the use of nuclear weapons,” led by the then commander of the [Warsaw Pact], Marshal Kulikov.15

 In 1980, a Pact exercise entitled “Weapon-Brotherhood” {Wqffen-bruederschaß) provided detailed insight into Pact nuclear plans. The East German, Soviet, and Polish army commanders were required to decide upon the employment of nuclear weapons. The decision was conveyed to the East German Defense Minister since East Germany had specific responsibility for conducting this particular exercise. As a result of a positive decision, the first echelon of the participating troops were issued 20 Scud missiles, 55 FROGs, and ten nuclear bombs. In addition, the air forces of the Front were allotted 125 nuclear bombs while the rocket brigades received 60 Scuds and 50 FROGs. The targets for the offensive employment of these nuclear forces included NATO nuclear storage depots, installations housing NATO air forces and air defenses, division headquarters and their communications networks, troops, and fleet command centers of the West German navy. In reserve stood four air divisions equipped with nuclear weapons as well as other nuclear reserves.16

The planned use of nuclear weapons promised such devastation that Warsaw Pact Commander Marshal Kulikov noted at the conclusion of the 1983 Pact exercise Soiuz 83: “This war will be carried on to the complete destruction of the enemy and without compromise. This war forces us to use our entire arsenal irrespective of the uncontrollable results of strategic actions.”17 

In the mid-1980s, Pact exercises appeared to forego nuclear operations, but in 1988 such activities once again dominated Pact training. In the1989 staff exercise, the nuclear devastation of the West German region of Schleswig-Holstein was practiced through the simulated use of 76 nuclear weapons. Two final exercises by the East German forces utilizing nuclear weapons occurred in 1990, after the Berlin Wall ceased to divide the city. In June of that year, following the democratic election of the

De Maiziere government, Soviet and East German forces conducted a simulated nuclear attack upon NATO forces.’8 The following year the Warsaw Pact dissolved, ending once and for all plans for the conquest of West Germany. The continuation of Pact exercises with simulated use of nuclear weapons stands in sharp contrast to the extensive Pact promises of reorienting their military doctrine to one emphasizing defensive preparation. At its May

1987 Berlin meeting, the Warsaw Pact’s Political Consultative Committee proclaimed that “a world war, especially a nuclear one, would have catastrophic consequences not only for states directly drawn into the conflict but even for life itself on earth.”19  As Andrei Kokoshin, then Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of the USA and Canada, and subsequently Russian First Deputy Minister of Defense, explained in 1988, the importance of the Warsaw Pact’s new military doctrine lay in the impermissibility of both nuclear and conventional war [The doctrine] is directed not to preparations for war but against war, towards strengthening the structure of international security. Earlier military activities of the Warsaw Pact revolved around the defensive practices of war; but now this problem has been moved to first place in the doctrine, it has become primary and defining.20

By the following year, Soviet theoreticians were proclaiming that Defensive Sufficiency [Oboronnaia dostatochnost’]—the most important element of [the] military doctrine of socialism, functions as the essential foundation of all its military construction, presupposing, in the first instance, a refusal to be first to begin military activities; maintenance of the military-strategic balance at levels as low as possible; mutual reduction of arms to such a point that neither side has the physical possibility to undertake an attack; bringing the structure of the armed forces, their equipment, and their location into line with defensive tasks; and undertaking strict control over the reduction of military forces and likewise over military activities.

 Were these strident, insistent proclamations by Pact leaders and Soviet theoreticians of their, new defensive orientation simply efforts to deceive Western observers? This seems unlikely; NATO intelligence continued to monitor Pact exercises, noting, as mentioned above, the simulated use of nuclear weapons well into Î990.22 Certainly it is possible, although unlikely, that Pact commanders were involved in a massive deception of their own political leaders, reflective of a distaste for Gorbachev’s policies which surfaced more clearly in the August 1991 attempted coup. But it is more likely that the Pact’s announced defensive position was more in the realm of intent—more attuned to a desirable posture one day attainable, than to an immediate reform, interestingly, the Soviet articles which describe the desirability of Defensive Sufficiency also provide reasons why renunciation of a pro-nuclear offensive posture should be postponed indefinitely.

In a 1988 essay entitled “Military Doctrine and International Security” (Voennye doktriny imezhdunarodnaia bezopasnosf), General-Major Lebedev and historian Aleksei Podberezkin recited all the usual reasons why a defensive doctrine was required in the contemporary European situation. More interesting, however,, was their belief that a radical revolution in military technologies threatened to make conventional war as devastating as nuclear: The intrusion of the most recent successes of the Scientific-Technological Revolution into the military realm has led in recent years to a revolutionary change in the material foundations of conducting war. This is especially true in recent utilization of the newest advances of micro-electronics and electro-computing techniques. The growth in the military effectiveness of weapons received a powerful push already in the second half of the 1970s. In one decade, the military effectiveness of nuclear systems augmented ten to 15 times, but conventional weapons even more. The new [conventional] systems will become even more effective By its very nature, we now stand on the edge of a new stage of the military-technological revolution, as a result of which the military effectiveness of weapons is able to multiply dozens of times.33

 The application of conventional weapons technology by US forces during Operation Desert Storm would tend to support the Soviets’ conclusions.  To these Soviet analysts, the West had not hesitated to reformulate its own military doctrine to take account of the new potential of conventional war, as the Gulf War later would prove. And although the West paid lip service to the traditional doctrine of flexible response, Soviet analysts charged that NATO in the 1980s in fact had moved to an offensive doctrine foreseeing “a massive application of weapons, including nuclear from the start, aiming at conducting offensive operations with the goal of’ terminating the war on favorable conditions. “Therefore, the question about the possible character of war from the point of view of the USSR and its allies… demands the most careful study both in theory and in practice.”24  An objective observer could understand if the Soviets and their Warsaw Pact allies decided not to implement the declared defensive posture.

The rapid incorporation of technology throughout NATO merely underscored the Pact’s inferiority in certain aspects of conventional operations and the absence of technology innovations in their forces. It was the moment to state peaceful and defensive intentions accompanied by renewed calls for joint East-West conventional disarmament in an effort to reduce the growing and menacing advantage accruing yearly to NATO forces. In the face of a radical technological revolution in conventional weapons, the more conservative members of the Pact leadership may have insisted that the traditional offensive nuclear plans be retained as a necessary means of neutralizing what was increasingly perceived as a superior enemy. At least such retention would be justified until the negotiating posture of the American administration became more clear.

 And if, in the interim, an opportunity presented itself—if the NATO alliance showed signs of disintegration or the American arms buildup faltered a possibility might emerge for a rapid thrust westward and the unification of Germany by blood and not ballots. So through the summer of 1990, pact forces continued to exercise plans for a nuclear-supported attack to the west. Soviet and Pact leaders remained intent upon at least a temporary retention of plans for an offensive, while East German officials, whose medals cellar was full of decorations, awaited victory ceremonies after the conquest of West Germany.

 In Retrospect Throughout the period of negotiations over German unification, Soviet Ambassador Kvitsinsky was amazed at the hard-line posture adopted by conservative members of the Soviet elite. His predecessor as Ambassador to Bonn had seemed to avoid confronting reality; the sharp criticism of the

Soviet Foreign Ministry continued. At the end of 1990, Foreign Minister Shevardnadze himself resigned, charging that conservative forces were attempting to roll back progressive change.  Kvitsinsky remained involved until the final expression of conservative counterrevolution, the attempted putsch in August 1991, forever changed the face of Russian and Soviet politics.

By the time of the unsuccessful coup, the peaceful unification of Germany had been completed, the Warsaw Pact had disappeared, and the military plans for creating a united communist Germany by force had been relegated to an unfulfilled dream.25 Efforts to devise an offensive strategy for the conquest of West Germany were replaced by attempts to destroy the documents that detailed the Pact’s past intent. Fortunately, these efforts also met with little success. 

It is the task of diplomats such as Ambassador Kvitsinsky to make the effort needed to conclude difficult negotiations successfully, and, having achieved that objective, to then move on to new areas of dispute. And it is the task of historians to ponder the pitfalls and uncertainties which attend even such evident victories as the peaceful German unification.

 What, one wonders, should be made of the durability of Pact plans for an alternative unification, a unification to be accomplished by such repugnant means? Is it possible that a degree of autonomy existed within the Warsaw Pact command structure which permitted it to formulate and exercise offensive doctrine so at odds with the apparent desires of the Soviet political leadership? Perhaps control over the initiation of nuclear attack lay at a lower level of command than heretofore believed, allowing the commanders of the Theaters of Military Action (TVD) to retain the right to act as they saw best, independent of official declaratory policy.

And yet another, perhaps more simple explanation comes to mind. If the revolution in military science and in weaponry made it increasingly unlikely that Pact forces would hold their own in a conventional conflict, what better way to avert such trials than by convincing NATO that nuclear weapons would be employed at the very outbreak of war? In a period of rapid techno-logical change, what better means of protection than to exercise, in full view of Western observers, the most frightening possibilities of an all-out nuclear conflict if war should take place. In short, Pact exercises and plans may have had a healthy component of deception designed to delay the outbreak of conflict until the East Bloc too might master the new advances in warfare.  Such a deception would assuage those officials who were fearful of conflict with the West, yet were willing to support the Gorbachev government in its new policy of détente. As for the more hard-line Pact leaders, if the West were to let down its guard during the ensuing period of military and political change, or if massive domestic turmoil attended German unification, an alternative plan remained close at hand.

 Annual renewal of plans to unify Germany by force permitted Pact military and political leaders, increasingly polarized by the demands of  Gorbachev’s “New Thinking,” to function in harmony during a difficult and uncertain period of domestic transition. Formerly the heart of Pact doctrine, the offensive remained a perfect compromise position even as the Berlin Wall fell.  And if the August 1991 coup in Moscow had come a bit sooner, and hadbeen more successful, this apparent compromise might well have becomeonce again the preferred solution.

 NOTES:

 1. Julij A. Kwizinskij, “Von deutschen Torschuetzen und sowjetischen Querpaessen,” Frankfurier

Allgemeine Zeitung, 25 March 1993, p. 12.

2. Eduard Shevardnadze, The Future Belongs to Freedom, trans. Catherine A. Fitzpatrick (New York:

The Free Press, 1991), p. 131.

3. Kwizinskij, p. 12.

.4. Mititaerische Planungen des warschauer Paktes in Zentraleuropa: Pressekonferenz von Verteidigungsmin-

ister Stoltenberg am 13 January 1992 (Bonn: Der Bundesminister der Verteidigung, February 1992), p. 2.

5. Interview with General P. S. Grachev, Russian Minister of Defense, hvestiia, 2 June 1992, p. 2.

Emphasis added.

6. Descriptions of the Pact plans are contained in Militaerische Planungen des warschauer Paktes in

Zentraleurope; Lothar Ruehl, “Offensive Defense in the Warsaw Pact,” Survival, 23 (September-October

1991), 442-50; Lothar Ruehl, “Die ‘Vorwaertsverteidigung’ der NVA and der sowjetischen Streitkraefte in

Deutschland bis 1990,” Oesterreichische Militaerische Zeitschrift, 29 (January-February 1991), 501-08; and

Colone! EMG Fritz Stoeckli, “L’heure de verite,” Revue Militaire Suisse, 337 (October 1992), 543.

7. Heinz Schulte, “Germany: The Aim of Military Intelligence,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 3 (June

1991), p. 280.

8. Ruehl, “Offensive Defense in the Warsaw Pact,” p. 446.

9. Otto Wenzel, “So sollte in West-Berlin einmarschiert werden,” Berliner Morgenpost, 18 April 1993,

p. 93.

10. Ruehl, “Offensive Defense in the Warsaw Pact,” p. 446.

11. Militaerische Planungen des warschauer Paktes in Zentraleuropa, p. 5.

12. Stoeckli, pp. 1142.

33. The best source for occupation plans for West Berlin is Wenzel, p. 93.

14. ibid.

15. Militaerische Planungen des warschauer Paktes in Zentraleuropa, p. 4.

16. Ibid., p. 5.

17. Quoted in Julian Isherwood, “Warsaw Pact Planned to Nuke its Way Across Europe,” Armed Forces

Journal International, June 1993, p. 15.

18. Ruehl, “Offensive Defense in the Warsaw Pact,” p. 448.

19. Quoted in lu. Lebedev and A. Podberezkin, “Voennye doktriny i mezhdunarodnaiá bezopastnost’,”

Kommunist, 13 (September 1988), p. 112. See also “O voennoi doktrine gosudarstv-uchastniko varshavskogo

dogovora,” Pravda, 20 May 1987.

20. A. Kokoshin and V. Larionov, “Protivostoianie si! obshchego naznacheniia v kontekste obespecheniia

strategicheskoi stabil’nosti,” Mirovaia ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia (No. 6,1988), 23. Emphasis

added.

21. Iu. Lebedev and A. Podberezkin, pp. 117-18. Emphasis added.

22.1 well remember a talk before members of the Atlantic Council in the summer of 1988 at which the

NATO Commander, Genera! Galvin, noted that the only evident change in Pact tactics was a slight “defensive”

delay before they began their grinding offensive into West Germany.

23. Iu. Lebedev and A. Podberezkin, p. 113. Emphasis added.

24. ibid., p. 113. Emphasis added.

25. Kwizinskij, p. 12,