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Murder Rewarded


Washington (UPI) Jan 09, 2006
The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., in a recent TV interview, said murder was never a winning strategy and the sooner Iraqi insurgents understand this, the quicker peace will return.


It would be interesting to find out where and how Gen. Casey derived such a notion and from which history books. This reporter, over the past 50 years, has covered a number of insurgencies where torture and assassination were indeed the weapons that delivered spectacular victories to the insurgents.

Algeria's FLN (National Liberation Front) murdered French settlers for eight years and achieved what for the insurgents was a spectacular victory in 1962: the forced evacuation of one million French settlers, most of them born in Algeria and who had never so much as visited metropolitan France, and the exit of 500,000 French soldiers.

South Africa's ANC (African National Congress) murdered white South African civilians and tortured to death those who betrayed them. In the 1980s, the ANC "necklaced" thousands by forcing them to drink gasoline, and then placing a gasoline-filled tire around their necks that was set on fire. The ANC achieved victory: the end of the country's racist apartheid regime.

In Kenya (1952-59), the Land Freedom Army terrorists, dubbed Mau Mau, murdered innocent white farmers. Africans who declined to swear an oath of allegiance were tortured to death -- and the man who inspired them from prison became independent Kenya's first president: Jomo Kenyatta.

Ordered by the Central Committee of the North Vietnamese Communist Party in 1959, the Vietcong was created in South Vietnam, which then embarked on a campaign of torture and murder to cower fence-sitters to join the cause of the "National Liberation Front."As we remember all too painfully, Vietnamese Communists eventually (16 years later) defeated the world's most powerful nation.

The Phoenix program, launched by the U.S. in South Vietnam, was a campaign of targeted assassinations of suspected Vietcong cadres.

Before Fidel Castro's 1959 victory in Cuba, murder and torture were part of the arsenal that overthrew the Batista regime. Assassination was an integral part of Sandinista strategy that chased the Somoza regime out of Nicaragua.

The Israelis say Hezbollah had nothing to do with their strategic withdrawal from southern Lebanon. But any journalist who was covering the Middle East at that time knows about that particular cause and effect. Hezbollah was murdering Israeli soldiers in south Lebanon.

Israel's decision to withdraw from Gaza was a no-brainer. But what finally convinced Prime Minister Sharon the time had come to evacuate 8,500 Israeli settlers was the murder of innocent Israeli settlers by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israel also responded with "targeted killings" of individual leaders of these two terrorist organizations.

In Palestine as early as 1938, Menachem Begin's Irgun was setting off random bombs in Arab market places that slaughtered scores at a time. This was repeated again after World War II.

Yitzhak Shamir and his smaller and more disciplined "Stern Gang" (also known as the LEHI organization) despised Irgun as a bunch of "talented thugs" and Begin as a "blowhard." They focused on the targeted assassination of British intelligence officers and their support staff. And Shamir, who assassinated Eliyahu Gil'adi, a friend suspected of treason, rose rapidly from the rank and file to become one of LEHI's three top commanders.

It was terrorism that convinced the British their mandate was unsustainable. Both Begin and Shamir served as Prime Ministers in the state of Israel they fought to create.

From imperial Russia in 1917 to Eastern Europe after World War II to Cuba in 1959 to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in 1975 to Nicaragua and Afghanistan in 1979, communists seized power by assassination of political opponents and the murder of innocent civilians to consolidate their absolute power. Communist China, in Mao's "Cultural Revolution" (1966-76), about 5 percent of the then population of 800 million, or 40 million people, was killed.

In the American War of Independence, George Washington fought a clean war. He was merciful and refused to shed innocent blood. But in the south, the same war was a merciless civil war. American Tories and Patriots slaughtered each other viciously. One tactic was even to decapitate entire families and leave their heads on their own mantelpiece.

In some 6,500 wars in 5,000 years of recorded history, cold-blooded murder and assassination of political and military leaders, has been an integral part of a winning strategy.

Source: United Press International

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Washington (UPI) Jan 09, 2006
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