(This is ONE B-52 plane load)
"Analysis is not advocacy."
How many times have I written that on SST?
Unless you want to live in fantasy you must have the ability to think outside the box created by what you want rather than what is or is likely to be.
The Israelis live in such a box. In their box the world is filled with gentile monsters who must be dominated and manipulated. The manipulation part of that illusion is reinforced in their minds by their incredible success in forming public opinion in the US.
The Lebanese live in a different box in which they, in their collective mind's eye, are far more important to the rest of the world than they really are. A Lebanese I knew well often told other Lebanese that their mistake was in thinking that Bill and Hillary woke up every morning and asked each other " I wonder what is happening in Beirut today?" The truth is that Lebanon is only important to the Lebanese and that has always been true. It is particularly true now in the age of neo-neocon domination of US foreign policy. The cartoon like simplicity with which Bolton, Pompeo and Trump misunderstand realities on the ground in places like Lebanon is striking.
In service to Israeli ambitions for hegemony throughout the ME, these people have no interest whatever in the welfare of the Lebanese. In particular they are incapable of seeing Hizbullah as anything like an integral part of Lebanese society. No, they see these Lebanese Shia as nothing more than a threat to Israel. As I have pointed out, war against Hizbullah is already authorized under American law by their designation as a terrorist group and the AUMF against terrorism.
The Lebanese in Lebanon should understand that US Embassy Beirut has no policy influence in Washington. None! The true believer neo-neocons have no interest whatever in the opinions of State Department career bureaucrats who usually do not share their imperialist faith in the global destiny and mission of the US. Remember that truth when you are tempted to shower praise and attention on the inhabitants of Fort America in east Beirut. They are in exile among you.
Does any of this mean that I favor the aggressive and disrespectful bullying that emanates from Washington in the era of the neo-neocons? It does not, but I can recognize reality and this attitude toward Lebanon is real and must be recognized. The neo-neocons would not shrink from devastating southern Lebanon in order to wreck Hizbullah. pl
I can only assume that if faced with such firepower, Hizbullah would blend in with the 2 million Lebanese refugees fleeing north and live to fight another day. Or just flee to Syria and wait it out there where Russian presence would certainly complicate a carpet bombing campaign. I don’t think they will sit there, waiting patiently for evaporation.
Ziad, AKA Lysander.
What you are pointing out is that we are motivated by our beliefs, true, or false.
One belief of which seems quite important to many people, is that of an all knowing God, yet as I have fun observing, a spiritual absolute is necessarily the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. More the new born than the wise old man. More the sentience seeking knowledge, than any particular configuration of knowledge. The light shining through the film, than any image on it.
The top down father figure lawgiver and his ten commandments is a political construct, to validate authority. Aka, the divine right of kings.
I once made that point to a Catholic priest and future in-law. He crossed himself and walked away.
Not that this generation is going to change its spots, but future ones will have to and the greater the carnage, the greater the potential for paradigm shift.
A good source on the foundations of Christianity and Western civilization is Gilbert Murray’s ; The Five Stages of Greek Religion. Available online at Project Gutenberg.
Not my point at all. My point – there is such a thing as objective truth and one must strive to find it without regard for what you might like to be true.
Yes, the survivors of the first onslaught would do that.
But wouldn’t “devastating southern Lebanon” result in a similar devastation of northern Israel? What about this do the, as you describe them, “neo-neocons” not understand? Has the magical thinking in the ‘neo-neocon’ community blinded the neo-neocons to the physical realities of the Hizbullah rocket forces stationed in Southern Lebanon?
At the least, I would expect the Israeli military to have a more realistic appreciation of the Hizbullah’s potential. Are they pushing back against this warmongering in Tel Aviv and Washington? How much ‘real’ support does Netanayhu have in the ‘working’ Israeli armed forces?
Thanks for your indulgence.
IMO targeting would be good enough that a lot of the Hizbullah missile/rocket capability could be destroyed in the firsr set of strikes. The question to be weighed by the Izzies is – how much?
As you’ve pointed out if Trump in his service to Bibi, orders the bombing of South Lebanon, then that tract of land will be devastated. I also agree with your analysis that both Putin & Xi will not attempt to take down USAF bombers or USN vessels. At best they may provide Syria and Iran more advanced air defense systems.
My question is, do you believe that Trump will need politically to first manufacture a casus belli and then ramp up the associated media hysteria before he orders the devastation? George W. Bush felt he needed that to invade Iraq and the military build up took several months. If Trump has to manufacture the hysteria, would Syed Nasrallah recognize the writing on the wall and unleash all he’s got preemptively on Israel knowing it won’t be long before his goose is cooked? What lesson would Nasrallah have learned from behavior of past US President beholden to Israeli hegemony in the ME?
The actual answers to your questions are unknowable.
Would you care to share your view about what would happen if Iran were to attempt to block the Straight of Hormuz?
The US Navy would be ordered to clear the blockage. It would be a joint operation under CENTCOM.
I would never want to be on the receiving end of a B-52 carpet bombing or “Arc Light” as they were called in VN.
I was a helo pilot at Quang Tri, 13 miles south of the DMZ. In the fall of 1968 we conducted a battalion troop lift into the DMZ. The mission was to capture a NVA soldier in the DMZ so that Henry K would have a visual aid for the Paris talks.
Our LZ was to be prep’d by 3 Arc Lights. Each strike would consist a cell of 3 B-52’s. We were standing on the tarmac at Quang Tri watching the 1st Arc Light. Even though it was 13 miles away, the ground trembled under our feet. We manned our aircraft & loaded our troops & launched toward the DMZ. North of Dong Ha we dropped to tree top level. I could hear the tree tops hitting the belly of the aircraft. We approached the LZ just after the 3d Arc Light. There was red dust & smoke in the air. The ground was a moonscape of 20′ craters & uprooted, splintered trees. Occasional I’d catch a glimpse of NVA soldiers in a crater lying flat on their backs firing their AK’s straight up into the air. Other aircrew reported seeing stunned NVA staggering about bleeding from their noses & ears. The only organized resistance that we had was NVA artillery from the north impacting in the LZ. The only damage to my aircraft was a broken landing light & twigs in the landing gear.
The B-52 is an old aircraft; but, in a benign environment it is an awesome weapon of destruction.
Col. Lang, while I have to agree with your conclusions, we have not discussed the consequences of such actions on the part of the Neo-neocons.
My personal view is that the Neoconservatives may unleash a new wave of anti semitism. I am already noticing an increasing use of the term “jewish” to describe unethical business behavior even down here in Australia. This among educated middle class people it’s a new development and it’s liable to spread and be followed by behavior changes. I am sensitive to anti semitic behaviors for family reasons.
Part of the problem with truth is that we live in an ideals based culture, in what amounts to a binary based reality. As some physicist, whom I’ve forgot put it; “The opposite of small truths are false. The opposite of large truths are also true.’
Take the premise of materialism, for example. It assumes there is some physical base state, yet the reality we experience is more a positive and negative tension, balance and friction of opposing forces.
Galaxies are energy radiating out, as form coalesces in. As biological organisms, we have the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems, processing the energy driving us on, along with a nervous system to process all the form and signal condensing out of this dynamic. Motor and steering.
Our primary social tension is between organic social energies pushing out, as civil and cultural forms coalesce in. Necessarily there are more emotional desires, than is possible, so the function of rationality is to preference some over others. Not every acorn gets to be an oak tree.
When our decision making process breaks down, it’s anarchy, while when it overwhelms the organic impulses, it’s tyranny.
So the truth we seek is more a balancing act, than any ideal state.
And in that, we can’t iron out all the ups and downs, or it’s its own flatline.
After a million years of going forth and multiplying, we are reaching the edges of the petri dish and need a more feedback oriented philosophy.
Truer words never spoken.
We can and would execute a ruthless bombing campaign for the reason you stated and to some extent even worse. Our MSM would make it sound like we were acting in self-defense or say whatever spin their handlers tell them to day. With no accountability we are capable of doing and believing anything.
Come to think of it, now that Wikileaks is out of the way that avenue is now gone to release any embarrassing info about our govt. We can drop thermobaric bombs or whatever, the floodgates are open. The Pentagon will say … 5 civilians killed like they did in Raqqa.
BTW By my back of the envelope USAF has around 150 B-1, B=2 and B-52. That is enough. The age of the aircraft means nothing. The B-52s have been rebuilt many times and are “like new” with the latest electronics. They can fly all these aircraft all the way from CONUS for these strikes and that might be better because the campaign would consume ordnance like a river. There would of course be a lot of anti air defense strikes by US and Israeli fighters to suppress fire against the heavies but there probably would still be losses. There were 16 bombers lost in Linebacker 2. I had to go see the 7th AF CG at Tan Son Nhut AFB in the midst of that. He flew into a rage screaming and yelling in his office. He couldn’t cope with the event of B-52s limping back to bases shot full of holes. I remember one case in which the crew bailed out over their home airfield in Thailand, but they did the job.
“a new wave of anti semitism.”
If only people cared about Christians the same way.
“This among educated middle class people it’s a new development and it’s liable to spread and be followed by behavior changes”
Sorry to hear about the first ever bouts of anti-semitism in Australia. I sure hope the educated elite class of people get out in front of this. Not to include Australian neocons, or don’t you have any of those?
As I have posted previously, the Marine company I was assigned to as artillery FO had to move quickly (leaving our gear and only carrying ammunition and weapons) to get far enough away from an incoming Arc Lite strike. We were on flat ground (GoNoi island) not far from Danang. The Arc Lite strike was across the river from us and probably only about ten miles from the Danang air base. When the strike came in we were all flat on the ground and would very much like to have been much further away – it was pretty terrifying.
I recently read Jim Webb’s book “I Heard my Country Calling”, which has an extensive treatment of this event in the chapter covering his time in RVN – “Hell in a Very Small Place”.
I am reminded of “A Few Good Men” (I know, Marines, but still…) and the angry line “You can’t handle the truth.”
Certainly you, colonel, and the company here can handle the truth, but the public at large does not have the stomach for it.
I agree with you, Walrus. Although I think there’s more contributing to it than just the Neocons. Specifically, there’s the drip, drip, drip effect of the Israeli sociopathy toward the Palestinians, both official and unofficial, in spite of their extensive efforts suppressing the escape of such information. That seems to be having an effect on young USA Jewish people, many of whom, now that they are several generations past ancestors and relatives who were victims of the holocaust, are turning away from Zionist activism.
Having done some web searching this morning on Arc Light mission communications security, substantial information is available on this topic. Significant warning of many(?) strikes occurred, in some cases including both target location and time on target. An interesting overview addressing Arc Light operations security is Chapter V of an Air Force report covering missions through 1967. See https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a586120.pdf Apparently many paths to mission information were available, including a requirement to clear the necessary air space from Okinawa two hours before a strike was launched. This report indicates that that Westmoreland became quite concerned about Arc Light mission warnings and attempted to take action to address them – one example was restricting RVN air force notification of strikes outside RVN to 15 minutes before TOT..
Can’t agree more with the good Colonel.
I think human beings are generally biased towards believing their own sh*t. Anything that contradicts their opinions is promptly trashed. Facing reality, especially when it is not a pretty one (and reality is usually not pretty compared to people’s make-believe worlds) is tough. Very few people manage to do it and I don’t think that will ever change.
If all that South Lebanon needs is a good bombing (from the Israili perspective), is there a need for a long lead time for preparation? Can’t you have 5-10 B-52s flying in from RAF Fairford, a few flying in from Udeid and a few B2s to clear the way for them flying all the way from Diego Garcia? You can even have the B-52s flying all the way from the continental US with refuelling support. B2s and missiles flying in from Udeid and seaborne launchers can do the clearing of any prickly thorns for the B-52s.
In short, what I am saying is, can this be done without giving any warning to Hezbollah about what is going to befall them? If yes, what is the reason to adopt another approach.
Nasrallah recently gave a speech talking about how he doesn’t expect to live after the summer war. Even if the Hezb suspect, methinks they can’t do much about it or in response to it. But who knows what they have up their sleeves. The izzies might be in for a surprise, but it seems to me that from their perspective, the risks might look good enough to go ahead with the bombing!
Having served on the Vietnam DMZ around Alpha 4 (Con Thien) around 1970 or so, I’ve seen the moon craters. I’ve also seen the B-52’s very high in the sky dropping their silver eggs glinting in the sunlight across the Bien Hoa river. I remember shuddering for the poor souls on the other side of their fury. I remember being whisper quiet on three man ambushes on the DMZ while what must have been NVA (PVA) teenagers were out there planting mines while playing transistor radios. Who else but teenagers would do such a thing? It would be interesting to know what they have done today with the moon craters. I imagine Google Earth might show something?
Regarding south Lebanon. I guess it would be called Jebel Amel (Mount Amel) as opposed to Jebel Libnan (Mount Lebanon) in the North. Some questions come to mind. Would not Donaldo first allow Kushner to play out his “Deal of the Century” Peace Plan first before take military action? As things begin to heat up, would President Michel Aoun ask the Russian Federation for protection and how would they respond? The Russ seem to be interested in the Lebanese offshore gas fields. Would they try to temper things down? Also, aren’t the Muqwamma/Hizb’ullah assets now dispersed away from the South into the anti-Lebanon range and into Syria as well? Wouldn’t Syria have to be heavily bombed as well? The Iraqi Shiites, particularly the Sadrists, have a long connection with Jebel Amel, What would be their response? It would be foolhardy to take action with that many American troops in Iraq and Syria, wouldn’t it?
Praying for the best.
“The truth is that Lebanon is only important to the Lebanese and that has always been true.”
I have seen evidence that the suffering the Zionist alliance has inflicted on the Lebanese has been noted by, and quite effectively responded to, by at least some non-Lebanese.
“Lebanon 1982: the spark for 9/11”.
Any comments on that post are welcome.
Not from RAF Fairford…… The public reaction, assuming Hezbollah and its supporters mount an effective PR campaign, in Europe anyway, is going to be extremely negative for the U.S. and Israel. Not that they would care, at least initially.
Longer term, “don’t care”,”sticks and stones”, may not be a winning strategy.
Unless Hizb places their assets on hair trigger and receives advance warning – a few minutes to an hour would suffice. There is no way that the US planes could fly towards Lebanon without Russian and Syrian (and probably Flight Radar 24) being alerted.
Of course Hizb might not believe they are about to be attacked and wait and see. Or they might launch.
That is the question for the Izzies – Trump is too easily manipulated by the sycophants he has surrounded himself with.
Entering the calculation is the effect on Trump’s re-election. The Izzies would not want to hand Bernie the presidency if due to reality not following the war script, oil rises to $200/ bbl ($10/gal gas), grinding the US economy to a standstill – unless the fed prints another $20-30 trillion.
Joe Biden’s in. The 2020 election is underway. Shinzo Abe is visiting Donald Trump to avoid a trade war and, no doubt, to ask to continue the waiver to buy Iranian oil. The NVA resupply continued throughout the bombing campaigns until the US Congress finally gave up on the war. The American occupation of Eastern Syria continues with a small draw down of troops and contractors. Except perhaps for Kosovo no air force bombing campaign has succeeded without troops on the ground. All surviving weapons will be fired at Israel. Iran will support fellow Shiites. If there is significant destruction inside Israel the American Israeli War with Iran is on.
Donald Trump won the last election. He needs to win in 2020. He knows that Larry Johnson said that Britain spied on his campaign. You and Larry Johnson need to tell the President that an Iranian war assures the closure of the Straits of Hormuz, gasoline lines, and the crash of the global economy. Joe Biden will win the election if that happens.
ISL You don’t understand how difficult and how inhibited by human intertia the process of going to war is. Effective warning as opposed to just warning requires a decisive action in response to just plain warning. You are grasping at straws.
Walrus – My contemplation of such a folly is based on the idea that it would be decided on by fools.
V V The fixed defenses and missile emplacements on Hizbullah are hot hundreds of miles of parallel dirt roads in the Laotian jungle. We generally did not use B-52s against that road complex.
Keith Harbaugh You must know different Arabs than I do. Arabs will generally bitch a lot but not do much. The Saudis have spent money in Lebanon in the past but that was with the intention of effecting Sunni control over Lebanon. The same thing is true in Syria. Saudi “projects” are always directed at Sunni control.
Hypothetically I’m sure they could launch a surprise attack, but the thing is, about 2 million people live in south Lebanon. Is the US going to launch a strategic bombing campaign out of the blue, resulting in 20 to 40k dead civilians? It would seem that for political reasons and not technical ones, that would be impossible. I would imagine the campaign would follow a traditional Israeli attack that is always intended to force a flood of refugees northward. The causus beli for the US would be that Hizbullah had the temerity to hit back, and therefore must be destroyed.
At any rate, my guess is that a media campaign to justify it would have to take place. The political cost to the US for conducting such strategic bombing would be enormous. Even if plenty of media signalling takes place. While Russia wont stop the US bombardment, it will be very hard to say “tsk, tsk” in reaction to anything they do in Ukraine. Or China in Taiwan. Overall, it is such a stupid idea the mind boggles that policy makers actually are planning it. But as the Colonel says, if you are lead by fools, expect folly.
Ziad AKA Lysander
Ziad – OK, building tensions, then a provocation followed by at least a claim of Hizbullah attack on northern Israel, then the bombing campaign which drives HB out of southern Lebanon. It seems that you are describing my scenario. A lot of you do not understand how cleverly stupid we have become.
None of that combined amounted to a real burden on effectiveness of the program.
When Israel last invaded Lebanon they did NOT have good intelligence on where the rocket launchers were located. Even for those where they thought they knew the location, the missle launchers had been moved. The IAF tried saturation bombing of south lebanon with F-15’s and F-16’s which cannot deliver quite the load of a B-52 or B-1 or B-2. Hizballah moved north to avoid the bombing and Israel even tried to obliterate the apartment complexes in South Beruit in case Hezballah moved there. All of it was for naught as Hezballah moved around quickly once Israel forces moved into Lebanon and Hezballah anti-tank rockets were deadly against Israeli forces. The IDF finally realized the only way to minimize the Hezballah risk was to occupy southern Lebanon and Israel had no stomach for that kind of protracted military campaign.
The IDF cannot occupy Lebanon, their forces are not contructed that way. It would take U.S. forces on the ground in Lebanon to be effective. I don’t think America will long support a campaign in Lebanon with casualties similar to Iraq with roadside bombs and hit and scatter shooting. Like Vietnam, south Lebanon is riddled with underground tunnels used by Hezballah.
We are not Israel and USAF is not the IAF with its collection of fighter bombers afraid of “golden BBs” from aimed antiaircraft gun fire and MANPADS. It is not possible to conduct “carpet bombing with fighter bombers.” The bomb loads are not big enough. This bombing Would take place from altitudes very high above the vertical range of such systems. Syrian S-400 woulh be the only realistic threat.
Such talk frightens you? If you don’t like the way I run this place, don’t come here.
In support of your point, despite a number of false reports of full scale nuclear launches in the US and Russian systems, WW3 was not happened (thankfully).
My question is whether the Izzies are likely to believe that inertia would prevent Hizb from launching their assets before the US bombing wave hits. Israel would be at the receiving end (of their decision).
Note, I have trouble seeing Trump / Bolton deciding based on US interests – seems more likely a decision would follow Israeli interests. Are such interests set by Netanyahu and his coalition (whatever it ends up being) or the Israeli military? Occasional news items suggest they do not speak with one voice.
……….And if Hezbollah react decisively to a fake warning, they become hoist with their own petard. It’s difficult to understand how they could receive an accurate and reliable warning other than the destruction of the air defense radar networks and associated missile launchers, but even then?
People might like to reflect on the lead up to Pearl Harbor. It’s all easy with 20/20 hindsight.
My source was Magnier. But why do you think it’s propaganda? Do you really expect Nasrallah and the top layer of Hizb to survive a bombing campaign by the USAF?
The Hizb are realists and Nasrallah more than anyone. They know they will have to prepare for that eventuality. No matter what you and I think or are afraid of, Nasrallah will have plans ready for the worst case scenario. You can’t expect anything less
Collapse in support for Israel amongst young Republicans and Democrats. The internet can’t be uninvented, although censorship efforts will continue.
Ancient, aren’t there quite a few of the necessary tools parked in the larger region already, or for that matter in Israel herself?
No doubt it would be interesting how many of those are ready and available in Europe. Turkey? Still there? Jordan? The Arabian Peninsula?
IMO a USAF bombing campaign against Hizbullah WOULD NOT be all over Lebanon. It would be limited to a strip across souther Lebanon that contains Hizbullah’s major military assets. You can bet that Nasrullah and the leadership ARE NOT in that strip.
Once again, Lebanon is of very little importance to the US. The only relevance Lebanon has to the Trump Administration is the presence of Hizbullah on Lebanese soil.
Colonel, there was a training exercise with THAAD in Israel during March this year, the first ever. And a few B-52s were in RAF Fairford for exercise during the same time. Any relevance to what we are discussing?
Pat – I tried to differentiate between the bombing loads of the IAF and what our strategic bombers can carry. But saturation bombing would neccesarily include all of the lebanese villages that dot Southern Lebanon, in order to clear out Hezballah who are part and parcel of the regular Lebanese society. Would the U.S have the stomach to deal with all the civilian casualties that would result from a huge saturation bombing campaign? Sorry but I do not believe just bombing would decapitate Hezballah. It would take boots on the ground to prevent Hezballah from quickly regenerating most of their capability. If so would this be U.S. troops? I don’t think Israel is either capable of such an occupation nor would they be willing participants.
Outside Jared and First in his class and the neocons there is essentially zero support for US ground operations in Lebanon. Unless Trump plans on retiring to a villa in Israel there is no reason to go down this road other than fear of telling off his son-in-law and standing up to a teary eyed Ivanka.
I didn’t say anythig about US ground operations.
“would neccesarily include all of the lebanese villages that dot Southern Lebanon,” Firstly – I am not and have not advocated a bombing campaign to “break” Hizbullah but I think you are quite wrong in the statement you made above. Hizbullah does not intend to fight from civilian occupied villages. Not does it keep its missile stocks very far n the rear of its fighting positions. It cannot because the farther back you place your launch points the shorter the ranges you can reach in Israel. What we are talking about is a fairly narrow band of land.
I know, I was responding to the jdledell’ s comments.
What did you think of the movie Beirut?
I thought it was strange that the Lebanese had an outrage party about the movie before even seeing it. (Because it was filmed in Morocco and didn’t use Lebanese actors.) Fine to critique inaccuracies, but before even seeing it?
And for what it’s worth, it’s how I remember it from the early 80s. At least the stereotype of it during that time.
Do you really need the Buffs? Can’t you hit most important areas in Southern Lebanon with naval gunfire?
(Not that I want to do this shit all over again. Don’t we ever learn?)
A fly in this ointment is the fact that while the US has more hardware that it can possibly use, a lot of it is in pretty bad shape especially the air assets that have been going full out for decades. The long haul guys you listed above are probably in pretty good shape. But F-35 is unusable, F-22 would only be used for escort duty F-15,16,18 all have fairly low availability rates as far as I know. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the NATO crowd to pitch in this time.
Spares also seem to be a problem across pretty well the entire US military. Sure there is enough assets to destroy Lebanon but then what? With the Administration drooling for war with China, that is going to be hard to pull off if every thing is sitting in the repair depot. The Pentagons dream of a $200B budget increase this year is pure fantasy with the Democrats back in the House.
Stop me if I am wrong but doesn’t Syria only have S-300 which is much more limited in hight and range? Also the impression I get is they are just there for show and Russia would never allow them to fire them in anger.