The Pronk Pops Show 1344, October 18, 2019, Story 1: Five Day Cease Fire or Pause Before Turkey Genocide of Kurds in Syrian Buffer Zone? — 200,000 Civilians Fled Zone — Massive Prison Break of Islamic State Possible as Kurds Flee — Long Range Consequences of United States Interventionist Foreign Policy: Million of Refugees and Deaths — Regime Change Roulette — Videos — Story 2: Britain Finally Has European Union Divorce Agreement But Will Parliament Approve Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal? — Videos –Story 3: Hillary Clinton Rampant Russian Delusions, Lying and Paranoia — Russia Dumped Hillary Clinton for Tulsi Gabbard As The Russian Choice For Their Candidate in 2020? — In Your Guts You Know Hillary Gone Nuts —  Videos — Story 4: Trump Dazzles Dallas — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1344 October 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1343 October 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1342 October 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1341 October 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1340 October 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1339 October 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1338 October 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1337 October 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1336 October 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1335 October 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1334 October 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1333 October 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1332 October 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1331 October 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1330 September 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1329 September 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1328 September 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1327 September 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1326 September 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1325 September 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1324 September 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1323 September 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1322 September 18 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1321 September 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1320 September 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1319 September 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1318 September 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1317 September 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1316 September 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1315 September 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1314 September 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1313 August 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1312 August 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1311 August 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1310 August 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1309 August 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1308 August 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1307 August 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1306 August 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1305 August 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1304 August 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1303 August 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1302 August 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1301 August 5, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1299 July 31, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1296 July 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1295 July 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1294 July 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1293 July 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1292 July 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1291 July 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1290 July 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1289 July 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1288 July 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1287 July 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1286 July 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1285 July 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1284 July 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1283 July 1, 2019

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Story 1: FIve Day Cease Fire or Pause Before Turkey Genocide of Kurds in Syrian Buffer Zone? — 200,000 Civilians Fled Zone — Massive Prison Break of Islamic State Possible as Kurds Flee — Long Range Consequences of United States Interventionist Foreign Policy: Million of Refugees and Deaths — Regime Change Roulette — Videos —

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Syria, Turkey, Kurds, ISIS & Trump & Putin, and how the Middle East unravelled in murderous chaos

Turkey in northern Syria explained

The US, Daesh and the PKK: Explaining Turkey’s operation in Syria

Turkey backed Syrian forces move into Tal Abyad

Turkish, Kurdish forces accuse each other of violating cease-fire

How the Kurds became a key player in Syria’s war

The PKK explained

The PKK-YPG connection

The Kurds

The Kurds: The Most Famous Unknown People in the World | Stephen Mansfield | TEDxNashville

Turkish and Kurdish forces clash despite ceasefire

Syria: Kurds’ fury as Trump orders US troop withdrawal

War in Syria: Can the Kurdish forces fight back?

Turkey invades Syria: Who are the players and what do they want? | DW News

What’s next for the Kurds? | ITV News

Why the world is worried about Turkey

PBS NewsHour West live show October 18, 2019

Top U.S. & World Headlines — October 18, 2019

Bashar al-Assad: ‘Turkey will pay a heavy price’ for Syrian involvement

Al-Assad’s troops enter northern towns to confront offensive

Assad forces are moving into towns and villages once held by the Kurds | ITV News

Race to the border: Syrian Kurds call in Assad against Turkey offensive

An Interview with PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan

The war against Assad in Syria

Civil war in Syria has already claimed the lives of more than 60.000 people. The prospect that there will soon be an end to the murdering is bad. “Assad listens to no one”, suggests Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when describing his experiences with the Syrian president. The former UN negotiator Kofi Annan, who attempted to mediate between the fronts for several months, always had the feeling that “Assad will not accept reality”. At the same time, Annan makes the USA and the Syrian opposition jointly responsible for the disaster: “Those calling for Assad to resign as a precondition for talks make negotiations impossible”. In an exclusive interview, Syria’s President, Bashar al Assad, defended attacks by his air force on rebels in Syrian cities, which also massively effect his own people, said: “We have to defend ourselves as the tactics of the enemy force us to”. In the same interview, which was recorded at the end of 2012 for this documentary,

Assad also made “foreign terrorists responsible for the situation in his country”. In his documentary, Grimme award winner Hubert Seipel analyses the dangerous situation in Syria. Apart from his meeting with Assad, he conducted exclusive interviews with Kofi Annan and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Seipel illuminated a conflict in which not only Kalashnikovs and missiles, but also the Internet plays the central role in public opinion. “False information and psychological warfare make up a very large part of the Syrian Civil War. It is significantly worse than in previous wars that I had ever been involved in”, added Kofi Annan, describing the massive disinformation. Whoever has control of the images of war, has the power to influence political decisions. Massacre marketing is a powerful weapon.

Frontline – The Battle for Syria

2012 documentary on the Syrian Civil War by Frontline

The Boy who started the Syrian War | Featured Documentary

The Cost of the Syrian War

Syria’s child refugees: ‘You feel that they have lost their hearts

Syrians Return Home After Humiliating Refugee-Life in Europe | The Quint

The Ingraham Angle 10/18/19 | Fox Breaking News Laura Ingraham October 18, 2019

Rand Paul Discusses Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Syria | The View

Neoconservatives vs. America: A Critique of U.S. Foreign Policy Since 9/11

Ron Paul: Americans Are Forced to Pay for U.S. Government’s Interventionist Foreign Policy

Ron Paul’s 2003 House speech about the danger of neoconservatism

 

Kurdistan Workers’ Party

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Kurdistan Workers’ Party
Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê (PKK)
Leader Cemîl Bayik and Besê Hozat [tr]
Founded 1978; 41 years ago
Headquarters Qandil Mountains
Paramilitary wing People’s Defence Forces(HPG)
Free Women’s Units (YJA-STAR)
Ideology Kurdish nationalism[1]
Communalism
Democratic confederalism[2]
Libertarian socialism[3]
Jineology
Anti-capitalism
National affiliation Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement (HBDH)
International affiliation Kurdistan Communities Union(KCK)
Website
www.pkkonline.org
People’s Defence Forces
Hêzên Parastina Gel (HPG)
Leader(s)
Foundation 1984[8]
Dates of operation 1984–present
Motives Cultural & political rights for the Kurdish population in Turkey.[9]
Active region(s) Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran
Ideology Libertarian socialism
Democratic confederalism
Communalism[10]
Notable attacks 1984 PKK attacks
May 24, 1993 PKK ambush
2011 Hakkâri attack
Status Ongoing war with Turkey, after ceasefire ended.[11][12]
Size Over 32,800 active fighters (2015 Turkish claim)[13]
Website www.hezenparastin.com
Free Women’s Units
Yekîneyên Jinên Azad ên Star (YJA-STAR)
Foundation 2004
Dates of operation 2004–present[14]
Active region(s) Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran
Ideology Libertarian socialism
Democratic confederalism
Socialism
Communalism[10]
Status Ongoing war with Turkey, after ceasefire ended.[11][12][15]
Website www.yja-star.com/ku/

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK (KurdishPartiya Karkerên Kurdistanê‎, TurkishKürdistan İşçi Partisi [a]) is a Kurdish militant and political organization based in Turkey and Iraq, broadly considered as a terrorist group. Since 1984 the PKK has been involved in an armed conflict with the Turkish state (with cease-fires in 1999–2004 and 2013–2015), with the initial aim of achieving an independent Kurdish state. The PKK has in March 2016 vowed to overthrow the Turkish “fascist AKP” government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, through the ‘Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement‘.[16] For different reasons, the PKK has been designated as “terrorist” organization by Turkey,[17] the United States, the European Union, and Japan.[18]

The PKK was founded in 1978 in the village of Fis (near Lice) by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan[19] and 1979 it made its existence known to the public.[20] The PKK’s ideology was originally a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism, seeking the foundation of an independent Communist state in the region, which was to be known as Kurdistan. The initial reasons given by the PKK for this were the oppression of Kurds in Turkey and capitalism.[21][22] By then, the use of Kurdish language, dress, folklore, and names were banned in Kurdish-inhabited areas.[23] The words “Kurds”, “Kurdistan“, or “Kurdish” were officially banned by the Turkish government.[failed verification][24] Following the military coup of 1980, the Kurdish language was officially prohibited in public and private life.[25] Many who spoke, published, or sang in Kurdish were arrested, imprisoned, tortured or killed.[26] The PKK was then formed, as part of a growing discontent over the suppression of Turkey’s ethnic Kurds, in an effort to establish linguistic, cultural, and political rights for Turkey’s ethnic Kurdish minority.[27]

Since the PKK’s foundation, it has been involved in armed clashes with Turkish security forces. The full-scale insurgency, however, did not begin until 15 August 1984, when the PKK announced a Kurdish uprising. Since the conflict began, more than 40,000 have died, most of whom were Kurdish civilians through Turkish military actions.[28]

In 1999, PKK leader Öcalan was captured and imprisoned.[29] In May 2007, former members of the PKK helped form the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organisation of Kurds from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. In 2013, the PKK declared a ceasefire agreement and began slowly withdrawing its fighters to the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq as part of the solution process between the Turkish state and the Kurdish minority.

Since July 2015, when the ceasefire broke down,[30] violent actions inside Turkey from the government against the PKK and vice versa kept occurring, supplemented with Turkish military action in 2018 against PKK fighters in Iraq, and both in January 2018 and October 2019 against Kurdish political groups (PYD) and forces (YPG and YPJ) in Syria which according to Turkey and some observers[31] are strongly tied to the PKK (see ‘clashing’ details in: Kurdish–Turkish conflict (1978–present)#2015–present).

Contents

History

PKK supporters at 2003 march opposing the Iraq War, London

In the early 1970s, the organization’s core group was made up largely of students led by Abdullah Öcalan (“Apo“) in Ankara. By then, the use of Kurdish language, dress, folklore, and names were banned in Kurdish-inhabited areas.[23] In an attempt to deny their existence, the Turkish government categorized Kurds as “Mountain Turks” until 1991.[23][32][33][34] The words “Kurds”, “Kurdistan“, or “Kurdish” were officially banned by the Turkish government.[24] Following the military coup of 1980, the Kurdish language was officially prohibited in public and private life.[25] Many who spoke, published, or sang in Kurdish were arrested and imprisoned.[26] The PKK was then formed, as part of a growing discontent over the suppression of Turkey’s ethnic Kurds, in an effort to establish linguistic, cultural, and political rights for Turkey’s ethnic Kurdish minority.[27] The group focused to the large oppressed Kurdish population in south-east Turkey. A meeting on 25 November 1978, in a tea house near Diyarbakır is considered the founding meeting.[35] On 27 November 1978, the group adopted the name Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Espousing a Marxist ideology, the group took part in violent conflicts with right-wing entities as a part of the political chaos in Turkey at the time. The group tried to assassinate the Kurdish tribal leader Mehmet Celal Bucak in 1979. According to the PKK sources, he was exploiting the peasants, and collaborated with Turkey in oppressing the Kurds. It is believed that this marked a period of intense urban warfare among other political elements.

Turkish sources claimed that the 1980 Turkish coup d’état pushed the organization to another stage, with members being executed, doing jail time, being subject to capital punishment, or fleeing to Syria. On 10 November 1980, it was claimed that the PKK bombed the Turkish Consulate in Strasbourg, France in a joint operation with the Armenian radical group ASALA, which they claimed as the beginning of a “fruitful collaboration.”[36] The PKK didn’t take responsibility despite a numerous of accusations.

Starting in 1984, the PKK transformed into a paramilitary group, using training camps in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and France. At the same time, some of its members started to get training by the members of the Palestine Liberation Organization who themselves were trained by Soviet personnel in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley in Syrian-controlled camps. According to the U. S. government reports, the PKK received significant support by Syria, which allowed it to maintain headquarters in Damascus, as well as by Iran, Iraq, and Libya. It later began to launch attacks and bombings against Turkish governmental installations, the military, and various institutions of the state. The organization focused on attacks against Turkish military targets in Turkey, although civilian targets were also hit. The group started to gain publicity after committing political killings and massacres.[37][38][39][40]

From the mid-1990s, the organization began to lose the upper hand in its operations as a consequence of a change of tactics by Turkey and Syria’s steady abandonment of support for the group. The group also had lost its support from Saddam Hussein.[41] At the same time, the government started to use more violent methods to counter Kurdish militants. From 1996 to 1999, the organization began to use suicide bombers, VBIED and ambush attacks against military and police bases. The role of suicide bombers, especially female ones were encouraged and mythologised by giving them the status of a “goddess of freedom”, and shown as role models for other women after their death. On 30 July 1996, Zeynep Kınacı, a female PKK fighter, carried out the organization’s first suicide attack, killing 8 soldiers and injuring 29 others. The attacks against the civilians, especially the Kurdish citizens who refused to cooperate with them were also reported at the same years. On 20 January 1999, a report published by HRW, stated that the PKK was believed to have been responsible for more than 768 executions. The organization had also reportedly committed 25 massacres, killing more than 300 people. More than hundred victims were children and women.[42][42][43][44][45]

The Kurdish–Turkish conflict was in its peak in the 1990s until the leader of the organization, Abdullah Öcalan, was captured, prosecuted and sentenced to death, but this was later commuted to life imprisonment as part of the government’s seeking European Union membership.[46] In the late 1990s, Turkey increased the pressure and the undeclared war between Turkey and Syria ended open Syrian support.[47][48]

The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Turkey for human rights abuses during the conflict.[49][50] Some judgements are related to executions of Kurdish civilians,[51] torturing,[52] forced displacements,[53]destroyed villages,[54][55][56] arbitrary arrests,[57] murdered and disappeared Kurdish journalists, activists and politicians.[58][59][60] As a result of increasing Kurdish population and activism, the Turkish parliament began a controlled process of dismantling some anti-Kurdish legislation, using the term “normalization” or “rapprochement,” depending on the sides of the issue. It partially relaxed the bans on broadcasting and publishing in the Kurdish language, although significant barriers remain.[61] At the same time, the PKK was blacklisted in many countries. On 2 April 2004, the Council of the European Union added the PKK to its list of terrorist organizations. Later that year, the US Treasury moved to freeze assets of branches of the organization. The PKK went through a series of changes, and in 2003 it ended the unilateral truce declared when Öcalan was captured.[62]

On 20 March 2016, the PKK announced the establishment of Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement, a coalition of MaoistsMarxists-Leninists, Apoists, Communists and Hoxhaistswhich aim to attain “democracy and a free future” for “peoples against Imperialism, Capitalism, Chauvinism, Fascism and Racism”, by working towards the overthrow of the ruling AKP government, who they deem collaborative fascist.[63]

Ideology, aims

The organization originated in the 1970s from the radical left and drew its membership from other existing leftist groups, mainly Dev-Genç.[64]:127 During the 1980s, the movement included and cooperated with other ethnic groups, including ethnic Turks, who were following the radical left.[64]:127[64]:129 The organization initially presented itself as part of the worldwide communist revolution. Its aims and objectives have evolved over time towards the goal of national autonomy,[65] and democratic confederalism.[66][67][68]

Around 1995, the PKK ostensibly changed its aim from independence to a demand for equal rights and Kurdish autonomy within the Turkish state,[69][70][71] though all the while hardly suspending their military attacks on the Turkish state except for ceasefires in 1999–2004 and 2013–2015. In 1995, Öcalan said: “We are not insisting on a separate state under any condition. What we are calling for very openly is a state model where a people’s basic economic, cultural, social, and political rights are guaranteed”.[70]

Whilst this shift in the mid-nineties has been interpreted as one from a call for independence to an autonomous republic,[72] some scholars have concluded that the PKK still maintains independence as the ultimate goal, but through society-building rather than state-building.[73][74]

Nevertheless, the PKK has in March 2016 also vowed to overthrow the Turkish government of Erdoğan, through the ‘Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement‘.[75]

The organization has adapted the new Democratic confederalist views of its arrested leader, which aim to replace the United NationsCapitalism and Nation State with the Democratic Federalism which is described as a “system of popularly elected administrative councils, allowing local communities to exercise autonomous control over their assets, while linking to other communities via a network of confederal councils.[76]

Followers of Öcalan and members of the PKK are known, after his diminutive name, as Apocu (Apo-ites) under his movement, Apoculuk (Apoism).[77]

Organization

The PKK has multiple heads in various countries, such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Russia and West European countries.[78] However, Abdullah Öcalan was the unchallenged leader of the organization. After the capture of Öcalan, authorities induced him to publicly plead for a ceasefire.[79] Though serving life imprisonment, Öcalan is still considered the honorary leader and figurehead of the organization.[80]

Murat Karayılan led the organization from 1999 to 2013. In 2013 Cemil Bayik and Besê Hozat assumed as the first joint leadership.[81] Cemil Bayik, beside Abdullah Öcalan, Kesire Yildirim Öcalan and Haki Karer was one of the core leaders. The organization appointed “Doctor Bahoz,” the nom de guerre of Fehman Huseyin, a Syrian Kurd, in charge of the movement’s military operations signifying the long-standing solidarity among Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan.[82]

Wings[

Umbrella organization

In 1985, the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (KurdishEniye Rizgariye Navata Kurdistan‎, ERNK) was established by the PKK as its popular front wing, with the role of both creating propaganda for the party, and as an umbrella organization for PKK organizations in different segments of the Kurdish population, such as the peasantry, workers, youth, and women. It was dissolved in 1999, after the capture of Abdullah Öcalan.[83][84]

Armed wing

The PKK has an armed wing, originally formed in 1984 as the Kurdistan Freedom Brigades (KurdishHazen Rizgariya Kurdistan‎, HRK),[85] renamed to the People’s Liberation Army of Kurdistan (KurdishArteshen Rizgariya Gelli Kurdistan‎, ARGK) in 1986,[83] and again renamed to the People’s Defense Forces (KurdishHêzên Parastina Gel‎, HPG) in 1999.[86]

Women’s armed wing

The Free Women’s Units of Star (KurdishYekîneyên Jinên Azad ên Star‎,[87] YJA-STAR) was established in 2004 as the women’s armed wing of the PKK, emphasizing the issue of women’s liberation.[14]

Training camps

The first training camps were established in 1982 in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and also in Beqaa Valley with the support of the Syrian government.[88][89] After the Iran-Iraq war and the Kurdish civil war, the PKK moved all its camps to Northern Iraq in 1998. The PKK had also completely moved to Qandil Mountains from Beqaa Valley, under intensive pressure, after Syria expelled Öcalan and shut down all camps established in the region.[89] At the time, Northern Iraq was experiencing a vacuum of control after the Gulf War-related Operation Provide Comfort. Instead of a single training camp which could be easily destroyed, the organization created many small camps. During this period the organization set up a fully functioning enclave with training camps, storage facilities, and reconnaissance and communications centers.

In 2007, the organization was believed to have camps strung out through the mountains that straddle the border between Turkey and Iraq, including in Sinaht, Haftanin, Kanimasi and Zap.[90] The organization developed two types of camps. The mountain camps, located in Turkey, Iraq and Iran, are used as forward bases from which militants carry out attacks against Turkish military bases. The units deployed there are highly mobile and the camps have only minimal infrastructure.[90] The other permanent camps, in the Qandil Mountains of Iraq, have more developed infrastructure—including a field hospital, electricity generators and a large proportion of the PKK’s lethal and non-lethal supplies.[90] The organization is also using the Qandil mountain camps for its political activities.

It was claimed in 2004 that there was another political training camp in Belgium, evidence that the organization had used training camps in Europe for political and ideological training.[91]

Political representation

The organization had sympathizer parties in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey beginning in the early 1990s. The establishment of direct links to the organization has been a question. In sequence HEP/DEP/HADEP/DEHAP/DTP and the BDP, which later changed its name to Democratic Regions Party (DBP) on 11 July 2014,[92] as well as the HDP have been accused of sympathizing with the PKK, since they have refused to brand it as a terrorist group.

Political organizations established in Turkey are banned from propagating or supporting separatism. Several political parties supporting Kurdish rights have been allegedly banned on this pretext. The constitutional court claimed to find direct links between the HEP/DEP/HADEP and the PKK. In 2008 the DTP-party was prosecuted by the constitutional court. It is reported that Turkey has used the PKK as an excuse to close Kurdish political parties.

Turkish-Kurdish politician and conspiracist Abdülmelik Fırat had claimed the Democratic Society Party (DTP) was founded by the PKK, and that 80 percent of Kurds do not vote for this party.[93] Senior DTP leaders maintain that they support a unified Turkey within a democratic framework. Aysel Tuğluk published an article in Radikal in May 2007 as the co-president of DTP, to prove that claim.[94]

Several parliamentarians and other elected representatives have been jailed for speaking in Kurdish, carrying Kurdish colors or otherwise allegedly “promoting separatism”, most famous among them being Leyla Zana.[95] The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Turkey for arresting and executing Kurdish writers, journalists and politicians in numerous occasions. Between 1990 and 2006 Turkey was condemned to pay 33 million euros in damages in 567 cases. The majority of the cases were related to events that took place in southeastern Anatolia[96] Politicians of the HDP are often accused and prosecuted for being members of the PKK.[97] In Iraq the political party Tevgera Azadî is said to have close to the PKK.[98]

Alleged links with Turkish intelligence

During the controversial Ergenekon trials in Turkey, allegations have been made that the PKK is linked to elements of the Turkish intelligence community.

Şamil Tayyar, author and member of the ruling AK Party, claimed that Öcalan was released in 1972 after just three months’ detention on the initiative of the National Intelligence Organization (Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT), and that his 1979 escape to Syria was aided by elements in MİT.[99] Öcalan has admitted making use of money given by the MIT to the PKK, which he says was provided as part of MIT efforts to control him.[100]

Former police special forces member Ayhan Çarkın alleged that the state, using the clandestine Ergenekon network, colluded with militant groups such as the PKK, Dev-Sol and Turkish Hezbollah, with the goal of profiting from the war.[101]

A witness to the trials testified that General Levent Ersöz, former head of JITEM, had frequent contact with PKK commander Cemîl Bayik.[102]

According to official figures, it was claimed that nearly 2000 PKK members became itirafçı (“confessors”) after their arrest. Some were persuaded or coerced to play an active role in the conflict, particularly under the direction of the Turkish Gendarmerie‘s unofficial JİTEMunit.[citation needed]

Activities

During its establishment in the mid-1970s, amid violent clashes country-wide, the organization used classic violent methods, such as the alleged failed assassination of Mehmet Celal Bucak as a propaganda-of-the-deed.[64] After the 1980 military coup, the organization developed into a paramilitary organization using resources it acquired in Syria, Russia, Europe and Beqaa Valley in part of ex-Syrian-controlled Lebanon. After 1984, PKK began also to use the Maoist theory of people’s war.[103][104]

The PKK has faced condemnation by some countries for executing civilians, using suicide bombers,[105][106] Child Soldiers[107] and involvement in drug trafficking.[108]

Political activity 1978–1984

In the first phase (1978–1984), the PKK tried to gain the support of the Kurdish population. It attacked the machinery of government and distributed propaganda in the region. PKK tactics were based on ambushsabotage, riots, protests, and demonstrations against the Turkish government. During these years, the PKK also fought a turf war against other radical Islamist Kurdish and Turkish organisations in Turkey. Turkish newspapers claimed that the PKK effectively used the prison force to gain appeal among the population which PKK has denied.[109][110] In the whole Turkey, this period was characterized by violent clashes which culminated in the 1980 military coup.

During this time, the organization argued that its violent actions against the government forces were explained by the need to defend Kurds in the context of what it considered as the massive cultural suppression of Kurdish identity (including the 1983 Turkish Language Act Ban) and cultural rights carried out by other governments of the region.[111] Turkey also used violent and oppressive methods against its Kurdish citizens to stop them supporting the PKK.

Armed rebellion 1984–1999

In the second phase (1984–1999), which followed the return of civilian rule in 1983, escalating attacks were made on the government’s military and vital institutions all over the country. The objective was to destabilize the Turkish authority through a long, low-intensity confrontation. In addition to skirmishing with Turkish military and police forces and local village guards, the PKK has conducted bomb attacks on government and police installations.[112] Kidnapping and assassination against government and military officials and Kurdish tribal leaders who were named as puppets of the state were performed as well. Widespread sabotages were continued from the first stage. Turkish sources had also claimed that the PKK carried out kidnappings of tourists, primarily in Istanbul, but also at different resorts. However, the PKK had in its history arrested 4 tourists and released them all after warning them to not enter the war zone. The vast majority of PKK’s actions have taken place mainly in Turkey against the Turkish military, although it has on occasions co-operated with other Kurdish nationalist paramilitary groups in neighboring states, such as Iraq and Iran.[113] The PKK has also attacked Turkish diplomatic and commercial facilities across Western Europe in the late 1980s. In effect, the Turkish state has led a series of counter-insurgency operations against the PKK, accompanied by political measures, starting with an explicit denunciation of separatism in the 1982 Constitution, and including proclamation of the state of emergency in various PKK-controlled territories starting in 1983 (when the military relinquished political control to the civilians). This series of administrative reforms against terrorism included in 1985 the creation of village guard system by the then prime minister Turgut Özal. Öcalan, in presence of PUK leader Jalal Talabani declared a unilateral cease fire in 1993, and said the PKK did not want to separate from Turkey, but Turkey did not respond to it.[114] Turkey was involved in serious human rights violations during the 1990s. The ECHR has condemned Turkey for executions of Kurdish civilians, torturing, forced displacements and massive arrests.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, in an effort to win increased support from the Kurdish peasantry, the PKK altered its leftist secular ideology to better accommodate and accept Islamic beliefs. The group also abandoned its previous strategy of attacking Kurdish and Turkish civilians who were against them, focusing instead on government and military targets.[115] In its campaign, the organization has been accused of carrying out atrocities against both Turkish and Kurdish civilians and its actions have been criticised by human rights groups such as Amnesty International[116] and Human Rights Watch[117][citation needed]. Similar actions of the Turkish state have also been criticized by these same groups.

Cease fire 1999–2004

The third phase (1999–2012), after the capture of Öcalan, PKK reorganized itself and new leaders were chosen by its members. The PKK wasn’t active between 2000 and 2003. The organization made radical changes to survive, such as changing its ideology and setting new goals. At the same time, the PKK continued to recruit new members and sustain its fighting force.

According to Turkish sources, in April 2002 at its 8th Party Congress, the PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK) and proclaimed a commitment to nonviolent activities in support of Kurdish rights. A PKK/KADEK spokesman stated that its armed wing, The People’s Defense Force, would not disband or surrender its weapons for reasons of self-defense. This statement by the PKK/KADEK avowing it would not lay down its arms underscores that the organization maintained its capability to carry out armed operations. PKK/KADEK established a new ruling council in April, its membership virtually identical to the PKK’s Presidential Council. The PKK/KADEK did not conduct an armed attack in 2002; however, the group periodically issued veiled threats that it will resume violence if the conditions of its imprisoned leader are not improved and its forces are attacked by Turkish military, and it continued its military training like before.

In November 2003, another congress was held which lead to renaming itself as the People’s Congress of Kurdistan or Kongra-Gel (KGK). The stated purpose of the organizational change was to leave behind nationalistic and state-building goals, in favor of creating a political structure to work within the existing nation-states.[118] Through further internal conflict during this period, it is claimed that 1500 militants left the organization,[118] along with many of the leading reformists, including Nizamettin Taş and Abdullah Öcalan‘s younger brother Osman Öcalan[119]

Second insurgency 2004–2012

Kongra-Gel called off the cease-fire at the start of June 2004, saying Turkish security forces had refused to respect the truce. Turkish security forces were increasingly involved in clashes with Kurdish separatist fighters. Ankara claimed that about 2,000 Kurdish fighters had crossed into Turkey from hideouts in mountainous northern Iraq in early June 2004.

While the fight against the Turkish security forces between 2004 and 2010 continued, the PKK and its ancillary organizations continued to enjoy substantial support among the Kurds of Turkey. In 2005, the original name of the organization PKK was restored, while the Kongra-Gel became the legislature of the Koma Komalên Kurdistan.[120][121] Turkey’s struggle against the Kongra-Gel/PKK was marked by increased clashes across Turkey in 2005. In the Southeast, Turkish security forces were active in the struggle against the Kongra-Gel/PKK. There were bombings and attempted bombings in resort areas in western Turkey and Istanbul, some of which resulted in civilian casualties. A radical Kurdish separatist group calling itself the Kurdish Freedom Hawks (TAK) claimed responsibility for many of these attacks. The TAK is a rival to PKK that since 2006 repeatedly damaged the PKK’s efforts to negotiate cease-fires and unlike the PKK, is seeking to establish independent Kurdistan.[122] In 2006 alone, the PKK claimed over 500 victims. In October 2006, the PKK allegedly declared a unilateral cease-fire that slowed the intensity and pace of its attacks, but attacks continued in response to Turkish security forces significant counterinsurgency operations, especially in the southeast. On 21 October 2011 Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced Iran would co-operate with Turkey in some military operations against the PKK.[123]

2012 was the most violent year in the armed conflict between the Turkish State and PKK since 1999. At least 541 individuals lost their lives as a result of the clashes including 316 militants and 282 soldiers. In contrast, 152 individuals lost their lives in 2009 until the Turkish government initiated negotiations with the PKK leadership.[124] The failure of this negotiations contributed to violence that were particularly intensified in 2012. The PKK encouraged by the rising power of the Syrian Kurds increased its attacks in the same year.

During the Syrian Civil War, the Kurds in Syria have established control over their own region with the help of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party as well as with support from the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil, under President Masoud Barzani.[125]

2013–15 Peace process

Demonstration in Paris for slain PKK workers

In late 2012, the Turkish government began secret talks with Öcalan for a ceasefire.[126] To facilitate talks, government officials transmitted letters between Öcalan in jail to PKK leaders in northern Iraq.[127] On 21 March 2013, a ceasefire was announced.[128] On 25 April, it was announced that the PKK would leave Turkey. Commander Murat Karayılan remarked “As part of ongoing preparations, the withdrawal will begin on May 8, 2013. Our forces will use their right to retaliate in the event of an attack, operation or bombing against our withdrawing guerrilla forces and the withdrawal will immediately stop.”[129] The semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq welcomed the idea of refugees from its northern neighbor.[130] The BDP held meetings across the region to explain the pending withdrawal to concerned citizens. “The 8th of May is a day we both anticipate and fear,” explained party leader Pinar Yilmaz. “We don’t trust the government at all. Many people here are afraid that once the guerrillas are gone, the Turkish military will crack down on us again.”[128]

The withdrawal began as planned with groups of fighters crossing the border from southeastern Turkey to northern Iraq.[126] Iraqi leadership in Baghdad, however, declared that it would not accept armed groups into its territory. “The Iraqi government welcomes any political and peaceful settlement”, read an official statement. “[But] it does not accept the entry of armed groups to its territories that can be used to harm Iraq’s security and stability.”[130] The prospect of armed Kurdish forces in northern Iraq threatens to increase tensions between the region and Baghdad who are already at odds over certain oil producing territory. PKK spokesman Ahmet Deniz sought to ease concerns stating the plan would boost democracy. “The [peace] process is not aimed against anyone,” he said “and there is no need for concerns that the struggle will take on another format and pose a threat to others.”[130]

It is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 PKK fighters resided in Turkey at the time.[citation needed] The withdrawal process was expected to take several months even if Iraq does not intervene to try to stop it.[130] On 14 May 2013, the first groups of 13 male and female fighters entered Iraq’s Heror area near the Metina mountain after leaving Turkey. They carried with them Kalashnikov assault rifles, light machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers before a welcoming ceremony.[131]

Kurdish PKK guerilla, 23 March 2014

On 29 July 2013, the PKK issued an ultimatum in saying that the peace deal would fail if reforms were not begun to be implemented within a month.[132] In October, Cemil Bayik warned that unless Turkey resumed the peace process, the PKK would resume operations to defend itself against it. He also accused Turkey of waging a proxy war against Kurds during the Syrian Civil War by supporting other extremist rebels who were fighting them.[133]

Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani backed the initiative saying, alongside Erdogan: “This is a historic visit for me … We all know it would have been impossible to speak here 15 or 20 years ago. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has taken a very brave step towards peace. I want my Kurdish and Turkish brothers to support the peace process.”[134]

2014 action against Islamic State and renewed tensions in Turkey

The PKK engaged the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces in Syria in mid-July 2014[135] as part of the Syrian Civil War. In August the PKK engaged IS in Northern Iraq and pressured the Government of Turkey to take a stand against IS.[136][137] PKK forces helped tens of thousands of Yazidis escape an encircled Mount Sinjar.[138] In September 2014, during the Siege of Kobanî, the PKK, receiving direct U.S. military support,[139] engaged with Islamic State forces in Syria who were attacking Kurdish city Kobane, which resulted in conflicts with Turks on the border and an end to a cease-fire that had been in place over a year.[140] The PKK accused Turkey of supporting ISIS. The PKK participated in many offensives against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.[141]

A number of Turkish Kurds rallied in large-scale street protests, demanding that the government in Ankara take more forceful action to combat IS and to enable Kurdish militants already engaged against IS to more freely move and resupply. These protests included a PKK call for its supporters to turn out.[142] Clashes between police and protesters killed at least 31 people. The Turkish government continued to restrict PKK-associated fighters’ movement across its borders, arresting 260 People’s Protection Units fighters who were moving back into Turkey. On 14 October, Turkish Air Force fighter-bombers attacked PKK positions in the vicinity of Daglica, Hakkari Province.[143]

Turkish military statements claimed that the bombings were in response to PKK attacks on a Turkish military outpost in the area. The Firat news agency, which Al Jazeera describes as “close to the PKK”, claimed that Turkish forces had been shelling the PKK positions for days beforehand and that the PKK action had itself been retaliation for those artillery strikes.[144] The PKK had already reported several Turkish attacks against their troops months before Turkish bombing started.

Percentage of the popular vote won by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the 2015 Turkish general election. “The HDP’s elections results, which are a proxy indicator of popular support for the PKK, show that the group has followers throughout the country.”[145]

July 2015–present: Renewed insurgency

PKK and Peshmerga fighters, 11 August 2015

PKK Sniper

In the months before the parliamentary election of 2015, as the “Kurdish-focused” HDP’s likelihood of crossing the 10% threshold for entry into the government seemed more likely, Erdogan gave speeches and made comments that repudiated the settlement process and the existence of a Kurdish problem and refusing to recognize the HDP as having any role to play despite their long participation as intermediaries.[146] These announcements increased distrust of the government’s good faith among Kurdish leaders. In July 2015, Turkey finally became involved in the war against ISIL. While they were doing so, they decided to bomb PKK targets in Iraq.[147] The bombings came a few days after PKK was suspected of assassinating two Turkish police officers in CeylanpınarŞanlıurfa, accused by the PKK of having links with ISIS after the 2015 Suruç bombing.[148][149] The PKK has blamed Turkey for breaking the truce by bombing the PKK in 2014 and 2015 continuously.

In August 2015, the PKK announced that they would accept another ceasefire with Turkey only under US guarantees.[150] PKK announced a one-sided ceasefire in October 2015 near election time, but the government refused.[citation needed] The leadership of Iraqi Kurdistan has condemned the Turkish air strikes in its autonomous region in the north of Iraq.[151]

The number of casualties since 23 July was claimed by Turkish government to be 150 Turkish officers and over 2,000 Kurdish rebels killed (by September).[152] In December 2015, Turkish military operation in southeastern Turkey has killed hundreds of civilians, displaced hundreds of thousands and caused massive destruction in residential areas.[153][154]

In March 2016, the PKK helped to launch the Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement with nine other Kurdish and Turkish revolutionary leftist, socialist and communist groups (including the TKP/MLTHKP-C/MLSPBMKPTKEP/LTİKB [defrtrzh]DKPDK and MLKP) with the aim of overthrowing the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.[63]

Tactics

The areas in which the group operates are generally mountainous rural areas and dense urban areas. The mountainous terrain offers an advantage to members of the PKK by allowing them to hide in a network of caves.[citation needed]

Recruiting[

PKK female fighters

Since its foundation, the PKK has recruited new fighters mainly from Turkey, but also from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Western countries using various recruitment methods, such as using nationalist propaganda and its gender equality ideology. At its establishment, it included a small number of female fighters but over time, however, the number increased significantly and by the early 1990s, 30 percent of its 17,000 armed fighting forces were women.[155] In much of rural Turkey, where male-dominated tribal structures, and conservative Muslim norms were commonplace, the organization increased its number of members through the recruitment of women from different social structures and environments, also from families that migrated to several European countries after 1960 as guest workers.[155] It was reported by a Turkish university that 88% of the subjects initially believed that equality was a key objective, and that they joined the organization based on this claim.[156] In 2007, approximately 1,100 of 4,500–5,000 total members were women.[155]

In its early stages, the PKK recruited young women by kidnapping them. This forced families whose children were already a member of the organization to cooperate and thus turning them into accomplices, which increased the number of women joining the group, according to the publication, published by the Jamestown Foundation.[155][157][158]

The organization is also actively recruiting child soldiers and it has been accused of abducting more than 2,000 children by Turkish Security Forces. The independent reports by the Human Rights Watch (HRW), the United Nations(UN) and the Amnesty International have confirmed the recruitment and use of child soldiers by the organization and its armed wings since the 1990s.[107][159][160][161]

According to the TEPAV think-tank which did research on the identities of 1,362 PKK fighters who lost their lives between 2001 and 2011, 42% of the recruits were under 18, with over a quarter of these being under 15 years of age at the time of recruiting. The organization is also believed to have used the children in the drug trade.[162]

On 22 December 2016, a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that the HPG, the armed wing of the PKK, and the YBS, a Yazidi militia affiliated with the PKK, had actively recruited child soldiers since the 2015. The report stated that more than 29 cases had been documented, and some recruited children were under 15 when they had been recruited, which is a war crime under international law.[159]

Weapons

In July 2007, the weapons captured between 1984 and 2007 from the PKK operatives and their origins published by the Turkish General Staff indicates that the operatives erased some of the serial numbers from their weapons. The total number of weapons and the origins for traceable ones were:[163]

 
The choice and origin of the traceable weapons (July 2007)[163]
Type Quantity Sources
AK-47 Kalashnikovs 4,500 71.6% from the USSR, 14.7% from China, 3.6% from Hungary, 3.6% from Bulgaria
Rifles[nb 1] 5,713 of (959 traceable) 45.2% from Russia, 13.2% from United Kingdom, and 9.4% from United States.
Rocket launchers 1,610 (313 traceable) 85% from Russia, 5.4% from Iraq, and 2.5% from China in origin.
Pistols 2,885 (2,208 traceable) 21.9% from Czechoslovakia, 20.2% from Spain, 19.8% from Italy
Grenades 3,490 (136 traceable) 72% from Russia, 19.8% from United States, 8% from Germany,
Land mines 11,568 (8,015 traceable) 60.8% from Italy, 28.3% from Russia, 6.2% from Germany

Turkish authorities claimed that four members of the organization, who handed themselves over to authorities after escaping from camps in northern Iraq, claimed they had seen two U.S. armored vehicles deliver weapons, which was widely reported and further stoked suspicions about U.S. policy in Iraq.[164] The US envoy denied these claims.[165] The arms were claimed to be part of the Blackwater Worldwide arms smuggling allegations. The probe of organization’s weapons and the investigation of Blackwater employees were connected.[166] The PKK also denied these claims.

Resources

Funding

Parties and concerts are organized by branch groups.[167] Additionally, it is believed that the PKK earns money through the sale of various publications, as well as receiving revenues from legitimate businesses owned by the organization, and from Kurdish-owned businesses in Turkey, Russia, Iraq, Iran and Western Europe.[168][169] Besides affiliate organizations, it is claimed that there are sympathizer organizations such as the Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe and the International Kurdish Businessmen Union which constantly exchanges information and perform legitimate or semi-legitimate commercial activities and donations.[citation needed]

According to the European Police Office (EUROPOL), the organization collects money from its members, using labels like ‘donations’ and ‘membership fees’ which are seen as a fact extortion and illegal taxation by the authorities. There are also indications that the organization is actively involving in money laundering, illicit drugs and human trafficking, as well as illegal immigration inside and outside the EU for funding and running its activities.[170]

Drug trafficking

PKK’s involvement in drug trafficking has been documented since the 1990s.[171] A report by Interpol published in 1992 states that the PKK, along with nearly 178 Kurdish organizations were suspected of illegal drug trade involvement. The British National Criminal Intelligence Service determined that the PKK obtained $75 million from drug smuggling in Europe in 1993 alone.[172] Members of the PKK have been designated narcotics traffickers by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.[173] The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic security agency, echoed this finding in its 2011 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution, stating that despite the U.S Department of Treasury designation, there was “no evidence that the organizational structures of the PKK are directly involved in drug trafficking”.[174]

On 14 October 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) targeted the senior leadership of the PKK, designating Murat Karayılan, the head of the PKK, and high-ranking members Ali Riza Altun and Zübeyir Aydar as foreign narcotics traffickers at the request of Turkey.[173] On 20 April 2011, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the designation of PKK founders Cemîl Bayik and Duran Kalkan and other high-ranking members as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Pursuant to the Kingpin Act, the designation freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals.[175]

According to research conducted by journalist Aliza Marcus, the PKK accepted the support of smugglers in the region. Aliza Marcus claimed that some of those Kurdish smugglers who were involved in the drugs trade, either because they truly believed in the PKK—or because they thought it a good business practice (avoid conflicts)—frequently donated money to the PKK rebels. She also claimed that there were reports of PKK supporters in Europe who used their positions and contacts to trade in drugs—and then handed some of the profits to the PKK. And when PKK activists needed more money, they had no qualms about approaching Kurds who trafficked in narcotics. However, according to Aliza Marcus, it does not seem that the PKK, as an organization, directly produced or traded in narcotics.[176]

Following the SDF capture of Raqqa, YPJ and YPG troops raised a large banner of Abdullah Öcalan in the city centre.[177]

In 2018, the state-run new agency AA claimed that the PKK has successfully kept its drug production and trafficking activities underground, both across the globe and within Turkey, and that the security forces had carried out more than 414 drug trafficking operations against the organization since the 1980. The Turkish authorities have also claimed that the organization gains 1,5 billion USD yearly from drug trafficking.[178][179]

The report, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), stated that the instability in Iraq has helped the PKK to develop and use Iraq as a transhipment point for Afghan heroin. The PKK was reported to collect taxes per kilogram of heroin trafficked to Turkey from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq borders, with potential profits reaching US$200 million annually.[180]

The EUROPOL which has monitored the organization’s activities inside the EU has also reported the organization’s involvement in the trafficking of drugs and human beings to raise funds for its terrorist activities inside and outside the EU.[170]

On 1 January 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the designation of Moldovan-based individuals Zeyneddin Geleri, Cerkez Akbulut, and Omer Boztepe as specially designated narcotics traffickers for drug trafficking on behalf of the PKK in Europe. According to the OFAC, Zeynedding Geleri was identified as a high-ranking member of the PKK while two others were activists. The OFAC stated that the drug trafficking is still one of the organization’s criminal activities it uses to obtain weapons and materials.[181]

Human resources

In 2008, according to information provided by the Intelligence Resource Program of the Federation of American Scientists the strength of the organization in terms of human resources consists of approximately 4,000 to 5,000 militants of whom 3,000 to 3,500 are located in northern Iraq.[182] With the new wave of fighting from 2015 onwards, observers noted that active support for the PKK had become a “mass phenomenon” in majority ethnic Kurdish cities in the Southeast of the Republic of Turkey, with large numbers of local youth joining PKK-affiliated local militant groups.[183]

International support

At the height of its campaign, the organization received support from many countries. According to Turkey, countries the PKK has previously/currently received support from include: Greece,[184][185] Iran,[186] Iraq,[187] Russia[188] and Syria.[186] The level of support given has changed throughout this period. Official Turkish sources also allege cooperation between the PKK and the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA).[189]

Greece
According to Ali Külebi, president of an Ankara-based nationalist think tank TUSAM, “It is obvious that the PKK is supported by Greece, considering the PKK’s historical development with major support from Greece.” Külebi alleged in 2007 that PKK militants received training at a base in Lavrion, near Athens.[190] Retired Greek L.T. General Dimitris Matafias and retired Greek Navy Admiral Antonis Naxakis had visited the organization’s Mahsun Korkmaz base camp in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley in October 1988 along with parliamentarians from the center-left PASOK.[191] At the time it was reported that the general had assumed responsibility for training. Greeks also dispatched arms through the Republic of Cyprus.[191] In December 1993, Greek foreign affairs minister Theodoros Pangalos was quoted as saying “we must be supportive of the Kurdish people to be free”.[192] Greece declined to join Germany and France and the eleven other members at the EU to ban the organization.[192] During his trial, Öcalan admitted, as quoted in Hürriyet, that “Greece has for years supported the PKK movement. They even gave us arms and rockets. Greek officers gave guerrilla training and explosives training to our militants” at a camp in Lavrion, Greece.[193]
Syria
From early 1979 to 1999, Syria had provided valuable safe havens to PKK in the region of Beqaa Valley. However, after the undeclared war between Turkey and Syria, Syria placed restrictions on PKK activity on its soil such as not allowing the PKK to establish camps and other facilities for training and shelter or to have commercial activities on its territory. Syria recognized the PKK as a terrorist organization in 1998.[194] Turkey was expecting positive developments in its cooperation with Syria in the long term, but even during the course of 2005, there were PKK operatives of Syrian nationality operating in Turkey.[167][195]
Iran
Iran provided PKK with supplies in the form of weapons and funds. However, Iran later listed the PKK as a terrorist organization after Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan used Iran’s supply of resources to the PKK on its own soil.[citation needed]
Armenia
Turkish and Azeri sources have alleged in 2007 that PKK maintains camps in the Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.[196] Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Arman Kirakosyan called these allegations “sheer nonsense” in 2008.[197] In May 2008 a commentary in the right-wing newspaper Yeni Şafak claimed that the PKK’s leadership, “perhaps feeling insecure in northern Iraq, was mulling a move to Nagorno-Karabakh.” In response, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry press spokesman Vladimir Karapetian stated, “The unsubstantiated rumors about the intentions on the side of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to move to Nagorno-Karabakh and controlled territories cannot be called anything less than another provocation.”[198]
Republic of Cyprus
Support of the Republic of Cyprus was alleged when Abdullah Öcalan was caught with a Cypriot passport under the name of Mavros Lazaros, a nationalist reporter.
Soviet Union and Russia
Former KGBFSB officer Alexander Litvinenko alleges that PKK’s leader Abdullah Öcalan was trained by KGBFSB.[199] As of 2008, Russia is still not among the states that list PKK as a terrorist group despite intense Turkish pressure.
United Kingdom
MED TV broadcast for five years in the UK, until its license was revoked by the regulators the Independent Television Commission (ITC) in 1999. The PKK has been listed as a terrorist organization since 29 March 2001. In 2008, the United Kingdom detained members of the PKK and seized the assets of the PKK’s representative in Britain, Selman Bozkur, alias “Dr. Hüseyin”. His assets remain frozen.[200]
Support of various European states
The Dutch police had allegedly raided the ‘PKK paramilitary camp’ in the Dutch village of Liempde and arrested 29 people in November 2004, but all were soon released.[201] Denmark allows Kurdish satellite television stations (such as ROJ-TV), which Turkey claims has links with the PKK, to operate in Denmark and broadcast into Turkey.[202]
Various PKK leaders, including Hidir Yalcin, Riza Altun, Zubeyir Aydar, and Ali Haydar Kaytan all lived in Europe and moved freely. The free movement was achieved by strong ties with influential persons. Danielle Mitterrand, the wife of the former President of FranceFrançois Mitterrand, had active connections during the 1990s with elements of the organization’s leadership that forced a downgrade in relationships between the two states.[203] After harboring him for some time, Austria arranged a flight to Iraq for Ali Rıza Altun, a suspected key figure with an Interpol arrest warrant on his name.. Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gül summoned the Austrian ambassador and condemned Austria’s action.[204] On 30 September 1995, while Öcalan was in Syria, Damascus initiated contact with high-ranking German CDU MP Heinrich Lummer and German intelligence officials.
The Chief of the Turkish General Staff during 2007, General Yaşar Büyükanıt, stated that even though the international struggle had been discussed on every platform and even though organizations such as the UN, NATO, and EU made statements of serious commitment, to this day the necessary measures had not been taken.[205] According to Büyükanıt; “this conduct on one side has encouraged the terrorists, on the other side it assisted in widening their activities.[205] 
Sedat Laçiner, of the Turkish think tank ISRO, says that US support of the PKK undermines the US War on Terror.[206] Seymour Hersh claimed that the U.S. supported PEJAK, the Iranian branch of the PKK.[207] The head of the PKK’s militant arm, Murat Karayılan, claimed that Iran attempted to recruit the PKK to attack coalition forces, adding that Kurdish guerrillas had launched a clandestine war in north-western Iran, ambushing Iranian troops.[208]

Designation as a terrorist group

The PKK has been placed on Turkey’s terrorist list, as well as a number of allied governments and organizations.[17]

The European Union — which Turkey aspires to join — in 2011 renewed its official listing of the PKK as group or entity subject to “specific [EU] measures to combat terrorism” under its Common Foreign and Security Policy.[209] First designated as such in 2002, the PKK was ordered to be removed from the EU terror list on 3 April 2008 by the European Court of First Instance on the grounds that the EU had failed to give a proper justification for listing it in the first place.[210] However, EU officials dismissed the ruling, stating that the PKK would remain on the list regardless of the legal decision.[211]

The PKK is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US State Department;[212] in 2018, the United States offered a $12 million reward for information on three PKK leaders.[213]

The PKK is also a Proscribed Organisation in the United Kingdom under the Terrorism Act 2000;[214] the British Prime Minister Theresa May used the phrase “Kurdish terrorism” in 2018, in a certain context.[215]

France prosecutes Kurdish-French activists and bans organizations connected to the PKK on terrorism-related charges,[216] having listed the group as a terrorist organization since 1993.[217] However, French courts often refuse to extradite captured individuals accused of PKK connections to Turkey due to technicalities in French law, frustrating Turkish authorities[failed verification].[218]

The following other individual countries have listed or otherwise labelled the PKK in an official capacity as a terrorist organization:

Australia,[219][220] Austria,[221] Azerbaijan,[222] Canada,[223] Czech Republic,[224] Germany,[225] Iran,[226] Japan,[227] Kazakhstan,[228] Kyrgyzstan,[229] New Zealand,[230] Spain,[231] Syria.[194]

States etc. not designating them as terrorist group

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained at a 2019 press conference that “NATO does not have a public list where we list different organisations as terrorist organisations. Some other national organisations have that kind of list, for instance the UN or . . . and EU, but NATO does not have that kind of public list, where we list terrorist organisations.”[232] Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952, and fields the group’s second-largest armed contingent.

The PKK has never been designated as a terrorist organization by the UN.

Russia has long ignored Turkish pressure to ban the PKK,[233] and the group is also not included in the official terror blacklist of China (PRC), Brazil, Switzerland, India and Egypt.[234][235]

The government of Switzerland has rejected Turkish demands to blacklist the PKK,[236] though it has taken its own measures to monitor and restrict the group’s activities on Swiss soil, including banning the collection of funds for the group in November 2008.[237]Switzerland considers only those organizations as terrorist organizations which are in the terrorist list of the United Nations.[238]

Flags

Party flags

Flag of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) (1978–1995)[239]
Flag of the PKK (1995–2000)[239]
Flag of the PKK (2000-2002)
Flag of the KADEK (2002–2003)[239]
Flag of the Kongra-Gel (KGK) (2003–present)[239][240]
Flag of the PKK (2005–present)[241]

Flags of wings

Flag of the People’s Defense Forces (HPG, Formerly HRK and ARGK)[242][243]
Flag of the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (ERNK) (1985-2000)[239][244]
Former flag of the Free Women’s Units of Star (YJA-STAR)[242]
Current flag of the YJA-STAR[245]

See also

Related and/or associated organizations

Notes

  1. ^ also rendered as Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, such as on the group’s official website

References…

Further reading

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdistan_Workers%27_Party

 

Story 2: Britain Finally Has European Union Divorce Agreement But Will Parliament Approve Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal? — Videos

 

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Nigel Farage Would Prefer a General Election Over Boris Johnson’s Deal | Good Morning Britain

Boris Johnson seeks MPs’ support for Brexit deal in new race against time

The Five 10/18/19 | The Five Fox News October 18, 2019

‘And you thought he was crazy…’ How the world’s newspapers reacted to Boris Johnson’s Brexit agreement

But newspapers at home and abroad recognised that while one battle was won, the war continued in Westminster. 

The Prime Minister will on Friday seek to sell his Brexit deal to sceptical MPs, as he returns home fresh from an EU victory but risking defeat in parliament.

Mr Johnson pulled off a major coup in agreeing a new divorce deal with the European Union, paving the way for him to deliver his promise to leave the bloc on October 31.

But Thursday’s deal must still pass the House of Commons, which is meeting for…

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/10/18/thought-crazy-worlds-newspapers-reacted-boris-johnsons-brexit/

Do the deal! Poll reveals Britain wants MPs to stop the delay and back Boris Johnson today after his Brexit breakthrough

  • 50 per cent of people said MPs should back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal in a Survation Poll for the Daily Mail  
  • A total of 47 per cent believe Mr Johnson’s plan should go to a referendum, compared with 44 against the idea
  • The survey found a surge in support for the Tories following the PM’s breakthrough at this week’s EU summit 
  • MPs will vote on Mr Johnson’s deal on Saturday, the first time Parliament is sitting on the weekend since 1982
  • The vote is set to be incredibly tight, with the PM trying to ‘lovebomb’ Labour MPs and Tory rebels to back him
  • Rebel Tory MP Oliver Letwin has tabled an amendment which could force Mr Johnson to request an extension 

Story 3: Hillary Clinton Rampant Russian Delusions, Lying and Paranoia — Russia Dumped Hillary Clinton for Tulsi Gabbard As The Russian Choice For Their Candidate in 2020? — In Your Guts You Know Hillary Is Nuts — Lock Her Up —  Videos — 

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Tucker: Hillary spreads vicious lies about fellow Democrats

Hillary Clinton calls Tulsi Gabbard a “favorite of the Russians”

Hillary Clinton suggests Russians are grooming a Democrat for 2020

Hillary Implies Tulsi Boosted by Russians | The View

Ingraham: Heeere’s Hillary

Hillary Clinton talks about the 2020 presidential election

Tulsi Gabbard: This is what’s so dangerous about Hillary Clinton

Russian to Conclusions: Hillary vs. Tulsi and Jill | The News & Why It Matters | Ep 397

Hillary Clinton suggests Russians are grooming a Democrat for 2020

Tulsi Gabbard fires back at Hillary Clinton’s Russian asset claim

Stein says Clinton promoting ‘unhinged conspiracy theory’

Tulsi Gabbard responds to Hillary Clinton: Clinton “knows she can’t control me”

Max Blumenthal on why Hillary Clinton smeared Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein

Tulsi Gabbard: 9/11 inspired me to enlist in the military

Tulsi Gabbard rips CNN, NY Times for ‘smearing’ her reputation

Tucker: Not everyone in 2020 Democratic field is a lunatic

The Five 10/18/19 | The Five Fox News October 18, 2019

State Dept. finds nearly 600 violations in Clinton’s email scandal

‘You can’t control me’: Defiant Tulsi Gabbard says Hillary has ‘the blood of thousands on her hands’ and calls her the ‘queen of warmongers’ after 2016 loser accused her of being a Russian asset ready to run as an independent candidate

  • Tulsi Gabbard bashed Hillary Clinton during an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Friday
  • She said the former Secretary of State is waging a smear campaign against her because ‘she knows she can’t control me’
  • It comes on the heels of Clinton claiming the Russians were ‘grooming’ a Democratic presidential contender to be a third-party spoiler candidate 
  • ‘They’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,’ Clinton said 
  • In response, Gabbard tweeted that Clinton was ‘the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption’
  • On her appearance on Tucker Carlson, Gabbard also insisted that Clinton has blood on her hands for ‘championing’ the Iraq War
  • Clinton did not mention Gabbard by name but the Hawaii representative has been accused of being a ‘Russian asset’
  • Gabbard, in Tuesday’s debate, said that allegation was ‘completely despicable’

Story 4: Trump Dazzles Dallas — Videos

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FULL TRUMP RALLY: President Trump holds campaign rally in Dallas, Texas

Trump holds a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas

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The Pronk Pops Show 1331, October 1, 2019, Story 1: Communist China Celebrates 70th Anniversary of Its Chinese Communist Party Dictatorship With Weapons Display — Videos — Story 2: Communist China Parades New Missiles Including DF-41 ICBMs and The DF-17 Hyper-sonic Missile — Videos — Story 3: North Korea Launches Missile Before Resuming Talks — Videos — Story 4: United States Must Counter Missiles of Communist China and Russia Accelerate Development, Production and Deployment  of Missile Defense and Hypersonic Missile Systems — New Arms Race — Hypersonic Missile Gap — Videos

Posted on October 5, 2019. Filed under: Cruise Missiles, Hypersonic Missiles, MIssiles, Nuclear, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Communist China Celebrates 70th Anniversary of Its Chinese Communist Party Dictatorship With Weapons Display — Videos —

15 military units march in China’s largest National Day parade

China 70th anniversary parade and celebrations | FULL

China’s Communist Party marks 70th anniversary of its rule with military parade

China marked the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 with a massive parade that includes a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking anywhere in the United States, as well as stealth combat drones and fighter jets. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: https://wapo.st/2QOdcqK

China marks the 70th anniversary of its founding with military parade – watch live

‘A picture says a thousand words’ as China puts on menacing display

CrossTalk: Communist China at 70

 

Story 2: Communist China Parades New Missiles Including DF-41 ICBMs and The DF-17 Hyper-sonic Missile — Videos —

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China shows off new missiles during milestone celebration

China’s military parade a ‘significant development’ in arms race

North Korea Launches Missile Before Resuming Talks — Videos

China Displays DF-17 New Hypersonic Missile – DF-41 World’s Longest-Range Military Missile

China’s Dongfeng-41 missile – likely centerpiece at its 70th National Day parade?]

 

 

DF-41

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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DF-41
Type ICBM
Place of origin China
Service history
In service 2017
Used by People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force
Production history
Manufacturer China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT)
Specifications
Mass ~80,000 kilograms (180,000 lb)[1]
Length ~21 metres (69 ft)[1]
Diameter ~2.25 m (7 ft 5 in)[1]
Warhead Thermonuclear weapon, 10-12 MIRVs (single 1 Megaton or MIRV with selectable 20, 90, 150 kiloton)[1]

Engine Three-stage Solid-fuel rocket
Operational
range
~14,000–15,000 kilometres (8,700–9,300 mi)[1]
Speed Mach 25 (30,626 km/h; 19,030 mph; 8.5073 km/s)[2]
Guidance
system
Inertial, likely with stellar updates and BeiDou[3]
Accuracy 100m CEP[3]
Launch
platform
Silo, road-mobile Transporter erector launcher

The Dongfeng-41 (DF-41, CSS-X-10) (simplified Chinese东风-41traditional Chinese東風-41; literally: ‘East Wind-41’), is a Chinese solid-fuelled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile. The missile, reportedly capable of reaching the contiguous United States within 30 minutes, was officially unveiled at the China Day military parade on October 1st, 2019.

 

Design

The missile reportedly has an operational range between 12,000 to 15,000 kilometres (7,500 to 9,300 mi).[4][1] This would make it the world’s longest-range missile, surpassing that of the US LGM-30 Minuteman, which has a reported range of 13,000 kilometres (8,100 mi).[5][6] It is believed to have a top speed of Mach 25,[2] and to be capable of MIRV delivery (up to 12).[4] The development of the MIRV technology is reported to be in response to the deployment of the United States national missile defense system which degrades China’s nuclear deterrence capability.[7] The project started in 1986,[4] and may now be coupled with the JL-2 program.

Though there have been reports that the DF-41 can carry 6 to 10 warheads, analysts think it most likely carries only three warheads, with the additional payload used for many penetration aids.[8]

Richard Fisher, an expert on Asia-Pacific military affairs, says that a typical Second Artillery Corps unit has 6-12 missile launchers and may have an additional 6-12 “reload missiles”, i.e. missiles to be launched after the first missile with which the launcher is equipped are launched, indicating 12-24 DF-41 missiles per unit. If a missile had 10 warheads, that would give a single SAC unit the capability to target the contiguous United States with 120-240 nuclear warheads.[9]

Development

Air Power Australia reported that the DF-41 was cancelled pre-2000, with the technology developed transferred to the DF-31A.[4][10] It was incorrectly anticipated that the DF-41 would be delivered to the Second Artillery around the year 2010.[4][11] Some military experts had expected that it could be unveiled at the 2009 National Parade.[12] However, rehearsals of the military parade did not feature this missile.

The American conservative website The Washington Free Beacon reported in August 2012 that the DF-41 had its first flight test on July 24, 2012.[13]

In April 2013, Taiwan‘s National Security Bureau head reported to the Legislative Yuan that the DF-41 was still in development, and not yet deployed.[14]

The U.S. Department of Defense in its 2013 report to Congress on China’s military developments made no explicit mention of the DF-41, but did state that “China may also be developing a new road-mobile ICBM, possibly capable of carrying a multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV)”, which may refer to the DF-41.[15] Later in 2013 the Washington Free Beacon reported that the second launch test took place on December 13, 2013 from the Wuzhai missile launch center in Shanxi province to an impact range in western China, according to officials familiar with details of the tests.[16]

The Free Beacon reported in June 2014 that U.S. officials had said by then that the DF-41 was test launched twice since 2012.[17]

In August 2014, China Shaanxi Provincial Environmental Monitoring Center website accidentally made a news report about events of setting environmental monitoring site for DF-41 ICBM; the news report (and the whole website) was taken down shortly after getting public attention.[18]

In December, The Washington Free Beacon claimed that China had test-launched a DF-41 using multiple reentry vehicles for the first time on 13 December 2014.[19] Later that month, China confirmed that the launch occurred, saying it has a legitimate right to conduct scientific tests within its border, that they were not targeting any country, and the development of the missile did not affect China’s policy of not using nuclear weapons first in a conflict. The launch took place at the Wuzhai Missile and Space Test Center in central China and impacted in the west of the country.[20]

In August 2015, the missile was flight-tested for the fourth time.[21]

In December 2015, the missile was flight-tested for the fifth time. The flight test demonstrated the use of two multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles. The missile launch and dummy warheads were tracked by satellites to an impact range in western China.[22]

In April 2016, China successfully conducted the 7th test of DF-41 with two dummy warheads near the South China Sea, amid growing tensions between Washington and Beijing about the area.[23]

On January 23, 2017, China was reported to have deployed a strategic ballistic missile brigade to Heilongjiang province, bordering Russia, along with another strategic ballistic missile brigade deploying to Xinjiang.[24]

In November 2017, just two days before U.S. President Trump’s visit to China, the DF-41 was tested in the Gobi desert.[25][26]

On October 1, 2019, China on its 70th anniversary displayed the missiles in a large military parade. [27]

Rail-mobile version

On 5 December 2015 China conducted a launcher test of a new rail-mobile version of the DF-41, similar to the Russian RT-23 Molodets.[28][29]

References …

External links

 

Story 3: North Korea Launches Missile Before Resuming Nuclear Talks — Videos —

North Korea launches ballistic missile into Sea of Japan

North Korea Has Fired A Ballistic Missile Days Before Resuming Nuclear Talks With The U.S. | TIME

North Korea Launches Missile Before Resuming Talks — Videos

North Korea makes calculated show of strength with ballistic missile launch

Timeline of North Korea’s Missile Program

This Is What a Nuclear War Would Actually Look Like (HBO)

Breaking down Russia and U.S. nuclear capabilities

 

North Korea’s latest missile launch may have been fired from a SUBMARINE just hours after Pyongyang agreed to fresh nuclear talks with the US this weekend

  • South Korea says North fired ballistic missile toward Sea of Japan on Wednesday
  • Officials in Seoul believe missile may have been fired from a submarine or barge 
  • South Korean military chief says missile flew 280 miles and reached altitude of 565 miles
  • Talks between North Korea and the U.S. have hit standstill over sanctions, disarmament issues
  • President Trump and Kim Jong-un held summit in Hanoi in February

North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward the sea Wednesday, South Korea’s military said, in a display of its expanding military capabilities hours after saying it would resume nuclear diplomacy with the United States this weekend.

South Korean officials said the missile was fired from North Korea’s eastern waters, suggesting it may have been submarine-launched.

But South Korean defense officials won’t officially disclose whether the missile was fired from a submarine, a barge or any other possible platform.

North Korea having the ability to launch missiles from submarines would be alarming because such weapons are harder to detect in advance.

North Korea is known to have developed and tested at least one nuclear-capable SLBM – the Pukguksong-1 – and has carried out several test-launches of its successor, the Pukguksong-2.

People watched TV news coverage showing footage of a previous North Korean missile launch at the Seoul Railway Station today during breaking news bulletins

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was shown (above) in coverage in the South about the latest rocket launch. The Hermit Kingdom fired what was believed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from waters off its east coast

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was shown (above) in coverage in the South about the latest rocket launch. The Hermit Kingdom fired what was believed to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from waters off its east coast

The Hermit Kingdom has a large submarine fleet but only one known experimental submarine capable of carrying a ballistic missile.

Kim was accompanied on the visit by Kim Jong-sik, an official who has played a leading role North Korea’s missile program, and Jang Chang-ha, the head of a national defense academy which the U.S. believes is in charge of the country’s weapons research.

According to Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the missile flew about 280 miles at the maximum attitude of 565 miles before landing between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said South Korean and U.S. authorities were analyzing more details of the launch.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga earlier said the North fired two ballistic missiles from the country’s east coast, and one of them appeared to have landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

There were no reports of damage to Japanese vessels or aircraft, he said.

The North had not fired a weapon that reached inside Japan’s EEZ since November 2017 at the height of an unusually provocative run in nuclear and missile tests.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launches and said they violate U.N. resolutions against the North. 

‘We will continue to cooperate with the U.S. and the international community and do the utmost to maintain and protect the safety of the people as we stay on alert,’ Abe said.

A woman watching a television news screen showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, today

A woman watching a television news screen showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, today

A South Korean soldier walking past a TV broadcasting a news report in Seoul, South Korea, on North Korea firing a missile that is believed to be launched from a submarine today

A South Korean soldier walking past a TV broadcasting a news report in Seoul, South Korea, on North Korea firing a missile that is believed to be launched from a submarine today

The launches, which were the North’s ninth round of weapons tests since late July, came hours after a senior North Korean diplomat said North Korea and the United States have agreed to resume working-level nuclear negotiations this weekend.

After supervising a testing firing of what the North described as a ‘newly developed super-large multiple rocket launcher’ last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was quoted by state media as saying that the system would require a ‘running fire test’ to complete its development.

North Korea could also be demonstrating its displeasure over South Korea displaying for the first time some of its newly purchased U.S.-made F-35 stealth fighter jets at its Armed Forces Day ceremony on Tuesday.

The North has called the F-35 purchases a grave provocation that violate recent inter-Korean agreements aimed at lowering military tensions.

Nuclear negotiations halted following a February summit between Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump in Vietnam that broke down after the U.S. rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for partially surrendering its nuclear capabilities.

North Korea’s subsequent belligerent rhetoric and recent short-range weapons tests have been seen as an attempt to gain leverage before resuming the negotiations.

South Korean people watching breaking news at Seoul Station in Seoul today concerning North Korea's latest missile launch

South Korean people watching breaking news at Seoul Station in Seoul today concerning North Korea’s latest missile launch

The United States and North Korea announced on Tuesday that they will resume talks this weekend about Pyongyang’s nuclear program. President Trump (left) and North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un (right) are seen on the North Korean side of the border in Panmunjon in June

In a statement released through state media, Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s first vice minister of foreign affairs, said the two nations will have preliminary contact on Friday before holding working-level talks on Saturday.

She did not say where it would take place.

‘It is my expectation that the working-level negotiations would accelerate the positive development of the DPRK-U.S. relations,’ Choe said in the statement, using an abbreviation for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, who is traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Rome, said later she did not have further details to share about the meeting.

Last month, North Korea praised Trump for suggesting Washington may pursue an unspecified ‘new method’ in the negotiations.

North Korea also has welcomed Trump’s decision to fire hawkish former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who advocated a ‘Libya model’ of unilateral denuclearization as a template for North Korea.

The 2004 disarmament of Libya is seen by North Korea as a deeply provocative comparison because Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed following U.S.-supported military action in his country seven years after giving up a rudimentary nuclear program that was far less advanced than North Korea’s.

The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who lobbied hard to set up the first summit between Kim and Trump last year in Singapore, welcomed Choe’s announcement and expressed hope the resumed talks would result in ‘substantial progress’ in denuclearization and peace.

That could be a tall order.

North Korea's Kim Jong-un is seen above touring a facility which houses a submarine in a file photo released earlier this year

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is seen above touring a facility which houses a submarine in a file photo released earlier this year

Visual timeline of North Korea’s missile programme

The diplomacy between Trump and Kim has been driven chiefly by their personalities rather than an established diplomatic process, and working-level meetings have fleshed out the logistics of summits without bringing the countries closer to any nuclear agreement.

The stalemate of recent months has revealed fundamental differences.

North Korea says it will never unilaterally surrender its nuclear weapons and missiles and insists that U.S.-led sanctions against it should be lifted first before any progress in negotiations.

The Trump administration has vowed to maintain robust economic pressure until North Korea takes real steps toward full, verifiable denuclearization.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said progress in working-level negotiations would depend on several factors, including whether Kim empowers his officials to negotiate concrete steps and whether the Trump administration embraces ‘a phased approach where summits and sanctions relief must be earned, but denuclearization is not decided all at once.’

But there are doubts about whether Kim would ever voluntarily deal away an arsenal that he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.

After their Singapore summit in June 2018, Trump and Kim issued a vague statement calling for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing how or when it would occur.

The lack of substance and fruitless working-level talks set up the failure in Hanoi. Trump and Kim met for the third time at the inter-Korean border on June 30 and agreed that working-level talks between the countries should resume.

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A picture released by Xinhua News Agency shows military vehicles carrying the DF-17 hypersonic ballistic missile during a parade in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday. (Xinhua/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
A picture released by Xinhua News Agency shows military vehicles carrying the DF-17 hypersonic ballistic missile during a parade in Beijing celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Tuesday. (Xinhua/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Oct. 4, 2019 at 7:18 a.m. CDT

James Acton is co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In the show of military might Tuesday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, one of the highlights among the weapons trundling through Tiananmen Square in Beijing was a hypersonic boost-glide missile. The exhibition of 16 DF-17 missiles (or possibly models of the real thing), displayed in public for the first time, will probably add to disquiet in the United States about a growing military imbalance, but that unease should be tempered by a few practical considerations.

For the past few years, scientistsPentagon officials and uniformed military leaders have warned about China’s apparent lead in hypersonic technology, which they often describe as a “game changer.” Over the long term, hypersonic missiles could indeed provide China (and Russia, too) with a uniquely threatening capability, but there is time for a considered response: The DF-17 and its immediate successors are unlikely to add much, if anything, to China’s already impressive military forces.

To be sure, the DF-17 is a powerful weapon, even armed with a conventional warhead, as it will be, according to the parade announcer in Beijing. The missile consists of a rocket that launches a glider, presumably at more than five times the speed of sound. (That’s what “hypersonic” means.) The U.S. intelligence community reportedly estimates the missile’s range at 1,100 to 1,550 miles, and Chinese state media has described it as being capable of conducting “precision strikes.” Not on the U.S. mainland, though; Beijing is nearly 6,000 miles from San Francisco.

But the important question isn’t whether the DF-17 poses a danger to U.S. and allied forces in the western Pacific. It does. Better to ask whether the DF-17 significantly enhances the threat from China’s formidable arsenal of existing weapons, in particular its force of between 900 and 1,950 ballistic missiles, most of them conventionally armed, with ranges of less than 1,850 miles.

There are good reasons to question how much additional capability the DF-17 will provide. Chinese ballistic missiles are based on mature technology, and the Pentagon has determined that they are able to strike their targets precisely. Chinese propaganda, by contrast, is the only unclassified source for the accuracy of the first-of-its-kind DF-17.

Moreover, hypersonic gliders are actually at a speed disadvantage compared with ballistic missiles of the same range. Ballistic missiles are also boosted to high speed by large rockets, before arcing through the vacuum of space. A glider, by contrast, spends most of its trajectory in the atmosphere, using aerodynamic lift to extend its range. The increased range comes at the cost of faster deceleration caused by atmospheric friction. One implication of this reduced speed is that hypersonic gliders may be more vulnerable to interception by U.S. “point” missile defenses (especially after such defenses have been optimized for that purpose). Like cornerbacks in football, point missile defenses are intended to protect small but important areas — such as U.S. military bases in the western Pacific.

The main advantage claimed for hypersonic gliders is their ability to maneuver during flight. If capable of adjusting their heading rapidly enough, these gliders could indeed defeat defenses by dodging interceptors. But executing rapid maneuvers without sacrificing the accuracy necessary for military effectiveness presents a significant technical challenge. There is no evidence that China, or any other state, has yet surmounted it.

That said, hypersonic weapons do present a serious challenge for the United States — but the threat is likely to emerge slowly.

Over time, China will probably develop accurate, conventionally armed gliders capable of reaching ever deeper into the United States itself. This development would create new threats for critical military infrastructure, such as communication systems for transmitting data to and from satellites, that is not currently vulnerable to non-nuclear attack. An appropriate U.S. response — hardening and burying critical systems, enhancing redundancy and deploying defenses — is likely to be expensive and time-consuming. (China could also arm intercontinental-range gliders with nuclear weapons, but since it can already reduce U.S. cities to smoking radioactive ash, this terrifying prospect would not actually represent an increase in the threat to the United States.)

Yet Washington’s response to the exhibition of the DF-17 will almost inevitably focus on closing the “hypersonics gap.” That might make sense if the United States could use gliders to destroy Chinese hypersonic weapons preemptively. But, like the DF-17, intercontinental Chinese gliders would almost certainly be deployed on trucks that are extremely difficult to track and destroy. Thus, hypersonic weapons in U.S. hands would not actually offset whatever advantages China seeks by deploying them.

The Pentagon’s budget request for fiscal 2020 included $2.6 billion for hypersonic-related research, and there is a strong appetite in Washington for deploying hypersonic weapons as soon as possible. But the Defense Department would be wise to move cautiously. Hypersonic weapons may ultimately find their niche in U.S. military strategy, but first the Pentagon must define their role and analyze potential alternatives. For now, defending against current – and particularly future – Chinese hypersonic weapons is a more urgent task.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/04/chinas-ballyhooed-new-hypersonic-missile-isnt-exactly-game-changer/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1274, June 13, 2019, Story 1: Two Tankers Transitioning The Strait of Hormus  in Gulf of Oman Shelled, Torpedoed and On Fire — Videos — Story 2: Totally Fiscally Irresponsible Democrat and Republican Parties: U.S. Federal Government Spending Totally Out-of-Control Should Exceed $4,000 Billion With $1,000 Billion Deficits For Fiscal Year 2019 and Forever! — National Debt Approaching 100% of Gross Domestic Product By 2020 — Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — Entitlement, Welfare and Tax Reform Absolutely Must Happen To Avoid Massive Increases in Interest Rates — Videos — Story 3: United States Government To Purchase 478 New Joint Strike Fighter F-35s Lightning II for the Air Force, Navy and Marines and Allied Militaries From and Lockheed Martin for About $34 Billion — Videos — Story 4: What Will Cause The Next Recession In United States — Videos

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Story 1: Two Tankers Transitioning The Strait of Hormus  in Gulf of Oman Shelled, Torpedoed and On Fire — Videos —

Why isn’t the oil market reacting to the oil tanker attacks?

Iran responsible for attack on two tankers: Pompeo

US has video of Iran removing unexploded mine from oil tanker: Report

Iran rejects US accusation of involvement in tanker attacks

U.S. officials: Iran likely behind new tanker attacks

BREAKING – 2 Oil Tankers in Gulf of Oman (straight of Hormuz) on fire

Crew have been rescued after abandoning two oil tankers hit by explosions in the Gulf of Oman

US Navy Heads for Oil Tanker Incident in Gulf of Oman

 

Two Oil Tankers Attacked Near Straight of Hormuz

Tanker Attacks In Gulf of Oman Fuel Security, Oil Supply Fears

 

Oil tanker attacks echo Persian Gulf’s 1980s ‘Tanker War’

 Mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz this week show how one of the world’s crucial chokepoints for global energy supplies can be easily targeted, 30 years after the U.S. Navy and Iran were entangled in a similarly shadowy conflict called the “Tanker War.”

While the current tensions are nowhere near the damage done then, it underscores how dangerous the situation is and how explosive it can become.

The so-called “Tanker War” involved American naval ships escorting reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf and the strait after Iranian mines damaged vessels in the region. It culminated in a one-day naval battle between Washington and Tehran, and also saw America accidentally shoot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people.

U.S. estimates suggest Iran attacked over 160 ships in the late 1980s confrontation.

“We need to remember that some 30% of the world’s crude oil passes through the straits,” said Paolo d’Amico, the chairman of the oil tanker association INTERTANKO. “If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

So far, six oil tankers have been damaged in suspected limpet mine attacks, explosives that can be magnetically stuck to the side of a ship. The first attack happened May 12 off the coast of the Emirati port city of Fujairah and targeted four tankers. Thursday’s apparent attack damaged two other tankers.

The U.S. has blamed Iran for both incidents, offering a video on Friday it said showed Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces spirit away one mine stuck to a tanker that didn’t explode in Thursday’s assault. For its part, Iran denies being involved and calls the allegations part of America’s “Iranophobic campaign” against it.

Meanwhile, the owner of the tanker Kokuka Courageous said its sailors saw “flying objects” before the attack, suggesting it wasn’t damaged by mines and contradicting the U.S. military.

Confusion pervaded the start of the “Tanker War” as well.

That conflict grew out of the bloody eight-year war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s, which began when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. The war killed 1 million people. The U.S. supported Saddam by providing intelligence, weaponry and other aid.

Iraq first targeted Iran’s shipping and by 1984 attacked Kharg Island, a crucial oil-tanker-loading terminal for Iran. Its air force also attacked ships in the Persian Gulf. After the Kharg attack, Iran began a concerted campaign to attack shipping in the region.

Iraq ultimately would attack over 280 vessels to Iran’s 168, according to the U.S. Naval Institute.

The Iran’s mining campaign began in earnest in 1987. At night, the Revolutionary Guard would drop mines from vessels disguised as traditional dhows, which ferry cargo around the waters of the Persian Gulf.

As attacks targeted Kuwaiti oil tankers, the U.S. ultimately stepped in to protect them. The Soviet Union also volunteered.

https://www.newsday.com/news/world/oil-tanker-attacks-echo-persian-gulf-s-1980s-tanker-war-1.32361954

 

MISCHIEVOUS PLOT’

Iran accuses the US of LYING about the ‘suspicious’ attack on American-linked oil tanker and denies ordering ‘torpedo’ assault

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the “blatant” attacks on two tankers which burst into flames in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

 A huge fire rages on board the Front Altair after it was reportedly hit by a torpedo in the Gulf of Oman

A huge fire rages on board the Front Altair after it was reportedly hit by a torpedo in the Gulf of Oman

 The tanker was one of two ships attacked today sparking an evacuation of all crew members

The tanker was one of two ships attacked today sparking an evacuation of all crew members

 The Pentagon released this image which is says shows Iranian involvement in the oil tanker attacks

The Pentagon released this image which is says shows Iranian involvement in the oil tanker attacks

But Iran has hit back at the “unfounded and reckless” claims and accused the US of “warmongering” as part of a “disinformation campaign”.

“The US and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous plots and false flag operations in the region,” Iran’s mission to the United Nations said.

“Warning, once again, about all of the US coercion, intimidation and malign behaviour, Iran expresses concern over suspicious incidents for the oil tankers that occurred today.”

It came after Pompeo pointed the finger at Iran and the Pentagon released images and footage as “proof” of Iranian involvement.


What we know so far:

  • Two oil tankers were seriously damaged in the suspected torpedo attack
  • The US believes Iran is definitely to blame for the shocking attacks
  • Tehran has accused America of ‘Iranophobia’ and says it is innocent
  • Almost 50 sailors had to be rescued from the stricken tankers in the Gulf
  • Oil prices surged by 3.5 per cent after today’s suspected terror attack
  • Iran’s foreign minister has branded the explosions as “suspicious”
  • The US Navy’s 5th Fleet is now investigating the suspected torpedo attack

Pompeo said the attacks were part of a “campaign” of “escalating tension” by Iran which posed a threat to international peace and security.

Iran blasted his “inflammatory remarks” and said they amounted to “another Iranophobic campaign”.

“Iran categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms,” the Iranian mission said in a statement.

The hardline Islamic nation added that the US poses the “most significant threat” to the peace and security of the Persian Gulf region.

“The US economic war and terrorism against the Iranian people as well as the massive military presence in the region have been and continue to be the main sources of insecurity and instability in the wider Persian Gulf region and the most significant threat to its peace and security,” the statement said.

Iran’s foreign minister later dismissed the US accusations as “sabotage diplomacy”.

 The Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous is believed to have been targeted by a magnetic mine

The Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous is believed to have been targeted by a magnetic mine

 An aerial picture showing the huge blaze raging on the oil tanker after the attack this morning

An aerial picture showing the huge blaze raging on the oil tanker after the attack this morningCredit: AP:Associated Press

 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the blatant attacks

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the blatant attacksCredit: Getty Images – Getty

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blames Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in blast at the Islamic state

Both the Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous burst into flames and were forced to evacuate in the troubled region on Thursday.

Reports suggested the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous may have been targeted by a magnetic mine causing a series of massive explosions on board.

The Pentagon released a video that it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the tanker.

This suggests the Islamic Republic may have sought to remove evidence of its involvement from the scene.

SMOKING GUN?

The black-and-white footage, as well as still photographs released by the US military’s Central Command, appeared to show the limpet mine on the Kokuka Courageous.

But the owner has since said the tanker crew saw “flying objects” before the attack, suggesting the ship was not damaged by mines, according to AP.

Pompeo said the US will defend its forces and interests in the region but gave no specifics about any plans and he took no questions.

Hours later it was revealed the US Navy is sending the guided missile destroyer USS Mason to the scene of the attacks.

The USS Bainbridge rescued 21 of the 44 stricken sailors involved in the incident near the Strait of Hormuz.

BRITAIN BLASTS ‘DEEPLY UNWISE’ ATTACKS

Britain is working on the basis that Iran is responsible for the attacks and warned Iran that these actions were “deeply unwise”.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This is deeply worrying and comes at a time of already huge tension.

“I have been in contact with Pompeo and, while we will be making our own assessment soberly and carefully, our starting point is obviously to believe our U.S. allies.

“We are taking this extremely seriously and my message to Iran is that if they have been involved it is a deeply unwise escalation which poses a real danger to the prospects of peace and stability in the region.”

Norwegian shipping firm Frontline, which owns the Altair, has denied Iranian reports that the tanker had sunk.

The ship was built in 2016 and is flagged to the Marshall Islands – a US associated state in the Pacific Ocean.

Chartered by Taiwan’s state oil refiner CPC Corp, the huge vessel set sail from the UAE port of Ruwais on Tuesday and was due to arrive in Kaohsiung on June 30.

Speaking to Reuters, the CEO of CPC’s petrochemical division Wu I-Fang said the tanker was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo.”

He said it was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical feedstock, which trade sources estimate to be worth more than $30 million.

Gulf of Oman attack- 23 oil tanker crew members filmed safe in Jask after suspected attack

Paolo d’Amico, chairman of the tanker association, Intertanko, said concern was rising for other crews braving the powder keg shipping lanes.

He said: “If the waters are becoming unsafe, the oil supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

It comes as tensions in the Persian Gulf between the United States and Iran are threatening to reach boiling point.

A Saudi-led coalition has described the attack as a “major escalation”.

In recent weeks, Washington has sent a number of battleships to the region in response to what it says are Iranian threats against American interests and its allies in the region.

The Kokuka Courageous – which is owned by Japanese firm Kokuka Sangyohad – set sail from Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia on June 10 and was due to reach Singapore by June 22.

Oil prices rose by 3.5 per cent following news of the explosions, according to reports.

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif branded the explosions as “suspicious” calling them “reported attacks on Japan-related oil tankers.”

He said the incident had happened as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a close American ally.

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet said it is aware of a “reported attack” in the area and is investigating.

A statement said: “US naval forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6.12 am local time and a second one at 7.00 am.

“US Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance.”

 The incident reportedly happened in the Gulf of Oman this morning

12
The incident reportedly happened in the Gulf of Oman this morning

Speaking about the attacks, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said: “The President has been briefed on the attack on ships in the Gulf of Oman.

“The US Government is providing assistance and will continue to assess the situation.”

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by the British Navy, urged “extreme caution” and said it was investigating the incident.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of explosions and fires on vessels in the Gulf of Oman. We are in contact with local authorities and partners in the region.”

Authorities do not believe that any British nationals were on the two ships.

A UK Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned by reports of explosions and fires on vessels in the Gulf of Oman. We are in contact with local authorities and partners in the region.”

This comes after the US claimed Iran used explosives to blow huge holes in four ships – including two Saudi oil tankers – anchored in the Persian Gulf last month.

The ships reportedly had ruptures measuring up to ten foot across  in their hulls as a result of the May 12 sabotage attacks.

Recent US and Iran tensions

  • May 5: USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force is deployed in Middle East in response to ‘a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings’ by Iran.
  • May 8: Iran vows to enrich its uranium stockpile if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its nuclear deal. The US responds by imposing sanctions on Iran’s metals industry.
  • May 10: The US says it will move a Patriot missile battery into the Middle East to counter threats from Iran.
  • May 24: President Trump says the US will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops.
  • May 12: The UAE says four commercial ships off its eastern coast “were subjected to sabotage operations,” just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets air false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port.

 Huge plumes of thick black smoke billow from the massive tanker in the Gulf of Oman following a suspected torpedo attack

Huge plumes of thick black smoke billow from the massive tanker in the Gulf of Oman following a suspected torpedo attackCredit: AP:Associated Press

 One of the tankers on fire in the Gulf of Oman following the suspected torpedo attack

One of the tankers on fire in the Gulf of Oman following the suspected torpedo attackCredit: AFP or licensors

 The Front Altair, from the US-linked Marshall Islands, was one of the ships reportedly attacked today near Iran

The Front Altair, from the US-linked Marshall Islands, was one of the ships reportedly attacked today near IranCredit: Shipspotting.com

Two tankers: all you need to know

  • Front Altair was built in 2016 and is flagged to the Marshall Islands
  • It is owned by Norwegian company Frontline and is operated by Dubai-based International Tanker Management
  • The ship was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical product, worth $30m when it was attacked
  • It was carrying 23 crew members who were all rescued
  • The vessel can carry up to 62,849 tonnes of cargo
  • It weighs a staggering 109,894 tonnes
  • Kokuka Courageous was built in 2010 and is flagged to Panama
  • It is owned by Japanese firm Kokuka Sangyo and is operated by BSM Ship Management
  • The ship was carrying 25,000 tonnes of methanol when it was attacked
  • 21 sailors on board were rescued. One suffered minor injuries

They were targeted near the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates – with one of the tankers due to be loaded with Saudi crude oil bound for the US.

A Washington-based official told the Associated Press that an American military team’s initial assessment indicated Iran or its allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

A huge US naval presence has built up in the Gulf over recent weeks amid a fevered standoff between Washington and Tehran.

US intelligence revealed Iran was on the verge of carrying out offensive action to disrupt and attack American and partner interests in the region.

It led to the deployment of US aircraft carriers, Patriot missiles and B52 bombers over recent days.

The general-secretary of the Gulf Cooperation Council described the sabotage as a “serious escalation” in an overnight statement.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman called the incidents near the coast of Fujairah on May 12 “worrisome and dreadful” and asked for an investigation into the matter.

US and Iran – a troubled history

  • Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran was one of America’s biggest allies in the Middle East and was led by the US-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
  • However, since the seismic revolt, Iran has been led by murderous Islamic fundamentalists and tensions with Washington have remained ever since.
  • On November 4, 1979, the Iranian regime took 52 US diplomats hostage in response to President Carter’s administration allowing Iran’s deposed former leader into America.
  • The hostage crisis lasted for 444 days and also included a failed rescue mission which cost the lives of eight US soldiers.
  • In April 1980, the US ended diplomatic relations with Iran – a break which lasted for more than 30 years.
  • In April 1983, Washington blamed the Iranian-funded terror group Hezbollah for carrying out a bombing attack on the American embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
  • The assault, carried out amid a brutal civil war in Lebanon, killed 17 Americans.
  • In November of that year, two truck bombs in Beruit killed 241 US peace keepers. The US again blamed Hezbollah for the incident.
  • The Clinton White House, in 1995, placed a total embargo on Iran meaning US companies could not trade with the country.
  • And in 2002, George W Bush included the Islamic Republic in his famous “Axis of evil” speech along with North Korea and Iraq.

 The latest explosions in the region come after four ships were attacked with explosives last month in the Persian Gulf

The latest explosions in the region come after four ships were attacked with explosives last month in the Persian GulfCredit: Reuters
 The United States deployed an additional warship to the Gulf
The United States deployed an additional warship to the GulfCredit: AFP

What is the Iran nuclear deal?

The deal is an agreement between the Islamic Republic and a group of world powers aimed at scrapping the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear weapons programme.

It saw Iran agree to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium by 98 per cent.

According to the deal, Iran would receive relief from the US, the European Union and the United Nations Security Council on all nuclear-related economic sanctions.

The agreement was reached on July 14, 2015, and was signed by world powers in Vienna, Austria.

However,  on May 8, 2018, President Trump announced the US would withdraw from the agreement – which he has repeatedly called “insane” and ridiculous”.

America’s withdrawal from the deal mean crippling economic sanctions will once again be placed on Iran – further heightening tensions between the two countries.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9292305/iran-oil-tanker-attack-gulf-of-oman/

 

Tankers ablaze in suspected attacks near Gulf oil chokepoint

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from the Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker, one of two vessels hit by suspected attacks in the waters of the Gulf of Oman

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from the Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker, one of two vessels hit by suspected attacks in the waters of the Gulf of Oman

Suspected attacks left two tankers ablaze in the waters of the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, sparking fears of a broader conflict and sending world oil prices soaring.

The mysterious incident came amid spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, which pointed the finger at the Islamic republic last month over similar attacks in the strategic sea lane.

The UN Security Council is to hold a closed-door meeting later on Thursday at the request of the United States to discuss the suspected attacks.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority said three explosions were reported on board the Norwegian-owned tanker Front Altair after it was “attacked” along with the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.

Iran said its navy rescued 44 crew members after the two vessels, which were carrying highly inflammable material, caught fire.

Footage aired on television showed thick, black plumes of smoke and flames billowing from one of the tankers as it lay out to sea.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the timing of the “reported attacks” was “suspicious”, coming as Japan’s prime minister held talks in Iran.

Suspected attacks involving tankers in Gulf

Suspected attacks involving tankers in Gulf

The US Fifth Fleet, based in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, said its warships had received separate distress calls from each vessel.

The White House said US President Donald Trump was briefed on the suspected attacks and the government was assessing the situation.

UN chief Antonio Guterres condemned the “security incidents” and warned the world cannot afford a major confrontation in the Gulf, while the European Union called for “maximum restraint”.

State media in Iran said the incidents happened one hour apart in the early morning.

The Front Altair, a 111,000-tonne vessel carrying ethanol from Qatar to Taiwan, caught fire first off Bandar-e-Jask in southern Iran, the official IRNA news agency said.

“As the ship caught fire, 23 of the crew jumped into the water and were saved by a passing ship and handed over to the Iranian rescue unit,” it said.

Robert Hvide Macleo, chief executive for the ship’s owner Frontline, wrote in a text message to AFP: “I can confirm that the vessel has NOT sunk” and the crew were “all safe”.

– ‘Security incident’ –

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the "reported attacks" on two tankers in the Gulf were "suspicious" as it happened while the Japanese prime minister was having talks in Tehran

The Kokuka Courageous was headed to Singapore from Saudi Arabia with a cargo of methanol, IRNA said.

Singapore-based BSM Ship Management said it had “launched a full-scale emergency response following a security incident” involving the Kokuka.

“The 21 crew of the vessel abandoned ship after the incident on board which resulted in damage to the ship’s hull starboard side,” it said of the vessel owned by Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo Ltd.

“One crew man from the Kokuka Courageous was slightly injured… and is receiving first aid.”

In Tokyo, Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said: “A tanker carrying Japan-related goods was attacked. There were no injuries among the crew members. They got off the tanker. There were no Japanese members.”

Front Altair was reportedly still burning late Thursday, but the fire aboard the Kokuka Courageous was under control extinguished, said an Iranian official involved in the rescue operation.

The incident came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on an unprecedented visit to Iran, seeking to defuse tensions between Tokyo’s ally Washington and the Islamic republic.

– Oil price spike –

World oil prices surged following reports of the suspected attacks, exacerbating tensions in the crude-rich Middle East, analysts said.

“Tension across the Middle East is high — and the attacks on two tankers has further exacerbated the situation, even though there does not appear to have been any damage to the cargos,” said John Hall, chairman of British-based consultancy Alfa Energy.

London’s Brent North Sea oil jumped more than four percent in morning deals before trimming gains.

The strategic Strait of Hormuz

In afternoon trading, Brent for August delivery stood at $61.99 per barrel, up $2.02, or nearly 3.4 percent from Wednesday.

New York’s West Texas Intermediate was up $1.60 or around 3.1 percent at $52.74 per barrel.

The Gulf of Oman lies at the other end of the strategic Strait of Hormuz from the Gulf, part of a vital chokepoint through which at least 15 million barrels of crude oil and hundreds of millions of dollars of non-oil imports pass.

On May 12, four oil tankers — two Saudi, one Norwegian and one Emirati — were damaged in still unexplained attacks off the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

US national security adviser John Bolton said Iranian naval mines were almost certainly behind those attacks without providing any evidence.

The UAE said initial findings of a five-nation investigation delivered to the UN pointed to the likelihood a state was involved.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia warned this month that “terrorist” attacks in the Gulf could imperil global oil supplies, as he sought to galvanise support against arch-rival Iran.

The kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, ratcheted up tensions with Iran after the attacks off Fujairah, which were followed by a drone strike on a key Saudi oil pipeline claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.

“We are in a dangerous moment in the region with this emerging pattern of attacks,” said Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst with International Crisis Group.

“Any miscalculation or misunderstanding risks a spiral toward more direct confrontation,” she told AFP.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-7136677/Two-oil-tankers-evacuated-new-incident-Gulf-Oman.html

Iran Has Little to Gain From Oman Tanker Attacks

Julian Lee,
Bloomberg

Two oil tankers have been damaged in a suspected attack in the waters between the United Arab Emirates and Iran as they were leaving the Persian Gulf. This is the second incident in four weeks, and raises the question of who gains what from them.

Fingers will certainly be pointed at Iran as the mastermind behind these events. But the potential benefits to the Persian Gulf nation are outweighed by the risks. And even if Tehran isn’t responsible, it will still suffer the consequences.

The first tanker to report a problem was the Front Altair. It was reported to be carrying 75,000 tons of naphtha, loaded in Abu Dhabi, to Japan, although it was signaling a destination of Kaosiung in Taiwan when it was damaged. The second vessel was the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which was sailing from Saudi Arabia to Singapore with a cargo of methanol.

A person who’s heard local radio transmissions between ships in the region told Bloomberg that a torpedo attack is suspected to have caused an explosion and fire on the Front Altair. The managers of the Kokuka Courageous said in a statement that “the 21 crew of the vessel abandoned ship after the incident on board which resulted in damage to the ship’s hull starboard side.”

Who gains from these attacks?

The obvious answer is Iran. If Tehran is attacking tankers leaving the Persian Gulf – either directly, or through proxies – it sends a message that transit through the world’s most important choke point for global oil flows is not safe without its consent. If Iran is pushed to the brink economically by sanctions, it will not go quietly. Other nations in the region will bear the cost of disruptions to their own oil exports, while America and its allies will have to cope with higher crude prices and disruptions to supplies.

Not since 2005 have the world’s insurers considered shipping in the Persian Gulf so dangerous for oil tankers. Nevertheless, we are still far from the level of tension that existed during the so-called Tanker War of the 1980s, when 451 vessels (259 of them oil or refined petroleum product tankers) suffered some sort of attack in the region, according to a report from the U.S. Naval Institute. The incidents took place during the Iran-Iraq war, and the culprits were forces from both countries.

Then, the U.S. navy resorted to escorting vessels through the Persian Gulf. That would be an expensive operation to repeat and would tie up a large part of the U.S. and allied fleets in the region. It would also raise the cost of the U.S. drive against Iran, which began with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Brent crude was up by as much as 4.45% on Thursday, shortly after news of the attacks broke, although it has since lost some of those gains. The nation’s oil exports have been seriously curtailed by U.S. sanctions, and higher prices are its only route to increasing revenues. But the benefits are likely to be relatively small, given the dwindling volumes and steep discounts that the country probably has to offer to shift its oil.

There is another group that will benefit from the incident – the people who want to see the U.S. step up its campaign against Iran and move from an economic war to a military one. There are plenty of those, both in the U.S. and among its allies in the Persian Gulf and wider Middle East regions.

The timing of the attacks also raises questions.

They come as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting Tehran, with the blessing of President Trump. On Wednesday Abe urged Tehran to avoid conflict at all costs and pledged to do his utmost to ease tensions. The tankers damaged on Thursday were carrying cargoes related to Japan,  Hiroshige Seko, minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, said on the ministry’s Twitter feed.

A day earlier, Iran freed a U.S. resident imprisoned on espionage charges.

This would seem very clumsy timing from a country seeing the first tangible signs of any easing of the crippling sanctions imposed by the Americans. But it is absolutely understandable if you’re someone whose ultimate goal is to derail any easing of tensions between the two nations, and to effect regime change in Tehran. Whoever is behind the attacks is no friend of Iran.

–With assistance from Elaine He.

Oil rallies after apparent attack on tankers near Strait of Hormuz, but finish off session high

Oil futures rallied Thursday, as an attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz raised fears of a potential disruption to the global flow of oil, but failed to recoup the previous days losses by the close.

“Supply concern flare-ups are not infrequent occurrences in crude markets,” said Ryan Giannotto, director of research at GraniteShares.

“The nature of these events is that the outcomes are quite binary: either a major supply disruption event transpires or it does not,” he said. “This lack of a middle ground in outcomes stokes fear in commodities markets, but the added risk premium tends to abate rapidly.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery CLN19, -0.33%  rose $1.14, or 2.2%, to end at $52.28 a barrel after tapping an intraday high of $53.45. The gains contrasted with a 4% drop that took the U.S. benchmark down to $51.14 Wednesday, the lowest front-month contract finish since Jan. 14, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rebound-from-five-month-lows-on-reports-of-gulf-of-oman-tanker-fire-2019-06-13

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Federal Spending Tops $3 Trillion Through May for First Time; Deficit Hits $738 Billion

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 12, 2019 | 2:25 PM EDT

(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

(CNSNews.com) – For the first time in the history of the United States, the federal government has spent more than $3 trillion in the first eight months of the fiscal year, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

The record $3,013,541,000,000 that the federal government spent in October through May of fiscal 2019 was $181,157,920,000 more than the previous record of $2,832,383,080,000 (in constant May 2019 dollars) that the federal government spent in October through May of fiscal 2009.

Total federal tax revenues in the first eight months of fiscal 2019 hit $2,274,902,000,000, which fell $5,612,990,000 short of the record $2,280,514,990,000 (in constant May 2019 dollars) that the Treasury collected in total tax revenues in the first eight months of fiscal 2016.

Even with the second highest tax revenues ever collected in the first eight months of the fiscal year, the federal government still ran a deficit for those eight months of $738,639,000,000.

Table 3 of the Monthly Treasury Statement, which summarizes federal receipts and outlays for the current fiscal year to date, indicated the Department of Health and Human Services cost the most money, accounting for $834,346,000,000 in federal spending in the first eight months of the fiscal year. The Social Security Administration cost the second most, accounting for $730,000,000,000 in federal spending during the period.

The Department of Defense was third, accounting for $439,289,000,000 in federal spending.

The combined $1,564,346,000,000 the federal government spent on HHS and the Social Security Administration during the first eight months of the fiscal year equaled 51.9 percent of the record total of $3,013,541,000,000 in federal spending during the period.

The combined $1,564,346,000,000 spent on HHS and Social Security was 3.56 times as much as the $439,289,000,000 spent on the Defense Department.

Story 3: United States Government To Purchase 478 New Joint Strike Fighter F-35s Lightning II for the Air Force, Navy and Marines and Allied Militaries From and Lockheed Martin for About $34 Billion — Videos

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The Reason Poland Sent an Official Request to Buy The F-35 Fighter Jets from the U.S.

The Reason Poland Sent an Official Request to Buy The F-35 Fighter Jets from the U.S. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced May 28 that his ministry sent a letter of request today to the United States regarding Poland’s plan to acquire 32 F-35A fighter jets. I care about replacing post-Soviet gear in the Polish Air Force with the most modern one, Blaszczak said at a defense conference in Warsaw, as reported by local news site Defence24.pl. The ministry aims to replace the Air Force’s outdated Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-22 and Mikoyan MiG-29 jets with fifth-generation fighters. The acquisition is to be carried out as part of Poland’s military modernization program under which Warsaw plans to spend some 185 billion zloty ($48 billion) on new weapons and equipment by 2026. Last April, Blaszczak said that the deal to purchase F-35s was not far away from being signed, as the Polish cabinet was holding the talks in parallel to its negotiations with Washington on the permanent deployment of U S troops to Poland. Warsaw has pitched for the United States to build a military base in the country, offering to allocate at least $2 billion toward the project, dubbed Fort Trump.

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Our 2012 interview with Pierre Sprey a defence analyst who spent 20 years working at the Pentagon and helped designed one of the most successful jetfighters ever, the A10 Warthog. He is a confirmed critic of the F-35.

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Pentagon, Lockheed Martin Reach ‘Handshake’ Deal For Hundreds Of F-35s

If the deal goes through, the company will produce a whopping 478 F-35s. That’s the largest procurement in the Pentagon’s history.

The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin have reached a “handshake” agreement on a $34 billion contract to make hundreds of new F-35 fighter jets.

According to a press release from Lockheed Martin, if the deal goes through, the company will produce a whopping 478 F-35s. That’s the largest procurement in the Pentagon’s history.

As a Pentagon spokesperson told The Washington Post, buying the jets in large quantities should allow the Defense Department to lower the average unit cost per plane significantly.

The F-35 program has been repeatedly criticized for its hefty price tag. After all, the estimated lifetime cost of the program is more than $1 trillion.

https://www.newsy.com/stories/dod-lockheed-martin-reach-tentative-deal-for-f-35-jets/

 

Pentagon and Lockheed Martin reach tentative $34 billion deal for hundreds of F-35 fighter jets

One Pentagon official described it as the largest procurement in the history of the Defense Department.


A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft in Berlin. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt (Axel Schmidt/Reuters)

June 11 at 5:22 PM

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have reached a tentative agreement to procure 470 new F-35 fighter jets for the Air Force, Navy and Marines and allied militaries, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. A finalized contract award is expected in August, officials said.

If the massive order for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is finalized, it will be the largest procurement in the history of the Defense Department. Its value is estimated at $34 billion.

The $34 billion agreement “marks the largest procurement in the history of the Department and provides a best value for our warfighter and taxpayer, incentivizes industry to continuously improve their performance and achieves the lowest F-35 unit prices per aircraft to date,” Vice Adm. Mathias Winter, F-35 program executive, said in an email to reporters.

Buying the jets in bulk should allow the Pentagon to decrease the average unit cost of the plane by about 15 percent, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. And it should bring the cost of the most common F-35 variant below $80 million one year ahead of schedule.

Lockheed Martin program general manager Greg Ulmer touted the company’s cost savings in the most recent contract, which he chalked up to “smart acquisition strategies and a relentless focus on cost reduction.”

“Beating our long-stated goal and delivering an F-35A below $80 million … is a testament to our joint government and industry team ― and we look forward to working with the Joint Program Office to finalize the agreement,” Ulmer wrote in an email.

Both Lockheed and the Defense Department are trying to address decades of criticism from congressional hawks and doves alike, who have characterized the F-35 program as too costly.

Almost since its inception, the F-35 has been a lighting rod for criticism around wasteful defense spending. And it has been a financial bedrock for Lockheed, propelling the Bethesda-based manufacturer to a dominant position atop the defense contracting hierarchy.

Proponents argue that the plane’s stealthiness, advanced sensors, targeting capabilities and extended flying range would make it an important asset in a war against a so-called “near-peer” competitor such as Russia or China.

But it is also the single most expensive military program in U.S. history by a wide margin, leading some to worry it will starve the Pentagon of resources it needs for other missions. The late senator John McCain called the F-35 a “poster child for acquisition malpractice” a “scandal” and a “tragedy” at different points during his tenure as Senate Armed Services Committee chairman.

President Trump also took an interest in the plane early in his presidency when he criticized its “tremendous cost and cost overruns,” and asked the Pentagon to consider buying one of Boeing’s F-18 jets instead. In early 2017, the Pentagon awarded Lockheed a contract that shaved roughly $728 million in costs ― an amount roughly equivalent to cost reductions already in place during the Obama administration.

Even Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who is the acting defense secretary, has criticized the plane.

“The F-35, unequivocally, I can say, has a lot of opportunity for more performance,” Shanahan said in response to questions about whether he is biased toward his former employer.

Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said the contract announced Tuesday draws attention to the sheer size of the program. The agreement means Lockheed Martin will benefit from years of taxpayer-funded military contracts, and will be able to confidently plan for the future.

“With contracts you recognize the sheer enormity of the [F-35] program,” Aboulafia said. “We could still see four or five more of these [multiyear production] contracts.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/11/pentagon-lockheed-martin-reach-tentative-billion-deal-hundreds-f-fighter-jets/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ae8a8f28df8e

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The Pronk Pops Show 1270, June 6, 2019, Story 1: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day — Videos

Posted on June 6, 2019. Filed under: Blogroll, Breaking News, China, Communications, Countries, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, United Kingdom, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

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D-Day 75: President Trump’s speech honors US heroes

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On the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, veterans and world leaders gathered in Portsmouth, England, to pay tribute to those who fought and were lost in the battle that helped end the Second World War.

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[youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGvIRwly2VI]

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Four reels, discovered by researchers at the Eisenhower Library in 2014, were found to contain the first ever documentary of the D-Day landings. Intended as an initial report and produced in only days, the film was screened for military leadership and is mentioned in OSS reports as having been viewed by Winston Churchill, with copies ‘flown to President Roosevelt and Mr. Stalin.’ Apparently forgotten in the climactic weeks and months that followed, the film was cataloged as separate, non-sequential reels rather than a single production. The film, lost and forgotten for decades, was digitized by the US National Archives and I have done my best to restore and enhance the footage. More about the film and it’s discovery can be read on the US National Archive’s blog:

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Macron helps veteran to his feet, Trump gets a salute: Key moments from Trump’s D-Day address in Normandy

World War II veterans were honored in Normandy, France for their D-Day sacrifice 75 years ago. USA TODAY

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump delivered sobering remarks in Normandy, France, Thursday to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings there that set into motion the final phase of World War II.

At the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Trump told the stories of American soldiers and other key figures who helped make the invasion a success on June 6, 1944.

Here are some of the key moments from Trump’s speech:

‘You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live’

Trump thanked the 170 assembled World War II veterans in attendance at the event, including 60 who shared the stage with him and other global leaders. This year’s commemoration is expected to be one of the last to include veterans in attendance, as an 18-year-old on D-Day would be 93 today.

“You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live,” Trump said. “You’re the pride of our nation. You are the glory of our republic. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

More: European allies made the D-Day landing at Normandy possible. 75 years later, Trump questions those bonds

More: 97-year-old veteran Paratrooper skydives for D-Day 75th anniversary

Trump acknowledges the allied nations

Despite his recent clashes with American allies, Trump referenced the contributions of the other Allied nations that took part in the invasion.

“There were the fighting Poles, the tough Norwegians, the intrepid Aussies. There were the gallant French commanders… ready to write a new chapter in the long history of French valor,” he said.

More: D-Day veterans saluted with cannons and flyover to commemorate 75th anniversary

More: D-Day: 17 stunning photos from 1944 show how hard the Normandy invasion really was

President Trump shared D-Day veteran Ray Lambert’s World War II story. Lambert was in attendance to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. USA TODAY

Trump shakes hand of Purple Heart recipient

Trump told the stories of several surviving veterans in his speech, and shook the hand of Army medic Ray Lambert, who was 23 on D-Day.

“At 98 years old, Ray is here with us today, with his fourth Purple Heart and his third Silver Star from Omaha,” Trump said. “Ray, the free world salutes you.”

The president also shook Lambert’s hand. Lambert then tipped his hat to Trump.

Macron helps D-Day hero stand up

French President Emmanuel Macron helped World War II veteran Russell Pickett stand during the ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. USA TODAY

When he described the heroic actions of Private Russell Pickett, a member of the fabled 29th Infantry Division that was among the first to land at the French beaches, he went over and gave him a hug. French President Emmanuel Macron helped Pickett, who is now 94 years old and was 19 years old on D-Day, stand up.

“Today, believe it or not, he has returned to these shores to be with his comrades. Private Pickett, you honor us all with your presence,” the president said.

“Tough guy,” Trump then joked, drawing laughter from the audience.

Trump thanks a French family for leading American soldiers

Trump thanked the descendant of a French woman who had helped American soldiers on D-Day. The family, the father of which was a member of the French resistance, had originally owned some land near Omaha Beach, and Trump told the story of what happened to them on D-Day.

“His terrified wife waited out D-Day in a nearby house, holding tight to their little baby girl,” Trump said. “The next day, a soldier appeared. ‘I’m an American,’ he said. ‘I’m here to help.’ The French woman was overcome with emotion and cried. Days later, she laid flowers on fresh American graves.”

Trump explained that the couple’s granddaughter now works as a guide at the Normandy cemetery.

The human toll of the conflict

As one of the largest military operations in modern history, the human cost of D-Day is giant — 9,388 Americans are now buried at Normandy.

Trump thanked French families who “come from all over France to look after our boys. They kneel. They cry. They pray. They place flowers. And they never forget. Today, America embraces the French people and thanks you for honoring our beloved dead.”

More: ‘You’re the pride of our nation,’ Donald Trump tells veterans on 75th D-Day anniversary in Normandy

More: French President Macron thanks D-Day veterans in English

Trump praises alliances: ‘Our bond is unbreakable’

Towards the end of his speech, Trump thanked the contributions of the Allies and said that “our bond is unbreakable,” even 75 years later.

“To all our friends and partners, our cherished alliance was forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war and proven in the blessings of peace. Our bond is unbreakable,” he said.

The legacy of the veterans continues, says Trump

Trump thanked the veterans for having “left a legacy that will live not only for a thousand years, but for all time.”

“In the decades that followed, America defeated communism, secured civil rights … and then kept on pushing to new frontiers,” he said.

Contributing: John Fritze 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/06/06/trumps-normandy-speech-key-moments-d-day-address-france/1365158001/

Normandy landings

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Normandy landings
Part of Operation OverlordInvasion of NormandyWestern Front of World War II
Into the Jaws of Death 23-0455M edit.jpg
Men of the 16th Infantry RegimentUS 1st Infantry Division wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944
Date 6 June 1944
Location
Result Decisive Allied victory[7]
Territorial
changes
Five Allied beachheads established in Normandy
Belligerents
Allies

Germany[6]
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
United States First Army

Omaha Beach:

V Corps

Utah Beach:

VII Corps
United Kingdom Second Army

Gold Beach

XXX Corps

Juno Beach

I Corps

Sword Beach

I Corps
Nazi Germany 5th Panzer Army

South of Caen

Nazi Germany 7th Army

Omaha

Utah Beach

Gold, Juno, and Sword

Strength
156,000 soldiers[a]
195,700 naval personnel[8]
50,350+[9]
170 coastal artillery guns. Includes guns from 100mm to 210mm, as well as 320mm rocket launchers.[10]
Casualties and losses
10,000+ casualties; 4,414 confirmed dead[b]
185 M4 Sherman tanks[11]
4,000–9,000 casualties[12]

The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later western Europe) from Nazi control, and laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal and the operation had to be delayed 24 hours; a further postponement would have meant a delay of at least two weeks as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days each month were deemed suitable. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.

The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 USBritish, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: UtahOmahaGoldJuno, and Sword. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialised tanks.

The Allies failed to achieve any of their goals on the first day. CarentanSt. Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation gained a foothold which the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months. German casualties on D-Day have been estimated at 4,000 to 9,000 men. Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. Museums, memorials, and war cemeteries in the area now host many visitors each year.

Background

After the German Army invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin began pressing his new allies for the creation of a second front in western Europe.[13] In late May 1942 the Soviet Union and the United States made a joint announcement that a “… full understanding was reached with regard to the urgent tasks of creating a second front in Europe in 1942.”[14] However, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill persuaded US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to postpone the promised invasion as, even with US help, the Allies did not have adequate forces for such an activity.[15]

Instead of an immediate return to France, the western Allies staged offensives in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, where British troops were already stationed. By mid-1943 the campaign in North Africa had been won. The Allies then launched the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, and subsequently invaded the Italian mainland in September the same year. By then, Soviet forces were on the offensive and had won a major victory at the Battle of Stalingrad. The decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion within the next year was taken at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943.[16] Initial planning was constrained by the number of available landing craft, most of which were already committed in the Mediterranean and Pacific.[17] At the Tehran Conference in November 1943, Roosevelt and Churchill promised Stalin that they would open the long-delayed second front in May 1944.[18]

Four sites were considered for the landings: Brittany, the Cotentin PeninsulaNormandy, and the Pas-de-Calais. As Brittany and Cotentin are peninsulas, it would have been possible for the Germans to cut off the Allied advance at a relatively narrow isthmus, so these sites were rejected.[19] With the Pas-de-Calais being the closest point in continental Europe to Britain, the Germans considered it to be the most likely initial landing zone, so it was the most heavily fortified region.[20] But it offered few opportunities for expansion, as the area is bounded by numerous rivers and canals,[21] whereas landings on a broad front in Normandy would permit simultaneous threats against the port of Cherbourg, coastal ports further west in Brittany, and an overland attack towards Paris and eventually into Germany. Normandy was hence chosen as the landing site.[22] The most serious drawback of the Normandy coast—the lack of port facilities—would be overcome through the development of artificial Mulberry harbours.[23] A series of modified tanks, nicknamed Hobart’s Funnies, dealt with specific requirements expected for the Normandy Campaign such as mine clearing, demolishing bunkers, and mobile bridging.[24]

The Allies planned to launch the invasion on 1 May 1944.[21] The initial draft of the plan was accepted at the Quebec Conference in August 1943. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF).[25] General Bernard Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all land forces involved in the invasion.[26] On 31 December 1943 Eisenhower and Montgomery first saw the plan, which proposed amphibious landings by three divisions with two more divisions in support. The two generals immediately insisted that the scale of the initial invasion be expanded to five divisions, with airborne descents by three additional divisions, to allow operations on a wider front and to speed the capture of Cherbourg.[27] The need to acquire or produce extra landing craft for the expanded operation meant that the invasion had to be delayed to June.[27] Eventually, thirty-nine Allied divisions would be committed to the Battle of Normandy: twenty-two US, twelve British, three Canadian, one Polish, and one French, totalling over a million troops[28] all under overall British command.[29]

Operations

Operation Overlord was the name assigned to the establishment of a large-scale lodgement on the Continent. The first phase, the amphibious invasion and establishment of a secure foothold, was codenamed Operation Neptune.[23] To gain the air superiority needed to ensure a successful invasion, the Allies undertook a bombing campaign (codenamed Operation Pointblank) that targeted German aircraft production, fuel supplies, and airfields.[23] Elaborate deceptions, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, were undertaken in the months leading up to the invasion to prevent the Germans from learning the timing and location of the invasion.[30]

The landings were to be preceded by airborne operations near Caen on the eastern flank to secure the Orne River bridges and north of Carentan on the western flank. The Americans, assigned to land at Utah Beachand Omaha Beach, were to attempt to capture Carentan and St. Lô the first day, then cut off the Cotentin Peninsula and eventually capture the port facilities at Cherbourg. The British at Sword and Gold Beaches and Canadians at Juno Beach would protect the US flank and attempt to establish airfields near Caen on the first day. A secure lodgement would be established with all invading forces linked together, and an attempt made to hold all territory north of the AvranchesFalaise line within the first three weeks.[31][32] Montgomery envisaged a ninety-day battle, lasting until all Allied forces reached the River Seine.[33]

Deception plans

Shoulder patches were designed for units of the fictitious First United States Army Group under George Patton

Under the overall umbrella of Operation Bodyguard, the Allies conducted several subsidiary operations designed to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the Allied landings.[34] Operation Fortitude included Fortitude North, a misinformation campaign using fake radio traffic to lead the Germans into expecting an attack on Norway,[35] and Fortitude South, a major deception involving the creation of a fictitious First United States Army Group under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, supposedly located in Kent and Sussex. Fortitude South was intended to deceive the Germans into believing that the main attack would take place at Calais.[30][36] Genuine radio messages from 21st Army Group were first routed to Kent via landline and then broadcast, to give the Germans the impression that most of the Allied troops were stationed there.[37] Patton was stationed in England until 6 July, thus continuing to deceive the Germans into believing a second attack would take place at Calais.[38]

Many of the German radar stations on the French coast were destroyed in preparation for the landings.[39] In addition, on the night before the invasion, a small group of Special Air Service (SAS) operators deployed dummy paratroopers over Le Havre and Isigny. These dummies led the Germans to believe that an additional airborne landing had occurred. On that same night, in Operation TaxableNo. 617 Squadron RAF dropped strips of “window”, metal foil that caused a radar return which was mistakenly interpreted by German radar operators as a naval convoy near Le Havre. The illusion was bolstered by a group of small vessels towing barrage balloons. A similar deception was undertaken near Boulogne-sur-Mer in the Pas de Calais area by No. 218 Squadron RAF in Operation Glimmer.[40][3]

Weather

The invasion planners determined a set of conditions involving the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that would be satisfactory on only a few days in each month. A full moon was desirable, as it would provide illumination for aircraft pilots and have the highest tides. The Allies wanted to schedule the landings for shortly before dawn, midway between low and high tide, with the tide coming in. This would improve the visibility of obstacles on the beach, while minimising the amount of time the men would be exposed in the open.[41] Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date for the assault. However, on 4 June, conditions were unsuitable for a landing: high winds and heavy seas made it impossible to launch landing craft, and low clouds would prevent aircraft from finding their targets.[42]

Surface weather analysis map showing weather fronts on 5 June

Group Captain James Stagg of the Royal Air Force (RAF) met Eisenhower on the evening of 4 June. He and his meteorological team predicted that the weather would improve enough for the invasion to proceed on 6 June.[43] The next available dates with the required tidal conditions (but without the desirable full moon) would be two weeks later, from 18 to 20 June. Postponement of the invasion would have required recalling men and ships already in position to cross the Channel, and would have increased the chance that the invasion plans would be detected.[44] After much discussion with the other senior commanders, Eisenhower decided that the invasion should go ahead on the 6th.[45] A major storm battered the Normandy coast from 19 to 22 June, which would have made the beach landings impossible.[42]

Allied control of the Atlantic meant German meteorologists had less information than the Allies on incoming weather patterns.[39] As the Luftwaffe meteorological centre in Paris was predicting two weeks of stormy weather, many Wehrmacht commanders left their posts to attend war games in Rennes, and men in many units were given leave.[46] Field Marshal Erwin Rommel returned to Germany for his wife’s birthday and to meet with Hitler to try to obtain more Panzers.[47]

German order of battle

Nazi Germany had at its disposal fifty divisions in France and the Low Countries, with another eighteen stationed in Denmark and Norway. Fifteen divisions were in the process of formation in Germany.[48] Combat losses throughout the war, particularly on the Eastern Front, meant that the Germans no longer had a pool of able young men from which to draw. German soldiers were now on average six years older than their Allied counterparts. Many in the Normandy area were Ostlegionen (eastern legions) – conscripts and volunteers from Russia, Mongolia, and other areas of the Soviet Union. They were provided mainly with unreliable captured equipment and lacked motorised transport.[49][50] Many German units were under strength.[51]

German Supreme commander: Adolf Hitler

Cotentin Peninsula

Allied forces attacking Utah Beach faced the following German units stationed on the Cotentin Peninsula:

Grandcamps Sector

German troops using captured French tanks (Beutepanzer) in Normandy, 1944

Americans assaulting Omaha Beach faced the following troops:

  • 352nd Infanterie-Division logo.jpg 352nd Infantry Division under Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss, a full-strength unit of around 12,000 brought in by Rommel on 15 March and reinforced by two additional regiments.[54]
    • 914th Grenadier Regiment[55]
    • 915th Grenadier Regiment (as reserves)[55]
    • 916th Grenadier Regiment[55]
    • 726th Infantry Regiment (from 716th Infantry Division)[55]
    • 352nd Artillery Regiment[55]

Allied forces at Gold and Juno faced the following elements of the 352nd Infantry Division:

  • 914th Grenadier Regiment[56]
  • 915th Grenadier Regiment[56]
  • 916th Grenadier Regiment[56]
  • 352nd Artillery Regiment[56]

Forces around Caen

Allied forces attacking Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches faced the following German units:

Atlantic Wall

Map of the Atlantic Wall, shown in yellow

 Axis and occupied countries
 Allies and occupied countries
 Neutral countries

Alarmed by the raids on St Nazaire and Dieppe in 1942, Hitler had ordered the construction of fortifications all along the Atlantic coast, from Spain to Norway, to protect against an expected Allied invasion. He envisioned 15,000 emplacements manned by 300,000 troops, but shortages, particularly of concrete and manpower, meant that most of the strongpoints were never built.[60] As it was expected to be the site of the invasion, the Pas de Calais was heavily defended.[60] In the Normandy area, the best fortifications were concentrated at the port facilities at Cherbourg and Saint-Malo.[27] Rommel was assigned to oversee the construction of further fortifications along the expected invasion front, which stretched from the Netherlands to Cherbourg,[60][61] and was given command of the newly re-formed Army Group B, which included the 7th Army, the 15th Army, and the forces guarding the Netherlands. Reserves for this group included the 2nd, 21st, and 116th Panzer divisions.[62][63]

Rommel believed that the Normandy coast could be a possible landing point for the invasion, so he ordered the construction of extensive defensive works along that shore. In addition to concrete gun emplacements at strategic points along the coast, he ordered wooden stakes, metal tripods, mines, and large anti-tank obstacles to be placed on the beaches to delay the approach of landing craft and impede the movement of tanks.[64] Expecting the Allies to land at high tide so that the infantry would spend less time exposed on the beach, he ordered many of these obstacles to be placed at the high water mark.[41] Tangles of barbed wire, booby traps, and the removal of ground cover made the approach hazardous for infantry.[64] On Rommel’s order, the number of mines along the coast was tripled.[27] The Allied air offensive over Germany had crippled the Luftwaffe and established air supremacy over western Europe, so Rommel knew he could not expect effective air support.[65] The Luftwaffe could muster only 815 aircraft[66] over Normandy in comparison to the Allies’ 9,543.[67] Rommel arranged for booby-trapped stakes known as Rommelspargel (Rommel’s asparagus) to be installed in meadows and fields to deter airborne landings.[27]

Armoured reserves

Rommel believed that Germany’s best chance was to stop the invasion at the shore. He requested that the mobile reserves, especially tanks, be stationed as close to the coast as possible. Rundstedt, Geyr, and other senior commanders objected. They believed that the invasion could not be stopped on the beaches. Geyr argued for a conventional doctrine: keeping the Panzer formations concentrated in a central position around Paris and Rouen and deploying them only when the main Allied beachhead had been identified. He also noted that, in the Italian Campaign, the armoured units stationed near the coast had been damaged by naval bombardment. Rommel’s opinion was that, because of Allied air supremacy, the large-scale movement of tanks would not be possible once the invasion was under way. Hitler made the final decision, which was to leave three Panzer divisions under Geyr’s command and give Rommel operational control of three more as reserves. Hitler took personal control of four divisions as strategic reserves, not to be used without his direct orders.[68][69][70]

Allied order of battle

D-day assault routes into Normandy

Commander, SHAEF: General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Commander, 21st Army Group: General Bernard Montgomery[71]

US zones

Commander, First Army (United States): Lieutenant General Omar Bradley[71]

The First Army contingent totalled approximately 73,000 men, including 15,600 from the airborne divisions.[12]

Utah Beach
Omaha Beach

British and Canadian zones

Royal Marine Commandos attached to 3rd Infantry Division move inland from Sword Beach, 6 June 1944

Commander, Second Army (Britain and Canada): Lieutenant General Sir Miles Dempsey[71]

Overall, the Second Army contingent consisted of 83,115 men, 61,715 of them British.[12] The nominally British air and naval support units included a large number of personnel from Allied nations, including several RAF squadrons manned almost exclusively by overseas air crew. For example, the Australian contribution to the operation included a regular Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron, nine Article XV squadrons, and hundreds of personnel posted to RAF units and RN warships.[75] The RAF supplied two-thirds of the aircraft involved in the invasion.[76]

Gold Beach
Juno Beach
Sword Beach

79th armoured division badge.jpg 79th Armoured Division: Major General Percy Hobart[80] provided specialised armoured vehicles which supported the landings on all beaches in Second Army’s sector.

Coordination with the French Resistance

Members of the French Resistanceand the US 82nd Airborne division discuss the situation during the Battle of Normandy in 1944

Through the London-based État-major des Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur (French Forces of the Interior), the British Special Operations Executive orchestrated a campaign of sabotage to be implemented by the French Resistance. The Allies developed four plans for the Resistance to execute on D-Day and the following days:

  • Plan Vert was a 15-day operation to sabotage the rail system.
  • Plan Bleu dealt with destroying electrical facilities.
  • Plan Tortue was a delaying operation aimed at the enemy forces that would potentially reinforce Axis forces at Normandy.
  • Plan Violet dealt with cutting underground telephone and teleprinter cables.[81]

The resistance was alerted to carry out these tasks by messages personnels transmitted by the BBC’s French service from London. Several hundred of these messages, which might be snatches of poetry, quotations from literature, or random sentences, were regularly transmitted, masking the few that were actually significant. In the weeks preceding the landings, lists of messages and their meanings were distributed to resistance groups.[82] An increase in radio activity on 5 June was correctly interpreted by German intelligence to mean that an invasion was imminent or underway. However, because of the barrage of previous false warnings and misinformation, most units ignored the warning.[83][84]

A 1965 report from the Counter-insurgency Information Analysis Center details the results of the French Resistance’s sabotage efforts: “In the southeast, 52 locomotives were destroyed on 6 June and the railway line cut in more than 500 places. Normandy was isolated as of 7 June.”[85]

Naval activity

D-Day planning map, used at Southwick House near Portsmouth

Large landing craft convoy crosses the English Channel on 6 June 1944

Naval operations for the invasion were described by historian Correlli Barnett as a “never surpassed masterpiece of planning”.[86] In overall command was British Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, who had served as Flag officer at Dover during the Dunkirk evacuation four years earlier. He had also been responsible for the naval planning of the invasion of North Africa in 1942, and one of the two fleets carrying troops for the invasion of Sicily the following year.[87]

The invasion fleet, which was drawn from eight different navies, comprised 6,939 vessels: 1,213 warships, 4,126 landing craft of various types, 736 ancillary craft, and 864 merchant vessels.[12] The majority of the fleet was supplied by the UK, which provided 892 warships and 3,261 landing craft.[76] In total there were 195,700 naval personnel involved; of these 112,824 were from the Royal Navy with another 25,000 from the Merchant Navy, 52,889 were American, and 4,998 sailors from other allied countries.[12][8] The invasion fleet was split into the Western Naval Task Force (under Admiral Alan G Kirk) supporting the US sectors and the Eastern Naval Task Force (under Admiral Sir Philip Vian) in the British and Canadian sectors.[88][87] Available to the fleet were five battleships, 20 cruisers, 65 destroyers, and two monitors.[89] German ships in the area on D-Day included three torpedo boats, 29 fast attack craft, 36 R boats, and 36 minesweepers and patrol boats.[90] The Germans also had several U-boats available, and all the approaches had been heavily mined.[41]

Naval losses

At 05:10, four German torpedo boats reached the Eastern Task Force and launched fifteen torpedoes, sinking the Norwegian destroyer HNoMS Svenner off Sword beach but missing the British battleships HMS Warspite and Ramillies. After attacking, the German vessels turned away and fled east into a smoke screen that had been laid by the RAF to shield the fleet from the long-range battery at Le Havre.[91] Allied losses to mines included the American destroyer USS Corry off Utah and submarine chaser USS PC-1261, a 173-foot patrol craft.[92] In addition, many landing craft were lost.[93]

Bombardment

Map of the invasion area showing channels cleared of mines, location of vessels engaged in bombardment, and targets on shore

Bombing of Normandy began around midnight with more than 2,200 British, Canadian, and US bombers attacking targets along the coast and further inland.[41] The coastal bombing attack was largely ineffective at Omaha, because low cloud cover made the assigned targets difficult to see. Concerned about inflicting casualties on their own troops, many bombers delayed their attacks too long and failed to hit the beach defences.[94] The Germans had 570 aircraft stationed in Normandy and the Low Countries on D-Day, and another 964 in Germany.[41]

Minesweepers began clearing channels for the invasion fleet shortly after midnight and finished just after dawn without encountering the enemy.[95] The Western Task Force included the battleships ArkansasNevada, and Texas, plus eight cruisers, 28 destroyers, and one monitor.[96] The Eastern Task Force included the battleships Ramillies and Warspite and the monitor Roberts, twelve cruisers, and thirty-seven destroyers.[5] Naval bombardment of areas behind the beach commenced at 05:45, while it was still dark, with the gunners switching to pre-assigned targets on the beach as soon as it was light enough to see, at 05:50.[97] Since troops were scheduled to land at Utah and Omaha starting at 06:30 (an hour earlier than the British beaches), these areas received only about 40 minutes of naval bombardment before the assault troops began to land on the shore.[98]

Airborne operations

The success of the amphibious landings depended on the establishment of a secure lodgement from which to expand the beachhead to allow the buildup of a well-supplied force capable of breaking out. The amphibious forces were especially vulnerable to strong enemy counter-attacks before the arrival of sufficient forces in the beachhead could be accomplished. To slow or eliminate the enemy’s ability to organise and launch counter-attacks during this critical period, airborne operations were used to seize key objectives such as bridges, road crossings, and terrain features, particularly on the eastern and western flanks of the landing areas. The airborne landings some distance behind the beaches were also intended to ease the egress of the amphibious forces off the beaches, and in some cases to neutralise German coastal defence batteries and more quickly expand the area of the beachhead.[99][100]

The US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were assigned to objectives west of Utah Beach, where they hoped to capture and control the few narrow causeways through terrain that had been intentionally flooded by the Germans. Reports from Allied intelligence in mid-May of the arrival of the German 91st Infantry Division meant the intended drop zones had to be shifted eastward and to the south.[101] The British 6th Airborne Division, on the eastern flank, was assigned to capture intact the bridges over the Caen Canal and River Orne, destroy five bridges over the Dives 6 miles (9.7 km) to the east, and destroy the Merville Gun Battery overlooking Sword Beach.[102] Free Frenchparatroopers from the British SAS Brigade were assigned to objectives in Brittany from 5 June until August in Operations DingsonSamwest, and Cooney.[103][104]

BBC war correspondent Robert Barr described the scene as paratroopers prepared to board their aircraft:

Their faces were darkened with cocoa; sheathed knives were strapped to their ankles; tommy guns strapped to their waists; bandoliers and hand grenades, coils of rope, pick handles, spades, rubber dinghies hung around them, and a few personal oddments, like the lad who was taking a newspaper to read on the plane … There was an easy familiar touch about the way they were getting ready, as though they had done it often before. Well, yes, they had kitted up and climbed aboard often just like this – twenty, thirty, forty times some of them, but it had never been quite like this before. This was the first combat jump for every one of them.[105]

US

Gliders are delivered to the Cotentin Peninsula by Douglas C-47 Skytrains. 6 June 1944

The US airborne landings began with the arrival of pathfinders at 00:15. Navigation was difficult because of a bank of thick cloud, and as a result only one of the five paratrooper drop zones was accurately marked with radar signals and Aldis lamps.[106] Paratroopers of the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, numbering over 13,000 men, were delivered by Douglas C-47 Skytrains of the IX Troop Carrier Command.[107] To avoid flying over the invasion fleet, the planes arrived from the west over the Cotentin Peninsula and exited over Utah Beach.[108][106]

Paratroops from 101st Airborne were dropped beginning around 01:30, tasked with controlling the causeways behind Utah Beach and destroying road and rail bridges over the Douve River.[109] The C-47s could not fly in a tight formation because of thick cloud cover, and many paratroopers were dropped far from their intended landing zones. Many planes came in so low that they were under fire from both flak and machine gun fire. Some paratroopers were killed on impact when their parachutes did not have time to open, and others drowned in the flooded fields.[110] Gathering together into fighting units was made difficult by a shortage of radios and by the bocage terrain, with its hedgerows, stone walls, and marshes.[111][112] Some units did not arrive at their targets until afternoon, by which time several of the causeways had already been cleared by members of the 4th Infantry Division moving up from the beach.[113]

Troops of the 82nd Airborne began arriving around 02:30, with the primary objective of capturing two bridges over the River Merderet and destroying two bridges over the Douve.[109] On the east side of the river, 75 per cent of the paratroopers landed in or near their drop zone, and within two hours they captured the important crossroads at Sainte-Mère-Église (the first town liberated in the invasion[114]) and began working to protect the western flank.[115]Because of the failure of the pathfinders to accurately mark their drop zone, the two regiments dropped on the west side of the Merderet were extremely scattered, with only four per cent landing in the target area.[115] Many landed in nearby swamps, with much loss of life.[116] Paratroopers consolidated into small groups, usually a combination of men of various ranks from different units, and attempted to concentrate on nearby objectives.[117] They captured but failed to hold the Merderet River bridge at La Fière, and fighting for the crossing continued for several days.[118]

Reinforcements arrived by glider around 04:00 (Mission Chicago and Mission Detroit), and 21:00 (Mission Keokuk and Mission Elmira), bringing additional troops and heavy equipment. Like the paratroopers, many landed far from their drop zones.[119] Even those that landed on target experienced difficulty, with heavy cargo such as Jeeps shifting during landing, crashing through the wooden fuselage, and in some cases crushing personnel on board.[120]

After 24 hours, only 2,500 men of the 101st and 2,000 of the 82nd Airborne were under the control of their divisions, approximately a third of the force dropped. This wide dispersal had the effect of confusing the Germans and fragmenting their response.[121] The 7th Army received notification of the parachute drops at 01:20, but Rundstedt did not initially believe that a major invasion was underway. The destruction of radar stations along the Normandy coast in the week before the invasion meant that the Germans did not detect the approaching fleet until 02:00.[122]

British and Canadian

An abandoned Waco CG-4 glider is examined by German troops

The first Allied action of D-Day was Operation Deadstick, a glider assault at 00:16 at Pegasus Bridge over the Caen Canal and the bridge (since renamed Horsa Bridge) over the Orne, half a mile (800 metres) to the east. Both bridges were quickly captured intact, with light casualties, by members of the 5th Parachute Brigade and the 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion.[123][124] The five bridges over the Dives were destroyed with minimal difficulty by the 3rd Parachute Brigade.[125][126] Meanwhile, the pathfinders tasked with setting up radar beacons and lights for further paratroopers (scheduled to begin arriving at 00:50 to clear the landing zone north of Ranville) were blown off course, and had to set up the navigation aids too far east. Many paratroopers, also blown too far east, landed far from their intended drop zones; some took hours or even days to be reunited with their units.[127][128] Major General Richard Gale arrived in the third wave of gliders at 03:30, along with equipment, such as antitank guns and jeeps, and more troops to help secure the area from counter-attacks, which were initially staged only by troops in the immediate vicinity of the landings.[129] At 02:00, the commander of the German 716th Infantry Division ordered Feuchtinger to move his 21st Panzer Division into position to counter-attack. However, as the division was part of the armoured reserve, Feuchtinger was obliged to seek clearance from OKW before he could commit his formation.[130] Feuchtinger did not receive orders until nearly 09:00, but in the meantime on his own initiative he put together a battle group (including tanks) to fight the British forces east of the Orne.[131]

Only 160 men out of the 600 members of the 9th Battalion tasked with eliminating the enemy battery at Merville arrived at the rendezvous point. Lieutenant Colonel Terence Otway, in charge of the operation, decided to proceed regardless, as the emplacement had to be destroyed by 06:00 to prevent it firing on the invasion fleet and the troops arriving on Sword Beach. In the Battle of Merville Gun Battery, Allied forces disabled the guns with plastic explosives at a cost of 75 casualties. The emplacement was found to contain 75 mm guns rather than the expected 150 mm heavy coastal artillery. Otway’s remaining force withdrew with the assistance of a few members of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.[132]

With this action, the last of the D-Day goals of the British 6th Airborne Division was achieved.[133] They were reinforced at 12:00 by commandos of the 1st Special Service Brigade, who landed on Sword Beach, and by the 6th Airlanding Brigade, who arrived in gliders at 21:00 in Operation Mallard.[134]

Beach landings

Map of the beaches and first day advances

Tanks

Some of the landing craft had been modified to provide close support fire, and self-propelled amphibious Duplex-Drive tanks (DD tanks), specially designed for the Normandy landings, were to land shortly before the infantry to provide covering fire. However, few arrived in advance of the infantry, and many sank before reaching the shore, especially at Omaha.[135][136]

Utah Beach

Carrying their equipment, US assault troops move onto Utah Beach. Landing craft can be seen in the background.

Utah Beach was in the area defended by two battalions of the 919th Grenadier Regiment.[137] Members of the 8th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division were the first to land, arriving at 06:30. Their landing craft were pushed to the south by strong currents, and they found themselves about 2,000 yards (1.8 km) from their intended landing zone. This site turned out to be better, as there was only one strongpoint nearby rather than two, and bombers of IX Bomber Command had bombed the defences from lower than their prescribed altitude, inflicting considerable damage. In addition, the strong currents had washed ashore many of the underwater obstacles. The assistant commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., the first senior officer ashore, made the decision to “start the war from right here”, and ordered further landings to be re-routed.[138][139]

The initial assault battalions were quickly followed by 28 DD tanks and several waves of engineer and demolition teams to remove beach obstacles and clear the area directly behind the beach of obstacles and mines. Gaps were blown in the sea wall to allow quicker access for troops and tanks. Combat teams began to exit the beach at around 09:00, with some infantry wading through the flooded fields rather than travelling on the single road. They skirmished throughout the day with elements of the 919th Grenadier Regiment, who were armed with antitank guns and rifles. The main strongpoint in the area and another 1,300 yards (1.2 km) to the south were disabled by noon.[140] The 4th Infantry Division did not meet all of their D-Day objectives at Utah Beach, partly because they had arrived too far to the south, but they landed 21,000 troops at the cost of only 197 casualties.[141][142]

Pointe du Hoc

US Rangers scaling the wall at Pointe du Hoc

Pointe du Hoc, a prominent headland situated between Utah and Omaha, was assigned to two hundred men of 2nd Ranger Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James Rudder. Their task was to scale the 30m (100ft) cliffs with grappling hooks, ropes, and ladders to destroy the coastal gun battery located at the top. The cliffs were defended by the German 352nd Infantry Division and French collaborators firing from above.[143] Allied destroyers Satterlee and Talybont provided fire support. After scaling the cliffs, the Rangers discovered that the guns had already been withdrawn. They located the weapons, unguarded but ready to use, in an orchard some 550 metres (600 yd) south of the point, and disabled them with explosives.[143]

The now-isolated Rangers fended off numerous counter-attacks from the German 914th Grenadier Regiment. The men at the point became isolated and some were captured. By dawn on D+1, Rudder had only 90 men able to fight. Relief did not arrive until D+2, when members of the 743rd Tank Battalion and others arrived.[144][145] By then, Rudder’s men had run out of ammunition and were using captured German weapons. Several men were killed as a result, because the German weapons made a distinctive noise, and the men were mistaken for the enemy.[146] By the end of the battle, the Rangers casualties were 135 dead and wounded, while German casualties were 50 killed and 40 captured. An unknown number of French collaborators were executed.[147][148]

Omaha Beach

US assault troops in an LCVP landing craft approach Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944.

Omaha, the most heavily defended beach, was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division and 29th Infantry Division.[149] They faced the 352nd Infantry Division rather than the expected single regiment.[150] Strong currents forced many landing craft east of their intended position or caused them to be delayed.[151] For fear of hitting the landing craft, US bombers delayed releasing their loads and, as a result, most of the beach obstacles at Omaha remained undamaged when the men came ashore.[152] Many of the landing craft ran aground on sandbars and the men had to wade 50–100m in water up to their necks while under fire to get to the beach.[136] In spite of the rough seas, DD tanks of two companies of the 741st Tank Battalion were dropped 5,000 yards (4,600 m) from shore; however, 27 of the 32 flooded and sank, with the loss of 33 crew.[153] Some tanks, disabled on the beach, continued to provide covering fire until their ammunition ran out or they were swamped by the rising tide.[154]

Casualties were around 2,000, as the men were subjected to fire from the cliffs above.[155] Problems clearing the beach of obstructions led to the beachmaster calling a halt to further landings of vehicles at 08:30. A group of destroyers arrived around this time to provide fire support so landings could resume.[156] Exit from the beach was possible only via five heavily defended gullies, and by late morning barely 600 men had reached the higher ground.[157] By noon, as the artillery fire took its toll and the Germans started to run out of ammunition, the Americans were able to clear some lanes on the beaches. They also started clearing the gullies of enemy defences so that vehicles could move off the beach.[157] The tenuous beachhead was expanded over the following days, and the D-Day objectives for Omaha were accomplished by D+3.[158]

Gold Beach

British troops come ashore at Jig Green sector, Gold Beach

The first landings on Gold beach were set for 07:25 due to the differences in the tide between there and the US beaches.[159] High winds made conditions difficult for the landing craft, and the amphibious DD tanks were released close to shore or directly on the beach instead of further out as planned.[160] Three of the four guns in a large emplacement at the Longues-sur-Mer battery were disabled by direct hits from the cruisers Ajax and Argonaut at 06:20. The fourth gun resumed firing intermittently in the afternoon, and its garrison surrendered on 7 June.[161] Aerial attacks had failed to hit the Le Hamel strongpoint, which had its embrasure facing east to provide enfilade fire along the beach and had a thick concrete wall on the seaward side.[162] Its 75 mm gun continued to do damage until 16:00, when a modified Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) tank fired a large petard charge into its rear entrance.[163][164] A second casemated emplacement at La Rivière containing an 88 mm gun was neutralised by a tank at 07:30.[165]

Meanwhile, infantry began clearing the heavily fortified houses along the shore and advanced on targets further inland.[166] The No. 47 (Royal Marine) Commando moved toward the small port at Port-en-Bessin and captured it the following day in the Battle of Port-en-Bessin.[167] Company Sergeant Major Stanley Hollis received the only Victoria Cross awarded on D-Day for his actions while attacking two pillboxes at the Mont Fleury high point.[168] On the western flank, the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment captured Arromanches (future site of Mulberry “B”), and contact was made on the eastern flank with the Canadian forces at Juno.[169] Bayeux was not captured the first day due to stiff resistance from the 352nd Infantry Division.[166] Allied casualties at Gold Beach are estimated at 1,000.[12]

Juno Beach

Royal Canadian Naval Beach Commando “W” land on Mike Beach sector of Juno Beach, 8 July 1944

The landing at Juno was delayed because of choppy seas, and the men arrived ahead of their supporting armour, suffering many casualties while disembarking. Most of the offshore bombardment had missed the German defences.[170] Several exits from the beach were created, but not without difficulty. At Mike Beach on the western flank, a large crater was filled using an abandoned AVRE tank and several rolls of fascine, which were then covered by a temporary bridge. The tank remained in place until 1972, when it was removed and restored by members of the Royal Engineers.[171] The beach and nearby streets were clogged with traffic for most of the day, making it difficult to move inland.[93]

Major German strongpoints with 75 mm guns, machine-gun nests, concrete fortifications, barbed wire, and mines were located at Courseulles-sur-MerSt Aubin-sur-Mer, and Bernières-sur-Mer.[172] The towns themselves also had to be cleared in house-to-house fighting.[173] Soldiers on their way to Bény-sur-Mer, 3 miles (5 km) inland, discovered that the road was well covered by machine gun emplacements that had to be outflanked before the advance could proceed.[174] Elements of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade advanced to within sight of the Carpiquet airfield late in the afternoon, but by this time their supporting armour was low on ammunition so the Canadians dug in for the night. The airfield was not captured until a month later as the area became the scene of fierce fighting.[175] By nightfall, the contiguous Juno and Gold beachheads covered an area 12 miles (19 km) wide and 7 miles (10 km) deep.[176] Casualties at Juno were 961 men.[177]

Sword Beach

British troops take cover after landing on Sword Beach.

On Sword, 21 of 25 DD tanks of the first wave were successful in getting safely ashore to provide cover for the infantry, who began disembarking at 07:30.[178] The beach was heavily mined and peppered with obstacles, making the work of the beach clearing teams difficult and dangerous.[179] In the windy conditions, the tide came in more quickly than expected, so manoeuvring the armour was difficult. The beach quickly became congested.[180] Brigadier Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat and his 1st Special Service Brigade arrived in the second wave, piped ashore by Private Bill Millin, Lovat’s personal piper.[181] Members of No. 4 Commando moved through Ouistreham to attack from the rear a German gun battery on the shore. A concrete observation and control tower at this emplacement had to be bypassed and was not captured until several days later.[182] French forces under Commander Philippe Kieffer(the first French soldiers to arrive in Normandy) attacked and cleared the heavily fortified strongpoint at the casino at Riva Bella, with the aid of one of the DD tanks.[182]

The ‘Morris’ strongpoint near Colleville-sur-Mer was captured after about an hour of fighting.[180] The nearby ‘Hillman’ strongpoint, headquarters of the 736th Infantry Regiment, was a large complex defensive work that had come through the morning’s bombardment essentially undamaged. It was not captured until 20:15.[183] The 2nd Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry began advancing to Caen on foot, coming within a few kilometres of the town, but had to withdraw due to lack of armour support.[184] At 16:00, the 21st Panzer Division mounted a counter-attack between Sword and Juno and nearly succeeded in reaching the Channel. It met stiff resistance from the British 3rd Division and was soon recalled to assist in the area between Caen and Bayeux.[185][186] Estimates of Allied casualties on Sword Beach are as high as 1,000.[12]

Aftermath

Situation map for 24:00, 6 June 1944

The Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history, with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating.[187] Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day,[29] with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June.[188] Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead.[189] The Germans lost 1,000 men.[190] The Allied invasion plans had called for the capture of Carentan, St. Lô, Caen, and Bayeux on the first day, with all the beaches (other than Utah) linked with a front line 10 to 16 kilometres (6 to 10 mi) from the beaches; none of these objectives were achieved.[32] The five beachheads were not connected until 12 June, by which time the Allies held a front around 97 kilometres (60 mi) long and 24 kilometres (15 mi) deep.[191] Caen, a major objective, was still in German hands at the end of D-Day and would not be completely captured until 21 July.[192] The Germans had ordered French civilians other than those deemed essential to the war effort to leave potential combat zones in Normandy.[193] Civilian casualties on D-Day and D+1 are estimated at 3,000.[194]

The Allied victory in Normandy stemmed from several factors. German preparations along the Atlantic Wall were only partially finished; shortly before D-Day Rommel reported that construction was only 18 per cent complete in some areas as resources were diverted elsewhere.[195] The deceptions undertaken in Operation Fortitude were successful, leaving the Germans obliged to defend a huge stretch of coastline.[196] The Allies achieved and maintained air supremacy, which meant that the Germans were unable to make observations of the preparations underway in Britain and were unable to interfere via bomber attacks.[197] Infrastructure for transport in France was severely disrupted by Allied bombers and the French Resistance, making it difficult for the Germans to bring up reinforcements and supplies.[198] Some of the opening bombardment was off-target or not concentrated enough to have any impact,[152] but the specialised armour worked well except on Omaha, providing close artillery support for the troops as they disembarked onto the beaches.[199] Indecisiveness and an overly complicated command structure on the part of the German high command were also factors in the Allied success.[200]

War memorials and tourism

At Omaha Beach, parts of the Mulberry harbour are still visible, and a few of the beach obstacles remain. A memorial to the US National Guard sits at the location of a former German strongpoint. Pointe du Hoc is little changed from 1944, with the terrain covered with bomb craters and most of the concrete bunkers still in place. The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is nearby, in Colleville-sur-Mer.[201] A museum about the Utah landings is located at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, and there is one dedicated to the activities of the US airmen at Sainte-Mère-Église. Two German military cemeteries are located nearby.[202]

Pegasus Bridge, a target of the British 6th Airborne, was the site of some of the earliest action of the Normandy landings. The bridge was replaced in 1994 by one similar in appearance, and the original is now housed on the grounds of a nearby museum complex.[203]Sections of Mulberry Harbour B still sit in the sea at Arromanches, and the well-preserved Longues-sur-Mer battery is nearby.[204] The Juno Beach Centre, opened in 2003, was funded by the Canadian federal and provincial governments, France, and Canadian veterans.[205]

In popular culture

Books

Film and television

Video games

See also

References …

Bibliography

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings

‘5.27 and Navy went in… Savage fighting in streets’: How the Daily Mail revealed the D-Day assault, hailing it as ‘the first historic day of Europe’s liberation’

The Daily Mail was on the front line with Allied troops as they stormed Normandy’s beaches to begin the liberation of Europe 75 years ago.

After a strict silence in the run-up to Operation Overlord, the newspaper was packed with details of the latest news from France which was lapped up by the voracious readers at home desperate to keep up with events.

News of the Allied invasion could finally be reported on June 7 1944, with the 5.27am arrival of the British on French shores coming too late for the June 6 edition.

During the first week of the invasion, the Daily Mail was emblazoned with emotive headlines that described ‘savage fighting’ in the streets of Caen and vivid first-hand accounts from correspondents on the front line.

After reports of ‘flying over the beaches at dawn’ came news that Bayeux had been the first French town to be liberated from the Nazis.

The paper was covered in battle pictures with graphics and maps detailing the troops’ heroic road to Paris, before the first pictures of injured British soldiers to return to Blighty were published.

Here MailOnline looks back at how the Daily Mail reported on some of the most violent battles of the Second World War from June 7 to 10 1944 and from Fleet Street to France.

Wednesday June 7, 1944: BEACHHEAD WIDER AND DEEPER

The Daily Mail's front page the day after D-Day was incredibly optimistic, with the splash declaring the 'first historic day of Europe's liberation has gone completely in favour of the Allies'. The page also featured stories from reporter Desmond Tighe aboard a British destroyer, and the lack of raids on Britain overnight. Not everything was dedicated to World War Two stories - the paper also revealed that more rail and bus cuts were on the way

The Daily Mail’s front page the day after D-Day was incredibly optimistic, with the splash declaring the ‘first historic day of Europe’s liberation has gone completely in favour of the Allies’. The page also featured stories from reporter Desmond Tighe aboard a British destroyer, and the lack of raids on Britain overnight. Not everything was dedicated to World War Two stories – the paper also revealed that more rail and bus cuts were on the way

Alexander Clifford explained that the Allied's fight will be made easier in that France's landscape is similar to England's in this page 2 story on June 7, while a cartoon of a soldier is captioned 'Yes, Adolf; this is it!'

Alexander Clifford explained that the Allied’s fight will be made easier in that France’s landscape is similar to England’s in this page 2 story on June 7, while a cartoon of a soldier is captioned ‘Yes, Adolf; this is it!’

Page 3 on June 7 also focused heavily on the war effort, featuring a number of photos from the front line including a group of soldiers applying warpaint. The page also detailed King George VI's broadcast to the nation from the evening before, in which he said 'this time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause'

Page 3 on June 7 also focused heavily on the war effort, featuring a number of photos from the front line including a group of soldiers applying warpaint. The page also detailed King George VI’s broadcast to the nation from the evening before, in which he said ‘this time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause’

Page 4 of the Daily Mail on June 7 featured a map showing the main Allied landing points and the route to Paris as troops fought to free Europe. There was also news of orders given to French soldiers by General Charles de Gaulle, alongside adverts for Johnnie Walker whisky and beef stock cubes

Page 4 of the Daily Mail on June 7 featured a map showing the main Allied landing points and the route to Paris as troops fought to free Europe. There was also news of orders given to French soldiers by General Charles de Gaulle, alongside adverts for Johnnie Walker whisky and beef stock cubes

This front page story from June 7 reported General Montgomery's stirring message to his troops in the final BBC war report before they went to battle

The Daily Mail's coverage on June 8 focused on the capture of Bayeux - the first large town to be taken by the Allies. The front page also mentioned President Dwight D. Eisenhower's pact with the Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French in exile

The Daily Mail’s coverage on June 8 focused on the capture of Bayeux – the first large town to be taken by the Allies. The front page also mentioned President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s pact with the Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French in exile

Page 2 featured an explanation of how injured troops were transported from the frontlines back to Blighty - including a handy diagram of the various stages from the field dressing station to the forward general hospital. The page also tells of the RAFs secret weapons being used in the 'greatest aerial bombardment in the world's history' - as the 'accuracy achieved far exceeds what would be possible relying entirely on human skill'

Page 3 detailed plans for after the war, with new factories being placed in 'development areas' across the country to secure 'full employment'. The Birthday Honours list is also discussed - with Professors Alexander Fleming and H.W. Florey included for developing the '"wonder" drug penicillin' which 'will save the lives of thousands of men fighting now'

Page 3 detailed plans for after the war, with new factories being placed in ‘development areas’ across the country to secure ‘full employment’. The Birthday Honours list is also discussed – with Professors Alexander Fleming and H.W. Florey included for developing the ”wonder’ drug penicillin’ which ‘will save the lives of thousands of men fighting now’

The appetite for first-hand accounts from the beaches was in high demand at the Daily Mail on June 8, with 'scores of war correspondents' painting a complete picture of D-Day, with one report saying 'the enemy knew nothing till the paratroops landed'. James McGlincy filed an interview with Bert Brandt, a news photographer, who spent 30 minutes on the group and hours afterwards 'within gunshot of the scene'. Brandt said: 'It was hotter than hell over there. I was at Anzio, but Anzio was nothing like this'

The appetite for first-hand accounts from the beaches was in high demand at the Daily Mail on June 8, with ‘scores of war correspondents’ painting a complete picture of D-Day, with one report saying ‘the enemy knew nothing till the paratroops landed’. James McGlincy filed an interview with Bert Brandt, a news photographer, who spent 30 minutes on the group and hours afterwards ‘within gunshot of the scene’. Brandt said: ‘It was hotter than hell over there. I was at Anzio, but Anzio was nothing like this’

This page 3 story from June 8 describes the return of Navy boats to British ports after being used to deliver troops on D-Day

This page 3 story from June 8 describes the return of Navy boats to British ports after being used to deliver troops on D-Day

Friday June 9, 1944: ALLIES FIVE MILES BEYOND BAYEUX 

June 9's Daily Mail front page centred around the inland progress the Allied forces were making, who were now five miles beyond Bayeux. The Mail reported that bad weather conditions had delayed British operations in France by 24 hours

June 9’s Daily Mail front page centred around the inland progress the Allied forces were making, who were now five miles beyond Bayeux. The Mail reported that bad weather conditions had delayed British operations in France by 24 hours

Page 2 of the Mail's edition from June 9 1944 offers a moving account headlined: 'One face I shall never forgot'. A correspondent on board HMS Belfast recalls a rescue boat pulling up alongside the vessel in a desperate bid to save an injured British soldier. He described the soldier 'trying to smile' as crew battled to get him on board, he later had his legs amputated and then he died. Another report tells of how the Germans' morale was given a 'heavy jolt' by news of the landings

Page 2 of the Mail’s edition from June 9 1944 offers a moving account headlined: ‘One face I shall never forgot’. A correspondent on board HMS Belfast recalls a rescue boat pulling up alongside the vessel in a desperate bid to save an injured British soldier. He described the soldier ‘trying to smile’ as crew battled to get him on board, he later had his legs amputated and then he died. Another report tells of how the Germans’ morale was given a ‘heavy jolt’ by news of the landings

Page 3 of the Mail's June 9 edition carries pictures of the first wounded troops sent back to Britain after a reporter spoke to them at their bedsides. All five faces are smiling, one with a cigarette in his mouth. They claim the Allied invasion of Italy a year earlier was much worse than their time in France+19

Page 3 of the Mail’s June 9 edition carries pictures of the first wounded troops sent back to Britain after a reporter spoke to them at their bedsides. All five faces are smiling, one with a cigarette in his mouth. They claim the Allied invasion of Italy a year earlier was much worse than their time in France

The final page of the Mail's June 9 edition carries a breathtaking account of a parachute drop on D-Day. In news from America, the paper reports how Francisco Franco's Spain is described as a 'dictatorship indebted to Hitler'

The final page of the Mail’s June 9 edition carries a breathtaking account of a parachute drop on D-Day. In news from America, the paper reports how Francisco Franco’s Spain is described as a ‘dictatorship indebted to Hitler’

Page 3 of the edition on June 9 bore the faces of five wounded soldiers who were safely returned to Britain. From trooper George Hart, Private William Smith, leading coder Kenneth Gure, Midshipman Sebborn and Lieutenant Dick Peard (pictured left to right) there were smiles all round - and even time to smoke as a cigarette as they were photographed for the Mail

Page 3 of the edition on June 9 bore the faces of five wounded soldiers who were safely returned to Britain. From trooper George Hart, Private William Smith, leading coder Kenneth Gure, Midshipman Sebborn and Lieutenant Dick Peard (pictured left to right) there were smiles all round – and even time to smoke as a cigarette as they were photographed for the Mail

Saturday June 10, 1944: BIG BATTLE RAGING AT CARENTAN 

The front page of the Daily Mail on June 10 1944 carried news of a huge battle at Carentan, which began on D-Day and lasted until June 13. Readers were told how that weekend would prove to be a critical period in the Allies' progress as they waited for the German counter attack. There was also news of France's General de Gaulle's visit to see Roosevelt in Washington

The front page of the Daily Mail on June 10 1944 carried news of a huge battle at Carentan, which began on D-Day and lasted until June 13. Readers were told how that weekend would prove to be a critical period in the Allies’ progress as they waited for the German counter attack. There was also news of France’s General de Gaulle’s visit to see Roosevelt in Washington

Page 2 of the Mail's June 9 1944 edition shows a map of Allied air targets from Normandy to Paris with the headline 'We box in the enemy with bombs'. There is also a report from the Normandy commune of Bayeux, which had been liberated some 60 hours earlier. People in the area declared an unofficial holiday and put on their best clothes despite German planes still flying overhead

Page 2 of the Mail’s June 9 1944 edition shows a map of Allied air targets from Normandy to Paris with the headline ‘We box in the enemy with bombs’. There is also a report from the Normandy commune of Bayeux, which had been liberated some 60 hours earlier. People in the area declared an unofficial holiday and put on their best clothes despite German planes still flying overhead

Page 3 of the Mail on June 10 1944 bore two contrasting images of a French village where residents were preparing to rise up and calling for their President General de Gaulle and another of an English village where German prisoners were being marched through the streets on their way to a prisoner of war camp. A smaller article told of how British soldiers were allowed to send letters and parcels to inform relatives they were about to go off and fight

Page 3 of the Mail on June 10 1944 bore two contrasting images of a French village where residents were preparing to rise up and calling for their President General de Gaulle and another of an English village where German prisoners were being marched through the streets on their way to a prisoner of war camp. A smaller article told of how British soldiers were allowed to send letters and parcels to inform relatives they were about to go off and fight

Page 4 of the Mail on 10 June 1944 carried news of General Eisenhower's message to the French. He reassured them the Allied forces would end Nazi tyranny. There was still news for racing tips for Ascot and an advert for a slimming remedy

Page 4 of the Mail on 10 June 1944 carried news of General Eisenhower’s message to the French. He reassured them the Allied forces would end Nazi tyranny. There was still news for racing tips for Ascot and an advert for a slimming remedy

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7109985/How-Daily-Mail-told-world-Normandy-landings-1944.html

Robert Higgs

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Robert Higgs
Robert Higgs-independent.jpg
Born 1 February 1944 (age 75)
Nationality United States
Field Economic historypolitical economy, natural resource economics, health economics, military economics
School or
tradition
Austrian School
Doctoral
advisor
Edwin Mills
H. Louis Stettler
Doctoral
students
Price V. Fishback
Influences Simon KuznetsDouglass C. NorthRonald CoaseJoseph SchumpeterLudwig von MisesF.A. HayekMurray Rothbard

Robert Higgs (born 1 February 1944) is an American economic historian and economist combining material from Public Choice, the New institutional economics, and the Austrian school of economics; and describes himself as a libertarian anarchist[1] in political and legal theory and public policy. His writings in economics and economic history have most often focused on the causes, means, and effects of government power and growth.

 

Academic career

Higgs earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the Johns Hopkins University and has held teaching positions at the University of WashingtonLafayette College, and Seattle University. He has also been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University. He held a visiting professorship at the University of Economics, Prague in 2006,[2] and has supervised dissertations in the Ph.D. program at Universidad Francisco Marroquín,[3] where he is currently an honorary professor of economics and history.

Higgs has been a Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute since September 1994. He has served at Editor at Large of The Independent Review since 2013, after having been Editor from 1995 to 2013.[2]He is also a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute[4] and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.[5]

Writings

The Ratchet effect

Daniel McCarthy praised Higgs and summarized his ratchet effect theory in a review of Against Leviathan that appeared in The American Conservative. In the review, McCarthy remarked that

What made Crisis and Leviathan a milestone was the rigor with which it elaborated upon the logic of James Madison‘s 1794 warning against “the old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating force in government.” Other political economists had studied the growth of state power during times of war, depression, and general upheaval before, but none had done so as thoughtfully and thoroughly as Higgs. He took special care in describing the “ratchet effect” – once a crisis has passed state power usually recedes again, but it rarely returns to its original levels; thus each emergency leaves the scope of government at least a little wider than before.[6]

Foreign policy

During the 2008 presidential election, Higgs defended then-presidential candidate Ron Paul in response to Bret Stephens‘s article from The Wall Street Journal and made the case why “war, preparation for war, and foreign military interventions have served for the most part not to protect us, as we are constantly told, but rather to sap our economic vitality and undermine our civil and economic liberties.”[7]

Books

As author

  • The Transformation of the American Economy, 1865–1914 (1971)
  • Competition and Coercion: Blacks in the American Economy, 1865–1914 (1977)
  • Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government (1987)
  • Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society (2004)
  • Resurgence of the Warfare State: The Crisis Since 9/11 (2005)
  • Depression, War and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy (2006)
  • Politická ekonomie strachu (“The Political Economy of Fear”) (Czech language; 2006)
  • Neither Liberty Nor Safety: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government (2007)
  • Delusions of Power: New Explorations of the State, War, and Economy (2012)

As editor

  • Emergence of the Modern Political Economy (1985)
  • Arms, Politics, and the Economy: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (1990)
  • Hazardous to Our Health? FDA Regulation of Health Care Products (1995)
  • Re-Thinking Green: Alternatives to Environmental Bureaucracy with Carl P. Close (2005)
  • The Challenge of Liberty: Classical Liberalism Today with Carl P. Close (2006)
  • Opposing the Crusader State: Alternatives to Global Interventionism with Carl P. Close (2007)

Notes

  1. ^ “What Is the Point of My Libertarian Anarchism?”LewRockwell.com.
  2. Jump up to:a b “Senior Fellow Robert Higgs.” Independent.org. Independent Institute. [1]
  3. ^ Cole, Julio. World Economic Growth, 1980–1999: A Growth-Regression Approach. p. 9. September 2003. “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  4. ^ “Faculty and Staff.” Mises.org. Ludwig von Mises Institute
  5. ^ “Robert Higgs.” Cato.org. Cato Institute
  6. ^ McCarthy, Daniel. “Enemy of the State.” The American Conservative. 9 May 2005. [2]
  7. ^ https://www.lewrockwell.com/2008/01/robert-higgs/libertarian-foreign-policy-in-the-hobbesian-crosshairs/

External links

Eric Hoffer

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Eric Hoffer
Eric Hoffer in 1967, in the Oval Office, visiting President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Eric Hoffer in 1967, in the Oval Office, visiting President Lyndon Baines Johnson
Born July 25, 1898
New York CityNew York, U.S.
Died May 21, 1983 (aged 84)
San FranciscoCalifornia, U.S.
Occupation Authorlongshoreman
Nationality American
Genre Social psychologypolitical science
Notable awards Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1983

Eric Hoffer (July 25, 1898 – May 21, 1983)[1] was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983. His first book, The True Believer (1951), was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen,[2] although Hoffer believed that The Ordeal of Change (1963) was his finest work.[3]

 

Early life

Hoffer was born in 1898[4][5] in The BronxNew York, to Knut and Elsa (Goebel) Hoffer.[6] His parents were immigrants from Alsace, then part of Imperial Germany. By age five, Hoffer could already read in both English and his parents’ native German.[7][8] When he was five, his mother fell down the stairs with him in her arms. He later recalled, “I lost my sight at the age of seven. Two years before, my mother and I fell down a flight of stairs. She did not recover and died in that second year after the fall. I lost my sight and, for a time, my memory.”[9] Hoffer spoke with a pronounced German accent all his life, and spoke the language fluently. He was raised by a live-in relative or servant, a German immigrant named Martha. His eyesight inexplicably returned when he was 15. Fearing he might lose it again, he seized on the opportunity to read as much as he could. His recovery proved permanent, but Hoffer never abandoned his reading habit.

Hoffer was a young man when he also lost his father. The cabinetmaker‘s union paid for Knut Hoffer’s funeral and gave Hoffer about $300 insurance money. He took a bus to Los Angeles and spent the next 10 years on Skid Row, reading, occasionally writing, and working at odd jobs.[10]

In 1931, he considered suicide by drinking a solution of oxalic acid, but he could not bring himself to do it.[11] He left Skid Row and became a migrant worker, following the harvests in California. He acquired a library card where he worked, dividing his time “between the books and the brothels.” He also prospected for gold in the mountains. Snowed in for the winter, he read the Essays by Michel de Montaigne. Montaigne impressed Hoffer deeply, and Hoffer often made reference to him. He also developed a respect for America’s underclass, which he said was “lumpy with talent.”

Career

He wrote a novel, Four Years in Young Hank’s Life, and a novellaChance and Mr. Kunze, both partly autobiographical. He also penned a long article based on his experiences in a federal work camp, “Tramps and Pioneers.” It was never published, but a truncated version appeared in Harper’s Magazine after he became well known. [12]

Hoffer tried to enlist in the US Army at age 40 during World War II, but he was rejected due to a hernia.[13] Instead, he began work as a longshoreman on the docks of San Francisco in 1943. [14] At the same time, he began to write seriously.

Hoffer left the docks in 1964, and shortly after became an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley[15] He later retired from public life in 1970.[16] In 1970, he endowed the Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Laconic Essay Prize for students, faculty, and staff at the University of California, Berkeley.

Hoffer called himself an atheist but had sympathetic views of religion and described it as a positive force.[17]

He died at his home in San Francisco in 1983 at the age of 84.[18]

Working-class roots

Hoffer was influenced by his modest roots and working-class surroundings, seeing in it vast human potential. In a letter to Margaret Anderson in 1941, he wrote:

My writing is done in railroad yards while waiting for a freight, in the fields while waiting for a truck, and at noon after lunch. Towns are too distracting.

He once remarked, “my writing grows out of my life just as a branch from a tree.” When he was called an intellectual, he insisted that he simply was a longshoreman. Hoffer has been dubbed by some authors a “longshoreman philosopher.”[8][19]

Personal life

Hoffer, who was an only child, never married. He fathered a child with Lili Fabilli Osborne, named Eric Osborne, who was born in 1955 and raised by Lili Osborne and her husband, Selden Osborne. [20] Lili Fabilli Osborne had become acquainted with Hoffer through her husband, a fellow longshoreman and acquaintance of Hoffer’s. Despite the affair and Lili Osborne later co-habitating with Hoffer, Selden Osborne and Hoffer remained on good terms. [21]

Hoffer referred to Eric Osborne as his son or godson. Lili Fabilli Osborne died in 2010 at the age of 93. Prior to her death, Osborne was the executor of Hoffer’s estate, and vigorously controlled the rights to his intellectual property.

In his 2012 book Eric Hoffer: The Longshoreman Philosopher, journalist Tom Bethell revealed doubts about Hoffer’s account of his early life. Although Hoffer claimed his parents were from Alsace-Lorraine, Hoffer himself spoke with a pronounced Bavarian accent.[22] He claimed to have been born and raised in the Bronx but had no Bronx accent. His lover and executor Lili Fabilli stated that she always thought Hoffer was an immigrant. Her son, Eric Fabilli, said that Hoffer’s life may have been comparable to that of B. Traven and considered hiring a genealogist to investigate Hoffer’s early life, to which Hoffer reportedly replied, “Are you sure you want to know?” Pescadero land-owner Joe Gladstone, a family friend of the Fabilli’s who also knew Hoffer, said of Hoffer’s account of his early life: “I don’t believe a word of it.” To this day, no one ever has claimed to have known Hoffer in his youth, and no records apparently exist of his parents, nor indeed of Hoffer himself until he was about forty, when his name appeared in a census.

Books and opinions

The True Believer

Hoffer came to public attention with the 1951 publication of his first book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, which consists of a preface and 125 sections, which are divided into 18 chapters. Hoffer analyzes the phenomenon of “mass movements,” a general term that he applies to revolutionary parties, nationalistic movements, and religious movements. He summarizes his thesis in §113: “A movement is pioneered by men of words, materialized by fanatics and consolidated by men of actions.”[23]

Hoffer argues that fanatical and extremist cultural movements, whether religious, social, or national, arise when large numbers of frustrated people, believing their own individual lives to be worthless or spoiled, join a movement demanding radical change. But the real attraction for this population is an escape from the self, not a realization of individual hopes: “A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation.”[24]

Hoffer consequently argues that the appeal of mass movements is interchangeable: in the Germany of the 1920s and the 1930s, for example, the Communists and National Socialists were ostensibly enemies, but sometimes enlisted each other’s members, since they competed for the same kind of marginalized, angry, frustrated people. For the “true believer,” Hoffer argues that particular beliefs are less important than escaping from the burden of the autonomous self.

Harvard historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. said of The True Believer: “This brilliant and original inquiry into the nature of mass movements is a genuine contribution to our social thought.”[25]

Later works

Subsequent to the publication of The True Believer (1951), Eric Hoffer touched upon Asia and American interventionism in several of his essays. In “The Awakening of Asia” (1954), published in The Reporter and later his book The Ordeal of Change (1963), Hoffer discusses the reasons for unrest on the continent. In particular, he argues that the root cause of social discontent in Asia was not government corruption, “communist agitation,” or the legacy of European colonial “oppression and exploitation,” but rather that a “craving for pride” was the central problem in Asia, suggesting a problem that could not be relieved through typical American intervention.[26]

For centuries, Hoffer notes, Asia had “submitted to one conqueror after another.” Throughout these centuries, Asia had “been misruled, looted, and bled by both foreign and native oppressors without” so much as “a peep” from the general population. Though not without negative effect, corrupt governments and the legacy of European imperialism represented nothing new under the sun. Indeed, the European colonial authorities had been “fairly beneficent” in Asia.[26]

To be sure, Communism exerted an appeal of sorts. For the Asian “pseudo-intellectual,” it promised elite status and the phony complexities of “doctrinaire double talk.” For the ordinary Asian, it promised partnership with the seemingly emergent Soviet Union in a “tremendous, unprecedented undertaking” to build a better tomorrow.[26]

According to Hoffer, however, Communism in Asia was dwarfed by the desire for pride. To satisfy such desire, Asians would willingly and irrationally sacrifice their economic well-being and their lives as well.[26]

Unintentionally, the West had created this appetite, causing “revolutionary unrest” in Asia. The West had done so by eroding the traditional communal bonds that once had woven the individual to the patriarchal family, clan, tribe, “cohesive rural or urban unit,” and “religious or political body.”

Without the security and spiritual meaning produced by such bonds, Asians had been liberated from tradition only to find themselves now atomized, isolated, exposed, and abandoned, “left orphaned and empty in a cold world.”[26]

Certainly, Europe had undergone a similar destruction of tradition, but it had occurred centuries earlier at the end of the medieval period and produced better results thanks to different circumstances.

For the Asians of the 1950s, the circumstances differed markedly. Most were illiterate and impoverished, living in a world that included no expansive physical or intellectual vistas. Dangerously, the “articulate minority” of the Asian population inevitably disconnected themselves from the ordinary people, thereby failing to acquire “a sense of usefulness and of worth” that came by “taking part in the world’s work.” As a result, they were “condemned to the life of chattering posturing pseudo-intellectuals” and coveted “the illusion of weight and importance.”[26]

Most significantly, Hoffer asserts that the disruptive awakening of Asia came about as a result of an unbearable sense of weakness. Indeed, Hoffer discusses the problem of weakness, asserting that while “power corrupts the few… weakness corrupts the many.”[26]

Hoffer notes that ” the resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done them but from the sense of their inadequacy and impotence.” In short, the weak “hate not wickedness” but themselves for being weak. Consequently, self-loathing produces explosive effects that cannot be mitigated through social engineering schemes, such as programs of wealth redistribution. In fact, American “generosity” is counterproductive, perceived in Asia simply as an example of Western “oppression.”[26]

In the wake of the Korean War, Hoffer does not recommend exporting at gunpoint either American political institutions or mass democracy. In fact, Hoffer advances the possibility that winning over the multitudes of Asia may not even be desirable. If on the other hand, necessity truly dictates that for “survival” the United States must persuade the “weak” of Asia to “our side,” Hoffer suggests the wisest course of action would be to master “the art or technique of sharing hope, pride, and