Monday, April 18, 2011

Today's Idiot - Arthur Herman

Arthur Herman  is a New York Post asshole and an American Enterprise Institute visiting scholar which is another way to pronounce asshole.  He's two assholes in one!

This idiot regurgitates the right-wing unending bullshit that the failure of the Bay of Pigs was the fault of one, and only one man, JFK.  He is either completely unaware or choses to completely ignore the fact that the CIA's own internal Inspector General's report put the blame for the failure, not on JFK's shoulders, but on the CIA's.

These simple minded right-wing idiots actually think it was so simple, just send in the Air Force, or the Marines and the problem of Cuba would have been solved.  They never explain how.  They never tell what would the Soviets do if JFK did that? Would they take Berlin in response? Then what happens?

Does he mention that there was initial air cover from planes that flew from Central America?  Does he mention that because of the distance to Cuba and the distance to fly back meant they only had one hour to do anything over Cuba?  And does he mention that the CIA was so inept that the pilots of those planes were on local Central American time while the invasion force was on Eastern standard time?


Does he mention that the CIA is still withholding information about the Bay of Pigs? Like Peter Kornbluh does on the National Security Archive website?



Did he attend the event at the JFK Library? Nope.  It's too bad, he would have learned something.

He would have heard Alfredo Duran, a veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion.  He would have heard the  Duran as he recounted the story from his perspective.  He told of how he knew by 2:00 p.m. April 17, 1963 (EST) that "we were lost.  Already two of our supply ships were sunk and the rest had to leave the Bay. The airplanes that were to be supporting us, all B-25's were being shjot down, because of the distance they could not have machine guns in the tail guns. So, the Cuban air force just got behind them and shot them down. Our supply planes could not come in and land because they were also being shot down. Our landing had been completely disrupted because we landed in support boats. We were supposed to be landing on a sandy beach and we were actually landing in a place with rocks. Most of us were running against the rocks and we had to jump and more or less swim ashore with our gear, most of which had been lost.  We knew we were in trouble."

He continued giving his personal experience.  He was put in a sporting boat that should probably hold 10 people, but had 30 to 40 people in it, with all their gear.  His boat ran into rocks, and was overturned.

Once ashore there was confusion.  So, they quickly tried to adapt.  His company which was the 3rd battalion was to go to the city of Cienfuegos was instead ordered to go to the small town of San Blas which was basically a very small town, near a crossroad that came down from Havana down through the swamp.  The paratroopers were supposed to land in that town and instead landed in a swamp.   After they were there for 2 hours they started getting shelled from 120mm Soviet cannons and mortars.  They were shelled for 3 full days. Duran and his fellows had 2 mortars and  two 57mm recoilless rifles, and the rest were basically M-1 rifles to fight back with.  But, they held their position for three days.

[ From - U.S. 57mm Recoilless Rifle comes this detail about this rifle:

Background & Operation
The first recoilless gun was developed during WWI by Commander Davis of the US Navy. It consisted of two gun barrels pointing in opposite directions connected to a common chamber. One barrel was loaded with the projectile, the other with an equal mass of small lead shot encased in grease. The propellant cartridge was placed in the central chamber and when fired the projectile and the "countershot" shot out both ends at equal velocities, leaving the gun static with no imparted recoil. The lead shot and grease quickly dispersed and lost energy, while the service projectile proceeded on to the target. This concept was developed for use in aircraft armament for attacking submarines but never used in combat.

The concept continued to be explored and soon it was realized the countershot could be eliminated, substituting the gas from the propellant as long as it was of sufficient speed and mass.

The attraction of a recoilless weapon is that a much lighter light artillery piece of a given caliber can be created, as it eliminates the need for the massive recoil mechanisms required for conventional artillery. In the case of the 57mm anti-tank gun this was a huge difference. Recoilless weapons found a perfect application with airborne infantry.

The major drawback is these weapons use a huge amount of propellant, four-fifths of the charge is exhausted from the jet. The back blast is also a significant hazard as well as a bright illuminating source, which gives away the position of the gun. (emphasis added.)]

One day one of Castro's commanders took a wrong turn and was captured by Duran and his men.  He gave Duran the opinion that Castro's fores really thought that the U.S. was coming in full force and that they were in for the fight of their lives. They were really afraid.  When he saw Duran was one of about 50 guys and the type of arms they had he knew these guys had already lost.  Unless America really comes in, it's over.  Where Duran was the attacking Cubans could only come at him on one road that had a swamp on either side.  This helped him defend his position.  At one time the invasion's air cover saw the Cuban forces on the road and successfully bombed them.  Duran believes there were 200 dead from this bombing.  By the end of the 3rd day they were out of food and supplies, and without ammunition.

One day it looked like help had arrived.  They got a supply drop. They got bullets for Springfield rifles, which they didn't have.  The bullets wouldn't work with the rifles they did have.

So, they started to fall back towards the beach.  They thought they would be resupplied there, or evacuated.  They divided into groups, one tried to go to the mountains, one group, which Duran was with tried to navigate the swamp to try to get to Havana. Very few got out.  Castro's forces basically encircled the entire swamp. Men were posted about every 10 feet.  Duran was captured near a sugar mill.

He asked to be shot.  But, Castro wanted them alive.  Castro knew it would benefit him to declare them as prisoners of war, to use them for his economic and political benefit.  Duran thinks that being categorized as prisoners of war saved his life and the lives of the other men.

The moderator asked Peter Kornbluh directly the question of if JFK sent in another sortie would that have saved the day? Kornbluh took on this "great betrayal" myth and debunked it in his book, "Politics of Illusion: The Bay of Pigs Invasion Reexamined."


The short answer is no.  There seems to be two camps on the issue, the retired CIA guys blame JFK, and  the Kennedy administration folks blame the CIA. The CIA's own Inspector General Report written by Lyman Kirkpatrick clearly blames the CIA for misleading Kennedy.

The CIA did not have the ability to do this.  That it thought it could was pure hubris from the 1954 Guatamala invasion and overthrowing of the democratically elected Arbenz.  

Eisenhower wanted a covert plan for the invasion of Cuba.  JFK initially got plans for a daylight invasion into Trinidad, not exactly a covert plan.  So, of course he made changes to it, like doing it at night and preferably in a small isolated place. 

Kornbluh put the blame for the failure on the neccessity for "plausible deniability."  We could not be seen to be publicly invading a sovereign country like this during the Cold War.  Things wold get out of control very quickly. We could not return to an era of gunboat diplomacy in Latin America.  That would anger too many allies.  The planes for air cover came from Nicaragua.  They flew for hours to get to Cuba, and then had to fly for hours to get back.  This meant a one hour window over Cuba before they would have to fly back, unless they could secure an airstrip.  

You can hear JFK talking to RFK about why this failed.  The planes were on Central American time and the invasion force on the U.S.S., Essex was on Eastern Standard Time.  Yes, the CIA were that fucking stupid.  Telephone Conversation, [President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy discuss the Stennis committee review of the Bay of Pigs], March 2, 1963. [Part 1] 

So, Mr. Arthur Herman, STOP TALKING SHIT!  

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