The Rhodesian Example

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Some
of us have suggested that blasting the Taliban into oblivion and
occupying the entire country of Afghanistan just might not be the
most effective way to destroy the Al Qaida terrorists. For this
we have been called a lot of names and the unjustified assumption
has been made that those of us who think that way must either be
wimps or "soft on terror." Since I am neither of these
things I've concluded that maybe some folks don't realize that there
actually other tactics available that are both more effective in
hurting the terrorists and more consistent with the classic Christian
interpretation of the "just war." I remain dumbfounded
that we began our attack on Al Qaida by wasting all that ordnance
on the people who had not staged the attack upon us, giving
the real enemy time to organize themselves and scatter.

My
take on it has been from the beginning — attack the guys who did
the "stunt" and tell the Taliban to stay out of our way.
Make it plain that staying out of our way is very conducive to staying
alive. Having divided Al Qaida from their hosts, hit them with whatever
ordnance is available and do it right away. Is this totally unrealistic?
Let's review the facts of how real soldiers dealt with real terrorists
and see just how plausible this tactic can be.

It
was the despicable Jimmy Carter that joined our nation to the unholy
alliance with the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and Communist China
and openly helped brutal and murderous communist bandits take down
western cultures in southern Africa. Yep, that really happened and
those of you who wander why some of us aren't so quick to jump on
the government bandwagon need to consider this.

Despite
the overwhelming force arrayed against them, the tiny, embattled
country of Rhodesia gave the world an object lesson in how to fight
terrorism. In 1978 the Rhodesians were to up the ante and show us
all just what the term "economy of force mission" is all
about.

The
terrorists were staging in Zambia and had several large base camps
near Lusaka. There were thousands of them in these base camps and
they were well organized and well equipped. The crazed fanatics
at the United Nations had embargoed Rhodesia while apostate Christian
organizations like the World Council of Churches had joined with
other liberals and left-wing extremists to supply and nurture these
murderous terrorists. One might ask that if the United States was
really engaged in a Cold War with the Soviet Union at that
time, and if the security of our country and the free world
really was on the line, then weren't the actions of Jimmy Carter
and the organizations noted on the order of high treason? Just asking…

It's
interesting to note that Rhodesia, a country with no interest whatsoever
in South East Asian affairs, was one of the very few of our so-called
allies to offer to support America in Vietnam with troops. They
had been our allies in World War II and while the ill considered
and murderous war in Vietnam was hardly a noble cause, the Rhodesians
had none the less offered us their support simply because that is
what allies do. Or used to do. The Rhodesians, like the Serbs, have
learned that "ally" means something different to Americans
than what it meant to them.

For
more on the history of Rhodesia including information on the Tribal
Trustlands, Unilateral Independence, and race relations in general
please refer to The
Case For Rhodesia
. There is a nice capsule history of the
Rhodesian military here: History
of Rhodesian Army
.

The
short version is that during the first few years of freedom following
the Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain Prime Minister
Ian Smith's "renegade" government was one of the most
ably managed and least governed countries in the world. The
white people and educated blacks enjoyed a standard of living much
like that in the United States or UK, while the tribal villagers
had the highest standard of living in black Africa.

Then
the Russians and the Chinese communists showed up and the Cubans
— with mouths full of Marxist slogans and boatloads of guns and
explosives — initially consisting mostly of landmines and submachine
guns but later including late model East Bloc weaponry. Weapons
that were employed against civilian farmers and tribal villagers…
The terrorist incidents gradually escalated from isolated bandit
attacks to full scale savagery.

To
communist "fighters" their enemies are seen simply as
criminals — the upper classes slated for "liquidation,"
and the lower classes for "re-education" and domination
through unspeakable terror. Don't take my word for it. Read their
own words — read Lenin or Mao and remember that their body count
suggests that they meant the things they said. Then ask yourselves
why this is not taught in our schools — it's a fair question in
a country dominated by leftists and their tedious claims to the
moral high ground.

The
world ignored horrific attacks like the slaughter and mutilation
of innocent tribal villagers, and the Viscount disaster — where
terrorists shot down a passenger plane with a Russian strella missile,
and then raped and butchered the survivors. Read the words of a
Rhodesian pastor whose sermon "The
Silence is Deafening
" is a dreadful indictment of the West's
response to that atrocity. Seeing how America in its current war
on terrorism expects the whole world to get on board because of
the presumed moral culpability of our enemies one can only wonder
how that same America could blithely ignore acts of terrorism as
brutal and deadly as that one.

The
British disgraced themselves once and for all by refusing even to
sell prosthetics to Rhodesia when a young farm girl lost her legs
to a terrorist mine, planted by fanatics who were cheered on by
those same Brits. Russian ships jammed Rhodesian communications
and broke the daily "shackle" codes used by the military
in the field so quickly that it was assumed that no comms were really
secure. Rhodesia had few friends and the embargo began to bite deeply
early on. The fight however, continued — the Rhodesians were anything
but quitters.

By
the mid seventies thousands of well organized terrorists were staging
in Mozambique and Zambia, so called "front line" states.
That translates into "countries where communist dictators had
already seized control." I "visited" the camps in
Mozambique myself and can testify to the truth of that statement.
The camps in Zambia had a prior visit from a battle group best remembered
by the call sign of the tactical air commander, "Green Leader."
That was the operation that could have, and perhaps should have
served as a model to the US when we attacked Afghanistan.

Terrorists
were staging in Zambia and routinely crossing the Zambezi to murder
and maim Rhodesian citizens. (Again — I am an eyewitness having
been engaged in a rather nasty affair on the Zambezi where we knocked
out a terrorist group coming across the river from Zambia) Zambia
could have legitimately been construed as an enemy and the Rhodesians
could have readily bombed Lusaka. They did not — they were able
to focus on fighting their real enemies who were the ZIPRA
and ZANLA terrorists cadres so beloved of the leftist media in Peking,
Moscow, Britain, and America.

The
Rhodesians had a major advantage over the United States, however,
when it came to fighting terrorists. They weren't concerned for
world opinion or coalitions and had no thoughts of "nation
building," those folks were focused! Plus, the government was
actually responding to the will of the people for if there ever
was a government that was "of the people, by the people, for
the people," it was that of the Rhodesians. It makes a difference
when you are defending the people as opposed to defending some broadly
defined "national interest" that somehow never seems to
benefit anyone you know.

The
Rhodesians were wonderful improvisers and put together an assault
group with obsolete jet fighter-bombers, helicopters, and old Dakotas
for the paratroops. The forces used for raids into host countries
were extremely lean by modern standards. Less than a hundred paratroopers
and some SAS types plus air force personnel, some medics and engineers.
They had learned to coordinate their forces very smoothly and bring
overwhelming force against a specific target. The strike force operated
quite similarly to American Special Forces in Afghanistan as far
as tactics go — small groups of well-trained men with a lot more
radios and machine guns than normal infantry. That got them a lot
of bang for the buck.

So
one bright day these Rhodesians brought death to the terrorists
in Zambia without harming a single Zambian civilian or soldier,
and they did it with incredible panache. How? Try this on for size:

"Tower,
this is Green Leader, this is the Rhodesian Air Force. We are now
in control of your airspace and no plane will land or take off until
further notice. Planes in the air will circle in a holding pattern
that we will assign. We will give you further instructions as we
proceed." Green Leader was the code name of the Rhodesian air
commander who simply took control of the airspace over Lusaka and
despite the Zambians having an air force that included Mig 17 interceptors
(the equal of the Rhodesian's Hawker Hunters) those folks got real
wise real fast and froze in place. Green Leader and his small force
of Hunters effectively neutralized the Zambian armed forces for
several long critical hours. (For a live transmission of this communication,
there is actually a
tape of it available on the web
.)

Meantime,
back at the terrorist base camps, Armageddon. First, "Golf"
Bombs (homemade concussion bombs — very powerful) to daze those
already dozy characters, more strafing and bombing, then airborne
folks came in on helicopters with light infantry weapons to finish
them off. Paratrooper "Stop Groups" were dropped further
out from the target area and sealed off escape from the base camps.
Few terrorists were able to escape. Thousands of "Terrs"
as they were called, would butcher no more civilians and chant no
more communist slogans. They had been wiped out without ever raising
any effective resistance at all. When the raid was complete, tons
of firearms and munitions were airlifted back to Rhodesia or blown
up. When the assault forces had completed their work, Green Leader
calmly and politely returned control of the Zambian air space back
to Zambia!

Zambian
zeal for the terrorist cause was somewhat dampened by this, as one
might well imagine! Bombing the Zambians would have made them angry
and they would have called for revenge and it could well have spiraled
into that many more deaths. Instead, the Zambian government got
a revealing look at their own vulnerability without suffering the
indignity (and casualties) of an all-out attack. As for the terrorists?
They were the devil's problem after that.

It
should be noted that photographs of the camps and the weaponry seized
there were made available to the western press but were ignored.
The LA Times spoke of an attack by Rhodesian mercenaries
on a refugee camp. Does the media have a leftist agenda? You be
the judge.

The
Rhodesians were able to strike this blow because they knew perfectly
well that they were fighting for survival and that could be attained
only by making the best possible use of their military. They were
minding their own business and not intervening in the affairs of
others, and even in their most awesome displays of force were careful
to target only the guilty and limit so called "collateral damage."
There was no antiwar movement in Rhodesia. Fathers, sons, and even
grandfathers (Dad's Army) did their call-ups in the army or police
reserve.

The
terrorist enemy, on the other hand, followed the tried and true
communist tactic of striking civilians, black and white; torture
and mutilation were their stock and trade. Is it unfair to ask why
the American government supported those people?

The
Rhodesians eventually went down, betrayed at last in their naiveté
by their "friends" in the British commonwealth. Although
by then the country was under the aegis of a bi-racial government
led by the Bishop Abel Muzarewa, this was not enough for the international
community. So called "peace-keeping" forces from the Commonwealth
kept a close eye on the Rhodesian forces while abandoning the helpless
villagers to the depredations and intimidation of the terrorist
forces — it was obvious when it was too late, that the door should
never have been opened to them. The socialist government of Britain,
like their more overtly communist allies, was only happy when the
thugs were running the show.

I
believe it is time to ask ourselves, as Americans, if we wish to
follow this path, and hand our civilization over to the third world
and forsake for ever the traditions of our western cultural heritage,
and sink like Rhodesia, into a mire of inefficiency, corruption
and brutality. It is the path we are on; it is the path down which
political correctness is leading us and it is the cherished dream
of our enemies that we should do so. Why Americans are throwing
their freedom at the feet of a government that is leading us down
that path is beyond me and sometimes I fear that ultimately we have
just betrayed too many friends, murdered too many unborn babies,
and stuck our noses into too many places where we had no business,
and that perhaps the good Lord has finally just given us over to
our own depravity.

There
is an answer of course. There is no rule set in stone that says
we must capitulate to the left, that we must answer only to those
whose policies are those of savage and depraved beasts.

Every
wicked agenda has an ultimate goal — to see where America is heading
you have only to look to modern day Zimbabwe, where once there were
moderation and good manners, and now there is epidemic, starvation
and depravity.

Why
do we as Americans act against our own best interests? Why do we
allow ourselves to be ruled by the left wing press and outright
criminals like Ted Kennedy, John McCain and Bill Clinton? Why is
a man like George Bush, whose dream is to throw open our borders
to the riff raff of the world considered a hero by so many? I say
to you that we can still repent of our evil and foolish ways; that
we can still restore our society and dismantle the apparatus of
empire, but it will take commitment and integrity. We will have
to stop murdering our children and nurturing the worst elements
in our culture, and I suppose that is just too much to ask. It would
be inconvenient, and inconvenience is more than we are willing to
put up with in this postmodern Dark Age in which we find ourselves.

February
13, 2002

Mr. Peirce [send
him mail
] fought with the Rhodesian freedom fighters (the Ian
Smith side, of course).

Michael
Peirce Archives

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