Riots and protest demonstrations

Michael Pugliese debsian at SPAMpacbell.net
Fri Dec 31 15:27:28 MST 1999



Sol Dollinger wrote:
...>A short
> time ago the Marines staged an invasion in >two California  cities.  (It
is
> strange that these events drew no outcry  >from a docile  public)  Oakland
> and Monterey were invaded by soldiers that ran up to the beaches from
> hovercraft...
    Given Sol's long service in the class struggle, I'll put that down to
the Southern California media ignoring or belittling, Northern
California protests.(The Northern and Southern regions of Ca. have a long
rivalry, and people from the North and South commonly are disparaging about
the political culture of the other. There was even a ballot initiative to
split the state into three states.) There were many, militant protestors of
the USMC, "Urban Warrior"
counter-insurgency training exercises that Mayor Jerry Brown welcomed to
Oakland.
(BTW, Jerry's actions and rhetoric against the protestors, probably had a
small part in heightening the anger of the protestors. In a past existence,
when I was still a bit of a Democratic party fool (Harrington/Schactman
"realignment" strategy bla, bla) I'd done a little work for Brown's bid to
be chair of the California Democratic party, which he won, early 90's. And
the one time I've seen Noam Chomsky in person giving a talk, in Berkeley,
Jerry was in the front row. Nothing against Zen
Buddhism, of coarse, but, the punk band the
"Dead Kennedy's" had a great lyric about Brown when he was Governor of
California, after Reagan. Called him a, "Zen Fascist" in the song
"California Uber Alles" on the album with "Holiday In Cambodia" "Let's Lynch
The Landlord" and other punk classics.
   Anyway, here is some cut and paste from the San Francisco Bay Guardian
from the left, and the Moonie rag, "Insight" magazine (Washington Times)
about Urban Warrior. Gives a different twist to the New Left slogan about
bringing the war home.
                                 Michael Pugliese

Subject: Urban Warrior Advanced Warfighting Experiment
March 10, 1999

One nation under guard
The Marine Corps is making plans to take over U.S. cities during popular
insurrections. They're practicing in Oakland next week.
By Gar Smith
FORGET THE MIDDLE EAST. Forget Kosovo. The United States Marine Corps is
convinced that its next major invasion may take place on the west coast of
the United States.
That's right: the marines are preparing to put down an insurrection in a
major American city -- say, San Francisco, or Seattle, or Los Angeles.
They'll be practicing in Oakland March 15-18.
The marines say the exercise, dubbed Urban Warrior Advanced Warfighting
Experiment, is designed to teach the armed forces how to distribute
humanitarian aid to a big city after a disaster. But a Bay Guardian review
of hundreds of pages of military documents, obtained through public records
requests, from the Marine Corps' Web site, and from the Alameda County
Public Library, reveals a very different mission.
Also in this issue:


Sending in the troops
East Bay city leaders rush to approve Urban Warrior over protests from
neighbors and environmentalists
Disturbing the peace
This isn't the first time the military has practiced war games in U.S.
cities
Stop the Urban Warrior invasion
The Marine Corps' plans for the invasion reveal that Urban Warrior is
designed to give marines practice in seizing control of urban areas --
including taking over food and water supplies, utilities, and communications
systems. And statements and articles by military leaders suggest that the
armed forces are preparing themselves to contain popular uprisings --
including uprisings in U.S. cities.
The use of military troops to quell civilian unrest is not unprecedented.
But Urban Warrior represents a dramatic escalation in the potential use of
the military on American soil -- and nobody in the local or national news
media seems to have noticed.
Though San Francisco is no longer slated to serve as the marines'
laboratory, the Oakland political establishment, led by Mayor Jerry Brown,
is rolling out the red carpet for the troops. Four days of mock fighting,
including the firing of 24,000 blank rounds, have been scheduled to take
place at Oakland's abandoned Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. The guns will open
fire at 7:30 in the morning and continue for seven hours at a stretch.
Over the course of five days Urban Warrior vehicles are expected to consume
18,063 gallons of fuel and generate 1.21 tons of air pollution. The nitrous
oxides produced would be 3.4 times greater than the Bay Area Air Quality
Management District's "significant threshold." (Those figures don't include
air pollution from fuel-inefficient military aircraft, since the Marine
Corps' environmental assessment ruled that its exhaust gases would not fall
into the urban "mixing zone.") During Urban Warrior's grand finale at Oak
Knoll March 18, marines will discharge 60 smoke bombs and 8,000 rounds of
blanks in a single hour.
Three-block war
When the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) first proposed
staging Urban Warrior inside San Francisco's Presidio National Park last
year, it described a three-day exercise involving 200 to 300 marines. By
January the exercise included five ships, 6,000 sailors and marines, fighter
jets, helicopters, and four days of simulated combat. National Park Service
officials decided the event had grown too large and pulled the plug.
In an effort to save the Presidio invasion, Gen. Charles C. Krulak (who
founded the Urban Warfighting Laboratory in 1995) wrote an op-ed in the San
Francisco Examiner appealing to San Franciscans to rally 'round the flag and
allow the attack to proceed. Krulak offered a rather implausible pretext for
exploding thousands of rounds of blanks inside a U.S. city.
"Marines will be transported to the Presidio, where they will provide
humanitarian assistance to 'victims' of an assumed natural disaster," Krulak
wrote. " 'Rebel' elements opposed to the operation will then arrive. The
situation will deteriorate into conflict." Krulak didn't explain why
"rebels" would be opposed to humanitarian assistance in the wake of a
natural disaster.
"Humanitarian relief" effort involves marines handing out "food, water, and
diapers" to paid actors performing from a prepared script, Urban Warrior
press representative Col. Mark Thiffault told the Bay Guardian. But
Thiffault conceded that "humanitarian assistance is not the primary goal.
We're doing it so we can figure out how to do urban warfare."
A review of hundreds of pages of documents regarding Urban Warrior exercises
around the country and in the Bay Area reveals no plans for providing
humanitarian assistance. The actual goal of the operation is clearly stated:
it is to "penetrate," "thrust," and "swarm" into urban settings to seize
power plants, TV and radio stations, and food and water supplies, to
suppress any local opposition -- and ultimately to control the cities.
Urban Warrior strategists envision a "future battlefield" defined by
stateless war in an urban terrain, against threats including "criminals with
computers" and "terrorists searching for weapons of mass destruction."
(Curiously, they don't have them; they are merely searching for them.)
Marine Corps documents explain that the Bay Area operation will pit "an
enhanced Combat Operations Center ... against a well-trained, well-equipped
opposing force with the capability to detonate WMD [a biochemical 'weapon of
mass destruction'] in an urban environment."
While the planners of Urban Warrior gloss over the purported humanitarian
work, the experiment's war-fighting components are proudly detailed.
Helicopters will hover 1000 feet above the ground. Humvees, light armored
vehicles, and five-ton trucks will add to the din. Monstrous 88-ton,
88-foot-long hovercraft, each big enough to carry four M1A1 tanks, will move
supplies and vehicles from ships to shore. Over the course of the five-day
exercise, Urban Warrior's 1,500-member force would subject East Bay
residents to 14 waves of hovercraft landings, more than 40 aircraft
overflights, and the detonation of 60 "flashbang" grenades and 24,000 rounds
of blanks.
The purpose of all this disruption is to hone soldiers' skills in fighting
what is known as "the three-block war." The strategies practiced in Urban
Warrior experiments are designed for capturing and holding modern cities
dense with high-rises.
"Urban terrain offsets many of the strengths in the traditional American way
of war," Urban Warrior documents report. They go on to state that the
effectiveness of satellites is severely reduced, rubble from buildings lends
the defender a strategic advantage, and massive numbers of civilians are
likely to get caught in the crossfire.
Urban troops should rely on the "opportune use of indigenous resources," the
documents state. "Developing our ability to effectively forage for power,
water, and fuel may provide a significant reduction in the logistics
requirement on the seabases."
Unfortunately, such foraging would mean seizing resources from the
indigenous population. But that can have its own advantages. To gain
"leverage in establishing control over the urban environment," Urban
Warriors are advised to seize power plants, water plants, and food storage
and distribution centers. Another section of the Urban Warrior game plan is
more direct, recommending operations "designed to collapse essential
functions."
Urban canyons
To enter cities in real-life warfare, the marines plan to use existing
underground passageways, including underground transit systems like BART and
sewer and utility tunnels. "Sewer and underground utility systems offer one
of the most clandestine avenues for penetrating the urban environment,"
Urban Warrior documents state. Special troops equipped with air-quality
sensors would slither through city sewers and utility tunnels on special
sleds and trolleys to reach strategic positions. (As a practical matter, the
Urban Warrior invasion plan warns, the "firing of conventional weapons in an
environment with a high methane content may pose unacceptable risk.")
Marines may also enter from above. The documents envision marines deftly
maneuvering through cities via paragliders, parachutes, and powered
parafoils.
To fight in the spaces between skyscrapers, which the marines refer to as
"urban canyons," the 21st-century marine is being trained to move up the
sides of buildings like a human fly and skitter from one high-rise to
another on rope webs and cable suspension bridges.
The military has developed special weapons to enable U.S. forces to shoot
over the tops of skyscrapers, firing on enemy troops hiding on adjacent
streets. Other weapons blast holes through steel-reinforced concrete to
destroy the inhabitants of a specific room deep inside a high-rise.
Self-loading automated weapons systems can be left parked in intersections
or within buildings, controlled and fired by gunners sitting in front of
computer screens on ships floating safely 12 miles offshore.
Urban Warrior's conceptual experimental framework (CEF) treats civilians and
noncombatants as bothersome inconveniences and logistical nuisances.
"Noncombatants and refugees may be as formidable a factor as the urban
infrastructure," the CEF states. "Refugees are likely to clog roads, inland
waterways, airfields, and ports as well as presenting commanders with
humanitarian support issues."
A section addressing crowd control contains photos depicting helmeted
military police with shields and truncheons surrounding an armored personnel
carrier as it rolls toward a crowd of angry, unarmed civilians.
The marines hope to deal with these crowds using such "non-lethal" weapons
as exploding nets, nausea-inducing ultrasound weapons, blinding laser
lights, incapacitating (and potentially asphyxiating) sticky foams, and
quick-drying substances that can be used to seal doorways, windows, pipes,
and "subterranean avenues of approach." The vast majority of these
technologies, the CEF states, were developed for local police to handle the
antiwar and civil rights protests of the 1960s.
This kind of fighting is notable not for its humanitarian ends but for its
high body count. "Urban fighting has always been one of the most destructive
forms of warfare," wrote Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales Jr., the commandant of
the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., in the October 1998
issue of the Armed Forces Journal. "In the Vietnam War, the numbers of
Marines killed in the battle for Hue exceeded the losses in WWII's
amphibious assault on Okinawa."
Close to home
While Urban Warrior's promoters say such exercises train marines to enter
foreign trouble spots, military documents challenge that assertion. There
are few 15-story urban canyons in third world cities. And the photographs in
Urban Warrior's strategic documents portray targets much closer to home --
Seattle, Miami, San Diego, New York City, and San Francisco.
In a rare reference to non-Western countries, the conceptual framework
points out that urban warfare is fundamentally unsuited to most cities in
the developing world. "The squalor and highly inflammable nature of building
materials within many non-Western urban areas -- coupled with the wide use
of propane or natural gas for heating and services -- creates a risk of
catastrophic fire," the document states.
Meanwhile, plans are afoot to increase the military's power in the event of
a national emergency. Earlier this year a disturbing proposal to commission
a supreme military commander to take charge in the event of a "terrorist
threat" received a favorable nod from the White House. A Jan. 28 story in
the New York Times reported that "The Pentagon has decided to ask President
Clinton for the power to appoint a military leader for the continental U.S.
because of what it sees as a growing threat of major terrorist strikes on
U.S. soil."
The Times reported that "top White House officials have reacted favorably,"
despite concerns from civil libertarians that "such military power could
slowly expand to threaten the privacy, liberty, and lives of private
citizens."
The U.S. Marine Corps document "Why Urban Warrior?" suggests that foreign
terrorists aren't the only domestic threat the military is readying itself
to address.
According to Urban Warrior strategists, approximately 85 percent of the
world's population will live in cities by 2025, and these cities will
contain "all the classic ingredients for conflict. There will be social,
cultural, religious, and tribal strife between different groups. Many areas
will have scarce resources, including the most basic ones like food and
shelter. As populations grow and resources shrink even further, the chances
for conflict will naturally grow with it."
In a January article in Armed Forces Journal International, Col. James A.
Lasswell, head of experimental operations for the MCWL, puts it even more
directly: "There will be widespread economic problems and cultural, ethnic,
and tribal tensions, many caused by wave after wave of immigration."
In another issue of the same publication, Major General Scales minces no
words about the military's role in urban warfare in the decades ahead: to
fight on behalf of the rich and against the poor.
"The future urban center will contain a mixed population, ranging from the
rich elite to the poor and disenfranchised," he writes. "Day-to-day
existence for most of the urban poor will be balanced tenuously on the edge
of collapse. With social conditions ripe for exploitation, the smallest tilt
of unfavorable circumstance might be enough to instigate starvation,
disease, social foment, cultural unrest, or other forms of urban violence.
"The enormous problems of infrastructure and the demand for social services
that threaten to swamp governing authorities in the urban centers of
emerging states will most likely worsen," Scales predicts. "Moreover, the
proximity of the disenfranchised to the ruling elite provides the spark for
further unrest and sporadic violence."
Spokesperson Thiffault volunteered that the marines have no plans to take
over U.S. cities.
For all the frightening clarity of the military's plans, the documents leave
one vital question unanswered. Urban Warrior proposes nothing but open-ended
battles for urban terrain. What happens after the marines swarm ashore and
successfully seize a city? At what point would they stop blasting holes in
the urban infrastructure?
"That's one of the difficult points," Thiffault said. "When do we get out?
Who defines how we get out?" He didn't offer any answers.

Gar Smith covered antiwar organizing and the military for the Berkeley Barb.
He is now editor in chief (on sabbatical) of Earth Island Journal (winner of
the Alternative Press Award for best scientific and environmental reporting
for 1997 and 1998). He is the winner of three Project Censored reporting
awards.

More from the San Francisco Bay Guardian package of stories by Gar Smith on
Urban Warrior counter-insurgency training exercises

According to Urban Warrior strategists, approximately 85 percent of the
world's population will live in cities by 2025, and these cities will
contain "all the classic ingredients for conflict. There will be social,
cultural, religious, and tribal strife between different groups. Many areas
will have scarce resources, including the most basic ones like food and
shelter. As populations grow and resources shrink even further, the chances
for conflict will naturally grow with it."

In a January article in Armed Forces Journal International, Col. James A.
Lasswell, head of experimental operations for the MCWL, puts it even more
directly: "There will be widespread economic problems and cultural, ethnic,
and tribal tensions, many caused by wave after wave of immigration."

In another issue of the same publication, Major General Scales minces no
words about the military's role in urban warfare in the decades ahead: to
fight on behalf of the rich and against the poor.

"The future urban center will contain a mixed population, ranging from the
rich elite to the poor and disenfranchised," he writes. "Day-to-day
existence for most of the urban poor will be balanced tenuously on the edge
of collapse. With social conditions ripe for exploitation, the smallest tilt
of unfavorable circumstance might be enough to instigate starvation,
disease, social foment, cultural unrest, or other forms of urban violence.

"The enormous problems of infrastructure and the demand for social services
that threaten to swamp governing authorities in the urban centers of
emerging states will most likely worsen," Scales predicts. "Moreover, the
proximity of the disenfranchised to the ruling elite provides the spark for
further unrest and sporadic violence."

Spokesperson Thiffault volunteered that the marines have no plans to take
over U.S. cities.

For all the frightening clarity of the military's plans, the documents leave
one vital question unanswered. Urban Warrior proposes nothing but open-ended
battles for urban terrain. What happens after the marines swarm ashore and
successfully seize a city? At what point would they stop blasting holes in
the urban infrastructure?

"That's one of the difficult points," Thiffault said. "When do we get out?
Who defines how we get out?" He didn't offer any answers.
    End of S.F. Bay Guardian story
........................................................................
>From the right-wing, "Moonie", Washington Times, see how Congressman Bob
Barr gets cited, Barr is a John Birch Society posterchild, and is an ex-CIA
analyst and prosecutor :

Vol. 15, No. 41 -- November 8, 1999

Published Date October 15, 1999, in Washington,D.C.,"Insight"
SundayMagazine
Deadly Force and Individual Rights
By Kelly Patricia O'Meara

U.S. special-operations military units are participating in civilian
law-enforcement activities within the United States, raising questions of
legality and ultimate purpose.

ix years after the siege on Mount Carmel, citizens and lawmakers alike are
angry and shocked about details now unfolding concerning the raid that left
75 Branch Davidians dead. Allegations that military personnel were present
and participated in the raid on the Davidian compound raise serious
questions about mingling of military and civilian forces in direct violation
of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which forbids such deployment.
. . . . Just one day after the siege at Waco, Texas, ended in a fiery
horror, President Clinton gave the American people a glimpse of what to
expect. The government could not be responsible for "the fact that a bunch
of fanatics decided to kill themselves," he said. The commander in chief
then warned that "there is, unfortunately, a rise in this sort of fanaticism
across the world. And we may have to confront it again."
. . . . The tragedy at Waco by no means is the first or only example of
violations of Posse Comitatus, but it does underscore the volatile cocktail
that can result from mixing special-operations troops and civilian law
enforcement. Separation of civilian and military forces long has been an
American tradition, but under the guise of the "war on drugs" and the "war
on terrorism," Congress in the last two decades has enacted piecemeal
legislation allowing military intervention in civilian law enforcement,
which many believe violates the intent, if not the letter, of the law.
. . . . For instance, in 1981 Congress passed the Military Cooperation with
Law Enforcement Officials Act, which authorizes the military to "assist"
civilian police in enforcing of drug laws. In 1989 President Bush created
six regional joint task forces, or JTFs, within the Department of Defense,
or DOD, to coordinate military and police agencies in the drug war. And,
again in 1993, DOD and the Department of Justice signed a memorandum of
understanding enabling the military to transfer technology to state and
local police departments. The difference between the mission of civilian and
military forces in this context is remarkable. Civilian law-enforcement
personnel are trained to deal with situations occurring locally on the city,
county or state level. They are trained to consider the individual rights of
the citizen, regardless of the severity of the crime, and use of force is a
measure of last resort. On the other hand, the mission of the military is
national security. Troops are trained to concentrate deadly force on an
enemy.
. . . . Furthermore, says a law-enforcement official who asked not to be
identified, the distinction between the two forces rarely is understood by
the general population. "Police don't have rules of engagement," he says.
"They have a use-of-force policy. Every law-enforcement officer, office,
agency or department in the United States lives by the same use-of-force
policy. That is, police may use force only to the level necessary to
neutralize a situation and may use deadly force only to protect themselves
or the lives of others," he says.
. . . . Whatever term is applied, the fact remains that U.S. troops are
participating in civilian law-enforcement activities inside the United
States. Often the outcome is frightening and, as in the case of the raid on
the Branch Davidians, can be disastrous. Nonetheless, special-operations
military units, such as the 160th Special Ops group (also known as Delta
Force) out of Fort Campbell, Ky., which has been implicated in the attack at
Waco, for years have been training in U.S. cities for the possibility of
"terrorist activities."
. . . . Training exercises known as Military Operations in Urban Terrain, or
MOUT, have been carried out in dozens of cities throughout the United
States. Residents of Charlotte, N.C., Pittsburgh, Houston and Chicago are
among those who have been awakened in the dead of night by hundreds of
military troops rappelling from helicopters hovering at treetop level,
firing automatic weapons and exploding flash-bang and smoke grenades.
. . . . Col. Bill Darley, a spokesman for DOD, tells Insight that "these
exercises are not law-enforcement missions. They're secret combat activities
for very explicit purposes such as scenarios involving recovery of a weapon
of mass destruction, incidents of terrorism and hostage rescue. The
activities would be approximating the same situation as in a foreign
country. We conduct these large-scale exercises in the Southern states as
make-believe foreign countries. Charlotte, N.C., for example, could be
Paris, Munich or any other built-up urban area outside the United States."
. . . . Darley continues, "What we're talking about is close-quarter combat.
People engaged in shooting at each other. It's war gaming in the same way
that troops prep for war gaming overseas. It's just easier to arrange the
activities here than overseas. We arrange these exercises well in advance
with the local officials, police and fire departments, and we do our best to
go door-to-door notifying residents that there will be loud noises and so
on."
. . . . Pat McCrory, the mayor of Charlotte, says that he is unaware of
anyone going "door-to-door" to notify his residents about the exercises and
that he came away from the experience with an entirely different take on the
urban-warfare training that occurred in his city two years ago. According to
McCrory, "They basically misled us. They weren't up-front about the extent
of the exercise. I had people calling me at home and I could barely hear
them for the noise in the background. We literally had residents that were
so frightened they were ready to pull out their guns."
. . . . "If an accident had happened," the mayor continued, "I would have
had a tough time living with myself because I didn't ask enough questions of
them when they first came to us about the exercise. Even my own police
department and city manager were caught off guard and unaware of the extent
of the operations. It took a few minutes before we realized this was the
'small exercise' the Army had planned. There were between 15 and 20
helicopters hovering above condominium buildings shooting automatic weapons.
The noise and disruption were incredible."
. . . . Steven Barry, a 24-year veteran of Army Special Forces, is
well-acquainted with urban-warfare training and not surprised by the secrecy
surrounding it. "The official story put out by the Army is that they're
running out of training areas. For the last couple of years they've been
looking for old run-down buildings in cities for training. They never inform
the public about what they're doing and, contrary to what is said, the
gunfire residents are hearing is real. Delta Force doesn't train with
blanks. They rely on bullet traps set up weeks ahead of time to avoid
outside penetration of the gunfire. The reason the exercises are secret is
because it's Delta Force. They operate outside the hierarchy of command and
get their orders from the top. They've been called the president's army for
a long time, and they don't move without his blessing."
. . . . "It's a slippery slope," warns GOP Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, "toward
the militarization of civilian law enforcement. There isn't a more
fundamental issue in our society than keeping civilian law enforcement
separate from the military. The line was completely blurred at Waco, and
because Posse Comitatus has never been prosecuted, this will be one of the
most important areas of the upcoming hearings on Waco."
. . . . The lawmaker is equally troubled by the effort to turn military
troops into the world's police. "There's more than enough money and
equipment provided to the military for urban-warfare training," says Barr.
"Our military has its hands full around the world and is being forced to
operate on very tight budgets. Now we're adding the extra burden and saying,
'Let's spend more money so they can train domestically in police
operations.' This only diminishes their true mission."
. . . . Adding to concern about military troops becoming active in civilian
law enforcement is a 1994 survey that is very big among Internet conspiracy
theorists. The poll asked 300 troops at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat
Training Center, Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif., "if they would fire upon U.S.
citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the U.S.
government." While the majority responded they "strongly disagreed," the
author of the thesis and designer of the survey questions, Lt. Cmdr. Guy
Cunningham, was surprised that 26 percent of those surveyed indicated they
indeed would fire upon their fellow citizens. This is being taken as another
sign that attitudes are changing and that the mission of the U.S. military
forces has become blurred.
. . . . Darley says, "We're doing about 20 of these exercises a year," and
adds the bizarre notice that "the helicopters used in these exercises are
black. There is no external identification -- no flag or numbers. The
markings on them are internal to the command. Anyone looking at them would
not be able to tell if they are American helicopters or foreign."
. . . . It gets stranger, say critics. Should an accident occur or questions
be raised about the military's participation in incidents such as the one at
Waco, legislation recently passed as part of the DOD authorization bill
makes it possible for the secretary of defense to withhold the names or
personal information identifying "any member of the armed forces assigned to
an overseas unit, a sensitive unit, or a routinely deployable unit." Delta
Force falls within the "sensitive unit" category.
. . . . According to Darley, "The legislation is intended to protect the
service member and his or her family from security risks associated with
identifying information that may be available over the Internet." According
to Barry, "This law looks to specifically protect Delta Force. They're just
trying to shortstop things like Waco and situations in the future where
special forces are used."












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