The Previous cycle (35 years)
The previous cycle started with the conjunction in August 1947, then an outgoing square in December 1955, the opposition in April 1965 and the incoming square in September 1973 with the new cycle commencing in 1982. Did these dates co-incide with major transformations of social, political and economic structures ?
START OF NEW CYCLE
CONJUNCTION Aug 1946 to Aug 1948 (exact in August 1947)
If the focus for the 1982 cycle is the repositioning of Islam into the geopolitical arena and the seeding of fundamentalist terrorism, what focus did the previous cycle have? Did it in any way lay the ground for terrorism ? We shall start by examining the events around the cycle conjunction carefully checking events within a 10 degree orb between August 1946 and August 1948.
The world is just recovering from World War 2, the most lethal war in human history which killed around 60 million people, some 2.5% of the world’s population. It also featured the most appalling genocide in recorded history – the mass murder of 6 million Jews, and the total genocide figure in the war years may have been double that figure. The World was also only beginning to take on board the implications of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan two years earlier.
There is unquestionably much emphasis on the formation of new political, and economic structures (especially the UN) and strategic plans but there is one major development which without any doubt correlates with this cycle conjunction – the foundation of the state of Israel and the start of Palestinian and Arab attempts to prevent it happening or end it. But first we must deal with the establishment of the UN and the emergence of the Cold War.
UNITED NATIONS – ESTABLISHED
The formation of the United Nations get implemented exactly in this period. The UN officially came into existence in October 1945 upon ratification of the Charter by the five then-permanent members of the Security Council — France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States — and by a majority of the other 46 signatories. The first meeting of the then 51 nation General Assembly takes place in London in January 1946.
In Autumn 1946, just after the conjunction comes into orb, a UN committee votes to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to be the site of the UN headquarters. Around the same time the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) are established. On March 1 1947 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) begins operations. On April 7 1948 the World Health Organisation (WHO) is founded. In that same month the Organisation of American States (OAS), uniting the US with 20 other nations in the Americas, comes into existence. On June 18 1948 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopts its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On Aug 23 1948 the World Council of Churches (WCC) is formed in Amsterdam bringing together 147 Christian churches – its headquarters are later established in Geneva. This is an unprecedented number of new global institutions.
The UN’s first major action will be to make recommendations on an issue which over time will prove to be the most strategically explosive and the most long-lived geopolitical problem in its history to date – what will happen to Palestine ? (see below).
THE COLD WAR BEGINS – US INVESTMENT IN EUROPE
The USA’s delayed entry into World War 2 had played a major part in the defeat of Hitler and the Nazis. The US government recognised that if a war-torn and shattered Europe was left to pick itself up on its own it would adversely affect the US economy. Moreover without US involvement Communist Russia could take over more and more European countries. In this very period the US came up with the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. As this cycle advances so the US’s global activity against Communism will rise and fall.
EUROPE & THE IRON CURTAIN
In July 1946 the US lends Britain $3.75 billion. The money is expected to last three to five years but after 19.5 months Britain draws down the last $100 million. But the US is to go further than aiding its same language ally – it wants to invest in Europe as a whole. In September 1946 Winston Churchill makes a speech in Zurich in which he says: “If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance there would be no limit to the happiness, prosperity, and glory of which its 300 or 400 million people would enjoy.”
He thus adds to his famous ‘Iron curtain’ warning speech he had delivered earlier in the year by backing an idea that much later will go on to become a major world reality. However at this stage it is defence only that matters and in March 1948 France, Great Britain and Benelux sign the Treaty of Brussels, an early precursor of NATO.
TRUMAN DOCTRINE & MARSHALL PLAN
On March 12 1947 US President Truman outlines the Truman Doctrine of economic and military aid to nations threatened by Communism. The doctrine is intended to speed recovery of non-communist countries, in particular Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Turkey and to stop the spread of Soviet influence. It proves to be a major step in beginning the ‘Cold War’, a term actually coined the following month by financier and presidential confidant Bernard Baruch.
On June 5 1947 US Secretary of State George Marshall gives a major speech offering American aid to promote European recovery and reconstruction. Marshall argues that economic stability would provide political stability in Europe. The British and French are the first to accept though they agree that it would be necessary to invite the Soviets as the other major allied power. US State Department officials however know that Stalin would almost certainly not participate, and that in any case any plan involving sending large amounts of aid to the Soviets would be unlikely to be approved by Congress. Stalin initially says he is open to the offer but changes his outlook when he learns that credit would only be extended under non-negotiable conditions of economic cooperation. He has strong concerns about Czech and Polish eagerness to accept the aid. The Soviets reject the plan.
STALIN PREVENTS THE CZECHS AND POLES JOINING THE PLAN
On July 12 1947, a large meeting is convened in Paris with every European country invited, except Spain. The Soviet Union and states of the future Eastern Bloc are also invited and Czechoslovakia and Poland agree to attend. But the Czech foreign minister is summoned to Moscow and berated by Stalin for thinking of joining the Plan while the Polish PM capitulates and rejects the plan and other Eastern European countries follow suit.
The 16 nations meeting in Paris have to determine what form the American aid would take, and how it would be divided. The negotiations are long and complex. Each nation has different economic and political concerns. The US administration has to get the plan approved by Congress and so pushes hard the importance of free trade and European unity to form a bulwark against communism.
US VOTES $17 BILLION AID PLAN BOOSTING EUROPEAN OUTPUT
Agreement is eventually reached and the Europeans send a reconstruction plan to Washington. In the document the Europeans ask for $22 billion in aid but Truman in the bill he puts to Congress cuts this to $17 billion. The plan encounters sharp opposition in Congress but this is greatly reduced by the shock of the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in February 1948. On April 3 1948 Truman signs the Economic Cooperation Act into law. Later the 16 participating countries and the US sign an accord establishing a financial coordinating agency later called the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Soon after, a bill granting an initial $5 billion passes Congress with strong bipartisan support. A total of $12.4 billion is approved by Congress during the four years the Marshall Plan stays in operation. By the end of the plan every European participant state has surpassed pre-war output levels.
STALIN’S REPRESSION IN HUNGARY AND CZECH COUP D’ETAT
Meanwhile the Cold War is intensifying. With the rejection of participation in the Marshall Plan, Stalin moves to take stronger control over Eastern Bloc countries. An all-out repression in Hungary to suppress independent parties before the August elections is carried out and in Bulgaria a total annihilation of the opposition is instigated. Then on February 25 1948 the Communists seize power in Czechoslovakia in a coup d’etat. Two weeks later Jan Masaryk, the Czech anti-Communist foreign minister, is found dead in the courtyard of Czernin Palace in Prague – he had mysteriously fallen 45 ft from a window !
On 17 March 1948, President Harry S. Truman condemns the Soviet Union before a Joint Session of Congress. “The situation in the world today is not primarily the result of the natural difficulties which follow a great war,” Truman declares. “It is chiefly due to the fact that one nation has not only refused to cooperate in the establishment of a just and honourable peace but – even worse – has actively sought to prevent it.”
BERLIN AIRLIFT – RAF AND USAF SUPPLY BESIEGED CITY
Then on June 19 1948 the USSR blocks road access to Allied occupied West Berlin. Using 30 military divisions Soviet troops cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin. This prompts the US, following in the steps of Britain’s Royal Air Force, to organize the massive Berlin airlift. The US, Britain and France continue ferrying supplies to 2 million West Berliners until the Soviet barricades are finally lifted on May 12, 1949 (out of orb).
JEWISH TERRORISTS BLOW UP JERUSALEM HOTEL KILLING 92
On July 22 1946 , just before the conjunction comes into orb, Jewish extremists blow up a wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which houses British administrative offices. 92 people are killed including 28 Britons and many Arabs and Jews. The terrorists are members of a Zionist organization called Lehi (Lohamei Herut Israel) – earlier they had been known as the Stern Gang. Even by the pervasive bombing standards of today in say Iraq or Afghanistan this is a most lethal bombing. More significantly for this cycle, it appears from Wikipedia and other sources to have been the first major terrorist incident outside WW2 to have taken place since 1925 ! when Bulgarian Communists blew up the St. Nedelya Church in Sofia killing 150 people.
On January 12 the same Zionist terrorist group drives a truck bomb into a British police station killing 4 but injuring 140. There is of course the dramatic irony that as we progress through this cycle towards its end in 1982 it is terrorist attacks on Israel itself as we shall see that will predominate and that will introduce the contemporary world to widespread terrorism.
UN ADOPTS PALESTINE PARTITION PLAN
In May 1947, the United Nations creates the UN Special Committee on Palestine to find an immediate solution to the Palestine question, which the British had handed over to the UN. On 29 November 1947 the UN adopts a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of a Palestine Partition Plan This originally calls for the creation of two states, while Jerusalem and Bethlehem would be placed under UN control. Jewish leaders accept parts of the plan, while Arab leaders refuse. Soon after large-scale fighting breaks out between Jews and Arabs. Negotiations between a Jewish delegation and King Abdullah of Jordan make no headway.
THE STATE OF ISRAEL FOUNDED BY JEWISH COUNCIL
Then on May 14, 1948, the day on which the British Mandate over Palestine expires, the Jewish People’s Council approves a proclamation declaring the establishment of a Jewish state in Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. This triggers an Arab invasion – justified to the UN on the grounds that a breakdown of law and order in Palestine would spread into their territories. While King Abdullah of Jordan sends an Arab force to take temporary possession of the West Bank district, Egypt takes over the Gaza strip – Palestine effectively disappears off the map.
PALESTINIAN GOVERNMENT GETS NO NON-ARAB SUPPORT
As the cycle conjunction goes out of orb it is in Gaza that a Palestinian government is declared in September 1948 with Jerusalem to be its capital. Although recognised by many Arab states with the key exception of Jordan it is really a façade under Egyptian control and has negligible influence or funding and no non-Arab recognition. The actions and inactions of 1947 and 1948, especially the failed plan to have two states with the UN holding Jerusalem will powerfully echo across the whole of this 33 year cycle and indeed the following cycle. If the UN and the major powers and probably the Arab states had been able to foresee the longterm consequences of what they did or did not do at this point they would have been astounded by the immense historical legacy that has resulted and surely have wished to have acted otherwise. Only Israel’s government can look back and probably say how else could it have been done – though it is doubtful if all of Israel’s population would have agreed whether the continuing price of bloodshed across 65 years so far has been worth it
From 1848 until independence in 1962 Algeria was administered as an integral part of France. One of France’s longest-held overseas territories, Algeria became a destination for hundreds of thousands of European immigrants, though indigenous Muslims remain a majority of the territory’s population throughout its history. After World War 2 the demand for independence grew. However an overwhelming majority of French politicians were opposed to the idea. France became deadlocked and the Fourth Republic collapsed over this dispute.
NEW CALLS FOR INDEPENDENCE
In early 1946 the Democratic Union of the Algerian Manifesto (UDMA), calling for the creation of an independent Algeria, had been formed. In June UDMA had won 11 out of the 13 seats in the Constituent Assembly open to Algerians. In October 1946 another party calling for full independence, the Movement for the Triumph of Democratic Liberties (MTLD) emerges with its own paramilitary arm.
NEW ACT – FRENCH CITIZENSHIP BUT FEW MUSLIMS GET THE VOTE
On 27 August 1947, the French National Assembly approves the government-proposed Organic Statute of Algeria. The Act which introduces a new constitution replaces government by decree with a 120 member Algerian Assembly but maintains the two college electoral system. One House represents the 1.5 million European settlers and “meritorious” Muslims. and the other represents the remaining 8 million or more Muslims – highly restrictive voting qualifications lead to the majority of Muslims being excluded from the vote. All Algerian citizens are offered French citizenship of equal status to those of French origin. Muslim and Colonist deputies alike abstain or vote against the statute but for diametrically opposed reasons – the Muslims because it fell short of their expectations and the Colonists because it went too far.
On Oct 12 1947 General De Gaulle gives a speech saying that “any policy which would have the effect of reducing the rights and duties of France, here (in Algeria), or cause the French Moslems to think it would be permissible for them to one day separate their fate from that of France, would that not open the door to decline?… “
KASHMIR (INDIA & PAKISTAN)
PARTITION DISPLACES 12 MILLION, MOST COMPLEX IN KASHMIR
On 18 July 1947, the British Parliament passes the Indian Independence Act which finalizes arrangements for the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics into two independent dominions – the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. The latter is much later split into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The several hundred princely states are left free to choose which nation to accede to. The Partition displaces up to 12.5 million people with accompanying religious violence killing at least half a million people and sowing a mutual hostility between India and Pakistan that still sours their relationship. The partition line drawn between the two nations is particularly complicated and contentious in the Punjabi and Bengali areas of the country – the correlation for this cycle is with the Punjabi area – Kashmir and Jammu, generally referred to internationally as Kashmir.
SUNNI, SHIA, SIKH & HINDU DIVERSITY MAKES FOR CONFLICT
Here the ethnic and religious diversity makes the 1947 decision very difficult and subsequent inter-nation and local conflict almost inevitable. The majority of the population of both states live in the Kashmir Valley and are 98% Sunni Muslim. Elsewhere Jammu is 60% Hindu and its Ladakh district mostly Shia Muslim. In addition Kashmir, Ladakh and Peshawar have also been strongly Sikh areas – the months leading up to partition in 1947 are marked by heavy conflict in the Punjab between Sikhs and Muslims. In October 1947 the Hindu maharajah of Kashmir, being invaded by Islamic militants and Pakistani tribals, decides to join India – the accession, not recognized by Pakistan, leads to a war in May 1948.
UN CEASE-FIRE CALLS FOR A REFERENDUM – NEVER TO BE HELD
The war drags on for a year but on April 21 1948 a UN Resolution calls for an immediate cease-fire and calls on Pakistan to withdraw its forces. The resolution concludes that “the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the UN.” The ceasefire is not enacted till December 1948 (out of orb). The referendum has never been held !
The conjunction’s correlation with the ascendancy of Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China and the marginalisation of the nationalist Kuomintang is very close.
The 23 year long Chinese Civil war between the Kuomintang’s (KMT) brand of Nationalism and the Marxist Communist Party of China (CPC) reached its denouement in the last three years of the war (1947–1949) a period commonly known in mainland China as the ‘War of Liberation’ and in Taiwan as the ‘Nationalist-Communist Civil War’. When Japan was defeated at the end of World War 2 full scale civil war resumes in July 1946.
COMMUNISTS STRATEGY WEARS OUT KUOMINTANG ARMY
On 20 July 1946, just under one month before the cycle conjunction comes into orb, Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek launches a large-scale assault on Communist territory with 1.6 million troops. Knowing how disadvantaged they are in manpower and equipment, the CPC execute a ‘passive defense’ strategy avoiding the strong points of the KMT army. They also attempt to wear out the KMT forces as much as possible. They actually succeed in wiping out 1.12 million KMT troops, while their own strength grows to about 2 million men.
NORTH CHINA PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC FORMED
In March 1947, the KMT achieves a symbolic victory by seizing the CPC capital of Yenan. But on 30 June 1947 the Communists in different parts of China counter attack and by August 1948, as the conjunction goes out of orb, the CPC are clearly poised to seize control of the northern cities of Shenyang and Changchun. Notable for the 150,000 civilian deaths from starvation is the five month siege of nationalist Changchun by the Communist People’s Liberation Army started on May 23 1948. By September 1948 Chinese Communists have formed the North China People’s Republic.
FRENCH INDOCHINA WAR
In March 1946 Ho Chi Minh had been elected president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, a state proclaimed in its capital Hanoi by him as Viet Minh leader after the Japanese surrender at the end of World War 2. However the French re-occupied Hanoi and in December 1946 the French Indochina war follows. With troops under Ho Chi Minh launching widespread attacks on the French, on December 28 the French declare martial law throughout the country. On January 9 1947 the French General Leclerc breaks off all talks with Ho Chi Minh and even the Communist party of France leader declares support for French sovereignty
Possible correlations with Burma (Myanmar) – its gaining independence – and North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) – its birth – are not sustained.
OUT SQUARE Dec 1954 to Oct 1957 (exact in December 1955 and July & Oct 1956)
In what way were the social, political and economic structural changes introduced at the 1947 conjunction challenged or extended at the Out square ? We shall look carefully at the period mid December 1954 to end October 1957 when the Saturn/Pluto cycle quarter stage was in a ten degree orb
UNITED NATIONS – HUNGARY & SUEZ
On 4 Nov 1956 Russian troops and tanks attack Budapest and crush the Hungarian revolt under Premier Imre Nagy. Martial law is proclaimed and mass arrests follow. The UN General Assembly, by a vote of 50 in favour, 8 against and 15 abstentions, calls on the Soviet Union to end its Hungarian intervention – to withdraw its troops from Hungary and admit UN observers to the country. Russian forces do not withdraw and the plan for UN observers to enter the country is rejected by the newly established Kadar government. A Security Council motion is vetoed by the USSR.
On 7 November 1956 the first Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly takes place – it meets to discuss the Suez Canal crisis (see below). It calls for an immediate cease-fire and for the withdrawal of invading forces. It also establishes the first UN Emergency Force or UNEF. The call for withdrawal is heeded by Great Britain, France, and Israel – though it is US pressure that is pivotal. A Security Council call for Israel to withdraw from Egypt is vetoed by Britain and France.
THE COLD WAR SURGES – EASTERN EUROPE UPRISINGS PUT DOWN
THE WARSAW PACT COUNTERS ENLARGED NATO
On Feb 24 1955 the Baghdad Pact is founded by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and United Kingdom. Its aim is to resist Communist expansion in the Middle East. In March 1955 Soviet aid to Syria begins – Russia’s bond with Syria will stay in place for many decades. On May 9 West Germany joins NATO and begins rearming. On May 14 the Warsaw Pact, the Communist military counterpart to NATO, is founded in Eastern Europe – encompassing East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, and the Soviet Union. On May 15 Austria’s allied occupation ends and it becomes neutral. On July 18 President Eisenhower (US) Prime Minister Eden (UK), Premier Bulganin (USSR), and Prime Minister Faure (France), attend the Big Four Summit in Geneva. Their discussions on German re-unification are to fail.
HUNGARIAN REVOLT CRUSHED BY RUSSIAN TROOPS AND TANKS
On Feb 25 1956 new Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev delivers a speech “On the Personality Cult and its Consequences” at the closed session of the 20th Soviet Communist Party Congress. The speech marks the beginning of De-Stalinization. On April 17 Moscow dissolves the Cominform Communist information forum in a move toward reconciliation with the Western powers. On June 28 anti-communist protests in Poznań, Poland lead to violence with around 100 killed. On October 23 1956 the Hungarian Revolution takes place – Hungarians revolt against their Soviet dominated government but are crushed by 16 divisions of Russian troops and some 2,000 tanks and a hardline Communist government installed. Anti-government demonstrations in Budapest a week earlier had forced a reshuffling of the Hungarian government – meeting demands that the new government withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and seek liberation from Soviet domination. At the same time the Suez crisis in Egypt takes place (see below) and Communist insurgency begins in South Vietnam (see below).
SOVIET UNION CLAIMS MISSILE SUPERIORITY OVER USA
On January 5 1957 the Eisenhower doctrine commits the US to defending Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan from Communist influence. In the previous autumn the USSR had started sending military aid to Afghanistan. On October 1 the US Strategic Air Command initiates an all day all year round nuclear alert to warn of any surprise Soviet inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) attack. On November 7 President Eisenhower receives a report reviewing the nation’s defence readiness – it indicates that the US is falling far behind the Soviets in missile capabilities, and urges the building of fallout shelters to protect American citizens. On Nov 17 Soviet leader Khrushchev claims that the Soviet Union has missile superiority over the US and challenges America to disprove his assertion. The high level U2 spy plane is developed by the US at this time to check on Russian capability.
This period from November 1954 to November 1957 sees the Warsaw Pact established, the Hungarian uprising ruthlessly put down and a nuclear capability race between the superpowers emerge.
ISRAEL/PALESTINE – THE SUEZ CRISIS
If a unilateral declaration of statehood had characterised the cycle conjunction how is it challenged or extended ? The answer is through a truly international crisis. It is Egyptian President Nasser’s actions that will indirectly precipitate the first major crisis the Israeli government has to face since the state’s founding in 1948. Colonel (later General) Gamal Abdul Nasser had come to power in Egypt through a coup d’etat in 1952, overthrowing King Farouk and declaring a republic. On October 19 1954 Britain signed an agreement with Egypt on the phased evacuation of British troops from its Suez canal base. Under the terms of the treaty the Suez Canal Company is not due to revert to the Egyptian government until 1968.
NASSER BUILDS UP EGYPT’S FORCES WITH SOVIET ARMS
In 1954 not only is General Nasser seeking independence from Britain and trying to build up the economy by constructing a high dam at Aswan to irrigate the Nile valley, he is looking to build up Egyptian forces for a successful attack on Israel. To do this he needs a massive build up of arms. The US with its own influential Jewish population (over 5m) not surprisingly it finds it extremely difficult to sell arms to Egypt that might then be used against the Israelis. On 19 July 1955 the US informs the Egyptian government that it has decided not to provide funding for the construction of the Aswan dam. In September 1955 the news of Egypt’s purchase of a huge quantity of Soviet arms is greeted with shock and anger in the West.
NASSER NATIONALISES ANGLO-FRENCH SUEZ CANAL
On 26 July 1956, (2 July 1st Exact Out square), without warning President Nasser nationalises the Anglo-French Suez Canal Company, declaring that he would take the revenue from the canal to finance the Aswan dam. His speech contains a code word for the Egyptian army to seize control of the canal and implement the nationalization plan. In contravention of a number of international agreements Egypt closes the canal and the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping – effectively imposing a blockade on the Israeli port of Eilat.
FRENCH AND BRITISH DECIDE ON MILITARY ACTION
The nationalization of the Suez Canal hits British economic and military interests in the region hence PM Anthony Eden comes under immense domestic pressure from his party who draw direct comparisons between the events of 1956 and those of the capitulative Munich Agreement in 1938. He decides in favour of military intervention against Egypt. The French Premier Guy Mollet is also outraged by Nasser’s move. On July 29, 1956, the French Cabinet decides upon military action against Egypt in alliance with Israel – and Britain is invited to join if interested.
ISRAEL GIVEN MILITARY ROLE, US OPPOSES MILITARY ACTION
On Oct 24 1956 a secret meeting takes place outside Paris where Britain joins France in enlisting Israeli support for an alliance against Egypt. The parties agree that Israel would invade the Sinai peninsula. Britain and France would then intervene, purportedly to separate the warring Israeli and Egyptian forces, instructing both to withdraw either side of the canal. The British and French would then place it under Anglo-French management. The US meanwhile strongly favours a diplomatic resolution rather than any use of force. However the British, Washington’s closest ally, ignore President Eisenhower’s pointed warning that the American people would not accept a military solution.
ISRAEL RE-OPENS GULF BUT MASSACRES 49 PALESTINIANS
On October 29, (7 October 2nd exact Out Square) Israel launches its invasion of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Paratroopers under the command of Ariel Sharon drop into Sinai and in a week open the Straits of Tiran and occupy Sharm-el-Sheikh, reopening the Gulf of Aqaba. However on the same day at an Israeli Arab village Kafr Kassem Ion the border with the West Bank Israeli border guards enforcing a curfew massacre 49 Palestinians – the guards are later tried, found guilty and sentenced to prison. Ominously it will be one of the worst single incidents of Israeli shootings of Palestinians in its entire history
ANGLO-FRENCH ASSAULT ON SUEZ
On Oct 30 Britain and France issue ultimatums to both sides to stop the fighting immediately. The Israelis continue their operations, expecting an Egyptian counter-attack. Instead, Nasser’s army withdraws. On Oct 31 the Anglo-French assault on Suez is launched preceded by an aerial bombardment, which destroys the Egyptian Air Force. British and French paratroopers land at key points overcoming all Egyptian resistance then move eastwards towards Port Said.
UNDER UN & US PRESSURE ASSAULT IS ABORTED
On Nov 2 however the UN passes an American resolution for a ceasefire and for an emergency force to monitor the ceasefire. The UN Emergency Force (UNEF) will become the first ever ‘blue hat’ UN peacekeepers. Nevertheless on Nov 5 Britain and France start landing troops in Egypt during the fighting between Egyptian and Israeli forces around the Suez Canal. On November 6 under heavy pressure from the US and USSR Britain’s PM Anthony Eden calls French PM Guy Mollet to tell him that Britain is aborting the Egyptian operation. At midnight a cease-fire is called on the insistence of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld. The Anglo-French forces had reached El Cap, just south of Port Said, but were not yet in control of the entire canal when they were stopped. Militarily, the irony is that the operation was well on its way to being a great success.
BRITAIN’S STANDING & INFLUENCE DIMINISHED
Politically however, the intervention is a disaster. US President Dwight Eisenhower is incensed and US and world opinion antagonistic. Britain finds its standing with the US weakened and its influence ‘east of Suez’ diminished. By January 1957, Anthony Eden’s health is shattered and his political credibility damaged and he resigns as Prime Minister. Guy Mollet, the French prime minister, survives longer despite fierce criticism, but his government collapses in June 1957.
UNEF TAKES OVER OCCUPATION OF SINAI FROM ISRAEL
The real balance of power in the post WW2 world has been starkly demonstrated and Britain’s prestige has been dealt a severe blow. As to Israel, in March 1957 it withdraws its forces from Sinai, following strong pressure from the US and the Soviet Union and the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) takes over to prevent any military occupation of the Sinai. Israel’s military operation has proved its forces’ strength but it is clear that the state of war between it and Egypt has not gone away, that the Soviets can ensure Egypt’s forces in principle can match Israel’s and that the support of the region’s former colonial powers Great Britain and France can no longer be relied on. From here on Israel increasingly sees itself on its own and needing to ensure decisive military capability in the region.
Dissatisfaction among the Muslim population over their lack of political and economic status had fuelled calls for independence from France. Tensions between the two population groups come to a head in late 1954, when the first violent events begin.
FLN AND ALN DECIDE TO LAUNCH AN INSURRECTION
In October 1954, just before the Out Square comes into orb. the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the Army of National Liberation (ALN) are established and a decision is taken to launch an insurrection. The French Army in Algeria only numbers 56,000 and Algeria’s police force only 2,300 – for a population of 10 million, over three quarters of whom are indigenous Muslims. At this stage there are only some 500 FLN fighters – later there will be ten times as many, most based in Moroccan and Tunisian sanctuaries. There is also the leftist Mouvement National Algérien (MNA) which advocates a similar policy of violent revolution and total independence along with the Algerian Communist Party (PCA), soon to be allied to the FLN.
DAILY MURDERS OF COLONIALS & BOMBING OF MUSLIM AREAS
On Oct 31 the Prefect of the Algiers police alerts the military that an insurrection is imminent. Shortly before midnight the first bombs explode. An FLN announcement broadcast over Cairo’s Voice of the Arabs declares, “Algeria is returning to the fight for the freedom of Islam.” The first civilian and military casualties occur on November 1 – they are to be followed in 1955 to 1957 by almost daily murders of farmers and their families, police and other officials from the colonial class alongside bombings of cafes, restaurants, cinemas where the largely Muslim public gather. The murders are especially bloodthirsty – in many cases the victims have their throat cut and this often happens in front of whole families or even to whole families. There are numerous acts of sadistic torture and the most brutal violence against women and children. Only incidents which kill over 40 people are cited below. On Nov 12 French Premier Pierre Mendés France declares “The Algerian departments constitute a part of the French Republic. They are of an irrevocable character. Never will France, any Government, any French Parliament, yield on this fundamental principle.” However on February 6 1955 his government falls.
MAJOR BRUTAL CLASHES, FLN ISLAMIC PROHIBITIONS
By August 1955 the French Army in Algeria has been tripled in size to 145,000 men. On Aug 20 over a thousand FLN supporters attack Philippeville in Skikda – French troops kill 134 and wound 300 of the insurgents. On that day the FLN forces Muslim workers to participate in the massacre of nearly 40 Europeans at the El Halia mining camp. French troops sent to aid the survivors kill 83 of the assailants. Dozens of localities are attacked by the FLN – they cut the throats of 171 Frenchmen but at the end of the clash 500 rebels have been killed, 70 wounded and 1,000 taken prisoner. On Sept 24 new Premier Edgar Faure declares, “… Our goal has become the complete integration of Algeria.” On Nov 29 his government falls. On Dec 12 the FLN acts to enforce its edict banning Muslims from engaging in amusements. Later the prohibition extends to smoking, going to cinémas, cafes and schools and wearing European clothing. Bombs are set off in cinemas which are showing Arabic language films. (1st exact Out Square 27 December 1955)
On January 4 1956 sixty one members of the National Assembly, Algerian Assembly and French Union Assembly demand recognition as Algerian rather than French citizens and begin a boycott of their respective institutions. On Jan 8 the FLN kills 8 Europeans and 112 Muslims. On Jan 10 FLN rebels, acting on orders, massacre close on 1,000 Muslims in the southeast. On Jan 20 French infantry annihilate rebels in a battle near Arris in the northeast. In the first week of February FLN demonstrations turn into riots, shops are pillaged or burned and dozens of people killed. On Feb 5 an Algerian army post on the Moroccan border is attacked by a band of 150 uniformed rebels – the garrison is annihilated.
FLN OUTLINES CONDITIONS FOR SETTLEMENT
On Feb 7 the FLN outlines its conditions for a settlement at a press conference in Cairo – recognition of the principle of Algerian independence, formation of an Algerian government by negotiation and no statute of privilege for Europeans living in Algeria. In March Morocco and Tunisia gain independence from France but the French government has no intention of that happening with Algeria. On March 8 French paratroopers trap a company of Tirailleurs Algériens who deserted their post near Constantine after slitting the throats of their European officers – 126 deserters are killed. On March 9 10,000 Muslim demonstrators riot in Paris – police arrest 2,300 and seize arms. On March 12 the National Assembly grants special powers giving the Army carte blanche to deal with terrorists. On March 16 a curfew is imposed in Algiers.
REBEL ATTACKS BECOME BARBARIC
On April 6 a huge battle with 400 combatants on each side in the northeast ends in a stalemate. On April 10 a FLN ambush and French counter attack leaves 120 rebels and 20 French soldiers dead. On April 12 French diplomats begin secret contacts with the FLN in Cairo. On April 14 rebels enter a village in Great Kabilye despite fierce resistance. There Sheikh Hadj Mouhab, a venerable religious personage is tortured before his throat is cut in front of the inhabitants. Five members of the Sheikh’s family suffer similar fates. On April 24 rebels slit the throats of 70 Muslims in attacks on Berber villages.
ARMY ARRESTS THOUSANDS OF SUSPECTED FLN
On May 4 a general strike organized by the FLN and MNA is observed by most Muslims in France along with Communists. On May 7 rebels murder 20 French farmers while elsewhere another 40, mostly Muslims, are killed and 16 soldiers massacred. On May 8 rebels attack 46 villages in Constantine. On May 16 an operation between Setif and Oran ends with the annihilation of 89 rebels. On May 18 twenty one conscripts are ambushed in the Setif area – their mutilated bodies are later recovered. On May 19 the army kills 53 rebels while the FLN kills 17 Muslims. On May 26 a midnight army operation involving 6,000 men is launched in the Algiers Casbah. 4,480 suspected FLN sympathizers are arrested – 472 later released.
FRENCH ARMY NOW 400,000 , EXECUTIONS LEAD TO REPRISALS
On June 7 in France some 2,000 demonstrators attempt to block the departure of conscripts from the railway station at Le Havre. On June 12 rebels attack a mosque near Setif where they cut the throats of 22 men from local villages. On June 19 two FLN terrorists are guillotined at Barberousse prison in Algiers – in reprisal the FLN kill 49 Europeans. On June 22 comes the first strike on Algiers as three buildings in the Casbah are blown up. (2nd Exact Out Square 2 July 1956) On 31 July 139,000 reinforcements arrive in Algeria to boost French army numbers to nearly 400,000. On Aug 17 President René Coty declares, “France will not abandon the loyal population of Algeria to a minority of cutthroats.”
BATTLE OF ALGIERS
To increase international and domestic French attention to their struggle, the FLN decides to bring the conflict to the cities. The most notable manifestation of this campaign is the Battle of Algiers, which begins on September 30. when the FLN plant bombs at La Cafétéria, the Milk Bar and the Air France terminal in Algiers killing 11. (2nd Exact Out Square 7 October 1956) On Oct 22 an Air Maroc plane carrying FLN Chiefs of Staff including Ben Bella, the future Algerian President, on a flight to Tunis is forced to land at Algiers where they are arrested. The remaining leaders decide to harden their stance. On Oct 29 French Premier Guy Mollet calls for a ceasefire in Algeria and proposes the introduction of a single electoral college.
ARMY GETS POLICE POWERS, ALGIERS RAID ARRESTS 1,500
November is dominated by grenade attacks – on Nov 13 FLN grenade attacks on buses and department stores in Algiers injure 58 people. On Dec 4 the French Government dissolves the departmental General Councils and municipalities in Algeria. On Jan 7 1957 the Prefect of Algiers confers full police powers on General Massu and in a massive raid on the Algiers Casbah French paratroopers arrest 1,500 suspected terrorists, all but destroying the FLN infrastructure in Algiers. On Jan 20 similar arrests take place in France. On Jan 28 the FLN launches an unlimited general strike in Algeria but the Army raids the homes of striking public services workers forcibly taking them to their jobs, forcing merchants to open their businesses and stores. On Jan 29 some 170 militants are killed near the borders. The FLN carries out hundreds of shootings and bombings throughout the spring of 1957. On March 15 supporters of Pierre Mendes France introduce legislation in the Chamber of Deputies calling for the partition of Algeria.
MORE BRUTALITIES AS 4th FRENCH GOVERNMENT RESIGNS
On May 21 the Government of French Premier Guy Mollet falls. On May 26 the former Vice President of the Algerian Assembly, is killed while seated beside President René Coty during the French Football Cup final at the Stade de Colombes in Paris. His assassin, is arrested and sentenced to life. On May 28 FLN rebels massacre the inhabitants of a Muslim hamlet in Kabylia – 300 people are killed and 150 wounded. On May 29 the FLN attacks the city of Melouza near Setif, a stronghold of the rival MNA. The raiders cut the throats of, and reportedly emasculate, 338 Muslims. On May 30 eighty men from certain rebel factions are gunned down south of Oran by rival terrorists. June 1957 is dominated by bombings with dozens of deaths every week. On July 25 three more FLN terrorists are executed at the Algiers prison. On July 27 in reprisal the FLN plants bombs across Algiers. On Sept 30, only weeks before the cycle out square ends, the Government of Premier Bourgès-Maunoury resigns following the National Assembly’s defeat of a proposal to create a single electoral college in Algeria.
The events that happen in this period in Algeria are extremely violent and lay a fertile background for the extreme violence that internally and externally will flow from this country after its independence.
KASHMIR (INDIA & PAKISTAN)
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN FOUNDED
On March 23 1956 the Islamic Republic of Pakistan becomes an independent republic within the British Commonwealth – the first Islamic republic. In 1948 the new nation had fought the First Indo-Pakistani war over the ownership of the state of Kashmir and Jammu. In 1956 India passes a bill formally ratifying that Kashmir lies under its control.
UN PASSES 4 MORE RESOLUTIONS ON A PLEBISCITE
Back in April 1948 (at the cycle conjunction), the UN Security Council had passed Resolution 47 imposing a cease-fire and calling on Pakistan to withdraw all military presence from Kashmir. The resolution stated that a resolution would come from a free and impartial plebiscite conducted by the UN. During this Out square period the UN Security Council passes four further resolutions, revising the terms to include a synchronous withdrawal of both Indian and Pakistani troops from the region.
STATE CONSTITUTION DECLARES IT PART OF INDIAN UNION
On 30 October 1956, however, the state Constituent Assembly adopts a constitution for Kashmir and Jammu declaring it an integral part of the Indian Union. On 24 January 1957 the UN passes another resolution stating that such actions would not constitute a final disposition of the State. India’s Home Minister, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, during a visit to Srinagar, the state capital, declares that the State of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and there can be no question of a plebiscite to determine its status afresh – India will resist plebiscite efforts from then on. In February and December 1957 the UN Security Council adopts 2 more Resolutions on the India-Pakistan question but there is no progress. Since the end of the Indo-Pakistani war UN arbitrators have put forward 11 different proposals for the demilitarization of the region – all were accepted by Pakistan, all were rejected by the India.
TAIWAN STRAIT CRISIS LEADS TO US FORMOSA RESOLUTION
On September 3, 1954 (just out of orb), the First Taiwan Strait Crisis begins when the Communist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) starts shelling Quemoy and threatens to seize the Dachen Islands – territories the nationalists are consolidating as their own. Zhou Enlai, Premier of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) declares that Taiwan must be “liberated.” On January 20, 1955, the PLA takes nearby Yijiangshan Island, with the entire nationalist garrison of 720 troops killed or wounded defending the island. Four days later the US Congress passes the Formosa Resolution authorizing the President to defend the nationalist Republic of China’s offshore islands. The crisis ends in March 1955 when the PLA ceases its bombardment.
MAO ZEDONG CONSOLIDATES HIS POSITION
Internally, by the end of 1954 the Communist party Central committee has condemned and defeated the Gao Gang and Rao Shushi anti-Party clique that was threatening to shift power away from Communist party Chairman Mao Zedong. Mao now consolidates his position and on Feb 27 1957 makes his key speech ‘On Correct Handling of Contradictions Among People’ which launches his ‘Hundred Flowers’ campaign.
‘LET A HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOOM’ LEADS TO 300,000 PUNISHED
In this the Communist Party of China encourages its citizens to openly express their opinions of the communist regime. Differing views and solutions to national policy are encouraged based on the famous expression by Chairman Mao Zedong: “The policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend…” However it soon becomes clear that the plan is starting to backfire and Mao reverses course – as a result some 300,000 of intellectuals will be jailed or sent to the countryside to do manual labour – a hint of an even more ruthless programme that will be put into operation later.
Many analysts believe Mao used this policy as an orchestrated campaign to flush out dissidents by encouraging them to show themselves as critical of the regime, and then subsequently imprisoning them. The ideological crackdown following the campaign’s failure will re-impose Maoist orthodoxy in Chinese public expression, and catalyse the Anti-Rightist Movement.
FAILURE TO HOLD NATIONWIDE ELECTIONS ENSURES WAR
Earlier in the summer of 1954 the Geneva Accords had divided Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel – the Vietminh-administered North and the Bao Dai government in the South. It had also called for elections by July 1956. The signatories were France, the Vietminh, China, Great Britain, Cambodia, Laos and the Soviet Union. The US and the government of Bao Dai in the South did not sign the agreement. The US had helped create the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation, a sister organisation to NATO, to stop communist spread in the region but in Vietnam the confrontation is already established – it is to become an on-going battleground for the Cold War. The failure to hold nationwide elections will lead to the Vietnam War. Most of what follows is drawn from Philip Gavin’s ‘The Fall of Vietnam’ – few other sources give details on this key period.
HO CHI MINH ‘S VIET MINH STRATEGY COUNTERS DIEM
In October 1954 following the French departure from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh formally takes control of North Vietnam. In the South, Ngo Dinh Diem becomes prime minister. Diem, a Catholic in an overwhelmingly Buddhist country, encourages Vietnamese Catholics living in Communist North Vietnam to flee south. Nearly one million leave. At the same time, some 90,000 Communists in the south go north, although nearly 10,000 Viet Minh fighters are instructed by Hanoi to quietly remain behind. On Oct 22 1954 U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower authorizes a crash program to train the South Vietnamese Army. On Feb 12 1955 he sends in the first US advisors to South Vietnam to aid the government.
EISENHOWER PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR DIEM’S GOVERNMENT
In May 1955 Prime Minister Diem implements a violent crackdown against an organized crime group based in Saigon which operates casinos, brothels and opium dens. He is later to crack down on suspected communists. In July 1955 Ho Chi Minh visits Moscow and agrees to accept Soviet aid. On October 23 Bao Dai is ousted from power, defeated by Prime Minister Diem in an election that was clearly rigged. Diem is advised on gaining power by U.S. Air Force Col. Lansdale, who is attached to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). On Oct 26 the Republic of South Vietnam is proclaimed with Diem as its first president. In America, President Eisenhower pledges his support for the new government. Diem assigns most high level government positions to close friends and family. Diem’s remote style of leadership will create future political problems for him.
HO CHI MINH INITIATES IDEOLOGICAL CLEANSING
In December 1955 in North Vietnam radical land reforms by the Communists result in land owners being hauled before ‘people’s tribunals’. Thousands are executed or sent to forced labour camps during this period of ideological cleansing by Ho Chi Minh. In the following year peasant unrest resulting from oppressive land reforms is harshly put down with more than 6,000 killed or deported. In South Vietnam, President Diem rewards his Catholic supporters by giving them land seized from Buddhist peasants, arousing their anger and eroding his support among them. Diem also allows big land owners to retain their holdings, disappointing peasants hoping for land reform.
DIEM’S BRUTAL CRACKDOWN ON VIET MINH SUSPECTS
In Jan 1956 Diem launches a brutal crackdown against Viet Minh suspects in the countryside. Those arrested are denied counsel and hauled before ‘security committees’ with many suspects tortured or executed under the guise of ‘shot while attempting escape.’ At the end of April the last French soldier leaves South Vietnam and in July the deadline passes for the unifying elections set by the Geneva Accords. Diem, backed by the US, had simply refused to participate.
COMMUNIST PROPOGANDA TARGETS DIEM’S POOR WELFARE
In January 1957 the Soviet Union proposes a permanent division of Vietnam into North and South, with the two nations admitted separately to the United Nations. The US rejects the proposal, unwilling to recognize Communist North Vietnam. In May Diem pays a state visit to Washington where President Eisenhower labels him the “miracle man” of Asia and reaffirms US commitment. Diem’s government, however, with its main focus on security, spends little on schools, medical care or other badly needed social services in the countryside. Communist guerrillas and propagandists in the countryside capitalize on this by making simple promises of land reform and a better standard of living to gain popular support among peasants.
In October 1957 just as the out square moves out of orb, Viet Minh guerrillas begin a widespread campaign of terror in South Vietnam including bombings and assassinations. By the end of the year many hundred South Vietnamese officials are killed.
OPPOSITION Feb 1965 – Feb 1967 (exact in April & Aug 1965 and Feb 1966)
In what way do the social, political and economic structural changes introduced at the 1947 conjunction, challenged or extended at the out square, now reach maximisation at the opposition. We shall look carefully at the period 9 February 1965 to 2 May 1966 and from Aug 30 1966 to 28 Feb 1967 when the Saturn/Pluto cycle half way stage was in a ten degree orb
UNITED NATIONS – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, KASHMIR & RHODESIA
In this period the UN carries out a wide number of actions though it may be exaggerating to term this maximisation. During 1965 the United Nations adds 4 non-permanent seats to the Security Council, bringing the non-permanent total to 10 and the whole to 15. In 1966 it sets up an Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to promote industrial development in the Third World. During 1966 the UN endorses the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights though this does not come into effect till later. The US, while ratifying the treaty exempts itself from a provision that bans the execution of those under 18. In October 1966 the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) comes into force.
Between 1965 and 1966 the UN establishes two missions. First is the Mission of the Representative of the Secretary-General in the Dominican Republic (DOMREP) – its function is to monitor the tense situation caused by rival governments. The second is the UN India-Pakistan Observation Mission (UNIPOM) – its task is to supervise the India-Pakistan ceasefire outside of Kashmir. The first ended in October, the second in March.
On November 20 1965 the UN Security Council calls for a boycott of Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe). The UN goes on to apply international sanctions intended to cut off Rhodesia from the rest of the world due it’s opposition to majority rule. In that same month a General meeting of the UN refuses admittance to the Communist led People’s Republic of China (PRC) while allowing the, by then, Taiwan based and much smaller Republic of China (ROC) to stay a member. At the same time the UN deprives South Africa of its ownership of Namibia.
On Feb 14 1967 an idea born at the UN becomes a reality – the first nuclear weapons free zone is established in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is usually referred to as the Treaty of Tiatelolco. It bans in the region the manufacture, storage or testing of nuclear weapons and the devices for launching them.
THE COLD WAR MAXIMISES – IN AND ABOUT VIETNAM
The primary correlation with the Cold War is with the US military battle in Vietnam against North Vietnam’s Communist army (see VIETNAM below) but there are additional examples of its spread.
SOVIET AIR FORCE INTIMIDATION OVER WEST BERLIN
On 2 April 1965 in response to the proposal to hold a special session of the West German Bundestag in Berlin, the Soviet Union announces that an air exercise will take place to the west of Berlin between 5 and 10 April – as a consequence, the safety of the Western air corridors to West Berlin will not be guaranteed during that period. Under this guise, the Soviet Air Force proceeds to overfly the western sectors of Berlin in an effort to intimidate the West German government and its NATO allies and force the cancellation of the Bundestag session – but their efforts fail. The Soviets consider the Bundestag session illegal on the grounds that West Berlin is not a part of West Germany.
BREZHNEV CONDEMNS WHILE STALIN’S DAUGHTER DEFECTS
On 28 Apr 1965 US forces invade the Dominican Republic to prevent a communist takeover like the one that occurred in Cuba. It will not be the last US regional intervention in this area. In March 1966 Leonid Brezhnev becomes First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party – his first international move is to denounce American policy in Vietnam calling it one of aggression. In that same month Joseph Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, appears at the US Embassy in India and announces her intention to defect to the West. On reaching New York she holds a press conference during which she denounces her father’s regime. A KGB attempt to abduct her is a failure.
FRANCE LEAVES NATO WHILE UK PM CRITICISES US BOMBING
The balance of Cold War forces and propaganda is focused on Vietnam. On 29 Sept 1965 the Soviet Union admits to supplying arms to North Vietnam. On 21 Feb 1966 French President Charles De Gaulle calls for US forces to leave Vietnam, after which, in March, France withdraws its troops from NATO. France announces that NATO facilities must be removed from French soil by April 1967. On 29 June 1966 British PM Harold Wilson criticizes the United States for bombing populated areas in North Vietnam. On 23 Sept 1966 the US government admits to using chemical weapons in North Vietnam.
US AND RUSSIA SIGN FIRST PACT SINCE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
Despite these confrontations there are hints that relations between the superpowers may improve. On Jan 27 1967 the US signs the Outer Space Treaty with Russia. More than 60 nations are co-signatories of a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons. All weapons of mass destruction are banned from orbit, as is military activity on the moon and other celestial bodies. On March 31 1967 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Consular Treaty, the first bi-lateral pact with the Soviet Union since the Bolshevik Revolution.
CORRELATION WITH SIX DAY WAR TOO FAR OUT OF ORB
The correlation with Palestine appears to fail as there is no major development in this geopolitical crisis till after the end of the Cycle opposition period on 1 March 1967 – apart from a massive military build-up by the neighbouring Arab states For it is not till the 5th of June 1967 that mounting tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbours culminate in six days of hostilities which set the territorial map for many decades. It is no excuse to say that the Six Day War takes place just eight weeks after the cycle opposition ends. For at the time of the Six Day War the Saturn/Pluto opposition has widened to an unacceptable 22 degrees. Nevertheless this is the only correlation that would fit the maximising meaning of this cycle stage. However there are significant developments in anti-Israeli terrorism – though it would be stretching it to call it maximisation.
For instance in January 1965 the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) carries out its first terrorist attack – on Israel’s National Water Carrier. Israel is also subject in these months to repeated cross-border attacks by Palestinian fedayeen. Furthermore in November 1966 when a land mine near Hebron kills 3 Israeli policemen Israel retaliates with a weekend strike against West Bank villagers which leads to Palestinians rioting and demanding the overthrow of Jordan’s President Hussein. Jordanian troops are forced to fire and kill several Palestinians further encouraging the formation of Palestinian militant groups. For the record, in the Six Day War Israel seizes Gaza and the Sinai from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria. It also pushes Jordanian forces out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The territorial gains double the area of land controlled by Israel and will demarcate the territorial parameters of every peace move in the decades that follow.
BOUMEDIENNE OUSTS BEN BELLA IN MILITARY COUP
After achieving independence in 1962 Ahmed Ben Bella, with the support of Colonel Houari Boumedienne, the National Liberation Army chief of staff, was elected the first president of Algeria. Algeria was declared an Arab-Islamic socialist state with a single party political system – the FLN. Huge power was vested in the single person of the president however, and there were no grass roots democratic organisations.
The costs of the war were staggering – French casualties were about 100,000, Algerian casualties more than 1 million, and another 1.8 million were refugees. An additional 150,000 pro-French Muslims gradually became victims of the FLN as it settled old accounts after the cease-fire.
In June 1965, Houari Boumedienne, who had been appointed Defence Minister, stages a bloodless coup imprisoning Ben Bella, and installing himself in power. He forms a 26-member revolutionary Council staffed entirely by the military. Pluralism and opposition are not tolerated in Boumédienne’s Algeria, which is characterized by government censorship and rampant police surveillance by the powerful Sécurité Militaire
KASHMIR (INDIA & PAKISTAN)
PAKISTANI INCURSION LAUNCHES SECOND KASHMIR WAR
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 is a culmination of skirmishes that take place from April 1965 to September 1965 between Pakistan and India. This conflict over the disputed region of Kashmir becomes known as the Second Kashmir War, the first having been fought in 1947 (at the cycle conjunction). A plan is put together in July 1965 then on August 6 1965, Pakistan Army’s paratroopers and Pakistan Army’s special forces, disguised as locals, enter Kashmir from Pakistan with the intention of fomenting a rebellion among Kashmiri Muslims. Indian sources say as many as 30,000 men crossed the border, while Pakistani sources put the figure nearer 5,000 to 7,000 only
CONFLICT ENDS WITH INDIA CONTROLLING 65% OF TERRITORY
The plan goes awry from the outset but it does spark a large scale military engagement and by September 6 Pakistan paratroopers are raiding the Punjab. This war sees the largest amassing of troops in Kashmir since the Partition of British India in 1947. There is no formal declaration of war. Most of the battles are fought by opposing infantry and armoured units, backed by air force operations. The five-week war causes thousands of casualties on both sides. On September 23 1965 the conflict ends in a UN mandated ceasefire leaving India with control of two-thirds of Kashmir.
In January 1966 the Tashkent Declaration is signed with both countries agreeing to revert to the pre-1965 position – under Russian mediation. However Pakistan supported guerrilla groups in Kashmir increase their activities after the ceasefire. Kashmiri nationalists form another Plebiscite Front with an armed wing called the Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Front (NLF).
GANG OF FOUR RISES TO PROMINENCE
In the mid 1960s a Communist party faction favoured by Mao, The Gang of Four, rises to prominence – it includes Wang Hongwen, Yao Wen-yuan, Zhang Chunqiao and Mao Zedong’s third wife, Jiang Qing. In 1965, although relatively low-ranking members of the Communist party, they manage to manipulate the media and youth to leverage their positions over party moderates such as Deng Xiaoping.
MAO PROMOTES CULTURAL REVOLUTION TO SECURE DOMINANCE
On May 16 1966 Mao exploits his cult status and urges young Chinese to revolt against traditional culture and leaders. The country descends into the ideological frenzy of the ‘Cultural Revolution’. Teenagers armed with red booklets of Mao’s speeches battle one another and dispatch millions of people to the countryside. Many are hounded to death. Mao, fearing his influence fading, chooses to promote this movement, which leads to anarchy and terror in China’s cities – in Beijing in two weeks in August some 2,000 residents are killed; in the ten years before the Cultural Revolution ends it is believed over 1 million are killed or driven to suicide. This is unquestionably a maximisation of the violent revolutionary restructuring of Chinese society though it contains the seeds of the Maoist movement’s downfall.
‘ROLLING THUNDER’ BOMBING OF NORTH VIETNAM
On Feb 7 1965, as the opposition comes into orb, President Johnson orders the first bombing of North Vietnamese bases – following the deaths of US soldiers from a Viet Cong raid. The American ‘Rolling Thunder’ bombing campaign moves into gear when on March 2 more than 150 US. and South Vietnamese planes bomb two bases in North Vietnam. The bombing campaign, which is to last three years, is intended to force North Vietnam to abandon its support for the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NLF) by threatening to destroy North Vietnam’s air defences and industrial infrastructure. The first US air strikes are also directed at the Ho Chi Minh trail, the route through Laos and Cambodia through which supplies reach the Viet Cong fighting in the south. Throughout the war, the trail is heavily bombed by American jets with little actual success in halting the tremendous flow of soldiers and supplies from the North.
FIRST US COMBAT TROOPS ARRIVE, OPERATION STARLITE
Then on March 6 the US announces that it will send 3,500 troops to Vietnam. These are the first combat troops to arrive and join some 23,000 Americans who have been serving as military advisors to South Vietnam for several years. On March 9 1965 President Johnson authorises the use of Napalm, a petroleum based anti-personnel bomb. On April 29 the Australian government announces it also will send troops to Vietnam. On June 8 President Johnson authorizes commanders in Vietnam to commit ground forces to combat. Then on July 28 he announces he is increasing immediately the number of American troops in South Vietnam to 175,000. On August 18 Operation Starlite marks the beginning of major US ground combat operations – its first action is to destroy a major Viet Cong stronghold.
US FORCES ALMOST WIPED OUT IN BATTLE OF IA DRANG
But by September the picture changes – on the 9th US Navy pilot James Stockdale is shot down then beaten, tortured and imprisoned – on the 20th seven US planes are downed in one day. On November 17, in the first major combat battle of the war, US troops are almost wiped out in the Battle of Ia Drang by the People’s Army of Vietnam (NVA). About half the 300 US soldiers who die are killed in one half day in the most deadly ambush of the entire war. On December 15 the US drops 12 tons of bombs on North Vietnam’s industrial centre in the city of Haiphong.
30,000 VIET CONG INFILTRATE WHILE IN US 25,000 PROTEST
On Feb 12 1966 the South Vietnamese win two big battles in the Mekong Delta but at the beginning of April 3,000 South Vietnamese Army troops lead a protest against the military regime in Saigon. During the previous year an estimated 90,000 soldiers have deserted from the South Vietnamese army and some 30,000 Viet Cong have infiltrated South Vietnam. But it is in the US that protests against the war really surge. The previous November 25,000 demonstrated in Washington DC against the war in Vietnam but this number is set to hugely grow nationally and internationally. In December the first protestors to burn their call-up draft cards are indicted.
HUGE DEMONSTRATIONS WORLDWIDE AGAINST US WAR
On Feb 19 former Attorney General now Senator Robert F. Kennedy suggests the US might offer the Vietcong a role in governing South Vietnam. It is a suggestion not taken up by President Johnson whose offer of unconditional discussions to stop the war is immediately turned down. Then on March 26 there are numerous demonstrations worldwide against the Vietnam War. In the USA, organised by the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam, some 25,000 demonstrate in New York alone, but elsewhere there are sizeable demonstrations in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Oklahoma City and abroad in Ottawa, London, Oslo, Stockholm, Lyon and Tokyo.
NO PEACE TALKS TILL US CEASES BOMBING
On April 12 B52 bombers are used for the first time – each B52 plane can carry 100 bombs dropped from an altitude of 6 miles. On July 7 the U.S. Marine Corps launches Operation Hasting to drive the North Vietnamese Army back across the Demilitarized Zone. On July 17 Ho Chi Minh orders a partial mobilization of the North Vietnamese population to defend against American airstrikes. Any talk of peace negotiations is countered by North Vietnam who insist the US must cease its bombing in Vietnam before any peace talks can begin.
HEAVIEST AIR RAID WITH HEAVY ARTILLERY TARGETS IN NORTH
On Sept 12 the heaviest air raid of the war to date occurs as 500 US jets attack NVA supply lines and coastal targets. In the Autumn of 1966 US troop levels rise to 390,000 while bombing intensifies. On Dec 27 the US mounts a large-scale air assault against suspected Viet Cong positions in the Mekong Delta using Napalm and hundreds of tons of bombs. Then on February 22 1967 more than 25,000 US and South Vietnamese troops launch Operation Junction City, aimed at smashing a Vietcong stronghold near the Cambodian border. On March 24 the first US army operation involving heavy artillery firing at targets in North Vietnam starts. On March 27, as the opposition goes out of orb a North Vietnamese spokesman unequivocally rejects a new peace plan proposed by UN Secretary General U Thant
IN SQUARE May 1973 to May 1975 (exact in Sept & Oct 1973 and May 1974)
In what way do the social, political and economic structural changes introduced at the 1947 conjunction, challenged or extended at the 1954 out square, maximised at the 1965 opposition now reach a terminal stage where they begin to no longer be relevant. We shall look carefully at the period 27 May 1973 to 29 Aug 1974 and from 21 Nov 1974 to 28 May 1975 when the Saturn/Pluto in square stage was in a ten degree orb
UNITED NATIONS – ISRAEL & CYPRUS, MOZAMBIQUE & EAST TIMOR
UN SHOWN TO BE LARGELY INEFFECTIVE
Nothing of huge significance in the UN’s history takes place between these two dates but what does happen is disappointing – in line with the in square’s terminal meaning. Two significant events however do take place around 13 Nov 1974 – first South Africa is suspended from UN General Assembly over racial policies and second, the Assembly recognises the Palestine Liberation Organisation and grants it ‘observer status’ within the UN. But dealing with crises connected to that issue and elsewhere the UN may appear active but it is also shown to be impotent.
ARAB COUNTRIES ATTACK ISRAEL IN YOM KIPPUR WAR
On Oct 6 1973 after Israel is taken by surprise when Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan attack it on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur (see ISRAEL/PALESTINE below) the UN passes Resolution 338 calling for peace and for talks to be based on Resolution 242. The 1967 Resolution 242 had called firstly for the withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories it has occupied and secondly for a termination of all claims against the territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area. It becomes an important basis for later peace negotiations between the parties. Organized fighting on all fronts ends by Oct 26 and after US pressure a 7,000 strong UN force (UNEF) is established between Israel and Egypt.
INTERNATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE FAILS
Under United Nations auspices and the joint chairmanship of the USSR and the US, an International Peace Conference is convened in December 1973 in Geneva. Egypt, Israel and Jordan are represented in the Conference, but Syria refuses to take part. After three meetings, the Conference adjourns indefinitely – it has achieved nothing though a military working group does reach some disengagement agreements which are carried out with the assistance of two UN peacekeeping forces – UNEF II (see above) and UNDOF in the Israel-Syria sector around the Golan Heights.
CYPRUS COUP FAILS BUT UN CEASE-FIRE FORCES STILL THERE TODAY
Although Cyprus had been proclaimed an independent state in August 1960, in 1963 the agreement failed and Cyprus underwent a military partition into Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot regions. On July 15 1974 Greek troops and the Greek Cypriot National Guard stage a military coup on the island and Archbishop-President Makarios flees. Turkish troops are ordered to invade Cyprus. The military coup becomes a failure and on July 23 1974 Greece’s military rulers since 1967 announce they will return the Greek nation to civilian rule – a Cyprus peace agreement is signed a week later. On Nov 1 1974 the UN General Assembly unanimously passes the first of countless resolutions calling on all states to respect the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Cyprus. The UN having arranged the cease fire sets up bases along the island’s dividing line. The 2,500 UN troops who guard this line in 1974 are still there today ! During all those years peace has been largely maintained by the UN but in over a third of a century no resolution of this very local conflict has been achieved.
IN MOZAMBIQUE & EAST TIMOR CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT
Another issue involving the UN echoes the same impotence. On April 25 1974 the 41-year old regime of Portuguese dictator Antonio Salazar. comes to an end as the Portuguese administration evolves from an authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy, Although there is opposition to rushed attempts to dismantle its colonial empire, Portugal in this period enables Guinea-Bissau, the Cap Verde islands and the islands of Sao Tome and Principe all successfully to make the transition to independence. However in Mozambique and in East Timor a civil war breaks out. In East Timor when independence is declared in November 1975 (out of orb) the Indonesian government, fearful of an independent communist state on its doorstep, will launch a full-scale invasion of East Timor. The UN Security Council will call on Indonesia to withdraw but, unable to enforce its resolution, it can do nothing.
THE COLD WAR – NORTH VIETNAM WINS BUT LEFT WING BRUTALLY SUPPRESSED IN CHILE
The geographical focus of the Cold War shifts from South East Asia to Latin America but not before the West sees a humiliating victory for Communism in Southeast Asia (see VIETNAM WAR below). On June 19 1973 the US Congress passes the Case-Church Amendment which forbids from August 15 any further US military involvement in Southeast Asia. That same day US President Nixon meets with Russia’s leader Leonid Brezhnev at the White House in Washington DC. The Cold war may be about to retrench in South East Asia but elsewhere the battle between Capitalism and Communism is about to erupt – and this time it is the left wing that is crushed.
CHILE’S MARXIST PM TOPPLED IN BLOODY MILITARY COUP
On September 11 the focus shifts to Latin America where the Marxist President. Salvadore Allende of Chile is toppled in a bloody military coup in Santiago led by four commanders, one of whom General Augusto Pinochet takes over the government after President Allende is found dead – later it will be proved by Allende’s own hand. The coup is indirectly supported by the CIA. Evidence suggests CIA director Richard Helms was given a blank cheque by President Nixon and ordered directly to do whatever was necessary in order to get rid of the left wing Allende. The CIA may not have actually partaken in the 1973 coup but its sympathies and support were absolutely known. It must take a share of responsibility for what ensued.
REGIME KILLS 3,000 OPPONENTS, TORTURES 30,000 !
From the beginning Pinochet implements harsh measures against any political opponents. Between 2,200 and 3,200 people are killed, up to 80,000 interned, and a staggering figure of up to 30,000 tortured by his regime including women and children. For instance in October 1973 a group of military officers tour several cities by helicopter in northern Chile in a “caravan of death” dragging 72 dissidents from jail and executing them. Five high ranking officers are much later indicted for these crimes.
CIA SUPPORTED MILITARY JUNTA & WAS AWARE OF ATROCITIES
On Sept 21 1973 a secret CIA report, later made public, indicates that even more severe repression is being planned in Chile and that soon after the coup 300 students are killed in the technical university when they refuse to surrender to the military. Another document released by the CIA in 2000, entitled “CIA Activities in Chile” shows the CIA actively supported the military junta after the overthrow of Allende and made many of Pinochet’s officers into paid contacts of the CIA or US military – even though some were known to be involved in human rights abuses. It maintained contacts among the Chilean DINA intelligence service while DINA leaders had pursued a murderous ‘anti-communism campaign’ that resulted in assassinations of prominent politicians and activists of the legal left in various Latin American countries, in the US and in Europe.
Meanwhile criticism in the West of the Soviet communist regime’s abuse of human rights surges in late December 1973 and February 1974. when Alexander Solzhenitsyn publishes in Paris ‘Gulag Archipelago’, an expose of the Soviet prison system – and is then subsequently exiled.
FRELIMO, SOVIET BACKED BATTLES RENAMO, BACKED BY SA
In this period in two African states independence is followed by civil war. In June 1975 Mozambique becomes an independent state ending nearly five centuries of Portuguese rule but begins a long civil war. The liberation movement FRELIMO establishes a one-party state based on Marxist principles in opposition to RENAMO (the Mozambique National Resistance), which is supported by white-led governments in Rhodesia and South Africa. The new government receives diplomatic and some military support from Cuba and the Soviet Union. In the early months, to the alarm of the US, the government, following Marxist doctrine, forces 600,000 Portuguese farmers to abandon their farms – as a result the agricultural industry is devastated.
MPLA, SOVIET BACKED FIGHTS UNITA, BACKED BY US AND SA
In Angola on the other side of Africa in June 1975 the US launches covert operations to prevent just such a Communist takeover. In October South Africa secretly launches Operation Savannah when the first of several South African columns cross into Angola from Namibia leading to several battles. In November 2010 the Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), backed by the Soviet Union, proclaims unilateral independence and its forces, with a core of tens of thousands of Cuban troops, ward off the last big attack of the Zaire based FNLA and continue to fight UNITA (The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) backed by the US and South Africa.
The Civil War is to be primarily a struggle for power between the two liberation movements, MPLA and UNITA – which each have different roots in the Country. Although both have socialist leanings they pose as ‘Marxist-Leninist’ and ‘anti-communist’, respectively. The Civil War will kill an estimated 500,000 people and devastate Angola’s infrastructure. Both the USSR and the US consider the conflict critical to the global balance of power and to the outcome of the Cold War. Arguably the Angolan Civil War will become the bloodiest and longest armed conflict of the Cold War.
YOM KIPPUR WAR
On October 6 1973 the fourth Arab-Israeli war in 25 years starts. (In Square 1st and 2nd Exact hits 14 September and 7 October 1973) Israel is taken completely by surprise when Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan attack on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, beginning the Yom Kippur War.
SYRIA TRIES TO REGAIN GOLAN HEIGHTS, ISRAELI TANKS ENCIRCLE
Egyptian and Syrian forces cross ceasefire lines to enter the Israeli-held Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights respectively, which had been captured and occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War. Both the US and the USSR initiate massive supply efforts to back their respective allies during the war. During this war Syria tries to regain the Golan Heights with a massive attack with 1,500 tanks. The assault however is repulsed by Israeli air power. On Oct 15 Israeli tanks under General Ariel Sharon cross the Suez Canal and begin to encircle the Egyptian armies.
ARAB OPEC OIL EMBARGO INITIATES 1973 OIL CRISIS
On Oct 16 Arab members of OPEC (The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) alarm the developed world by using the “oil weapon” during the Yom Kippur War. The oil embargoes they implement initiate the 1973 oil crisis. By mid November there is a total embargo that lasts until March 1974 and causes oil prices to quadruple! During the oil embargo the US experiences its first ever gasoline shortage and the New York Stock Exchange takes its sharpest drop in 19 years. Although the immediate cause of these changes is political this crisis had been threatened by previous unilateral changes in the world financial system and the ensuing period of high inflation in both the developed and developing world.
ISRAELIS ENCIRCLE EGYPT’S FORCES AS SYRIA AND IRAQ WITHDRAW
On Oct 22 Israeli troops re-conquer Mount Hermon from Syria. By Oct 24, the Israelis complete their encirclement of Egypt’s Third Army and the city of Suez. The UN Security Council issues Resolution 338 calling for a cease fire. The following day Syria announces it has accepted a UN sanctioned cease-fire, and the Iraqi government orders its forces home. On Oct 25 organised fighting on all fronts ends. Of Israel’s roughly 2,120 tanks, about 840 were destroyed over the 20 days of the war. On November 11 Israel and Egypt sign a cease-fire going on to exchange prisoners of war. Although Israel feels vindicated by early successes in the conflict the war effectively ends its 1967 based sense of invincibility and complacency.
ISRAEL’S AGREEMENTS WITH EGYPT AND WITH SYRIA
Following UN Security Council Resolution 338, on December 21 Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, US and USSR leaders meet in Geneva to attempt to negotiate a solution to the conflict. On January 18 1974 Israel signs a Separation of Forces agreement with Egypt. Then on May 15 the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) attacks a school in Maalot, Israel, taking 115 people (including 105 children) hostage. Despite a rescue attempt, this leads to the deaths by grenades and automatic weapons of 26 people including 21 children. It is a horrible fore-runner of another even more brutal massacre at Beslan school in Russia exactly at a future Saturn/Pluto opposition (see below). On May 31 1974 Israel and Syria sign a Disengagement agreement on the Golan Heights. (3rd Exact hit 28 May 1974)
AFTER PFLP MAALOT ATTACK COMES PLO TEL AVIV ATTACK
On March 4 1975 members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) attack the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. The terrorists land by boat on the Tel Aviv beach and start shooting and throwing grenades. They take over the Savoy Hotel and make the guests hostages, threatening that if Israel does not release 20 Palestinian prisoners within four hours the hostages would be executed. Early the next morning, an Israeli counter-terrorism unit storms the hotel, killing seven of the perpetrators and capturing one. Five hostages are freed while eight are killed along with three soldiers. On April 13 1975, just before the In square goes out of orb, in Lebanon the right-wing Christian Falange opens fire on a bus packed with Palestinians killing 30. The ambush sparks a civil war on Israel’s border that will last fifteen years.
The only correlation of events in Algeria with the cycle in square are formal. In May 1973 the demarcation of the Algerian-Moroccan border gets ratified by Algeria – though not by Morocco. In 1974 diplomatic relations with the US are restored – though there are reservations regarding the Arab-Israeli dispute and in April Presdent Boumedienne meets with President Nixon in Washington DC. In April 1975 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing becomes the first French president to visit Algeria since independence. In May 1975 the Algerian government supports self-determination for Spanish Sahara. In June President Boumédiène, Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, announces elections for a National Assembly and the post of president – with a view to a new constitution and a National Charter. It is just possible these developments – restoring diplomatic relations with the US and getting a state visit from the President of France – can be said to be terminal with respect to the past.
KASHMIR (INDIA & PAKISTAN)
NO PROSPECT OF PROGRESS ON ITS STATUS
In November 1974 the Kashmir state government reaches an accord with the Indian Government, which affirms Kashmir’s status as “a constituent unit of the union of India”. Not surprisingly Pakistan rejects the accord as do opposition parties. And despite the painstaking process of demarcation of the agreed Line of Control – field commanders exchange over 20 maps over five months before its final course is agreed on – troops on the ground will continue to fight over differences in interpretation. It remains one of the most violent and dangerous borders in the world The UN continues an observer presence along the line but while India tolerates its presence it no longer recognises the UN’s jurisdiction. In the 1972 Simla Agreement (out of orb) both parties had agreed to solve the Kashmir issue bilaterally – without outside intervention. The correlation with this stage of the cycle demonstrates a terminal stage in the development of this issue – there is no prospect of progress left without a totally different framework or approach.
PARALLEL DISPUTED REGION OF BALOCHISTAN
Developments in Baluchistan, the largest province of Pakistan – although hundreds of miles from Kashmir – will have a bearing on Pakistan’s strategy there. In 1973 sporadic fighting between Baluchi insurgents and the army starts. The largest confrontation takes place in September 1974 when around 15,000 Balochs fight the Pakistani army and air force. Although Baloch nationalists have never accepted Balochistan as a part of any of the three countries that encompass their tribal territories, Pakistan and Iran insist on sovereignty over their parts of Balochistan and Afghanistan will later be preoccupied with the province’s capital Quetta becoming a key base for the Taliban whose extremism is rejected by most Balochis. In this respect the tribal and border differences of this region echo the situation in Kashmir.
US AGREES TO PROVIDE CHINA INTELLIGENCE ON SOVIET MILITARY
On Nov 10 1973 US Secretary of `State Kissinger in Beijing briefs Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai on US policy on the Soviet Union and says that it is in the interests of the US to prevent a Soviet nuclear attack on China. Kissinger agrees to provide China with satellite intelligence on Soviet military build-up “in a manner so that no one feels we are allies.” An element of pragmatism has crept into the Cold War battle front. The US is unaware that in the Sino-Soviet sphere it is definitely putting its money on the long term winner.
CHIANG KAI-SHEK DIES, MAO’S DEATH IN A COUPLE OF YEARS
Although on February 4 1974 Mao Zedong proclaims a new ‘cultural revolution’ he has not many years to live. Shortly afterwards the Li Yi Zhe manifesto attacks communist privileges and corruption – issues that will run and run. During 1974 Mao launches the “Learn from Dazhai” campaign – the Chinese agricultural settlement at Dazhai set up as a Communist utopia – this myth will not outlast him. On April 5 1975 Chiang Kai-shek, Mao’s arch enemy and the architect and president of the Republic of China during the 1940s and later in Taiwan till 1975, dies aged 87. This cycle stage could certainly be said to signal the end of an era.
AS LAST US TROOPS LEAVE, NORTH PLANS MASSIVE INVASION
Earlier in January 1973 the Paris Agreement had frozen the status quo on the ground in South Vietnam. The agreement allowed North Vietnamese troops to remain in South Vietnam though there was a ban on their infiltrating arms or personnel into the South, as well as a ban on the use of Laotian or Cambodian territory for that purpose. President Thieu of South Vietnam unwillingly accepted the peace agreement. President Nixon had announced the suspension of all US offensive action in North Vietnam and on Jan 28 a cease-fire officially went into effect. The last American combat soldiers leave Vietnam. The US cannot be unaware, with its bombings suspended, that logistics could be upgraded by North Vietnam till it was in a position to launch a massive invasion of the South. And this indeed is projected for the 1975–76 dry season.
OFFICIAL END TO 12 YEARS OF US COMBAT IN INDOCHINA
In June 1973 after the In square comes into orb when the US Congress passes the Case-Church Amendment forbidding any further US military involvement in Southeast Asia, it paves the way for North Vietnam to make a major invasion of the South without fear of US bombing. In August 1973 the US “secret” bombing of Cambodia comes to a halt and marks the official end to 12 years of American combat in Indochina. (1st and 2nd Exact Hits 14 September & 7 October 1973) On November 7 1973 the US Congress passes the War Powers Resolution requiring the President to obtain the support of Congress within 90 days of sending American troops abroad. On March 22 1974 the Viet Cong propose a new truce with the US and South Vietnam, which includes general elections. (3rd Exact Hit 28 May 1974)
VIETCONG RESUME OFFENSIVE AS PARIS PEACE ACCORD LAPSES
In June 1974 American forces leave Laos and abandon some 36,000 Laotians drawn from the Hmong and Iu Mien hill tribes who had been recruited in the battle against North Vietnamese troops. On September 16 1974 President Ford announces a conditional amnesty program for Vietnam War deserters and draft-evaders. The Vietcong resume offensive operations and by January 1974 have recaptured the territory they lost during the previous dry season. On 4 Jan 1974 President Thieu announces that the war has restarted and that the Paris Peace Accord is no longer in effect.
On August 9 1974 in the wake of the Watergate Break-in and subsequent impeachment proceedings President Richard Nixon resigns, leaving South Vietnam without its strongest advocate. The climax to his downfall stretches from July 1973 when the existence of tape recordings of White House conversations comes to light through to the court orders for Nixon to turn over the tapes for his threatened impeachment at the end of July 1974 – exactly the in Square period
NORTH WILL DEFEAT SOUTH VIETNAM FORCES IN 55 DAYS
In October the Politburo in North Vietnam decide on an invasion of South Vietnam and in January 1975 the North Vietnamese Army’s (NVA) plan for the invasion of South Vietnam by 20 divisions is approved. By now, the Soviet-supplied NVA is the fifth largest army in the world. The NVA is planning for a two year struggle for victory but in actuality South Vietnam’s forces will collapse in only 55 days ! On March 18 following an attack on the South Vietnamese town of Ban Me Thout, South Vietnam abandons most of the Central Highlands to Hanoi. A week later the South Vietnamese army is now in full retreat. On March 30 as North Vietnamese forces move toward Saigon, desperate South Vietnamese soldiers mob US rescue jet planes. The port city of Da Nang falls as 100,000 South Vietnamese soldiers surrender after being abandoned by their commanding officers.
AS SAIGON ENCIRCLED REMAINING US FORCES PULL OUT
During April the mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam to the USA and other countries takes place – some 3,300 children and ultimately around 110,000 refugees are evacuated. Meanwhile across Vietnam’s border the US backed government of Cambodia surrenders to the Khmer Rouge. On April 21 Nguyen Van Thieu, the last South Vietnamese President, resigns accusing the US of breaking its promises of support and military aid. On April 27 Saigon is encircled by North Vietnamese troops. On April 29 the remaining US forces pull out of Vietnam. The US Embassy is evacuated as President Ford orders the helicopter evacuation of 7,000 Americans and South Vietnamese. There are frantic scenes of civilians swarming for the helicopters – three US aircraft carriers stand by off the coast to handle the evacuees
UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER, END OF ‘VIETNAM ERA’
On April 30 the interim President Minh announces the unconditional surrender of South Vietnam to the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam. The City of Saigon falls to the North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front forces and the city is renamed Ho Chi Minh City. The war leaves 58,200 Americans dead, 153,300 wounded, and 2,124 missing in action. The Communists list 1 million dead, 300,000 missing and 2 million dead civilians. On May 7 as the Viet Cong stage a rally to celebrate the takeover of Saigon, President Ford formally declares an end to the “Vietnam era.” Three weeks later the Saturn/Pluto cycle In square moves permanently out of orb – terminating 35 years of Western rule or co-rule.