December 2, 2014
The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014
Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology
The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
April 9, 2014
Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?
Samuel G. Freedman
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
April 13, 2011
/ 9 Nissan, 5771
Bay of Pigs fiasco offers lessons for Obama's Libya adventure
Rarely has the fog of war settled so quickly or as thickly as it has around President Obama's Libyan adventure. Remember how the president promised military operations would last "days, not weeks"? That was nearly a month ago — and now Obama's advisers are being coy about whether the White House intends to comply with the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which sets a 60-day limit on military actions without congressional approval. That sure sounds like Obama is working from a different calendar than the one on my desk.
Equally confusing is Obama's insistence that (1) he wants Moammar Gadhafi out of power, and (2) is firing missiles at him, but (3) these things are unconnected. "Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake," Obama says. Instead, we're just going to "deny the regime arms, cut off its supply of cash, assist the opposition, and work with other nations to hasten the day when Gadhafi leaves power."
So all that bombing, I guess, is sort of like the heavy-metal music the U.S. Army played two decades ago to coax Panama's Manuel Noriega out of the embassy where he was holed up — except now it's with shrapnel.
Sadly, Obama is not the first American president to think there's such a thing as being a little bit militarily pregnant. He might want to give some careful consideration to this weekend's 50th anniversary of one of the most disastrous examples of what can happen when U.S. military missions are framed in ambiguous gobbledygook. The CIA-backed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs is practically a textbook statement of the sort of operation soldiers call FUBAR, Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition, though they substitute a more colorful word for "fouled."
What became the Bay of Pigs was originally conceived in the waning days of the Eisenhower administration as the low-key spark of an insurgency against Fidel Castro's communist regime. The CIA would train five dozen or so Cuban exiles as guerrillas, drop them into the island and back them with an offshore propaganda radio station. With some luck, the guerrillas might develop popular support and flower into a full-scale popular insurrection.
As reports of popular discontent with Castro increased, CIA strategists grew bolder: They would land a small army of 1,400 men on a beach in central Cuba. The shock of an invasion might trigger an immediate uprising in Cuba's cities; if not, the troops could melt away into the nearby Escambray mountains and follow the original plans for guerrilla warfare.
But with John F. Kennedy's arrival in the White House in January 1961, the plan's military sinews were replaced with camouflage frills intended to provide political cover. The first thing to go was the landing site, which was changed to the swampy, remote Bay of Pigs. That was disadvantageous fighting terrain, and it offered no place for the invaders to retreat if they didn't deliver a knockout punch. No matter, wrote one of Kennedy's advisers in a laudatory memo: "The CIA has done a remarkable job of reframing the landing plan so as to make it unspectacular and quiet."
That didn't satisfy Kennedy, who wouldn't relinquish the idea of striking a military blow against communism but didn't want to face the political consequences, either. As the invasion date approached, every day brought a new restriction on the invasion force: Air support was reduced. A U.S. Navy escort for the exile troop ships was eliminated and destroyers were ordered not to get within 20 miles of the Cuban coast. Just 72 hours before H-hour, air support was slashed again, from 16 planes to eight. Air strikes intended to cover the landing vessels on the morning of the invasion were canceled altogether.
Whether the original plan could have succeeded is certainly debatable; the Bay of Pigs invasion force was vastly outnumbered, and the CIA was extremely optimistic about the prospects for a popular uprising against a communist police state. But what is certain is that Kennedy's attempt to stage a tip-toe invasion had no chance at all. Cuban MiGs and T-33s slaughtered the invaders on the beach, blew up one of their supply ships ("God almighty, what was that? Fidel got the A-bomb?" radioed an awestruck CIA man from ashore) and drove the rest so far away they couldn't help. The wonder is that it took Castro three days to defeat a force so disarmed.
Cuba is not Libya, of course, and the differences in this not-exactly-a-war and that one are many and enormous. What's disturbingly similar, though, is the lack of clarity from a president who seems to think he can play soldier without anyone getting hurt. Another recent anniversary President Obama might consider: the 191st birthday of William T. Sherman. He was the Civil War general who warned: "Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster."
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
Glenn Garvin is a columnist for the Miami Herald
03/03/11: Inconvenient truth for teachers' unions
07/10/10: Still looking to score
06/22/10: Ripe for fraud and abuse
05/25/10: Big Brother picks your pocket
11/04/09: Have conservatives scored a stealth prime time drama?
08/27/09: Left's been out for blood, too
08/13/09: What's not being celebrated
07/31/09: Pay-or-play means more lost jobs
07/16/09: OAS turns a blind eye to violations by left
07/02/09: Nothing so shocking about this coup
06/22/09: Libs' darling strikes out
06/03/09: Yes, America should read Sotomayor's speech in context
05/20/09: Bloody mission goes awry
05/07/09: The problem is they aren't just goofin'
04/30/09: Why can't students say guns in school?
04/08/09: When non-U.S. citizens vote
03/2e/09: Of course the AIG bonus boys the best and the brightest deserve their loot
03/12/09: No choice in Free Choice Act
© 2009, The Miami Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services