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  To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go
  to http://www.guardian.co.uk

  Wake-up call
  If the US and Iraq do go to war, there can only be one winner, can't there?
  Maybe not. This summer, in a huge rehearsal of just such a conflict - and
  with retired Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper playing Saddam - the US lost.
  Julian Borger asks the former marine how he did it
  Julian Borger
  Thursday September 05 2002
  The Guardian

  At the height of the summer, as talk of invading Iraq built in Washington
  like a dark, billowing storm, the US armed forces staged a rehearsal using
  over 13,000 troops, countless computers and $250m. Officially, America won
  and a rogue state was liberated from an evil dictator.

  What really happened is quite another story, one that has set alarm bells
  ringing throughout America's defence establishment and raised questions over
  the US military's readiness for an Iraqi invasion. In fact, this war game
  was won by Saddam Hussein, or at least by the retired marine playing the
  Iraqi dictator's part, Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper.

  In the first few days of the exercise, using surprise and unorthodox
  tactics, the wily 64-year-old Vietnam veteran sank most of the US
  expeditionary fleet in the Persian Gulf, bringing the US assault to a halt.

  What happened next will be familiar to anyone who ever played soldiers in
  the playground. Faced with an abrupt and embarrassing end to the most
  expensive and sophisticated military exercise in US history, the Pentagon
  top brass simply pretended the whole thing had not happened. They ordered
  their dead troops back to life and "refloated" the sunken fleet. Then they
  instructed the enemy forces to look the other way as their marines performed
  amphibious landings. Eventually, Van Riper got so fed up with all this
  cheating that he refused to play any more. Instead, he sat on the sidelines
  making abrasive remarks until the three-week war game - grandiosely entitled
  Millennium Challenge - staggered to a star-spangled conclusion on August 15,
  with a US "victory".

  If the Pentagon thought it could keep its mishap quiet, it underestimated
  Van Riper. A classic marine - straight-talking and fearless, with a purple
  heart from Vietnam to prove it - his retirement means he no longer has to
  put up with the bureaucratic niceties of the defence department. So he blew
  the whistle.

  His driving concern, he tells the Guardian, is that when the real fighting
  starts, American troops will be sent into battle with a set of half-baked
  tactics that have not been put to the test.

  "Nothing was learned from this," he says. "A culture not willing to think
  hard and test itself does not augur well for the future." The exercise, he
  says, was rigged almost from the outset.

  Millennium Challenge was the biggest war game of all time. It had been
  planned for two years and involved integrated operations by the army, navy,
  air force and marines. The exercises were part real, with 13,000 troops
  spread across the United States, supported by actual planes and warships;
  and part virtual, generated by sophisticated computer models. It was the
  same technique used in Hollywood blockbusters such as Gladiator. The
  soldiers in the foreground were real, the legions behind entirely digital.

  The game was theoretically set in 2007 and pitted Blue forces (the US)
  against a country called Red. Red was a militarily powerful Middle Eastern
  nation on the Persian Gulf that was home to a crazed but cunning
  megalomaniac (Van Riper). Arguably, when the exercises were first planned
  back in 2000, Red could have been Iran. But by July this year, when the game
  kicked off, it is unlikely that anyone involved had any doubts as to which
  country beginning with "I" Blue was up against.

  "The game was described as free play. In other words, there were two sides
  trying to win," Van Riper says.

  Even when playing an evil dictator, the marine veteran clearly takes winning
  very seriously. He reckoned Blue would try to launch a surprise strike, in
  line with the administration's new pre-emptive doctrine, "so I decided I
  would attack first."

  Van Riper had at his disposal a computer-generated flotilla of small boats
  and planes, many of them civilian, which he kept buzzing around the virtual
  Persian Gulf in circles as the game was about to get under way. As the US
  fleet entered the Gulf, Van Riper gave a signal - not in a radio
  transmission that might have been intercepted, but in a coded message
  broadcast from the minarets of mosques at the call to prayer. The seemingly
  harmless pleasure craft and propeller planes suddenly turned deadly, ramming
  into Blue boats and airfields along the Gulf in scores of al-Qaida-style
  suicide attacks. Meanwhile, Chinese Silkworm-type cruise missiles fired from
  some of the small boats sank the US fleet's only aircraft carrier and two
  marine helicopter carriers. The tactics were reminiscent of the al-Qaida
  attack on the USS Cole in Yemen two years ago, but the Blue fleet did not
  seem prepared. Sixteen ships were sunk altogether, along with thousands of
  marines. If it had really happened, it would have been the worst naval
  disaster since Pearl Harbor.

  It was at this point that the generals and admirals monitoring the war game
  called time out.

  "A phrase I heard over and over was: 'That would never have happened,'" Van
  Riper recalls. "And I said: nobody would have thought that anyone would fly
  an airliner into the World Trade Centre... but nobody seemed interested."

  In the end, it was ruled that the Blue forces had had the $250m equivalent
  of their fingers crossed and were not really dead, while the ships were
  similarly raised from watery graves.

  Van Riper was pretty fed up by this point, but things were about to get
  worse. The "control group", the officers refereeing the exercise, informed
  him that US electronic warfare planes had zapped his expensive microwave
  communications systems.

  "You're going to have to use cellphones and satellite phones now, they told
  me. I said no, no, no - we're going to use motorcycle messengers and make
  announcements from the mosques," he says. "But they refused to accept that
  we'd do anything they wouldn't do in the west."

  Then Van Riper was told to turn his air defences off at certain times and
  places where Blue forces were about to stage an attack, and to move his
  forces away from beaches where the marines were scheduled to land. "The
  whole thing was being scripted," he says.

  Within his ever narrowing constraints, Van Riper continued to make a
  nuisance of himself, harrying Blue forces with an arsenal of unorthodox
  tactics, until one day, on July 29, he thinks, he found his orders to his
  subordinate officers were not being listened to any more. They were being
  countermanded by the control group. So Van Riper quit. "I stayed on to give
  advice, but I stopped giving orders. There was no real point any more," he

  Van Riper's account of Millennium Challenge is not disputed by the Pentagon.
  It does not deny "refloating" the Blue navy, for example. But that, it
  argues, is the whole point of a war game.

  Vice-Admiral Cutler Dawson, the commander of the ill-fated fleet, and
  commander, in real life, of the US 2nd Fleet, says: "When you push the
  envelope, some things work, some things don't. That's how you learn from the

  The whole issue rapidly became a cause celebre at the Pentagon press
  briefing, where the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, got the
  vice-chairman of the joint chiefs-of-staff, General Peter Pace, to explain
  why the mighty US forces had needed two lives in order to win.

  "You kill me in the first day and I sit there for the next 13 days doing
  nothing, or you put me back to life and you get 13 more days' worth of
  experiment out of me. Which is a better way to do it?" General Pace asked.

  Van Riper agrees with Pace in principle, but says the argument is beside the

  "Scripting is not a problem because you're trying to learn something," he
  says. "The difference with this one was that it was advertised up front as
  free play in order to validate the concepts they were trying to test, to see
  if they were robust enough to put into doctrine."

  It is these "concepts" that are at the core of a serious debate that
  underlies what would otherwise be a silly row about who was playing fair and
  who wasn't. The US armed forces are in the throes of what used to be called
  a "Revolution in Military Affairs", and is now usually referred to simply as
  "transformation". The general idea is to make the US military more flexible,
  more mobile and more imaginative. It was this transformation that Rumsfeld
  was obsessed with during his first nine months in office, until September 11
  created other priorities.

  The advocates of transformation argue that it requires a whole new mindset,
  from the generals down to the ordinary infantryman. So military planners,
  instead of drawing up new tactics, formulate more amorphous "concepts"
  intended to change fundamentally the American soldier's view of the

  The principal concept on trial in Millennium Challenge was called "rapid,
  decisive operation" (RDO), and as far as Van Riper and many veteran officers
  are concerned, it is gobbledegook. "As if anyone would want slow, indecisive
  operations! These are just slogans," he snorts.

  The question of transformation and the usefulness of concepts such as RDO
  are the subject of an intense battle within the Pentagon, in which the
  uniformed old guard are frequently at odds with radical civilian strategists
  of the kind Rumsfeld brought into the Pentagon.

  John Pike, the head of GlobalSecurity.org, a military thinktank in
  Washington, believes the splits over transformation and the whole Van Riper
  affair reflect fundamental differences of opinion on how to pursue the war
  on Iraq.

  "One way is to march straight to Baghdad, blowing up everything in your way
  and then by shock and awe you cause the regime to collapse," Pike says.
  "That is what Rumsfeld is complaining about when he talks about
  unimaginative plodding. The alternative is to bypass the Iraqi forces and
  deliver a decisive blow."

  Van Riper denies being opposed to new military thinking. He just thinks it
  should be written in plain English and put to the test. "My main concern was
  that we'd see future forces trying to use these things when they've never
  been properly grounded in an experiment," he says.

  The name Van Riper draws either scowls or rolling eyes at the Pentagon these
  days, but there are anecdotal signs that he has the quiet support of the
  uniformed military, who, after all, will be the first to discover whether
  the Iraq invasion plans work in real life.

  "He can be a real pain in the ass, but that's good," a fellow retired
  officer told the Army Times. "He's a great guy, and he's a great patriot,
  and he's doing all those things for the right reasons."

  Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

Copy LinksFrom  Page:
Exposing the Cover-Up
www.copvcia.com , www.fromthewilderness.com       Michael C. Ruppert, who
as a LAPD narcotics officer uncovered CIA involvement in drug trafficking, may
be the most tireless campaigner for an expose of government complicity in 9/11.
Democrats.com       Pugnacious progressive Democrats. Good list of links,
petition, Bush-bashing newsletter.
www.whatreallyhappened.com       Frequent updates on 911 cover-up, anthrax,
Enron, and media bias from investigative reporter Michael Rivero.
Justin Raimondo at AntiWar.com       Ongoing investigative reporting on 9/11
www.globalresearch.ca       Canadian globalization critic Chossudovsky's site.
The Emperor's New Clothes (www.tenc.net)       Investigative reporter Jared
Israel on 9/11, Central Asia, Venezuela, the ICC and other excesses of U.S.
foreign policy.
UnansweredQuestions.org       Organizer of Press conference for families of 911
http://www.adoptcynthiamckinney.com/911/links.html (1 of 2) [10/03/2002 6:34:31 PM]
Just start
There is an idea that we can do every thing and an idea we can do nothing to make things better just remember "start" never give up you will learn from the success of others and your mistakes if you want to. School is a social network in a word where most every  one is about deception realizing this is a practical first step for emerging to the true world that is the conspicuous squalor of modern times in which 8 of 10 people don't have knowledge of telephones  (cell phones computers and most of the luxuries WE take for granted as we squander "there future" telling ourselves WE are modern. We are not modern,WE are a tiny sheltered elite consumer class a parasite on the parasite of modernity which can now have a new slogan "shoot first and ask questions later" or " kill um all and let god sort it out " we wish to pretend that Israelis politics which we create from post war chaos and guilt is a par dime WE can live with.
 But remember a police state requires full participation of all it's citizens as any thing less will result in what we see today reprisals with out trials massive collateral damage disaffection among the very groups WE want to share the "spoils of war with & exclusion by race religion class etc.
 Better get started the wolf IS at the door  and its your brother no I  mean really  your family
member,  without discrimination and minorities, You will be next, this is not Si Fi.
Governments are always lying and this time in this case there are no exceptions.