|Israel Resource Review
||4th August, 2006
Advisory: Olmert Gave No Apology for Surrender Policy
On Tuesday, August 1st, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a statement to the AP that he would continue his planned policy to extricate Jewish communities from Judea and Samaria and also work towards establishing an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. Following an uproar, which included protests by Israeli soldiers on the Lebanese front, Olmert spoke with National Union Member of Knesset Efraim Eitan and was reported to have apologized for his statement of policy.
In a short phone interview today, I asked MK Eitam about the substance of Olmert's reported apology. Eitam made it clear that Olmert apolgized for the TIMING of his policy statement, not for its substance.
The August 5th edition of ISRAEL RESOURCE REVIEW, www.ibtn.co.il, will elaborate on Olmert's plans for surrender of lands and communities in Judea and Samaria, to be replaced by an independent Palestinian Arab State.
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Secretary Rice on CNN's Larry King Live: Hezbollah human shields "very difficult to deal with"
Interview on CNN's Larry King Live
Secretary Condoleezza Rice
August 3, 2006
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, thanks for joining us. We're getting reports
that the United States hopes to have a deal on a U.N. resolution ending the Middle East violence and that deal should come through by tomorrow. Is that true?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I wouldn't want to put tomorrow on the date, but we're certainly getting close. We're working with the French very closely. We're working with others. We've wanted very much to see an end to this conflict.
We need to end the hostilities in a way, though, that points forward a
direction for a sustainable peace. And we are working -- we've worked with
the parties when I was in the region to come up with those principles, with those elements. We're now working on a Security Council resolution, and hopefully we can get that passed. And I think it will certainly be within days, Larry.
QUESTION: So eminent would be the word?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I would just say within days.
QUESTION: What do you make of this just in this morning? The Hezbollah
leader, Hassan Nassrallah, vows to strike Tel Aviv in retaliation for Israel's bombardment of Lebanon's capital?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, Hezbollah is a very dangerous organization. And they
do have, thanks to Iranian supply and a Syrian land bridge, they do have
some very significant long-range weaponry. But that's what we're trying to
We have to remember how this began. This began with Hezbollah, without the
knowledge of the Lebanese Government, crossing into Israel, abducting
soldiers, launching strikes against Israeli populations. And what we're
trying to do now is create an end to the hostilities for a situation in
which you cannot have a return to the status quo ante. If we simply return
to the status quo ante, if there are no principles going forward that would preserve a situation in which Hezbollah cannot do these kinds of things, then we're going to have war again.
QUESTION: How seriously do you take this threat?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think everyone should take it seriously, and I'm
quite certain that the Israelis take it seriously. It shows the kind of
threats that they face. But the Israelis also have their own capabilities to deal with these threats.
The international community needs to say to Hezbollah that these kinds of
threats are also not helpful in a time when the international community, the Lebanese people, the Israeli people all want an end to the hostility.
QUESTION: Has the strength of Hezbollah and their ability in all of this
SECRETARY RICE: I don't think there's any doubt that over the last several
years, since the last ceasefire in this area, that Hezbollah has improved
its capabilities greatly. This is largely because of its relationship with
Iran that has been able to finance it, that has been able to give it more
sophisticated technologies than were available to it before. I understand
that they have a rather -- have gained a rather sophisticated command and
control network in southern Lebanon. And of course, they do this mingled in with civilian populations. So it's very difficult to deal with.
But since we've had the terrible and tragic and unfortunate circumstances of war over the last several weeks, it is our obligation now to make sure that we have a process going forward that will not allow Hezbollah to recoup those capabilities and to be able to threaten this kind of war again.
QUESTION: Will the deal at the U.N. -- will it have a ceasefire? What -- can you give us any of the particulars?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I can't really discuss the particulars at this point.
We're moving, Larry, towards being able to do this in phases that will
permit first an end or stoppage of the hostilities. And based on the
establishment of some very important principles for how we move forward, it's obviously going to take the parties some time to come to a full
understanding of how they might live in peace. But we want at the very
beginning for there to be elements, for there to be principles so that
everybody knows the basis on which the hostilities are stopping.
QUESTION: Is that why the United States has generally opposed a ceasefire up to now?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, what we've opposed -- we've never opposed a ceasefire.
We wanted a ceasefire. We've always wanted one urgently. But what we've
opposed is anything that's somehow unconditional, that does not make clear
that there are certain circumstances that are going to have to obtain --
some of them immediately, some of them over a longer period of time -- in
order not to have a return to the status quo ante and just a ceasefire that, like so many ceasefires in the Middle East, falls apart practically the minute that it's in place.
I think the work that we are doing with the French, the work that we are
doing with the parties will ensure that there are some principles in place
that makes this the basis for an enduring -- first of all an enduring
ceasefire, but more importantly an enduring peace.
QUESTION: Frankly, could this get worse?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, certainly, if we don't do our work well it could. But everyone is working very urgently to find a way to stop the violence. The Lebanese people have suffered. The Israeli people have suffered. Everybody wants to stop the violence. This time we just want to stop the violence based on principles that will help us not return to the violence sometime in the -- I can almost guarantee in the fairly near future.
QUESTION: Is it true that the President has not spoken to Prime Minister
SECRETARY RICE: We've had many, many conversations with the Israelis. And
the President has stood ready to talk with whomever he needs to at whatever time he needs to. I, of course, was just in Israel, and I met with Prime Minister Olmert twice during that period of time. So there isn't any absence of contact there. And I'm quite certain the Israelis have every access to us that they need.
QUESTION: Is there a reason why President Bush, though, hasn't spoken to
SECRETARY RICE: We just -- the President has spoken to leaders when it's
been necessary to do it. It isn't necessary for him to call to let the
Israeli people or the Israeli Prime Minister know that we consider Israel an ally and a friend. It isn't necessary to state what he's been stating that they have the right to defend themselves.
It's also absolutely clear, I think, to everyone that it's time for an end
to the violence. And so we're communicating those messages directly and in
other ways. I think that when the President needs to speak to people, he
speaks to them.
QUESTION: Is the United States in an unusual position here? You are friends of Lebanon, right?
SECRETARY RICE: We are, indeed, friends of the Lebanese people.
QUESTION: You're friends of Israel?
SECRETARY RICE: Yes.
QUESTION: And Lebanon's critical of Israel. Do you have to walk a line?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, clearly our friends here unfortunately are in a
conflict. But let's remember it wasn't Lebanon, it wasn't the Government of Lebanon that launched this attack against Israel. It was a state within a state so to speak. It was Hezbollah that, without the knowledge of the
Government of Lebanon, launched this attack. And so we really believe that
there is a lot in common here to provide for a peaceful and democratic
future for the people of Lebanon.
The United States was, of course, one of the principle movers in getting
Syrian forces out of Lebanon so that Lebanon could have complete control of its sovereignty. And now the answer to how Lebanon remains sovereign, how we don't have incidents like we just had that plunged the whole -- the area into war is that we have to extend the sovereignty, extend the authority of the Lebanese Government throughout the country, get Lebanese armed forces into the south where they belong, and to make sure that these armed groups are not operating outside of the authority of the Lebanese Government. And there will be -- ultimately a part of that will have to be an international force that will help the Lebanese do that.
QUESTION: Does the United States want Hezbollah destroyed?
SECRETARY RICE: The United States wants terrorism to stop and Hezbollah is a
terrorist organization. Hezbollah has a political wing. One of the
unfortunate circumstances is that that political wing, which is a part of
the Lebanese Government didn't somehow prevent this military or militant
wing of Hezbollah from launching attacks even though Hezbollah sits as a
part of the Lebanese Government.
So this just shows the problem when you have one foot in politics and one
foot in terror. Eventually, Hezbollah has got to reconcile this. But what we want is we want terrorism to stop, and we want the Lebanese Government to have full authority over the territory of Lebanon.
QUESTION: Which would mean -- does it mean the end of Hezbollah to you or
SECRETARY RICE: This will be a decision for the Lebanese to make. But the
Lebanese have obligations under the Taif Accords, which they signed in 1989.
It's an intra-Lebanese agreement signed in 1989 in Saudi Arabia. There are, through Resolution 1559 -- Lebanon has an obligation to disarm militias and to make sure that all arms are in the hands of the Lebanese Government and the Lebanese security forces. And when that is done, it will be a matter of anyone who is a part of the Lebanese Government will be in politics, and that will be just fine.
QUESTION: We'll be right back with more of Condoleezza Rice, the United
States Secretary of State. She's at the State Department. Don't go away.
QUESTION: We're back with Condoleezza Rice, the United States Secretary of
State, on this edition of Larry King Live.
How do you -- with all that's going on, how do you bounce all the balls?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, you do have to be a bit of a juggler because there is
an awful lot going on in the world. But I really think we have a very strong focus on a set of principles that's guiding our policy. We know that we believe that the importance of democratic institutions and the growth of democracy, for instance in the Middle East, is going to be a part of getting to a more peaceful and democratic Middle East. And so we spend a good deal of time on those issues.
I also, of course, have extraordinarily good people who handle a lot of the issues. But I would have to say, Larry, it is a time when the international system is changing, changing very rapidly, and I rather like the challenge of the changes that are going on in international politics right now. If you're going to do this job, it's great to be doing it at a time of consequence.
QUESTION: How do you handle the critics? Senator Biden yesterday described
the Administration's Middle East policy as a failure.
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don't -- obviously, Senator Biden's a very fine
voice in international politics. I talk to him all the time. And there are
going to be times when people disagree. But I have to say that what has been a failure in Middle East policy is the last 60 years in which we decided that we would try and trade democracy for stability, and we got neither. And that policy produced the circumstances in which al-Qaida came into being, not just threatening our interests but literally threatening the homeland.
And so now we're on a different course in the Middle East. And it is a
course that because it is different, because it insists on major change in
the Middle East, it's going to produce some turbulence. That's the nature of large-scale change. But I would have to say that this is a better Middle East in which you have Syrian forces out of Lebanon. We have to remember that Lebanon, unfortunately, had violence 10 years ago of this kind. We're
trying this time to make sure that that can't be repeated. It's a better
Middle East in which Saddam Hussein is not still repressing his people,
though obviously the Iraqi people have a difficult transition to peace and
democracy. And it's certainly a better Middle East where the rights of women and the rights of people to express themselves are being upheld. And we forget that in a place like Kuwait, women have the right to vote now.
So I will stack up this policy in the Middle East against any. I think we
have made more progress under this President toward a Middle East that will be different and better than at any other time in recent memory.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, when people are in conflict, I mean generally we think that if you're having a disagreement with someone on a small scale or
a large scale, you talk to them. Because by non-talking you don't know what they're thinking. Why don't we talk to Syria?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, Larry, if there's this misconception somehow that we've not talked to Syria -- Secretary Powell talked to Syria a couple of times.
Bill Burns, the then Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, went to
Syria several times. Just before the President's Second Inaugural, Rich
Armitage, the then Deputy Secretary of State, went to Syria. The problem isn't that people haven't talked to Syria; the problem is Syria hasn't been responsive. Syria has not acted in a responsible way. And so we have no problem to talk to people. But when you talk, you would like to get a
QUESTION: Would you talk to them? Would you go and talk to the Syrians?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think that the time is for Syria to act. And there
is widespread concern and widespread agreement that Syria has not acted in a responsible way.
We have, by the way, a Charge d'Affairs in Syria. We have an open embassy in Syria. And so I want to correct the misperception that somehow we don't have a relationship or relations with Syria. The problem is that Syria has not responded to numerous entreaties not just from the United States to change its behavior, to not support terrorist organizations that sit on Syrian territory and cause problems for the Palestinians or cause problems for the
Lebanese. That's really the issue with Syria. That behavior could stop any
QUESTION: Do you -- will you also talk to Iran?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, Iran we have a long history with, of course, going
back to the really brutal treatment of our diplomats and taking of our
hostages -- of hostages. It is also an Iran, of course, that has supported
terrorism around the world including the support of Hezbollah that has
caused this latest problem. It is an Iran that has been active in trying to get a nuclear weapon undercover of civil nuclear power.
We made an offer to Iran that if it is prepared to live up to the
obligations that it undertook several years ago, a couple of years ago to
the European Union to suspend its uranium enrichment activities, we're ready to show up at the table and talk. Because if Iran is serious about finding a civil nuclear program that would not allow them to develop a nuclear weapon, we're more than happy to participate in that process. And so the offer is there. But Iran, of course, has not responded positively. And a couple of days ago, as a result the U.N. Security Council voted to make that suspension of uranium enrichment activities mandatory. The diplomatic track is still open to the Iranians should they choose to take it.
QUESTION: Have you talked to former Secretary of States when in conflict? Do you talk to Powell or Baker or Albright?
SECRETARY RICE: Funny you should mention. I saw -- I've seen them both very recently, the two that you mentioned, Secretary Baker and Secretary Powell. Madeleine and I have talked not during this recent crisis. But I do, of course, talk to former Secretaries of State. They're always wise and good people to talk to not just in times of crisis but in general.
QUESTION: You just saw Secretary Powell?
SECRETARY RICE: Yes, I just did. We try to get together every once in a
QUESTION: What does he say about this?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I don't think he would want me to divulge his advice
to me through a television program. But we're good friends. We've been good friends for a long time. We were before we started in this Administration
and we remain. And he's somebody whose advice I value and value greatly.
QUESTION: Is this a United States war? What's the United States' role in all of this? Is it the peacemaker, is it on the side of one of the parties, what is it?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, our role is clearly to be on the side of peace and to be on the side of the development of a more stable and democratic Middle East. And that means that we in this particular conflict are very much focused on the future of a Lebanon that can be indeed sovereign, that doesn't have foreign forces controlling its territory, that doesn't have a state within a state that causes wars that then devastate both the territory of Lebanon and the Lebanese people. And it means, too, recognizing that we have
a relationship and a friendship with Israel, and we want Israel and Lebanon to be able to live in peace. And so it's not as if we're on one side of the other here. We're on the side of certain principles, certain kinds of behavior that really believe will lead to a peace for both the Lebanese people and for the Israeli people.
QUESTION: A couple of other things. Secretary Rumsfeld on the Hill today
explaining what's going on in Iraq. At the same time a Gallup Poll comes out today, 55 percent now back the United States pullout from Iraq within a year; 54 percent say the whole thing was a mistake. Is there ever going to be a civil war? What's happening?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, it's a tough situation in Iraq of course. They're
going through a really major transition. These are people for whom
democratic institutions are new. These are people for whom the way of doing things for so many years was to solve their differences either by violence or more likely by repression, and now they're trying to learn to solve those differences within and to promote interest within democratic institutions.
And it's difficult because there are determined enemies that don't want to
see a democratic Iraq emerge, because a democratic Iraq is going to change
the Middle East. But they will succeed, Larry. And what they deserve from us is that the United States is prepared to support them and to finish the job.
QUESTION: Are you surprised that there's been as much of them as there are, that there's been as much of a hostility on the minority side?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, it's -- I think the hostility is coming from a few
people who want to stop progress. Either they see no future in a democratic
Iraq or they are people who see everything in zero sum terms or they are
terrorists, still quite a few foreign terrorists in Iraq. But this is a
system that's also made tremendous progress over time. This is a country
that has had free elections, that has a freely elected prime minister,
freely elected parliament. This is the most legitimate government in that
sense in terms of elections in the whole region.
And so we have to remember that our security is inextricably -- American
security is inextricably linked to a different kind of Middle East that
cannot produce the kinds of -- the ideology of hatred and people who will
act on that hatred of the kind that caused September 11th. And so this is -
the security of Iraq and the security of the United States are inextricably linked.
. . .
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The British Precedent: Carpet Bombing Germany in WWII
The Thousand Bomber raids, 30/31 May (Cologne) to 17 August 1942
Sir Arthur Harris knew that the future of Bomber Command was still in doubt and he approached both Winston Churchill and Sir Charles Portal with the bold idea of assembling a force of 1,000 bombers and sending them out in one massive raid on a German city. Churchill and Portal were both impressed and they agreed. Although Harris had only a little over 400 aircraft with trained crews which were regularly used for front-line operational work, he did have a considerable number of further aircraft in the conversion units attached to groups with four engined aircraft and in Bomber Command's own operational training units 91 and 92 Groups. This secondary Bomber Command strength could be crewed by a combination of instructors, many of them ex-operational, and by men in the later stages of their training. To complete the 1,000 aircraft required, Harris asked for the help of his fellow commanders in chief in Coastal Command and Flying Training Command. Both officers were willing to help. Sir Philip Joubert of Coastal Command immediately offered to provide 250 bombers, many of them being from squadrons which had once served in Bomber Command. Flying Training Command offered fifty aircraft but many of these were later found to be insufficiently equipped for night bombing and only four Wellingtons were eventually provided from this source.
All now looked well. The target figure of 1,000 bombers was easily covered and detailed planning for the operation commenced. The tactics to be employed were of major concern, not only for the success of this unprecedented raid but as an experiment upon which future operations could be based. The tactics eventually adopted would form the basis for standard Bomber Command operations for the next two years and some elements would remain in use until the end of the war.
The major innovation was the introduction of a bomber stream in which all aircraft would fly by a common route and at the same speed to and from the target, each aircraft being allotted a height band and a time slot in the stream to minimize the risk of collision. The recent introduction of Gee made it much easier for crews to navigate within the precise limits required for such flying, although there would always be wayward crews who would drift away from the stream. The hoped-for advantage from the bomber stream was that the bomber force could pass through the minimum number of German radar night-fighter boxes. The controller in each box could only direct a maximum of six potential interceptions per hour. The passage of the stream through the smallest number of boxes would, therefore, reduce the number of possible interceptions, particularly if the bomber stream could be kept as short as possible and pass through the belt of boxes quickly. This led on to the next decision, to reduce still further the time allowed for the actual bombing at the target. Where four hours had been allowed earlier in the war for a raid by 100 aircraft and two hours had been deemed a revolutionary concentration for 234 aircraft at Lubeck, only 90 minutes were allowed for 1,000 aircraft in this coming operation.
The big fear in these matters was always that of collisions but, on this occasion, this was accepted in return for the opportunity to allow the bomber stream to pass through the night fighter boxes quickly, to swamp the Flak defences at the target and, above all, to put down such a concentration of incendiary bombs in a short period that the fire services would be overwhelmed and large areas of the city would be consumed by conflagrations. As in previous raids, the coming operation would be led by experienced crews whose aircraft were equipped with Gee; 1 and 3 Groups were selected to provide these raid leaders in the Thousand Plan.
But, as the planning period came to an end, potential disaster struck. The Admiralty refused to allow the Coastal Command aircraft to take part in the raid. This was obviously a step in the long-running battle between the R.A.F. and the Royal Navy over the control of maritime air power and the Admiralty realized that a success for this grandiose Bomber Command plan was not likely to help their prospects for building up a force of long-range aircraft for the war against the U-boat. They were quite correct in that belief. Harris now appeared to be falling well short of the dramatic figure of 1,000 aircraft with which he intended to carry out what was evidently a massive public-relations exercise.
Bomber Command redoubled its efforts. Every spare aircrew member and aircraft was gathered in by the operational squadrons but the decisive reinforcement came from Bomber Command's own training units, which committed more crews from the bottom half of their training courses. Every effort was made to provide the training crews with at least an experienced pilot but forty-nine aircraft out of the 208 provided by 91 Group would take off with pupil pilots. When the operation was eventually mounted, 1,047 bombers would be able to take off, all but the four from Training Command being provided by Bomber Command's own resources, in spite of the fearful risk of sending so many untrained crews. When Churchill and Harris discussed the possible casualty figures, Churchill said that he would be prepared for the loss of 100 aircraft. The force about to be dispatched was more than two and a half times greater than any previous single night's effort by Bomber Command. In addition to the bombers, forty-nine Blenheims of 2 Group reinforced by thirty-nine aircraft of Fighter Command and fifteen from Army Co-operation Command would carry out Intruder raids on German night-fighter airfields near the route of the bomber stream.
Final orders were ready on 26 May with the full moon approaching. The force stood ready, waiting for the weather. Harris hoped to use the 1,000-bomber force more than once if conditions permitted, before the extra aircraft gathered together were dispersed to their normal locations. His first choice of target was Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, a great port and, an attraction for the Admiralty, builder of about 100 U-boats each year. But the weather over Germany was unfavourable for three days running and, on 30 May, Harris had to decide to send the bombers to his second target choice - Cologne, the third largest city in Germany.
Soon after noon on that day, the order to attack Cologne went out to the groups and squadrons and the raid took place that night.
The first 1,000-bomber raid was a great success but a follow-up to Essen two nights later was not. The moon phase then passed and the training aircraft returned to their normal work, but they were recalled once more for a further massive raid on Bremen during the end of the June moon period, although the figure of 1,000 aircraft was not quite reached on that raid. Harris had originally hoped to assemble 1,000 aircraft for one or two raids in every moon period but he abandoned this idea and the full thousand operation using so many training aircraft was not carried out again after the Bremen raid, although smaller numbers of training aircraft were called upon from time to time later in the year.
The 1,000-bomber raids certainly made their mark on history and were another great turning point in Bomber Command's war. The new tactics were mainly successful; there were never any serious casualties through collision and the time over target would progressively be shortened until 700 or 800 aircraft regularly passed over the city they were bombing in less than twenty minutes! The morale of Bomber Command was certainly uplifted by this great demonstration of air power and by the wide publicity, which followed. That same publicity also confirmed Bomber Command's future as a major force and it can be said that, although there were bad as well as good times to come, Bomber Command never looked back after the 1,000 bomber raids. These events also placed Sir Arthur Harris firmly in the public eye where, as Bomber Harris, he would remain for the rest of his life.
The rest of the midsummer weeks passed with the front-line squadrons being pressed hard when the weather and moon conditions were favourable - and sometimes when they were not so favourable. The shorter nights again restricted raids to the coastal targets, the Ruhr and the Rhineland. There was another concentration of sustained effort against Essen in June, but this important target remained elusive of Bomber Command success. A similar campaign against Duisburg fared little better. There were minor operational changes. Harris started to restrict the practice whereby freshmen crews were introduced to operations gradually by being sent to lightly defended, close-range targets on the French coast. New crews were still allowed their one leaflet flight to France or Belgium but after that they were expected to go to any target in Europe. Harris was forced to agree to the temporary detachment of six more squadrons - even one of Lancasters - and one of his operational training units to Coastal Command to help with the U-boat war. There was a further draining away of operational effort when that unsatisfactory new aircraft, the Manchester, disappeared from 5 Group's order of battle at the end of June - although the Lancasters being sent to this group would soon more than replace the loss. There were only minor changes in 2 Group although one feature was to be the portent of a brilliant future for a new type of aircraft. In the early morning after the first 1,000 bomber raid, five small twin-engined bombers of wooden construction flew to the smoking city of Cologne to take photographs and throw a few more bombs into that unhappy place. The De Havilland Mosquito had arrived. By the time the war ended, this aircraft would perform an undreamt-of range of tasks for Bomber Command.
30/31 May 1942 - The first thousand-bomber raid, Cologne
1,047 aircraft were dispatched, this number being made up as follows:
• 1 Group - 156 Wellingtons
• 3 Group - 134 Wellingtons, 88 Stirlings = 222 aircraft
• 4 Group - 131 Halifaxes, 9 Wellingtons, 7 Whitleys = 147 aircraft
• 5 Group - 73 Lancasters, 46 Manchesters, 34 Hampdens = 153 aircraft
• 91 (O. T. U.) Group - 236 Wellingtons, 21 Whitleys = 257 aircraft 92 (O. T. U.) Group - 63 Wellingtons, 45 Hampdens = 108 aircraft Flying Training Command - 4 Wellingtons
Aircraft totals: 602 Wellingtons, 131 Halifaxes, 88 Stirlings, 79 Hampdens, 73 Lancasters, 46 Manchesters, 28 Whitleys = 1,047 aircraft
The exact number of aircraft claiming to have bombed Cologne is in doubt; the Official History says 898 aircraft bombed but Bomber Command's Night Bombing Sheets indicate that 868 aircraft bombed the main target with 15 aircraft bombing other targets. The total tonnage of bombs was 1,455 two-thirds of this tonnage being incendiaries.
German records show that 2,500 separate fires were started, of which the local fire brigade classed 1,700 as large but there was no sea of fire as had been experienced at Lubeck and Rostock because Cologne was mainly a modern city with wide streets. The local records contained an impressive list of property damaged: 3,330 buildings destroyed, 2,090 seriously damaged and 7,420 lightly damaged. More than 90 percent of this damage was caused by fire rather than high-explosive bombs. Among the above total of 12,840 buildings were 2,560 industrial and commercial buildings, though many of these were small ones. However, 36 large firms suffered complete loss of production, 70 suffered 50-80 per cent loss and 222 up to 50 per cent. Among the buildings classed as totally destroyed were: 7 official administration buildings, 14 public buildings, 7 banks, 9 hospitals, 17 churches, 16 schools, 4 university buildings, 10 postal and railway buildings, 10 buildings of historic interest, 2 newspaper offices, 4 hotels, 2 cinemas and 6 department stores. Damage was also caused to 12 water mains, 5 gas mains, 32 main-electricity cables and 12 main telephone routes. The only military installation mentioned is a Flak barracks. In domestic housing, the following dwelling units (mainly flats/apartments) are listed: 13,010 destroyed, 6,360 seriously damaged, 22,270 lightly damaged. These details of physical damage in Cologne are a good example of the results of area bombing. Similar results can be expected in those of Bomber Command's raids, which were successful during following years. The estimates of casualties in Cologne are, unusually, quite precise. Figures quoted for deaths vary only between 469 and 486. The 469 figure comprises 411 civilians and 58 military casualties, mostly members of Flak units. 5,027 people were listed as injured and 45,132 as bombed out. It was estimated that from 135,000 to 150,000 of Cologne's population of nearly 700,000 people fled the city after the raid.
The R.A.F. casualties were 41 aircraft were lost, including 1 Wellington, which was known to have crashed into the sea. The 41 lost aircraft were: 29 Wellingtons, 4 Manchesters, 3 Halifaxes, 2 Stirlings, 1 Hampden, 1 Lancaster, 1 Whitley. The total loss of aircraft exceeded the previous highest loss of 37 aircraft on the night of 7/8 November 1941 when a large force was sent out in bad weather conditions, but the proportion of the force lost in the Cologne raid - 3.9 per cent - though high, was deemed acceptable in view of the perfect weather conditions which not only led to the bombing success but also helped the German defences.
Bomber Command later estimated that 22 aircraft were lost over or near Cologne 16 shot down by Flak, 4 by night fighters and 2 in a collision; most of the other losses were due to night-fighter action in the radar boxes between the coast and Cologne. Bomber Command also calculated the losses suffered by each of the three waves of the attack - 4.8, 4.1 and 1.9 per cent - and assumed that the German defences were progressively overwhelmed by bombing and affected by smoke as the raid went on. Further calculations showed that the losses suffered by the operational training unit crews - 3.3 per cent - were lower than the 4.1 per cent casualties of the regular bomber groups and also that those training aircraft with pupil pilots suffered lower casualties than those with instructor pilots!
Another Victoria Cross was awarded for an action on this night.
A Manchester of 50 Squadron, piloted by Flying Officer L.T Manser, was caught in a searchlight cone and seriously damaged by Flak on the approaches to Cologne. Manser held the plane steady until his bomb load was released and, despite further damage, set course for England although he and his crew could have safely baled out after leaving the target area.
But the Manchester steadily lost height and, when it became obvious that there was no hope of reaching England, Manser ordered his crew to bale out, which they all did safely. In holding the plane steady for the last man to leave, Manser lost the opportunity to save himself and was killed. He is buried at Heverlee War Cemetery in Belgium.
In a major effort to help the bomber force attacking Cologne, 34 Blenheims of 2 Group, 15 Blenheims of Army Co-Operation Command and 7 Havocs of Fighter Command attempted to attack German night-fighter airfields alongside the bomber route. No particular success was gained by these Intruders and 2 of the Blenheims were lost.
Total effort for the night: 1,103 sorties, 43 aircraft (3.9 per cent) lost. (The 7 Havoc sorties of Fighter Command are included in these figures but have not been added to the statistics at the end of the current period of the diary because they did not take place directly under Bomber Command control.)
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Nasrallah Declares Open War on U.S.
Hizballah officially declared an open-ended war on the United States last night during a formal pre-recorded speech of its leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who said Israel was little more than a pawn in the hands of America.
Beyond the oratorical flourishes and psychological warfare, Sheikh Nasrallah's hour-long speech was the clearest sign yet that he was preparing his own people for military setbacks, tactical shifts, and strategic changes, among them:
•--Nasrallah threatened to continue war against America and Israel even if Israeli forces passed the Litani River, even conquering all of southern Lebanon and even if they reached Beirut;
•--Nasrallah specifically offered a cease-fire of rocket attacks in exchange for an Israeli stoppage of its air bombardment in Lebanon;
•--And Nasrallah personally insulted America's top leaders by name, calling them murderers, and claiming their faces were sullied with the blood of innocent victims.
"I declare that whatever happens in this war, Lebanon will not become American," emphasized Nasrallah, pointing with the semi-clenched fingers of his right hand.
"What has happened in this war from the first day, and what has happened up till now —the killing, the massacres, the brutality—the responsibility for them must be borne by Bush and by his administration, the American administration," declared Hizballah's leader.
"And in our opinion, Olmert and his government are merely tools to be used in this war," asserted Nasrallah, shifting the black cloak he wore atop his gray tunic. Then, looking straight into the camera, the Shiite cleric's bespectacled face formed a savage sneer.
"I want to make my meaning clear to say: the blood of the children and women of Kana, and the blood of all the old men, the civilians, and the innocent people shed in Lebanon stain the faces of Bush and Condoleeza Rice and Rumsfeld and Cheney."
Nasrallah summed up his argument against America with the words: "This is the murderous, criminal and aggressive administration that sheds blood."
In sarcastic remarks that were clearly aimed at those in Lebanon, such as Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who wants a friendly relationship with the United States, he poked fun at America's aid programs and its ideas for regional democratization.
"Don't ever forget. This is the American administration that is the friend of Lebanon, that is the ally of Lebanon, that loves Lebanon, that wants peace for Lebanon, whose heart breaks for Lebanon. And who wants Lebanon to live in security and peace and serve as a model of democracy."
"This is the American administration that some of you trusted in the past, that some of you still trust, and that some of you may trust in the future. And we must never forget it.
"I want us not to forget this in the coming days, in the coming months and in the coming years," continued Nasrallah, again emphasizing each word –days, months, years—with the pinched fingers of his right hand.
"I declare that whatever the results of this war, Lebanon will not become American. It will not become Israeli. It will not become a base for the 'new Middle East,' desired by Bush and desired by Condoleeza Rice," said Nasrallah.
Then making a sharp cutting motion across the front of his body, he exclaimed "these are definitive and crucial words."
In remarks that were dedicated to the Israeli audience, Nasrallah warned that America—and the Bush Administration in particular—were weak and unreliable allies.
"If you decide to put your trust in the American administration, it would be better for you to pay attention to what has happened in Iraq," said Nasrallah, referring to American casualties since the war against Saddam Hussein turned into a terror-guerrilla conflict.
"I tell you Israelis that your trust in America has been a failed trust," observed the black-turbaned leader.
FrontPageMagazine.com | August 4, 2006
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