Hoaxes, Snafus, And Really Dumb Ideas

by Paul R. Hollrah –

For many years we’ve seen news reports of the many outrages of radical Islam in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, from suicide bombers blowing themselves up on buses and in crowded shopping malls, to car bombs exploded near government buildings and police stations, to the mass slaughter of non-Muslims, to the ritual beheading of captured newsmen and aid workers. Now these atrocities have come to the shores of America. We’ve seen mass killings of troops at Fort Hood, Texas, the beheading of a female office worker in Oklahoma City, the attack on four policemen in New York by a jihadist armed with an axe, and many more. It causes us to wonder how long it will be before we hear news reports of a suicide bomber blowing themselves up in a crowded suburban shopping mall or at a major sporting event. It’s not a question of if it will happen; it’s a question of when it will happen and where.

If the American people are to survive the never-ending onslaught of Islamic jihad, the single most important thing we must understand is that we can never defeat radical Islam on the field of battle. To put it in stark terms, if we were to draft every young man and every young woman in America into military service on their eighteenth birthday, and if we were to send them off to fight Islamic jihad in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for the next 100 years, we could never win a war of attrition against the forces of Islam. And even if we were foolish enough to wage such an endless war on foreign soil, we would still be faced with the problem of radical jihadists here at home as they randomly kill, maim, and murder innocent men women and children on the streets, in their plants and offices, and in their schools and homes.

We are told by liberal apologists for radical Islam that we have nothing to worry about. After all, they argue, only five percent of the worldwide Muslim population (one in twenty) are potential suicide bombers or those who slice the heads off their captives. What they fail to recognize is that, if we have to worry about only five percent of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims, we only have to worry about some 70 million radical jihadists. To put that into context, the combined uniformed forces of the Germans, the Japanese, and the Italians in World War II numbered only 34.1 million. What should be immediately obvious to almost everyone is that the only way we can ever survive and/or defeat Islamic jihad is by de-radicalizing them in any way possible.

On at least two occasions in the past year I have suggested an elaborate hoax as a means of getting inside the heads of radical Islamists and living there rent-free. What I have proposed is that those who have the responsibility for our national security enlist the services of some of Hollywood’s most skilled special effects technicians for the purpose of developing a major information warfare program to be used against radical Islamists. The plan would utilize a photographic projection technique called “holography,” the creation of images that appear to be three dimensional, when in fact they are only images created by focused beams of laser light.

I have suggested that the Pentagon or the CIA undertake to produce a “second coming” of the prophet Mohammed… a “second coming” in which he would appear before a crowd of radical jihadists, chastising them for misinterpreting the words of the Koran. If such a “second coming” could occur simultaneously at several locations around the world, so much the better.

Some might say that what I suggest is a bit “off the wall,” but is it? Every war in recorded history has been replete with its share of hoaxes, snafus, and just plain dumb ideas.

For example, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is one of the most monumental hoaxes of all time, principally because it has been the basis for anti-Semitism, and even genocide, for more than a century. Reportedly written by Russian journalist Matvei Golovinski, circa 1900, the Protocols purports to describe the closely-guarded secrets of a clandestine group of Jews known as the Elders of Zion, outlining in great detail a Jewish conspiracy to achieve world dominion through proselytizing, the acquisition of governmental power, and even violence. And although the Protocols were proven to be a gigantic hoax as early as 1938, it was used by the Nazis of the Third Reich as a justification for the mass slaughter of European Jews during the Holocaust. Even today, the Protocols continue to have credence throughout much of the Muslim world.

In the hours and days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a great many Americans refused to believe that we’d actually been attacked… largely because Orson Welles’ October 31, 1938, War of the Worlds radio broadcast was still fresh in their minds. They had vivid memories of Welles’ dramatic reporting of a Martian invasion of Planet Earth and the mass hysteria and panic it created. What gave credence to the broadcast was that CBS had interrupted a weather report to announce that Martians had actually landed on Earth. Some six million people heard the broadcast, causing telephone lines to police stations to be overloaded with calls from panic-stricken listeners. CBS was forced to apologize and to promise never to repeat the outrage. Nevertheless, the memory of the Welles broadcast was still fresh in the minds of many Americans on December 7, 1941.

In the category of really dumb ideas, in the planning for Operation OVERLORD, the D-Day invasion of Europe during World War II, the U.S. War Department prepared a recommendation proposing that the allies dig a tunnel under the English Channel, from Dover to Calais, a distance of 25 miles. It was estimated that 15,000 men could completed the project in one year. A tunnel 10 ft. wide by 15 ft. high would have required the removal of 792,000 tons of soil and stone. However, the idea was discarded when someone in the allied high command asked what would happen when troops, trucks, and tanks poured out of the tunnel and onto French soil.

Other military planners, while planning for the D-Day invasion, were concerned about the heavy fog that regularly engulfed British airfields, hampering flight operations. A plan for a “fog dispeller” was presented to General Eisenhower in which flames would be blown high into the air around airstrips to eliminate the fog. It was estimated that the fog dispellers would consume some sixty thousand gallons of gasoline per hour. Eisenhower filed the idea in the “round file” without giving it serious consideration.

In the category of the elaborate hoax, in the weeks prior to D-Day, the allied high command recruited a British Army payroll officer, Lieutenant Clifton James, who was the “spitting image” of British General Bernard Montgomery. In a deception called Operation Copperhead, the lieutenant was put through an intensive course of study in which he learned all of Montgomery’s tics and mannerisms. Then, dressed in a British general’s uniform, complete with Montgomery’s trademark black beret, Lieutenant James was sent to Gibraltar on May 26, eleven days before the invasion, and from there to Algiers, where he was seen moving about in public. German agents reported back to Berlin that General Montgomery was inspecting British military installations on the Mediterranean coast, leading the German high command to conclude that the D-Day invasion of France was not in the immediate offing.

In the category of the major SNAFU (or FUBAR in Vietnam era military slang), in the weeks and month prior to D-Day, the U.S. Navy developed a radio-controlled landing craft, called the “drone boat.” These vessels were not available for use on D-Day, June 6, 1944, but the Navy rushed them into production and they were available for the invasion of the French Riviera on August 15. Each of the radio-controlled landing craft was loaded with four tons of explosives, intended to blow holes in German beachfront fortifications. Unfortunately, military planners had failed to take into account that the radio frequency used to control the explosives-laden landing craft was the exact same frequency used by the Wehrmacht on shore. As a result, the allied drone boats were uncontrollable. As one eyewitness described it, many of the boats “milled around at high speed in crazy directions, completely on their own.” Some of the boats reversed course and headed out to sea, in the general direction of the allied invasion fleet, and had to be sunk by destroyers in self defense.

During the early 1980s, a master forger named Konrad Kujau, produced what he claimed were the personal journals of Adolf Hitler, recovered from the wreckage of a plane that crashed in Germany in 1945. According to Kajau, the diaries were smuggled out of East Germany by a man known only as “Dr. Fischer.” The diaries created a stir on both sides of the Atlantic and were ultimately purchased for the sum of 10 million Deutschmarks by the German magazine Stern, which published portions of the diaries in 1983. Because of the secrecy necessary to maintain the value of the diaries, they were not made available for examination by historians or by handwriting analysts. It was not until after Stern’s publication of extracts from the diaries that they were found to be forgeries.

If radical Islamists wore uniforms, as is customary in war, so that they could be distinguished from non-combatants, it is arguable that our technological supremacy might win the day on the field of battle. But that’s not the nature or practice of radical Islamists. Instead, they wear non-military clothing and hide themselves among women and children. In addition, unlike soldiers of civilized western cultures, jihadists cannot be captured, imprisoned, and sent off to “reeducation” camps… they can only be killed.

Convincing radical Islamists that they are committing a great sin by carrying out jihad against western nations is our only recourse. Since we can’t begin to envision the killing 70 million jihadists, it’s time we found more creative ways of defeating the most barbaric enemy in all of recorded history. And while it may not be kosher to mess around with someone else’s religion by staging a “second coming” of the prophet Mohammed, in the present circumstance we are dealing with religious fanatics whose only goal in life is to kill us all, and for no other reason than that we exist. Our lives, and the lives of our children and grandchildren, hang in the balance. Drastic measures are called for. It’s time to start thinking “outside the box.” | November 1, 2014

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