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22 December 2019


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The Twisted Genius

Vig, I was the CONUS based chief of all DIA HUMINT collection activities in Afghanistan. I had a team of desk officers and reports officers to conduct interagency coordination. As with all our in country positions, it was a temporary rotational assignment.


I would like to see some documentation for your statement.
It is contrary to what I heard from survivors (including my father who was Navy officer on site)and from written accounts.
Furthermore, I am/was a sailor/navigator with some experience in the South Pacific, on my own sailboat, and I have never heard of any such phenomenon as you describe. Tides and gravity are pretty well understood. So I don't believe the story about Moses and the parting of the seas, and I cannot believe your story without some documentation.
Nothing personal, no intention to insult anyone, simple disagreement.


Wikipedia says:
A New Zealand liaison officer, Major Frank Holland, had 15 years experience of Tarawa and warned that there would be at most 3 feet depth due to the tides. Shoup warned his troops that there would be a 50-50 chance that they would need to wade ashore, but unfortunately the attack was not delayed until more favorable spring tides.[17][18]


The USA assault on Tarawa began at 6 AM on 20 November 1943.

Previous full moon was Nov 13, and new moon was Nov 27.
So Nov 20 fell exactly on the "half moon" day, which is when neap tides occur. Neap tides occur because the force of gravity from the Moon and the Sun negate each other as they are at 90 degrees.
High tides are lowest and low tides are highest during a neap tide.
During neap tide on November 20, the tide at Tarawa
would be low at 1.5 feet at 4:33 am, high 4.7 feet at 12:31 PM, then low at 2.2 ft at 4:53 PM, and high at 5 feet at 11:21 PM.
During spring tide at full moon in November, the tide at Tarawa would be low at 5.9 feet at 5:09 AM, high at 12.04 feet at 10:40 AM, then low again at 6.6 Feet at 5:23 PM, and high again at 12.04 feet at 11:41 PM.

So I hope you can see how Higgins boats with a draft of 4 feet got stuck on the reef all day in the USA assault of Tarawa.




You say:
"There were no nautical charts of Tarawa "
Here is a 1920 Admiralty chart of Tarawa, was for sale on Amazon. Includes a detail of the lagoon entrance.


Eric Newhill

Yes. A neap tide. The assault force didn't begin the final approach the beach - and the reef - until 0900. They had embarked landing craft and amphibious tractors earlier - 0600 - but didn't head into the beach until later because the beach was being hit by naval guns and CAS. The neap tide was unusual in that lasted longer and impacted water levels more than normal. Also, as a Plan B the amtracks were supposed to bring the troops over the reef if the boats got stuck. The amtracs got shot up and wouldn't float any more and others ran out of gas from all of the pre-landing circling and multiple trips. The lagoon had to be the landing site because all other possibilities were mined. A lot of lessons were learned from the disaster.


Yes, "CONUS based", was the bit about which I wondered. Thanks, TTG.


2006 was the year of Condoleeza Rice's "Birth Pangs of the New Middle East" . Remember? Three, four years after her mushroom clouds? Mind you I wouldn't have remembered either. But yesterday, forget with what search routine, I stumbled across a blog linking to a book she published with Philip Zelikow in 2019 without discussing its contents:

"To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth"

Triggered all type of bad memories concerning war drums, or the to me most irritating reasons given. They align with the reasons you listed. But the most irritating for me surfaced in let's say some type of supportive argument? 1938 again?


Revenge sounds good. But the problem is that the Taliban didn't attack NY and Washington. No matter how distasteful they may have been for us "Western Observers".

Joint Publication 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States, July 12, 2017:

via: https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/28877/06_06_Sep_2.pdf

Addressing Symptoms Not Root Causes?

Might the destruction of Hizbullah defang Iran and so lessen sectarian violence in Iraq and provide a “new Middle East” context for the stabilization of Iraq? Will thecorner at last be turned? It appears that in US eyes a “sustainable ceasefire” occurs when Hizbullah are militarily incapable of attacking Israel, their leadership decapitated, and their political wing disbanded or co-opted into mainstreamLebanese politics. Ultimately, logic suggests that for this to occur either theLebanese government and military are able to take control of its territory in the south and can sever ties between Hizbullah, Damascus and Tehran, or regime change in Syria and Iran severs those ties, irrespective of the Lebanese ability to control its own territory.

Note to myself. I never read James Mann's book on the Rise of the Vulcans. Maybe I should?

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