IN THIS ISSUE:
Perspective: A Pause
As events take a pause, so must NewsALERT.
Key Trends and Events to Watch
Arms Control and the "Thaw" That Isn't: While cooled Reagan rhetoric promotes fleeting rumors of a U.S.-Soviet thaw, charges of Russian arms cheating help prevent it.
Calm Before the Storm in Lebanon and the Middle East: The pause in U. S. confrontation with Syria caused by Jesse Jackson is ending to insure the Marines stay in Lebanon.
A Pause Before Upping the Stakes in Nicaragua: The shoot-down of a U. S. helicopter foreshadows events to come.
Politics: Reagan and "Debategate": The Debate gate ploy in the White House power struggle has been de-fused for now, but could re-emerge in the spring.
The U.S. Military Challenge to Russia in Space: Space station plans illustrate America's lag behind Russia.
Announcement: A Pause in the Publication of NewsALERT Notice
Concerning Dr. Beter
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Perspective: A Pause
Nearly a year ago in March 1983, the first "Interim News Alert" was released by Audio Books Inc. It was a complimentary service for those who were standing by us as we worked to rebuild a new reporting service after cessation of the Dr. Beter AUDIO LETTER tape report program.
After releasing four of those "Interim News Alert" bulletins through June 1983, we inaugurated the present NewsALERT series last summer. We were still working under difficult circumstances, but as we said then, we believed it was important to get underway fast—because events were speeding up. That was certainly borne out by events: within weeks after News-ALERT began publication, America and the world were rocked by a rapid-fire chain of major shocks. These included the Korean airliner shoot-down over supersensitive Soviet territory . . . the Beirut massacre of U. S. Marines. . . the beginning of a partly visible, partly secret new Soviet-American missile crisis. . . the total collapse of arms control negotiations. . . steadily deepening U. S. entanglement in the new "Vietnam" of Lebanon . . . the invasion of Grenada. . . Soviet weatherwar attacks ranging from Hurricane Alicia last summer to the "Siberia Express" deepfreeze of December and again this past week. . . and more. We have reported on all of these in the pages of NewsALERT.
Now NewsALERT faces the absolute necessity of pausing for some period of time, as we will explain in detail further on in this issue. Providentially, this unavoidable pause by News-ALERT comes at a moment when there is also something of a pause in the breakneck pace of events. That pause will not last long: we are teetering on the brink of sudden, major new surprises which could happen in some areas almost anytime. But if we must interrupt publication for a time--and we must--then the present moment is probably the best we could hope for.
Since we will have to be silent for awhile, we feel that it is especially important to do some looking ahead in this issue. It is not possible to go into much detail in the short space available. Even so, we do want to alert you to some of the more key things to watch in the days ahead. Forewarned is forearmed. We want you to be forearmed as well as possible for the assaults of danger and deception that lie ahead.
Key Trends and Events to Watch
Arms Control and the "Thaw" That Isn't
A few days ago on Monday, Jan. 16, President Reagan gave an internationally televised speech designed to calm growing fears here and abroad over U. S. -Soviet tensions. It has been ballyhooed as the centerpiece of a supposed big new U.S. push for better relations with Russia, mainly by leaving out any new inflammatory rhetoric. There has been a flurry of stories of an impending "thaw" in U. S. -Soviet relations, as if such a development can just magically happen overnight. Not true.
The tone of the Reagan speech was one thing, its substance something else again. After three years of using everything short of swear words in speeches against the Kremlin, the Jan. 16 speech sounded conciliatory by comparison. There were nice phrases about the need to "seize the opportunities for peace" and the assurance that "We seek genuine cooperation. We seek progress for peace. " Platitudes like these have been seized upon by some as a hopeful sign, simply because they have been so lacking up to now. But the more concrete statements in the speech were not those in favor of negotiation or arms control, but those designed to justify continued massive emphasis on military power.
Reagan gave lip service to arms control in ways designed to sound encouraging to the unwary. However, those statements were riddled with evasions and deceptions. An example was his statement that ". . . the simple truth is, America's total nuclear stockpile has declined" compared to 20 years ago. Sorry, Mr. Reagan, that's just a little too simple. That statement is worded so as to obscure the fact that the low point occurred several years ago. Under the Reagan Administration, America's nuclear stockpile is growing in both numbers and total destructive power--not shrinking, as Reagan seemed to say. As usual, our actor President reads the script convincingly, but he either does not know or does not care how misleading it is.
Two days after the Reagan "conciliatory" speech, so-called, Secretary of State George Shultz met in Stockholm with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko. A revival of the MBFR (Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction) talks in Europe may
result from that meeting: both the U. S. and USSR would gain in terms of world opinion by resuming those talks. But those negotiations have to do with conventional forces only--not nuclear weapons. Both sets of nuclear talks (START and INF) remain in limbo.
And the Bolshevized Reagan Administration is determined to make sure they stay that way. In NewsALERT #3 we reported on the plan to use allegations of Soviet arms-control cheating as the clincher to finish off any hope of reviving arms control talks after they collapsed. At that time, the process of collapse was being set in motion, thanks to the Korean airliner disaster arranged by the Korean CIA for its U. S. counterpart. Now, with the collapse of arms control talks an accomplished fact, the "Russians are cheating" part of the strategy is emerging right on schedule.
On Jan. 13, the Friday before Reagan's supposedly conciliatory speech for a foreign policy "thaw, " reporters were briefed on a report which is to be in the hands of Congress when it reconvenes on Jan. 23. The report describes what are alleged to be probable or possible Soviet violations in seven areas on past arms-control treaties. Administration officials claim it is only "coincidence" that the report is emerging at this precise moment, when there is pressure to re-start arms negotiations. But Reagan referred to it in his Jan. 16 speech, quietly laying a trap for use later on if necessary against those who may try to force a resumption of nuclear arms talks.
The Administration's report to Congress on possible Soviet arms cheating is being kept classified.
The excuse for this given publicly is that this is to minimize public exposure which might undermine efforts to improve relations with Russia. The real reason is quite different: the report is so flimsy in its conclusions that it might be torn to shreds if exposed to open public scrutiny. Four of the seven alleged violations actually describe only "probable" or "possible" violations which cannot be proven, despite intensive efforts to interpret the data that way. Moreover, three of these four have to do with treaties which technically do not exist--the expired SALT I or the SALT II treaty which the U.S. did not ratify after Russia agreed to it.
The most sensational of the seven alleged violations is also
the one which is most vulnerable to being totally exploded if exposed to public scrutiny. This is the charge, made very loudly by the Reagan Administration and angrily denied by the Kremlin, that Soviet forces are using "yellow rain" in Southeast Asia. Yellow rain is claimed to be a particularly ghastly and inhuman form of chemical warfare.
The Soviet Union does possess very advanced chemical warfare capabilities, including at least five divisions of troops fully trained in such warfare. The "yellow rain" story, however, is a hoax. There are all kinds of stories about the yellow rain being delivered by everything from overflying aircraft to artillery shells and rockets. There are said to have been over 100 such attacks, and yet not a single scrap of chemical warfare ordnance (shell casings and the like) has ever been found.
Worse yet, Australian and British scientists who were given alleged yellow rain samples by the U.S. State Department discovered that the samples were fakes. There is also a growing body of scientific evidence that tricothecene mycotoxins (the active ingredient in the alleged yellow rain) may be a naturally occurring health hazard over wide areas of Southeast Asia in connection with honey bee droppings on foliage. In fact, the first "yellow rain"-like charges turn out to have been made 20 years ago in 1964: they were made in the U. N. Security Council by Cambodia, not against Russia, but against the United States. Then as now, naturally occurring toxins may have been at fault.
There are many more problems with the "yellow rain" story than we can cover here. But the bottom line is that the Reagan Administration could have those charges blow up in its face if it is not careful. Other aspects of the charges of Soviet cheating could also backfire or be anti-climactic if opened up fully to public examination. So. . . better to keep it all classified and pretend to have a stronger case than really exists.
The optimism about a supposed U.S. -Soviet thaw has been whipped up lately by the Reagan Administration for two reasons. Partly it is a reaction to the beating which was administered by Soviet "Siberia Express" weather control in December (NewsALERT #11) and again, as a brief reminder, this past week. However, it is aimed even more at de-fusing opposition to Reagan policies in America and Europe. There is a pause only in the visibility of superpower tensions. There is no true "thaw. "
Calm Before the Storm in Lebanon and the Middle East
The joint plans of the present government of the U. S. and Israel for a "Vietnam" plan to partition Lebanon (NewsALERT #4, 6, 9) continues on track. There has been a brief pause in progress of that plan, due to Jesse Jackson's wild-card success in getting Syria to release captured Navy flier, Robert Goodman. Jackson broke the rhythm of the joint U. S. - Israeli steps which were underway toward setting up a direct U. S. -Syria confrontation (NewsALERT #11). Reagan had no choice but to talk peace for awhile until everyone forgot about Jackson and Goodman.
Now the game plan is getting back in gear. In NewsALERT #10 we alerted you to watch for new fireworks concerning Lebanon in late January--that is, now. We reported that there would be new pressures to withdraw the Marines from Lebanon as soon as Congress reconvened, which it will on Jan. 23. To stave off those pressures, we said to watch for supposed new provocations around this time, allegedly involving Syria.
The key to creating new pretexts for U. S. action in Lebanon is the extensive infiltration of Middle East terrorist groups-including the so-called Khomeini government of Iran—by the Israeli Mossad (NewsALERT #6, 7). Thanks to the now openly acknowledged strategic cooperation between the "Reagan" government and that of ex-Mossad agent Shamir (NewsALERT #9), terrorist actions to provide the excuse for U. S. responses can be set off almost at will.
Two days ago Dr. Malcolm Kerr, President of the American University of Beirut was shot dead in his campus office building. A shadowy, supposedly pro-Iranian group called "Islamic Jihad" claimed credit, as it did for the Marine barracks bombing last October. Reagan immediately said his death "must strengthen our resolve not to give in to terrorists" (meaning: don't pull out),
Now--just today, Jan. 20--the Pentagon has announced that U. S. Navy ships off Lebanon and in and near the Persian Gulf are on high alert against possible kamikaze air attacks. The threat is said to be so grave that American "first strikes" at terrorist bases are contemplated. As always, any such strike would be excused as necessary "to protect American lives. " But it would serve to involve the. U.S. even deeper, thereby
thwarting popular pressure —expressed through Congress — for a pullout of our forces.
The interlinking of Middle Eastern trouble spots (NewsALERT #10) is gradually setting the stage for a massive conflagration later on. With Lebanon as the battleground, both Syria and Iran are being drawn closer and closer to center stage. Syria is a Soviet client state and Iran is strategically located on the Soviet border. Thus, the joint U.S. -Israeli strategy to build from Lebanon toward confrontation with the Soviet Union is making relentless progress.
Very dramatic events may well take place in the coming weeks as regards Lebanon. Whatever is necessary in order to preserve continued American military involvement there can be expected to happen. Should pressures to pull out of Lebanon appear to be on the brink of success at some point, that is when we can expect some new disaster to prevent it. When there are cries of "Peace! Peace!" it is always followed these days by sudden destruction. It is the calm before the storm.
A Pause Before Upping the Stakes in Nicaragua
On Jan. 11 an American OH58 light observation helicopter was shot down and the pilot killed in Honduras, less than 100 yards from the Nicaraguan border. The Nicaraguans claim that it had been flying over Nicaraguan airspace and fled back across the border just before going down under fire.
The Nicaraguan account was confirmed the next day by five Honduran soldiers who witnessed the incident. And just two days ago, Jan. 18, no less than the Honduran military commander of that region, Col. Danilo Ferrara, gave reporters documentary proof of having received notification three days ahead of time that the helicopter would pass through that area.
By contrast, the U.S. has produced no witnesses to contradict any of these things. Instead, American spokesmen just keep saying that the helicopter was supposed to be 25-30 miles away from where it crashed. . . that maybe it was "blown off course" (a silly charge, since the OH58 cruises at 100 mph). . . that it did not cross the border, no matter what all those witnesses among our Honduran allies say. . . and that in any case,
it was all the pilot's fault that he got so close to the border. A "reckless and unprovoked" attack screams the State Dept.
The furor over the downed helicopter will pass, but it points out where events are heading. Under cover of the huge Big Pine II military exercises in Honduras, U.S. forces are preparing for operational military actions to come. Even now, selected operations are taking place in support of the CIA-controlled guerilla forces which operate in Nicaragua from bases in Honduras.
Big Pine II is supposed to wind down next month, but that will only be a pause. New and even bigger exercises are already scheduled to begin in June, setting the stage for possible direct action against Nicaragua. Like the ill-fated Bishop government in Grenada a year ago, the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua has made repeated overtures to the United States, all of which have been rebuffed. After a pause, new "unprovoked" incidents like the Jan. 11 downing of a helicopter can always be arranged. It is only a matter of time.
Politics: Reagan and "Debategate"
In the struggle for control of the White House, the "Debate-gate" controversy over Reagan's possession of Carter briefing papers in 1980 is still a ticking time bomb. It is designed to have its greatest impact after Reagan becomes an officially announced candidate for re-election (NewsALERT #1). Reagan repeatedly postponed his announcement schedule, and the public hearings on Debategate have likewise been postponed again and again.
Now Reagan's announcement of candidacy is firmly planned for Jan. 29. Public hearings on Debategate were scheduled to begin just before that on Jan. 26, but have now been cancelled altogether. That is a victory for the new U. S. Bolsheviks, who do not want their "Reagan" applecart upset in any way. This is the outcome, at least for now, of the White House infighting of recent months in which opposing factions have whipped up demands for lie detector tests of each other.
Now there will be a pause in the infighting as both sides regroup. Debategate may yet re-emerge in the spring.
The U.S. Military Challenge to Russia in Space
When President Reagan delivers his State of the Union address next week on Jan. 25, he reportedly will propose building a permanently manned space station. According to NASA studies, it would be flown into orbit in pieces aboard the Space Shuttle and assembled there.
The Pentagon and the CIA are pretending to be against the NASA space station project, saying it will detract from their own programs. In reality, however, they want the project to go forward. Ever since the surprise military takeover of space by Russia in late 1977 (AL#26 on), American military moves in space have had to hide as much as possible behind the skirts of nominally civilian projects with high visibility. Military payloads secretly bootlegged aboard supposedly nonmilitary Space Shuttle flights are presently a prime example of this.
The biggest blow delivered so far to Russia's now-dominant space program took place last Sept. 27. It was the sixth anniversary of the secret Battle of the Harvest Moon (AL#26) which broke America's military control of space. The Russians had a space spectacular ready to go: a double launch of manned spacecraft to rendezvous with the Salyut 7 space station. One crew of two men was to relieve the two-man crew already occupying the station.
The other crew of three--two men and a woman--were additionally to visit the station for a few days and then return to earth. But the rocket carrying the two-man crew exploded on the pad. The cosmonauts were saved by an emergency escape system that lifted their Soyuz capsule away from the exploding rocket, but the other launch was cancelled. The circumstances strongly suggested sabotage.
This episode led a few weeks later to the Salyut crew returning to earth without being replaced by a relief crew. It was a setback as regards some long-term experiments which were underway. Even so, the U.S. remains far, far behind in a stern chase to catch the Russians in permanently occupying space. For example, the Reagan space station would reach orbit in 1991, with luck. Meanwhile, a new monster rocket is being prepared on a Soviet launch pad already which is meant to orbit a much larger space station all at once. The pause due to the September disaster has gained the U.S. very little.
Announcement: A Pause in the Publication of NewsALERT
With this issue the publication of NewsALERT must be interrupted due to circumstances beyond our control.
Over the past nine years plus, we at Audio Books Inc. (publisher of NewsALERT) have tried very hard never to fail you. A number of times over the years we have had to risk all of our limited resources in order to overcome obstacles placed in our path. Each time until now, this all-out effort has always been rewarded by success in getting past those obstacles. Efforts to silence our reporting program have been thwarted by the grace of God, and we have been able to continue serving you.
This time, however, it has not turned out that way. When Dr. Beter's "Audio Letter" tape reporting program came to an abrupt end in November 1982, we were faced once again with a do-or-die situation like those we had confronted before. We have responded in the same way as in the past, but this time our depleted resources have not survived the challenge. We have reached the point of exhaustion, not only financially but also otherwise. The only hope for successfully renewing and sustaining service to you now is to call a complete halt so that we can rebuild from the ground up.
As discouraging as this predicament is, we also feel that it could be a blessing in disguise.
For some time now, we have been laboring under financial constraints so severe that it has fundamentally hampered our ability to serve you properly. All of our original subscribers will be aware of this already, having received a confidential letter about it early last fall. Quite a few people responded to that letter by generously sending donations that gave us an important boost. We were encouraged to press on, but our vulnerability—while reduced somewhat--was far from eliminated. Traditionally the holiday season is the most difficult of the year for us, and during the holidays just past unusually severe distractions and pressures helped to reduce NewsALERT to a precarious condition. Two weeks ago in NewsALERT #11 we announced a retrenchment, in the form of a phaseout of the tapes which we formerly produced.
We also announced an open licensing arrangement in hopes of insuring continued availability of Dr. Beter's "Audio Letter" tapes indefinitely, no matter what happens to Audio Books Inc. or NewsALERT. But it is too little, too late to help NewsALERT continue publishing right now.
Instead of continuing to hobble along this way, perhaps it is for the best that we are now forced to stop and take a breather. What we now hope to do is to reorganize on a firmer foundation that will enable a fresh start with renewed vitality and stability for the long pull.
Whether that hope can be realized will depend very much on you, our readers. What we need most from you is time--probably several months at best. We know that this is a lot to ask for, especially since at this particular moment we are in no position to give you any specific promises or timetables. We can do only what our Lord Jesus Christ enables us to do, as He enables us to do it. To go beyond that right now and say that we expect to do such-and-such by so-and-so date might be reassuring to some, but it would not be honest. We would rather level with you and throw ourselves on your mercy.
What we are asking is that you simply let your subscription "ride" for now. We are keeping track of the exact status of each and every subscription. If as we hope NewsALERT can resume publication on a firmer foundation later on, your subscription will automatically resume at the earliest possible moment, and you will receive all the issues you paid for.
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We who founded Audio Books Inc. in 1974 were a small group of people in Fort Worth, Texas, We first became aware of Dr. Peter Beter in the same way as many of you, through his then-frequent appearances on radio talk shows. We reacted at first with incredulity to some of his behind-the-scenes reports, but the more we watched events and the more we investigated what he said, the more impressed we became.
We checked out certain of Dr. Beter's charges through our U.S. Senator and Congressman, and were shocked to catch the U, S. Government in lies which we could prove ourselves. Finally, when President Nixon was ousted and Nelson Rockefeller nominated for Vice President, we decided it was time to act: Dr. Beter had made public the plans for the exact events which finally took place, months ahead of time.
After meeting Dr. Beter and investigating further, we founded Audio Books Inc. to provide an avenue free of censorship or interference for Dr. Beter's reports. It was necessary for years to subsidize the tape program with our own funds, but we believed that was justified. The stakes of this kind of work go beyond dollars and cents: they involve the future that we will leave to our children. That was our attitude as we worked closely with Dr. Beter for 8 years. It is still our view now.
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Notice Concerning Dr. Beter
In November 1982 Dr. Peter Beter terminated his AUDIO LETTER tape program and his association with Audio Books, Inc. , for health reasons. Copies of Dr. Beter's letter dated Nov. 16, 1982, were sent at that time to all AUDIO LETTER subscribers, but a few current NewsALERT subscribers may not have received a copy. To insure that there is no confusion in anyone's mind, Dr. Beter has requested that we print in four issues of NewsALERT the following, which we are glad to do:
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|Peter Beter News Alert 12: Key Trends and Events to Watch|