I declare the Hippie Movement – DEAD! This includes the Kesey Pranksters that are sustained by George Walker and Ken Babbs. I am on their Facebook and see very little interest in World Events. What about the Beat and Bohemian Movement? I lived with the two daughters of Jirayr Zorthian who was titled ‘The Last Bohemian’. He served in Army Intelligence. Nancy Van Brasch lived with us. Her ancestors were members of the German colony in Texas founded by Solms-Braunfels. I suspect Nancy got her famous yogurt recipe from a colonizer. My Preskowitz ancestors came from Bohemia. My other grandparents were Turners who backed my kin, John Fremont, in his bid to become the first Republican President.
My generation is coming to an end. Marijuana is going to be legal everywhere. You do not need anyone’s permission from my Bohemian generation to become a pothead. I do object to these generic stoners enhancing their dull lifestyle with the art and myths of the true Hippies. They barely care about our history and culture, and like all the apathetics before them – they don’t want to get involved! How do we know the anti-mask crusade is not coming from Putin?
Anti-Taliban forces have already had some success. For years I have been trying to find people to help me revive The Jessie Scouts, named after my kin, Jessie Benton. I highly suggest that the identity crisis the Liberal-Left is having, take a cue from the Bohemian People of the Czech Republic who have had powerful tyrants send their armies to conquer them – many times! The Pope launched four Crusades against the people of Prague – and lost!
World History has many sides. It is hard to know, or decide, which side you are on. One hundred and sixty years after the American Civil War ended, we see photographs of the Governor of Texas (and wife) with men in Confederated Uniforms. Bohemia is right there, in the middle of many battles, and shifts of fortune. Getting to safety is of prime importance.
Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue has told his British Army counterpart, a high-ranking field-grade officer of the British army’s 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, that British operations were embarrassing the United States military in the absence of similar U.S. military operations. I understand that the British officer firmly rejected the request.
Born of Armenian parents on April 14, 1911, in Kütahya, Western Anatolia, Ottoman Empire, Zorthian escaped through Europe with the remnants of his family after two waves of political massacres, and arrived in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1923. He earned a Master of Fine Arts at Yale University (where he had a “full college scholarship to the Yale School of fine arts”) and studied art in Italy in the 1930s. Returning to the United States during the Great Depression, he painted several massive murals, including 11 for the Tennessee State Capitol in 1938 which earned him the honorary title of “Colonel“. In 1940, he painted the mural at the United States Post Office in St. Johnsville, New York titled “Early St. Johnsville Pioneers.”
World War II
During World War II, he served stateside in army intelligence and painted what he came to consider his masterpiece—a mural he titled The Phantasmagoria of Military Intelligence Training. His first marriage, to shaving cream heiress Betty Williams, ended in divorce but he gained the first acres of the Altadena ranch where he lived from 1945 until his death.
I have been trying to form The New Jessie Scouts to do battle with the enemy within.
From Austria to Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, Russian diplomats have been expelled from several European countries in the past few months over Moscow’s increasingly aggressive spying tactics.https://products.gobankingrates.com/r/e48f149e71a19f66115d5f5c8edaefd8?subid=
The issue has become all the more acute over alleged cyber attacks by Russia on the United States, which Moscow has dismissed as nonsense but prompted the EU to issue a strong statement of solidarity.
Italy was the latest country to send Russian envoys packing earlier this month after a navy captain was caught handing over classified documents to a Russian agent.
Prince Carl (Karl) of Solms-Braunfels (27 July 1812 – 13 November 1875), was a German prince and military officer in both the Austrian army and in the cavalry of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. As Commissioner General of the Adelsverein, he spearheaded the establishment of colonies of German immigrants in Texas. Prince Solms named New Braunfels, Texas in honor of his homeland.
Biden and his team met on Saturday in the White House Situation Room to discuss the security situation and counterterrorism operations, including against the Islamic State group in Afghanistan.https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=3533
Evacuations and efforts to finalize agreements with third-party countries willing to serve as transit hubs for evacuees were also discussed.
Vice President Kamala Harris joined the meeting by secure video teleconference during her travels to Singapore. They were joined by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, among others.
Back in November of last year, Trump said he would stop arming Kurds. Why the shock -this week? Fishy!
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The United States will cut off its supply of arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria, a move by President Donald Trump that is sure to please Turkey but further alienate Syrian Kurds who bore much of the fight against the Islamic State group.
In a phone call Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump said he’d “given clear instructions” that the Kurds will receive no more weapons — “and that this nonsense should have ended a long time ago,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The White House confirmed the move in a cryptic statement about the phone call that said Trump had informed the Turk of “pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria.”
Czech Republic biggest supplier of PKK arms – report
The Czech Republic is the biggest supplier of arms to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its offshoots in Syria, Turkey’s Yeni Şafak newspaper said citing a former Turkish army commander.
The majority of the weapons that the United States provides to the Kurdish terrorists are sourced from the Czech Republic, which released from custody the co-leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Saleh Muslim on Tuesday, despite Turkey’s extradition request, Yeni Şafak said .
The weapons, which include BKS, Dochka, Draganof and Kalashnikov rifles, as well as 23 millimeter ZU-23, IGLA (SA-18) anti-plane weapons, mortar shells, Katyusha rockets and Grad weapons were handed to U.S. bases in Bulgaria and Romania. From there, they were transported to terror group’s armories in Syria’s al-Hasakah, the newspaper said.
Colonle Haydar Ateş, the former commander of the Afghanistan Turkish Task Force, said that East Germany was center of the illicit arms procurements until 1990, but after Germany’s reunification, the procurements were made through Czechoslovakia. The Prague-based arms trade of former Warsaw Pact weapons reached $70-80 billion a year and the biggest buyer of the weapons over the past five years was the United States, he said.
“The Pentagon and the CIA are very well aware of who they are giving their weapons to and are afraid of giving weapons in their own inventory to the PKK in case they are held to account in the future,” said Ateş.
“Everyone takes their share of the illicit activity. Except for the Javelin and TOW-type anti-tank weapons, the remainder of the weapons sent by the U.S. to Syria are Russian-made. The UAE foots the bill for the weapons buildup. The political and military authorities who served on the field in the illegal arms trade also received personal profits from these businesses,” he said.
Muslim allegedly met with arms dealers in Prague following his release, Yeni Şafak said. Many top PKK officials including Zubeyir Aydar and Sabri Ok made similar visits to the Czech Republic between 2014 and 2017, it said.
Turkey has fought the autonomy-seeking PKK for three decades at the cost of about 40,000 lives, most of them Kurdish. Ankara launched a military incursion into Syria on Jan. 20 to fight members of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of the PYD, which Turkey says is indistinguishable from the PKK, recognised as a terrorist organisation by the United States and European Union. Washington has trained and equipped the YPG as part of a wider force that has been fighting against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
Muslim had held talks with Turkish officials in Istanbul in July 2013, after which Turkey had promised to supply aid to the Kurds in northern Syria. The negotiations were held as part of a general peace effort that also included Turkish meetings with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. The process was abandoned in 2015 after the party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lost its legislative majority in parliament and Turkey launched a crackdown on the Kurdish opposition.
The Afghan President (To Be) Who Lived A Secret Life In A Czechoslovak Forest
November 03, 2019 09:00 GMT
KRASLICE, Czech Republic — In the winter of 1978-79, Afghanistan’s communist regime deployed a hit squad to find and kill Babrak Karmal, the high-profile ambassador to Czechoslovakia.
Fearing for his life, Czechoslovak authorities secretly hid Karmal and his family in a remote hunting lodge in the dense forests straddling the border with East Germany.
The family-of-six lived covertly for a year under the protection of the StB, Czechoslovakia’s notorious secret police. To ward off the assassins, they were relocated to a sanatorium in a secluded mountain village and then an abandoned villa that was once used by the Soviet Army.
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These are the remarkable revelations within the 370 pages of top secret StB files that were recently declassified by the Czech government. The documents for the first time reveal details of Karmal’s secret life in Czechoslovakia and the dramatic events that preceded his rise to power in Afghanistan.
The Soviet Union installed Karmal as president following its invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, shortly after he left Czechoslovakia.
Karmal ruled for seven years during Moscow’s disastrous, decade-long occupation that set Afghanistan on a course for decades of conflict.
‘Arrest And Possible Execution’
Karmal’s ascent to power appeared unlikely when he arrived in the Czechoslovak capital, Prague, in July 1978 as the new ambassador.
Months earlier, communists in Afghanistan had seized power in a bloody coup. As one of the heads of the leftist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), Karmal was named deputy leader.
But infighting soon broke out among the two rival PDPA factions — Khalq and Parcham.
President Noor Mohammad Taraki of Khalq instigated a purge against Parcham, led by Karmal. Hundreds of Parcham members and supporters were jailed or executed while its leaders were sent abroad as ambassadors.
Soon after arriving in Prague, Karmal planned a coup to topple Taraki but the plot was uncovered. Karmal was dismissed in early September and ordered to return to Afghanistan. But he refused, fearing for his life.
This was when the StB categorized Karmal as a “person of interest.”
“He stated that he was at risk of arrest and possible execution and that he wanted to ask the Czechoslovak authorities for political asylum,” said a StB file from September 1978.
Karmal’s request placed Czechoslovak authorities in an awkward position.
Prague backed Taraki’s government, which demanded Karmal’s arrest and extradition on charges of attempting a coup.
Czechoslovak Deputy Foreign Minister Dusan Spacil reached out to a diplomat from the Soviet Embassy referred to in the files as “Novikov.” Spacil told the Soviet official that he “looked forward to the disclosure of Moscow’s position” on what to do with Karmal, according to a StB file from September 1978.
With the apparent green light from Moscow, Karmal and his family were granted asylum in Czechoslovakia.
In a dispatch sent to the Czechoslovak Embassy in Kabul, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia justified the decision by falsely saying that Karmal “suffers from heart problems that require long-term treatment” and “we could not refuse Karmal’s request.”
When the Czechoslovak ambassador in Kabul informed Taraki of the decision, the Afghan president said “Karmal’s illness was fictitious and that he should be returned as a warrant had been issued for his arrest,” according to a telegram sent by the ambassador to Prague.
‘Carry Out His Physical Liquidation’
At the end of September, Karmal, his wife, and four children were secretly taken around 160 kilometers west to a remote hunting lodge just outside the village of Sindelova, near the town of Kraslice, nestled in the forests of the Ore Mountains.
The StB made Karmal’s safety a high priority and issued instructions to its agents to secure the lodge and monitor the ambassador’s movements.
“According to information from Kabul, three people were allegedly sent to Czechoslovakia whose task was to find out the place of Karmal’s stay and to carry out his physical liquidation,” said StB files from January 1979. “The new Afghan ambassador to Czechoslovakia also supposedly received information about the operation and he was expected to provide financial and other support.”
The file said the assassins could pose “as students, businessmen, or tourists.” The StB tasked officers to screen all Afghan nationals residing in Czechoslovakia, to monitor the arrival of Afghan nationals to Czechoslovakia, and to immediately strengthen security at the lodge. The secret police also recommended that Karmal and his family be moved to the portion of the soaring Tatra Mountains that hugs the border with Poland.
The StB also carried out a deception operation.
Karmal was instructed to write two postcards in which he mentioned that he was leaving Czechoslovakia. The postcards were sent with the intention that they would be intercepted and seen by the Afghan Embassy.
During their stay, the family went for walks in the surrounding forests, visited nearby lakes, and frequented the Favorit Chateau, which was located next to the lodge, for meals, the StB files state.
The family was taken care of by Cenek Jelinek, the state-forest director of the Kraslice region.
Jelinek, a longtime member of the Communist Party, organized Karmal’s accommodation with officials from the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the files said.
His son, Cenek Jelinek, recalls how he worked with his late father and met Karmal and his family.
He told RFE/RL that they looked and behaved “normally” and were dressed in a “European way.” Karmal was “wearing a black coat and a hat” and often went on walks, he said.
“My father went [to the lodge] from time to time to ask what they needed,” Jelinek told RFE/RL, adding that female foresters sometimes cleaned and cooked for Karmal’s family.
Karmal’s stay at the lodge was “supervised by the StB,” said the 67-year-old, adding that he suspected the “StB was wiretapping our family’s phone.”
‘Giving Them Away’
At the end of January, Karmal’s location was compromised. His phone calls were likely intercepted. The StB ordered the family’s evacuation.
The StB relocated the family to a spa resort in the village of Sklene Teplice, located at the foot of the Stiavnica Mountains, more than 600 kilometers away. On their way they spent a night at the Hotel Slavia in the city of Brno.
A “legend” was created that the family were the “personal guests” of the director of an aluminum factory that managed the spa, the StB files said. The resort appeared to be for the exclusive use of factory workers.
Days after Karmal’s arrival at the Nocne Sanatorium, the StB gathered intelligence on the would-be assassins. One of three hit men who had left Kabul was a man called Kalekani, who was said to be “aged around 40, tall, with dark hair and skin, and of unpleasant behavior.”
Karmal and his family kept a low profile at the spa resort. Two of his children attended school in a nearby village and his younger son played for a local soccer team.
“Babrak leaves his place of residence only once a week when he travels with our permission to Ziar nad Hronom,” the closest town to Sklene Teplice, according to the files, which added that he made phone calls to Parcham members exiled in France, Yugoslavia, and West Germany.
Lubomir Melis, the mayor of Sklene Teplice, was 17 when the Karmal family lived in the village. He said they were “nice and pleasant people” who became “part of the character of the village.”
“Karmal was always with a big, burly man whose name was Abdul,” Melis told RFE/RL. “It was obvious that he was the family’s bodyguard. He was moving around with him all the time. Karmal went on walks in the village. He would greet people. But this happened rarely. But when he went out to public places Abdul always accompanied him.”
Jozef Zeliar, a former mayor of the village, said Karmal would mostly “remain inside the sanatorium.”
“He studied something all the time,” Zeliar told the Slovak daily Pravda in 2008. “Only from time to time did he go out and have a beer at a garden restaurant. He was always accompanied by bodyguards.”
Karmal had an agreement with a Czechoslovak publishing house to translate into Dari “The Lessons Of The Development Of A Crisis,” the official document released by the Czechoslovak Communist Party to justify the Soviet invasion in 1968, according to a high-ranking party official in Prague.
Zeliar said Karmal’s wife, Mahbouba, appeared in public more often than he did.
“Back then, she was 44 years old and is remembered as quite a pretty woman,” Pravda wrote, based on the interview with Zeliar. “Alongside her was an unknown female assistant. They were usually doing some shopping for the household.”
Richard Kafka, a former engineer at the aluminum factory, described the Karmal family’s time at the sanatorium in a personal blog post written in 2012.
Kafka wrote that the factory workers receiving treatment at the sanatorium remembered “the mysterious looking foreigners accommodated in several rooms” on the top floor: “one woman, two men, and three children.”
“The children freely moved among other guests,” wrote Kafka. “Back then, it was already possible to have quite a coherent conversation in Slovak with the boy. Their darker complexion was giving them away as foreigners.”
The factory workers came and went from the sanatorium without knowing the “names or the identities of the adult foreigners.”
Margita Urgasova, a former employee at the sanatorium where Karmal’s family stayed, said “they were a very nice and modest family.”
“[Karmal] told me how he wished that the people in his country could have decent lives [like people in Czechoslovakia], that children could go to school, and the economy could develop,” Urgasova told the Slovak daily Novy Cas in 2017. “His wife, Mahbouba, was also a very pleasant woman, also educated like him. She often looked worried because she did not know what would happen to them.”
‘Anywhere You Choose’
The Karmal family was only meant to remain at the sanatorium for three weeks.
But three months had passed. Karmal had run out of money and wanted to move.
In April, he penned a letter to a high-ranking official of the Czechoslovak Communist Party in which he expressed a desire to return to “golden Prague” so he could communicate with his “comrades” from the Parcham faction for “information and consultation, to send and receive letters, and sometimes to meet them here or abroad.”
Around the same time, Karmal wrote a letter addressed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Karmal condemned Taraki and his deputy, Hafizullah Amin, for their “inhuman” and “extreme” policies. He urged Moscow to secure the release of “thousands” of jailed Parcham members and supporters. The ambassador also suggested that, if he was president, he could solve the “current problems” in Afghanistan.
Karmal proposed a face-to-face meeting “anywhere you choose.” He received a response to his letter but the contents were not disclosed.
‘500 Rounds Of Ammunition’
In June 1979, a local StB officer said the manager of the sanatorium had issued a deadline of July 1 for the family to leave due to unpaid bills, growing suspicion among the other guests, and because the rooms they occupied were needed by the factory workers.
The following month, the StB searched for a new residence for the family. By September, officers prepared to relocate the family some 50 kilometers northeast to the city of Banska Bystrica, where they would stay in a villa that once housed the regional Soviet Army command.
It is unclear exactly when the family was relocated to Banska Bystrica, and there is a time gap of three months in the files.
The three-man hit squad sent from Kabul to kill Karmal had been “neutralized” by that point, according to Russian historian and investigative journalist Vladimir Snegiryov. But there is no mention of this in the declassified Czechoslovak archives.
In early December 1979, the StB reported a new threat: Mohammad Yasin Bonyadi, the Afghan ambassador who had replaced Karmal.
The StB files said two of Bonyadi’s sons residing in Czechoslovakia “have weapons and are showing interest in Karmal’s liquidation.”
The StB discovered that the Afghan Embassy had recently purchased “six pistols, two rifles, two shotguns, and 500 rounds of ammunition.”
In response to the new threat, the StB recruited an Afghan national living in Czechoslovakia to carry out an act of deception.
The agent was instructed to deliver the following fabricated story to a staff member at the Afghan Embassy: After work he went shopping in downtown Prague where he incidentally met Karmal, who told him he was ill and currently seeking medical treatment in Prague. Karmal told him that he “gave up all his political activities because he is only interested in his family and health,” said the StB instruction.
Later that same day, the agent delivered the information to a diplomat at the Afghan Embassy who expressed “great surprise,” according to the StB files.
The diplomat told the agent to avoid “Karmal’s company” and not to ever talk to anyone about it.
In mid-December, the StB reported that officers had taken measures to seize the weapons and neutralize the threat.
‘Instructions Of The KGB’
In late December, Karmal’s face appeared on television screens around the world, much to the shock of those in Czechoslovakia who had seen the secretive, cane-carrying man in Sindelova and Sklene Teplice.
Melis, the mayor of Sklene Teplice, was shocked when he saw Karmal on state television.
“I was like: ‘Wow!'” he said. “This was the person who was staying here! So that was when we realized that he was here in hiding and then they installed him [in Afghanistan as president].”
On December 27, 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and installed Karmal as the new president.
When precisely Karmal left Czechoslovakia remains unknown. The last mention of him in the StB files is in September 1979. Karmal’s family members remained in Czechoslovakia until at least February 1980, the StB files state.
Karmal “illegally returned to Afghanistan in October 1979 and established contact with the healthy forces within” the PDPA, according to internal documents written by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.
According to secret materials provided by KGB defector and archivist Vasiliy Mitrokhin, KGB chief Yury Andropov was authorized on October 10 to bring Karmal from Czechoslovakia to Moscow.
Karmal and six other “future rulers of Afghanistan were taken to Moscow” in November and “together they set about absorbing the instructions of the KGB,” according to the files.
The KGB files said the seven were in Moscow from November 2 to December 12. “They were then moved close to the [Soviet] border” with Afghanistan.
On the evening of December 27, Soviet special forces and KGB units seized key government buildings and assassinated President Hafizullah Amin and members of his family after a bloody battle at Tajbeg Palace in Kabul.
Later that evening, a prerecorded speech by Karmal was broadcast by Radio Kabul from Tashkent in the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic: “Today is the breaking of the machine of torture of Amin and his henchmen, wild butchers, usurpers, and murderers of tens of thousands of our countrymen.”
Months earlier, Amin had ousted Taraki, who was allegedly jailed and suffocated to death on Amin’s orders.
Karmal, who arrived in Kabul the following day, called for the Soviet Union’s “fraternal assistance.”SEE ALSO:Anniversary Of Storming Of Afghan Palace
In justifying its invasion, Moscow said Afghanistan had “turned to the Soviet Union for aid and assistance in the struggle against foreign aggression” and it decided to “send a limited military contingent to Afghanistan.”
Thousands of Soviet troops and hundreds of planes and tanks crossed into Afghanistan in the days following the invasion. At the height of the war, some 115,000 Soviet troops were fighting in Afghanistan.
The United States and Saudi Arabia bankrolled the mujahedin, the Islamist groups who fought the communist government in Kabul and then the Soviet Army. Neighboring Pakistan armed, trained, and advised the rebels.
Karmal enacted reforms and freed thousands of people jailed by his predecessors. But the government instigated its own purges and remained weak and heavily dependent on Moscow.
The Soviets soon found themselves bogged down in a costly military quagmire.
In an attempt to turn the tide of the war, Moscow replaced Karmal in 1986 with Mohammad Najibullah, the head of the notorious secret police. But in 1989, the Soviet Union pulled its troops out of Afghanistan after an estimated 2 million Afghans and at least 15,000 Soviet soldiers were killed. Millions of other Afghans were displaced, living mainly as refugees in Pakistan and Iran.
Najibullah’s regime survived until 1992, when the mujahedin toppled the communists from power. Within months, a devastating civil war erupted among the warring mujahedin factions, paving the way for the rise of the Taliban, which seized control of Kabul in 1996.
By then, Karmal was settled with his family in Moscow, where he died of liver cancer in December 1996 at the age of 67.