By Dave Gahary
The recent raid by the United States Special Forces commando unit given worldwide recognition for the alleged raid and murder of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan has made headlines again, this time in Somalia, and the apparent success of both operations is paving the way for a new military strategy being promoted by the Obama White House which includes a much larger role for Special Operations (SpecOp) forces in the leaned-down U.S. military.
The U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), formerly named SEAL Team Six, conducted a daring early-morning raid on nine heavily armed Somali kidnappers to free the American and Dutch employees of the Danish Refugee Council, who were captured by Somali pirates in October 2011 while working on a demining program, without suffering so much as a scratch.
The SEALs, named so because they operate on the sea, air and land, are the U.S. military’s most advanced, or elite, SpecOp unit, and are usually called upon for the most complex of operations, although most of the information about the SEALs is highly classified and not commented on by the White House or the Department of Defense.
On January 23, AMERICAN FREE PRESS conducted an exclusive interview with Charles Patrick “Chuck” Pfarrer, III, author of the New York Times Best Seller, SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden, to get a better understanding of this elite fighting unit.
Pfarrer went through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) in 1981 and spent eight years as a SEAL, and was the Assault Element Commander of SEAL Team Six. He witnessed the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut and was one of the SEAL Team leaders responsible for the apprehension of Abu Abbas and the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro. He is now a successful author and Hollywood screenwriter with several of his works adapted for the silver screen, including Navy SEALs, Red Planet and The Jackal. He also serves as a consultant to government and industry on terrorism and counter-terrorism, special operations, terrorist operational methodology, counter-proliferation and terrorist employment of weapons of mass destruction.
His time in the Middle East gave him unique insights into the root cause of the troubles and violence in that region. Recounting the Shabra and Shatilla massacres in Lebanon, where between 2,000 and 10,000 innocent “old men, women and children” were murdered “in two nights of violence” by a Christian militia group, Pfarrer said that “during the massacre the Israelis fired flares over the camps so that the Christian militias could see what they were doing.” This event, he explained, “had a galvanizing effect on Arab opinion, and on the opinion of a 26-year-old college dropout named Osama bin Laden.” Pfarrer explained that “Israeli investigations found that Ariel Sharon was not just complicit but responsible for the massacre.”
Another event that was significant in the minds of many Arabs was the October 1983 Marine barracks truck bombing in Beirut, “the largest non-nuclear explosion in the history of warfare,” where, as Pfarrer recounts, “My SEAL team, we were in a bunker about 300 yards away.” As he writes on page 82 of SEAL Target Geronimo, “It is one of the ironies of history that the most emblematic weapon of Islamic terrorism, the truck bomb, was invented not by a Muslim fundamentalist but by a radical Jew,” Menachem Begin.
AFP asked if he agreed Israel’s refusal to retreat to the agreed-upon borders that existed prior to the 1967 Israeli-Arab War is the main reason behind terrorism directed at the U.S.
“Well, I would,” said Pfarrer. “This is an ongoing problem compounded by the fact that the Zionist state has never talked seriously to the Palestinian diaspora about allowing the almost 2 million dispossessed Palestinians to return to their property.”
“The Israeli/Palestinian problem is the mainspring for the clockwork of the trouble in the Middle East,” he continued, “and it’s in the best interests of America to help solve this problem.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.