Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | March 24, 2003

Not a quagmire. Yet.

A CNN reporter yesterday uttered that dreaded word: "Quagmire."

While I appreciate the newfound skepticism amongst the press, let's make it clear that we are nowhere near that point. A quagmire signifies a years-long conflict in which military forces are bogged down with little movement toward victory. Four days of combat do not, in any way, indicate a quagmire.

What we are seeing is real war. An invading army is taking casualties from determined defenders. There's nothing shocking about this.

So let's stay off the "quagmire" label for now. We'll have plenty of opportunity to use it during the US's future long (and undoubtedly bloody) occupation of Iraq.

I wouldn't even say the US is taking heavy casualties -- they are relatively light compared to past conflicts. My problem is that I think one casualty is too many for this conflict. And given that "embedded" reporters have been suddenly shut down, I fear that casualties continue to mount.

The US is really starting to lose the propaganda war, as everything it says turns out to be lies.


  • Saddam is dead! Ok, no he's not.
  • Iraq fired a Scud at Kuwait! Ok, no it wasn't.
  • Umm Qasr is taken! Ok, no it's not.
  • The Iraqi 51st Division surrendered en masse! Ok, not it hasn't.
  • Republican Guard commanders will surrender! Ok, no they won't.
  • Basra is taken! Ok, no it's not.
  • We found a chemical weapons factory! Ok, maybe it isn't.
Sigh. The fact that these efforts to weaken Saddam's regime can be attributed to several reasons -- perhaps the regime wasn't as despised as claimed. Perhaps command and control is fully intact (they could've laid an underground fiberoptic lines impervious to US jamming or easy location and destruction).

Perhaps the Iraqi people don't give a damn. It's their country, and damn it, they'll defend it against anyone who dares invade it.

It's too bad, really. The early propaganda efforts ("RG generals will surrender") were actually quite good. But they didn't buy it. At this point the US propaganda machine is too discredited to be of much use.

Posted March 24, 2003 06:42 AM | Comments (125)


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