Monday | March 24, 2003
Republican Guard; Nasiriyah; Civilian casualties
The US, with superior air and artillery power, should be able to make quick work of the Medina Division. If I were to guess, I'd say this division will make an initial stand, cause as much damage to the invaders, and then abandon their equipment as newly minted "irregulars", melting away into the populace as "civilians", ready to carry the fight another day.
In the South
"We were expecting a lot of hands up from Iraqi soldiers and for the humanitarian operation in Basra to begin fairly quickly behind us, with aid organizations providing food and water to the locals," Captain Patrick Trueman said. "But it hasn't quite worked out that way."CNN reports that Umm Qasr is still not secure as guerilla forces continue to harrass US and UK forces there. All three of those cities are in southern Iraq -- the area that was supposed to shower "liberating" troops with rose petals. Gen. Franks has been reduced to rationalizing the reason the southern Shia didn't follow the script:
"It has to do with fear," [Franks] said.Perhaps, or perhaps they hold grudges from the US's 1991 betrayal. Or they simply didn't hate Saddam as much as we were repeatedly told -- willing to side with him against the US.
Iraq does claim 30 dead in Babel and 14 in Basra, and we have five more dead in the accidental bombing of the bus near the Syrian border. But altogether these numbers are amazing.
Of course, it's hard to "shock and awe" an enemy when you're merely staging a fireworks show, blowing up empty buildings. I hate to say it, but the strategy would require at least some degree of civilian casualties to work, and that's something that the US and UK are desperately trying to avoid.Posted March 24, 2003 05:57 PM | Comments (55)