Tuesday | March 25, 2003
Sand storms; Casualty figures; Peace plan?
Heavy sand storms have slowed combat operations on both sides of the conflict, with the US blitzkrieg slowed, air operations halted (except, it seems high-altitude bombings), and enemy activity
This all but ensures that today's news will be quiet. Perhaps this will give the more inquisitive news organizations (read: Reuters) the ability to bring us up to date on military operations the past two days.
News from the front has been all but non-existent as the embedded reporters have been essentially shut down. The Pentagon hasn't released updated casualty figures since Sunday afternoon (or thereabouts), and we've gotten nothing more than vague "reports" of US/UK "progress".
We do know that Basra is now a military target -- a disappointing development. Now British troops and Marines will have to take Iraq's second-largest city in door-to-door combat -- a precursor to what our forces will face in Baghdad.
Saudi Arabia, according to the Agonist, is floating such a proposal. No details have been released, and none of the major media outlets had run stories, but Riyadh was supposedly still waiting to hear back from the two respective capitals (DC and Baghdad -- Bush's lackeys in London get no respect).
Problem is, I can't imagine a scenario in which Bush could halt the war and still "save face". Indeed, this war was predicated in large part to the argument that withdrawing US forces massed in the Gulf region without utilizing them would be "losing face". Any resolution to this conflict that would leave Saddam in power would be clearly unacceptable to Bush.
But, how about this: Saddam steps down and takes exile in Bahrain (which has graciously offered). A government of "national unity" takes control, with no (or token) representation from the Baath Party. This new government promises a full accounting of Iraq's WMD program.
In return, the US must withdraw all forces from Iraq.
Would Bush agree to this? If he didn't, it would be conclusive proof that the US isn't there for freedom, democracy, or any of that other bull (otherwise, why is Uzbekistan listed in the "coalition of the willing"?), but for military domination of a vital economic and strategic region.
Hopefully we'll hear more about this Peace Plan soon.Posted March 25, 2003 08:15 AM | Comments (43)