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

Saturday | March 29, 2003

Victory no longer inevitable

Bush and his Chickenhawk Neocon Brigade wanted to show the world the US was a badass. That it had overwhelming military superiority and was unchallangeable. That technology and airpower would trump determined foes every single time.

And for the most part, the world believed this. GW1 was an unmitigated success. Kosovo and Bosnia as well. Afghanistan? The US accomplished in months what the Soviets were never unable to do in a decade.

So the US was well aware of US military dominance. The evidence was unambiguous (notwidthstanding Somalia).

So there was no doubt that Iraq would be the cakewalk everyone predicted, right? The Iraqis had to know they had no chance, correct? Why fight such an overwhelmingly powerful military foe?

You see, the US had built an aura of invinsibility. Part real accomplishment, part perception, that "aura" was undoubtedly a boon to US foreign policy, as the mere threat of attack kept potential aggressor states in line.

But then our mighty armies were thrown in a war with no clear justification, an unrealistic plan that assumed the best case scenario, and against a determined enemy desperate enough to use any tactic necessary. And I have to say, with much trepidation, victory no longer seems self-evident to me.

That's right. At this rate, we may not see a solid military victory. Our forces are taking an "operational pause" so that they can be reinforced. The US command is using the opportunity to "soften up" targets in the cities for the inevitable invasions. And there's always the hope that the populations of Basra, Baghdad and other besieged cities will rise up against Saddam.

But the bombing runs can only be so effective (how many times can you bomb the rubble of the presidential palace in Baghdad?), and even efforts to destroy RG tanks are probably only fractionally effective (the Serbs used carboard tanks to fool NATO airpower -- so $100,000 bombs took out $10 decoys).

So a US push into central Baghdad may be militarily possible, but will still not be enough to declare victory. Resistance will be ongoing. And how does Bush distract the public from a bloody occupation that is still a full-fledged war?

By having an affair with a White House intern?

And the greatest damage? The US military, unable to quickly subdue Saddam's ragtag army, has just shown the world that it is not the invincible juggernaut everyone believed it was.

By dragging us into this war to prove how tough we were, Bush and his cabal have just proven to the world that we can bleed. Why else are Iran and Syria emboldened to help out their supposed Iraqi enemy?

Posted March 29, 2003 07:31 AM | Comments (289)


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