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

Thursday | August 15, 2002

Still against Iraq invasion

MaxSpeaks reports that Gen. Schwarzkopf, speaking on Imus this morning, came out against Gulf War II. No surprise there. There hasn't been a single prominant military figure who was yet to support an Iraq invasion. All such support comes from the civilian chickenhawks over at the Pentagon and Veep ChichenHawk Cheney. People who know how to wage war -- not only the logistical and tactical considerations, but who are also entrusted with real lives -- can easily see the folly of an Iraq invasion.

On another note, the guy behind the Just One Minute blog points me to this interesting article in the National Review. The author of the piece tries to minimize the dangers and risks of a Saddam entrenched in his urban centers:

Cities are fairly complex systems. They require fresh water, food, and electricity to function effectively. Furthermore they cannot be defended equally well everywhere at all times. Attackers can avoid most of the pitfalls of urban fighting by cutting off cities, knocking out electricity and other elements of the infrastructure, and then making small-scale attacks in key areas when opportunities present themselves to do so with minimal risk.
The author then concludes that the US would still defeat Iraq, despite their urban defense strategy.

I don't think anyone argues that the US wouldn't win. The question has always been "at what cost". Sure, the US could take Iraq's oil fields and lay siege to its cities, cutting off their energy, water and supply lines, starving them over time. But the human toll would be disastrous as Saddam horded his supplies for the benefits of his fighters. Civilians would die by the thousands providing CNN and Al Jazeera with plenty of fodder for outraged viewers around the world.

Saddam wouldn't be playing for a military victory. His strategy would be to draw out the conflict for as long as possible, inflicting myriad paper cuts on the American behemoth. He would try to draw Israel into the conflict, sparking a wider war in the Middle East, one replete with nukes, bio and chemical weapons. And ultimately, US forces would have to enter the cities. If Saddam has to go down, he'll want to do so causing as much pain on the US and Israel as possible.

So why invade? Because Bush harbors a grudge against Saddam? Because he might have WMD, that he might then use against his neighbors? Let his neighbors deal with it, then. Given the fact that they refuse to allow US troops to launch an attach from their soil, those neighbors can't be too concerned. Neither should the US.

Posted August 15, 2002 08:51 AM | Comments (2)


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