Saturday, October 12, 2002

Facilitating Invasion

It is sad when Iraq gives us more cooperation in going to war than the French provide. (And why the French should grub for money when they too are targets, as the latest evidence of a suicide attack on the French tanker off of Yemen shows, is amazing. Even anti-American rhetoric doesn’t save them. But Iraq’s latest evasions on inspections are starting to annoy even the French and Russians. It must be so frustrating to try and protect your oil contracts and past debts when the brutal dictatorship you want to deal with won’t even provide a fig leaf for your principled upholding of monetary interests, er, I mean, "multilateral cooperation." Iraq’s blatant refusal to cooperate even as they deny that any of the obstacles they place on thorough inspections are actually "conditions"is just amazing. It is especially dense given that neighboring Arab states won’t stop us from attacking. Yes, Iraq says they have a "readiness to resolve all issues that may block the road to our joint cooperation." Yes, no matter how long it takes, they will talk to resolve the issues. Should they develop a nuke during the years they diligently resolve issues? Well, oopsy! And in a great display that acknowledges their ability to read if not their ability to cooperate, they wrote, "Regarding the presidential sites, we have taken note of your position."

Even Iran says it may, in effect, allow American aircraft to cross Iranian air space to attack Iraq. That will sure make it easier to capture Basra in an opening strike. Plus, Iraq’s pledge to respond to an attack within an hour combined with their implicit belief that it will be an effective response, must make us question just what would this be? Since we all know that Iraq denies having any weapons of mass destruction, and surely the Iraqis would not lie to us, could they be preparing to inflict Barbra Streisand music on our troops? We’ll nuke ‘em ‘til they glow for sure, in that case.

Note that V Corps headquarters from Germany will be moving to Kuwait along with 1st Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters. The Germany-based corps commands armored forces and so indicates that a heavy corps will carry the brunt of the war. This is good. This means we are prepared to overwhelm the Iraqis and not count on a mass defection. I still think the debate over a fast deploying but light versus a slow deploying but heavy invasion force is a false choice. I think we will go in heavy and we will do it faster than anybody thinks. Marines add some infantry and ability to come in from the sea and to help cross the Euphrates River. I’d still like the 101st Airborne Division in the southern front even though earlier reports are it will go into Iraq out of Turkey. Still, although details may change, we are coming.

On to Baghdad.