Friday, January 31, 2003

Ivory Coast

It would be easy to rag on the French again, but I wish them luck in protecting their nationals from any harm in Ivory Coast. I am impressed with the professionalism of troops who are fighting to preserve a surrender deal brokered by Paris. The soldiers have my sympathy and admiration. I would welcome their help in the Gulf. This emphasizes again that when I rag on "France" it is not really all the French that I complain about, but is merely shorthand for the Euro-Parisian SOBs who only have to know what America's position is on any given subject to decide their own-the opposite.


Turkey getting ready to host U.S. troops and is moving its own troops to the border. Jordan says they will host U.S. troops and Patriot batteries are posted near Aqaba and the Saudi border (to protect routes for U.S. troops into the Jordan front?) and near Syria. Arab papers are accusing Saddam of failing to go into exile to spare the region from war and are blaming the coming war on Saddam. A Saudi paper even laid out Saddam's human rights violations. Following on the heels of the European letter in support of us, the lie that we would be "unilateral" in confronting Saddam becomes obvious. Of course, I've noticed that "unilateral" has been defined to mean "without UN sanction" no matter how many allies back us.

No more than a couple weeks I should think. And about damn time.

Bravo to the Italian defense minister for saying we are justified in attacking Iraq and a big hoot (with all due respect) to the Vatican for implying that he did not have the wisdom to make such a decision. The Pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals, when the Pope asserts an infallible position. The Pope has done this twice (I think) and in both it was a case of faith. If the Pope wants to claim that no war is an infallible matter of faith or morals, he is welcome to assert it. Otherwise, the wisdom is all with the Italian defense minister.

Oh yeah, I read that the strike that went awry (from GPS jammers?) was in February 2001.

North Korea

According to this story, North Korea may be moving spent nuclear rods and the American commander for our Pacific forces has asked for several thousand ground troops(presumably the third brigade of 2nd infantry Division), bombers, and a carrier to deter North Korean attacks while we go after Baghdad.. Prudent requests, no doubt.

On the radio on the way home from work, I heard a story that the outgoing South Korean president actually paid Kim Jong Il an obscene amount of money to meet with him to start his "Sunshine policy" of seeking peaceful relations with the North. Yet it was all a farce. Pyongyang did it for the money (as they agreed to pretend to halt nuclear programs for cash) and the South Korean leader won a Nobel Peace Prize for the big lie. Figures. Say the right words and the Nobel committee will kiss your butt. Honest to God, the U.S. Army has done more to advance world peace than any of the yahoos who get that prize.

I hope this revelation ends the absolutely ridiculous accusation that the President 'provoked' North Korea to break the 1994 agreement by his Axis of Evil speech.

Oh, and just a note to anybody who wonders why we want UN talks and not direct talks with the North as Kim Jong Il demands-North Korea always wants talks with America alone because they do not recognize the South as legitimate. It bolsters the North's claim that we are the problem. If we agree to direct talks alone, the North wins a point in its ridiculous quest to conquer the South.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Heads They Win, Tails They Win

What am I to make of this:

"Even if it goes well – short, quick, with Iraqis dancing in the street – it will nevertheless be known as a U.S. war against a Muslim country," said Judith Kipper, a specialist in Middle East politics for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"Best-case or worst-case, any war is going to be a rationale for thousands of new soldiers for al-Qaida."

First of all, if Moslems will really despise us for freeing Moslems from tyranny and torture, we might as well just get the clash of civilizations going now.

But I think Kipper is quite wrong. How is it that fighting back can only make things worse? And if we really whomp Iraq, the enemy will not get even a teensy bit discouraged? So, they hate us now already, yet they will attack us more if we show our strength by defeating Iraq. How is this possible? Shouldn't our first defeat of Iraq have enflamed them for the next century? Conversely, they blame us for the Crusades and we did not exist then. What are we to make of that? Indeed, the French (then known as the Franks) were the more successful of the Crusaders. And France butchered Algerians, fought Libya, and invaded Egypt yet this does not earn France eternal hatred? The Serbs slaughtered Moslems in Yugoslavia yet Moslems aren't declaring jihad on Serbs. Indeed, Iraqis tried to help the Serbs survive our 1999 air offensive. And should not the Indians be faced with unrelenting hostility and suicide attacks for their multiple wars against Moslem Pakistan? And why are we number one on the target list of Islamofascists when the Russians could give seminars on slaughtering Moslems?

Honest to goodness, some people think that it is the height of sophisticated analysis to discuss the finer shades of a vast array of surrender options from which we can choose. They are so accustomed to losing that they cannot conceive victory. I am reminded of General Grant's frustration with his generals when he took command of the Army of the Potomac. His generals raised objections to every course of action, arguing that Lee would counter it. Finally, Grant would hear no more: "Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do."

I am heartily sick of it, too. Saddam and the Islamists are going to be very busy worrying about what we are going to do to them. And we can turn a double somersault and turn up anywhere on the globe to kill them.

On to Baghdad.

Averting War?

The question of what it would take to avert war yet still constitute a victory is in the air. I'm not talking about what those who think we are a greater evil than Saddam would think is winning. These ANSWER types think Saddam's regime should be preserved intact, and of course would lift the current sanctions, containment and inspections. Victory would consist of imposing those things on America.

I am talking about those who think Saddam's regime is evil, but … cannot imagine actually doing something more strenuous than wishing. Of course, many of those who support various alternatives to American soldiers hoisting our flag over the Ministry of Pain in downtown Baghdad have relaxed opinions of what constitute 'victory.' Mostly they seem to think the mere avoidance of war is good no matter what is needed to achieve that end.

Take for example, the exile option. What if Saddam and his chosen family members (those he hasn't shot already) go into exile? Do we really trust whoever emerges and proclaims they will really disarm? And what does this say to other would-be-nuclear aspirants/nutcase dictators? It tells them that you can pursue nukes in secret, sign contracts with the French, and then if you get caught, call your French attorneys to bail you out. If the U.S. still persists in massing the force necessary to nail you, call "uncle" and take your stashed looted billions and go into cushy exile. Who knows, you or your son might return when the attention drifts. That isn't deterrence, that's an invitation to proliferation!

Or there is the single bullet option. What if a general whacks Saddam? Other than the satisfaction of knowing Saddam is swimming with the fishies, what do we get? This is not personal as some anti-war types froth. This is about our security. If any of Saddam's buddies take over, we have the same problem we have now, but with a lesser known whackjob. Would we start the whole process of inspections over again with the new dictator and give that guy a chance to prove himself over twelve years?

Or there is the full cooperation option. What if Saddam caves and says, you are right, we have everything you say we have—here it is, come and destroy it. Even if he destroys it all, what if he has more than we think? And what happens after he is certified weapons--free and we go home? With his wealth, scientists, and technical expertise, he begins again. And not from scratch since the knowledge is the key ingredient. All else can be purchased with his wealth and hidden even better, with the knowledge of what we can do. And who in Iraq will dare tell us anything knowing we let the thug escape—yet again.

There is also the partial cooperation option. This is a disturbing option too. It assumes that Saddam gives up just enough to get the anti-war types to claim success for inspections. Saddam gets to keep some of his assets unlike the full cooperation mode; yet must suffer through inspections for years. But he knows how to win that game. In a few years, he will neuter the already weak inspections and finally get them out completely.

There is also the old standby of continued containment and inspections until the cows come home. I won't go into why this won't work yet again. Search the archives if you are that interested. Suffice it to say that I have not changed my mind.

No, the only option is complete American and allied occupation of Iraq whether we must fight our way to Baghdad or just march in as in Kosovo. Even in the event that Saddam leaves the scene, we would need to occupy the country. My hope is that by granting Saddam one more chance—really, this time for sure, we are not kidding here, that Saddam will conclude that (yawn) he's been there and done that. He will give nothing and think he will win again.

Not this time. We intend to go to Baghdad. We've tempted fate long enough by delaying. Six months ago, attacking us at home might have been a dream of his. Now it might be a reality. If it isn't an option of his, yet more delay might grant him that time. Let's go, already.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003


I have frequently complained about 'Europe' for their refusal to stand with us-or to apparently stand for anything. Even as I complain I know it is unfair. Europe is not a monolith and even the states whose leaders rail against us have many people who side with us. If you press me and I am in a charitable mood, I'll even concede that this applies to France. We do have a common heritage of freedom though I fear Europe's is far less deeply embedded than our own. I do worry that an EU bureaucratic dictatorship really could evolve this century.

I am heartened by this report:

EIGHT European leaders today call on the Continent to stand united with America in the battle to disarm Iraq, while warning the UN that its credibility is on the line. In a calculated rebuff to France and Germany -- denounced by America last week as "old Europe" -- the leaders of Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Denmark and the Czech Republic have combined to make an unprecedented plea in The Times for unity and cohesion. They say the transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of President Saddam Hussein's threats to world security.

As much as I am frustrated with the vocal European opinion leaders in much of Europe, I would not walk away from Europe in frustration. We can support our friends there. And for God's sake, we should stop supporting European integration. Our friends will be smothered in a Brussels regime that the French and Germans will dominate. We must give them an option that will let them avoid the smothering embrace of the EU that will kill freedom. We have sent our soldiers to save Europe twice in the 20th century (three if you count the Cold War-and I do). We can send our ideals of freedom and our resolve to defend our way of life to save them again from the strange nihilistic impulse to surrender to beasts with the will to kill.

Remember, we intervened in two world wars and defended Europe in a Cold War because we knew that our freedom and prosperity are at risk if Europe is held by an enemy. That still holds true and we should fight to preserve the continent as our friend.

And thank you to our friends who signed this letter. It renews my faith that we are allies.

Why We Must Kill Them

Oh no, it is simplistic to think that Iraq and Islamist thugs are linked. Yet they have already vowed fealty to Saddam and the Europeans worry that Islamists will strike with poisons throughout Europe when we invade Iraq. Funny, I thought siding with Iraq was supposed to immunize the Europeans from their fury. Do these Europeans not see that they are a target always? Do the Europeans think the ability to attack them with chemical weapons will go unused even if they manage to derail our invasion? Do they not see that their coddling and appeasement brought these cells into their countries in the first place? Will they not finally fight back against our common enemy?

It will not be our fault if terrorists strike Europeans after we invade Iraq. Europe brought this upon themselves and they should be grateful that we will pave the way for them to clean up the terrorists who live among them and feed off their welfare systems. It is not anti-immigrant or racist to rip out the thugs from the mostly peaceful immigrants who live in Europe. Indeed, it will benefit the larger population by getting rid of the terrorists who prey on the immigrant communities and give them all a bad reputation.

The President laid out—again—the case for war against Iraq. And Powell will go to the UN next week where he will speak slowly and with small words so that even sophisticated Europeans and Hollywood actors will understand the beastly regime we will destroy by capturing Baghdad. The President's speech to Congress will follow soon after, and then very quickly we will get the speech from the White House that war has begun. I'm without a clue as to when it starts, but a couple weeks seems pretty likely.

And in the meantime, the war against al Qaeda will continue and cleaning up Iraq will start—politically and in regard to weapons of mass destruction. And Iran and North Korea remain to be dealt with. And so much more. Yet we will do it because at the end of the day, our security rests with our ability to shape the world and fight the threats to our very lives.

On to Baghdad.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003


Well, it doesn't look like we will go on the 31st. We will go, there is no doubt, but Powell will go to the UN next week first. And the President will then speak to Congress. I'd say this could be disinformation but I really don't think so. We should go earlier than the press reports, but once again my invasion date will pass with no invasion.

Perhaps Powell will provide the gotcha moment at the UN. Lord knows I think the case has been made, but for those who avert their eyes from the bloody obvious, maybe these skeptics will finally see.

Yet these delays give our enemies time to prepare. That we intend to invade Iraq I have no doubt. We will not be thwarted by our so-called friends. But will we? Will events intervene to thwart us? Time is so precious yet we just dole it out to the Iraqis like we are unstoppable. I pray they are unable to use this time.

North Korean Threat

Whoa, I'd actually worry about this. North Koreans claim our State Department is finalizing plans to attack the North at a moment's notice. Aside from the sheer absurdity of claiming State is doing that, I'd be real nervous that Pyongyang is laying the basis for their own attack. They are the ones poised to attack at a moment's notice after all, not us. And with our troops about to invade Iraq, North Korea may see their opportunity.

Yes, I know they frequently threaten us, but the times are dangerous.

Ivory Coast

It is sad that people in Ivory Coast look to us to save them from French surrender terms yet we back the slow surrender brokered by the French. Why say anything? Let the French handle this in their own wise ways, derived from their centuries of experience.


Countdown to Invasion: 3 Days?

Why would we even try to convince people who believe we are a greater threat to world peace that we are right to end the threat Iraq poses to our security? Why would we delay and risk the lives of our troops to lower the percentage to 80% from 84% who distrust us more than Iraq or anybody else? Such people cannot be convinced. The Carnegie Endowment people who oppose war cannot be convinced. Jessica Matthews' essay shows she will never believe war is justified. After twelve years, she thinks we don't know if inspections work or not. She thinks war is unnecessary. Every new resolution obliterates the history of Iraqi lies prior to the UN vote and so requires a new beginning to judge Iraq. Yet somehow she thinks that we could "overwhelm" Iraq (say it to yourself, Jessica, you just called for destroying Iraq) should they use any WMD against us. She obviously does not think that, and why she would say that in an effort to avoid a quite necessary war is for her conscience to debate, I suppose. Any evidence produced by us will either be considered insufficient or forged. Or, egads, "old." Yet in her essay she fears that the Iraq that she says has been contained from developing WMD, in fact has sufficient WMD to use against us even at home should we invade. That's quite a record of containment for a regime that agreed to get rid of all of WMD.

Remember, 1441 was supposed to be their last chance to come clean and get rid of their WMD.

Far from rushing to war, we have displayed remarkable patience, giving Iraq all the time in the world to disarm and cooperate, giving Congress time to debate and authorize war, giving the UN time to give Iraq yet another chance (and now some would like to give them another "final" chance), and giving anti-war people plenty of time to make their case. Heck, Sean Penn had tome to go to Baghdad and Sheryl Crow had time to stitch a t-shirt with an anti-war message. The president should make his case tonight, give the UN Security Council a couple days to act on the Blix report's verification that Saddam is in material breach of 1441, and then provide the gotcha evidence Thursday night. He can make the case that our allies know this information yet they will not back us. Then, on Friday, when Blair is here, announce that we and our allies consider Saddam Hussein in material breach of 1441 and reserve the right to take action. We should attack that evening (EST).

Some say we will have weeks of bombing first, but I doubt it. I've guessed from a week or so before the heavy armor goes in to even a little after the ground invasion starts. I still tend to prefer the shorter time, but if we go soon, it may be because we do intend to bomb for a bit while we converge the pieces of our invasion force into Iraq. Still, with all the talk that this is a regime take down akin to Panama rather than a battle like Desert Storm, I'd bet on a near-simultaneous ground and air strike for maximum shock rather than maximum attrition. Besides, our munitions are so smart now, that we could probably do a fair amount of attrition during the time it takes to roll up to the gates of Baghdad.

And it should be soon. We are not waiting for all the divisions alerted to make it to the Gulf. Look at what divisions have been alerted according to public announcements and press stories: 3rd Infantry, 101st Airborne, 10th Mountain, 4th Infantry, 1st Cavalry, 1st Armored, 1st Infantry. Plus elements of two of our Marine divisions. So we are to believe that seven of our ten active Army divisions are going to fight Iraq? With 82nd Airborne fighting in Afghanistan (and involved in a fairly large battle right now, apparently) and 2nd Infantry guarding Seoul, that leaves only 25th Infantry (I think, 25th) and a Marine division in Okinawa in reserve? Light infantry outfits and the 25th is, I believe, involved in the Stryker brigade creation? We really have time to mobilize the Guard in a crisis should something else come up? And 1st Infantry can't go because of its ongoing commitment to Kosovo, anyway. Maybe 4th Infantry and 1st Armored are designated occupation troops when the invasion force rotates out after defeating Saddam's legions. Or maybe we just want 4th ID's equipment sailing in the Indian Ocean relatively close to South Korea just in case. All I am confident of for sure is that we aren't waiting for all those alerted units to get to the Gulf before we invade.

And the British amphibious group is off of Cyprus, apparently. There is no reason it must join our Marines in the Gulf. It could stage through Jordan from the Mediterranean and strike out of Jordan with our forces. If I am not mistaken, we have Army and Marine equipment stored there. Could these all provide the core of a division-sized element that invades western Iraq, linking up with airlifted light forces that go directly into captured Iraqi airbases and with armor advancing out of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait? There are American and allied pieces all around the periphery, and they could go anywhere.

On to Baghdad.

GPS Problems?

On the GPS issue, I earlier speculated that GPS problems were not going to be a critical problem since GPS bombs are useful only for striking fixed targets. reminded me that the special forces on the ground in Afghanistan used GPS/laser range finder combo to strike mobile targets with GPS. Whether that means we can strike moving targets that way, I don't know. The site also reminded me of a GPS strike early last year that went awry. I'd forgotten about that. Were the Iraqis testing their jammers? Reading on, the site says in December we were testing ways to strike moving targets. I guess it is possible, but we probably aren't there yet for anything more than test strikes in an Iraq War. GPS jammers in Iraqi hands are worrisome but not critical. And we may have counter-measures, anyway.

Monday, January 27, 2003

Blix Krieg

Boy, I hope I'm the first with that headline.

Blix exceeded my expectations in his report. Yes, he wants more time and has a ridiculous faith that inspections can work, but he did document the fact that Iraq has not cooperated. That conclusion added on to the non-disclosure adds up to 'material breach.' Just tell me that we won't wait three more weeks trying to get our allies on board. If we really do need three more weeks to get our troops in place, fine (but let me rip on whoever decided not to be ready now), but we delay too much for little gain. And freeze out anybody on post-war contracts unless they pour troops into Iraq for occupation duty. Squeeze those SOBs who failed to stand with us when we needed them and only jump on board for the end of the trip.

But the Next Day After That?

I have never been suspicious of Secretary Powell. In the world of international relations, State is the good cop. I never believed Powell was doing more than carrying out his duty to give the president his advice. The UN detour was a policy that I did not oppose as long as it did not delay the invasion. What's the harm in getting UN approval if we can? Yet at the end of the day, Powell executes American foreign policy, however, and he is showing it now. (It certainly helps that the French just screwed him over royally) I do hope that Secretary Powell was being very literal when he said, on Sunday at the Davos forum, "To those who say, why not give the inspection process more time, I ask, how much more time does Iraq need to answer these questions?" Mr. Powell said. "We're in no great rush to judgment tomorrow or the day after, but clearly time is running out," he said. "We will not shrink from war if that is the only way to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction." Yes, and hope that he means we could decide to go on Wednesday or Thursday, or on Friday when Blair is in town to meet with the President.

Other gems of Powell include, "I don't think I have anything to be ashamed of, or apologize for, with respect to what America has done for the world," [Powell] said in response to a question asking why the United States always falls back on the use of "hard power" instead of the "soft power" of diplomacy. "We've put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives," he said, his voice growing hoarse. "We've asked for nothing but enough land to bury them in." Take that you bunch of Euro-appeasers. You give us two world wars last century and you want to complain about what we have done? And the last part was a particularly good shot at the French. Just how many French soldiers are buried here, after dying to defend America? I'll let you count before I continue—no need to take off your socks to tally the number, either.

Powell, responded nicely, too, when the British head of Amnesty International, Irene Khan, was applauded when she questioned whether the Iraq threat "risks provoking a massive humanitarian and human rights catastrophe." In reply, Powell said the United States was "sensitive to the plight of the Iraqi people, not only in case of conflict but also right now." I do wish he had jumped on her for saying we will "provoke" the catastrophes. Doesn't she read her own material? Good for Powell for jamming it right back at her, although far too politely as far as I'm concerned. Yet, diplomacy is his game. For blunt, we've got Rumsfeld…

The article goes on to note that Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said that if Hans Blix, the head of the chemical and biological weapons inspection team, asked the Security Council for more time when he submitted his report on Monday, he should get it. "I don't think that we are talking about an infinite amount of time," Mr. Solana said. "Time has been given to Saddam Hussein before. So we are talking about a question of weeks, perhaps months." Obviously, infinity is not on the table. Our sun will go supernova in a finite amount of time. But why weeks or months more? As he notes, he has had time—years. Delay only increases our casualties should we need to fight in the heat of summer. The day we let some EU proto-dictatorship tell us how to protect ourselves is, well, never mind. It ain't happening in this administration I dare say.

And then, our friends the French. Speaking on French television, the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, called for an extension of the inspections for "several weeks, or for a few months." This time he said it without his Solana hand puppet, but at least we see the origins of the vast French-wing conspiracy where talking points are drafted in Paris and passed out to the good little soldiers in the EU to repeat to the world. More to the point, after nearly twelve years, why would a few more weeks or months matter in the face of Saddam's absolute refusal to disarm as the Persian Gulf War ceasefire terms require? Again, all it does is at best is increase our casualties and at worse, give time to opponents of war to derail the invasion completely. And do not doubt that they seek delay only until the can achieve a halt. The French have already said that "nothing" could justify war so what charade do they play claiming we should delay for even longer? And why should we believe anything they say?

Finally, the article notes that Mr. Powell's speech did little to change the view of the Democratic leadership in Congress that Mr. Bush is acting in "a very precipitous way," as Senator Tom Daschle, the minority leader, put it. Big sigh. We've eased into this fight, if we ever get to it, with the care and delicacy of a senior citizen coaxing a squirrel a little closer to the park bench to take a cracker. Precipitous, indeed. I don't think that word means what the good senator thinks it means.

On to Baghdad. In four days, please. I want to believe that we have what we need to start the war already in place.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

That'll Teach Them

So, the results of French intervention in Ivory Coast (contrary to the lofty French position that war is never the answer to any problem) is that Paris asked their soldiers to give their lives in order to broker a slow surrender of the government to the rebels. Wow, the French sure are wise in the ways of the world! The rebels apparently get the Defense and Interior ministries (in Ivory Coast, as in most countries, Interior is a security position, not a national parks post). While not an immediate defeat for the government, it will only be time before the rebels use their new positions to take over completely.

I am disappointed that our government has endorsed this deal. Why would be back the French anyway and why would we support intervention in order to enable surrender? Sure, the French hope to get both sides a little grateful so they come out on top no matter the result, but that is no reason we should go along. We should stay silent and let them screw it up on their own. Let the world know what French friendship gets you. That will teach them to ask for French help.

The January 31 invasion is looking dicey since I have seen no indication of a big airlift of troops. Of course, one way to get around this failure to deploy troops is to assume that I am wrong about the ground and air assaults beginning at roughly the same time. If the air offensive lasts a week before the ground troops go in, you could begin the airlift shortly before the air attacks begin. We'll see. I have less confidence that January 31 is D-Day, but it still could be. It all depends on what the Pentagon plans to start with. And I still think we have more heavy equipment out there than is realized. Reports in the news dating back months indicated heavy equipment was being sent to the area and then nothing more has been heard of it. It didn't just disappear and I don't think the military has been wasting its time for the last year. But then, I may not be in an armchair but I am just guessing here.

Countdown to Invasion: 5 Days?

Saturday, January 25, 2003


Countdown to War: 6 Days

This article has some persuasive indicators that invasion will not be for at least another month. One, it says that the computer simulation in Germany won't take place until later this month. Earlier, reports said it would be done mid-month. 1st Armored, 1st Cavalry, 3rd Infantry, 4th Infantry, and 101st Airborne are supposed to be part of it. First Infantry is not part of it. As I noted, this division is occupied with Kosovo duties. Second, the article says it would take a month to move the equipment of 101st Airborne to the Gulf. That was something I really had no clue on. Then some in-theater training is desirable. The possible need for more carriers is not persuasive. We don't need six. Six would be nice but with Air Force units nearby and precision weapons, four are probably fine.

And the report that we will let the inspections go on longer to gain allied support is really disturbing. The French and Germans claim there is nothing that could convince them that war is necessary. The Chinese prefer to have us tied up in a military confrontation. The Russians combine the French desire for Iraqi money and the old Soviet habits of opposing us (wait, that is a French habit too) and wanting us militarily occupied. Are we doing this for Blair, then? But why will delay help? As time passes, people get even more used to the idea of inspections. And although this author thinks war is coming in February or March, it is not much of a comfort to me. For those who wonder whether Iraq's strategy of delay will drain our spirit and get us to give up, the prospect of invasion even as late as March probably is reassuring. I worry about delay and I think our failure to deploy the necessary forces is purely diplomatic and has been for some time. Even without the preparations of the last decade, in 1990 and 1991, we deployed a much larger force in a little over 6 months. We've had a year now and only 3rd Infantry is mostly in theater. There is not a purely logistical reason for delay.

This information runs into the wall of my firm conviction that we must go sooner than later. We need surprise, delay gives Saddam time to come up with something to thwart us and for other enemies to take advantage of our pending war, we don't need all the forces that are supposedly heading to the Gulf (and if we send them all, we would risk defeat in a second war should it be thrust upon us), and delay will not build public support. Laying out the evidence will help our public support but I imagine nothing short of a crater where the Eiffel Tower stands now will convince many of our allies that there is a threat. Yet it is dangerous to say what we know except when we are about to bomb them, lest the Iraqis move them or use them once they realize we know there their chemicals, bugs, and nuke projects are located. Or, they might figure out how we knew something and compromise one of our sources.

The signs point to later. I do assume 101st Airborne is needed. But what if we did manage to ship in equipment for the division already? What if we don't need the division in the early phase? I sure hope that all this talk is part of our disinformation campaign to gain surprise, so I hold to January 31 as the invasion date. But the lack of a visible airlift in the next day will likely make this date another wrong guess on my part. I will be sadly disappointed if we have telegraphed our actual invasion timetable so obviously.

Basically, there is dissonance between what I think we should do, what it appears we are going to do-which contradicts what I think we should do, and the unknown of how much of what can be seen is disinformation-which may negate some of the contradictions that I can see.

On to Baghdad. I fear delay more than the Iraqis.

Friday, January 24, 2003

No Exile

Mark Steyn had a great column on the protesters, but I think he missed something thinking that Rumsfeld went wobbly when he said America would think it fine if Saddam went into exile. I imagine that statement was more to provide substance to the meeting the Turks are hosting with several Arab states to convince Saddam to leave to prevent war. If we dismissed the possibility, the states that want some cover to help us would lose their excuse. They will now say, "Hey street, we tried to get Saddam to leave. Even Rumsfeld said it would be fine—and you know how bloodthirsty he is. Yet Saddam refused our plea to think of the region's welfare and leave to avoid war. We regrettably conclude that we must support war for the good of peace in our region."

Don't worry. Rumsfeld has not gone wobbly. He merely had a role to play, I dare say. As Steyn finally concludes, war really could be any day now. The 31st would be good. Even weeks away as this article says is probably too long—when near, appear far.

It will be interesting to see how France, the Confederation of the Rhine, Russia, and China react when it becomes clear that we will move without waiting for UNSC approval. Life without the UN where they can pretend to have equal power will seem pretty awful to them. I bet they rush to vote and put the still-wet authorization on a Concorde to deliver it to General Franks in Qatar.

My Arms Are Tired

Countdown to War: 7 Days.

Honest to God, I am actually tired of pounding on "peace" protesters and the "French" for their vexing behavior and statements.

Perhaps it is because the war seems imminent. Troops are moving (I still don't know if we will have enough in one week to start, but we've got so much stuff moving and alerted that we may). Statements out of Washington indicate uniform resolve. The Iraqis continue to trust the French and Germans will post bail (note the Iraqi government complaint that they've really tried to get their scientists to talk to the UN alone but they just refuse. Please, if Saddam told them to drop their pants and sit on a block of ice, they'd do it--fast). The human shields will get to Iraq in time to witness the fireworks. And the Japanese told their people to get out of Iraq--by Wednesday would be nice.

Yep, all the whining by the "peace" activists and "French" are about to be made irrelevant. Our year-long "rush to war," after our 11-year "stroll to surrender" will culminate in war to overthrow that lunatic Saddam.

Am I happy about this? No. It saddens me that our military will suffer and die, in unknown numbers but probably not much more than 1991. They will pay the price to end this threat and cast down yet another champion of the Islamofascists who would kill us as we sleep if they could. Yet we cannot shirk this duty and pretend that inspections will make us safe.

Yes, the job to make us safe just begins when the Tikriti mafia in Baghdad is overthrown, but that is true for all wars. The stakes are too high to walk away as we did in 1991. This time it's for keeps. A nuclear 9-11 cannot be allowed to happen. Sadly, we have much to do before we can stand down.

On to Baghdad. Soon.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Rush to War?

What is with the latest talking point that we are in a "rush to war?" This is the most telegraphed war in history, I should think. And the idea that members of Congress are saying it when they had to be dragged kicking and screaming to debate and vote is amazing. If they voted for war lightly, perhaps they should resign. Rush, indeed. I'll be happy enough if it isn't too late.


UPI says that 101st Airborne and 1st Cavalry divisions are about to be deployed to the Gulf. Those are the last two major ground pieces that need to be moved (with Marines and 3rd Infantry soon to be in place) to start the invasion with a hammer blow. Tenth Mountain could be airlifted in much faster. We shall see when these two divisions and a brigade of Marines are airlifted into the Gulf region. We have had a year to prepare for a surge of airlift.

Northern Front

Countdown to Invasion: 8 Days.

So this article talks about the Turkish front with a heavy division from Europe (but 1st Infantry is occupied with Kosovo duties) and elements of 101st Airborne. Military analysts say so. And with all the divisions alerted for war, it appears we have enough for multi-division assaults from everywhere. As long as the North Koreans are quiet. Oops. Ok, as long as we can ship in that much. Well, it might be July before we get all the alerted units to the Gulf region. And then there's that 15,000 cap. Three brigades would reach that level and who provides logistics? What about special forces? What about 10th Mountain? Does it go directly into Kurdish areas from New York? And I know we are good, but are we really going to stick three brigades up against all the Iraqis up there?

In the face of the military analysts who say a major thrust comes out of Turkey, I say it is all a feint to freeze the Iraqis up there until we attack. Since this deception falters once major troop elements are in place in the south and west and noticed, we'd have to go very fast after deploying.

I've gone over all the reasons for a major attack from Jordan in order to strike Baghdad from the west, with supporting attacks out of Turkey and Kuwait, so I won't repeat myself. I just don't think we are going in big from Turkey to grab the oil wells up there. Hopefully the Turks will, but not us.

Of course, there has still been no surge of airlifts, so once again maybe my guess of January 31 as the invasion date is wrong. Still, the Pentagon seems to think a rolling invasion will work. And given Iraqi deployment, the south and west are undefended. As long as the follow-on forces aren't delayed, it would work. With 3rd Infantry in place, a Marine brigade airlifted in to the equipment unloading in Kuwait from the Mediterranean prepositioned squadron joining Marines from the east and west coasts sailing in, we'd have two divisions ready. Plus the Royal Marines could be there. Could the airlift start the morning of the 27th, with the State of the Union address highlighting the failure of Iraq to comply with 1441 and announcing that the Security Council had until Friday to vote?

Ok, I wrote "Remember, if you won't part with ANSWER, you're part of the problem." in an earlier post. I must have been sleepy or something. I think I was trying to make a play on "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Not even close to being clever. Sorry 'bout that, chief.


I suppose it must be inconvenient for the fans of even more months or years of inspections to hear the Iraqis moan about the inspections. Notwithstanding their full acceptance and promise of more cooperation made recently (but how can they improve on full cooperation already granted you may ask) the Iraqis raise objections. They say we harass farmers and violate mosques. They even bemoan that the Iraqi scientists refuse to talk to UN inspectors despite the Iraqi government's encouragement to do so. To believe that lie is to be French, I suppose. But when a nation's government such as France accepts eleven years of inspections that have failed to find anything significant except when defectors filled them in, new failures and Iraqi hindrance are really minor matters.

Yet even as the French and Germans in particular ignore whatever Iraq says or does, they get positively outraged over Rumsfeld's dismissal of their opposition to war, who said they represent "old Europe." The article quoted him, "You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't," he said. "I think that's old Europe. If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the center of gravity is shifting to the east and there are a lot of new members." So what exactly did he say wrong? He noted quite properly that Europe does not revolve around Paris and its satellite Berlin. The French and Germans may be annoyed that Rumsfeld said that, but was it arrogance? Jeez, French and German outrage represents the arrogance here. They think they alone can guide Europe's foreign policy. It may be inconvenient for them to be reminded of this but it is no less true. Yes, the French are upset, but what is one to make of this:

And in his anger over our Defense Secretary's remark, Finance Minister Francis Mer said he was "profoundly vexed" by the remarks. "I wanted to remind everyone that this 'old Europe' has resilience, and is capable of bouncing back," Mer told LCI television. "And it will show it, in time."

So I guess, despite his advanced state of vexocity, Mer must think old Europe has problems since he thinks Europe has the capability of bouncing back. One does not "bounce back" from being a dynamic major power that matters in the world. His comment seems more insulting by far than Rumsfeld's. Yikes, remind somebody who doesn't matter that they do not matter and they get all hissy or something. Oh, they get vexed.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Not as Reassuring as They Might Think

Countdown to Invasion: 9 Days.

So the two European states that attempted to conquer Europe three times between them in the last 200 years have teamed up. They celebrate forty years of their treaty of friendship this year. Oh, this is good for peace. Of course, since the Germans are taking their instructions from the French, we are all safe from actual defeat, if not from war. Lord, now the Germans get squeamish about invading another country. Under our tutelage, in a generation the Iraqis will recoil at the mere thought of fighting anybody. And the French preen about their wisdom for dealing with the Arab world after a history of actually being Crusaders, being the imperial masters of Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria (where they seriously colonized the country with settlers), fought a brutal war against Algerians seeking independence, invaded Egypt, fought the Libyans over Chad, and even sent their special forces to assault the Grand Mosque when fanatics occupied it! Let's not even go into how the French helped Israel get nuclear weapons and armed them with conventional weapons when nobody else would. Yet they fear that if we invade that whack job Saddam, the Arab world will rise up against us? Excuse me if I file their wisdom and advice on our current crisis in an appropriate bin. If the Arab world can forgive the French for their history, on top of just being French, I think our place in the Arab world is secure. After all, bin Laden said people like backing the strong horse, not the dead one and certainly not the really annoying one.

Why They Hate Us

The collective wisdom of the anti-war folks and their actor allies is that America has earned the terrorist attacks by our actions. Oh, they often (but not always) say that nothing justifies terrorist attacks such as 9-11, but, they add, our policies contributed to the anger. Our policies must change, they say.

Wait for it!

Oh, this is good. While Hollywood preaches about how we must reform our foreign policy so that we don't get what we deserve, this study (in "The Next Generation's Image of Americans," Boston University communication professors Melvin and Margaret DeFleur) says that Hollywood has caused our poor image, with negative attitudes corresponding to how much of Hollywood's products they see. The irony is superb. The stars hate what they have created. All our aid and assistance to Moslems around the world have been swamped by the image of America produced by Hollywood and sold abroad.

Maybe 100 State Department officials will pen a letter urging no more car chases and one night stand scenes in our name. Perhaps human shields will stake out the next Baldwin film. Maybe Powell will visit Sean Penn's home and see for himself what is going on.

If Hollywood is a "root cause" what should we do about it? What would the stars say about this?

Well This Would Explain a Lot

Could Scott Ritter have been turned by Iraqi intelligence? This article notes the purported run-in by Ritter with the police in an online sting over his chat with a supposed 14-yero-old girl. Seems he tried to meet "her." On August 17, 2001, I wrote in Foreign Affairs: "I can only conclude that Iraqi intelligence caught him [Ritter] involved in something and is blackmailing him. The alternative is to consider treason." Unless Ritter just began his fetish for children in 2001 (if the report is true), then perhaps Ritter believed he could get away with some of that behavior in an impoverished Iraq where he may have thought American dollars could buy him anything.

Ritter and the French both may fear what will come to light after the fall of Saddam's regime.

Debate Closed

A nice story about the anti-war movement's organizers. For all that those opposed to war with Iraq claim we have not had a debate on war, this article highlights why joining International ANSWER's call to march won't lead to debate. The Stalinist organizers have long made up their mind to any question possible and the answer is always that America is evil and they should be the vanguard of a revolution to topple our system. Another good report to round out the freakfest over the weekend.

Why the anti-war side isn't bothered by following the script set by the murderous thugs of ANSWER is beyond me. But in the name of "debate" they go.

Sadly, Michael Kelly notes that the debate is over and the anti-war side has effectively decided that America can never be right. And so the opposite side, whether Taliban or Saddam or whoever, by definition must be right:

The debate is over. The left has hardened itself around the core value of a furious, permanent, reactionary opposition to the devil-state America, which stands as the paramount evil of the world and the paramount threat to the world, and whose aims must be thwarted even at the cost of supporting fascists and tyrants. Those who could not stomach this have left the left -- a few publicly, as did Hitchens and Rosenbaum, and many more, I am sure, in the privacy of their consciences.

It is sad that so many have chosen sides this way. Please don't object that people have a right to protest in this country against government policies. Quite obviously, people do, even to the extent of marching shoulder to shoulder with Stalinists without fear of retribution. Yet must opposition include marching with these killers? Would they march with Nazis? Would a Klan rally that opposes sacrificing nice young Aryan boys so that Semitic Iraqis can breathe freely attract Jesse Jackson simply because they are "anti-war?" Would the press mention this little fact?

The anti-war people are free to associate with communists. Yet why pretend that the moving force behind the protests is mainstream? Why deny their pedigree?

More basically, why descend to this level of protest when we are free to dissent as Americans? For International ANSWER, the anti-war protests are a means to achieve their objective of bringing down our government. Yes, their objective is out of the reach of such a bunch of ghoulish clowns. But protesters shouldn't jump on the bandwagon just because they don't believe it will ever reach the Stalinist gulag station that ANSWER seeks. Remember, if you won't part with ANSWER, you're part of the problem.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Task Force Ironhorse

This article says 4th Infantry Division is heading to the Gulf. This is our newest, digitized division, with heavy armor networked into a force that should be able to react and act with speed previously unseen in armored warfare. It is a risk and a chance to test the new division. If the heavy forces of this division can't work in a networked environment, how will the next generation of light future combat systems? It might even be able to work with a task force of one of our new Stryker Brigades if that project has been accelerated enough.

Yet will we really send yet another heavy division to the Gulf? My main guess is that this is a red herring designed to be the benchmark for determining when we can go to war. If everyone waits for this premiere division to reach the Gulf, we could get tactical surprise attacking early.

Yet the division would be useful for any of our main tasks in the Gulf, from attacking out of Kuwait in a feint yet capable of transitioning to a secondary thrust north to Baghdad up the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; to spearheading the main effort to hit Baghdad from the west; to advancing out of Turkey to spearhead a Turkish advance to seize the oil fields in the north before Saddam can torch them.

Yet as useful as these tasks are, we could probably accomplish all the missions without 4th ID's unique capabilities.

Certainly an interesting development and one of many that seem to indicate a later invasion. I just don't believe them.

On to Baghdad.

Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys

Countdown to Invasion: 10 Days.

These are sad days indeed when the Germans take their marching orders from the French. I am sad for the Germans but have hope that they can reclaim their sense of duty. The French are hopeless. The French attitude is, but of course, annoying and hypocritical:

De Villepin, in a lengthy and at times theatrical news conference, was asked whether France would use its veto power to thwart Washington's campaign for quick action. He said France "will shoulder its responsibilities, faithful to the principles it has."

France would never "associate ourselves with military intervention that is not supported by the international community," de Villepin added. "We think that military intervention would be the worst possible solution."

France, as chair of the Security Council this month, had organized today's meeting on terrorism in part to draw attention to its contention that the Iraq situation has detracted from the more pressing need to confront international terrorism.

It's bad enough that these Vichy Swine did the Nazi's dirty work after losing in 1940, but now we have the sight of the French surrendering to a dictator even before the mere formality of defeat in order to carry out Saddam's wishes.

Yet I have hope. De Villepin said the French will be faithful to the principles it has. Given their Ivory Coast adventure, intervention only under the approving gaze of the UN clearly isn't one of them. Of the few principles that I can identify, sucking up to the winner will outweigh the other major principle of opposing the United States. They'll come on board when they see we are going.

And if not? Well, those Parisian idiots w
ho hosted the Ayatollah Khomeini through many years of exile prior to bringing thugreocracy and the American hostage crisis to Iran twenty-five years ago can just host a bunch of Iraqi Baathist thugs too. They'll be right at home.

On to Baghdad.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Carter in Venezuela

Carter is now in Venezuela to bring his skills to this problem. I assume this means that Chavez will, in eight years, still be in power and will have one or two nuclear weapons.

Bizarro United Nations

Wow. In the alternate universe of the United Nations, Blix and ElBaradei succeeded in getting Iraq to agree to stop interfering in specific matters-if one believes Iraq. The Iraqis say they too will search for weapons of mass destruction that they have "forgotten" in their country-uh huh (just how many do they have that they can overlook some?). In addition, they will add more documents to their "complete" declaration, add scientist to their "full " list, encourage their scientists to talk to the UN in private, and they will pass a law banning production of weapons of mass destruction. All these are amazingly seen as "encouraging." Wow. France declares that American action against Iraq is illegal unless all the 'i's are dotted and all the 't's are crossed-yet accepts any Iraqi obstruction as somehow in the spirit of international law. And Libya gets to chair the Human Rights Commission of the UN-rigghhttt. "The Libyan candidate, diplomat and former journalist Mrs. Najat al-Hajjaji, won 33 votes in a secret ballot of the 53-country Commission, with 17 states abstaining and three voting no -- apparently including the United States." A South African envoy was dismayed that we had broken established practice and hoped that this would be the last time that we would sacrifice substance for the procedural fetishism that animates the modern United Nations.

And so how is this body not a farce?

Apparently, in Bizarro UN, all this advances international peace and human rights. Up is down. France has influence. And America is the real threat.

Screw 'em. By UN logic, we bought them dinner.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Heavy Armor

Well, it looks like the other two brigades of Third Infantry Division are falling in on pre-positioned equipment. So there is enough for one more division with three brigades. Any more heavy armor must be shipped in (if it already hasn't been lifted in). Some five ships with heavy equipment just passed through Suez so it is close. And isn't some in Jordan? Also, Second Marine Brigade has a tank battalion as part of it.

Body Count

The issue of how many people showed up at the anti-war rally in DC shows an amazing range. From a low of 30,000 at one end of a police estimate to half a million if you buy the estimate of the Stalinists of International ANSWER who organized the rally.

Much like the estimates of civilian casualties caused inadvertently by the US in Iraq or in Afghanistan, I'm sure the 500,000 estimate is way too high. Not that even this high number outweighs the support nationwide for invasion as shown in polls and Congress and the November elections.

More to the point, who cares? A lot of people who ranged from patriotic but anti-war to anti-Bush to anti-American marched about. They feel grand. Saddam said it showed international support for defending his regime. And they have exactly zero impact on our decisions. This is not a country based on rule of mob after all. The protesters, in their inflated sense of self importance, have an annoying habit of asserting that failure to heed their silly slogans shouted with earnest voices to the beat of bongos is proof we are not a democracy. Shouting the loudest may get you on the news but it won't get the shouters anywhere this time.

Nor does the body count in the UN Security Council matter. It is unfortunate that right now, we'd have trouble getting a vote even if we want one. One reason I wanted action by the end of last year was to preserve the 15-0 vote we got on 1441. Now we are in the position of lobbying new members on the council. Of course, we haven't begun leaning on anybody. Nor do I think we will even need a vote after we present our case. Make it known privately that if we go alone with our allies, only those that fought with us will get a chance at oil contracts and arms contracts and all the civilian infrastructure contracts that will follow the war.

And we must go soon. Yes, I know, we could fight in the heat of summer if we had to but we would suffer far more casualties doing so. I've marched in those suits in the heat of a drought June in Missouri. And only for an hour or so. Just that made me sweat so much and I wasn't carrying the load our soldiers would have to carry. Nor was I even paying attention to my surroundings. I just plodded ahead in misery. I could have marched into a POW cage and never noticed it. Even if I was alert, it is difficult to see and hear in that junk. We need to go before the weather gets too hot. If we wait, we'll lose many to heat stroke and many to mines and the enemy because our troops won't be aware enough to avoid simple mistakes. We will also lose more because the pace of the attack will slow dramatically, providing the Iraqis with more time to cope. All that even if few die from actual gas. What is theoretically possible and what is wise are two different things. And given the erosion that has taken place in international support, will it get better? No. We can't buy the line that inspectors are supposed to find what the Iraqis will not disclose. We've lost that game for 12 years now and won't get any better. And if you think people won't then claim that war is best left until after the '04 elections you weren't paying attention in '02. I reluctantly supported going the UN route. Powell never worried me the way he has worried so many pro-war writers. Note that Powell has been the one saying Iraq is in material breach. He needs to deliver international support now. Having strongly argued for the UN road, he needs to carry out his end of the bargain.

The bottom line is that it would be an outrage to stand down now. On to Baghdad and soon. The Euro-weenies won't get a backbone anytime soon. And the Stalinists who organize protests over here will never be convinced that war is right-or even that America isn't the guilty party.

Go! Go! Go!

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Bianca Jagger

Bill Schneider on CNN tonight said that Bianca was careful to note that she disapproved of Saddam's human rights record. He said this approvingly as he noted how important it is for anti-war protesters to avoid seeming like they side with the enemy. Yet Schneider ignores Bianca's immediate additional comment that she also disapproves of Presdient Bush's human rights record! When someone can look at those two leaders and judge each lacking is amazing. And Schneider's comment that conservatives opposed the Kosovo War and now the left opposes this war, so it is all the same, ignores that in 1999 nobody on the right was out their marching and trying to protect Milosovic. Nobody was claiming that our President was virtually declaring martial law to rule the world. Kosovo opposition argued against the policy, it did not demonize America or our motives. Nor did the right flock to protests organized by Nazis. That is a big difference.

Apparently, the smart money is on late February or early March as the invasion date. Sure, equipment is still flowing to the area then, but I'd load up extra equipment to make the Iraqis think we are coming later. And although it is tough to argue against that information, I keep coming back to the idea that the only way we can gain surprise when we attack is by going earlier than expected. We can't hide we are coming so we can only spoof that we are going much later than we really are. I could be wrong, but why wouldn't we seek surprise? It is such a basic planning goal that I would be astounded if we decide we are so superior that surprise is a luxury and an edge we won't deign to seek.

If we aren't going soon, we should be.


The protesters are out. They've brought drums. Why, I have no idea. Is it their constitutional right to protest? Of course. The very protests highlight their lie that the anti-war voice is silenced by the government. Their belief that America is the greater threat is so ridiculous that it is difficult to even take them seriously. I had meant to write something about them but it is too tiring.

I remember the protests in 1990. I was in the Army Guard and worked on campus at the University of Michigan. It was not military friendly. I was once even called a fascist when I was in uniform on campus once. Yet that side is "open minded." Anyway, one big protest was heading downtown when I was walking around so I headed into my office to call the armory and warn them. I had no idea where the protesters were going but I knew only a couple of my friends would have been there. So I told them they should lock the doors. A student who worked in the office was actually all mad that I had called! What on earth did she think they were going to do with my warning? Lock and load? The idea that I should have done nothing was ridiculous. The attitude just annoyed me. I was trying to make sure no incident took place. She thought I should have ignored my duties as a soldier.

I guess the main difference between myself and the protesters is that they believe that if only I "educated" myself, I'd see things their way. I, by contrast, think their side is incapable of learning. Even when the invasion is over and the torture chambers and weapons of mass destruction are laid bare, they will never think they were in error.

Friday, January 17, 2003


I do look forward to seeing the news of the protests being held tomorrow. My only real gripe is that they claim that their protests are the only way to ensure that democracy holds in America. They somehow think that if the government decides not to invade despite hearing the stale chants of Stalinist-organized mobs, then "democracy" does not exist. They are wrong. Our elected representatives in Congress and our President have decided on war. That is democracy. Sadly, they are so taken with their own self-proclaimed "superior" morality that they equate their opinion with democracy.

I hope it is cold and I hope it rains. They are free to protest. I am free to ignore their idiocy. I am free to think them idiots and thoroughly wrong.

The Afghanistan Option

Hmm. The past debate that went on between advocates of the "Afghanistan option'" in Iraq of relying on special forces backed by air power to stiffen local forces and advocates of heavy armor in a conventional invasion has long been over. We will go in heavy. This is good, but given that the large bureaucracy that is the Pentagon is in charge (and I say this not as an insult but as a fact of life), I think we will see the Afghanistan option in Iraq even as we drive on Baghdad with an overwhelming American conventional force.

But the Afghanistan option will be not against Saddam's regime. It will be directed against the al Qaeda-related thugs holed up in northern Iraq. The Kurds will provide the local infantry for the quantity and American and allied special forces will provide the Kurds with an air force. Tenth Mountain and probably British 16th Air Mobile Brigade will provide the backbone of high quality and highly mobile infantry to go after the bastards. The Kurds will be retaking their land and won't have to go up against heavy armor and artillery so their full cooperation is likely. Yet, retaking their land is their objective. Killing the Islamists once they break will be up to the American and allied special forces and leg infantry. That too is a lesson of the Afghanistan option.

And talk about linking Iraq and 9-11. Who will be able to complain about our invasion 'distracting' us from finishing off al Qaeda when we will be going after these thugs in a major way? Indeed, without a major invasion to take down the Saddam regime, sending in anybody after the Islamists would be too risky. Were I Saddam, I'd (in addition to shaving the cheesy mustache) risk a whole corps of Republican Guards and even more regulars to launch a thrust into Kurdish areas to hit American light infantry. We'd need heavy air power to hold them off and would suffer heavy casualties even in a successful defense. We might have to pull them out giving Saddam's regime a crucial victory over us.

No, such an effort against terrorism requires an invasion too. The main effort goes into western Iraq in order to drive on Baghdad from the west with XVIII Airborne Corps (2 heavy divisions with 6 brigades plus 101st Airborne and perhaps a Marine brigade). A feint to draw Iraq's attention by simulating the main effort with a fake V Corps will advance north out of Kuwait (1 heavy division with 2 brigades as the core plus attack helicopter units). And to round out the invasion, there will be a British/Marine Corps drive into the Basra region (and then north to Baghdad with the rump V Corps to support the main effort to reach Baghdad and take down Saddam's regime). The Northern Front will be separate from the southern and western thrusts with a different objective: al Qaeda-related terrorists.

The conventional generals and the snake eaters each get to do what they do best in ways that both support American interests.

A Churchill He Is Not

When Churchill faced Nazi invasion, he rallied his people with a stirring cry that the British "shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…" Contrast that with this: "Baghdad, its people and leadership, is determined to force the Mongols of our age to commit suicide at its gates." Saddam said, referring to the Mongol armies who sacked Baghdad in 1258.

Churchill vowed to fight the Germans at every turn, even after they have lost their cities, to try to stop the Germans. Saddam promises that they don't stand a chance of even delaying us until we get to the "walls" of Baghdad. That will fire up the troops, eh?

I wonder if even the Special Republican Guard will hold up. They are often called the most elite but they are really the most loyal with the best uniforms. That is not the same as elite. As the regime body guard, the trait prized most is loyalty not combat effectiveness. I suspect that large groups of them will be surrendering to French camera crews. Sure its fun shooting and torturing civilians, but you just try slapping electrodes onto an Abrams. They'll get a DU round for their troubles and no apologies for it.

On to Baghdad.

Turkish Front

Turkey will let us send 15,000 ground troops to southeastern Turkey for the northern front. This should be enough for the 2-brigade 10th Mountain Division plus special forces and logistics troops that I figured would constitute our force up there. Since such a force is too small and light to march down the highway toward Tikrit, I expect it will go after the al Qaeda remnants that have carved out a pocket of territory in Kurdish lands near Iran.

Of course, if we actually send heavy forces to Turkey by rail, I guess that changes this analysis. And if we really are going after the northern oil fields to keep the Iraqis from torching them, maybe we do need to drive on Mosul. I'd rather have the Turks do it though. They do have incentive to keep those oil fields working so that they can earn revenue from the pipeline that goes through their country.

But how much of their oil export capacity do we really need to secure and put on line in the first couple years? We will secure the southern fields and we can hardly just start pumping out everything like crazy even if we secured all of the fields. So I just don't know whether the concerns for the northern fields are just a feint. After all, one small and light division is hardly an invasion force even with control of the air.

Will the UN Approve Our Invasion?

This article doubts they will. The better question is whether we want them to. It may be better for us to go without UN approval after having gone the extra mile to get the UN Security Council's stamp of approval. Showing up the UN as a useless dictator protection racket that will not be allowed to stand in our way when we decide we must deal with a growing and gathering danger to our security might be the exact thing we need.

After the Blix report on the 27th, President Bush should lay out our case—again—for war with Iraq. This would be a good time to reveal our smoking gun. He should tell the inspectors that we can no longer guarantee their safety and tell them they have 48 hours to leave Iraq. We should introduce a resolution stating that Iraq is in violation of UNSCR 1441 the next day and tell the UNSC that they have until Thursday to vote on it—one way or the other. But let them know that we will invade regardless. Their "approval" is a courtesy that we will grant the Security Council if it wants to preserve the fiction that the body can rein us in when we must defend ourselves. If they will not face the threat of the likes of Saddam, they are useless to world peace and are an actual hindrance to that lofty goal. Then, after consulting with Blair on the 31st and signing off on the last details, we invade the evening (our time) on January 31.

We will get rid of a threat, a tyrant, a rallying point for Islamofascists, and the last credibility of the UN that seeks to tie us up in procedural knots.

I'm not sure which would give me more satisfaction. But as they say, business before pleasure, so let's focus on Saddam for now. An irrelevant UN can wait.

And we should remember those who stood with us and those who walked away in our hour of need. The tears that so many shed for our loss after 9-11 have long dried and have been replaced by shrill insults. I had no use for their tears then, and will shed no tears for them when they find out they will pay a price for their actions.

North Korea Surrender?

Countdown to Invasion (of Iraq): 14 Days.

Ok, Krauthammer has a point that our retreat on dealing with North Korea's threats is disturbing; but I won't get upset until after Iraq is firmly occupied. I would not want to try a muscular response to North Korea's provocations if my only real military option was to nuke North Korea. I will wait to judge and hope that the current soft words are a delaying action until the Iraq War is over. This should be comforting actually, since it means we will deal with Iraq soon. You can't stall forever and I do think we are stalling on North Korea.
I can hardly wait for the human shields to head to Pyongyang.

Thursday, January 16, 2003


First, a quick correction. The Daisy ad suggests nuclear war should Pakistan's nuclear arsenal fall to Islamists outraged at our liberation of Iraq. (they don't say Pakistan but I assume they aren't talking about France) Not to worry, we'll tear apart Saddam so fast that the Islamists won't have a chance to even pull out their Burt and Osama posters.

Well, some 122mm rocket empty rocket warheads were found in Iraq. They are not supposed to have any of these chemical weapon delivery systems. What a completely unexpected bonus from the inspectors.

On this, I could kick myself for not having drawn the correct conclusion from Sheryl Crow's foreign affairs expertise. At first I thought she was a typical star providing a predictable opinion. But get this from James Taranto:

Reuters reports that songstress Sheryl Crow donned a T-shirt saying "War is not the answer" at last night's American Music Awards. "I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow," Sheryl crowed. "I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies."

OK, that "karmic retribution" stuff is pretty daffy, and war often is the answer (much of Europe may be run by weenies, but that sure beats Nazis). Still, Crow has a point about the desirability of not having enemies. So let's kill them.

Sheryl, if it makes you happy, we'll kill them all just as soon as we can.

Oh, and one more on containing North Korea. Remember that unlike the Cold War when we had to deal with communists and their sympathizers in allied governments, in labor unions, and on campuses who supported the Soviets or were amenable to their propaganda, we will not have to face that against North Korea. There are no 'Kimunists' in significant numbers outside of San Fransisco. We will have a very narrow front on which to fight.

Also, on the television news tonight, it was reported that the Saudis are trying to convince Iraqi generals to rise up against Saddam in a coup. While that outcome seems rather unlikely, I'd say the Saudis just threw in their lot with us. Sure, they are trying to undermine us by derailing the invasion, but if we turned around and went home do the Saudis think that Saddam would forget their offer? No, in effect, the Saudis really need us to knock Saddam off. If not, Saddam would exact his revenge on the Saudis. Bravo to whoever in the State Department or CIA who prodded the Saudis into this scheme.

Encouraging, Really

It is encouraging really that the crowd that opposes war against Saddam's machinery of death believes it could lead to nuclear war., which apparently began as an organization to lobby against the impeachment of President Clinton, has moved on to another job that requires one to hold one's nose and suppress the gag reflex: they are standing with Saddam Hussein. They are reviving the old "Daisy" ad to make their point. I guess they think Saddam currently has nuclear weapons, which is actually more than the pro-war crowd thinks. But fear not, my trembling darlings, the President shall ignore your worries and nail the bastard before he gets the bomb.

Speed Bumps

Countdown to Invasion: 15 Days.

Lest anyone think we aren't serious about invading Iraq soon, check out the statements by Rumsfeld and Myers at this press conference. Note that we will not let a dying UN stop us; note the refusal to play by Saddam's rules (and France's and Sheryl Crow's rules that say we must find what he has hidden); note that acceptance that the anti-war crowd cannot be convinced that war is just and necessary; note the quoting of the President that we will not be stalled; note that he says the choice for war has essentially been made by Saddam; note the dismissal of any bluffing; and note the proper placing of blame for harm to any of the so-called 'human shields' lies with the Iraqis, showing that they are no shields at all. But read for yourself:

Rumsfeld: Good afternoon. After United Nations (U.N.) inspectors briefed the Security Council last week, a number of the observers seemed to seize on the inspectors' statement that they found "no smoking gun" as yet. Conversely, if the inspectors had found new evidence, the argument might then have been that inspections were in fact working and, therefore, they should be given more time to work. I guess for any who are unalterably opposed to military action, no matter what Iraq may do, there will be some sort of an argument.

Another way to look at it is this; that the fact that the inspectors have not yet come up with new evidence of Iraq's WMD program could be evidence in and of itself of Iraq's non-cooperation. We do know that Iraq has designed its programs in a way that they can proceed in an environment of inspections, and that they are skilled at denial and deception.

The president has repeatedly made clear -- and it bears repeating -- that the burden of proof is not on the United States, it's not on the United Nations or the international community to prove that Iraq has these weapons. The burden of proof is on the Iraqi regime to prove that it is disarming, and to show the inspectors where the weapons are.

As the president said, "The inspectors do not have the duty or the ability to uncover weapons hidden in a vast country. The responsibility of inspectors can only be to confirm the evidence of voluntary and total disarmament by a cooperative country. It is Saddam Hussein who has the responsibility to provide that evidence, as directed and in full." Unquote.

Thus far, he has been unwilling to do so. We continue to hope that the regime will change course and that Iraq will disarm peacefully and voluntarily. No one wants war. The choice between war and peace will not be made in Washington or, indeed, in New York; it will be made in Baghdad. And the decision is facing the Iraqi regime.

This is a test for them, to be sure, but it is also a test for the U.N.. The credibility of that institution is important. Iraq has defied some 16 U.N. resolutions without cost or consequence. The Security Council unanimously approved a new resolution, which required that Iraq, quote, "provide a currently accurate, full and complete declaration," unquote, of its WMD programs, which asserted that any false statement or omissions in the declaration submitted by Iraq shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations, and which declared that this was Iraq's final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations, unquote. That is what the resolution said.

When the U.N, makes a statement like that, it puts its credibility on the line. To understand what's at stake, it's worth recalling the history of the U.N.'s predecessor, the League of Nations. The league collapsed because member states were not willing to back up their declarations with consequences. When the league failed to act after the invasion of Abyssinia, it was discredited. And the lesson of that experience was summed up by Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who declared at that time, quote: "Collective bluffing cannot bring about collective security," unquote. The lesson is as true today as it was at the start -- as it was back in the 20th century. The question is the -- whether or not the world has learned that lesson.

General Myers?

Myers: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. And good afternoon.

I'd like to begin by speaking briefly of Iraq's recruitment of human shields and the International Law of Armed Conflict.

As many of you know from news reports in Reuters and AFP, the London Observer, and in many other newspapers around the world, Iraq announced in late December that it will recruit and receive volunteers from Arab and Western countries to serve as human shields who would be deployed to protect sensitive sites. This is a deliberate recruitment of innocent civilians for the purpose of putting them in harm's way should a conflict occur. The last time Iraq used people as human shields was in December of 1998, when Iraq failed to comply with U.N. arms experts and coalition forces began Operation Desert Fox. A year earlier, the Iraqi encouraged hundreds of Iraqi families to put themselves at risk as voluntary human shields at palaces and strategic facilities in Iraq when Iraq refused to allow U.N. inspectors access to government sites.

I'd like to note that it is illegal under the international law of armed conflict to use non-combatants as a means of shielding potential targets. And Iraq action to do so would not only violate this law, but also be considered a war crime in any conflict. Therefore, if death or serious injury to a non-combatant resulted from these efforts, the individuals responsible for deploying any innocent civilians as human shields would be guilty of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention.

We are going to invade, let there be no doubt.

On to Baghdad.

Let Them Rant

First of all, let me say that it is dismaying to hear some say that the Axis of Evil speech provoked North Korea to go nuclear yet so many say that North Korea’s repeated threats to start World War III or turn Seoul into a sea of fire are just their quirky way of saying “let’s talk.”

There, I feel better.

So what if Pyongyang threatens us? What are they going to do, nuke us?

I really think we can contain them and squeeze them until they collapse. Look at the collection of states of NATO that we had to herd during the Cold War. There combined military might was never enough to halt a conventional invasion by the Soviets. Even with our aid, only during the 1980s did our conventional capabilities provide the edge to probably defeat them. And the Soviets had industrial capacity and thousands of nuclear weapons to back their threats. What do we face on the Korean peninsula? A broken state whose military has one shot at attacking a far stronger South Korea. We must work with one state that matters to organize the defense of the south—South Korea itself. And our threat may gain a handful of missiles with nukes. Plus we will have effective missile defenses in time. There are also powerful states in the region with every reason to oppose North Korean nukes regardless of what they think of us. As an added bonus, we don't even need to keep our troops as hostages to our intervention by keeping them on the front line facing the North Koreans since South Korea can hold the line. Will North Korea really launch a war to protest our sanctions?

We’ve faced worse threats. Are we not the nation that went “toe to toe with the Russkies” (with thanks to Slim Pickens) and broke them? We easily forget those days but North Korea really is a blast from the past, its Stalinist rhetoric unchanged from the days when they learned at the feet of Stalin himself. We can do it again against this pipsqueak tyrant.

Contain him. Squeeze him. And make sure he knows we will obliterate every damn bunker he has so that he knows he cannot burrow deep enough to escape nuclear retribution.

His thug regime will collapse if we push it.

What If Saddam Does Flee?”

So what if Saddam does go into exile as this article says? Do we pack up our troops, declare victory, and go home?

Of course not. We’d still need to occupy the country. Our troops would need to go in in force just as if we were invading, with combat aircraft ranging across the country in a show of power prior to settling in for a good round of trials and purges and ripping out the roots of Saddam’s WMD programs.

And if he goes, we should still kill him or try him. Should we really be in the business of protecting war criminals? What kind of message does this send to future dictators who would kill their people, invade their neighbors, plot to assassinate our past president, incite terror, plot terror, and pursue nuclear and biological weapons to protect his horrible regime? It tells them, you can do all this and if America decides it has had enough, you call “time” and head for easy retirement with the loot of your reign of terror.

That is not exactly the kind of message I want to send. Send the message that if you do these things, you will die in prison or be executed.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003


Well now, the Blix report on the 27th, State of the Union on the 28th, and a Bush-Blair meeting at Camp David on the 31st. Could the attack be that night? It has seemed to make sense to me that the attack begin Friday evening after office buildings are emptied at the end of the work week and children are home away from vulnerable schools should wackos decide in the heat of the moment (and before the devastating effectiveness of our war machine is evident) to strike a blow for Saddam by hitting civilians here. And you know, February 1 is a new moon. We own the night. I’ve been hesitant to pick a date for war since my botched December 27 prediction, but what the heck,it’s been a couple weeks since I admitted failure—January 31 or February 1 at the latest, we invade. Finally.

Oh, and says a brigade of 82nd Airborne received orders to head out that way. Iraq or relieve units in Afghanistan?

North Korean Diplomacy

Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game fame and other good stuff) has a nice piece on North Korea. highlighted it.

Ah, That’s Why

The reason it is unlikely that 1st Infantry will deploy despite reports that it will go to war is that it is otherwise occupied in Kosovo. In addition to the fact that I think we will have plenty of armor to smash any Iraqi attempt to stop us in the open, it makes sense to keep 1st Infantry unengaged so the balance of the division in Europe may act as a relief force for the Balkans. Plus, with one brigade’s units just having left duty there and one just arriving, the unit is way too peacekeeping oriented to fight a war. Peacekeeping is akin to police work and unlike combat where you toss a grenade into a room before entering just in case, police knock on the door so you can put your robe on first. Big difference. It will take a while for the exiting unit to become a fully capable combat unit again. It makes sense that 1st Infantry’s role in this month’s command post exercise with 1st Armored, 1st Cavalry, and 101st Airborne, is meant to simulate 3rd Infantry which is deploying to Kuwait. Of course, since the division was reportedly alerted, component units of the division not needed for peacekeeping such as artillery, or air defense, or signal, or other support units could be sent to bolster other divisions.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

War Imminent

I know my credibility is poor since I thought the war would have started by the end of last year, but I think war is waiting only for the troops and once they are ready, we will go. I know that lots of pundits worry that the President is losing his nerve or that the UN or our allies are successfully derailing us, but I don't think so. Oh, sure, their hand wringing gets me to worry a bit, but I believe we will invade. No question. Troops are seriously moving and I don't think we would be deploying troops if we were not ready to invade. It is too tough to ramp up the readiness for war like this only to back down or go into a holding pattern and wait. Nor do I think the president would dangle troops out as VX bait sitting in desert kabals tempting the Iraqis to launch a chemical first strike to disrupt our plans.

The real clincher is what President Bush said today, "I'm sick and tired of games and deception. I haven't seen any evidence that he has disarmed. Time is running out on Saddam Hussein. He must disarm." I don't think he said that lightly. I think war is coming far sooner than March. And talk of the fall is just crazy. We may go this month or very early in February, but it will be far earlier than the press is reporting. But that is fine, I'd rather we gain tactical surprise by fooling the Iraqis than have explicit reassurances that we will invade.

On to Baghdad.


Carpenter’s piece is more of the ‘America caused the problem’ hogwash that seems to crop up whenever we face a foreign problem. He says our military record since the end of the Cold War caused the proliferation that we now desperately seek to curtail. He lists American attacks as if they were bolts from the blue, with no justification at all. He acts like this is even new behavior in the real world. Is the fact that a great power will wage war in its interests new? In a sense it is, we have mostly attacked for reasons pure and not for empire. Sure, taking down Noriega and ejecting Saddam from Kuwait were done purely in the interests of national security, but we did at least fight despicable creatures. His naming of “invading and occupying Afghanistan” in his list of invasions that ‘caused’ proliferation is particularly absurd given the 3,000 dead we suffered on September 11. Would bin Laden and his Taliban hosts really have retained nukes for deterrence if they had gotten them? Really now.

It is all such nonsense. As if states that are now on the verge of gaining, or have acquired, nuclear weapons, began to do so since the fall of the Berlin Wall. States that consider us the enemy have long tried to obtain sufficient military power to deter us. Witness Iran’s purchase of Chinese Silkworm anti-ship missiles in the 1980s to deter us from sending our Navy into the Gulf. Witness the pursuit of chemical weapons that many countries now have. Indeed, nuclear proliferation has long been a concern of ours. What has changed is that nuclear weapons are now old technology and hence are within reach of even the poorest country. Thug regimes want insurance that they can continue their thuggery without interference from the only country that can stop them. Nuclear arms are merely the latest means and are not the result of our post-Cold War policies.

And what about the track record of states that have not gone nuclear: namely Japan and Germany? Or the states that have abandoned nuclear programs such as Brazil and Argentina? Or the states that have abandoned nuclear weapons such as South Africa (which developed them in secrecy), Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Byelorussia (which inherited them from the Soviet Union)? Are these states more at risk from America now that they have no nukes?

Indeed, if the track record of the Soviet Union collapsing trying to maintain military might superior to America’s hasn’t convinced poverty-stricken states that nukes are the road to economic and moral collapse, I doubt our wars against threats and sickos are particularly significant in prompting a decision to go nuclear. Unless Carpenter thinks we should launch a preventative nuclear strike on North Korea and Iran as a lesson to nuclear aspirants that the nuclear road will result in their destruction rather than our deterrence.

We are so big, that even a foreign policy on the level of Iceland would cause thug regimes to worry about our capabilities. We are too big to ignore regardless of what we do. If Islamist hostility in the face of our repeated efforts to protect and aid Moslems can gain traction in the world, what on earth could we do to lessen the fears of thug regimes that their days are numbered? The key to regime survival is not being a bloodthirsty dictatorship. You’d think that would be the lesson.

Carpenter may not want America to do anything militarily more strenuous than patrol the Mexican and Canadian borders, but he shouldn’t blame us for what states would do anyway in pursuit of his isolationist policy.


Carter speaks. I shudder. Pyongyang gains hope.

Why the architect of the sham ’94 agreement thinks he has anything useful to offer is beyond me. Listen to his description of North Korea:

As now, the isolated and economically troubled nation was focused on resolving basic differences with the United States. Deeply suspicious and perhaps paranoid, the North Koreans were demanding assurances against a nuclear attack and opportunities for normal bilateral relations.

You’d think he was talking about a troubled youth who keeps getting in trouble with the local sheriff. He seems to feel sorry for the most brutal and bankrupt regime on earth (sorry Saddam, you try, but oil revenue at least keeps your people from starving despite your claims; and your minority Sunnis have not crushed all spirit of resistance as effectively as the pudgy freak from Pyongyang—and how does he gain weight in that starving land?) and thinks we need to give reassurances to them!! How can we have normal relations with such an awful regime?

Tyrants have no better friend in the West than former President Carter. And that’s saying a lot. Lordy, Lord, won’t he go to Baghdad as a human shield or something? Shoot, the Iraqis tried to kill the senior President Bush; instead of killing an American president, maybe they’ll really appreciate having one of their own to dress up and haul around to chat with activists and Hollywood types. Heck, Carter won’t even know he left home.

Not Shields After All

I guess those brave souls who claim they will be human shields won’t be shielding anything after all. According to the article, “Although most said they plan to leave by this weekend, others claiming to represent several hundred protesters from Europe, the United States and neighboring Arab nations said they intend to arrive later in the month to engage in a far riskier form of activism: They plan to act as human shields, hunkering down in hospitals, water-treatment plants and other civilian installations to dissuade U.S. commanders from targeting those facilities.”

How risky is it to hunker down in a hospital? Against American forces which, almost uniquely in the world, are both capable of and eager to avoid striking civilian targets? Park their sorry butts on the roof of an Iraqi intelligence post or something and then I’ll be impressed. With their stupidity but impressed nonetheless.

We’ll see how eager they are to camp out by a mosque when an Iraqi air defense unit snuggles up close to the civilian target.

And again, I am amazed that these people would choose Saddam Hussein’s bankrupt regime as uniquely suited to pledging their lives to defend. Are there no more worthy governments or people in the world? Apparently not, according to one: ‘"Not in Hanoi or Panama or Baghdad last time, or anywhere else for that matter, has there been this many people coming to a city that probably will be bombed to bits saying, 'Don't do it. It doesn't make sense. There are other ways to resolve this disagreement,' " said James Jennings, the president of Conscience International, an anti-war group based in Atlanta.’

The Iraqi Baathistss are delighted, of course. And behind closed doors, I’m sure they are amazed at the idiots who would do their dirty work.

Some of the activists are at least honest when they avoid that whole ‘we hate Saddam too, but…’ routine when they proudly proclaim their intention to hinder the American-led war: “Several activists said that even if they fail to sway the White House, they hope their efforts will complicate the Pentagon's war plans and lead European nations to sit out the action, spoiling the Bush administration's hope for an international coalition against Hussein.

“Peace” activists, indeed. What can I say about the foreigners there? They aren’t Americans. But my fellow citizens? They disgust me. They would hinder our war, knowing that they could cause additional American soldiers to die. And for what? Saddam’s brutal regime. That is what inspires their ‘activism.’

On to Baghdad.