Monday, September 23, 2002

Another Shot in the Foot

Saddam Hussein has taken direct command of Republican Guard brigades protecting Baghdad. This is according to the Iraqi National Congress anyway. They also are massed around Baghdad. Apparently some 60% of them. These are two great moves from our point of view. The ruthless dictator, whose subordinates will never tell Saddam bad news, will command the very units that must fight better than they’ve ever fought to try and hold us off! To say that the Republican Guards will be less effective is to underestimate the impact of Saddam’s decision. Massing the best around the capital will also effectively concede the rest of the country to us. And just who will keep the regular army units loyal?

By preparing for a siege, he has guaranteed it. And once his "loyal" troops under siege see the rest of the country go over to us and that they have to face other Iraqis, they may begin to crumble too. Even if they don’t collapse, knowing they are the last holdouts can’t do too many good things for their morale.

This is the best news I’ve heard since the Washington Post reported that we are going in with at least five American divisions.

And speaking of foot shootings, Al Gore, who believes we must have a "final reckoning" with Saddam—but not just yet, "chided the administration for trying to start a new war without finishing the job of hunting down those responsible for the attacks of last Sept. 11 or of stabilizing a post-Taliban Afghanistan." Reason number 27 that the Democratic Party is sweating bullets that Gore might run in ’04. Imagine, taking on the greater threat when the smaller threat is not yet completely defeated! I mean, that’s as if we had reacted to Japan’s attack on Pearl harbor by declaring a "Germany first" strategy and sending the vast majority of our forces to Europe to overthrow the Nazis! I mean, can you imagine that? The Germans didn’t even attack us and the Japanese killed thousands! Clearly, the Gore Strategy in 1941 would have been to focus on Japan; stabilize the post-war Japan (assuming we beat Japan, am I assuming too much?) somewhere around, oh, 1955; and then focus on Nazi Germany! Sigh. He commented negatively on the new strategy of preemption too but I will save a rundown on the administration paper for a later Defense Issues.