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Grand plans and precision campaigns « Previous | |Next »
March 24, 2003

It would seem that 'the Baghdad for coffee' scenario has meet with a few hiccups on the way. Iraqi resistance is being encountered at Nasiriya. Despite all the shock and awe the Iraqi regime has yet to collapse, and the Coalition faces the prospect of a long standoff at the gates of Baghad. The Americans have the desert but not the towns.

The military are giving very little away other than emphasising the idea that the campaign is essentially going to plan, that everything is hunky dory apart from a few minor difficulties. Is it?

Reading these BBC journalist weblogs indicates a fracturing of the campaign based on a 'quick and clean' high-tech war.

A messy picture is emerging from southern Iraq. It was meant to be the easy part of this war. Despite intensive bombardment and despite water and electricity being cut off for at least 48 hours, Basra has not been taken, urban warfare is happening and a guerilla war is begining to form. The high expectations of the British, that Basra would welcome the troops as liberators and that they would be able to wander in lightly armed havde been dashed.

And northern Iraq? The American plan is a total failure. Turkey blocked the American's northern front, and it appears that Turkey is about to enter the war to whip the Kurds into shape. Why? This article, TURKEY’S TWO GREAT CHALLENGES IN IRAQspells the case out:

"Turkey wants to participate in this war... to protect its territorial integrity and control a possible rush of Iraqi refugees towards its borders...... the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is very determined to hold back the flow of Iraqi refugees in northern Iraq. Turkey will allow only 80,000 Iraqi refugees to enter its territories. That’s why Turkey has to deploy its troops in northern Iraq and provide Iraqi refugees with humanitarian aid at the refugee camps established there."

And the Kurds? How do they see all this? They are only to happy to see the End of Saddam. Life under the current Iraqi regime was a nightmare for them. However:

"Winning the war will be easy. Winning the peace will be much more difficult. The standard for success will be the attainment of stability, democracy and federalism for the two main nations that make up Iraq: the Kurds and the Arabs. But stability will be elusive if the Kurdish and the Arab agendas are discarded by the liberating U.S. army and its provisional rule."

This Open Letter to President Bush talks in tems of US betrayal and the US government not really caring about the Kurds.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:46 PM | | Comments (2)


I don't buy the Turkey-just-wants-to-control-refugees thing; they piled troops into the Kurdish areas couple of times just a few years ago. smells like getting a foot in the door to me.

I agree. Not even the US has been able to convince Ankra to stop sending troops across the border. That whole northern front has not turned out as planned.