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another kind of war « Previous | |Next »
April 8, 2003

I caught a bit of 7.30 Report tonight. Judging from the footage would seem that the seige of Baghdad is far from over. Marines smelling the roses in the palace grounds and and sitting in Saddam's chairs play well back home. But it would seem that the Iraqi ' have given up that western section of Baghdad to defend eastern Baghdad. In terms of an engagement all we have is US tanks firing from the west bank of the Tigris on targets on the east bank of the river.

I missed this by Gary Anderson. But it makes a lot of sense. Gary says:

"The assumption that President Saddam Hussein is looking at the battle of Baghdad as a glorious last stand is inconsistent with his character. There is likely to be a greater game afoot. Saddam is an admirer of Ho Chi Minh. He has also studied the American debacles in Lebanon and Somalia. He and his staff have had 12 years to think about how to fight."

All the media are thinking in terms of the battle of Baghdad as a HIGH NOON. Rober Fisk thinks in terms of Hollywood blockbuster terms,LAST DAYS OF SADDAM..

But the media continually forget about the politics: how resistance to the Americans plays in the Arab world. The 3 week resistance recreates Saddam the hero of the anti-western movement in the Arab world. The more he hangs on the more he becomes a hero.

As some middle class Jordanians who had studied in the US observed on 4 Corners:

Man 1 "Let me put it this way - Saddam was a tyrant, now he's a leader for the Arabs. He kind of... Everyone's looking up to Saddam nowadays because he is standing up to the United States of America, and that's something really big in the Arab world for an Arab leader to stand up to United States. Maybe in the back of their minds Saddam was bad but now he's not bad anymore."

MAN 2: "He's already won this war. This is what people don't understand in the Western world. Our battles in the Middle East, sadly to say, our battles are 48 hours, 12 hours, a few skirmishes - the longest battle that ever lasted was I think a week, six days. This guy's made six days against the United States of America."

So how does the Iraqi regime fight to achieve this political goal? Gary Anderson says that the game plan is quite different to the American race to take Baghdad in 30 days.

"Against overwhelming US and British conventional military superiority, he must develop a three-pronged strategy. Phase one assumes eventual defeat in a conventional war. If defeat is inevitable, he must make the most of it. The next precept is to make the conventional phase last as long and be as bloody as possible for the coalition....to attempt to turn Baghdad into an Arab Alamo, making "Remember Baghdad" a battle cry, for future generations and the rest of this war. At this point Saddam will go into hiding or exile, portraying himself as having led a glorious struggle against imperialism and vowing to continue."

We then move to a guerilla-style warfare in which "war will be an attritional struggle against occupying forces and any Iraqi interim government." The aim is to wear down the Iraqi interim government then overwhelm it . Success
"would transform Saddam into a darling of the Arab world."

It makes more sense that what I hear in the mainstream media.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:17 PM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

I call this this "Saddama Bin Minh" theory -- and not surprisingly plenty of military folks are giving credence to it. It makes more sense than the insane defence of Iraq we have so far witnessed in the western media and, more importantly, does not underestimate the enemy, which Bush has done from the start. Only question is, is there a Giap to Saddam's Ho?

It will be interesting to see whether he can pull it off. He has had lots of time to put the strategy into place.

Somehow I doubt whether he can.Shot too many generals.