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the countdown(21 posts)

the countdownDougSloan
Mar 18, 2003 6:57 AM
The countdown is on. Pres gave SH 48 hours (as of 8 pm Eastern, Monday?) to get out of Dodge. Any bets?
My bet isOldEdScott
Mar 18, 2003 7:26 AM
someone trips a wire and the war starts before the 48 hours is up.

I sure hope these people know what they're doing. They don't fill me with confidence.
my bet isgtx
Mar 18, 2003 7:34 AM
short war
plenty of civilian casualties that we'll never hear about
long, messy occupation that will make the Arab world like us even less
Starts Thursday night at dinnertimePaulCL
Mar 18, 2003 8:02 AM
Just in time to screw up the NCAA March Madness coverage. Bummer. I live in KY and since KY is going to win it all, I hate to see something so important as a college basketball tournament interrupted.

My prediction: Short war. Started by Saddam within 48 hours - heck, he has nothing to lose. Long search for Saddam who will hide like Osama. Long occupation. Woosies like France coming in at the end looking for a piece of the pie. Islamics lining up to volunteer to be suicide bombers in the USA. Imagine the fear in our country with a couple of suicide bombers in crowded malls....of course, my VISA bill would drop like a stone.
Stop the (March) Madness!Dale Brigham
Mar 18, 2003 8:25 AM
My gawd, doesn't President Bush have the common decency to delay the war until after the Final Four, or at least start it during one of those early-week lulls in the action? Of course, his Yalies are not in it, so it's no big whoop to him. If only he had been admitted to the Univ. of Texas law school....

(Bitter that my Red Raiders are not in the Big Dance. Bombs away, I say!)
And don't forget the Oscars either ;-) nmAlpedhuez55
Mar 18, 2003 8:50 AM
Does anyone else here think that it is completely stupid thatKristin
Mar 19, 2003 9:15 AM
the question about whether or not the Oscars would be on made national news? Our priorities are so screwed.
Hollywood has an overblown sense of self-importance nmDougSloan
Mar 19, 2003 9:48 AM
Sorry, my man, but UK willOldEdScott
Mar 18, 2003 8:35 AM
lose -- for the second time this season -- to Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals in the championship game. You read it here first.
Silly me, I thought UK stood for United Kingdom (nm)Me Dot Org
Mar 18, 2003 9:44 AM
You obviously don't liveOldEdScott
Mar 18, 2003 10:32 AM
in Big Blue Nation.
and tape-delayed for west coast viewers. nmSpunout
Mar 18, 2003 8:45 AM
Bombing starts first night after 48 hrs, ground forces ....PdxMark
Mar 18, 2003 8:52 AM
start moving the next night. 3-4 days to the outskirts of Bagdad. Then cross fingers and hope for a coup. Mess around on the outskirts of Bagdad for a week, then start edging into Bagdad. Cross fingers and hope for a coup. Discover we don't have enough troops to enter Bagdad, and don't want to enter it anyway. Cross fingers and hope for a coup.

At same time, 101st gets an air strip in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq and encircles Kirkuk within a week.

No chemical weapons launched by Iraq. It would justify our war and our defenses are as good as there are. No attack on Israel. There's no coalition to undermine.
Thats pretty much my take...Dwayne Barry
Mar 18, 2003 9:15 AM
easy early on, hope for luck with Baghdad. If the Bush administration has significantly underestimated the willingness or ability of the Republican Guard and civilians to defend Baghdad and/or the occupation gets ugly over the next year or so via either the Kurds or Sunnis resisting our occupation it will be the end of Bush.

The American public has no stomach for a dirty war or occupation when the motivation is so spurious. This ain't WWII, if it turns bad, the American public will turn on Bush. Success depends on what has been implied, which is a relatively clean and easy war, followed by an occupation of people who just wanted to be rid of Saddam.

I still can't get over them letting the "embedded" reporters go with the troops. Sure it will be fine early on, but what if Baghdad turns sour?
Pretty close...Me Dot Org
Mar 18, 2003 10:23 AM
Although we are facing an Iraqi army that is much depleted from the Gulf War, these are not Iraqis fighting for Kuwait. The task is controlling a country the size of California with about 100,000 combat troops. No matter how good you are, that still is a pretty daughting task.

It's a full moon right now, I think the bombing might go on for a couple of days before the ground troops really drive to fortified positions. My guess would be they will move across the desert in the west pretty rapidly. Near Basra the terrain is tougher going.

There will be tremendous political pressure to get this war over QUICKLY. There will also be tremendous political pressure to do so with a minimum amount of civilian casualites. The Iraqi military command is no doubt aware of those considerations, and will make it difficult to accomplish both simultaneously.

The unknowns are the kinds of defensive measures that will be employed. A single chemical attack REALLY slows things down. If the Iraqis have already wired the oilfields, why not blow them up AFTER the troops arrive? How close to civilian facilities will the troops stay? How will Allied command balance the security of their troops against the political fallout of civilian casualties?

I think the "regular army" troops will put up minimal resistance. The Republican Guard is a tougher call. I would guess that there is a core element that will go down fighting.

There are a lot of Turkish troups on the northern border. A big and sticky variable. Reports are that there are already special forces in the North and West. (Even reports of Israeli commandos in Jordan, something the government doesn't want to publicize).

What is happening with the human shields? I know most have left the country, but last I heard there were still a few left...

Have you seen the pictures of the Command Center in Qatar? It looks like the Eddie Bauer edition of a Merril Lynch office. EVERYTHING is computerized, real-time. "The fog of war" for the Coaltion may be clouds of information.
Full moon...PdxMark
Mar 18, 2003 10:40 AM
I was thinking about that, but decided that GWB just can't wait, and a couple weeks brings hot weather than much closer. Maybe we hope for cloudy skies, since JDAMs work on GPS and don't need visual contact. On the ground, any Iraqi troops close enough to see our guys in a full moon are already way within range, so with the seemingly minimal outer defenses a full moon attack might pass muster. Maybe the main problem is that stealth fighters/bombers aren't very stealthy under a full moon....

Sounds like most air defense stuff is now concentrated around Bagdad. Lots of AAA. It's not going to be easy....
Saddam allready rejected.ryder1
Mar 18, 2003 11:13 AM
Saddam has allready rejected the proposal to leave. Now Washington says they don't have to wait the 48 hours since, he's allready said 'no'.
Not what Ari Fleischer said,TJeanloz
Mar 18, 2003 11:54 AM
In the WH Briefing this afternoon, Ari Fleischer re-iterated that Hussein was given 48 hours to leave the country, and that nothing he (Saddam) said would change what Bush had said (that he had 48 hours). The implication was that they would wait the 48 hours -- I think more reasonably to give people other than Saddam (U.N. inspectors, foreign diplomats, etc.) time to leave.
Iraqi soldiers are already surrendering by the 10,000s nmDougSloan
Mar 18, 2003 3:35 PM
source? nmgtx
Mar 18, 2003 9:33 PM
radio news in car yesterday; nmDougSloan
Mar 19, 2003 9:11 AM