|Things that made the war easier to accept||Spoiler|
Mar 23, 2003 11:05 PM
|I was against the war in the beginning. I'm still not sure it's a good idea. I am heartened by some things that indicate that we're trying to do the right thing.
1. The initial strike on Saddam's bunker indicated that we had good intelligence about his whereabouts. We were trying to end the war quickly. Kill the head and leave the body in disarray, demoralized, and likely to give up without getting killed.
2. The slow progress indicates that we're being careful. With out weapons, we could carpet-bomb the entire city and everything along the way. We're sacreficing time and not taking the easy way. I like to think this is in order to preserve the country and it's people as well as holding our own soldiers priority at a high level.
3. Anti-war protestors are showing support for troops and not just preaching the "No blood for oil" sermon. They're learning that they'll get they're message across better without presenting it like a Gay-Pride parade type of spectacle.
4. Some of the media is doing a good job. My favorite is CNN's late night coverage with Aaron Brown and retired General Wesley Clark.
Aaron is subdued, but still human. He takes great advantage of the generals knowlege. He doesn't try to bait him into any propoganda. He shows patience with the satelite reports from the inbedded correspondents. Other anchors cut them off, ask stupid questions, and
General Clark is a man that I'd like to fight for. He is intelligent. He has vast military knowlege, yet is able to condense the info into information that educates the viewers. He can He sticks to facts and thinks before he speaks.
5. Inbedded reporters-I haven't seen to many Geraldo Rivera type of boneheads. They seem to keep out of the way while providing valuable information. Their coverage of individual units results in increased troop support back home.
|re: Things that made the war easier to accept||Alpedhuez55|
Mar 24, 2003 6:39 AM
|You make some great points Spoiler. I think there has been a strong effort to avoid any civilian casualties. THat first bomb mission did seem to shake things up a bit.
One problem seems to be that the Iraqi's are no treating POWs properly. And they are apparently fighting in civilian uniforms. THough if they are going to ignore the UN for 12 years, they are going to ignore the rules of warfare. THat could lead to some civilian casualties. THat faked surrender was pretty low bad as well.
Aaron Brown has done a good job. I have been impressed with the coverage on all the Cable Networks Fox, CNN & MSNBC. Even though I am a conservative, I think I have spent most of the time watching MS NBC. I like Brian Williams and think they have good experts. THe cable anchors seem to write the right questions. I have not been impressed with the big name network anchors. THey try to pretend to know too much and I think their egos get in the way of reporting. For the most part the coverage has been good though.
|this one seems much different than last time||DougSloan|
Mar 24, 2003 7:30 AM
|Last time, we got a daily feed of films of bombs dropped down the throats of buildings and blowing up tanks. This one, by contrast, seems much more like a classic war -- not nearly as "clean." Not sure if the nature of it is truly different, or primarily the way it's portrayed.
They say it's going according to plan, though. War really does suck; it's ugly and horrific.
|Well last time...||Dwayne Barry|
Mar 24, 2003 7:53 AM
|we were in an ideal position.
Saddam quite mistakenly believed he had a military that could stand-up to us in a pitched open-field battle.
Additionally, his troops had been pounded into submission before any ground forces engaged. And they weren't defending their country.
This time he's not going to fight open pitched battles. He's embedding his troops in civilian areas and daring us to come and get them, which just this morning resulted in our Helicopters taking a bit of a beating. Clearly in the south we've by-passed most of these areas in the hopes of a capitulation that would relieve us of going into these cities and fighting.
Right now, it looks like Saddam is still alive, and that we may well have to fight in Baghdad. A "siege" of the city probably isn't do-able because of the civilian consequences. Unless things turn dramatically I think we may well see more of a resistance in and around Baghdad then we were initiallyt led to believe.
I would also say the military is doing a commendable job. But the fact that there have been relatively few prisoners taken (I think about 2000 is the last I heard from the pentagon), makes me think this could drag on, and possibly turn into a guerilla-style war.
I don't doubt the military is up to winning the war although I'm starting to think it may be more costly than we thought. I think establishing the peace looks more difficult than ever.
Mar 24, 2003 8:25 AM
|Maybe Bush didn't truly expect this much resistance, but I don't think he or Rumsfeld did a good job of balancing out all the "The outcome is CERTAIN" and the "Shock and Awe" talk with realistic warning about US casualities and how urban warfare would be different than first war. Maybe they didn't know.
Is Saddam alive? I can't imaging that this man could resist the chance to brag about POW's and the fact that one of our own soldiers mutinied if he were alive and well. He passed on every chance to provide specific evidence he's alive. But then again, we're led to believe that their military only functions while he is alive, and it's clear that their military is functioning.
I'm wondering if the US public has the patience and stomach for a real drawn out war. We keep ragging on about how our kids have no attention span, and how we're a "fast food", I want it now type of society. We're used to seeing war movies and TV shows that span only a couple hours from beginning to end.
Mar 24, 2003 8:37 AM
|contrary to the earlier TV appearance, to me anyway, this time it looks like Saddam and he supposedly refers to some of the battles in the south.
I can't imagine the war is going to drag on long enough for public opinion to sway. But there could end up being enough casualties to cause people to reconsider if this was a wise move or not.
And of course war is only the means to a political end, so that if after the war our soilders aren't treated as liberators by the vast majority of Iraqi's and a democracy isn't established we ultimately lose the "war" in the some respects.
Mar 24, 2003 8:45 AM
|In his taped speech he also congradulated or praised a general that had surrendered a couple of days earlier. I think there is still reason to question if he's alive..........|
|Churchill observed that...||Jon Billheimer|
Mar 24, 2003 9:12 AM
|...the first casualty of war is always the truth. If any of you recall during the opening days of the war on the Taliban officials claimed virtually by the hour that everything was on, if not ahead, of schedule and that bin Laden's capture/death was imminent. Similarly, in this war the opening rounds have been characterized by rosy projections and predictions. Unfortunately, nothing is going to be as clean and quick as politicians and propagandists would hope.
A significant part of this war is the propaganda campaign to keep the American public on side and to convince the rest of the world that this is a clean and just war. I personally think that the conflict will be more drawn out than first presented, although the military outcome is certain. I also believe that the aftermath is going to be anything but tidy.
Mar 24, 2003 9:26 AM
|I think it's really interesting that there's this pervasive attitude that the war has been sold to the American public as one that will be quick and tidy. I don't think the Pentagon or the White House have ever said that it will be either quick or tidy -- we've come to these conclusions on our own, and with the help of military analysts on the news.|
|No, to Bush's credit, he never||OldEdScott|
Mar 24, 2003 9:35 AM
|said it would be quick, tidy or easy. I even thought he might be lowballing, to get expectations lowered so we'd be astonished and grateful when the thing went smoothly. Turns out, he was talking the true gen.|
Mar 24, 2003 9:39 AM
|You are right. I think this is more or less what was expected. I guess they are getting small pockets of resistance leading to Baghdad. It could get pretty nasty in Baghdad though since the Iraqis seem to plan on pretending to be or hiding behind civilians.
The media may have made too much of the first bombing raid. It would be nice to have solid intelligence on what condition Saddam is in. The US is going to great lengths to protect civilians. Itr will probably make the war go on longer than expected. We will see what happens when they go into the city.
|The problem is...||Dwayne Barry|
Mar 24, 2003 9:40 AM
|that when you present the idea that the civilian and all but a select few of the military are waiting to be "liberated" it implies an easy job. Compound this by the fact that for days now the administration has been saying Iraqi C&C has been falling apart, Saddam may be dead or at least losing control, etc. you get the same implication.
Perception is what were talking about. Even if explicitly the prez and generals have said this is going to be tough, dark days are ahead, etc. the overall message and 1st impressions were of an army/people that were going to easily capitulate.
|The fog of war||Me Dot Org|
Mar 24, 2003 9:34 AM
|I would agree that there seems to be an undeniable effort to spare Iraqi civilians from the bombing. But it's important to keep in mind that we haven't seen the bloodiest fighting of this war. There is not yet a major city that has been completed "liberated", i.e. completely free of Iraqi resistance.
There are still potentially huge problems.
The Turks on the northern border.
It appears that Iraqis have been more ingenious in mining harbors that we thought. Clearing those mines means a delay in receiving massive amounts of humanitarian aid. If large groups of Iraqi civilians are seen as suffering greatly because of the war, there will be a heavy price to pay in world public opinion.
In the gulf war, there was a month of bombing before ground forces moved. Centcom can talk all they want about "swarming" "shock and awe", and the "mosaic of forces" but the reality is that we didn't have a month to do bombing before this war, and the Iraqis may have learned some things about hiding their forces since the '91 war.
My gut feeling is that the fight for Baghdad could be pretty terrible. A lot of the technological advantages of our army are lost in house-to-house fighting.
Embedded reporters have been a great PR coup so far. The thing to remember is the Stockholm syndrome. These people are reporting on the people who are keeping them alive. I don't think you're going to see a lot of truly independent reporting, especially if Iraqis keep shooting independent reporters.
|'Shock and awe' did neither, as far as I can tell.||OldEdScott|
Mar 24, 2003 9:43 AM
|I believe it was badly counterproductive to telegraph it. And it seems -- seems -- the psychological war hasn't had the intended effect. Quite the contrary, in fact. The Iraqis seem cohesive and determined so far, and indeed hit on a pretty effective early strategy: PRETEND the psy war had worked.
So we're down to a straight-ahead military grind now. Grunts on the ground. I hope we're prepared for all that entails, both there and here at home.
|Holy #$!@ You're in Baghdad????||mohair_chair|
Mar 24, 2003 10:32 AM
|From your couch, watching TV, you feel qualified to evaluate the how Iraqis feel and how cohesive and determined they are?|
|Qualified as you are, bub.||OldEdScott|
Mar 24, 2003 10:38 AM
|At least I've been in combat, and know what it's like to face an enemy on his own home turf. Good grief. How many times did I say and emphasize the word 'seems' in my email. As in, 'it SEEMS' this way.
To quote the late, great grz mnky: "Put the bong down, read, and think before you send a flame. Not doing so makes you look like a horse's ass."
Mar 24, 2003 10:50 AM
|I would think that defending home turf would put you in a vastly different mindset than as a "liberator." I was thinking about that over the weekend, when I'd hear reports of the Iraqi soldiers doing things like faking surrender, shooting prisoners, etc.
I know that if someone invaded my home (house), I'd do absolutely anything I could to defend my family, totally disregarding sanity or any potential trouble I might be in afterwards for it. I imagine the same would apply to soldiers, wouldn't it? Anyone see "The Patriot?"
|True. Plus, there's a residual problem from||OldEdScott|
Mar 24, 2003 11:08 AM
|GWI, when some Iraqis embraced us, and we pulled out and left them -- 'traitors' -- to the government's tender mercies. There's likely considerable skepticism that we're in this for the long haul this time either. I wouldn't tip my hand unless I knew for sure the 'liberators' are going to hang around long enough to protect me.
NOTE TO MOHAIR: Check usage carefully. I did say 'likely.'
|One of the most compelling points to date.... nm||sn69|
Mar 24, 2003 11:40 AM
|I don't claim to be||mohair_chair|
Mar 24, 2003 11:41 AM
|I'm not the one who basically declared the war lost, even with liberal inclusion of the word "seem." If you have seen combat, you should know that three or four days is hardly enough time to evaluate anything, much less make the kinds of judgements you made.
I have to wonder what you would think if you were watching the Normandy invasion on TV. I'm sure it would "seem" that it wasn't going very well.
|Please learn to read.||OldEdScott|
Mar 24, 2003 11:52 AM
|I never declared the war lost. What's the matter with you? There is SO much dreary bullsh!t written on this board by people apparently on crack.
I SAID shock and awe was neither, and a lot of the psychological games the planners cooked up SEEM to not be working. And now it's a ground war, which I hope we're prepared for. (ASIDE: WHICH I THINK WE'LL PROBABLY WIN). A ground war like this will probably be a bloody business, and I'm not sure the American people have quite steeled themselves for that. It's a valid point, with the goddamn war right in our living rooms 29 hours a day.
How in the world can you read what I wrote and say I declared the war lost?
Crack. Has to be crack.
|Citing "it's a war of liberation, not occupation" when putting||128|
Mar 24, 2003 11:19 AM
|their flag back up and taking ours down. Although I did think for now maybe we could fly both, with the US under the Iraqi...|
Mar 24, 2003 11:20 AM
|wouldn't flying our flag imply we are claiming the territory for ourselves? (genuine question, I have have no idea)
|It would certainly imply that in||OldEdScott|
Mar 24, 2003 11:23 AM
|the minds of the so-called Arab street. Shudder. TERRIBLE PR move. Just godawful.|
Mar 24, 2003 11:47 AM
|Oh, you mean about flying both flags? Yeah, I guess it would be a (temporary)claim, but having ours under theirs should alleviate that. I was just thinking for practical military purposes such a signal must be useful, so if that was their intent, flying both seemed a solution....
(assuming you caught the news scene where we lowered the Iraqi and raised the US. I thought that was VERY wrong, and next thing you knew it was ordered down and replaced.)
Mar 24, 2003 11:56 AM
|I think this is one thing that could have been planned better by the PR folks at the Pentagon. I think they should have issued a new, "coalition" flag to denote areas occupied by the "New Iraq". It would have been reasonable to use the Pre-Saddam flag, except that the difference between that one and the current one is that the current flag has added the [Arabic] words "God is Great", and removing that phrase might be seen as an affront to Islam. But I think they could have done a bang-up job in marketing a "liberated" country's flag.|
|If it looks like an invasion, smells like an invasion....nm||Spunout|
Mar 24, 2003 12:28 PM