Friday, March 28, 2003

A few days ago, I linked to a piece by Barney Gumble, his "Vietnam War II preflight checklist". With some trepidation, though, because for all the parallels he lists, there is at least one signal logistical difference between our current conflict and Vietnam -- I figured that no one was going to be resupplying Saddam, so worse come to worst, American forces would be able to just grind him down. Which is why I've been ever so slightly worried about Saddam's neighbors getting involved -- as they well might, since, per Josh Marshall's account of the neocon hawks' strategy, they're the dominos that are supposed to be toppled next after Iraq.

Well, surprise, surprise. Rumsfeld himself says they're getting involved.

One more thing. An interesting number of Iraqi dogs have not yet barked. While there has been fighting at the river crossings, Saddam has not actually blown any of the bridges, nor the dams. Bruce Rolston notes that Iraq's new T-72 tanks are suspiciously absent from reports from the front, which feature only the 40-year-old T-55s. And then there's the question of the Iraqi air force -- which was flying outside the no-fly zones before the war, and doesn't seem to have done much since.

And, well, maybe American and British special forces and air power have taken care of all those threats. I hope so; because if not, then he's holding that all in reserve, for something that no one commenting to the American press seems to expect...


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