Friday, May 23, 2003

A little while ago, I observed that critics of the Iraq war, while right to worry about postwar conditions, were wrong in at least one respect:

the conflict [in Iraq] was not doomed to turn the cities into meat-grinder urban battlefields, à la Stalingrad. The post-mortems on that will be interesting reads.

The post-mortems are becoming available:

A fascinating piece in the May 19 Defense News quotes Gen. Tommy Franks, chief of U.S. Central Command, confirming what had until now been mere rumors picked up by dubious Arab media outlets -- that, before Gulf War II began, U.S. special forces had gone in and bribed Iraqi generals not to fight.

"I had letters from Iraqi generals saying, 'I now work for you,' " Franks told Defense News reporter Vago Muradian in a May 10 interview.

Which, once again, is more or less the same way we beat the Taliban... and leaves us still wondering what Rumsfeld and Co. have to offer that might work as well against an opponent that declines to be bought.


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