ALWAYS FIGHTING THE LAST WAR: In the first Gulf War, Saddam thought Americans were weak because of Vietnam. This time around, he thinks they’re weak because of Mogadishu:
If the U.S. cannot be made to halt the war through shame, Saddam hopes to try pain. U.S. military-intelligence officials believe the Iraqi command circulated copies of the movie Black Hawk Down before the war, as a manual for defeating the Americans. The film tells the story of the 18 U.S. Army Rangers who were killed by Somalis while attempting to rescue comrades from two helicopters downed in Mogadishu in 1993. The casualties prompted the U.S. to wind up its military operation in Somalia. The Iraqis may hope that similar scenes of Americans being bloodied in the streets of Baghdad would bring the same result.
Too bad Saddam didn’t learn from the French, who built the Maginot Line thinking that World War II would be fought using the same techniques as World War I.
(By the way, speaking of Black Hawk Down, my post about its upcoming deluxe edition DVD on Blogcritics has sparked an interesting mini-debate about America and the UN. Click on over to read it–or participate in it.)