So after writing most of three mini essays and almost an entire 800-word column type-thing — and then having to trash them all because they’d either already been done somewhere else better or, in one case, bypassed by events. . .
. . .Let’s just say it’s been a frustrating morning.
I did watch Saddam’s speech last night. It sure looked like him to me, but as I was shown four times already today, what the hell do I know? Anyway, the thing was devoid of any particulars, except for a brief mention of Umm Qasr. And since it had to be one of the first cities on the Road to Baghdad, that doesn’t prove much.
Reports are that 3ID should be on the outskirts of Baghdad tonight or tomorrow. I doubt they’ll march right in. As we’re learning in Umm Qasr and other places, the Republican Guard isn’t coming out to fight in division formations as they did in ’91. They learned their lesson. Instead, they leave small units of men behind, causing us no end of headaches.
I get the feeling this is what the Occupation is going to look like, at least for a while. You might be thinking that what we’re seeing means there’s going to be a long and costly guerillia campaign after the war is won. Undoubtedly, we’ll see some of that, certainly more than we’d like. But this shouldn’t turn into anything like Vietnam — or even Gaza — for a couple reasons. The Republican Guard has no superpower sponsor, and they aren’t exactly loved by the population.
But Iraq is a Mideast country, so expect the peace to take much longer to win than the campaign. That’s just the way it works. Messy, hateful, and occassionally tragically bloody.
More in a few. I spent so much time writing stuff for the Recycle Bin that I’ve fallen behind current events.