It is the soldier’s worst nightmare: Civvy Street interfering in matters which belong to the military, to those who know best, to those who know where they are sending their men and what they are sending them into. The war in Iraq has the hallmark of a politician’s war, a war which has been ordered by the White House and its man in the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, imposed on the Armed Forces and steam-rollered into action.
The way this conflict is going, it becomes more and more obvious that it was not planned by soldiers. First we were told that a lightning campaign would breeze through the desert, borne on a wave of popular euphoria as the “odious” regime of “Saddam” was toppled by jubilant, suppressed Iraqis dying for democracy and freedom stamped with the rubber seal made in the US of A.
The initial claims that a whole Iraqi division, the 51st, had deserted raised the eyebrows of those who understand what they are talking about: a division in the Iraqi army is around 35,000-strong. Later we were told by the Pentagon that the number of prisoners of war was eight thousand and ten days later, they claim there are around four thousand. From 35,000 to 8,000 to 4,000 in ten days.
These were the first signs that things were going drastically wrong, that the Pentagon, or rather, Donald Rumsfeld, had made a colossal mistake. It is almost as if he had steam-rollered his generals into accepting a neat, clean, short-term package with as few soldiers as possible, spending as little money as possible, as his fantasy of a blitzkrieg against the Iraqi regime was forced upon them.
As usual, when the politicians interfere, the result is catastrophe. “Everything is going according to plan” say the spokespersons of the Pentagon. Certainly, but not the original plan, not Donald Rumsfeld’s plan. That the combined military might of the resources of the USA and the fighting skill of the British (as usual, it is they who are asked to perform the most risky tasks) will prevail over Iraq in the long term, there is no doubt.
The coalition forces have the ability to carpet-bomb the cities, leaving every man, woman and child dead. However, this is not the 1940s and it is here that the crux of the matter lies. Donald Rumsfeld is an anachronism, a remnant of the MacCarthyist witch-hunt psychosis of Hitlerian America.
Nowadays, the coalition cannot carpet-bomb the cities. The only way this war could have been conducted, because it is illegal, being outside the auspices of the UNO, would have been a quick, week-long campaign, which the military knew was impossible. In the military academies, in officer training schools, they study not only military tactics but also history. In the military academies, they have close contact with the officers of many armies, including the Iraqi army, many of whose officers were trained at West Point or Sandhurst.
The military as an institution respect each other, whether they are friend or foe and the military knew that any invading force in Iraq would always meet with stiff resistance. The reality today, the result of Donald Rumsfeld’s war, is a disaster. The coalition forces are out of fuel, out of food, stranded, unable to take a single city, meeting heavy resistance from the regular army and the Republican Guard and according to Pravda.Ru sources in six Iraqi cities, the hatred of the civilian population.
The fact that Rumsfeld claims there is to be no ceasing of military activity, when members of the US military forces declare to international journalists that there should be a four-to six-week pause to bolster the supply lines, says everything.
This conflict has every hallmark of a politicianґs war. Politicians often speak a lot without saying anything. In Rumsfeld’s case, it is more serious: the Alzheimer Approach to crisis management died with the presidency of Ronald Reagan but it is the Alzheimer Approach to this war which is placing the lives of thousands of his troops and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, at risk.
Rumsfeld, like Bush and Blair, is a war criminal and a murderer not only of Iraqi civilians but also of his own troops and those of his country’s allies.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru