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|US hastens War against Iraq|
|07/19/02 at 21:26:46|
|Has anyone seen recent polls on whether Americans support such an attack? For|
best daily antiwar news go to http://www.antiwar.com. Also see
http://www.iraqwar.org/ and the article THE SEVEN BIG LIES ABOUT IRAQ
> Pentagon hawks hasten Iraq attack
> By Martin Sieff
> UPI Senior News Analyst
> >From the Washington Politics & Policy Desk
> Published 7/18/2002 1:21 PM
> WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- When will the Bush administration launch U.S.
> armed forces against Iraq in a bid to topple President Saddam Hussein? Bet
> on this year rather than next and sooner rather than later.
> The conventional wisdom in Washington in recent months has been that no such
> attack is likely until well into next year. Of course, that may well be the
> case. Several detailed articles have appeared in major U.S. newspapers
> citing senior, unnamed Department of Defense officials as saying that this
> is their understanding.
> These reports may be accurate, or they may be the American version of
> masrilovka -- the old Soviet term for strategic disinformation to misdirect
> an enemy. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, who championed
> the actual creation of an explicit information unit in the Pentagon that
> would spread misleading stories as well as accurate ones, is known to have a
> passion for such things.
> What is remarkable is that, if they are the latter, it is one of the leading
> hawks pushing for a pre-emptive offensive war against Iraq who may have
> blown the whistle on it.
> Speaking on a PBS network documentary about Iraq last week, Richard Perle,
> the former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration who
> is also immensely influential with civilian Pentagon hawks in the current
> administration one, confidently predicted that when President George W. Bush
> gives his State of the Union message next year he would have "good news" to
> give the American people about Iraq.
> For almost all the American people, the best news they could be given about
> Iraq would be that they did not have to go to war against it. But that
> clearly was not what Perle was thinking at all. By "good news" about Iraq he
> mean the elimination of Saddam and his government by the U.S. armed forces.
> There are quite a number of straws in the wind to suggest that Perle, who
> enjoys immense influence with and access to Feith and to Undersecretary of
> Defense Paul Wolfowitz, knows what he is talking about.
> First, the British government, the only major European ally that is
> enthusiastically supporting the Bush administration in its determination to
> bring down Saddam by direct military means, is quietly acting as if a war
> will come this fall or winter rather than not until next year.
> British security sources have confirmed that significant contingents of
> British troops are being quietly withdrawn from peacekeeping forces in
> Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo. The only reason this could be happening
> simultaneously at this time, they said, was in preparation for the expected
> operations against Iraq.
> Also, these sources confirmed, Britain's Royal Air Force is practicing
> low-level precision bombing strike missions that they expect to have to
> undertake against Iraq.
> UPI veteran foreign correspondent and Middle East expert Claude Salhani, who
> covered the 1991 Gulf War from the front lines, also believes that the
> combination of seasonal physical conditions in the Middle East and political
> factors back in the United States point to a full-scale offensive against
> Iraq this fall, rather than later next year.
> "If they go in, they will have a very short window of opportunity -- after
> the desert heat, before the rains in the mountains and before the U.S.
> elections," Salhani says.
> The baking heat in the Arabian Desert and Fertile Crescent almost never
> eases before October, especially in these days of global warming. But if
> significant U.S. forces go in through Turkey and Kurdistan in the north of
> Iraq, as seems increasingly likely, the usual winter heavy rains could
> significantly deplete the effectiveness of U.S. air support and also turn
> mountain roads and tracks into mud, slowing down heavy, tracked vehicles.
> As to the November midterm congressional elections, political leaders always
> react with outrage to the very idea that military operations are ever timed,
> or rushed, to conform to any such partisan and selfish domestic political
> considerations. But for an administration that has deliberately made its
> alleged effectiveness and resolution in the war on international terror its
> central appeal, the desire to have good news from Iraq, or at least progress
> on any anti-terror front, by November is obvious.
> It is also striking that some of the U.S. media coverage making the case
> that the offensive will not be launched until next year, based key arguments
> on claims that Department of Defense civilian policymakers had been forced
> to slow down their hell-bent and ambitious timetable because senior Army
> military officers had said they needed more time in planning.
> But this Pentagon civilian leadership led by Defense Secretary Donald
> Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz has been deliberately more contemptuous and unheeding
> of the concerns of infantry and armor experts in the regular Army than any
> other since the dark days of Robert McNamara during the Vietnam War more
> than 35 years ago.
> Well-placed armed forces officers serving in the Pentagon have told UPI that
> the leaders of the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Special Forces are enthusiastic
> about undertaking operations against Iraq. Special Forces commanders in
> particular believe they can rapidly replicate their lightning and virtually
> casualty free operations in Afghanistan, these officers said.
> However, senior Army and Marine officers do not share these gung ho
> attitudes and believe that operations against Iraq will require at least
> 200,000 regular troops and possibly more, and will need to be planned and
> conducted very carefully, these sources said.
> There is no question about which side of the debate Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz,
> Feith and their colleagues come out on.
> A recent article in the New Yorker magazine traced the way in which Rumsfeld
> had humiliated and isolated current Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki,
> a regular Army infantry expert, and appointed as his vice chief of staff and
> future successor Lt. Gen. John Keane, a Special Forces enthusiast.
> It therefore appears unlikely that he and his civilian colleagues would
> actually heed such cautious advice from professional Army officers when it
> conflicts with what their more eager-beaver Special Forces enthusiasts are
> telling them.
> This analysis is obviously not carved in stone. The attack on Iraq may not
> come until next year or it may not come at all. Or all the factors we have
> listed above may tqrn out to be more deliberate disinformation fed to the
> unsuspecting press. But don't rule it out either. When ambitious men with
> dreams of glory are in a hurry, subtlety often gets left behind as often as
> prudence or plain common sense.
|07/19/02 at 21:36:17|
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