january 2005




A long war could be a defeat! 04.04.2003

Many people seem to be rather upset with the media's portrayal that this war is going badly. The media keeps highlighting the "greater than expected level of resistance." It seems as though the media with their embedded reporters is so caught up in the here and now that they aren't seeing the bigger picture. The true cost of this war going longer go far beyond the American Soldiers and the Iraqis who will be killed. It goes to the heart of what this war is about.

When Ari Fleischer announced that the war had begun he said that, " the opening stages of the disarmament of the Iraqi regime have begun." While the Bush Administration has been unclear on what the goal of this war is at times. Ultimately, the threat that has always stood behind the justification of that goal has been weapons of mass destruction. Fleischer's comment at the opening of the stressed the disarmament not the regime change. Our primary goal is to remove the threat and the threat as has been presented to us is the Iraqi's possession of weapons of mass destruction.

In the April 7th U.S. News & World Report, Gloria Borger, argues that the U.S. has a "burden of proof" that requires that we find the weapons of mass destruction. She points out that the United States' " good faith and credibility [...] has been staked on a single proposition that these weapons exist." This is a similar track that most of the media has been taking. Their single reason for finding the weapons is that they are necessary to prove that this is a just war. Sadly this is rather blind. Certainly the U.S. needs to find the weapons to justify its position but that is not the critical reason to find these weapons.

Since the 19th of March the U.S. has been battering the Iraqi infrastructure.In particular they have been destroying Command and Control facilities. This is a double edged sword. In doing so we are destroying Iraq's ability to see what is going on in their country, and to order troops to respond to it. The aim is that by removing the Iraqi ability to control their troops we can make their responses less effective and even possibly eliminate their ability to give the order to use the weapons of mass destruction. This is the primary goal of our forces at present, as put by Brig. General Vincent Brooks in the April 2nd Central Command briefing, "I can tell you that this organization, the coalition and this command, will seek to destroy the regime, any parts of the regime, the ability of the regime to command and control or issue orders -- all of that is the task we are currently undertaking."

At the same time as we're wiping out these abilities we're wiping out their ability to control the very weapons we fear. The power vacuum that's being created by this war creates a wonderful opportunity for terrorist organizations or other governments interested in the weapons to make a play to get their hands on them. To add to it the Iraqis don't even have control over their border in many areas now. Any staff attempting to maintain control has likely been pulled in anyway to help fight back.

When the USSR started falling apart we saw how the destabilization of that country led to leaking of nuclear materials. The situation can only be worse in Iraq. While the USSR maintained its command and control structure and its basic infrastructure. Much of that is being destroyed in Iraq. As it is destroyed, Iraq has much less ability to prevent this leakage than the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation has. In fact even has despite much assistance from the rest of the world in trying to prevent it.

Just like the unpaid scientists of the Russian Federation, the last vestiges of the Baath regime in Iraq has great reason to get rid of these weapons. They likely know they will lose the battle for control of Iraq and Baghdad. They're looking for an exit strategy that will maximize the criticism of the U.S. led war and give them cash to fly away to exile in some friendly country. What better way than to sell the weapons, it provides both.

Every day this war drags on without us finding the weapons is one more day that they could be getting into worse hands than even Saddam. It wouldn't even take very much material to be useful to a terrorist. So the next time you see one of the U.S. spokesmen, generals, or officials telling how victory is certain. Remember what the goal of this war is, to eliminate the threat of Iraqi weapons. If any of it "leaks" before we find it all, we have lost and will likely pay for that failure with lives in the future, long after Saddam is dead and the Baath party has been dismantled in Iraq.