The clash of battling war plans.
July 24, 2002 9:01 PM   Subscribe

The clash of battling war plans. "Imagine Operation Overlord for D-Day splashed all over the front page of the New York Times. Unthinkable, you say. Then imagine the German high command's plans to repulse the Allied invasion announced by Adolf Hitler himself in a meeting with his closest advisers and then leaked to a London newspaper. Equally unthinkable. But this is how the invasion of Iraq by the United States and Saddam's plans to counterattack have been played out in the New York Times and a Kuwaiti newspaper รข?? all before a single shot has been fired." First there was the parade of leaks from the U.S., even an influential insider making predictions on TV. Then there was the apparent counterleak of Saddam's war plan. What is going on? Is the Iraqi leak credible? And if so, what price are American civilians going to pay?
posted by homunculus (18 comments total)

 
fear.
posted by mblandi at 9:02 PM on July 24, 2002


Pentagon hawks hasten Iraq attack

Shouldn't that be chickenhawks?
posted by y2karl at 9:08 PM on July 24, 2002


Remember the Clinton administration's habit of floating "trial balloons" to try and gauge public opinion on an issue? Looks to me like Dubya and his cronies were paying attention.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:18 PM on July 24, 2002


There's a certain charm to the Borchgrave editorial. Is it just late, or is there a lot going on there?
posted by mblandi at 9:57 PM on July 24, 2002


I'm going to have to agree with the honorable crash davis on this one. These leaks came up from high in the pentagon, adminstration, whatever. I really doubt you'll find some anti-patriotic anarchist with the kind of clearance needed to leak this material.

Right now it looks as if Iraq is having a bad case of penis envy. Saddam knows he has no chance against the US, so he decides to take the route of using colorful language to describe what he's going to do to us. "First punch"? Yeah right, if he had the capability to bring the US to rubble he would have done it. I'm not saying a few suicide bombers or other terrorist attacks might happen in a war, it's just I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
posted by geoff. at 11:07 PM on July 24, 2002


Perhaps pertinent--from the New York Times ( Registration yada yada, Hint: just hit Enter)--Is Fighting Iraq Worth the Risks?
posted by y2karl at 11:08 PM on July 24, 2002


It's been said that Americans don't have a good retention of history. Anyone remember the back channel communications of the previous gulf war, between Hussein and GHW Bush? Is it possible that something like this is going on now, despite the rhetoric?
posted by fletcher at 11:55 PM on July 24, 2002


Can't they just exile him to Saint Helena and then slowly poison him with arsenic/cyanide? Marry him off to Anna Nicole Smith? Give 'em a reality show?
posted by donkeyschlong at 12:36 AM on July 25, 2002


What price are American civilians going to pay?

Less than the price the Iraqi civilians pay, that's for damn sure.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:00 AM on July 25, 2002


hyperbole
posted by johnnyboy at 1:32 AM on July 25, 2002


What price are American civilians going to pay?

Another four years of GW Bush
posted by niceness at 3:18 AM on July 25, 2002


Another four years of GW Bush

Or maybe not. The last round didn't help his father much.
posted by Tempus67 at 4:43 AM on July 25, 2002


You think he hasn't learned from it? He has a permanent war on the back-burner, as soon as the ratings points drop below a certain level the rest is automated.
posted by niceness at 4:56 AM on July 25, 2002


The general notion of the US/Allied intention to invade Europe in 1944 was known and publicly debated in the months before D-Day. And Hitler did deliver a number of speeches anticipating an Allied invasion and promising to throw the Allies into the sea if they tried it.

What was not publicly known, in Allied and Axis countries alike, was the specific landing date, location, size and composition of forces to be used, etc. That was the war plan! "We will invade Europe" is not a war plan.

The media discussion (much of it leak-driven for purposes of Middle East salesmanship or internecine Washington power struggles) about invading Iraq similarly does not list when, where, and with exactly what forces and munitions an attack would take place. When the moment actually comes, it will probably take us by surprise and we will resume complaining about "press blackouts." In the meantime, this is business as usual, it seems to me.
posted by anser at 5:04 AM on July 25, 2002


The scary thing is if we invade and Iraq does blow up a few US cities with terrorist nuclear devices (dirty or otherwise) what can we do? War is war. Of course the logic is if we do nothing we will get it anyway. However the European view is if theres a bear in the woods its not going to kill you. Just take precautions and use common sense to avoid the bear. Americans say, grab the shotgun and go out and hunt it down. Europeans, having only a knife understandably disagree. Reminds me of the prisoners delima.
posted by stbalbach at 6:28 AM on July 25, 2002


Even the best case scenario is questionable. Imagine the invasion is a smashing success and Sadam is toppled. Then what?

These are tribal people held together as a nation-stat only by way of fear and oppression. Look what happened to the Balkans after Tito kicked. And that was by way of a peaceful leadership transition.

The inter tribal politics of Iraq are what makes the US invasion of Iraq a hopeless exercise. And thats before you figure in the neighboring state's interests and tendency towards meddling in a post Sadam Iraq.
posted by BentPenguin at 7:53 AM on July 25, 2002


However the European view is if theres a bear in the woods its not going to kill you. Just take precautions and use common sense to avoid the bear. Americans say, grab the shotgun and go out and hunt it down. Europeans, having only a knife understandably disagree.

In the end, of course, the bears always lose either way. The difference in approach affects the short-term.
posted by rushmc at 8:46 AM on July 25, 2002


Of course the logic is if we do nothing we will get it anyway.

Still a debatable point. The former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq is skeptical of the threat, and his opinion strikes me as worthy of consideration. There is also the question of possible ulterior motives on the government's part. It is very disturbing that the government might be inviting attacks on American civilians as well as massive regional chaos for what might be an unnecessary adventure (I'm not saying it is unnecessary, I'm actually undecided. I'm just skeptical that we're being treated honestly by the powers-that-be.)

That chickenhawk link is great.
posted by homunculus at 11:44 AM on July 25, 2002


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