“RE: your corner post about Turkish forces advancing from the North… If true, how do we respond?
1) Turkish forces, not part of the coalition, will be considered aggressors and will be dealt with accordingly?
2) Ignore it, and screw the Kurds yet again?
3) Compromise? I’m not sure there is one.”
By The Way...
The buildings being destroyed are forbidden to civilians even during peace time, so hopefully the innocent casualties will be minimal.
Occurs to me that my column today is vulnerable to the criticism that the Bush administration has sort of applied half-measures so far. Tom Ricks at WPost plays up the half-measures angle in his piece today. Limited cruise-missile strikes in Baghdad against very precisely caliberated targets to “send a message” to the Iraqis (granted, that message is: surrender or die). My response would be that the goal of this campaign is decisive–the elimination of the regime. And, even if we gave the Iraqis a chance to quit, we were always ready to apply decisive force, and are indeed beginning to apply it now.
Baghdad is getting lit up. Peter Arnett just keeps saying “this is shock and awe tom, this is shock and awe.” Saddam’s palace is in ruins. One building after another going down.
Bush The Environmentalist!
Fox reporting Coalition forces have extinguished most of the oil-field fires.
Isolated, Embattled, Demoralized
Not the Revolutionary Guard, me. The only thing more depressing than sitting in a dank bachelor-pad trying to write a book is sitting in a dank bachelor-pad trying to write a book . . . but getting nothing done because it’s nearly impossible to keep the TV off!
Those Oil Fires
If there’s a better metaphor for the way that the current Arab leadership has squandered the wealth and potential of the Arab people, I can’t imagine one.
Assuming that this goes as well as it seems to be going at the moment, I would hope the administration would, when it’s over, make some demands on the last remaining Baathist regime in the Middle East, in Syria. The Turks a few years ago basically bullied the Syrians to coughing up a Kurdish terrorist. We’ll be in a very strong position to demand that they end their relationship with terrorist groups, and perhaps even loosen their grip on Lebanon. Baby Assad must already be terrified.
Seems to have the best footage right now. Some exclusive shots.
Reporting that Pentagon officials increasingly convinced Saddam was wounded in attack.
E-Mail From Military Parent
E-mail from parent whose son is with the warplanes:
“They shut off the email tuesday night, but the last thing he wrote described the t-shirts they’re wearing on the flight line… ‘when it absolutely, positively, has to be destroyed overnight…’”
The negotiations with Senior Republican Guard officials went south since the shocking and aweing began.
Worries in The North
Just had a very worried call from David Pryce-Jones. This is a rough transcript of what he had to say (all tentative and speculative, of course):
“The Turks have moved their forces to the border, and there are the first reports that they’ve crossed the border. They’ve claimed it is a humitarian mission. The Kurds will fire on them, and certianly lose. Then we will have found a Turkish occupation of the north, which will be very difficult for the administration to confront. We’ll have very little leverage to get them out. It could be a very nasty situation indeed. We’ll have hideous fighting with very leverage to control it. This could throw the whole plan out. It ceases to be a liberation of Iraq. It becomes a cannibilization of it. The rumour that I’m catching–which is only a rumour–is that there is a blazing row between Colin Powell and the Turks, because he feels he’s been lied to and cheated. That they always intedned to occupy Norhtern Iraq.”
From a Reader in The Military
They are kicking Western Media out of Baghdad. This could mean they want to control the message getting out, especially if they start torching the place by using Iraqi troops in Western military uniforms. Things could get really ugly now.
Of course, they could also be trying to plug up the intelligence leak that led the US to try the decapitation strike. Who knows.
Sorry About That
I needed to drop off for a bit in order to deal with lil’ Lucy and to write a G-File. The formers staring at her mobile and the latter is with NRHQ. I’m back baby.
“Complete Confusion and Disarray”
John King reporting on what White House folks are telling him about the Iraqi leadership.
Baghdad’s sky is lighting up again–but anti-aircraft at the moment.
Police sirens outside the State Department when Powell gives his press briefings are louder than air-raid sirens in Baghdad.