Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Take Down Saddam TV (NYT: registration required).

Who would ever have thought it possible? For once, I have to say that Maureen Dowd is right! There is simply no excuse for having left Iraqi television on the air for so long, and even now, after loud claims were made that it had been knocked out, broadcasts are still continuing!

Exaggerated claims of this sort only serve to damage the Pentagon's credibility, while it should have been obvious to all that, however many million dollars it might cost to rebuild the TV transmission infrastructure after the war, the likely expense would be more than justified by the denial of a propaganda platform to Saddam's regime. You cannot expect people to jubilate at your arrival when they can clearly see that the man they live in fear of is still alive and still giving orders to his henchmen.

I must also add that Dowd is right in saying that Rumsfeld's ideas about lightly-armed forces, "rolling starts" and the like simply have not panned out. What point is there in making rapid progress if the troops simply aren't there to consolidate the progress that has been made?

Yet again we see the wisdom of civilian administrators deferring to the professional wisdom of the military men when it comes to strategy. For all of Colin Powell's missteps in cajoling the U.S. down the U.N route, his doctrine of "overwhelming force" is being proven right by the course of events.

The presence of another infantry division with a full complement of tanks in the theatre of operations would be greatly appreciated right now, but it seems that the 4th Infantry Division isn't even scheduled to start moving till next Monday at the earliest. If its' presence should turn out to be essential, it would mean that the war will not be for at least another 4 weeks or so.

To sum it all up, there is no doubt that Saddam will be defeated, but it is likely to take a lot longer than ought to have been necessary.