|The Mudville Gazette|
Friday, April 04, 2003
USA TODAY ESTABLISHES CONDITIONS FOR AMERICAN VICTORYDave Moniz, John Diamond, and David Lynch of USA TODAY have established the conditions under which the US can declare victory in the current "war." Although none of the group has offered an explanation of their qualifications for the task, their list of demands apeared as an on-line news story; not as an editorial such as this Blog.
"If it goes well for the attackers, the coalition will find Saddam, minimize military and civilian casualties and discover deadly weapons caches that could vindicate the U.S. decision to invade." They said in a statement released in the on-line version of USA Today.
"But if things go as Saddam and his inner circle hope," the trio continued, "Iraqi defenders will take advantage of the capital's close quarters to erode the allies' technological superiority and inflict mounting casualties on U.S.-led troops pinned down in city streets. Caught between the combatants will be Iraqi citizens, whose mounting death toll will further enrage world opinion, making continuation of the war politically difficult - perhaps impossible."
Moniz, Diamond, and Lynch then compiled this list to further define their requirements for victory:
"How will U.S.-led forces know they've won? Here are some of the things to look for in determining whether the coalition has succeeded in Baghdad:
* A viable city. It will be crucial to cause relatively few civilian casualties and limited destruction of the urban landscape. ...key elements of the city's infrastructure will be left alone to ease the transition to postwar life. Large numbers of civilian deaths could turn a military victory into a political debacle, if world outrage forces coalition leaders to negotiate an end to the war without a clear win.
* An end to the fighting. Coalition forces could "take" the city but find themselves under constant sniper fire or terrorist attack after the main Iraqi defending force is defeated. Some attacks will probably persist indefinitely, but they must be marginal enough to allow reconstruction to begin.
* Hearts and minds. A sense of welcome from most of the city's population is crucial to soothe anger in the Arab world at the war and create conditions in which post-Saddam Iraq can be rebuilt. Eastern sections of Baghdad have a large Shiite population hostile to Saddam's regime. These neighborhoods may welcome U.S. troops. Less certain is the reception from the general Sunni population, which may include many Saddam loyalists.
* Blocking escape. Victory in Baghdad will be only partial if large numbers of Iraqi troops escape and regroup elsewhere to launch attacks against Baghdad or make a final stand somewhere else. U.S. air power will play a key role in this element of the battle, searching for convoys or
major troop movements out of the city.
* Formal surrender. A formal surrender ceremony would give finality to the conflict and symbolize Iraqi capitulation that might cause all resistance across the country to cease.
* The capture of key leaders. Perhaps the single most critical part of toppling the regime will be capturing or killing its most important and visible leaders, such as the ministers of defense and information, Saddam's sons and Saddam himself. "
In the future here at Greyhawk International Institute for Right Thought we will attempt to collect all similar demands by the media on the Coalition forces.
The rest of the story is here