Thursday, March 13, 2003
Considering that any military action is going to wait until this vote takes place, he's pushing back the onset of hostilities, which leads me to ask the question: Is Bush's continuing dance with the UN going to lead to more friendly casualties, US military in particular?
Now, I wasn't in the military (a AF brat is as far as I got) nor do I play one on TV. But, my reading the opinions of those with the appropriate credentials and experience suggests that the these continuing delays will lead to the following:
Worsening weather, which supposedly will make it harder for our troops to do their job. Harder, when used in this context is a euphemism for more casualties.
More time for Hussein to prepare his defenses, even to launch pre-emptive attacks , neither of which is going to make things easier for our troops.
Giving Hussein the incentive to go 'nuclear' (not in the literal sense, just the rhetorical). Bush, despite what he said about going it alone, obviously is VERY CONCERNED about getting world approval - in large part, I believe, because he feels it helps him domestically. Suppose Bush gets his (or is it Powell's?) precious nine votes? France, Germany, Syria and Russia will be just a single vote away from rescinding Security Council support for this war. Is it too far-fetched that Hussein would take actions with the intent of driving one of the tottering yes votes back into the no camp? What would do such a thing? Perhaps attacks on neighboring countries. And, it wouldn't necessarily be, or be limited to, Israel. Attacks on Saudi or Kuwaiti oilfields might do the trick.
Stiffening the domestic anti-war (Democrat) resolve. These delays have only emboldened Bush's critics and have given the anti-war crowd that much more time to get their act together. Hussein may very well figure that he can drive away Bush's domestic support with his version of the Tet Offensive. Is there any likelihood that this offensive wouldn't be intended to do anything but kill as many Americans as possible?
On the other hand, I can't think of any way that these delays will contribute to fewer casualties. Sure, we didn't have all of the troops there, for example, six months ago. But, did we have enough to at least get the job started? Remember, Hussein has had six months of preparing his defenses. Is the battle plan any better than it was six months ago? Are our troops any better trained now? It's not as if the Army hasn't ever practiced on sand before.