Wednesday, April 23, 2003

The Prescience of the Left

"I bet you in the Pentagon the military planning assumes 5,000 to 10,000 American casualties and at least 100,000 to 250,000 civilian casualties in downtown Baghdad. All on CNN." - Gary Hart, Denver Post, March 30, 2001

"The United States is going to leave Iraq with its tail between its legs, defeated. It is a war we cannot win. "We do not have the military means to take over Baghdad and for this reason I believe the defeat of the United States in this war is inevitable. "Every time we confront Iraqi troops we may win some tactical battles, as we did for ten years in Vietnam, but we will not be able to win this war, which in my opinion is already lost." - Scott Ritter, South African TV.

"Iraqis, very clearly, do not want to be 'liberated,' even many who had long opposed Saddam's brutal regime. To the contrary, the US-British invasion appears to have ignited genuine national resistance among 17 million Arab Iraqis, just as the 1941 German invasion of the USSR rallied Russians and Ukrainians behind Stalin's hated regime. ... The nasty, bloody urban warfare the Americans and Brits sought to avoid at all costs is now confronting them." - Eric Margolis,

"These are the last days of relative calm before we start bombing and massacring hundreds of thousands of people and in so doing enter into what many believe will a very long, drawn-out, insanely expensive, volatile, destabilizing, completely unwinnable war against a cheap thug of an opponent who has negligible military might and zero capacity to actually harm the U.S. in any substantive way. U-S-A! U-S-A! This will not be Desert Storm. This will not be quick and painless. This will be 3,000 guided missiles launched on the first day of the war, 10 times that of Desert Storm, turning Iraq into an instant wasteland." - Mark Morford, Sfgate, March 5

Conventional Wisdom Watch, by Newsweek. A down-arrow for Dick Cheney: "Tells 'Meet the Press' just before war, 'We will be greeted as liberators.' An arrogant blunder for the ages." Nope, Newsweek. Yours was the "arrogant blunder for the ages." And on April 7!

"In Baghdad the coalition forces confront a city apparently determined on resistance. They should remember Napoleon in Moscow, Hitler in Stalingrad, the Americans in Mogadishu and the Russians at Grozny. Hostile cities have ways of making life ghastly for aggressors. They are not like countryside. They seldom capitulate, least of all when their backs are to the wall. It took two years after the American withdrawal from Vietnam for Saigon to fall to the Vietcong. Kabul was ceded to the warlords only when the Taleban drove out of town. In the desert, armies fight armies. In cities, armies fight cities. The Iraqis were not stupid. They listened to Western strategists musing about how a desert battle would be a pushover. Things would get 'difficult' only if Saddam played the cad and drew the Americans into Baghdad. Why should he do otherwise?" - Simon Jenkins, the Times of London, in an article called - yes! - "Baghdad Will Be Near Impossible to Conquer," March 28

"Is Wolfowitz really so ignorant of history as to believe the Iraqis would welcome us as 'their hoped-for liberators'?" - Eric Alterman, The Nation.

Leftists Dream of American Failure

The liberal elite dreams of American failure, and they claim to find it wherever they look:

American and European intellectual elites were not moved to action when 182,000 Kurds - a people who trace their history back more than 3,000 years - were slaughtered by Saddam Hussein.

The chattering classes hardly flinched when Saddam drained the wetlands of southern Iraq, destroying the environment of the Marsh Arabs and, with it, a 5,000-year-old way of life.

But now they've got their dander up: Iraq's antiquities have been vandalized.

That the Iraq National Museum was looted is, of course, a tragedy. But isn't it curious that the same people who now insist that U.S. Marines should have used lethal force to protect cuneiform tablets were, just a few weeks ago, arguing that only non-military actions were appropriate to stop Saddam's looting of billions of dollars worth of oil wealth - not to mention his mass murders of ancient peoples?