posted on Mar, 25 2003 @ 08:09 PM
First off, let me clarify what I meant by Viet Nam type of situation. I am referring to the enemy forces dressing as civilians and blending in with
non-combatants, whilst using guerrilla tactics.
About Baghdad: I've never been there but a report on British TV today said that Baghdad is roughly the same size as Los Angeles. I lived in Los
Angeles for 45 years and know what a massively sprawling city it is. Just thinking of occupying a city of that size is mind boggling. Considering
that the elite Republican Guard knows every street, building, alley & tunnel, and that coalition forces are strangers would make street to street
fighting a real quagmire. Having a couple of million civilians in between fighting would work against the coalition, but for the defenders. I
seriously doubt taking Baghdad would be a simple or easy task, given the fanaticism of Saddamís best fighters. Also most of the general population is
armed and intent on defending Saddam and Baghdad, so the same people who are buying food in the market or walking down the street, may also be the
same oneís who are sniping from their rooftops later. Because of Americaís technological advantage, the Iraqiís are resorting to the same tactics that
the Vietnamese did. Possessing less effective weapons they are using the tools they do have and conducting warfare of deceit, trickery and
entrapment. Itís been an effective ploy for them so far and that may well convince itís their best strategy for keeping coalition forces off guard
and on edge. If they begin using suicide bombers amongst our troops, that would be another level of threat to be vigilant against. The mental energy
that it takes to assess every single person as a potential threat & be ready to react, could really wear the troops down over time causing great
About the downed U.S. Apache helicopter: I agree that it looked in remarkably good shape to have been forced down, and that more then likely was a
mechanical failure & not the result of a farmers rifle shot. But, the psychological impact of that image of Iraqi farmers (soldiers) surrounding the
Apache rejoicing & waving their guns makes a very powerful imprint on the collective consciousness of the Iraqi people. If an Iraqi kills or captures
an American, they are promised a cash reward of thousands of dollars. To down a helicopter is an even bigger feather in their cap. For the average
poor / starving Iraqi, to have the chance to become suddenly wealthy (by Iraqi standards), and a hero, would be a powerful incentive to take every
opportunity to shoot at anything even resembling coalition forces. In their frame of reference, they may have everything to gain and nothing to lose
ñ like when I spend a pound to buy a lottery ticket.
I agree that our casualties have been low and collateral damage to civilians and Iraqi infrastructure has been kept to a minimum. That is an amazing
testimony to strategic targeting and GPS guidance ordinance. I hope it continues and the loss of life, both Iraqi and coalition is kept to a minimum
ñ but fighting street to street & house to house changes the rules of engagement dramatically.
I sincerely hope your assessment is accurate and things go according to plan in Baghdad. But I am of the mindset that itís foolish to ever
underestimate any opponent, and like how King David thought. He once challenged one of his generals by asking ìWhy do you speak as though you were
taking your armour off, whilst putting it onî.
Food for thought,