Tuesday, March 25, 2003

What's going on?

From reading the Agonist and other sources, things in Iraq don't seem to be going quite as the Americans had planned. Iraqi resistance is much heavier than expected, with towns continuing to resist days after they are supposed to have fallen. While the Americans seem to be able to defeat the Iraqi forces (given a bit of time, for the cities), they don't seem to have the numbers to be able to hold territory and secure their supply lines. In short, they seem to be getting overstretched.

Several opinions have been advanced by web commentators. The first is that the Americans attacked before they were really ready, either because of the diplomatic fiascos with Turkey and in the UN, or due to pressure to beat the summer heat. The second is that the people making the decisions believed their own propaganda that the the Iraqi army would just melt away the moment someone pointed a gun at them or that superior technology made the US army invincible, and thus dramatically underestimated the number of troops required. The third is that this is all part of a cunning plan, and that they know something we don't.

At the moment, my money is on the third option (though I have no idea what that something might be). While I think Bush is stupid, and Rumsfeld overly optimistic, I doubt the US military would let them be dumb enough to make the second mistake. Though a recent comment by Ari Fleisher that "the President doesn't have time for what the President doesn't want to hear" is kindof frightening...

So, at the moment I'm just waiting for the surprise to be sprung. There's got to be one, right?

And regardless, what we've seen so far bodes ill for the occupation. But that will very definately be an American problem, because frankly I can't see the world contributing anything other than aid (I should really blog on this later).

(All of the above is of course my uninformed and very humble opinion, to be taken with a large crystal of sodium chloride).