If Michael is right, and I suspect that he is, one thing that will mount
rapidly is the civilian body count. In fact, this will be a pretty good
indicator of increasing frustration among the US/British forces, facing
fedayeen (sp?) shooting out of civilian areas. The web site below presents
a carefully reviewed assessment of civilian deaths (put together by an
all-star cast), and is well worth a few minutes to be better prepared for
the activities Michael recommends.
All the best,
Michael H Goldhaber wrote:
> Dear Friends,
> I have always said that in order to win in Iraq the US would have to
> engage in urban combat, and if any substantial number of Saddam's
> followers hold out, that will be a very deadly conflict. Events bear me
> out. The continued fight in Nasiriya, Umm Qadr, and Basra, provide a
> foretaste of much more intense fighting, perhaps block by block in
> Baghdad. The US might win, but only by destroying the city, engendering
> gigantic international revulsion, making the Russian destruction of
> Grozny, Chechnya seem mild by comparison.
> This was evident from the start. Saddam has been in power for thirty
> years, and despite the one-man nature of his rule, he has governed
> through a well-organized , militarized bureaucracy and the Ba'ath party.
> Those who were part of this hierarchy had many privileges and certainly
> would lose all under the US -sponsored replacement regime.
> ("de-Ba'athification" is one of the declared goals of the US's
> post-Saddam program) So it is clear there will be a bitterly prolonged
> guerilla campaign against US occupiers, a largely urban struggle at
> that. It is evident by now that with all its high-tech weaponry, the US
> military still has no special, clever means of winning such a conflict.
> Unlike the situation in Afghanistan, where the US drew on warlords for
> the actual occupation force in the cities, and where the Taliban ,
> having only recently and shakily gained power over just some of the
> country, had little effective means of mobilizing resistance, in Iraq
> U.S soldiers by themselves will have to fight the well-entrenched Saddam
> supporters. Can there be any doubt by now what a devastating conflict
> this will be? Since it is quite evident our military cannot accept a
> high number of casualties, the only possible choice is utter destruction
> of Baghdad and perhaps other cities, resembling the US response to the
> "Viet Cong" takeover of Hue in the Tet offensive — obliterating the
> The part of the US public that has backed the war did so in near-total
> ignorance of the sort of campaign required. Is there any chance that
> with news of the ongoing battles, people and politicians can be gotten
> to rethink? Now, soon?
> I think that rather than simply demonstrate against the war, we who
> oppose it need to find some better way to reach the mild supporters of
> it and make clear to them just what a bloodbath they have signed onto.
> Here are some steps that occur to me:
> 1. Everyone good at writing should restate these arguments or better
> them in your own words and send the results not only to your friends on
> the fence, but to any media outlets you can think of, and to any
> reporters , politicians etc. that you happen to know
> 2. Spread this call over the Internet.
> 3. Call into talk radio programs, etc. with these dire predictions, and
> challenge government supporters to give good reasons why this is not a
> valid forecast.
> 4. Call for an immediate cease fire before more lives are lost.
> 5. Spend time trying to come up with even stronger proposals for
> spreading the alarm.
> Michael H. Goldhaber