Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Arsenal of Democracy
Prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, I wondered whether our efforts at infiltration might persuade a few Iraqi Army divisions to defect to our side. Today's Strategypage discusses their performance:
One of the little known factors that influenced the way the Iraq war was fought was careful examination of how the Iraqis operated, and reacted, during the 1991 Gulf War. Interrogations of prisoners and captured documents revealed that the Iraqis were not nearly as quick as American units. Not just quick to move, but in their decision making process. It was also noted that, while the Republican Guard units would often stand and fight to the death, the larger Iraqi army was more prone to flee or surrender if confronted with an aggressive American ground force. Wargames were conducted that took this into account. The officers who played the Iraqi side found that it was extremely difficult to defend with such a brittle force. It was thought that putting the army units into towns and cities might make the troops more willing to fight. But the American players just bypassed the occupied urban areas, and blasted their way through the ones they had to move through. It was also known that the only Iraqi troops with any real training for attacking were the Republican Guard units. So you could move ahead with Iraqi army units on your flanks without too much worry. Out of all this research came the plan for just moving towards Baghdad as quickly as possible. The CIA and Special Forces had developed contacts (via exiles and Arabs in neighboring countries who did business in Iraq) with some commanders in the Iraqi army. It was thought that some Iraqi commanders could be persuaded to quickly surrender, or stay out of the fight, or perhaps even come over to the coalition side.
The Iraqi army reacted as predicted. The new American tactics of just going straight at the enemy and scaring him off the battlefield, worked. Some Republican Guard units survived the bombing attacks, only to get torn to pieces by better trained and equipped U.S. units when it came to a head-to-head fight.
Like you, I had the VCR going during the fighting (didn't need as many tapes as I expected, ha!). Reviewing them, I can't find any reports of the regular Iraqi Army engaging the coalition of the willing. Republican Guard, yes. Fedayeen, yes. But not a single dispatch about combat with the regulars.
Not too shabby!
Today's item from the Arsenal of Democracy is the almighty greenback. It gets results!
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Jurors recommended Monday that John Allen Muhammad be sentenced to death for orchestrating last year's sniper shootings that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area and outlying communities in Maryland and Virginia.
Thank goodness my home state practices capital punishment. This guy hunted schoolkids. And winged one.
Not to go all maudlin, but folks like J.A.M. remind us the war on terror has fronts in our AO. I heard Flight 77's boom and saw the smoke. I saw an F-16 zipping westward, on its way to intercept Flight 93. I spent days watching out for white vans (from which experts thought the sniper shot).
Mohammed should be shot, just like any other terrorist. No mercy. If they want the protections afforded by the Geneva convention, they should sign the treaty. After all, Geneva has a dirty little secret: atrocities against non-signatories are endorsed. It's an incentive to sign up. As long as they do not, it's too bad, so sad for them.
Monday, November 24, 2003
Three burglars were arrested in Brazil after they returned to a house and asked for the receipts for the goods they had stolen.
The young thieves told the owners of the house in Belo Horizonte that they were struggling to sell the stereo, TV and mobile phones because they didn't have the original receipts.
A comment would be superfluous.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
An American Tragedy
Actor Jonathan Brandis is no more, apparently due to suicide
. How sad. If you like, you can pay your respects at his most popular shrine
. It even has a guestbook if you want to leave a note.
Further posts will be sparse, as I update my SeaQuest
fan fiction. It'll take a few days. In the meantime, you can read others' efforts at this webring
, or this one
. And also this one
. Be sure not to miss this 'book case'
. It's got lots of good fan fiction. Some of it even NC-17
He [Lucas] stepped back, letting Lexi get into the hammock first, and ready to hold the edges of the towel to prevent it from creasing under her. Then she untied the knot at her waist and let her skirt slide away - and he found that he couldn't take his eyes off of her. Once settled, she reclined on her side, and grinned over at him, head propped up on an elbow.
Her eyes traveled over him lustily, taking in the muscles newly outlined on his body, the result of months of the hard, physical training with Commander Kimura that Captain Hudson had ordered. Her fiance would never be Hercules, but he was broad shouldered and definitely hot!
His blue eyes held her gaze with a steady intensity as he moved slowly towards her. Balancing very carefully, he climbed into the hammock, melting into her outstretched arms. He shuddered slightly and closed his eyes, as he felt Lexi's mouth move across his chest, her tongue teasing the little pink nubs. Moaning in pleasure, his hands drifted down her back, caressing her soft skin.
(Songs for Swinging Lovers: SeaQuest fan fiction)
Read the whole thing.