From the little we know, the conquest of Iraq is going okay; it's not going great. The war began with a pleasant surprise. It seemed the Pentagon was just bluffing about employing a mad doctrine of terrorizing civilians with heavy bombing, a concept recently renamed after a horrible book Shock and Awe. When armchair experts who fail to read military history advocated this, military experts laughed, until General Myers supported the idea. Surely the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs was just taunting the Iraqis. Since the US military hadn't bombed Kabul into rubble to crush the Taliban in Afghanistan, it was assumed the concept of massive strategic bombardment had finally died after a series of failures since World War II.
Two days later, the surprise ended as a mindless bombing campaign began, mostly the result of a distorted concept of "jointness". Navy surface ships and submarines are of little value in this war, yet admirals insisted they be allowed to fire hundreds of million-dollar Tomahawk missiles at "something". The Air Force spent billions of dollars on their B-2 bombers as part of its "Global Reach" concept; so they must bomb "something" too. Aircraft carrier pilots also like bombing buildings too since they can drop JDAM satellite-guided bombs miles away from Iraqi anti-aircraft systems. So these groups had a grand time planning and executing a bombardment to pummel Iraqi government buildings in Baghdad.
Once the fun began, it didn't look good on television. Reporters on the scene noted that government buildings under attack had been empty for days. They said Iraqi civilians were angry at the pointless destruction, which also broke their windows and frightened all. It soon became apparent that "Shock is Awe" was a failed strategy, but it was too much fun to stop. Then the first 10% of precision-guided munitions which malfunction slammed into houses, then another into a marketplace. A couple years ago, the Navy would drop 500 lb bombs filled with concrete in Iraqi cities to limit civilian damage. As the US Air Force dropped 2000 lb bombs filled with high explosives onto Baghdad, it didn't take an expert to determine this caused civilian deaths even when the bomb impact point was perfect. The leader of Iraq's main Shiite opposition group was so angered at the destruction that he stated US troops must leave as soon as Hussein is overthrown.
Television images of the senseless bombings inflamed world opinion against the war, except in the USA where TV executives decided to censor them. Corporate television news also avoided reports of any battles with significant American losses, even after a detailed story of heavy fighting appeared in USA Today, which miraculously claimed only one American was injured in the firefight. There are always large numbers of unhappy troops complaining about things, yet no negative remarks appeared on American TV, nor images of wounded GIs on the battlefield. As a result, a Russian website with believable reports has become popular. Antiwar.com continues gain readers for their excellent links to foreign news sources, while former soldier Scott Miller posts interesting comments each day.
The Pentagon tried to spin the onslaught and assure everyone that civilian areas are never "targeted", meaning they don't feel responsible when precision weapons malfunction. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told reporters that what was shown on television was not really happening. He bragged that these precision weapons had accuracy "undreamt of in earlier wars." He was proven correct after some of these weapons hit Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia; no one had dreamt weapons could miss their targets by hundreds of miles. It was possible their GPS signals had been jammed by the Iraqis. The Pentagon denied this, and then announced it had destroyed six Iraqi GPS jammers. They claimed the jammers were ineffective and caused no problems, yet put them on top of their target list for immediate attack, and criticized capitalist Russians for selling them.
While the ground offensive has visibly stalled, there have been no disasters. No Anglo-American units have been defeated in battle, few oil wells were set afire, and many bridges were captured intact. Nevertheless, the supply system is fouled up and the ground offensive stalled for the reasons G2mil warned about last February in: "The Crusade to Baghdad ". The US Army blamed Rumsfeld and the Air Force for concentrating airpower on meaningless targets in Baghdad, while the Air Force blamed the Army for not requesting air support. While everyone outside the Pentagon realized "Shock and Awe" had failed and was actually counterproductive, the Air Force and Navy continued pointless bombings while their "targeteers" scoured images of Baghdad rooftops for more fun. An Air Force General explained this madness last year when he admitted: "We don't like to bomb mud". Post strike photos of craters are not as impressive as destroyed buildings. Meanwhile, the US Army will soon learn that clearing enemy infantrymen from building rubble is far more difficult than from undamaged buildings.
There were just a couple dozen legitimate military targets in Baghdad after Iraqi military forces had deployed into the field and government officials moved elsewhere. Attacking these few targets was justified, so long as civilian casualties were avoided. However, Congress and the American people must demand an end to this satanic practice of wasting billions of dollars to bomb empty buildings while killing hundreds of innocent Iraqis by accident. Isn't the USA "liberating" Iraq? Hasn't the USA promised to rebuild Iraq? Haven't constant images of bombing Baghdad enraged the world? Aren't dropping thousands of weapons of minor destruction on a city as bad as a single weapon of mass destruction? Shouldn't the remaining bombs be reserved to support US Army operations? The first step to winning the war is to STOP BOMBING BAGHDAD, at least until US troops arrive there and need close air support. "Shock and Awe" was a lousy idea, which fooled some politicians and generals with little historical knowledge about warfare. It has failed! Stop bombing Baghdad for fun!
Carlton Meyer editorG2mil@Gmail.com
G2mil editorials may be freely distributed without permission
April 2003 Articles
have been returned to the Members Library
Letters - comments from G2mil readers
The Role of Attack Helicopters - they are not attack aircraft
The Infantry Square - tactics for sustained close combat
Married Teenage Warriors - eliminate family housing benefits for E-3s and below
Large Map of Combat Units in Iraq - as of March 27th
Offense and Defense - Hersh's view of Rumsfeld's War
This Gun for Hire - American mercenaries
America's War on the World - expanding the empire
Is War Still a Racket? - a former Marine's thoughts
Halliburton wins contract on Iraq oil firefighting - three weeks before the war began?
Previous G2mil - March 2003 issue
Past Editorials - by Carlton Meyer
Library Tour - visit G2mil's library
Library Entrance - members only
All material in G2mil Copyright 2003 G2mil, patents pending on some items. Links to www.G2mil.com are encouraged.