Apr 012003
Authors: Ken Hamner

A friend of mine by the name of Sam Jooky gets bored a lot and ends up sending me links to at least a dozen Web sites a day.

As such, I’ve discovered that there are many Web sites out there that attempt to show the American people just what in the name of sweaty camels is going on in Iraq. For those that are into Wolf-man Blitzer, CNN.com is a wonderful site.

For those who want more of a realist view, the Washington Post is a grand place to turn. Even better, there are a wide array of foreign Web sites, such as those based in Britain or Egypt, that show just how much crack the people of the world think the United States is smoking. The best Web site of all these, however, is http://www.iraqometer.com/.

Just what is the Iraqometer? It’s a one click guide to all the vital statistics involved in this war. At the time of writing this column, the Iraqometer states that 29,100 bombs have been dropped, there are 551 civilian casualties, three oil wells are aflame, 35,250,000 leaflets have been dropped, 56 coalition forces have been killed, a whopping 0 chemical weapons sites have been uncovered and 5,800 Iraqi soldiers have surrendered. Other interesting statistics include American opinions/knowledge, such as 72 percent of Americans support the war, 51percent of Americans believe Iraqis were involved in the destruction of the World Trade Center and 65 percent of Americans cannot locate Iraq on a map.

Although many of the sources used to keep the Iraqometer updated aren’t necessarily accurate, the meter does provide some interesting ideas to ponder. One of those ideas is posted on the site itself, one I feel is important to quote in full:

“While we hoped that popular revolt would topple Saddam, we did not wish to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. Extending the war into Iraq would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Unilaterally exceeding the UN’s mandate would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.”

This was George Bush Sr.’s quote about the Gulf War. What George the Elder stated is that even if in 1991 we had victoriously ousted Saddam and taken over Iraq, it most likely would have ended in failure. When he said many years ago, “This will not be another Vietnam,” he meant it, and that meant not committing to an invasion. What have we learned in 12 years? Not much. Did George the Younger listen to his dad? It doesn’t look like it. Unfortunately, Saddam learned a lot. For example, I suggest you take a look at another website, this one based in Britain: http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,925783,00.html

Don’t want to read? Here’s the important bit – Iraq could very likely become a Vietnam. How so? Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said, “People say to me you are not the Vietnamese, you have no jungles and swamps to hide in. I reply, ‘Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings be our jungles.” So far, at least in the city of Nasariyah, this tactic is working.

How else can it be a Vietnam? We’re already seeing it all across the planet as people demonstrate against the war. The Iraqis not only learned about the American concept of war in 1991, but they also learned about the American concept of media. Even though we don’t hear James Earl Jones shouting, “THIS IS CNN,” the media is certainly being used against the United States.

One of these is found in the Iraqometer statistic of civilians killed, enraging Arabs beyond recognition. Another use of media against the United Sttates is in interviews of coalition forces themselves. Take this quote from the New York Times Web site, for example: “‘I’m sorry,’ the sergeant said. ‘But the chick was in the way,'” referring to the need to kill civilian hostages in order to kill Iraqi troops or disguised snipers.

Such quotes are nothing but bad news against support for this war. Add in the fact that Iraq has failed to use even one of the chemical weapons it used against Iran or the Kurds and you have nothing but waning war support from everyone, enough to make even Nixon shudder in his grave for fear against the hippie forces that will make this war on the home front a complete and utter hell.

How long will this war last? Nobody on this planet knows, even with the Iraqometer. One thing is certain, however – the occupation will not be pretty in any hemisphere.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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