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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Thursday, October 24, 2002
6:18 PM

It's like renting a video for these guys.... Another story exposing U.S. military preparations for a war against Iraq, this from the New York Times:

U.S. Refines Plan for War in Cities

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 — The American military is training furiously and polishing a plan for attacking Baghdad that calls for isolating the city and then taking control of it by seizing or destroying Saddam Hussein's pillars of power — but avoiding house-to-house combat in its hostile streets.

The new strategy is a significant change in Pentagon doctrine. In World War II, the American military dealt with the difficult question of urban combat by using heavy artillery, intense fire-bombing and, twice over Japan, even atomic weapons. Since the war, the strategy had been to isolate urban areas, then move on to other targets.

Today, commanders still say they would rather avoid fighting in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities, which could result in thousands of American casualties and even more civilian deaths. But now, with Republican Guard units digging in around Baghdad, they may have no choice should Mr. Hussein and his die-hard adherents choose to make a last stand....

Jet and helicopter pilots simulating attacks to support ground troops are rehearsing new angles of attack, having discovered that plate glass windows in office buildings can deflect the lasers used to identify their targets. When four infantrymen move with a single M1-A1 tank, others can keep watch over rooftops and other enemy outposts while the tanks provide devastating firepower that no foot soldier can match.....

Why. Why. Why.

I discovered this ViaInsta Via Sgt. Stryker, who points to this Gabriel Ledeen column at NRO:

The New York Times once again displayed disregard for American servicemen with an article coauthored on Tuesday by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker entitled "U.S. Refines Plan for War in Cities," an in-depth analysis of our military's preparations and plans for the rapidly approaching war with Iraq....

The entire piece, by its very existence and by the nature of the subject matter, seeks to undermine the approaching military campaign, and to exert political pressure on those making the high-level decisions for those who are to be in harm's way. The Times's theme is summed up nicely by the authors: "Even if Baghdad fell, a bloody urban battle with a high civilian toll could be seen as a political failure for the Bush administration — at home and throughout the Middle East." This sarcastic cynicism is almost as sickening as the sense one gets that this is indeed what the authors desire. To make matters worse, Times releases information about how we are preparing to face the enemy, what methods we plan on using, what weapons we could use, what factors work against us, what our targets would be, and where our weaknesses are....

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