Gulf War II: what lies ahead
This is a column to clip and attach with a magnet to your refrigerator door. Never let it be said this observer isn’t willing to go out on a limb.
The full moon is March 17th. But that should not impede the start of the air war which will begin with massive fighter-bomber and cruise missile strikes, mostly with “smart” munitions, designed to “shock and awe” the Iraqi Army into behaving like the French Army.
On March 25th, there is no moonlight. That would aid a ground attack because the night vision devices of our troops allow them to “own the night.”
Right now, the battle tanks and the armored personnel carriers (APCs) belonging to our 4th Infantry Division are being escorted by the Turkish Army to an assembly area just north of the border between Turkey and Iraq Meanwhile, one of our airborne divisions is spring-loaded to either parachute in or air-land to seize Iraqi airfields near the Turkish border.
Once those airfields are ready, the troops of the 4th Infantry Division will be air-landed by transport aircraft. Almost immediately the division’s tanks and APCs will cross into Iraq and marry up with the troops. Then, off they go toward Baghdad which they will surround, but not attack.
Instead, we are hoping that, sooner rather than later, the Iraqi military will depose Saddam Hussein themselves or provide our “smart bomb” programmers the grid coordinates they need to target the dictator.
Saddam’s only hope is to attack Israel’s civilian population with the weapons of mass destruction he claims not to have and, thereby, rally the Arab world to his side. Because of their training and protective equipment Saddam’s chemical and biological weapons are not likely to bother our ground forces. But, if he has nuclear weapons, that’s another story.
Soon, the liberated Iraqis will be dancing in the streets. The U.S. will provide a General MacArthur-like leader to preside over the transition from dictatorship to some form of representative government. Neighboring Arab governments will be so shaken by these democratic reforms that they will be forced to follow suit.
The non-Iraqi Arabs who have been buying up desirable property on the outskirts of Baghdad and Basra will make a fortune as new resort hotels spring up and Iraq becomes, once again, the Arab playground of the Middle East. Oil prices will stabilize between $18 and $24 dollars per barrel.
The enormous amount of weapons of mass destruction uncovered by our troops will shock even the strongest apologists for Saddam Hussein. France will have so much Quiche Lorraine on its face that the French will never again be taken seriously.
The United Nations will be exposed for the useless anachronism it has become. The failure of the UN to face up to the reality of the threat posed by Saddam will be its well-deserved death knell. The UN has yet to prevent a single war from starting. Its only use has been to send in “peacekeepers” after the shooting stops.
Historically, the U.S. has funded over half of the UN’s administrative expenses and one-third of the cost of its peacekeeping operations. Today, highly paid UN bureaucrats spend more time sipping Chablis and munching Brie in their high-dollar Manhattan apartments than they do ministering to the countries they are supposed to be helping. Hosting the UN costs New York a bundle. Turtle Bay could use more housing and UN headquarters would do nicely.
Saddam owes the French billions of dollars. France lost what little credibility it had when it put its desire to collect from Saddam over the security threat posed by Saddam. We should cancel Saddam’s debt to France and tell the French that: “Merde Happens.”
Europe’s political center will not be Franco-German but in the European Union, which France has failed to dominate, and in the “new” NATO which had the decency to honor its obligations to Turkey.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – novels about terrorist attacks on Colorado’s water supply and the Panama Canal, respectively.
©2003. William Hamilton