Tuesday, August 27, 2002

It’s worth reading this Jane’s article After Saddam is defeated. article
At the outset, remember who the critics are. They are the people who predicted Armageddon in all recent conflicts. The critics claimed a decade ago that the war to remove Saddam from Kuwait would last 'for decades'; its most intensive phase lasted less than a month. They also said that 'huge numbers' of Western soldiers would be killed. In fact, hundreds died. They predicted that Saddam's Republican Guards would 'fight to the end'; in fact, they ran away.

Try to keep in mind:
Saddam is far, far weaker than 1991, and the West rolled over his army like it wasn’t there.
The Price of oil did spike. And then went down again. The process will repeat itself this time, but with significant differences, such as the US having their strategic reserves full, Russia gagging to sell oil, and the prospect of Iraq resuming full pumping. Some estimates see the world oil price falling from the present price of $30 per barrel, to as low as $9.

I’m perfectly comfortable in making this prediction: The Iraqi regime will fold within 30 days of the first US bomb landing. You will see mass desertions unseen since the last time the fearsome Iraqis faced an enemy better than the third world. When the Kurds and Shi’a see that the US is actually going to put their own men in harm’s way, they will repeat their uprisings of 1991-2. Only this time, the Kurds will be heavily armed and trained in the safety of the no-fly zone.

The whole thing will be over inside a month, and the word “quagmire” will be heard almost daily. Civilian casualty figures will be plucked from thin air, and given the credibility of Moses. Europe will wring their hands, just like they did over Yugoslavia, privately congratulating themselves on getting someone else to do the heavy lifting. The Arab street will do nothing. Their rulers will be very happy to see someone else take the heat for getting rid of the nut job next door. Kind of like a civil liberties lawyer who has noticed his neighbour sitting on the porch reading Gun Nut Weekly, and muttering that The Time of Cleansing Is At Hand. Very happy someone else called the Fascist Pig Cops.

And for the anti-US crowd? If you think you have problems mounting a believable case now, wait until next year, when the world's only superpower confirms it can do anything, and it does not need anyone, and they have two successful wars of liberation under their belts.

Remember, you heard it here first: 30 days, go to whoa.

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