If Worse Comes To Worse
If Worse Comes To Worse In Iraq: I’m actually glad to see that Jospeh Farah and Arnaud de Borchgrave have published columns speculating about the nightmare scenarios that could occur when we invade Iraq. I think the American public may have gotten spoiled by the last two wars we’ve fought.
I was in college during the Gulf War and all we heard about before the Gulf War happened was how tough and experienced Saddam’s troops were going to be. The screw-ups of Vietnam were like an ever present cloud over the US military at that point. I still remember my college professors parroting the line that there would probably hundred thousand US troops coming home in bodybags and asking if were ready to be drafted. Then we obliterated the Iraqis like they were nothing, racked up something like a 1000 to 1 kill ratio and headed home.
But people still weren’t sure of how good we were. So when it was announced that we were going to hit Afghanistan everyone thought we had another mountainous Vietnam on or hands. The best case scenarios had us getting things under control in like a year and there were plenty of people who didn’t think we could win at all. Then for all intents and purposes we drove the Taliban and al-Queda out of power in less than three months and we’ve been doing mop-up duty ever since.
The fact that we won these last two wars so convincingly could be problem if people begin to believe every war is going to a cakewalk. The reality is, we could easily lose thousands of US soldiers taking Iraq and even tens of thousands if things went horribly wrong. What if Saddam somehow got off a biological attack on a large concentration of our troops? Could Saddam even have a nuke on hand that we don’t know about? Are there Iraqi agents in the US preparing to launch attacks once the fighting starts? Could an Iraqi attack with weapons of mass destruction on Israel prompt a nuclear response from the Israelis that might kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians? Is it possible that Iran and Syria might team up with Iraq to launch a surprise attack? Any of these things are possible although some are far more likely than others. However, the American public needs to understand that there are no guarantees in a war. People who study history are simply aware of that fact and accept it as a matter of course. But, everyone else in the US needs to understand it as well so that every setback and downturn in the Iraqi campaign is not falsely perceived as a disaster.