SADDAM’S WAR

SADDAM’S WAR: Evan Thomas and John Barry of Newsweek have an eerie analysis of how Saddam might fight:

Saddam is hardly above gassing his own people and pretending that the Americans—the “Crusaders and Jews and infidelsӉ€”are to blame. Many Arabs watching Al-Jazeera would believe him. Anti-aircraft batteries and tanks and artillery have been placed beneath and beside mosques, hospitals and schools. Even the most accurate American bombs could produce atrocious TV images. To combat Saddam’s psychological warfare and refute disinformation, CENTCOM has created a “rapid-response team.” CENTCOM will try to provide photographic proof to back up its claims, releasing footage from gun cameras and other weapons systems as well as before-and-after photographs from satellites.

Truth may not be an adequate defense. The longer a war drags on, the more the casualties mount, the greater the risk that Saddam will really lash out—say, by lobbing a biological weapon at Israel—the greater the pressure on Bush to end the war. It is not hard to imagine the president caught in an increasingly uncomfortable bind. Shocked by television images of human carnage, demonstrators will take to the streets at home and abroad. Politicians will call on Bush to get it over with, to declare victory and go home.

While the piece illustrates the risk of war, it simultaneously reinforces the rationale.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.