Monday, March 31, 2003

How'wedoin?-Not bad, all things considered. Senor Gil has a worth-considering piece on groupthink, tangentially comparing Iraq to the Bay of Pigs. There might have been a bit of optimism about how various factions in Iraq would react, but the comparison is a bit lame. The somewhat fair comparison is that the Iraqis weren't sufficiently shocked and awed in surrendering and that the Cuban people didn't rise up in 1961 to support the invasion. Where the two situations differ is that we have the tools to do the job today and we didn't in 1961. The relatively motley assortment of Cuban ex-pats that landed in the Bay of Pigs were quickly wiped out by the Cuban military and lacked sufficient US back-up. Had they run the Bay of Pigs like we ran Afghanistan, giving the exiles all the air support they needed and a little Special Forces help, it might have worked. Not having enough firepower isn't the question here; the only question is how quickly and how messy the victory is going to be. Shock and Awe didn't work as well as advertised, but it may well have been oversold. Den Beste points out that the criticism stems from the US not covering the point spread; a lot of press was devoted to how quick this war might be, but the Iraqis are a notch tougher than planned. His closing note is that "There is no point spread in war"; Nebraska might only beat Directional State by 24 in their opener when they're supposed to win by 48, but they still win. That being said, we've done well in the first ten days. We've got the southern half of the country close to under control. We're about to have Baghdad surrounded. We have air supremacy. The Scuds have done minimal damage and none have headed to Israel. The job isn't done, but we're up three touchdowns in the second quarter. We're running out of things to talk about for the moment on the macro level, for we're at a lull that's a bit reminiscent of trench warfare. However, we've got a lot of airpower bombing the crap out of the Iraqi side while they have the occasional autoboomer or guerilla attack against our supply lines. This is the apply industrial-strength can-o-whuppin’ to the Republican Guards phase and the punditry will have to be low-key due to a lack of information. Suman Palit and Punditwatch seem to be on that same page.

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