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[casi] The clash of battling war plans

Dear list members,




            A N U
Assyrian News Watch
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Assyrian Chaldean Syriac


The Washington Times
July 22, 2002

The clash of battling war plans

Arnaud de Borchgrave

     About 5,000 ships  from battleships to small landing craft loaded
with 130,000 troops  and more than 1,000 air transports to drop three
divisions of paratroopers was the Allied plan for the invasion of Normandy
scheduled for early June 1944. Imagine Operation Overlord for D-Day
splashed all over the front page of the New York Times. Unthinkable, you

     Then imagine the German high command's plans to repulse the Allied
invasion announced by Adolf Hitler himself in a meeting with his closest
advisers and then leaked to a London newspaper. Equally unthinkable.

     But this is how the invasion of Iraq by the United States and Saddam's
plans to counterattack have been played out in the New York Times and a
Kuwaiti newspaper  all before a single shot has been fired.

     Iraq's longtime dictator read about the U.S. plan to invade his
country from three directions with 225,000 troops courtesy of the New York
Times. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was apoplectic. He was born
into an age when such leaks would have been high treason, punishable by
death before a firing squad. He ordered his staff to find the leaker and
scores are now being run through lie detectors and voice-stress analyzers.
But before anyone faces a court-martial or dismissal from the civil
service, perhaps the guilty party should be praised for having smoked out
Saddam's plan courtesy of a leak to a Kuwaiti newspaper.

     We now know Saddam would unleash all his assets on all fronts  e.g.,
terrorist "sleeper" cells in the United States, in Pakistan and in the
oil-producing states of the Persian Gulf and wherever  even in
Afghanistan. The Iraqi ambassador to Pakistan, K.A. Ravi, speaking at a
national day reception in Islamabad, added more juicy details. Raising a
glass of orange juice, he intoned: "The jihad [holy war] in Afghanistan
will begin shortly, and jihadi groups will kick out America from
Afghanistan just like what they did to Russia. The jihadis will also
continue to play an important role in Kashmir [against India]. Pakistan,
with the entire Muslim world and Arab countries, will retaliate against any
U.S. intervention in Iraq."

     Saddam's man in Pakistan spoke as if President Pervez Musharraf didn't
exist. So assassination of the Pakistani president was presumably part of
the Iraqi plan to counter a U.S. invasion.

     The Bush administration's war against Iraq has already become a
regional conflict with blank ammo fired through the media in both camps.
With luck, the coming war will be fought to a Mexican standoff before that
first Iraqi Scud missile with a chemical or biological warhead lands in
downtown Tel Aviv.

     This writer can add several more leaks to the mother of all blank
wars. The latest U.S. battle plan includes a precision-guided blitzkrieg
against all strategic targets (including the post office in Basra) and the
quick mobilization of thousands of Iraqi troops the Pentagon assumes will
surrender without a fight. They would then be placed under the command of
the dissident Iraqi generals who met in London recently  and ordered to
march against Baghdad and flush out Saddam's Republican Guard divisions
defending the city. U.S. war planners have no intention of getting involved
in street and Saddam-palace-by-Saddam-palace urban guerrilla fighting.

     Assuming these Iraqi deserters still have the stomach to fight and
manage with the fortunes of war to liberate Baghdad, an anti-Saddam Iraqi
general would assume power and prepare to turn the country back to pre-1958
civilian rule.

     After that, the law of unintended consequences kicks in. The
liberation of Baghdad doesn't take place. Instead, the war becomes the
prolonged Siege of Baghdad. Thousands are slaughtered and the Iraqi
deserters, now on the U.S. team, surrender again, back to Saddam's ranks.
At the same time, Iraqi saboteurs (with a little help from al Qaeda's
"sleepers") are blowing up oil installations up and down the Gulf, and
violent demonstrations break out in Muslim capitals from Morocco to
Malaysia. Pakistan's Mr. Musharraf falls victim to an assassin's bullet and
an Islamist general  the retired former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
chief Hamid Gul, who hates America with a long-burning passion  takes

     Gen. Gul immediately declares that Pakistan's 35-weapon nuclear
arsenal is now at the disposal of the Islamic "Umma," a global Islamic
community. A 500,000 ton-tanker flying a Liberian flag blows up in the
Strait of Hormuz. Terrorist frogmen, on a moonless night, had pulled up
alongside the vessel in a rubber Zodiac outboard speedster and stuck a
brace of limpet mines on the tanker's hull.

     The House of Saud is toppled by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators
in the streets of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran shouting pro-Osama bin Laden
slogans. The 24,000-strong royal family (including princesses) race for
airports only to find their fleets of private jets under hostile armed
guard. The Saudi army, led by a dissident prince, switches sides, and Osama
is proclaimed president of the RSA (Republic of Saudi Arabia). Gen. Gul
flies to Riyadh for a summit meeting with Osama and a joint communique is
issued proclaiming the two countries' fusion in the Umma. The Shi'ite
regime of ayatollahs and mullahs across the Gulf in Iran are paralyzed with
fear. But they swallow their pride and issue a communique that damns the
new alliance with faint praise.

     By then, of course, the Western world is plunged into economic
depression. It's the unintended exit strategy.

     The American planners clearly had not read the history of World War I
when British Gen. Sir Charles Townshend, commanding two Indian Army
divisions, marched on Baghdad to seize the capital of what was then
Mesopotamia and kick out the Turkish army. Townshend was repulsed and fell
back on the city of Kut, where the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers meet.
After a bloody siege during which Townshend's troops ate their horses, the
Turks prevailed and Townshend surrendered. The History Channel put it in
the category of "Military Blunders of World War I."

     High time to brush up on military history  and for senators to ask
the tough questions.

     Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of
United Press International.

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