Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
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Standing on the outskirts of Baghdad this morning, watching a shroud of black smoke drifting over the city, U.S. Army Major Joffery Watson shook his head and laughed when asked about Western media reports during the last week, saying that the U.S. ground war in Iraq has been stalled.
From the perspective of U.S. military officials on the battlefield, nothing could be further from the truth. They say that's because what has really been going on across Iraq during the past two weeks have been successful military operations to "shape" the battlefield in a way that would allow U.S. forces to make a rapid, two-pronged advance on the Iraqi capital.
Watson said reports by Western media comparing the rapid U.S.-led advance during the 1991 ground war with the current situation overlook a key point. The 1991 Gulf War began with five weeks of air strikes before ground troops made their first attacks. But in the current war, the air and ground campaigns were launched at almost the same time to prevent Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from implementing a scorched-earth policy and destroying Iraq's oil fields and causing widespread environmental damage.
Thus, while press reports spoke of U.S. troops being "held up" in southern Iraq, Watson says the reality was that U.S. ground troops had advanced as far as they could without putting the main body of U.S. troops in range of Iraqi attacks. The objective was to provide accurate targeting information for U.S. air strikes against positions of the Iraqi Republican Guard.
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