July 26th 2003

  Buy Issue 2662

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Universities: battleground for next election?

EDITORIAL: Helping the disabled

SPECIAL REPORT: Ethanol: the untold story

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Star Wars / Provocative

AGRICULTURE: Murray River debate hotting up

QUEENSLAND: Values make a comeback

Will Saddam win Phase II of the war? (letter)

Anti-Western animus (letter)

Deflation causes (letter)

Australia's population challenge? (letter)

Christian victims ignored (letter)

COMMENT: Abstinence: the new trend in sex education

GOVERNMENT: Democracy needs a professional public service

COMMENT: Iraq and future US foreign policy

HONG KONG: Mass rally forces back-flip on national security law


Books promotion page

survey link


Will Saddam win Phase II of the war? (letter)

by W. Adie

News Weekly, July 26, 2003

The paradox of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) is that between the conventional Gulf Wars, Saddam Hussein and his enemies helped each other to inflate the threat of his WMD. Part of a defence strategy for him, attack strategy for them.

Now we see Phase II of his defence: the furore over the failure to find him and his WMD is itself part of that defence, along with protracted guerilla warfare.

Captured Iraqi documents make clear his defensive strategy, first using the WMD shell-game to keep the US and its allies guessing, deter attack and boost Arab and other "public opinion" in his favour. You may notice the analogy with Khrushchev's defensive use of the bogus "missile gap", used by J.F. Kennedy to attack Eisenhower and defeat Nixon in 1960.

Saddam's spies (mukhabarat) left him with no illusion that his conventional forces could resist those of the coalition. The remnant WMD had to be hidden, not deployed. Last-ditch use would have alienated Saddam's regional and world support, essential for Phase II.

For Phase II, the analogy was Vietnam, urban with sandstorms. Defence strategy meant draw in the enemy, too high on technology and too low on troop numbers, then peck at them for as long as it takes with Mao-type "sparrow tactics" and wait for TV pictures of body-bags and "public opinion" to force an ignominious retreat, as in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia.

It was in Vietnam that we first saw in action the corrosive combination of ratings-driven TV and fabrication-prone press, disinformed and profoundly parochial voters and Congress, and poll-driven politicians focussed on re-election.

My study of intervention documents that trauma. It is based on personal experience in Vietnam and the Middle East, as well as the declassified archives.

But Saddam did not need to read it; the last ragged bandit infesting a failed state knows the US warriors are few and the "peaceniks" are many - they are his "special force".

As the Chinese classic, Art of War, and Chairman Mao would say, use one force, in this case, the guerillas/fedayeen, to engage (or pin down), and the other to win. That "special force" is meant to be, once more, our own media and politicians, and maybe some dumb generals.

Dear public, don't let it happen this time.

W. Adie,
Monash Asia Institute,
Melbourne, Vic

Join email list

Join e-newsletter list

Your cart has 0 items

Subscribe to NewsWeekly

Research Papers

Trending articles

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal rebuts commission's 'Get Pell' campaign

COVER STORY Anti-discrimination law validates Safe Schools

U.S. AFFAIRS First Brexit, now Trump: it's the economy, stupid!

INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT Wikileaks reveals U.S, funding behind anti-coal campaign

COVER STORY QUT discrimination case exposes Human Rights Commission failings

FOREIGN AFFAIRS How the left whitewashed Fidel Castro

ANALYSIS What is possible to a Trump Whitehouse

News and views from around the world

Frequently asked questions about section 18C (Simon Breheny)

Chilean legislators kill explicit sex-ed program (LifeSite News)

France to ban people with Down syndrome from smiling (The Huffington Post)

Child abuse and family structure: What is the evidence telling us (Family First NZ)

Woolworths beats ACCC supplier mistreatment case (Eli Greenblat)

Australia set to ride the quantum computing wave (Science in Public)

Weatherill warns states could introduce carbon prices (Rosie Lewis)

Green-left legerdemain doesn't make religion relevant (Fr James Grant)

Mass murderer Castro dies unpunished (Augusto Zimmermann)

The rise of political correctness (Angelo Codevilla)

© Copyright NewsWeekly.com.au 2011
Last Modified:
December 2, 2016, 2:36 pm