March 23, 2003
Questions Of Interpretation

1. So far, Iraqi troops have failed to blow up the oil terminals in the Gulf, failed to set more than a dozen or so of their hundreds of oil wells on fire, failed to blow numerous strategic bridges over the Euphrates, failed to fire more than half a dozen missiles at Kuwait, failed to shoot down any coalition aircraft, failed to achieve any large-scale ambush or fake-surrender suicide attack, and (most notably) failed to use any chemical or biological weapons. It this because they are:

  1. Militarily incompetent?
  2. Cut off from headquarters (or receiving no orders from headquarters) and unable to make decisions themselves?
  3. Eager to end the war and escape Saddam's tyranny, but not (for the most part) willing to surrender as long as their families are in his hands?

2. There have been numerous accounts of Iraqis greeting American and British troops with effusive welcomes. Is this because they are:

  1. Habituated to sucking up to their rulers by years of doing so with Saddam?
  2. Hoping to get our troops to drop their guard so they can start picking them off in terrorist attacks?
  3. Genuinely glad to be liberated?

3. Finally, there have been quite a few accounts of of sullen Iraqis greeting American and British troops with hostility and complaints. Is this because they are:

  1. Genuinely fond of Saddam's régime?
  2. Clinging to the familiar, however unpleasant, and fearful about the future?
  3. Afraid to show their true feelings as long as they fear an Iraqi counterattack, or a coalition withdrawal, or reprisals by Mukhabarat agents still lurking among them?

In each case, I hope the answer is 'C', but fear that it's a mixture of all three.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at March 23, 2003 11:01 AM