Tin foil caps

The Iraqi regime has accepted an inspection protocol, and has engaged in other “hey, we’re just folks” sorts of noises (e.g., a half-apology for the invasion of Kuwait). I am curious as to how we are going to sell a war to the American people. I mean, we can’t just say, “I don’t care, we’re invading you anyway.” At least I don’t think this will go over well for most Americans.

Yet it seems clear that the US administration has its mind set on an invasion. I thought for a while that this was just really clever brinksmanship, staring down a sociopathic dicatator by pretending our leader was also a sociopathic dictator. But if it’s a show, it’s got me fooled.

I’m placing bets that the invasion will be between January 12 and 15. Anyone want to start a pool?

And here’s where the tin foil comes in. We’ve never been really artful in starting invasions. We like to think of ourselves as not being bullies, so we need a crystal clear provocation, like trying to sink a US ship. Think the USS Maine or USS Maddox.

But attacks on a US vessel are no longer enough. Despite the large number of Americans in support of an invasion, there needs to be a clear and immediate threat to the larger population that will act as a catalyst to drive what could be a lengthy and bloody campaign. What we need is a terrorist attack.

Let’s take the hypothetical position that one wanted such a war to occur. It would be difficult to cause the same sort of emotional impact brought about by the WTC attack. (In fact, the attack on the Pentagon pales in comparison.) A successful suicide bombing in a metropolis might fit the bill, but it would be difficult to tie the threat to the Hussein regime. The White House has already tried unsuccessfully to link Iraq to Qaeda.

Now, a smallpox attack; that would be something that would lead to a retaliation almost immediately. In fact, even if no one died, or if the casualties were minor (perhaps abrogated by the recent announcements of vaccinations), the threat of biological warfare would still be enough to drive us into Iraq. There would be little issue of a tie to Iraq, since AP has “uncovered” such a link already.

(You will excuse my suspicion here, but this smacks of constructed news. As long as the military engages a doctrine of D5E–destruction, degradation, denial, disruption, deceit, and exploitation–I will take many such news accounts with a grain of salt.)

So, if there is a smallpox outbreak in the next month or two–call me crazy–I am going to be very skeptical.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 12/16/2002 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I would bet that they invade within 3 days before the State of the Union address in January. I’m willing to bet a whole dollar on this; I’m that confident. [sigh]
    The war will begin after I have my thesis started – I’m sure about that :)

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