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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of April 2 - 8, 2003


The shock’s on us

Before President George W. Bush decided to lead the nation into war with Iraq, it was an open question as to whether an administration whose domestic policies are a blueprint for economic disaster could do a better job in world diplomacy.

The answer turned out to be "No."

Then the question was whether the administration could execute a swift, smart military intervention in Iraq.

The answer is unfolding every day for everyone to see. It is not the "Shock and Awe" that the administration advertised.

This is not the 100-hour Persian Gulf War in which the United States and its allies pushed the Iraqis out of Kuwait with overwhelming numbers of troops and fighting machines.

This is looking like a war designed to be fought on the cheap. This is looking like a war in which the administration forgot the lessons of Vietnam.

The war began with too few U.S. troops and too little equipment on the ground. It is being fought against an enemy that was clearly underestimated.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his military planners put 75,000 troops inside Iraq to conquer a country the size of California with a population of 22 million, a behemoth compared to tiny Kuwait America’s technological superiority was supposed to overcome the lopsided numbers. Iraq, a corrupt tyranny, was supposed to crumble like old parchment.

Yet, 400-mile long supply-lines are stretched thin between Kuwait and Baghdad. Fedayeen in southern cities are putting up unexpectedly stiff resistance. Sleepless American soldiers near Baghdad have no backup units to spell them, and thin food stores.

Little more than a week into the war, the administration decided to ship more troops, more tanks and other fighting vehicles to Iraq. It could take more than two months for them to arrive.

It’s widely reported that Rumsfeld, a fan of untested theories of light modern warfare, repeatedly rejected the counsel of generals, who advised greater numbers of troops and heavy armored fighting vehicles. Rejection of such belt-and-suspenders advice defies common sense. It may have needlessly lengthened the war and put more American lives at risk.

Rumsfeld denies that anything has not gone as planned. The president agrees.

If this was the plan all along, then the shock’s on us. And, it is we who are awed at the level of bungling.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.