Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Behind enemy lines

So that's what happened...

This terrific tragicomic peek into Rufus T. Hussein's hapless war command is valuable both in explaining how the regime can collapse so quickly and in giving some voice to those helpless, faceless "elite" Republic Guard that were so quickly steamrolled over. Pull quote:

"Professional soldiers can't fight without orders and inspiration from their leaders," [one Iraqi officer] said. "But we had clowns for leaders. This is our tragedy."

What's coming out about the Saddam regime, besides its ruthlessness, only confirms what we learned during the first Gulf War: the man lives in a cocoon of wishful thinking and self-delusion, and, like a bad movie dictator, will kill off any bearer of bad news (so naturally, no one tells him anything real). Inept decisions are consistently made because the guy has no clue what's really going on. And perhaps congressional medals of honor are due for Ridley Scott and Mark Bowden for creating such effective "defeatist" propoganda?

The other lesson of this story? The virtues of decentralized command. Imagine what would've happened if our own self-deluded cocoon men Rummy and Wolfy were commanding the troops instead of Franks and the generals on the ground...