Something Worth fighting For

Osoma bin Laden and Saddam made the same miscalculation about the US, based on the events surrounding the shoot down of a Blackhawk helicopter in Mogudishu. The US never had an important interest in Somalia. It became a CNN sponsored humanitarian mission near the end of Bush 41's term. What CNN and most of the liberal media did not comprehend is that famine is an instrument of warfare. Somalia was in the middle of a civil war and as Stalin showed one of the most cost effective weapons of mass destruction is starvation. If you step in to interfere with that strategy, you become a combatant, despite any humanitarian intentions. After Clinton came in, the mission got more involved in the civil war to the point that Army Rangers were trying to chase down warlords and the bin Laden gang started looking for an opportunity to "chase" the US out of the civil war. When the "Blackhawk Down" events took place the US was faced with having to evaluate what they were doing in Somalia. It is hard to make a case that the US had a dog in the fight for a non strategic desert. Neither Saddam or bin Laden comprehend this rationale. They focus on the bloody images and think that is all it takes to defeat the US. The events of 9-11 have changed the calculation. The war on terror is perceived as not only something worth fighting for, but something that requires a fight, what ever the cost. The bloody images now only reinforce the point of view that the US is fighting an enemy that is so grotesque that it must be defeated. If it is Saddam's strategy to create such images it will not change his fate. His regime is dying.

Baghdad and WMD

It will become more difficult for the Iraqi regime to use WMD the closer the US forces get to Baghdad. With the destruction of the Baghdad and Medina divisions of the "elite" Republican guard, Saddam may have lost his best chance to use them. Without artillery that can mass it is hard to use the WMD. In the urban environment it becomes more difficult to mass artillery. It is also clear that his use of WMD in the city will result in his own civilians becoming casualties, while US forces have protection. Saddam, if he is alive, may be that irrational, but he will have to convince alot of people to take their chances with war crimes trials.

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