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A little less than a happy high
"Targets of opportunity"
The London Times is making a liar of me. Last night, I reported to several of you over beers at the pub that I had read a missive yesterday in the TimesOnline verifying that the ground war in Iraq had already begun. Today, for the life of me, I can’t find the reference.

I’ll concede that I may have misunderstood the thrust of the article, but the statement "British and American ground forces have already engaged Iraqi troops outside of the southern port city of Basra" seemed pretty clear at the time.

Alternatively, the information reported may have been incorrect or inaccurate. While this wouldn’t be unheard of, I’d like to think that if a correspondent was that far off-base, there would be some sort of correction or retraction printed. Of course, a correction would probably give rise to various cockamamie conspiracy theories about disinformation and media censorship.

Which brings me to the next idea... It’s possible that the story was quashed. Claiming that 17 Iraqi soldiers surrendered without a shot being fired makes far better press than saying that they surrendered after heavy fighting. The one suggests a short war and an already demoralized enemy. The other, more determined resistance in a city we hoped would surrender quickly.

But since we know that our governments are entirely open with us and would never engage in systematic disinformation tactics in their just war, I can’t rule out the possibility that the article came from the same shadow realm where Sam’s parents have a twisty bell on their door. I didn’t think I was that crazy, but who knows?

At any rate, the war has started, and we'll likely not know to what extent until we're thick of it.

Happy Spring.

Current Mood: A tad irreverent
Current Music: Clash, "Radio Clash"

4 comments or Leave a comment
tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: March 20th, 2003 10:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm. The one reason I might doubt that is that I watched the reports last night on BBC America, and they were getting all huffy that the British military headquarters hadn't been told about the strikes until they were actually launched. But still, there is certainly far more going on than we know about...
komos From: komos Date: March 20th, 2003 11:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Really, I'm not a complete crackpot.

Actually, the RAF deployed Tornados to engage SAM batteries and other targets in raids that took place throughout Wednesday night. It was my understanding that the Brits were not informed about the specific early Thursday morning strikes against the "decapitation targets" in Baghdad, and it was that oversight that the British Command was reacting to.

The war didn't start without them, but they weren't included in our assassination attempt.

tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: March 20th, 2003 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Really, I'm not a complete crackpot.

Oh, yeah, that's kinda what I meant, only put in an intelligent and articulate manner.
komos From: komos Date: March 20th, 2003 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Really, I'm not a complete crackpot.

Heh. Not at all. I feel a little weird about the post, though, because to someone who doesn't know me, it really does look like I'm trying to find evidence of government duplicity. My ideas are actually pretty well balanced and thought out, but I've not been able to think of the war outside of a fairly absurdist approach.

The real explanation is probably that there was, in fact, special forces activity around Basra yesterday and someone pointed out that the release of the information was potentially putting the troops in greater danger.
4 comments or Leave a comment