again via carrol cox -- israeli viewpoint
>------- Start of forwarded message -------
>Where did they go wrong?
>Some more thoughts about the war
># Plan and reality. An old truism says: "No war-plan does survive the
>first clash with the enemy." That is always true. But something even
>worse has happened to the Americans now.
>In order to sell the war to their own public and to the world, Bush &
>Co. have painted the picture of a "surgical operation".
>Quite simple: the Americans march on Baghdad in strength. The Iraqi
>population wants to get rid of their cruel dictator and greet the
>liberators with joy. The Shiites in the south shower them with rice.
>Sadam gets killed. The regime collapses like a house of cards. The
>Americans enter Baghdad in triumph. THE END. The whole business will
>take a week, at most. No dead, no prisoners.
>Bush and his people did not lie. They really believed that this is going
>to happen. As always, the spin-doctors succeeded in convincing
>After drawing an imaginary map, they based their plans on it. Now they
>meet the reality. For example, because of their contempt for the enemy,
>the lines of communication were not properly secured, there were no
>adequate preparations for the battles in the rear. After a rapid advance
>through the desert that was mainly a logistic operation, they reached
>the vicinity of Baghdad and thought that everything else will more or
>less fall into place by itself.
># The "Israeli Syndrome". One may call this the "Israeli Syndrome": the
>abysmal contempt for the Arabs, the belief that they cannot fight. This
>has caused the failures of the Israeli army in the Yom Kippur and
>Lebanon wars and in the two intifadas. Every time the Arabs fight
>valiantly and sacrifice their lives, it causes painful surprise. (An
>Israeli joke: "You really can't rely on the Arabs. They are not
># They are afraid. The Iraqi people react as any normal people would.
>In the face of a foreign invasion, they unite. Even the opponents of the
>regime support the leader in battle. When the Nazis invaded the Soviet
>Union, even the prisoners in the Gulag camps cheered Stalin.
>Many Iraqis want, quite likely, to get rid of Saddam. But they do not
>want this to be done by foreign invaders. Especially not by the
>Americans, whom they suspect of intending to rob them of their oil. (The
>participation of the British, their hated former colonial masters, makes
>things even worse.)
>And when the population does not come out to welcome the liberators and
>the brigades of the regular army do not capitulate en masse, what is the
>explanation? The politicians and generals find solace in a blatantly
>ridiculous construction: the millions of inhabitants of Basra and the
>south are afraid of Saddam's agents who are still in the area. They long
>to greet the Americans, but do not dare, poor people.
>Even the Israeli Army Spokesman could not have invented a more pitiful
># The Palestinian example. No Arab - be he Sunni or Shiite - can look
>upon the Americans as liberators, because, for two years now, they have
>seen every day on their TV screens what the Israeli army, with Bush's
>wholehearted support, is doing to the Arab Palestinian people.
>The righteous Americans, who tend to be insensitive to the feelings of
>other peoples, cannot even imagine the intensity of the fury and hatred
>of the Arab masses. Therefore, they could not draw the lessons from the
>September 11 atrocities - one of them being that they must change their
>policy in our country.
>Even now, while the war is going on, Saddam's television broadcasts
>images of Israeli outrages in the Palestinian territories, in order to
>show to the Iraqi people how the heroic Palestinians, including the
>children, pit their lives against the huge might of the Israeli army.
># The moment of shock. In the history of Israel there were several
>moment of national shock.
>One of them happened during the Yom Kippur war. The moment is printed in
>my memory. We were sitting in front of the TV set in a friend's
>apartment, when there appeared on the screen a group of Israeli soldiers
>who had been taken prisoners.
>They were sitting on the ground, their heads bent down, their hands tied
>on their backs, trembling and frightened, surrounded by jubilant
>Up to that moment, the absolute belief in the superiority of the Israeli
>fighter was a cornerstone of Israeli consciousness, nourished by
>innumerable true stories and myths. At that moment it came crushing
>down. Suddenly we saw our soldiers as normal human beings, frightened in
>a frightening situation.
>Now it happens to the Americans. They see their sons in a similar
>situation. No wonder the White House tries to hide the pictures, citing
>the Geneva convention. Where was that convention when thousands of PoWs
>from Afghanistan, soldiers of the Taliban army, where shown like animals
># Prisoners. Our own army, of course, has always put prisoners-of-war on
>display for propaganda purposes.
>I particularly remember a star of Israeli television, the "Arabist" Ehud
>Ya'ari, an ex-officer of army intelligence, interrogating captive Syrian
>and Egyptian officers on television, as an army intelligence officer
>would. No Geneva convention was mentioned.
># Saladin. One thing is certain even now: Saddam Hussein has already
>achieved what he wanted.
>Whatever happens during the next days and weeks, he will enter Arab
>history as one of the great heroes, who did not flinch or run away in
>face of the superior enemy. Generations of children in all Arab
>countries will learn in school that he was the heir of the great Salah
>The greatest military machine in history - as its commanders call it -
>has attacked a small country, most of whose arms were destroyed
>beforehand, and the people resisted valiantly under a shower of bombs
>and missiles, even without any air defense.
>This is how it looks even now to all the Arabs in the world. They
>compare Saddam to their own rulers, Mubarak, Fahed, Abdallah and Assad.
> From now on, the legend will only expand, growing into a national
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