Shock and Awe, huh?

Shock and Awe tactics, huh? Gosh, they certainly love the slogans over there. What that means in non-sloganeering English is: we’ve flattened half of Baghdad to “liberate” them. See the book if you wish.

Maybe you should read the book. “Shock and Awe” is not saturation bombing, not even close. The idea is to take out (only) the command and control centers in a very dramatic and overwhelming way. That’s supposed to put what’s left of the decision-makers and soldiers into confusion, “shock” and “awe” so that they will surrender without a fight. The point is precisely not to have to level Baghdad or kill the whole army. Whether it works or not is another matter, we’ll find out soon.

I know what it is, and I’ve read it. I have also seen Baghdad in flames.

Apparently, it can’t burn fast enough for many Iraqis:

Americans are starting to make me sick. What’s wrong with you people? How could you so blindly accept the explainations that Bush and your warmonging government feeds you? I think there’s something seriously wrong with the way you people think.

If you would take it off your AMERICAN CNN you might see the crying woman with two children saying that she never felt Iraqi needed “liberation”. She said she misses Saddam Housane and all she wants is her life back, so her kids can go back to school. In the last two hours I’ve seen three other Iraqi people voice similier opinions on non-American news programs.

The reason CNN journalists were removed from Baghdad: the channel was airing propaganda and bias speculation. Have you noticed that the only casulaties of war ever mentioned are American and British. What, are they the only ones worth mentioning?

God damn poor exuce for a country.

Umm… I rarely watch tv, so you’re admonishing the wrong guy. Maybe you should turn off the multitude of news stations you are apparantly monitoring and read a newspaper. I do not blindly accept the Bush administration line, but I do agree with it. The anti-war arguments are totally bankrupt. See what’s going on in the “Iraq Poll” thread to see the equivocation and dodging that passes for an anti-war argument. There is no excuse not to remove him from power. It’s an easier decision for France and Germany, because they don’t have the capability, and thus don’t have to be troubled by the decision.

By the way, are you seriously suggesting the majority of Iraqis support Saddam and would like to see him remain in power? If you do, I would say it is you who are the victim of propaganda.

And, as for the point of this thread, well, let me put it this way. If “Shock and Awe” really consisted of “flattening half of Baghdad” (who’s the sloganeer here?), then it would have caused MANY MANY more casualties than it did. I don’t deny that those casualties are wrenching for the loved ones of the people involved, but you are wrong not to put it in the perspective of a regime that would have thought nothing of INTENTIONALLY killing those people, and did so, in similar numbers, routinely. Have you noticed that the lights are still on in Baghdad? The airforce is unwilling to knock out civilian infrastructure like power plants, water purification systems, etc. That is all to minimize the effect of the war on civilian populations. Militarily, it would be helpful if these were taken out.

If the US wanted to, Baghdad could be wiped clean away, and there would be hundreds of thousands of casualties. Remember that when you rant about how unrestrained and reckless the US is being.

If you did actually watch the news Slade you’d also notice how all the pictures of the thousands of injuries you seem to think are happening were all of the same boy with a bandage on his head. I have watched BBC news, Sky News, ITN news and (English) CNN news and they all used pictures of this boy, all different pictures as well. A similar thing happened with all the papers, all the anti-war UK papers were plastered with pictures of exactly the same 3 or 4 people.

Furthermore I have heard reports of the casulaties in Baghdad. They have been handfuls of people, 3 or 4, with 20 to 30 injured. Now that’s pretty incredible seeing as they say they’ve dropped over 500 munitions in the area. Power has only been lost in a couple of sectors, and as far as I know that was only intermittently.

And futhermore you seem to assume that supporting the aims of the war means that pro-war people also have to have exactly the same motives to support it as the Americans. I don’t know for certain what those motives are, I can’t read Bush’s mind, but to me it doesn’t matter, I believe the reasons for this war are good enough to not care what the motives of the Americans or Blair are. It just so happens that I do believe they have the right motives, but I would support the war even if I thought there motives were corrupt.

I was actually chatting to one of my friends earlier today commenting that the phrase “shock and awe” was a pretty stupid one and whoever came up with it should be fired cause it can so easily be misconstrued and it’s all you’ve heard for 3 days now. The idea of precision removal of the command structure is fantastic though and seeing as it probably was the same guy, he can be forgiven.

Shock and Awe- Blitzkrieg?
I know they’re not exactly the same in tactics, but they are the same in sentiment.
Only this grand new strategy doesn’t seem to have worked too well so far, as Hussein seems firmly entrenched.
(Or have I been watching too much TV?!)

(about the boy with bandaged head) Really? Man, I feel stupid now. He’s pretty good at disguising himself, though hey? Like I mean for I second there he looked like a forty year-old pregnant woman, and then he looked like an old man, and then he somehow split into two injured Iraqi soldiers. The Americans should be going after this shapeshifter instead of Saddam, he seems alot more dangerous if you ask me. Either way, thanks for letting me know about him
Furthermore (by your post I just assumed that must be the word of the day), I don’t care about motives. If you support the war, your opinion is in conflict with mine. If you want to know why I don’t support the war, I must have posted it somewhere around here, hopefully. I’m sick of repeating myself.
Hey wait a minute… did you say you WEREN’T phsyic? Fuck, NOW you tell me. I already called Miss Cleo, she said you could be her sidekick. Damn it, Matt.

On a side note, an Iraqi citizen who had lived in Bahgdad for something like 10 years (approx.) was interviewed for a short while and I was lucky enough to catch it. It wasn’t on CNN (big surprise) just in case you’re wondering why you didn’t see it. Anyway, she said that she lived by the government buildings that are supposedly the only ones that are going to be destroyed in this ‘precition strike’. She said they’re build right beside residential and business buildings. Some are even part of the same complex, as such it will impossible NOT to destroy just the ‘key buildings’. Funny this wasn’t mentioned…

If you ask me, which I know you didn’t, I think the only people in Shock and Awe at the moment are the Americans as their plan sucks! What are you going to blow up now that you’ve got almost all the government buildings? The whole point to shock and awe, is when you do this the enemy is meant to give up! But once again Saddam foils the Americans. Saddam has a lot more street smarts then the Yanks, as he needs it to survive. This is not a complement, only an observation. This is going to be like every other war, a war of attrition. I think America already knew this, but was either worried that the people wouldn’t like it, or they’re just to proud to admit it.

Oh no I agree. I think America underestimates Saddam. I don’t particularilly like him -though he’s better then Bush-, but I think he could outsmart Bush any day of the week.

Pax Vitae: I fully agree with your assessment that the strategy has been a failure, but it is important to recognise that not all wars are wars of attrition!

The most obvious war of attrition in history was the First World War where, due to a lack of new offensive tactics to overcome new defensive technology, and where both sides were almost evenly matched militarily and economically, the early campaigns quickly resulted in deadlock. Massive numbers of men and resources were then thrown at the problem over four years, before tactics became sufficiently advanced and US intervention gave the allies the economic edge.

Even though Saddam has not been toppled and his regime continues to control much more of the country than the present-day Allies would wish, the situation cannot be compared to the stalemate of WW1 or Vietnam. The vastly superior resources of the USA will ensure that the conflict will reach its conclusion in their favour within months at most, rather than years.

After all, it was possible for Nazi Germany to overwhelm France in 1940 within just 6 weeks due to a combination of more up-to-date technology and blitzkrieg tactics, at a time when France possessed seemingly equal numbers.

With respect to the campaign’s effectiveness, I would say it is way too early to tell. They only started attacking 4-5 days ago!!! At this point I would venture to say that it has been successful. In four days the coalition armies have advanced more than 200 miles into Iraq. Not to sound despotic, but the kill ratio is something like 3 to 100, with over 4,000 P.O.W’s. Even so, it is too early to tell. I think the media and its 24/7 coverage of the war gives the impression that the conflict has been going on for quite some time. This is the first war where you can turn on the T.V and see something new every minute. Even Desert Storm didn’t have this kind of in depth media coverage. In the future, listen to how often you hear the term “imbedded”. There are more reporters mixed in with the troops then in any other war, giving constant up to the minute updates. I think since we’re used to getting a tenth of the information in ten times the time that we forget only 4-5 days have passed.

Did anyone see that interview with the guy who came up with the whole ‘Shock and Awe’ strategy? It actually sounded pretty good… massive command decapitating attack with troops ‘chicken-pocked’ over Iraq all at once two freak the country out and make each Iraqi military post feel overwhelmed and surrounded out of nowhere. Should take a couple of days. Throughout the interview it became apparent that the flaw was not with the plan but with the Bush administration. The Plan was to paratroop all sorts of units all over the country on the first day, cut communications to create confusion etc. and by the end of day Saddam’s troops would have felt completely overwhelmed and given up. The problem came when some CIA guy said he knew exactly where Saddam was and so apparently Bush himself gave the go ahead to start early, before any troops or tanks were parachuted in, and on top of that it was decided that the Iraqi TV stations should be left intact for ‘information gathering purposes’ which completly undermined the whole idea of the operation. In other words, america messed it up big time. Ah, the other thing that did not help at all was that the term ‘Shock and Awe’ was not meant to leave the confines of the pentagon. How stupid is letting that name into the media? It’s like telling Iraq that you’re about to launch ‘Operation: Great Big Surprise’ and wonder why your great big surprise didn’t have the desired effect.
Well, on another point, I know exactly what Matt was talking about with that little injured boy, he was on every freakin’ channel from every freakin’ angle. It would be nice if they would just show ALL the casualties instead of going for the injured poor widdle fuzzy bunny effect.

Very good point.