Sunday, April 06, 2003


From interview with former middle east peace envoy Anthony Zinni:
The biggest mistake the United States made in the war, Zinni said, was speaking of "shock and awe." "That was a way to say: 'Your fate is inevitable. We're going to crush you. The might of America will defeat you. Just surrender and throw down your arms.' You don't speak to Arab pride and Arab manhood in this way. That whole psychological business gave them another cause to fight for, more than they would have fought just for Saddam."

and, in BBC news via Shi'a Pundit (via Cobb, the blog, via Timothy Burke):
The townspeople, whose mosque was destroyed years ago, prayed in the privacy of their own homes. But instead of their worship being a secret and dangerous thing, it was freely performed with new joy. The 1st Battalion Royal Irish secured a public address system for the Imam and men from their attached Royal, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers installed it on Thursday night in time for Friday prayers.

and the comparison between British and American contact with civilians
The British soldiers suffered defeat on the dusty streets of Umm Khayyal, when they took on the local football team. A thousand spectators came from all ends of the town to watch the match, with the players wearing full strip, boots and squad numbers. The home side was rallied to a 9-3 victory by throngs of screaming men and children, who marked out the boundaries of the pitch...

Some British officers disparagingly refer to Americans as "Ninja Turtles" because they are covered in body armor, helmets and Ray-Bans. "There's a warrior-wimp syndrome in the U.S. Army," Wilkinson said...

and from Burke:
This is not a war that can be won solely with bombs and guns, though military action has had and will continue to have a major and legitimate role. Nor can it be won only with fabulous prizes and soup kitchens for the poor of the Muslim world.

This is primarily a struggle against an ideology, a way of seeing the world. How do you win such a war? In part, by understanding what makes it powerful and by persuasively countering its appeal with an appeal of your own....

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