Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Guerilla War in Iraq Was Planned Before Our Invasion

The attached letter [see below]was sent to three major newspapers on November 3, 2003. None of them published it. A major thrust of the letter was the possibility, even the likelihood, that the guerrilla war occurring in Iraq was planned by Saddam’s people before we even began our invasion, and that the Iraqis had therefore outsmarted Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et. al in a most crucial way.

As said, the letter was not published by any of the three newspapers it was sent to. A recent lengthy story in one of them, however, appearing five months after the letter was sent, confirms the letter’s correctness: the recent story says the Pentagon is preparing a report saying that the guerrilla war of the last year was planned by Saddam’s people even before we invaded. And now, of course, this guerrilla war has caused us to make horrible mistakes (e.g., at Abu Ghraib) and will, it seems, insure that we have to leave Iraq.

All of this raises the following questions. If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al were outsmarted by Saddam’s people in a crucial matter, isn’t this a fact which is relevant to the question of the administration’s competence in national security affairs and otherwise, and isn’t it therefore relevant to the upcoming election? Correspondingly, isn’t this matter one which both the news media and the Kerry campaign should be but are not discussing?


Lawrence R. Velvel
Dean, Massachusetts School of Law

Dear Editor:

The time has come to ask whether fighting a guerrilla war, not a conventional war, was Saddam’s plan starting even before the American army began its invasion of Iraq.

If memory serves, even before the invasion began, Saddam was saying there would be surprises for the Americans. Then, instead of standing and fighting, large parts of his army simply melted away -- somewhat surprisingly. Did Saddam realize even before the beginning of the invasion that there was no way his army could withstand an all-arms American military blitzkrieg, and that standing and fighting would only result in the complete, rapid destruction of his army? Did he therefore lay plans to have his army melt away and subsequently fight a long guerrilla war (as occurred in Viet Nam and as some Confederate officers urgently pressed upon Robert E. Lee at Appomattox -- a guerrilla war which, by common agreement among historians, would have resulted in years or decades of chaos in the South)? If this was Saddam’s plan from the beginning, he would appear to have outsmarted our warmaking civilian geniuses in the Pentagon and the White House (who have never been in a war and some of whom evaded Viet Nam), and we might have to ask whether we are faced with the prospect of a long, protracted guerrilla war in Iraq, as occurred in Viet Nam, as occurred in the Philippines at the beginning of the 20th century, and as would have occurred in the South had Lee undertaken a guerrilla war after Appomattox. However, is anyone even asking any of these numerous questions?

Sincerely yours,

Lawrence R. Velvel

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