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Shock and Awe

Plans are leaking about our strategy in the war against Iraq. Called “Shock and Awe,” the aim is to spend two days bombing Iraq so intensively that life becomes unlivable there and thus the demoralized troops just don’t fight. To do this, we will send 800 cruise missiles into Iraq in the first two days, more in one day than were launched in the entire Gulf War. “There will not be a safe place in Baghdad,” a Pentagon official told America’s CBS News after a briefing on the plan. “The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before.”

Links: au
CBS News

This comes from Tom Atlee via David Isenberg

17 Responses to “Shock and Awe”

  1. FACT: The Gulf War was brought to an end via a cease fire agreement contingent upon Saddam Hussein abandoning his weapons programs.
    FACT: Saddam Hussein has violated some sixteen United Nations Security Council resolutions over the last decade.
    FACT: United Nations weapons inspectors have reported Hussein’s continuing quest for weapons of mass destruction. UNSCOM 1995
    Fact: The people of Iraq recently re-elected Hussein to lead their nation. i.e. The Iraqi people support Saddam Hussein’s agregious violations of national law as is spelled out by the United Nations.
    FACT: The Iraqi people are just as guilty as Saddam Hussein and if they chose to support Hussein instead of overthrowing him, they will be vaporized along with their leader!

  2. I’ve stumbled across the book mentioned in that Common Dreams piece. Surprisingly, the full text appears to be online: Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade (NDU Press, December 1996).

    Of course, I can’t tell whether this really represents the main stream of Bush administration and DOD thinking, or the CommonDreams piece about Ullman is just an instance of the curious symbiosis among different positions on the political fringe (dove pundits needing hawk pundits and vice versa).

  3. Hey Gecko,
    reading your post is wonderfully reassuring. The media are telling us Europeans time and again about the Americans not buying their administration’s fairy tales and not supporting preemptive warfare etc. – I was actually starting to wonder if God’s Own People had lost its backbone. (I’m still not sure about what happened to its brain, though)

  4. Gekko,

    Frankly, your post reassured me in the general idiocy of Americans. If we bomb Baghdad, then we are guilty of a horrible atrocity against humanity. There will be 63 bombs dropped on the city every hour for 48 hours. That’s a little more than a bomb per minute for a grand total of 3024 bombs. The goal is to make life unbearable so America can dominate? It will be a hollow victory because there will be no life left. I am an American living in Jersey City (near NYC, I helped with the clean-up of the towers) and any act of violence against the Iraquis is a moral outrage. The peace movement is growing and local leaders are hearing our voices cry from the streets (the councilmen of Jersey City signed a bill which states nonsupport for the war). Peace is the answer. The job of a citizen is to keep your mouth open! (Gunter Grass).

  5. Charlie

    Being a member of a peace group is all very well, but we should remember there is no corresponding peace movement in Iraq, pressuring Saddam to disarm. On the contrary, the Iraqis demonstrate against Britain and America and danced in the street when the twin towers fell. Our problem in the west is that our peace movement focuses persistently and exclusively on our own imperfections while showing no apparent concern for the truly ghastly nature of our enemies. How many of our peace agitators have demonstrated against Isreali foreign policy? Lots. Okay, how many of them have also demonstrated against the Hamas terror bombings? Very few I suspect. This lop-sided attitude, which portrays the west as the 100% guilty party,and our opponents as unfortunate innocents is the main reason why the peace movement lacks real intellectual credibility. Grow up.

  6. Leonidas,

    I appreciate your comments, however, the U.S. in its vast wisdom regarding nuclear disarmament seems to have overlooked an aggresious double-standard. While Bush is calling for Iraq and North Korea to stop making bombs, we here in the U.S. continue to make them. What gives our country the right to hold and manufacture nuclear weapons but prohibit other nations from doing the same? Which is the only country who has ever used a nuclear weapon in warfare? Who are we to say that we are the responsible ones with the intellectual and moral capacity to possess nuclear arms? Furthermore, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iraq have created the conditions for anti-Americanism in the Middle East. Because of our sanctions, millions of Iraqis have died of malnutrition, thirst, diarrhea, and other similar, and preventable, ailments. Frankly, I think the US is essentially to blame for the problem it has on its hands right now. Please note, however, that the US is not completely responsible. Liken it to post-WWI Germany and the Treaty of Versailles. Because of the aforementioned treaty, Europe created the conditions for the rise to power of a man like Hitler who took the down-trodden people and gave them hope of conquest. The US created the conditions for the situation it is in right now and unfortunately, is dragging the rest of its citizens into. Blair does not have the support of his fellow Brits (68% are opposed to invovlement in Iraq). Frankly, I think the Shock and Awe strategy is absolutely horrific. The peace movement retains quite a bit of intellectual credibility, however, I feel the warmongers of this country who cry for blood more than equality, refuse to see any other side. The moral implications of this war are astounding, essentially making American lives more valuable than Iraqi. If we attack them (without any immediate or direct threat) then we are essentially saying that American lives are more important than Iraqi. Killing Iraqis before they pose an immediate threat to our own livelihood is an awful notion, close to that of Imperialistic England. This war is unjustifiable until the US has undergone a direct attack from Iraqis in the name of war. Other than that, it is simply America bullying the world and being its policeman. (Did you know that in a survey distributed across Europe, 80% of respondents replied that the US is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?)

  7. Charlie

    As a result of the Non Proliferation Treaty the United States is not allowed to produce new nuclear weapons. We can only upgrade and modify the 20,000+ we currently have. You are correct that there is a double-standard in our foreign policy over nuclear weapons, but it is a necessary one for the reason that we are a reasonably stable country ruled by many rather than a Third World Country ruled by one individual who has proven his indifference to human rights.

  8. Though we are theoretically not allowed to produce nuclear weapons, you don’t see other nations sending over inspectors to insure the world of our promise. The United States is the only superpower on the globe, and it’s no surprise that our single minded goals make us the greatest threat to world peace. Iraq doesn’t openly admit to serious intentions of using nuclear weapons, and our weapons are by far the most destructive and numerous of any other nation in the world. On top of that, we’re the only country that has used them in the past and openly intend to use them in the future. Regardless of the fact that we are considered a stable country ruled by many when those rulers unite in an effort that could potentially bring us into a nuclear war. It’s quite obvious why other countries try to create a nuclear arsenal. It’s because they don’t want to give us the opportunity to take over the world with no opposition. The Bush administration would like nothing more then to be able to empose the american way of life onto the entire world without opposition. Every country would fall to our absolute power and every culture would lose itself to conform to the capitalist, consumer lifestyle.

  9. On another note, with our nation being parnoid about Terrorist actions and attacks, how is the idea of “Shock and Awe” not the epiphany of that?
    We’re emposing an attack on a single city at a scale never known to mankind. If you ask me, with the amount that we’re terrorizing the people of Iraq and specifically Bagdhad, we’re the greatest terrorists the world has ever seen. We’re not bombing city blocks and driving vans loaded w/ explosives into supermarkets, we’re threatening to destroy an entire city.

  10. David Prouty,

    True, I understand your point about a dictatorship vs. the US diffusion of power. But I think the media has given a very one-sided opinion on the upcoming war. Unfortunately, most Americans are fed a constant diet of “chemical this” and “biological that” and so much so that they are blinded by what the US does to the Iraqis. Please do not think that I can provide another solution to the problem, I am no diplomat or politician. However, I just cannot find this war justifiable from a moral standpoint. A friend of mine asked me if we had to wait for a direct attack from Iraq before the war is morally justified. I responded, “Yes. Is there any other way?”

  11. “What gives our country the right to hold and manufacture nuclear weapons but prohibit other nations from doing the same?”

    The fact that the US defeated Iraq twelve years ago, but let the Hussein regime survive, given that they abided by the terms of the cease-fire treaty. Needless to say, that has not happened, and the regime will now be removed by force. The same does not hold for North Korea, which has pretty much been sitting still for fifty years, unlike Iraq. Still, it is true that aquisition of nuclear weapons by North Korea, which they have most likely already achieved, presents a great threat. How to solve it? No idea. For Iraq though, there is a reasonably straightforward option available – invasion.

    As for “Shock and Awe”, the 800 figure is for the whole of Iraq, not Baghdad alone. Also, measuring the intensity of the attack by cruise missiles alone is misleading, as cruise missiles are far more available today than in 91, leading to them often replacing conventional strike missions.

    Regards / GulGnu

    -Stabil som fan!

  12. You are forgetting how we fight. As opposed to what those other countries do to us, we actually let them know that we are going to bomb them. Their citizens have time to leave Baghdad. It’s not a surprise attack that we’re planning here. We have no interest in killing women and children. We are telling them that there will be no safe place in Baghdad. And about the double-standard of us having nuclear weapons and not allowing Iraq and North Korea to do the same, we are not a threat to the world as they are. If every country thought that we were such a threat with nuclear weapons, we’d have the inspectors over here restricting us from doing so.

  13. Geno,

    While it is true that the people in Baghdad do have time to escape, to where will they go? Furthermore, if anyone is under the delusion that the US will be killing “just the army” (soldiers are still human beings with the same rights every human possess even if these aforementioned soldiers are Iraqi) then he or she is sorely mistaken. There will be civilian casualties and these cannot be simply shrugged off as a by-product of a war. To do so would be to justify the innocent massacre of millions. However, what would happen to the US in a case such as this? Since we are not a part of the ICC (the International Criminal Court), American generals would not be held accountable for any crimes against humanity.

  14. FACT: Violence solves everything.
    FACT: If leftists legislate their rights to arms they will become unable to fight for their rights under the NEW WORLD ORDER

  15. FACT: Violence solves everything.
    FACT: If leftists legislate their rights to arms away, they will become unable to fight for their rights under the NEW WORLD ORDER

  16. Violence solves everything? I guess somebody forgot to tell that Jesus, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ghandi. Violence certainly does not solve everything or anything for that matter and I have a tendency to believe that violence truly begets futher violence. Thus, if violence begets violence and violence solves everything, it seems that the only problem violence solves is the fact that there is not enough violence in the world as it is. Hence, it seems contrary to human teleology to increase violence in the world, that is if we assume man is not simply matter in motion but rather existing with a certain purpose in the universe.

  17. violence solves alot of problems. Acts of violence makes people think that if i mess with somebody again harshfully they will beat me up so you learn social skills with violence and how to solve future problems

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