DEBRIEFING: SDB points to an excellent Newsweek article that gives some fascinating details about our invasion of Iraq. On the use of intelligence:

...young Arab toughs cannot tolerate insults to their manhood. So, as American armored columns pushed down the road to Baghdad, 400-watt loudspeakers mounted on Humvees would, from time to time, blare out in Arabic that Iraqi men are impotent. The Fedayeen, the fierce but undisciplined and untrained Iraqi irregulars, could not bear to be taunted. Whether they took the bait or saw an opportunity to attack, many Iraqis stormed out of their concealed or dug-in positions, pushing aside their human shields in some cases—to be—slaughtered by American tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.

One point that the article doesn't specifically make, but that I think is very important, is that there was a critical political reason for attacking Iraq with as small a force as we did. We took over the entire country with only five divisions of grunts -- and only three and a half of those divisions were American; that's around a third of our military power, not counting the heavy use of our Air Force and Naval Air Force. The fact that we could win so easily with such a small force should serve as a warning to North Korea, Iran, Syria, et al that we can take them all one at once if we need to, and that they are absolutely no match for our power.

Iraq had the 5th or 6th largest (/most powerful) army in the world, after the US, the UK, Russia, China, and possibly North Korea. And we decimated them in less than a month with minimal casualties. Just as this war should encourage our enemies to step a little more lightly, I hope it also helps to shake the "American street's" Vietnam-syndrome. America can win wars, we're the big man on campus, and "quagmire" is a thing of the past.



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