Friday, February 14, 2003

War games
One of the things I like about being ill is that I have time to read Steven Den Beste. I type his latest post out and read it curled up in bed. I can’t click through to the links, but I can always go back to them later. I loved his Clash of Cultures post. Even if it’s not on the mark, and Steven has his doubts himself, it was such a very intriguing and fascinating read. But his War Scenario had me worried. Isn’t he being just a bit too complacent and optimistic here? I really shouldn’t be bringing this up at all. I find it impossible to be excited about military lore and all that sort of stuff. I’m bored to tears when reading battle descriptions and usually skip them, and I go off to make myself a sandwhich during battle scenes in movies Bish and I see on TV (these are always Bish’s choice, I would rather watch something else). So I really have no idea what I’m talking about, I confess. However, Steven made it really interesting and I read the lot and I think I even understood most of the ideas. I just feel a bit uneasy about his assertion that taking the cities will not be necessary, other than in a few situations, and I can’t see how he’s so sure that Saddam and his top advisors and officers will be killed by precision bombing. This sounds worryingly familiar (i.e. Afghanistan).

In today’s Haaretz, Zeev Schiff gives a list of possible things that could go wrong. I suppose the US military is taking them into account. I hope so, anyway.

I tend to be suspicious of people very assuredly saying: “This is how it’s going to be”. Professor Yaavetz, sitting in an Israeli TV studio in January of 1991, told us quite clearly that there would definitely not be any missile attacks on Israel. I think it was less than 48 hours later that we were sitting with our gas masks on, in our pathetic sealed room (the first and last time we used it before we decided that spitting distance from IDF headquarters was not the safest place to be, under the circumstances, and made a swift retreat to an air-raid shelter in the suburbs), listening to the sound of the missiles not attacking all around us. Needless to say, Professor Yaavetz’s career as a TV analyst was over.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I will go, flu or not, and wash the floor in the security room.