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Saddam's regime is folding fast

By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted April 7, 2003

We have reached the "tipping point" in this military campaign – clearly indicative of the coalition's dominance over Iraq. That said, it would be fair to suggest that this war in Iraq will soon be over.

Let's examine the stark facts. Reportedly, Iraq's elite troops, the Republican Guard, have experienced considerable causalities and desertions in recent days. Our forces can now travel anywhere in Iraq with impunity, which certainly signifies the virtual collapse of the current regime. And the capital of Baghdad is poised to fall under coalition control within the next week or so, as soon as our troops can adequately subdue Ba'ath Party loyalists, such as the Fedayeen Saddam (Saddam's martyrs), and other militants bent on assaulting our forces and inflicting police-state tactics upon the populace. Moreover, this begs the vital questions -- Just where is the Iraqi leadership? Is Saddam Hussein even alive? Frankly, it appears that Iraqi leadership is virtually non-existent.

On the outskirts of BaghdadAnd now let's delve into the pivotal event of the past few days. In a "show of force", elements of the Army's Third Infantry Division traveled the main thoroughfare from the Baghdad International Airport to the heart of Baghdad in their Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrams tanks, before making a horseshoe loop back to the airport. During their initial foray into Baghdad on April 5th, American troops systematically engaged any and all Iraqi resistance that came out of the woodwork including some remnants of the Republic Guard, paramilitary "irregulars" in civilian garb, Ba'ath Party loyalists, and fanatics making one last stab at thwarting US forces.

To be perfectly blunt – during the course of their little road trip, the Army troops either shot-up or blew-up Iraqi forces that blatantly challenged them and refused to surrender. A host of smoldering pick-up trucks and small sedans (utilized by the Iraqis for ramming our armored vehicles) were destroyed by our troops and left strewn along the roadside. These Iraqi assaults were particularly inane, considering that a truck or car is incapable of causing any real damage to an armored vehicle or tank.

For anyone tuning in on the morning of Saturday, April 5th, the Fox News Channel aired the amazing video of our armored vehicles tenaciously striking back at Iraqi enemies in what has now been dubbed a "rolling firefight". It's been estimated that about three thousand Iraqi forces were killed in and around Baghdad, compared to almost negligible US troop casualties. In effect, we decimated the enemy. Interestingly, our forces crossed the infamous "red line" as they entered Baghdad, yet they weren't subjected to chemical warfare or any other type of dire consequences as previously threatened by the Iraqis. And the reason is evident -- there is no effective command-and-control remaining within Saddam Hussein's regime.

The Army's incursion into Baghdad was not just "psychological warfare" aimed at proving our military might and demoralizing the enemy. We certainly sent the unequivocal message that our troops can now "move at will", and can "come and go" as they please anywhere within Iraq. However, our forces were additionally tasked with testing the strength of Iraqi defenses, and obliterating as many of the enemy as possible before the coalition's final push to seize the city. In brief, the soldiers of the Army's Third Infantry Division were resoundingly successful in their overall mission.

Moreover, since April 5th, other coalition troops have conducted forays into Baghdad, joining Special Forces that are diligently ferreting out the various paramilitary thugs and fanatics that still pose a threat to our military forces and the civilian population alike. Baghdad is now fully encircled and isolated, with our troops in control of the primary thoroughfares, making it considerably ripe for our military efforts.

Iraqi diehards will either be captured or killed within the next few days as our troops continue to make incursions into the city of Baghdad before its ultimate takeover. Noteworthy, it would be rather ineffective to storm an entire city in one fell swoop; Intense urban warfare throughout the city is patently untenable and foolhardy, and was never on the military's agenda. Rather, the overarching plan is to secure Baghdad piecemeal – to initially seize strategic objectives or "critical nodes" (such as airfields, main roads, etc.), followed by those key areas infested with Iraqi fighters and snipers, and to thoroughly overwhelm the enemy with tremendous firepower and close air support.

Apparently, President Bush anticipates a quick end to this war in Iraq, if recent media accounts are accurate. The US plans to implement the initial phases of interim-rule in Iraq this week, already laying the groundwork for civil government to run a post-Saddam society. The role that the United Nations will play in the reconstruction of Iraq remains unclear -- but the role will undoubtedly be peripheral, at best. Certainly, President Bush is not about to forget the manner in which the UN undermined our efforts to oust Saddam Hussein at every turn. Moreover, the UN has virtually no history of promoting freedom, democratic reforms and free-markets, so it would be of little help in transitioning Iraq to a free and open society.

Given all the bad-blood that has transpired, the UN has incredible chutzpa to even think that the US would permit it to administer the process of nation-building in Iraq. However, the UN could certainly assist Iraq in the realm of humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, the overall position staked out by the US may create difficulties for British Prime Minister Tony Blair whose constituents profoundly embrace the United Nations and globalism.

Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.

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