2003 February 07 Friday
Iraqi Soldiers Near Kuwait Hungry, Ready To Surrender
Saddam is moving soldiers down to near the Iraqi border with Kuwait. These soldiers will be able to surrender much sooner than the rest of the Iraqi army.
UNIKOM officers who patrol the 9-mile-wide demilitarized zone, created after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and who travel in southern Iraq provided a firsthand independent look at war preparations and troop morale in the region.
"They are terrified," said one army captain, clad in a blue beret. "They won't surrender at the first shot. They will surrender when they hear the first American tank turn on its engine."
This leads to obvious questions: Have US special forces managed to negotiate in advance how these Iraqi soldiers will be able to surrender safely? Just how extensively have US forces managed to establish contact with regular Iraqi army officers in order to negotiate casualty-free surrenders?
Update: The Iraqi soldiers in the north of Iraq are also ready to surrender. An Iraqi soldier who recently defected and was taken into custody by Kurdish forces tells The Guardian the Iraqi soldiers have low morale.
Conditions back in the Iraqi trenches were not so good, he said. "We have two blankets for every soldier, but they are very thin and don't keep us warm. The officers beat us. And the food is disgusting. I'm only paid 50 dinars [about £3] a month."
Update II: Some Iraqi recently attempted to surrender in response to a British military live fire exercise in Kuwait.
The motley band of a dozen troops waved the white flag as British paratroopers tested their weapons during a routine exercise.
The stunned Paras from 16 Air Assault Brigade were forced to tell the Iraqis they were not firing at them, and ordered them back to their home country telling them it was too early to surrender.
Keep in mind that Saddam does not intend to put up a strong fight on his borders. So the soldiers being sent to the border areas are probably his worst troops.
Unfortunately, not all of Saddam's troops will immediately surrender. Saddam intends to disguise some of his more loyal troops to look like American soldiers and then have them commit atrocities against his own people and try to blame Americans for it.
IRAQ is acquiring military uniforms "identical down to the last detail" to those worn by American and British forces and plans to use them to shift blame for atrocities, a senior US official has said.
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Personally I think Iraq has no chance of winning, but like Hitler, Saddam plans to bring as much down with him as he can possibly bring down. He's desperate, and dangerous. I think the war is a need personally, we cant let Saddam continue to slaughter his own people, and cause terror all over the Middle East. Obviously the Iraqi people dont deserve what he does to them. Anybody who is anti-war is obviously uninformed, and misled about the intentions of our invasion in Iraq.
Im anti war but not anti Saddam Hussein. I think he is a cruel man with no morals or truth and realisation of the atrocities he has committed. He should be hung up by his hands and then shot or given a lethal injection. I do disagree about war because after there is war there will be a power struggle and then a regime just as bad or worse may come into power. America will not stay in Iraq and peace keep or look after the country with best interest in mind. Western soceity will fly out and not look back at how they have left Iraq and that they may be bak here in another decade fighting a more disgusting regime.
The people are the ones to suffer, the children and the men and women who will die in the streets as western soceity storms in.
Maybe one day in a perfect world our children will grow up and not know the meaning of the word war. Or maybe one day they will grow up and they will not know the meaning of the word peace. The decisions we make we live to remember and one day we will be critiscised or praised for them. But in 50yrs time when you are old and grey will you be able to answer your grandson if he asks you what is war, will you be able to answer him 55yrs when he asks why did we go to war and will you be able to answer him when in 60yrs time he tells you, you were wrong?
" Western soceity will fly out and not look back at how they have left Iraq and that they may be bak here in another decade fighting a more disgusting regime."
I respectfully disagree with you Rach.
As in Afganistan, We will make sure the Iraqi people have a chance at a new start. In fact, history proves your statement to be incorrect on many occations. The Marshall plan for Japan after WW2 rebuilt that nation. Most of Europe , includung France, has never paid the US back after we rebuilt it after WW2. We're still aiding Kuwait to rebuild the destruction Saddam did when he invaded.
The question is; will the U.N. ever get off it's butt and pitch in?
Of course the U.N. won't help. The French hate us now, as they almost always have (for God knows what), and Germany is right there with them. The only major power we can count on is Great Britain, God bless the brits, and it seems Tony Blair has the balls to do what's right. Bush said it right when he said to wait until they make the first move isn't self-defense, it's suicide...especially with Saddam's arsenal. The U.N. makes about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine. They're practically useless in the face of true disaster. Everyone is so afraid to offend these days...what a crock.
The U.N. will soften up soon enough. The French are already backpedaling, saying that they are ready to pitch in if chemical weapons come out, and the other heads of state are keeping quiet on the issue. If anything they are relieved that all the bickering is over and that we just jumped in to settle the mess. I'm not a big fan of what they've been doing lately, their whole inspection campaign was kind of a farce, but they'll be there with some money for refugees and peacekeeping. I get the sense that they will do what it takes to keep us from leaving the organization, because, after all, Hussein is not the only threat to the world community right now.