Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The anti-Cassandras

Jaithirth Rao remembers what critics of the Iraq war were saying not long ago:
“The US will get stuck in a quagmire in Afghanistan. Look what happened to the British and the Soviets. This is a land war. You cannot rely on bombing as they did in Kosovo. Once the casualties start, public opinion in the US will turn against the war. Americans have no stomach for body-bags.”

“Kabul will never fall. The Pushtuns will resist. The northern insurgents will be of no help.”

“Kabul may have fallen, but Kandahar is another matter. They will fight so hard. American troops will be stuck there.”

“Afghanistan was easy. Iraq is another matter. Coalition troops will get trapped on the long, hot road to Baghdad. Supply lines will not hold.”

“Entry into Iraq may have been easy. But once they get to the outskirts of Baghdad, the Republican Guard will fight fiercely.”

“Once inside Baghdad, there will be door-to-door fighting. It will be an impossible trap.”

“The Shias will never agree to a constitution where they do not dominate. The Islamists will never agree to a constitution where women have the right to vote. The Sunnis will definitely sabotage any election where their pre-eminence is threatened.”

I think it is now time for the media pundits to apologise. They do not need to be very profuse. A simple “sorry” will suffice.

Um, Jerry, obese opportunity. Or, in other words, fat chance.

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