Is There Another 'Tet' in Our Future?

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Could
it be the end of January 2005 will come to resemble the end of January
1968, in more ways than just the date? Information that I am receiving
from connections
inside Iraq,
and reading between the lines of news published
here, and in the foreign press, the likelihood seems to be growing
for a repeat performance of that military debacle of 1968.

In
1968, the Communists launched a major surprise offensive against
American and South Vietnamese forces on the eve of the lunar New
Year celebrations. Provincial capitals throughout the country were
seized, garrisons simultaneously attacked and, perhaps most shockingly,
in Saigon the U.S. Embassy was invaded. While actually a military
defeat for the communist forces, Tet marked the turning point in
the war for the hearts and minds of the American public.

President
Lyndon Johnson and his war party, using a compliant media, had been
continually telling the American public that there was a "light
at the end of the tunnel." Tet proved that light to be a train.
Who could ever forget the broadcasts that followed, especially the
one by media icon, Walter
Cronkite
.

The
Pentagon, and this administration's compliant media, has consistently
told us our military is facing forces that number from 5,000 to
as high as 20,000 of the enemy in Iraq. President
Bush says there are a "small number of insurgents opposing
the election, because they fear freedom."
Compared with
the statement by Iraqi intelligence service director General Mohamed
Abdullah Shahwani, it is not hard to tell something is seriously
wrong here. “I
think the resistance is bigger than the US military in Iraq. I think
the resistance is more than 200,000 people.”
Shahwani said the
number includes at least 40,000 hardcore fighters but rises to more
than 200,000 members counting part-time fighters and volunteers.

Although
there has been some question as to the accuracy of the translation,
some experts believe the figures given by Shahwani to be more near
the truth than the administration's claims.

President
Bush has been warned by his intelligence agencies that the
insurgents are winning the war.
Yet, he just keeps muddling
along. Is Bush incapable of facing the truth?

Both
defense analyst Dr. Bruce Hoffman, who served as an advisor to the
US occupation in Iraq, who now works for US-based think-tank RAND
Corporation, and Anthony Cordesman, an Iraq analyst with the Washington-based
Center for Strategic and International Studies, believe Shahwani's
numbers to be believable.

Cordesman
says, “People are fed up after two years, without improvement. People
are fed up with no security, no electricity, people feel they have
to do something. The army was hundreds of thousands. You’d expect
some veterans would join with their relatives; each one has sons
and brothers. What are you going to call the situation here (in
Baghdad) when 20 to 30 men can move around with weapons and no one
can get them in Adhamiyah, Dura and Ghazaliya.”

Could
our leaders have forgotten that the Iraqi Army, disbanded in the
early stages of the war, without thought as to where they would
go or whom they would side with, numbered over 400,000? It would
be insane to not believe a large portion would be loyal to the insurgents:
they might even remember the "Turkey
Shoot"
of the first Gulf War.

Speaking
of the farce that was the destruction of Fallujah, Cordesman commented,
“What we have now is an empty city almost destroyed… and most
of the insurgents are free. They have gone either to Mosul or to
Baghdad or other areas.” 

The
statement, "We feel right now that we have, as I mentioned,
broken the back of the insurgency" as said by Marine Lt. Gen.
John Sattler, is nothing more than so much bull pie. That old "broken-backed"
insurgency seems to be doing pretty damn well. Just count the number
of U.S. casualties since that lie was foisted on the American public.

If
Shahwani is correct, and there is little reason to believe otherwise,
our forces in Iraq are in for some serious problems before the election.
Trying to cover a country the size of California with 150,000 soldiers
and Marines is hard enough if you outnumber the enemy; if you don't,
it could become a nightmare.

Our
military is handicapped in so many ways. First, there is the handicap
of having to operate under the supervision of idiots who have not
a minute of combat experience among them. Obviously, they deem themselves
superior to those who have, and therefore have no understanding
of what a soldier endures in war. Second, there is the clinging
to the practice of second-generation warfare against an enemy who
employs fourth-generation tactics. A primer can be found here.

The
most serious handicap is the same as what kept our military from
being prepared for the Tet Offensive of 1968: the inability to analyze
intelligence that is contrary to the lies of leadership. In late
1967 there was a plethora of intelligence that indicated a major
military undertaking was in the works in South Vietnam, both by
the Viet Cong and the NVA. Traffic had increased significantly on
the Ho Chi Minh trails leading from the north into the south. The
powers that be, both on the ground in Vietnam, and in the Pentagon,
did not see the offensive in the Central Highlands around Dak To
in November of 1967, or the attack on the Marines at Khe Sanh, for
what it was: a masking of movements to facilitate the Tet Offensive.

Any
intelligence that revealed this buildup was discounted, because
it went against the propaganda that was emanating from the Pentagon:
the enemy was not strong enough to attempt such a move.

I
can assure you the same is true today. No one is willing to put
their military career on the line and contest the company line on
the enemy in Iraq and his capabilities, no matter what intelligence
they have to the contrary.

Our
enemy is much more cognizant of our history than are our leaders.
A young intelligence officer, now home from Iraq, told me that when
he brought up the similarities of what was happening with the insurgency
in Iraq, and what had happened in Vietnam during the war, he was
ridiculed by his commander for bringing up "ancient" history,
and told, "shut up, Lieutenant." When this same intelligence
officer questioned some of the tactics being used, such as firing
into buildings to see if anyone would return the fire, and the likelihood
that would create more insurgents, he was accused of "going
native." Such is the mentality of those who follow the gospel
according to saints, Rummy, Cheney and Bush.

In
late January of 2005, as in late January of 1968, we have the bastard
child called illegitimate war, sired by lies and delivered from
the womb of the mother called the omnipotent State, with identical
dynamics: a psychopathic administration and war department, a military
led by political whores who would not give credence to any intelligence
that contradicts the psychobabble of that administration, a growing
resistance that has been terribly underestimated, and a nation whose
majority is asleep at the wheel.

God
save our fine soldiers, at least those who have seen this war for
what it is.

January
14, 2005

Michael
Gaddy [send him mail], an
Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four
Corners area of the American Southwest.

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