Sunday, March 09, 2003
For your consideration here are portions of a report in this morning's edition of London's Daily Mirror:
SADDAM'S SOLDIERS SURRENDER Mar 9 2003
Mike Hamilton reports from Camp Coyote in Kuwait
TERRIFIED Iraqi soldiers have crossed the Kuwait border and tried to surrender to British forces - because they thought the war had already started.
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.
"The Paras are a tough, battle-hardened lot but were moved by the plight of the Iraqis. There was nothing they could do other than send them back.
"They were a motley bunch and you could barely describe them as soldiers - they were poorly equipped and didn't even have proper boots. Their physical condition was dreadful and they had obviously not had a square meal for ages. No one has ever known a group of so-called soldiers surrender before a shot has been fired in anger."
Last night the Ministry of Defence officially denied the incident had taken place, but the story was corroborated by an intelligence source.
This story makes me want to cry. All our proud young men and women, all our staggering technology and all the vast sins of our old world imperialistic hubris meeting on the Iraqi sands. I pray we are extremely judicious and supremely surgical but, "The best laid plans..." Does anyone think our efforts will transport us back to those blissful days before the year 2000? I am, at my own nonmechanical heart's core, an Imperalist when roused to defend freedom and, as an Imperalist hoping for a Pax Americana built on stronger foundations, I think our new Emperor erred early on in Afghanistan by not using the "full might" his advisors only hint about now. Of course, the world would have been outraged to say the very least. Our justification would have been our deep anger over September 11th and our new defense of the world's free people. There would, without doubt, have been protests. There would, without doubt, have been conflicts within NATO and the UN. The alQaeda diaspora would either not have happened or have been severely limited while a downside would have been the lack of recoverable intelligence from this particular battlefield. The world would have, perhaps, had a more united approach to Iraq and we could have, again perhaps, had a stronger hand with North Korea.
As Jimmy Carter said in the last sentence of his New York Times editorial this morning:
"...to use the presence and threat of our military power to force Iraq's compliance with all United Nations resolutions — with war as a final option — will enhance our status as a champion of peace and justice."
Strength, my peace loving friends, is a good thing. Knowing when to use it is a better thing. Join me, on this Sunday morning, in a prayer for our brave soldiers faithfully executing their sworn duty, for the poor Iraqi people and for the survival of democratic freedom in this new imperial world order.