In war news, the Vanguardia is reporting that the American plans for Iraq include a small, fast invasion aimed at paralyzing the Iraqi state's communication channels and energy supplies. There are some 30,000 soldiers now in position to be used and there are 45,000 more who can be deployed in the area within a few days. There are more than 1000 tanks and thousands of tons of supplies at American facilities in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrein, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Turkey, and Diego Garcia, ready to be used. Hundreds of land-based planes are stationed in the area, and there are two carrier groups on the scene, the Abraham Lincoln and the George Washington. Three more are on the way: the Constellation, Kitty Hawk, and Harry Truman. Each carrier group can attack 700 targets a day, four times as many as in Gulf War I. CIA operatives have supposedly already infiltrated northern Iraq, and, we wouldn't believe this if they hadn't cited Time magazine, Israeli units have already swept Iraq's western desert looking for Scud launch bases. Meanwhile, should Iraq fire at any British or American aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones, as they have the bad habit of doing, there will be retaliation--not just the destruction of antiaircraft batteries and radar installations, but also of command and communications centers and the Iraqi fiber-optic network.
This is overwhelming force. Saddam's government and army will fold up like a house of cards when it is turned loose. We just hope they get him before he can gas or infect our guys, which he will undoubtedly do if he gets the chance, since he knows the only outcome of this is his head on the end of a pike no matter whether he uses bio-chem weapons, which he certainly possesses, or not. There should be no retaliation by Allied forces with bio-chem or nuclear weapons. We'll win anyway, even without them, and it would be silly as well as inhumane to use that stuff on troops who are only a day or two away from surrendering anyway, not to mention any unfortunate civilians in the area. And how much do you want to bet they're planning some sort of Skorzeny-rescuing-Mussolini caper, ready to jump in there and grab Saddam by surprise? If they could somehow pull that off it would save a lot of lives.