Snap Reaction: Hannity and Colmes
I am following Hannity and Colmes in the background as they discuss events with LtCol Oliver North. (Certainly they'll post the transcript when they finish the showFOXNews.com) Hannity asks if US troops are going to go house-to-house. North says they are prepared to and probably will. Reaction: Troops only enter buildings in an urban environment for specific reasons: the building provides key terrain to observe and participate in the battle; the building is known to house intelligence which can be exploited; the building is housing weapons which need destruction, etc. "Let's go house to house and see what happens," is not a plan for success, just for disaster. Entering a building in an urban environment is extremely dangerous. One reason NOT to enter a given building is because bad guys are in it. FOX reported earlier today that the rules of engagement are: if fired upon from a building, US troops will level the building. This is a much better alternative than entering and searching. Hannity and North discuss the much-vaunted tunnel systems: how will the insurgents use them? Reaction: More than likely, if tunnel systems exist, the insurgents are using them as interior lines of communication, to avoid using surface streets or congregating in buildings. Tunnels, sewers, and other utility systems are a common part of the 3D urban battlespace and must be planned for carefully. Colmes asks North if there is evidence that the attack was influenced by US political considerations. North parries by saying it is intimately tied to Iraqi politics. Reaction: This is a dumb question. It goes without saying that the campaigns and battles of the war are influenced by political considerations in the US and rightly so. This is why we have civilian control of the military. Most wars have involved these types of calculations. Consider Lincoln, who tied operational planning to his own re-election efforts, because he knew that if he lost re-election, the US would lose the war. The interaction between politics and war is one way of defining "strategy." Please take a look at the book, Supreme Command : Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime, which is offers four case studies of the interaction between civilian leadership and military leadership: Lincoln, Clemenceau, Churchill, Ben-Gurion. Outstanding book. Colmes notes that Allawi has prohibited weapons in Fallujah and halted all essential city services. Colmes asks North why this is only happening now, if we've had problems with Fallujah for a long time. Reaction: It is happening now as part of an overwhelming offensive in which Iraqi politics, US politics, humanitarian considerations, and destroying the enemy have all been taken into account. Every last detail has been thought out as thoroughly as possible, including small touches such as banning weapons in Fallujah. North is asked by Hannity or Colmes what good it will do to take the city if Zarqawi has escaped. Part of the question references Iraqi public opinion in Baghdad, polls of which show that the Iraqi on the street thinks Zarqawi is gone. Reaction: North answers correctly that whether he is there or not he has now been and will continue to be completely marginalized. North notes that Osama bin Laden is still alive, but has been reduced to making speeches to threaten American, rather than actually killing Americans. This is an example of marginalization. Excellent point by North.