Iraq Inquiries

A look at some unanswered questions about the war.

Questions that remain after last week's almost Israeli-like military successes:

· Did anybody really believe that the United States couldn't whup Iraq? The disagreement has always been over whether we should, not whether we could.

· Did all the warhawks out there sincerely believe that anti-war people were being un-American by voicing their opposition to Bush's invasion? Will they ever understand that dissent is just as American as rah-rah support? Tough concept to grasp, I guess.

· How did they handle all of the logistics necessary to get every single member of the American media to stand in line to lick Donald Rumsfeld's butt and then walk away promising to use the wildly misleading euphemism "coalition forces?" What a sick joke. The Americans did their thing. The British did theirs independently of the Americans. There were a couple thousand Australians and a handful of Polish troops, and none fought side-by-side with the others. Obviously, the Bush people wanted to deflect attention away from the perception that it was strictly an American operation, but I don't think that even they would have believed that everybody, including former pros like Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw, would buy into the euphemistic nonsense.

· Why are there so many "friendly fire" incidents? I asked a couple ex-military friends and they said that it's very common. That makes me wonder how many people died from friendly fire in other wars, before our technology got so good.

· When exactly did it become American policy that the invasion will have been justified even if we never do find the much-talked-about weapons of mass destruction or solid links between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda? Will all of the jock-sniffing "reporters" who breathlessly announced the "discovery" of Sarin gas and "weapons-grade plutonium" actually follow up on those stories and tell us whether those things really existed and, if so, how they got there? Highly doubtful.

· Whither the Kurds? Are we just going to let them run roughshod? Will it be OK if they start trouble with Turkey since the Turks backed out on the agreement they had with the United States?

· Who's next? Let's go, President Bush. You're flush with victory. Who's next? Syria? North Korea? The Congo? Mexico? You've sorta painted yourself into a corner with this policy and now you're pretty much expected to move on to the next dictator. Or, was Saddam Hussein the only bad guy in the world?

· By the way, where is Saddam Hussein? Is he hangin' with Osama, Tupac and Elvis in Brazil?

· Finally, does it really matter that the people of Iraq now have freedom/anarchy/blissful chaos? Even if Iraq becomes democratic (yeah, right!), somehow settles into ethnic harmony and establishes diplomatic ties with the United States, it still boils down to a matter of whether the ends justify the means. We might luck out in some huge way, but in the end, did we have the right to do what we did?

Now that the questions are over, I have to say that the undisputed star of this entire show was Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, the minister of information for Iraq. This guy was a classic! U.S. tanks are rumbling by in the background and Sahhaf is claiming with a straight face that "The infidels are committing mass suicide by the hundreds at the gates of Baghdad. God is grilling their stomachs in hell."

So, Americans troops drove and fought their way all the way to Baghdad just so they could commit mass suicide. And then, it turns out that God (who apparently lives in hell) likes human chitlins.

Night after night, people all over the Arab world tuned in to hear what Sahhaf had to say. The Americans were staging the whole thing like in Wag the Dog. Americans tanks were being beaten back by Iraqi farmers. Baghdad was in no danger. He would just get up and get after it. Donald Rumsfeld was a "crook" and "the most despicable creature." Americans and British were "outlaws," "war criminals," and "an international gang of villains."

The rhetoric was one thing, but for him to go on TV with planes flying overhead and artillery shells landing nearby and flatly state that all was well was sheer genius. One Saudi observer said of Sahhaf, "He is a brave liar. If the rest of the Iraqi government or army were this brave, they would inflict many more losses on the United States and British forces."

Now that the regime has fallen, we need to snatch that dude up like we did with the German rocket scientists after World War II.

We could use him to announce Arizona Wildcat football games next year.

This has nothing to do with anything, but I just have to mention it to show that there are still some classy people walking around out there among us.

The other night, I had to go to an Amphi football parents' meeting. I parked by the school's new lighted softball facility and headed for the football weight room on a night that was rather chilly for early April. There was a softball game going on and I noticed, parked in a car, watching the game, was long-time Sahuaro High boys basketball coach Dick McConnell and his wife Clarice.

I approached the car to say hi and to ask what they were doing there. He explained that Sahuaro softball coach Billy Lopez was going for his 400th victory that night (he got it) and that they just wanted to be there to show their support.

Is that cool or what?