November 8, 2004
Did Saddam mimic Saladin?
The weird ease with which the Iraqi army and regime fell last year, combined with the stubbornness of the subsequent insurgency, has occasioned lively debate in national security circles. Here's one hypothesis: The Iraqi dictator, taking his cue from Islamic history, deliberately lured the coalition into Iraq. Realizing that his enfeebled army couldn't stand against the U.S.—led coalition in conventional terms, he feigned defeat, ordering his henchmen to arm themselves and carry on the struggle by unconventional means. A protracted war, reckoned Saddam, would wear down America's will to fight, allowing him to win politically despite being thrashed on the battlefield. Rather than go down fighting, the regime melted away and, perhaps in concert with foreign terrorists, commenced the insurgency that has bedeviled the pacification effort ever since. Fanciful? In reality, such a strategy would be fully in keeping with the Muslim way of war. Ever since the Crusades, Islamic commanders...(Read Full Article)