February 11, 2003

Schoolhouse Iraq MEMRI provides this

Schoolhouse Iraq

MEMRI provides this account of Saddam's military pedagogy. Socrates he ain't:

Every few days, President Saddam Hussein meets with his son Qusay Saddam Hussein, the Inspector of the Republican Guards, and with his top military echelons to brief them on preparations for war with the U.S. The Iraqi press subsequently reports these briefings in great detail. In a meeting with the Republican Guard commanders on February 1, 2003, Saddam instructed them to "train, train, train." Similarly, he told them, "Pay attention to the details of the battle and convey my blessings to all the men preparing to destroy, tear apart, and violently beat the enemy, as well as to teach him the hardest of lessons."

During these meetings, Saddam usually questions the top brass on their preparedness. On one occasion, Saddam asked the Republican Guard commanders: "Are you following the battles between your Palestinian brothers and the Zionist entity? What have you learned from the use the enemy makes of armored vehicles? What technological development do you see they have added to the tanks?"

The Republican Guard commanders answered him, "Sandbags are placed on the tanks to stop the bullets." "Right," responded Saddam, "This is one means used by the enemy. But what else...? The enemy used its armored vehicles against Palestinians the wrong way... but the enemy introduced a technological development and I ask you, what is it? You said 'sandbags' and that is correct, but what are the details of the armor protecting [the infantry forces]? I want to make sure that you, as armored corps officers, noticed it in order to benefit from it - or perhaps it passed before your eyes on television without you thinking it was important? I noticed it, even though I am not an armored corps officer. I noticed that each enemy tank has a machine gun, and I don't think that each of your tanks has a machine gun?!"

Saddam also notes the potential power of low-tech weaponry when accompanied by high spirits:
"The Iraqis fought the English with poles tipped with balls of tar, and with pronged fishing spears... The Iraqi would jam the fishing spear in the Englishman's chest, recite the words of a popular song... and would then pull the spear out of his chest...

Perhaps more ominously, he alludes to Iraq's "clear and decisive" superiority in "other things, which we have already mentioned" (though not for publication, apparently); he also 'told the regiment commander to order his troops "not to touch any fragments of the American planes, because we will make use of them."' Hmmmm....

Posted by Dr. Frank at February 11, 2003 08:43 AM | TrackBack