TAKE A DEEP BREATH 13:27 23 Mar 2003

Everyone, including me, needs to calm down a bit. Despite the 24 hour news coverage of the war, despite the many live feeds coming in from Baghdad and from correspondents pretty much everywhere in the country, and especially despite live videophone pictures and words on the ground with the troops, we have no idea what’s happening. The military commanders have only a vague idea of what’s going on, and you can bet they aren’t telling us anything important.

This is very early in this conflict. There is a lot of fighting to come. There will be many more airstrikes against Baghdad and other cities. The ground phase of the war in 1991 only lasted 4 days, but we were only liberating Kuwait. We didn’t have very far to go. The farthest north our troops went was an area south of An Nasiriyah, and those were air assault helicopter-borne troops. The drive to Baghdad will take time, and we will encounter increasing resistance the farther we advance, and our capabilities will diminish the longer our supply lines become.

Be patient. Watching endless hours of sand and dust while following the progress of a 3rd division convoy will make things seem like they’re taking forever. Despite an incredible amount of shock and awe from the air, it takes ground troops to secure territory and advance the front. Sit back. Give them time. Just because we have real-time coverage doesn’t make real time pass any more quickly. It seems to do just the opposite.