Article Overview:   America has offered the Iraqis Articles of Capitulation, pledging their safety if they surrender.   The plan hasn't worked because Saddam's Terror groups threaten to kill all who surrender.    Now, the U.S. faces another option:  Surrender or Die, a plan that removes the option for capitulation.    Which policy is best to assure a victory?  Find out.


Thursday--March 27, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 561
 Surrender or Die:  The Only Battle Cry Worth Blaring
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 27--The Unconditional Surrender Non-Option (USNO) is the clearest and most concise comment I have read regarding America's strategy to end the Iraqi war swiftly, decisively.

    William Safire hammered at it in his column in the New York Times this morning.  I hope someone with some sense of history is listening, otherwise Iraq could turn into the same quagmire that sucked the Vietnam War into a quagmire of compromises.
      As America pushes toward Baghdad, it is leaving a blood trail, littered with mangled bodies of its own warriors as well as Iraqis.   Each body gets its Andy Warhol "fifteen minutes of fame," and is displayed in graphic horror either in the American press, or paraded in living color on Arabic news.
      In a growing guerrilla war, remarkably similar to the tactics used in Vietnam, the enemy is wearing civilian clothing, threatening to kill the populace if they don't conform to the will of Saddam's Baath Party thugs who warn the people that if they work with the Americans their families will be killed.

Unconditional Surrender in the Civil War

      Safire says the answer is to follow the path carved by General U.S. Grant in our Civil War and Roosevelt and Churchill in World War II.   It is to declare irrevocably that the only acceptable end to hostilities is unconditional surrender. So far, the message being broadcast is confusing to the Iraqi people, Safire states.   The words "regime change" doesn't guarantee to Iraqi people that another Saddam Hussein won't take power and pay retribution to those who sided with the Americans and British.   There is, Safire suggests, enough wiggle room to make Iraqi citizens hedge about turning on the guerrillas and irregulars who infiltrate their ranks, pretend to be non-combatants and then unleash harassment attacks on allied forces.
        Each minute the war is prolonged, Safire says, public opinion wanes against the war in America and Britain.  By exasperating American forces with attacks within the civilian ranks, the idea of liberation is all but frustrated, for the people cannot rush from their homes and leap with joy. If they do, the guerrillas will shoot them in the backs, or kill their families, or hold them as criminals and if the war goes against the allies, they will be prosecuted Iraqi style--tortured and then killed, along with family members.
       As Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah echoes the Arab League's demand for U.S. and British withdrawal and a return to the Security Council to "negotiate" appeasement, Safire says it's time to put the American and British foot down hard and stomp out any hint of appeasement.   If, for no other reason, than to send a brutal but clear message to the Iraqi population that Saddam's legacy will be eradicated, and any and all of his henchmen will be prosecuted.
       Safire says the allies should immediately pre-empt proposal for bombing halts and armistices.  By calling for unconditional surrender as the only option, the allies take off the table that thin slice of doubt they might back out if the going gets tough--and it has been.

Unconditional Surrender in WWII

        Safire says we should change the leaflet and broadcasts that call for "articles of capitulation," and remove any doubt in Saddam's military or guerrilla forces they will receive leniency.   He says:  "No talks about terms; no amnesties for paramilitary killers; no deal on exile for tortures.  Surrender, plain and simple."
        I suffered through the quagmire of Vietnam and I totally agree with Safire.
        If President Bush is a poker player as many throughout the world suggest, then he needs to stack the deck so that all the aces are in the allies hands, and insure no Jokers find their way into the deck.
        Iraqi citizens know better than to rush to the support of the allies when there is a hint of "capitulation" in the air, for capitulation can go either way in war.   Capitulation becomes a choice rather than a fact, and historically, Saddam Hussein and his terror regime has survived countless attacks to dethrone them.   
        In Vietnam, getting villagers to support the war was virtually impossible.   They knew we came and went, and when we were not present the Viet Cong would slip back into their villages and deal a deadly blow to any who conspired against them.   Many members of the villages were V.C. cell members, living amongst the people, watching them, recording and remembering any and all actions they took that might be considered favorable to the U.S.
        Terrorism's tools--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--work.   While an individual may feel strongly on a certain issue and be willing to risk his or her life, if his or her actions end up causing the death of family members, or their torture, then the individual's passions are quashed.   While I might spout certain beliefs and be willing to die for them, if a Terrorist held a gun to my children's or grandchildren's heads and asked me to recant my statements and vow loyalty to them or they would kill or torture my kin, I would be foolish to do anything but capitulate.  But if I knew he was going to kill them anyway, despite what I said, I would do what I could to attack him, to thwart his plan to watch me waffle and then kill my family anyway.
        Saddam Hussein's current tactics are simple:  wear down America's resolve to fight, just as that resolve was worn down in Vietnam.  

The cards are in Saddam's hands

       All the cards for capitulation are in Saddam's hands at the moment.   America and Britain haven't stomped down their feet.   They haven't smashed their fists on the table and made it clear there is no option but victory.   They haven't retaliated against the League of Arab Nations demand for appeasement.
        There are a million reasons why they haven't.   The Allies are trying to fight a surgical war; struggling to limit casualties; dodging the bullets that accuse them of being conquerors.    When you dance with too many people, it's hard to remember what the music is about.
        Vietnam became a maze of objectives, so confusing and convoluted that we didn't bomb Hanoi and instead of fighting a war of offense, were held back.  I remember going through the same villages countless times and feeling the bit in America's teeth, reigned back by political forces rather than driven by military objectives.
         Once a battle begins, there can be only one objective--win it.   America and Britain have chosen to defy world opinion by attacking Saddam unilaterally.   Now, it is time to clear the decks and remove the Articles of Capitulation, replacing them with the Unconditional Surrender Non-Option.
         In other words, no more Mr. Nice Guy.

The Beasts' of Terrors  goals are to ravage, pillage and plunder

         Any and all who raise arms against the civilians will be prosecuted as a war criminal.   Guerrillas out of uniform will not be given the rights of a prisoner of war, but treated as a spy.  They will lose the rights of a Warrior's Protection, and summarily dealt with.
         Boiled down, the pamphlets need only three words:  "Surrender!  Or Die!"
         I understand the Beast of Terror.   He has no compassion, no compunction about killing, maiming, torturing the innocent.   His goal is to dodge and hide in the cracks and crevices left by the Allies, those nifty little places where "civilization" begins and the "primordial ooze" ends.    It is in the tension of an army trying to be civilized fighting an uncivilized enemy that creates the bog and favors the Beast.
         Terrorism can only be quashed with Vigilance.   Vigilance means you grind the Beast of Terror with the heel of your boot because you know he will rise again if you let up.  If you relax your grip for one blink of an eye the Beast will slip away, for he is a Beast whose only goals are to ravage, pillage and plunder.   He knows nothing but brutality, and little of concessions except they tell him that his foe is weak, willing to compromise, and in that willingness to compromise is his Achilles Heel.
         Only when Terrorism is faced with an equal Terror does it turn and run.   When Terrorism's Fear faces unbending Courage, it shudders.   When it butts its Intimidation against a wall of Conviction, Terrorism begins to turn tail.  And when Terrorism's Complacency faces the principle of Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children, it has lost all hope, for its enemy no longer seeks its destruction for selfish reasons, but does so from selfless considerations.   
        Surrender or Die is the sum of Vigilance.
        It tells both the civilian population they need not fear reprisals from the tyrants because the tyrants will be eradicated.    It tells the military that there is no hope in continuing the fruitless struggle, for the attackers will not stop until the last fortress has been demolished, and the last prisoner taken.   It tells the guerrillas that any act they make upon the civilian population will be treated as a war crime, outside the arena of the Geneva Convention, for they will not be considered warriors but thugs, mercenaries, Terrorists.
       Now, the playing field is leveled.

Acclaim "Surrender or Die" and level the playing field

     Under the Surrender or Die edict, America and Britain also burn their bridges.   They remove their exit plan.   They no longer consider the "hedge plan."   They fill the bog of compromise with cement.   They pave the way to unconditional victory.
       But, is America willing to pay that price?  Is it willing to shut the door on politics and run the course without looking back?
       If Saddam Hussein is truly a Terrorist, able and capable of developing weapons of mass destruction and selling them or delivering them to the hands of other Terrorists who would wantonly use them to kill, maim and torture American and British children, then he holds in effect a gun to the heads of our kin.

The Sentinels of Vigilance tame the Beasts of Terror and protect the Children's Children's Children

      And, if we believe he would pull the trigger whether we bowed to him or not because he enjoys the Power of the Beast, we have no choice but throw away all offers of capitulation.   We must attack with the ferocity of the Beast to destroy the Beast.
       What will make us different from the Beast we destroy is our conviction that we are acting for benefit not only of our own children, but to protect the Children's Children's Children of all lands.   If we issue the edict:  Surrender or Die, and do it in behalf of all future generations, we are not the Beast fighting the Beast, we are Sentinels of Vigilance.
       It is that fine distinction that must be kept in place when we issue the order.
       For if we don't, the Beast will end up laughing in our faces once again.





Mar. 26--Why Iraqis Aren't Jumping For Joy Over Liberation

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