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.
27, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 561
or Die: The Only Battle Cry Worth Blaring
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
In other words, no more Mr.
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
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.
"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
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.
of Vigilance tame the Beasts of Terror and protect the Children's
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
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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