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March 25, 2003

Mark Kleiman:
What strikes me as odd is that the very same people who described [Saddam Hussein’s] rule as “Stalinist”—which seems to be a good description—also expected the regime to fold quickly in the face of an attack. That never really added up. Does the name “Stalingrad” ring a bell?
[10:03 PM]
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Comments on Mark Kleiman::

John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2003, 07:56 PM:

I think Mark's getting a little carried away. One week doesn't turn Baghdad into Stalingrad. It's true, some of the more gung-ho types probably thought this would be "quick"...but I wouldn't say things are exactly crawling along right now.

skippy ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2003, 12:36 AM:

maybe not, john, but it's going waaaaaay slower than cheney thought it would on meet the press last week.

and it looks like it could go for months.

Timmy the Wonder Dog ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2003, 10:53 AM:

an interesting observation, although somewhat premature. i do wonder, however, how Stalin would have faired if the nazis had not brutalized the ukrainians in their initial invasion. i also wonder about the current mindset of the shiites given our abandonment of them in the 90s.

time will tell and seven days into the conflict is not a good portrayal of the ulitmate outcome, just ask those very same nazis.

Mike ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2003, 01:49 PM:

I see the US army surrounding Baghdad, calling it a victory, and then spending the next months/years fighting urban and rural guerrilla warfare as Saddam obtains supplies (and maybe troops) from pissed-off-at-America neighbors. Bush has managed to create worldwide sympathy for a hated dictator - just amazing!

Mark Kleiman ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2003, 01:06 AM:

I'm not predicting that Baghdad will be another Stalingrad. I was merely making the historical point that calling a regime "Stalinist" shouldn't generate a prediction that it will crumple up quickly under foreign military attack.