Saturday, March 22, 2003

Deja Vu

First casualty in any war is truth.

Hearing early reports about US/UK captures of Umm Qasr, Nassyriah and Basra and subsequent clarifications about "large sections under Allied control" and "isolated pockets of resistance soon to be dealt with" brings memories of 1991, especially the way Belgrade media covered war.

In September 1991 Radio Belgrade announced the "liberation" of Vukovar from "Ustasha hordes". Militarily it made sense. The city was, just like Umm Qasr, on the border and the attackers – JNA – had overwhelming superiority over defenders. Yet Radio Belgrade had to repeat the same news about "liberation" or "imminent liberation" many times until the city finally fell in November 1991, after incredible devastation and thousands of casualties.

For many who had opposed the war, the start of the campaign was signal to support Bush & Co. since the quick and relatively painless war is next best thing. But it seems that we aren't that lucky. Iraqis look like they are resisting more expected, even conscripts. Who could blame them? People, regardless of their political persuasion, tend to act strangely when someone invades their country.


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