When it comes to the major American TV networks, only ABC News seems to try at times to be more than a government mouthpiece, largely due to the influence of anchor Peter Jennings. NBC is a poor second here, doing a great deal of propaganda work for the US Government whether intentionally or just through the way things are in the US of A these days. Dan Rather and CBS, now they are really the bad guys in this one; as this latest rant on Friday evening makes quite clear:
Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage
January 24, 2003
"We assure you this report contains no information that the Defense
Department thinks could help the Iraqi military."
CBS News Anchor Dan Rather
(CBS) They're calling it "A-Day," A as in airstrikes so devastating they
would leave Saddam's soldiers unable or unwilling to fight.
If the Pentagon sticks to its current war plan, one day in March the Air
Force and Navy will launch between 300 and 400 cruise missiles at targets
in Iraq. As CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports, this is more
than number that were launched during the entire 40 days of the first
On the second day, the plan calls for launching another 300 to 400 cruise
"There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," said one Pentagon official
who has been briefed on the plan.
"The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been
contemplated before," the official said.
The battle plan is based on a concept developed at the National Defense
University. It's called "Shock and Awe" and it focuses on the
psychological destruction of the enemy's will to fight rather than the
physical destruction of his military forces.
"We want them to quit. We want them not to fight," says Harlan Ullman,
one of the authors of the Shock and Awe concept which relies on large
numbers of precision guided weapons.
"So that you have this simultaneous effect, rather like the nuclear
weapons at Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but in minutes," says
In the first Gulf War, 10 percent of the weapons were precision guided.
In this war 80 percent will be precision guided.
The Air Force has stockpiled 6,000 of these guidance kits in the Persian
Gulf to convert ordinary dumb bombs into satellite-guided bombs, a weapon
that didn't exist in the first war.
"You're sitting in Baghdad and all of a sudden you're the general and 30
of your division headquarters have been wiped out. You also take the city
down. By that I mean you get rid of their power, water. In 2,3,4,5 days
they are physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausted," Ullman
Last time, an armored armada swept into Kuwait and destroyed Saddam's
elite republican guard divisions in the largest tank battle since the
World War II. This time, the target is not the Iraqi army but the Iraqi
leadership, and the battle plan is designed to bypass Iraqi divisions
If Shock and Awe works, there won't be a ground war.
Not everybody in the Bush Administration thinks Shock and Awe will work.
One senior official called it a bunch of bull, but confirmed it is the
concept on which the war plan is based.
Last year, in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan, the U.S. was badly
surprised by the willingness of al Qaeda to fight to the death. If the
Iraqis fight, the U.S. would have to throw in reinforcements and win the
old fashioned way by crushing the republican guards, and that would mean
more casualties on both sides.