VON HOFFMAN AWARDS – THE SEQUEL

V-H AWARD I: “Gruesome days for the German foreign minister: Every morning at nine, his staff briefs him on the situation in Iraq in the ministry’s underground situation room. His worst fears are coming true: The US military appears to be stuck in its tracks in the desert, and civilian casualties are multiplying. It has never been so painful to have been in the right, murmurs the foreign minister, with a worried look on his face.” – der Spiegel, March 31.

V-H AWARD II: “I bet you in the Pentagon the military planning assumes 5,000 to 10,000 American casualties and at least 100,000 to 250,000 civilian casualties in downtown Baghdad. All on CNN.” – Gary Hart, Denver Post, March 30, 2001.

V-H AWARD III: “The United States is going to leave Iraq with its tail between its legs, defeated. It is a war we cannot win. “We do not have the military means to take over Baghdad and for this reason I believe the defeat of the United States in this war is inevitable. “Every time we confront Iraqi troops we may win some tactical battles, as we did for ten years in Vietnam, but we will not be able to win this war, which in my opinion is already lost.” – Scott Ritter, South African TV.

V-H AWARD IV: “Iraqis, very clearly, do not want to be ‘liberated,’ even many who had long opposed Saddam’s brutal regime. To the contrary, the US-British invasion appears to have ignited genuine national resistance among 17 million Arab Iraqis, just as the 1941 German invasion of the USSR rallied Russians and Ukrainians behind Stalin’s hated regime. … The nasty, bloody urban warfare the Americans and Brits sought to avoid at all costs is now confronting them.” – Eric Margolis, ForeignCorrespondent.com.

V-H AWARD V: “Though Operation Iraqi Freedom has been underway for only two weeks, Rumsfeld’s “shock and awe” strategy was a flop. Pentagon strategists expected to have taken Baghdad by Mar. 27. Best-laid plans and all that: U.S. generals, worried that they don’t have enough men on the front lines, are considering whether to lay siege to Baghdad, bomb it to ruins or take it one block at a time. Basra hasn’t fallen. Suicide bombers are on the loose, we’re offing civilians and the Iraqi army has gone guerilla. And we hold a mere 4,000 Iraqi POWs. Only 45 Americans and Britons have died so far–compared to 112 total combat deaths in 1991–but allied casualties will soar if and when ground troops are ordered to take Baghdad… In this respect, Iraqis are no different than we are. Millions of Americans consider Bush to be a hateful, extremist dimwit who seized power twice, once in an unconstitutional judicial coup d’état and again by using the Sept. 11 attacks as a pretext to expand his personal power and gut the Bill of Rights. They call him names, like the Resident and Commander-in-Thief. But even the most passionately anti-Bush Americans would eagerly join their W-loving compatriots to fight any army that invaded the United States in the name of some theoretical ‘liberation.’ I know I would.” – Ted Rall, April 2.

V-H AWARD VI: “Meanwhile, a German government report due to appear in a newspaper on Monday says that up to two million people could die in a war on Iraq. The report released by the Environment Ministry says many civilians would be unable to get food or clean drinking water. The paper quotes the report as saying that a quarter of the population in southern Iraq already has no access to drinking water.” – Deutsche Welle.

V-H AWARD VII: “These are the last days of relative calm before we start bombing and massacring hundreds of thousands of people and in so doing enter into what many believe will a very long, drawn-out, insanely expensive, volatile, destabilizing, completely unwinnable war against a cheap thug of an opponent who has negligible military might and zero capacity to actually harm the U.S. in any substantive way. U-S-A! U-S-A! This will not be Desert Storm. This will not be quick and painless. This will be 3,000 guided missiles launched on the first day of the war, 10 times that of Desert Storm, turning Iraq into an instant wasteland.” – Mark Morford, Sfgate, March 5.

V-H AWARD VIII: “Have you ever seen such amazing arrogance wedded to such awesome incompetence?” – Molly Ivins, March 16, 2003. No, Molly, I haven’t. The liberal media have had a terrible, terrible war.