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Baker on U.S. Rebuilding Iraq After War

February 17, 1991

This Gulf War is turning out to be a strange one. I can't remember this much hesitancy by a ground commander since Gen. Mark (Mark Time) Clark got bogged down at Anzio during World War II. Though keeping casualties down on our side is desirable, these play-it-super-safe tactics will surely leave a mental burden--question on their bravery--on all the ground forces for years to come. If about all there is left to do for the ground forces is the mop-up of the sick, lame and insane, what honor or glory lies in that dirty mission? But then again, this whole one-sided slaughter leaves little honor or glory for anyone involved in it.

Right now just about everyone seems to be caught up in this patriotic "lynch mob" fervor. And it won't be until after the smoke clears that calmer minds can go in and add up the death and destruction this new high-tech war has wrought. The "decent Americans" are going to need awfully strong stomachs when they find out the true scope of this "sterile slaughter" from the sky.

There will be no Audie Murphys in this war. And time and history will judge our tactics and motives.

DON LOVE, Palm Springs

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