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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Charybdis Is Kinda Quiet Today. Let's Throw a Rock at Scylla 

Thank God Our Better Half was there; otherwise, we could have found ourselves bungling a two-front war. From the Telegraph, courtesy of Zemblan patriot M.U.:
America's military commander in Iraq ordered British troops to prepare a full-scale ground offensive against Iranian forces that had crossed the border and grabbed disputed territory, a senior officer has disclosed.

An attack would almost certainly have provoked open conflict with Iran. But the British chose instead to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels.

"If we had attacked the Iranian positions, all hell would have broken loose," a defence source said yesterday.

"We would have had the Iranians to our front and the Iraqi insurgents picking us off at the rear."

The incident was disclosed by a senior British officer at a conference in London last week and is reported in today's edition of Defence Analysis. The identity of the officer is not given . . . .

The incident began last July when Revolutionary Guards pushed about a kilometre into Iraq to the north and east of Basra in an apparent attempt to reoccupy territory which they claimed belonged to Iran.

Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez then ordered the British to prepare to send in several thousand troops to attack the Revolutionary Guard positions.

The Revolutionary Guard Corps has 125,000 soldiers, making it 25 per cent larger than the entire British Army, and is equipped with 500 tanks, 600 armoured personnel carriers and 360 artillery weapons.

The incident is reminiscent of the exchange during the Kosovo conflict between the American general, Wesley Clark, the supreme allied commander Europe, and Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the British commander.

When Gen Clark told Gen Jackson to send British troops into Pristina airport to prevent Russian troops from taking control Gen Jackson refused. He was reported to have said: "I am not going to start World War Three for you."

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