With last Thursday’s Washington tip-off-to-the-bad-guys release of an upcoming U.S. battle plan to regain control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, Grumpy Editor recalls the heavily-guarded secret leading up to the massive invasion of Normandy --- D-Day --- on June 6, 1944 without one word leaking out, even via media.
“Loose lips sink ships,” was a top wartime phrase at the time.
Led by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the giant military undertaking --- on the road to victory in Europe in World War II --- involved transporting 150,000 soldiers plus weapons, tanks and other equipment on more than 6,900 naval vessels, including 1,200 warships 100 miles across the English Channel to French beaches. Hundreds of aircraft were involved transporting parachute regiments and dropping bombs.
So today’s military veterans and others were surprised to learn “a senior military official” outline a broad plan at a Washington news briefing that up to 25,000 U.S.-trained Iraq and Kurdish forces were preparing to launch an assault to retake Mosul in April or May.
Five Iraqi brigades as the main attack force also was mentioned along with a reserve force of three Iraqi brigades plus three brigades of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on the north and west.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, appearing on Fox News, said revealing potential plans to regain control of Mosul is “absolutely bewildering. We are aiding and abetting the enemy."
Washington’s thinking on this: Telegraphing details of the upcoming battle serves to weaken the resolve of Islamic fighters by indicating the military force they will face.
The Islamic fighters now have two or three months to gear up for the battle.
FYI, IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE EDITORS MISSED THESE…
Snow in Las Vegas? Residents on the west side of Sin City woke up today to about three inches of snow on the ground. Unlike Washington, no government offices were shuttered. That compared with a storm, leaving 4.7 inches of snow, that closed government offices in Washington on Tuesday, giving federal workers four straight days off including President’s Day. But Tuesday turned out to be clear under a bright blue sky…Meanwhile, frigid weather in the East resulted in most of Niagara Falls being frozen over --- and a temporary halt to mention of global warming/climate change…Some newspapers over the weekend tired of running photos of U.S. cities under snow. So they jumped on a Reuters photo of a man sketching a large heart in the snow --- in far-off Amman, Jordan. It was from a storm that hit the Middle East, bringing 10 inches of snow in Jerusalem…A half-day story? The New York Daily News was one of a few news outlets (along with Britain’s BBC) to report ISIS burned 45 people to death in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, according to the police chief . Silence after that…Gotta watch those Tea Party folks. The Washington Times reported a new Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment circulated this month focuses on the threat of right-wing sovereign citizen extremist groups in the U.S., adding that “some law enforcement groups say the threat is equal to, and occasionally greater than, the threat from Islamic extremist groups"…With more journalists looking for jobs, as newsroom staffs dwindle, the Los Angeles Times hired an illegal immigrant writer to create a section of its web site devoted to race, immigration and multiculturalism…State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, who has raised some Washington reporters’ eyebrows, was named White House communications director…In another Gannett Co. newsroom reshuffling, The Courier-Journal, Louisville, said the newspaper's reporters must apply for new positions to “revamp” coverage and ultimately put fewer resources into production…Smart move? As their plan to “counterbalance” a drop in viewership, cable TV executives --- in seeking more advertising dollars --- came up with compression technology (speeding up fare such as movies) that allows squeezing in additional commercials --- which should send more viewers elsewhere.
Gearing up for a media tour is bouncy Miss P, from Vancouver, British Columbia. A sexy newly-discovered Hollywood babe? Nope. Miss P is a beagle that won the Best in Show award at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York.