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DRONES OVER BAGHDAD: GOOD OMEN?

Slate sees drones over Baghdad, and thinks they're a good omen for the American operation there.

It provides a clue, among many other clues these past few days, that Saddam Hussein's regime exists no longer. The key clue here is the very fact that a drone can fly over Baghdad at all. The drones we're using fly very low and very slowly; they are easy to shoot down. Yet no Iraqi soldier even tried to shoot this one down. We know that Iraqi soldiers have anti-aircraft artillery; they have turned some of them horizontally and used them as ground artillery against U.S. tanks. A fair inference is that no one shot down this drone because no one gave orders to shoot it downwhich likely means no command structure existed to give such orders. Organized resistance seems to have crumbled, and, if that's the case, so has the regime, in any meaningful sense of that word.
All true. But the drones' vision is obscured by Baghdad's buildings and alleyways. So they're probably not as effective as they were in the Mesopotamian desert or in the mountains of the Hindu Kush. The importance of the unmanned planes may be more symbolic than tactical. More tomorrow on this in Wired News.
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