US 'hawks' attacked by general

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NEW YORK (AP) - Invading Baghdad to topple President Saddam Hussein would have bogged down the United States in a quagmire 'like the dinosaur in the tar pit', according to Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of Operation Desert Storm.

'The legitimacy for what we were doing was the United Nations resolution which called for us to kick the Iraqis out of Kuwait,' the retired general said. 'We never considered going to Baghdad . . . we'd accomplished our mission.'

General Schwarzkopf also defends the decision in his forthcoming biography, It Doesn't Take A Hero. He complains, too, of being pressured by Bush administration 'hawks' who, he said, had seen too many war films and wanted to rush coalition forces into battle before they were ready.

'The increasing pressure to launch the ground war early was making me crazy,' he wrote. 'There had to be a contingent of 'hawks' in Washington who did not want to stop until we'd punished Saddam.

'We'd been bombing Iraq for more than a month, but it wasn't good enough. These were guys who had seen John Wayne in The Green Berets, they'd seen Rambo, they'd seen Patton and it was very easy for them to pound their desks and say, 'By God, we've got to go in there. Gotta punish that son of a bitch]' Of course, none of them was going to get shot at.'

General Schwarzkopf said going to Baghdad would have splintered the coalition. 'Had we taken all of Iraq, we would have been like the dinosaur in the tar pit - we would still be there, and we, not the United Nations, would be bearing the costs.'