Tuesday, December 03, 2002

My Saddam prediction still seems to be holding. Expect him to cooperate fully with the inspections. They will find very little. Before long the folks that want to do business with Saddam will begin to push for lifting of the sanctions as will he. Bush will be denied his casus belli. This is Saddam's best hope of survival. He knows it. The Bushies don't seem to have a clue (no surprise there).

If Bush invades anyway, American foreign policy will be put in a hole that will take a decade to climb out of and Saddam wins a Pyrrhic victory. If Bush declines to invade, Saddam wins by having sanctions lifted. When sanctions are lifted Saddam becomes a hero to his people by perversely regaining the thriving economy he gambled away with the Kuwait invasion.

If we are serious about a positive outcome we must come up with another way. Saddam remains in power his Stalinist grip on his people deprives them of any power to change things. We must corrode that grip. Saddam doesn't do this all by himself. He needs a mass of willing and committed henchmen. They should be our targets. Perhaps we should offer amnesty, protection, and self-bounty for any of his thugs who want to defect and talk. The lure of a better life may be just the thing to bring about the collapse of his regime from within. It doesn't have the flashy video clip opportunities of a full-fledged war but it has got to be cheaper. As a bonus we win by killing with kindness and Saddam pathetically loses. Isn't that what we all want?

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