It’s kind of like the cat in the box experiment – if he isn’t dead now he will be soon:
- there almost certainly was convincing intelligence that Saddam was in the compound that Bush decided to attack on March 19. No U.S. official would have advocated altering the entire war plan just for the sake of a clever disinformation campaign. Today’s Washington Post quotes Sen. Pat Roberts, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as saying this tip came from “what we call human intelligence” – i.e., a spy of some sort, not satellites or electronic intercepts. That indicates we have somebody inside Saddam’s entourage.
In this context, it almost doesn’t matter whether the man who appeared on Iraqi TV a couple of hours after Wednesday night’s attack was the real Saddam Hussein or an imposter—or whether the speech was live or taped. He is weakened, if he’s not dead. And as the rumors mount, whether they’re true or false, he will become weaker and weaker until he’s toppled, if not by JDAM bombs or cruise missiles, then by the men around him.
Just now, bombs and cruise missiles are bombarding Baghdad and the outskirts, demolishing Saddam’s presidential palaces – reducing massive complexes of hardened buildings to ash and cinder – and almost certainly massacring the Republican Guards poised to defend the city, breaking the “rings of defense” into useless shards. Whether Saddam was dead or alive on Wednesday night, he won’t be alive much longer. [Slate]
That makes me happy.