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Wednesday, April 09, 2003
What next?
Is Saddam Hussein dead? Certainly it would be hard to get upset about that (though I confess that I harbor the secret desire to see him strung up from a gallows, rather than impersonally vaporized by some bunker-busters). But what are the implications if he is? It could be great; it's possible that the news of his death would lead to immediate surrender of the remaining Hussein loyalists, and/or to the cooperation of the Iraqi public in wiping out these regime supporters. That's the best case scenario. But what about the worst case? The U.S. has been systematically trying to eliminate what are euphemistically known as "leadership targets." What if there's nobody left who can order a surrender? (*) Is the U.S. going to be forced to kill every member of the so-called Saddam's Fedayeen in order to win the war? More to the point, how do we then decide when we've won?

(*) [Given the lack of coordinated military response by the Iraqi military since the war began, I've long had the sneaking suspicion that the only members of the Hussein regime who are alive are Iraqi "Information Minister" Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf and some high school intern at IraqiTV who dutifully airs archival footage of Saddam Hussein's cabinet meetings each day. And that between these two people, they're keeping up the illusion that there's still an Iraqi government.]

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