Along the Tracks

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Ace in the hole

Like the old George Strait song says, "You've got to have an ace in the hole." And George Bush does. Probably about a dozen of them (Not fair? When you're playing games with a madman possessing chemical, biological and maybe nuclear weapons, you don't play fair, you play to win).

So when the Iraqis inundate the UN with their multi-thousand page "declaration" of banned weapons and programs, experts at the CIA will begin filtering through the garbage to see what it really admits to, if anything. They'll compare that to American intelligence which HAS NOT been released to the UN or the public (remember all the hubbub about that - "Where's the evidence?"), then hand Bush a simple list of sites, and their contents, which were not declared by the Iraqis. Then Bush will present that, with accompanying evidence, to the Security Council and Blix's inspectors. I would imagine the pressure on Blix to hit those sites would be pretty intense, so I doubt he'll try to delay or avoid it - after all, if we've got evidence Saddam is lying, those lies are a slap in the face to Blix and the UN more than to any other party. The inspectors will find something damning - a cannister of VX, a mortar filled with anthrax, an underground uranium enrichment facility, a couple of Scuds - and report back to the Security Council. The council will have little choice but to authorize the use of force, and after the usual diplomatic dance for a week or two, a resolution will pass.

Adding all this up, I'd say the bombs will start dropping in mid- to late-January - prime time for an invasion into Iraq.

It really is starting to look like this has been the plan all along. And when it happens, nearly the entire world will be on our side. Who would have thought that in the days after the much-maligned "Axis of Evil" State of the Union address?

Nice job, Mr. President.

P.S. - And I believe some praise is due Gen. Colin Powell, much maligned for his go-it-slow approach, yet proven right time and time again. I'm off the reservation compared with most conservatives on this, but I think Powell has done a superb job in managing the international relations side of a war that could easily have devolved into a multi-front bloodbath. Yet another reason to be impressed by George Bush: He has stood up to the criticism leveled at his secretary of state - inside and outside the administration - when it would have been much easier to ditch him in the name of consensus. Such a consensus would have been disastrous.

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