Friday, January 24, 2003

No Exile

Mark Steyn had a great column on the protesters, but I think he missed something thinking that Rumsfeld went wobbly when he said America would think it fine if Saddam went into exile. I imagine that statement was more to provide substance to the meeting the Turks are hosting with several Arab states to convince Saddam to leave to prevent war. If we dismissed the possibility, the states that want some cover to help us would lose their excuse. They will now say, "Hey street, we tried to get Saddam to leave. Even Rumsfeld said it would be fine—and you know how bloodthirsty he is. Yet Saddam refused our plea to think of the region's welfare and leave to avoid war. We regrettably conclude that we must support war for the good of peace in our region."

Don't worry. Rumsfeld has not gone wobbly. He merely had a role to play, I dare say. As Steyn finally concludes, war really could be any day now. The 31st would be good. Even weeks away as this article says is probably too long—when near, appear far.

It will be interesting to see how France, the Confederation of the Rhine, Russia, and China react when it becomes clear that we will move without waiting for UNSC approval. Life without the UN where they can pretend to have equal power will seem pretty awful to them. I bet they rush to vote and put the still-wet authorization on a Concorde to deliver it to General Franks in Qatar.