Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Late this evening, I'm hearing this information fourth-hand with no further details yet, but here's what we've got right now:

WABC's Batchelor & Alexander radio program is reporting that Fox New's infocrawl is reporting that the Iraqi resistance has been given the order to use chemical weapons against our troops as they approach Baghdad.

Our troops expected this. They trained for it. They're prepared and well-equipped to get through this crisis, hopefully with extremely light casualities.

The greater potential tragedy is that the Iraqi civilian population is wholly unprepared and — as far as Saddam's generals are concerned — inconveniently in the way. This last desperate strategy will only add to the enormous death toll that Saddam has already caused among his own people.

And yet, ironically, if chemical weapons do come into play, there will be a a number of unintended positive consequences:

• France's Chirac has already laid the groundwork for an astonishing feat of acrobatic backflipping, having suggested that he would belatedly support an 18th United Nations Resolution against Iraq if the regime does unleash any sort of WMD's — completely missing the whole point of this exercise, which was to pre-empt their use. If he does fulfill this promise to join the coalition in the last minute of the last hour of the last day of the war, Chirac will be finally, fully discredited as an international joke, and the French will have to seriously reconsider which side of their croissants they'd prefer to have buttered.

• Meanwhile, Putin will clumsily attempt to put Russia back on the right side of history, but Germany's Schroeder will have little choice but to start planning his retirement. The EU's position as a counterweight to American interests will be delayed indefinitely. And that sinkhole of Third World thugs and bureaucrats, the United Nations General Assembly, will be permanently marginalized (if not mortally wounded).

• As a bonus, the abject fraud of Hans Blix's inspection racket having been laid bare, no similar delaying tactic will be given any serious consideration when it comes time to deal with North Korea.

• And while the core organizers of the so-called "anti-war" movement — which still hasn't given up hope of sending Eugene McCarthy to the White House in 1968 — may never reexamine the basic tenets of their core ideology, perhaps some of their fringe-followers will drop their placards as they come to the stark realization that war is not always the greater of any two evils, and that some moral principles are worth fighting for — even at the risk of sacrificing one's own life.

• Best of all: Michael Moore's favorite comforting narrative — that the unelected, selected Cowboy-In-Chief has unnecessarily put our young men and women in harm's way, unilaterally engaging us in an immoral war that pits our Special Forces automatons against helpless civilian Iraqi babies, in a $200 billion carefully-orchestrated public relations campaign for the hearts and minds of gullible American swing voters — will finally be revealed for the malicious self-serving fiction it truly is.

All in all, not an altogther bad trade-off for Saddam's final, most spectacular, single worst error in judgment.

UPDATE: British intelligence has reportedly intercepted a "frantic plea" for Russia to send their best neurosurgeon to Baghdad immediately. With any luck, this foreshadows that yet another prevailing fiction — that Saddam or any of his heirs are still alive and well — will also fall by the wayside before week's end, and that the regime's designated deputies will stand down before they exercise their own version of the "Samson Option."


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