THE BEGINNING OF THE END... not for Saddam (it's the end of the end for him), but for the appeaser-states. Saddam has already launched at least one SCUD that he said he didn't have, and I'll be really surprised if there aren't more. I obviously won't post every single bit of news relating to the war (that's what news sites are for), but this seemed significant.

It also raises a question in my mind. It seems virtually certain that Saddam will order chemical attacks on our troops, but:

  • will his commanders be able to receive orders from him, if we cut all their communications?
  • will his commanders follow his orders even if they are received?
  • will his chemical weapons actually be a real threat to us, even if they are delivered?
  • (and the big one) will our government tell us?

    I'm not normally a big government conspiracy nut, but there are many plausible reasons why they wouldn't want to announce Saddam's use of chemical weapons. The biggest reason I can think of is that it might make create political pressure for us to escalate and utilize tactical nukes. It might also make it harder for troops on the ground to peacefully accept surrenders if they get word that their brothers have been gassed.

    These factors need to be balanced against the potentially huge political gain that would result from Saddam's use of chemical weapons. It would serve as a vivid vindication of everything the US has been warning of for the past year, and for that reason alone I am skeptical that we would try to cover it up.

    The biggest obsticle to Saddam's use of chemical weapons is the problem of delivery. Even if he does have dozens of SCUDs left, they aren't very accurate weapons. His most reliable distribution method would be to set up gas traps in and around Baghdad, but that type of operation would take months to set up. Oh wait, he's had months. Thanks, France.

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