Skip to comments.Peggy Noonan: Gut Time
Posted on 02/09/2003 9:07:56 PM PST by Pokey78Edited on 04/23/2004 12:05:14 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
At this point Iraq is, for each of us, a gut call. We probably have as much information and hard data as we're going to get. There are different ways to interpret the evidence, to understand the peril. No one can prove containment will work in the future, for instance, and no one can prove that it won't. There will be a price to pay if we invade. There will be a price to pay if we don't. And ultimately you have to go with your instinct, your gut sense of the world and of men.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
He seems to be doing that in a lot of cases; terrorism, taxes, appointments to the Federal Bench. He is going forward even though some say it is political suicide. He doesn't seem to care. He's acting like he doesn't NEED this job. And the wonderful thing is that he doesn't!! So I believe he feels free in his heart to try some big things he believes will help the country, even if it means losing some points in the polls. He realized that polls are finicky things, as are the American people! So he'll just lead, and watch people follow!
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?
- W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939
But I'm getting an overwhelming sense that Saddam/Al Qaeda are planning to make the first strike and my hunch is that it will be Tuesday.
* The internal opposition leader in Iraq was assassinated this weekend. The leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan was assassinated the weekend before September 11th.
* September 11th was a Tuesday. This Tuesday is the 11th.
* September 11th had religious significance to Jihadists. This week is the beginning of Hajj for Muslims.
* I have an invitation to FReep a Clinton official (Bubba himself) on Wednesday. Before September 11th, I planned to FReep a Clinton official (Janet Reno) that Thursday. The speech was later cancelled.
* The Homeland Security folks have ratcheted up the alert warning to Orange, claiming terrorist "chatter" is at similar levels to September 11th.
* I believe the war timetable would have us begin by the end of the month and Iraq is now trying to forestall it with new (and probably false) promises of cooperation. Clever criminals usually attack when they have an alibi clearly in place.
Our troops are massing in the Gulf, preparing to strike. It would be in Saddam's nature to hit first. The real question becomes "where will the strike take place"?
One way for dangerous weapons to disappear from the inspectors is to have them outside the country. Now that it seems clear that Hussein and Al Qaeda are in this together, it would be easy to consider a handoff of one or more of Saddam's mass weapons being spirited outside the country for Al Qaeda to use against us or our allies.
While I'm doubtful that they have nuclear weapons (my guess is they would have used them by now if that were the case), I believe they will attempt to use chemical weapons, possibly on Tuesday.
The four most likely targets would be:
1) Where our military troops are stationed in the Gulf.
2) An American city, perhaps Washington DC.
3) A European city, most likely London.
I expect the attack will result in significant loss of life and will be meant to weaken our resolve. What it will do instead is force the hand of the French, Germans and Russians to choose sides. It may also determine if the UN is truly a player in this drama or just a sideshow.
The US will have no choice but to respond immediately. While Iraq will deny involvement, Bush will move swiftly and perhaps with the ultimate weapons we have available.
The casualties on both sides will be great and there will be much backlash against the U.S. in the arab world and from our traditional enemies.
Gird yourself and pray for God's mercy. The battle draws near.
I've been praying morning, noon and night
I had forgotten that this Tuesday is the 11th .. and I hope you are wrong
As we walked back, Bush again brought up Iraq. His blueprint or model for decision making in any war against Iraq, he told me, could be found in the story I was attempting to tell--the first months of the war in Afghanistan and the largely invisible CIA covert war against terrorism worldwide.
"You have the story," he said. Look hard at what you've got, he seemed to be saying. It was all there if it was pieced together--what he had learned, how he had settled into the presidency, his focus on larger goals, how he made decisions, why he provoked his war cabinet and pressured people for action.
I was straining to understand the meaning of this. At first his remark and what he had said before seemed to suggest he was leaning towards an attack on Iraq. Earlier in the interview, however, he had said, "I'm the kind of person that wants to make sure that all risk is assessed. But a president is constantly analyzing, making decisions based upon risk, particularly in war--risk taken relative to what can be achieved." What he wanted to achieve seemed clear. He wanted Saddam out.
Before he got back to his truck, Bush added another piece to the Iraqi puzzle. He had not yet seen a successful plan for Iraq, he said. He had to be careful and patient.
"A president, he added, "likes to have a military plan that will be successful."
Bush at War, Bob Woodward
Peggy Ping, Lou!
I agree with you. I am often critical of GWB, but he does act like a leader and has done some good leading in a number of areas. Add the Michigan admissions case and tort reform to your list.
I've been praying morning, noon and night I had forgotten that this Tuesday is the 11th .. and I hope you are wrong
I think ya all got your tin foil hats on...and they're way too tight. Saddam isn't going to attack because it's Tuesday the 11th...that's childish, magical thinking. He can attack any time he cares too and he knows his butt will immediately be burned to a crisp. Instead of the fear crap why not have a little real faith in God and our leaders, like President Bush,and cut the defeatist crap! It's almost wup-ass time and the good ol'USA is gonna kick ass. Quit bein' a nervous nelly.
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