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December 10, 2002

PLAYING FOR TIME: Max Boot writes on Saddam's game:

There is no mystery about why President Saddam Hussein chose to inundate the United Nations with 12,000 pages listing every food- processing facility, tannery and dairy in Iraq. The Butcher of Baghdad gave away the game in his first interview in 12 years, granted to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Usbu’a last month. “No doubt, time is working for us,” he said. “We have to buy some more time, and the American-British coalition will disintegrate because of internal reasons and the pressure of public opinion in American and British streets.”

I think that this "pressure of public opinion" language is a recognition by Saddam that the "anti-war" movement is objectively on his side, and not neutral. Of course, the old CIA would have just dusted Hans Blix's room with a few anthrax spores. But we don't do things like that now.

UPDATE: Via email, I learn that Jim Henley and Hesiod are unhappy with the remark about the antiwar movement being Saddam's ally. But the quote in the story seems to me to indicate that Saddam sees it that way. And I think he's right.