How much time is left for Saddam? That's the question of the day.

President Bush says he's running out of time. The inspectors say we need a year.

The president probably thinks keeping American reservists in the desert for a year is not going to fly. Saddam is dinking with us and is likely to keep it up.

What does all this add up to? January 27 may not be D-Day, but it certainly cannot be far behind.

I'm just reading the papers like you and trying to connect the dots, but seems to me the president cannot leave his troops in the field sitting and waiting for something that might happen a year from now.

Secondly, it seems to me Saddam might look up, see 300,000 American troops massed in the area and decide it's time to buy that date palm grove in Tripoli.

Thirdly, the weapons inspectors might realize they actually don't have a year, they might make some squawking sounds and force the Bushies to give up the intelligence that says where the weapons of mass destruction actually are.

And if the Europeans want to stand around carping, they might find themselves left out of the decision loop and demonstrate their irrelevance.

If Saddam is gone, the weapons of mass destruction threat is vapor and America acted alone, who is really going to complain except those people, groups and countries who would complain about anything anytime.

In all, war is not a definite, but war preparations are.

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