Let's make this simple. If you thought O.J. Simpson was guilty, you probably thought Colin Powell made a compelling case that Saddam Hussein is guilty.

If you looked at the O.J. evidence and still found room to say, "Maybe three Colombians showed up to collect a drug debt," then you probably think Powell's case was interesting but didn't prove anything.

What our secretary of state presented to the U.N. Security Council was not a smoking gun. It was a smoking cannon.

The Europeans and Russians and Chinese know it. Those things they said this afternoon after Powell's presentation were just proforma canned goop, designed to buy a few days so they can figure out which way the wind blows.

I say Canada and France eventually come on board with President Bush, Germany isolates itself by never going along, and Russia and China eventually see Saddam's been busted. Having no other choice, they go ahead and send the posse out to bring him in.

The only remaining question is not one of guilt, but what to do about the guilty party. Does it require war, or can Saddam be coerced or cajoled into decamping, leaving the scene, buying a condo on Elba, renting that island the Shah had... whatever, just get out of dodge?

The critics of this administration say President Bush wants war. I think they've got it backwards.

Saddam wants war, because he knows the blame he will get for using chemical weapons and for putting women and children on U.S. targets, among other things. He's done much worse for years, but he gets a pass because that's what is expected of him.

Instead the world blames Bush, saying there would be no war if Bush backed off.

Here's a news flash, there would be no war if Saddam weren't so thoroughly guilty and so shockingly brazen.

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