Simple is best when it comes to Iraq.
Late Friday afternoon, President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain held a press conference in Washington basically saying that the Iraq situation will be resolved in the next few weeks but nothing much else by way of specifics.
And here is a likely scenario of what's going to happen.
Next Wednesday, February 5, Secretary of State Powell will present evidence about Saddam Hussein to the U.N. After that, you'll see most nations of the world, including France, begin lining up behind the United States because, basically, everybody knows the game is over. Saddam will not reveal where his weapons are, and that's that.
On Valentine's Day, Hans Blix will tell the U.N. that Saddam continues to violate the weapons inspection mandate, so the U.N. must sanction military action or it can never again mandate anything. If the U.N. does not enforce its own resolutions, it goes out of business. So they have to do it.
At the end of February, allied bombing begins. Military targets are hit, and the bombing continues for a few weeks with the hope that Saddam is overthrown from within.
Simultaneously with the bombing, British and U.S. Special Forces will seize oil wells and other strategic targets.
Saddam will most likely try to attack Kuwait and Israel with whatever he can deliver, which might not be much with round-the-clock bombardment. If Saddam continues to hold out, the infantry will move in, surround Baghdad and isolate that city. By St. Patrick's Day or before, Saddam should be dead or in chains.
Now no one can predict if some terrorist will do damage to America during the process, but they did damage to us before Saddam was even in play. So that scenario's pretty much a moot point.
The so-called aftermath in Iraq will be easier than Afghanistan because there is a middle class in Iraq, and the terrain is not as kind to killers hiding in caves. Nevertheless, the USA will have to maintain discipline and courage because this is a war situation and bad things can happen.
Americans' overwhelming support that Saddam Hussein be removed because they know that anthrax and other chemical and biological weapons cannot be contained by inspectors. They can't be. It's impossible. And Saddam will not account for those deadly weapons. Very simple.
Americans also know that countries like France, Germany, Canada, and Russia have given Saddam hope. They are, in effect, Saddam enablers. If the West had shown a united front against Saddam, he'd already be out of there. So it will be interesting to see how Mr. Bush deals with enablers, and Mexico is included in that group.
So there you have it. But, as always, we could be wrong, as events are fluid. And that's the memo.
The Villain of the Week
Time now for the Villain of the Week. Drum roll, please.
It is author Norman Mailer, who, once again, promoting a book by bashing anyone who disagrees with his left-wing point of view. On the publicity circuit, Mailer has compared President Bush to a drug dealer. Isn't that nice? He has praised the sexual shenanigans of President Clinton and generally attacked American policy from soup to nuts.
You know, Norman, The Naked and the Dead was a great book. Ancient Evenings, unreadable. Grandstanding your highly permissive views is fine. Calling the president a dope dealer is irresponsible. So you are the Villain of the Week.