This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, January 20, 2003. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  In the Impact segment tonight:  The possibility that Saddam Hussein and his thug sons may seek asylum before the United States invades is being discussed all over Washington.  What are the odds?

Joining us now from D.C.: former assistant Secretary of State for Near East affairs Martin Indyk, who is now director of the Saban Institute for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

All right, Mr. Ambassador, you know this guy somewhat.  I think he's a coward.  I think that he might just bolt when he sees that it's inevitable that his life is over.  He doesn't want a Milosevic situation, right?

MARTIN INDYK, FORMER ASST. SECRETARY OF STATE:  Well, I think it's possible, at the very last minute, when he sees the cavalry coming over the hill -- in other words, the 82nd Infantry -- at the gates of Baghdad, that he might just bolt.  He is a bully and bullies can turn into cowards when they're faced with superior force.

But I think there are a number of other factors you've got to take into account, Bill.  First of all, I'm not sure that he would trust this talk of amnesty coming from us.  Secondly, there's his self-image.  He's a man who lives by the sword.  And he's not going to go quietly into the night looking like he's been humiliated.

And, thirdly, I think that the signal that we are sending him may be received differently in Baghdad.  That is to say, when all of our senior officials go on the weekend news shows and say that they would be prepared to let him go, he registers that as an indication not that he's been given a way out, but that we don't want to go to war and that we're looking for a way out.

O'REILLY:  But, Mr. Ambassador, look, he's got to know now that this is inevitable, that he's done.  And he is.  You know and I know, they're not moving all these people in there to play games.  He's out.

And in order to get out, he's going to have to form his arrangements before February, which is when the military action will most likely begin.  Now, we hear he's already been in contact with Algeria, that he's already explored some of that.  Do you hear that?

INDYK:  Yes.  Well, the Algerians are putting that out in their press.  And it's entirely possible.

Back in '91, you may recall, Bill, that there was an Algerian plane on the tarmac at Baghdad airport as our troops were heading north out of Kuwait towards Baghdad.

O'REILLY:  I didn't know that.  There was an Algerian jetliner on the plane.  So, if we had continued down the highway of death, chasing him into Baghdad, he might have absconded then.

INDYK:  There was certainly the sense that he was getting ready to leave with his family.  But it was, remember, at the very last moment.


O'REILLY:  I agree with you.  I think your analysis is dead on.  I don't think this guy's going to go until he knows that it's coming.

INDYK:  There's the other factor, though, here, which is that he's prone to miscalculation.

You say he can see our troops massing out there and our aircraft carriers and he's going to get the message.  This is a guy who could have gotten out of Kuwait, caused us immense trouble just by pulling his forces out of Kuwait before we went in to get him.  And he didn't take that exit.

O'REILLY:  Well, he doesn't care about anybody's life but his own.  I call him “Hitler-lite.” But he doesn't care about anybody but himself.

But he has an enormous amount of money stockpiled in Switzerland.  He likes the ladies.  He likes the good life.  His sons are cowards.  They don't want to die.  I don't think he would cares about his sons, but the arrangements would include his family.  So, it looks to me like, if Cheney can push him and basically send a message, look, we're coming, and we don't care what Hans Blix says or Chirac says, it's over, that this guy might go, like Idi Amin.

INDYK:  As I say, it will only happen at the very last minute.  And, by then, it may be too late, just because he doesn't really believe that we're going to come and get him until we're actually knocking on his door.

O'REILLY:  All right, last question:  If he provokes an invasion -- where we're going to take a lot of heat, of course, if we invade, worldwide -- then I wouldn't let him go.

See, once we've started in motion, then I say, it's over.  We'll shoot your plane down.  You're done.  If you try to get out once we have it in motion, you're dead.  Wherever you go, we go.  And that would be the one.  That would be the way to do it.

INDYK:  Yes.

There is a calculation that we have to make at that moment as well, which is to send him a different message, that, if he uses chemical, biological weapons on our troops, on the Iraqi people, the Kurds or Shias or his neighbors, Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, he's dead.  In other words, at that last moment, we also need to send him a signal deterring him from using those weapons of mass destruction.

O'REILLY:  Look, we have already sent those signals to his generals.  And I'm confident the generals don't want to be hanging in the square of Baghdad either.

Mr. Ambassador, thanks very much.  We appreciate it.

INDYK:  My pleasure.

O'REILLY:  We sure hope that the guy takes off...

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