Friday, March 21, 2003

Day 2 of the Second Gulf War has almost passed here, and so far nothing has happened and pretty much no one thinks anything is going to happen. The order to carry gas masks has been almost universally ignored and everyone is going about their normal lives. The only people carrying their gas mask kits are the American students and old people. In Jerusalem people laugh at you if you carry one in public. (This is partly due to the fact that Jerusalem is a hugely unlikely target, it has a large Arab population which is violently pro-Saddam and a Scud into the Old City would make Saddam even less popular then he now, if he isn't dead). The radio and television were all news last night but they've already begun to move back to regular broadcasting. This plus the news that the missile bases that attacked us last time around have already been taken out is making everyone breath a lot easier.
The big question now for us is whether Saddam is actually still among the living. All the news I'm seeing and hearing indicate that he's either dead or severely incapacitated. Either way, he's clearly not in control of Iraqi forces in any serious way at the moment. The guy in big glasses on TV last night looks less and less like Saddam the more I look at him, and its certainly not impossible that a small cabal of loyal Ba'athists are trying to keep the illusion going as long as they can. I could be wrong, but I'm voting that Saddam is no longer among us.


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