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And the $64,000 question?

As coalition forces drive through Baghdad, where the hell are the Iraqi forces? Apparently not at their headquarters. So? Any guesses? Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but this is starting to feel like the part of the horror movie in which the creature has been shot, and people are thinking, "It can't be this easy, can it?" And then we hear the ominous music, and the cliched comment, "I've got a bad feeling about this."

Did the Iraqis fold just like the cakewalk theorists hoped? Is Saddam Hussein dead, as people have suspected he might be, and did all resistance collapse as a result? I sure as heck hope so -- but I don't want to be too overconfident here. Is there some sort of ambush coming? Are they trying to lure more of our forces into Baghdad, where they'll counterattack, causing huge civilian casualties as well as military? I just don't get it.

Followup: the above questions still remain to be answered, of course, but I'm a lot more optimistic after reading Robert Fisk's latest, where he proudly predicts that the Iraqi resistance will be difficult to overcome:

In reality, an American siege and occupation of the city would take weeks, perhaps months, but capture of the airport would allow troop-carrying aircraft to land. Since the city is 27 miles wide, an all-out assault could be an operation of epic proportions.

But the United States and Britain may be calculating that capture of the airport would provide such a shock to the regime that it would collapse within hours. The fierce fighting for Basra, Nasiriyah, Najaf, Karbala and other cities suggests that Baghdad would not succumb so easily.

Given Fisk's track record, that ought to mean that the war will be over in days, if not hours.


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