Saddam was no pushover. His war-plan was radically different from the one the Pentagon expected. Saddam knew that the US military was 10 years more advanced than what he faced in 1991. He knew his military was in worse shape than it was in 1991. While he blustered about using WMD against the US forces he feared that doing so would provoke a massive response by the US. But he had one ace in the hole. Like Osama, he believed the US could not sustain casualties over the long haul. His war plan was to let the US overrun the country and then launch a guerilla/terrorist war against US forces while they were in peace-keeping/rebuilding role. He’d trained thousands of terrorists and he had an alliance with the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda. He had cash and munitions stock-piled throughout the country. In the lead-up to the war Turkey granted him a huge favor by denying the US a route into Iraq from the north down into the Sunni triangle. That preserved his forces and left his terrorist organization intact. His secret police still had tabs on everyone and could use assassination and intimidation to stop Iraqis from co-operating with the US.

From the time his statue was toppled in Baghdad through to the present, his forces and Al Qaeda have mounted an effective guerilla war against the US forces and the nascent Iraqi forces. Saddam’s strategy nearly succeeded. The Democrats campaigned against the Iraq war in their 2004 Presidential election campaign. Had they had a better candidate than John Kerry the Democrats may well have won. That would have led to a rapid US withdrawal from Iraq and a civil war that Saddam and Al Qaeda could win, especially with support from Syria.

But Bush won and stood firm. Saddam is on trial, Iraqis have elected a government and the insurgency is running out of steam. Al Qaeda is now fighting the Sunni forces and is deeply unpopular with the Iraqi people. Everyone in Iraq is coming to believe that Saddam and the Baath pary are finished, at long last.

Now, finally, Iraqis who know Saddam’s darkest secrets will feel safe in coming forward and telling the world the truth. Iraqi air force General Georges Sada has set the ball rolling by revealing that:

Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

He will not be the last Iraqi to come forward.

Meanwhile, the vast amount of intelligence material captured in Iraq is starting to reveal its secrets. Why the Bush administration gave this material such short shrift is difficult to fathom. But the administration can look forward to good news in the ongoing debate about Saddam’s WMD and ties to terrorism.

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