The regime of Saddam is done ...over ..kaput! He is probably buried beneath all that rubble in Baghdad, but it is just as likely that he is not, and we may never know. I do not think there was some "plot" or "deal" to allow him to escape; I do think he was a very resourceful man and it is as likely that he is still alive as it is that he is not.

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Just as our understanding of the place of religion in the lives of Moslems falls short, so does our understanding of the extreme tribalism that existed among the people in the Mid-East, long before Mohammed came on the scene. The tribes still exist but now they are divided upon religious as well as territorial lines. The British saw this in the time of Lawrence, and we ...and them... are going to get to see it again

We Shot the Sheriff!

For all his evil, Saddam did have control of a large mass of these people. They were terrified of him, but they walked the straight and narrow, stayed low, didn't attract attention to themselves, and generally behaved in a manner that we would consider to be civilized. However, although their "civilization" is ancient, it cannot be said that it has ever "matured." I have the impression that living in a Saddam-free Iraq will be much like living in the American west in the early 1800's... the only security... the only protection for yourself, family and property was what you had strapped to your hip. You were just as likely to be shot down on the streets of Denver, as sprouting arrows in a property dispute with the Native Americans.

Iraq is the old west, and we need the Earp boys to ride into Baghdad about now.

Common Enemy Theory

Islam is a highly segmented life philosophy... for those who believe in this fashion, their religion is their life ...not only as individuals, but as a group -- tribe -- as a community, as a civilization. It dictates every moment of their lives. Its differences from tribe to tribe are cause for war; these are ideological differences as large as those that existed between the United States and Soviet Union. Cultural differences as large as those between ourselves and the Chinese ...only they do not want to isolate themselves, they want to convert all the other tribes ...hundreds?.. or eliminate them before they are eliminated themselves.

However... in the United States, all these tribes who call themselves Moslem, have found a Common Enemy. The CE is the one they fight against as a united group. We threaten to disallow their ability to fight amongst themselves so we must be eliminated according to their understanding of jihad ...protect the faith from unbelievers, then convert those who have strayed from the righteous path.

My brother's enemy is my enemy. My brother is my enemy.

The "Arab" world is already showing that they are not interested in a stable Iraq. The "believer-by-convenience" Saddam has been removed and now the "infidels" who accomplished that should "get, while the getting is good." Iraq is no longer "controlled" by the evil dictator, so now we should leave and let them return to deciding whose Islam ...whose tribe?.. is correct.

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Human life as we understand it, migrated to and expanded from the Mid-East. It is the center of all of our beliefs and histories. And for a very long time in that history ...recorded and otherwise... that area has been the battle ground for the Arabic / Turkish / Moslem tribes. We may all trace ourselves back to there, but these are the people who stayed. And they will never accept the stewardship of any of their lands by a "non-believing" entity.

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:: This section removed to assauge the sensibilities of others ::