Tuesday, December 16, 2003

How to Encourage a Sell-out

Gregg Easterbrook points out that the geography of northwestern Afghanistan -- Bin Laden's suspected refuge -- makes the Saudi-born terrorist more challenging quarry than Saddam. The only way we'll get him (assuming he's alive) will be if he's sold out by whoever's harboring him. For that reason, Easterbrook argues that someone in Iraq needs to get paid $25 million for Saddam, whether they deserve it or not, with the implication that the disbursal of the reward should be a very public affair. After all, $25 million could go a long way in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile the guys at Debka make a strong case that Saddam was probably not so much captured by American forces as turned over to them. If that's true, then it would be likely somebody is getting paid -- somebody who perhaps doesn't want to be a celebrity, at least not to the last vestiges of the Fedayeen Saddam.

If the idea that Saddam was turned over to American forces rather than captured by them catches on broadly while American officials in Baghdad continue to insist that no reward money was paid out, the message received by wily Afghani warlords will be loud and clear.


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