(continued from the previous post)
Also intersting--and potentially ominous--is the fact that, while many units of the Iraqi army were "destroyed"--defined as being rendered unable to mout organized resistance--much of it seems to have melted away. That's good news in the short term; Iraqi soldiers, even the vaunted Republican Guard, appear to have simply gone home. But they likely retain their small arms, and there's little doubt that motivated Iraqis could mount guerilla attacks on occupation forces if they chose.
In addition, the conspicuous absence of the top Iraqi leadership, and the undetermined whereabouts of Saddam Hussein himself, are a deeply disturbing development. Make no mistake about it: Complete success hinges on Saddam's capture or the discovery of his body. The Administration must not be allowed, as it did with Osama bin Laden, to make an individual leader, however ofdious, the focus of its rationale, and then conveniently forget him when he fails to materialize after the shooting stops. While Saddam will never again control Iraq, his mysterious disappearance will be seen as a defeat fort he United States by a humiliated Arab world hungry for such news, and could inspire followers to acts of terrorism or guerilla warfare.
(continued in the next post)