I think the [Iraqi] opposition has much greater potential than we give it credit it for….That opposition includes the Kurds in the north, who have had lots of combat experience….And they’ve got a strong motive, as we’ve seen in the film. There are the Shi’a in the south, who have been the victims of Saddam in many ways for a long time. I think there’s a great deal of potential there.
….[Saddam’s government] a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder.
….I would be surprised if we need anything like the 200,000 figure that is sometimes discussed in the press. A much smaller force, principally special operations forces, but backed up by some regular units, should be sufficient. Of the 400,000 in Saddam’s army, I’ll be surprised if ten percent are loyal to Saddam. And the other 90 percent won’t be completely passive. Many of them will come over to the opposition.
….There is collaboration between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, which means to destroy us. It entails chemical weapons, biological weapons, training in their application.
….[Isn’t there a risk if we don’t get allied support before we undertake this action that they won’t be there to help defray the billions and billions and billions of dollars we’ll need to spend for a long time in Iraq?] We’ll get lots of allied support when it’s over, when it’s clear that the result was as we anticipated.
I would guess that the president will not wish to address the Congress again in the State of the Union message without having something to say about what he said last year on the state of the Union….I would be surprised if he would mount that podium without some good news about how we’ve dealt with Saddam.
Crikey! Has anyone ever made more wrong predictions in the space of half an hour? I sure hope my predictions turn out a bit more accurately than Perle’s.