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what say you?

So how do you think tomorrow is going to play out? Will there be war, will there be compliance, will the security alert go up to deep purple? Will Saddam strike first - in Israel or the U.S? Is the "moment of truth" for the U.N. or Saddam? Will anti-war protests clog your city and stop traffic?

I'm serious. Pen your prognostications right here and we'll take a tally this time tomorrow night to see how well you can read all the rhetoric and double-speak and ultimatums.

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» Is Tomorrow Just Another Day? from Plum Crazy
Michele is wondering what we all think tomorrow will bring. So go tell her. [Read More]

» http://www.juangato.com/blog/003775.php from Juan Gato's Bucket o' Rants
Michele wants your predictions about the next 24 hours. This isn't what you think the motivations or reasons are ("It's [Read More]

» Sticking My Neck Out from Dailypundit
I just posted a version of this over at A Small Victory, but I thought I'd put it up here, too. A few off-the-cuff predictions: I think the ultimatum goes on Monday. I expect Shock and Awe is slated for [Read More]

» What's Next? from Dean's World
If you want to read an interesting variety of opinions predicting what comes next regarding Iraq, you should check out Michele's What Say You? thread.... [Read More]

» Invasion Prediction from Electric Venom
Michele wants predictions on how the next 24 hours will play out. Here's mine: 1. Naval aspects: Basrah's high tide is 3:19 a.m., which is shortly prior to President Bush's speech to the nation. Naval aspects will be in place... [Read More]

» Crystal ball time from Too Much To Dream
Post your predictions for the next week or so on Michele's blog! Here's mine: So hard to think through the... [Read More]

Comments

It will be known as the St. Patrick's Day War.

Monday between 4:00PM and 8:00PM EST. I expect O'Rielly to be replaced by either or Britt or Shep.

Operation Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf begins tomorrow night.

Operation This Is Really Your Last Chance. No, Honestly We Mean It This Time. Sort Of. Ignore The Crossed Fingers Behind Our Back. You Better Comply This Time Or Else We Might Pass Another Resolution. Or Not.

Not that I'm cynical or anything...

The bombing will start dropping about 1-2 am Bagdad time, whatever that is here (6-8 PM EST?) .

Saddam will attack first (I predicted this on January 1), probably Tuesday, maybe Wednesday, Baghdad time. It's going to be ugly. Even if it goes well, tens of thousands of Iraqi's are going to die, perhaps half at Saddam's hand. Sadly, we are probably going to lose more troops than we did the first time. The real question is whether or not Saddam's generals will obey his orders to leave a scorched Iraq for a final Pyhrric victory.

France, et al, will still be asking for three or four more last chances and pretending that we are still listening to them.

The UN just forfeited its chance to deal with North Korea and Iran.

The usual suspects are going to continue to blame America for everything that might conceivably go wrong.

Newsweek has a story this week saying the rest of the world is scared of America becaause we are so powerful. Imagine for a moment that France held such a powerful position in the world. Would you sleep better?

Someone, somewhere is getting ready to market green lapel ribbons in the shape of four-leaf clovers, to be worn in support of the war.

Or, in case Lesley's scenario comes to pass, golden-brown ribbons woven into a waffle pattern....

W's speech Monday or Tuesdy, which will include at 72 hour warning/deadline. No bombs before next weekend.

I'm definitely in the "It's now or never" camp, and I don't believe there's any Administration support for "never".

I expect a few minor outbursts on this side of the pond, but nothing of significance.

And I expect no one's résumé will contain "human shield" by the end of next month or so.

Here's a minority theory:

If you've watched "Saddam's Bombmaker" on the History Channel (or googled the subject yourself), you'll know that Iraq had blueprints for A-Bombs as early as 1979.

Apparently he's built a number of assemblies (estimates range from 3 to 9), and is simply waiting to accrue enough fissile material to fill them.

Of course, he hasn't ever successfully tested his device. But as Ted Taylor explains (in "The Curve of Binding Energy"): every country who has tried to build an A-bomb has succeeded on the first try.

If Iraq has an A-Bomb, Saddam will try to use it. So here's the $64M question: will Saddam initiate a nuclear attack or a nuclear exchange?

If he is successful, I hope we won't lose our nerve, but rather redouble it. I hope America would demand a devastating response.

We can't and we mustn't let tyrants trade cities, brigades or battalions with us. For the sake of ourselves and our future generations, we need a credible stockpile. Otherwise, it doesn't deter.

Sorry to be so bloody-minded. If this minority theory is wrong (as it likely is), I predict we'll maneuver around the nerve gas and stomp the Tikrit mafia like a bug.

The sleeping giant is now awake and out for justice.

What will tomorrow bring? Rain. That's all I know for sure (and that's only locally).

In my ever so humble opinion, I think we will go through the motions tomorrow ... "everyone still being a butthead? OK, just triple checking" ... and what's left to determine is the amount of surprise we will retain. With antics liking the wiring of the oil wells, Saddam has guaranteed there will be nothing along the lines of a 72 hour ultimatum. But the longer we wait, the less guarantee that the time will be of our choosing. I once thought we could wait another week (added alliws, moon phase, and completing deployment of the 101st might be worth it), but I don't any more.

Could be Monday night. Could be Tuesday night. Given that many of the primary escorts of two aircraft carrier groups left those carriers near naked in the Mediterranean to move through the Suez into firing position in the Red Sea, it's clear it will be Real Soon Now.

Prediction: Nothing. At least not at first. This administration is far too good to shoot their wad too soon. We're already seeing reports of protests out in the open, sabotage and assasination attempts against Ba'ath party officials including one of Saddam's sons.

At the appropriate time, probably later this week, but definitely by April 1, we'll start to see an increase in hostilities, culminating in an outright "shock and awe" campaign when and if we're positive that a coup is not going to happen.

More than half of our troops will be home by the end of April, with a residual force dedicated to rebuilding and peacekeeping operations.

Oh, yes, and GW will win the election in a landslide next November, sending Democrats jumping from high altitudes into large bodies of water like the suicidal rodents they are...

I think the President will declare on Monday, formally, when the war will begin if certain conditions are not met. Basically he'll give a 24 hour to 7 day time frame in which disarmarment must occur.

I'd like to think that he'll start the war Tuesday, but I don't think that would provide enough time for various countries to get their people out (e.g. Germany) or for the U.N. to remove their inspectors. The U.S. won't initiate a war until the U.N. inspectors are out of Iraq; when they leave, that's when you know.

I think that mid day tomorrow Kofi Annan will get a call from the White House. Just a friendly message to the weapons inspectors that they need to either leave in the next 3 hours or stay put in the bunker under their hotel. This willhopefully be the last interaction our nation ever has with the UN. (a girl can dream)

The president will address the nation at 7 pm with a standard run down of the reasons that we must act and the fact that the UN has failed to live up to it's mission. The speech will culminate with an announcement that at that moment 7:30 the missles are being launched and the planes are taking off.

The only prediction I'll make is that most of the casualties from chemicals and biological agents will be civilian. Unless we're exceedingly unlucky, the gas and germs will prove more a nuisance than anything else to our troops. Germ and gas warfare only works against civilian targets and soldiers stuck in trenches.

My real fear all the way around is for civilian casualties.

I will not predict when fighting starts. I sort of think it'll be another week, but I have no confidence whatsoever. I don't think anyone else should be confident, either.

Be brave.

I read that Saddam ordered identical copies of American and British uniforms. He's going to kill his own people and film them doing it, then give it to Al Jazeera.

Tuesday. The 18th. I stand with Diane E. on this one.

Saddam will kill thousands of American and European civillians with terror cells and WMD. The war will be bloodier and longer than expected with other nations pulled into the fray. We will find evidence of French involvement in some way or another that will put our nations on a collision course for war.

Even if none of that comes to pass, lots of good people who shouldn't have to die will.

I think the ultimatum goes on Monday. I expect Shock and Awe is slated for Tuesday, but I also expect Saddam to jump the gun with an attack on Israel that will be less effective than he hoped. He'll use Hamas surrogates to deliver every sort of terror strike, coupled with whatever wmd-tipped scuds he can muster.

Look for the opening salvos in the war to be what appears to be a mass uprising in Palestine. One of Saddam's most effective weapons will be splodeydopes in groups of surrendering Iraqis. After a few US-Brit troops get killed this way, surrenders will be harder to come by, and there may be some surrending Iraqis shot out of hand - which, of course, is what Saddam wants.

Saddam cannot fight a regular war, so he'll fight an asymetric one, as much as he can. Aside from our air power hunting him from the first moments, SF inside Baghdad and elsewhere will also be looking for him. I also expect there is a standing offer of a billion dollars for his head, quietly delivered to Tommy Franks.

We'll see if it's enough.

There will be some attacks here in the US, more in England, but the greatest terrorist damage will be done in France.

Okay, is that far enough out on a limb?

Bill--The greatest terrorist damage will be done to France? Er, why?

I'll go with the first comment by Steve Scheiwe with the exception that I think this will go down in history as the St. Patrick's Afternoon War.

There's a slim possibility that we will agree to Chiraq's last ditch "30-day deadline" offer, but only if it unconditionally includes an automatic use of force approval. Since it's doubtful such a plan will actually get Chiraq's approval, I think the President will give a speech at around 8 PM announcing that hostilities have commenced (no pre-warning to inspectors or anyone else, which would warn Saddam).

Or, we'll get back on the merry-go-round and accomplish nothing except to feed Chiraq's ego,

I'm with Dodd.

I also think that sometime tomorrow evening, the rain will turn to snow and Denver will be buried in possibly record-setting amounts of snowfall over the next 48-72 hours. Of course, this being Denver weather and Denver forecasts, I won't really know until it starts - kind of like the war, actually.

Bill--The greatest terrorist damage will be done to France? Er, why?
Because France has the largest, worst-controlled, and angriest Islamo-Arab minority. And because, while the French have thought all along they could "manage" Arab anger by opposing the United States, they are, to Arabs, only another bunch of white western crusaders. Ask yourself: Did Iraq try to cover up France's roll in violating the embargo? From everything I've heard, no. Further, I expect that Saddam received private assurances from France that it could prevent the US from attacking. Hussein may be somewhat annoyed at the French failure to do so.

I believe that bombing will begin Tuesday. One of the first goals of the US will be to knock out Saddam's scuds now pointing at Israel. The last thing the US wants is Israeli involvement militarily. I think that we can expect this war to be over within two weeks. The only real danger to the air force (which will largely win the war) is the SAMs that Iraq has been training on American planes for the last 12 years. It shouldn't be a big problem. I wouldn't worry about this war.

Tuesday.

'Our robot warriors will annihilate you.'

Michele, I think the UN will screw around, Saddam will hide in his bunker, and we'll smack the bejezus out of him. We'll have Baghdad cut off in 2-3 days. By that time, Saddam's communications will be down to carrier pigeons and tin cans and string. What happens next depends on how many people in Baghdad want to die for Saddam. Saddam might order a biochemical Gotterdammerung, but will his officers carry out the order? Historically, it's been easier to issue such orders, than to get anyone to obey them.

Aftermath of the war and reconstruction - France and Russia get told where to stick their oil contracts and loans to Saddam. We go through Saddam's archives, and plaster every media outlet in sight with the dirt on them. In general, we make ourselves a pain in their asses. Turkey loses out on the deal we offered, but we don't give the Kurds an independent state. We try to build the closest possible ties with Spain, Italy, Eastern Europe, and of course, Britain. Germany stays on the shit list, until Schroeder's gone. Once he's gone, we'll give the Germans another chance, but they're on probation.

Riyadh delenda est!

Monday evening. I think the waiting game is up. I would guess the bombs start by late afternoon or night, and within 48 hours the troops go in. Bless the President and let's go and free the Iraqui people!

I just got back and hadn't followed the news this weekend? We have war yet?

3 week deadline, w/ automatic war trigger. Gets the majority of the security council vote. (Unsure about vetoes--maybe some abstentions) We go to war in three weeks.

I think the bombing starts Tuesday, and I think there's a 50% chance Saddam will be dead by Wednesday.

If that happens, I think there's 2 chances in 3 that the worst of the fighting would be over by Friday.

But my record of predictions on this has been pretty dismal.

Saddam will not strike first because he will not fully expect an attack until it hits. Besides, it wouldn't do him any good.

The initial blow will decapitate the regime. Saddam will be incommunicado or dead.

Before his accomplices can respond, US forces will secure oil fields and surround Baghdad and Tikrit. Resistance will collapse quickly.

Hardcore loyalists may try to release toxins but will encounter incompetence, obstruction, sabotage, cruise missiles, and marines. Their efforts will not be successful.

Very quickly, the US military's greatest challenge will be to restore order and prevent reprisals. Iraqis will celebrate.

Timing will depend upon intelligence. It could start tonight.

(Optimistic enough for ya?)

Just a note to Meryl:
Iraq is 8 hours ahead of us. Anything after 4pm EST is Tuesday there.

As far as when, I think it has already started. What we are doing is predicting when it will go overt.

From Ben: "The last thing the US wants is Israeli involvement militarily."

Maybe. But also maybe (but this is likely nothing more than sheer hope) part of the delay was to give Israel time to prepare an offensive against Hamas, et al.

Saddam will launch a chemical attack on US troops/Israel immediately after the war begins. Leftie liberals who have previously been screaming that Saddam did not have these weaponse and we've no reason to invade will immediately start screaming that the US is to blame for him using the non-exitent weapons because of our bellicose nature.

'Is Paris burning?'

'Err, why certainly Fuhrer.'

I don't think the Iraqi military will carry out Saddam's worst commands; particularly if they feel like Saddam has lost most or all of his power within Iraq.

I'm a bit torn on this one. I don't think Bush will be concerned about evacuation of the inspectors (they should know for themselves how imminent war is). I think he MIGHT want to give Saddam 24-hours to leave the country to save it being bombed. The actual point of massive attack will not be specifically announced because there are some targets that require surprise (such as oilfields set to explode).

As far as Iraqi missiles, their longer-range variety should stay airborne long enough to be easily targeted, and their short range missiles should be relatively ineffective.

Once the propaganda machine in Iraq is dismantled, Iraqis will be more sympathetic to and accepting of western involvement.

Just on Fox.

1) US /UK to withdraw 18th resolution.
2) Blix to ask for inspectors leave Iraq
3) President Bush to address nation at 8PM TONIGHT.

It's go time.

Even though Steve's predictions have been bad I will go along with him on this one. The first 2 days (this week it starts) will take out a lot of his key people. If Saddam gets hit the war is over by Friday.

The market likes it. The dow is pushing to 200 points up/

Just heard the announcement about the withdrwal. In the next few hours being alert to spoiling attacks will be critical. Mostly air assests hunting missles on the ground and Patriot type batteries on high alert in Isreal.

Troops on the ground, leaning forward, will be let off their leads at the same time the "shock and awe" starts. It will be a rolling barrage ahead of the troops.

Done by the end of the week except for mop up.

Godspeed, good luck and good hunting.

"Always Out Front"

I think Bush will use tonight's speech to broadcast secret Republican Mind Control beams into the minds of Americans, who will then support this war for oil at the behest of the Elders of Zion, and then support an amendment to the Consitution so that Bush is in office for life, and then we'll all be eating McDonald's all the time, man, and they'll cut down the rainforest to grow irradiated beef and cover up the Wellstone assassination.

I seem to have reached a point where all I can do is gibber like a loon. Either that, or the fine windowpane I bought is kicking in.

But really...I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen next. None, nada, zip. This is nothing like the Gulf War...of course, I was younger then, so my awareness was more limited...hell, I marched against it, because I was a freaky long-haired New Agey folk-singin' drug-doin' twenty-somethin' liberal flake.

But that war was just suddenly upon us, it seemed. This has been months in the making. Eighteen months, to be precise. Back then, I wasn't aware of the possibilities...now, I am. Too much so. The broad outlines are clear enough: speech, then bombing. But the bookends of the possible are far apart: at one end, nothing at all happens here. At the other end, cities fall.

I just hope that it's over quickly, that the loss of life for everyone involved is minimal, and that the administration holds true to its professed ideals of rebuilding infrastructure and creating solid, democratic government.

Bush is a foregone conclusion....I'll be watching the British House of Commons and what happens in there.

Most preferred option: Attack begins tonight (monday) with very heavy air/missle attacks coupled with special forces seizure of oil fields and critical junctions along with beginnings of multi-pronged attack via Kuwait/Saudia, Northern Iraq, Jordanian desert. Saddam gets whacked in bunker in Tikrit by burrowing bombs which destroy 90+ million dollar german-built bunker. War over by weekend.

Worst-case scenario: Saddam, realizing he is in use-it-or-lose-it scenario, pre-emptively launches scud & drone attacks against Israel and US bases in Kuwait., fires oil fields throughout country, on Monday afternoon. Simultaneous uprisings/attacks on Israel by Hezbollah (S. Lebanon) and Hamas include use of Iraq-smuggled WMD. Israel glasses Damascus, Gaza, and Hezbollah areas. Egypt closes Suez. Iranian forces in eastern Iraq join fray, help stop and beat back initial US assault on Basra. Iran manages to nuke one of our carrier task forces in the gulf, via submarine. Casualties begin to mount. Saddam manages to spirit himself away, through Queda smuggling network, taking more WMD with him.

I believe that Allied victory in Iraq is inevitable. I believe that the first scenario is a lot more likely than the last. I pray and fear for the brave men and women who are bearing arms in defense of the rest of the world.

Matt--Iranian forces launching a pre-emptive attack on U.S. forces? What on earth for? If anything, with American troops right next door, I'd think the Iranian government would be doing everything it possibly could at this point not to give us an excuse to come knocking.

MSNBC is reporting (unconfirmed) that a pipeline in southern Iraq has been opened and it is anticipated that Saddam will start burning....one effect of which would be to slow US troops down.

We're very close, and the blogosphere resounds with predictions. So, based on a well done piece by Bill Quick, here are mine:
I agree that there may be an upsurge in terrorist activity in Israel. I don't think it will be much more than rioting, some shelling and rocketry from over the borders. The Israelis have done a nice job in cleaning up the leadership of the terrorists lately, and I don't believe they have the capacity to organize a full scale uprising any longer.

I agree that we face a danger from agents infiltrating as surrenderees. Our guys need to be on their toes, but we remember Vietnam and this is a lesson well learned in Vietnam. I don't think it will be a very successful tactic.

It appears like Bush is going to give Saddam 72 hours. Too long, but I can understand trying to get him to rabbit. If we can spot him when he runs for his bolthole, or find the bolthole, hooray! Otherwise, we are indeed asking for some type of strike by Iraqi forces first.

I think that the potential for Iraqi attacks in Europe and the United States is there, but I cannot assess how high it is. The Tikrit Thugocracy is not a fanatical regime; it's a criminal mob. There may be agents in place throughout the West, but what is their motivation? If they do nothing, and fade quietly into the sunset, they're still living a lifestyle ten times better than they would in Iraq, even after liberation. You may find some acts of terror, but the motivation is gone. Saddam will be a memory in a few days, and the West will be alive with the sound of turning coats, to steal a phrase from H. Beam Piper.

As for the Iranian students, God bless them and help them. I am not convinced that this administration, other than kind words in the State of the Union address, gives a rat's ass about them. I think we'll see bloody repression unless the United States can help.

OK, Bill, et al., my big prediction:

No drive on Baghdad. a five day armor assault towards the capital is too long. I think we may see action in the area of the capital within 24 hours. I know. I've blogged in other places that going airborne is stupid and risky. But... under the right circumstances, with enough audacity and firepower, we could end this war really quickly. Why give Saddam 72 hours notice? Why give him five days of fighting? In urban warfare, armor can be a hindrance. The much vaunted Republican Guard can't fight effectively in the city. The 82nd can. Rather than duplicate an extended Gulf War I, maybe we go for the decapitation. We have the forces and the ability. Do we have the willpower?

And, I'm still not convinced that there won't be a Turkish delight. Reports continue of ships unloading and men moving about. Instead of the 82nd and 101st flying North to Kurdistan, they drop in a little short, say around Baghdad.

We're very close, and the blogosphere resounds with predictions. So, based on a well done piece by Bill Quick, here are mine:
I agree that there may be an upsurge in terrorist activity in Israel. I don't think it will be much more than rioting, some shelling and rocketry from over the borders. The Israelis have done a nice job in cleaning up the leadership of the terrorists lately, and I don't believe they have the capacity to organize a full scale uprising any longer.

I agree that we face a danger from agents infiltrating as surrenderees. Our guys need to be on their toes, but we remember Vietnam and this is a lesson well learned in Vietnam. I don't think it will be a very successful tactic.

It appears like Bush is going to give Saddam 72 hours. Too long, but I can understand trying to get him to rabbit. If we can spot him when he runs for his bolthole, or find the bolthole, hooray! Otherwise, we are indeed asking for some type of strike by Iraqi forces first.

I think that the potential for Iraqi attacks in Europe and the United States is there, but I cannot assess how high it is. The Tikrit Thugocracy is not a fanatical regime; it's a criminal mob. There may be agents in place throughout the West, but what is their motivation? If they do nothing, and fade quietly into the sunset, they're still living a lifestyle ten times better than they would in Iraq, even after liberation. You may find some acts of terror, but the motivation is gone. Saddam will be a memory in a few days, and the West will be alive with the sound of turning coats, to steal a phrase from H. Beam Piper.

As for the Iranian students, God bless them and help them. I am not convinced that this administration, other than kind words in the State of the Union address, gives a rat's ass about them. I think we'll see bloody repression unless the United States can help.

OK, Bill, et al., my big prediction:

No drive on Baghdad. a five day armor assault towards the capital is too long. I think we may see action in the area of the capital within 24 hours. I know. I've blogged in other places that going airborne is stupid and risky. But... under the right circumstances, with enough audacity and firepower, we could end this war really quickly. Why give Saddam 72 hours notice? Why give him five days of fighting? In urban warfare, armor can be a hindrance. The much vaunted Republican Guard can't fight effectively in the city. The 82nd can. Rather than duplicate an extended Gulf War I, maybe we go for the decapitation. We have the forces and the ability. Do we have the willpower?

And, I'm still not convinced that there won't be a Turkish delight. Reports continue of ships unloading and men moving about. Instead of the 82nd and 101st flying North to Kurdistan, they drop in a little short, say around Baghdad.

Sorry, Michele, honest to God I only hit post once. It's those damn Iraqi hackers, they've infiltrated my fingers.

I've been doing multiple involuntary posts all day. I think it's a firewall setting. I never realized I was capable of multiple posts...

I believe we will begin the war EST Tuesday night. (Wed Morning early Bagdad time) Some will be surprised because they will coordinate the ground and air attack. Saddam may try to attack Israel prior to our attacking him but I am not sure of that. Oh and it will be a nice but slightly cooler day in Philly tomorrow.

Prediction is hard, especially if it's about the future.

Friday. At the latest.

Michele, can I take another bite? I forgot to mention terrorism.

Increased desperation does not equal increased capability. Al-Qaeda has been unable to launch an operation post-9/11. Communications and funding have been compromised, and operational capacity degraded into paralysis.

Iraqi agents in the US may be inclined towards mass murder, but Shock and Awe will work on them, too. Why would they sacrifice themselves for a dead Saddam? Out of love?

Even if they do act, biotoxins and nerve gas are difficult to deploy effectively. Especially while under surveillance.

No major terror attack in the US. Opportunistic but futile attempts elsewhere.

War starts in 6 days. The deadline (implicit or explicit) will be 72 hours, but we won't attack right away .... rather we'll let them get sleep deprived waiting for the attack, then BLAMMO ... I'm also betting that the air war and the ground war will start at (or very close to) the same time ... and that the ground war will look much different this time, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if the ground war starts before the air war. Oh, by ground war I don't necessarily mean tanks chewing through the Iraqi desert ... I mean guys with guns on the ground on Iraqi soil ... making sure things that SH wants to go boom don't and things that SH doesnt want to go boom, do .... I also think that things will go well militarily, but that there's a high likelihood that we'll lose quite a few people in the first few days. And true to the way America is these days, there be much bickering and arm-chair generaling and "why in the hell did you do this, and not this, and how come you didn't know this, and blah, blah, blah".
Anyway, I wish the men and women over there god speed and pray for their safe return, as well as that Iraq ends up in the Germany/Japan/S.Korea paradigm, rather than the Algerai/Lebanon/Vietnam paradigm.

So hard to think through the migraine... I dunno. Stuff will happen. The teevee screens will be full of Concerned Anchorpersons talking to Concerned Journalists shouting into microphones against a backdrop of dark sky with blurry lights. Rumors will fly thick and fast. Some people will get killed. I predict at least one televized interview with an anxious Kurd/Kuwaiti/Iraqi/whatever family by a Beeb reporter with a snide accent. The peaceniks will go out of their minds and have to be sedated. (Okay, that's not a prediction, that's a wish.) Several people will write solemn, portentious blogposts. Subject: Civilization As We Know It Will Never Be The Same. Several other people will write about the latest Simpson episode. At least one blogger will put up a "Who has the hottest troops" poll. (Last Gulf War it was the Brits. Have they held up in the intervening twelve years?)

Stuff will blow up. Hussein's forces will at least attempt to lob a few missiles (those ones they don't have) into Israel, just because. There will be an infinite number of how-to-put-a-gas-mask-on segments on CNN, until everyone is sick of the subject and wants nothing to do with the damn things. Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, et al, will continue to be insufferable. The Two Towers will only win an obscure Oscar for best caterers or something; Chicago will sweep the awards instead.

I predict that the invasion will start on Friday, the 21st. Why? Because I have opera tickets for that evening. Of course I'll go anyway. I'm sure I don't have anything to worry about personally but I still don't like the idea of being in even a small relatively unimportant city like Tulsa while scary things are going on in the world and it will put a shadow over everything.

I've already been proved wrong. (Sigh.)

I'm done predicting for the moment, except to say that

(1) there will not be a wave of apocalyptic anti-US terrorism during the war, though some minor-league bozos might try something;

(2) there will not be a nuclear war with France; and

(3) that super-pneumonia going around will not exterminate humanity.

Ian's comment about how the 1991 war was "suddenly upon us" startled me, because that's not how I remember it at all: I remember a long, dread-filled buildup with gradually increasing saber-rattling from George H. W. Bush.

But I find that it was actually more rapid than I remembered, not as fast as the run-up to the Afghanistan war, but certainly more rapid than the current preparations. Here's a 1991 Gulf War chronology:

http://www.desert-storm.com/War/chronology.html

There were only a couple of months between the overt statement of an "offensive option" and the start of bombing. But the troops had been gathering in Saudi Arabia as "Desert Shield" since not long after Iraq invaded Kuwait. It wasn't as long as the run-up to war we've seen this time around, but it wasn't instant either.

I remember trying to play the pundit and insisting one day, probably in November 1990, that Bush was going to start the war within days (because he's acting like a crazy man!!!), whereupon somebody carefully explained some stuff about military logistics and the need to build up an adequate counter-invasion force. Once the war started I channeled my predictive powers into predicting that Bush would be unbeatable in 1992. So you can see that I have a long and illustrious predicting career.