American officials have told ABCNEWS that even with today’s bombing, secret talks have continued behind the scenes about a Saddam Hussein surrender and exile to, among other places, the country of Mauritania in west Africa.
Secretary of State Colin Powell hinted at the possibility of ongoing talks, saying: “There are a number of channels open to Baghdad. There are a number of individuals in countries around the world who have been conveying the message to the Iraqi regime that it is now inevitable that there will be a change.”
One of the back channels goes through France, according to American officials aware of the negotiations.
The report goes on to say that Saddam might be offered a lovely retirement home in Mauritania, perhaps one of the most miserable countries in all of former French West Africa.
I’d rather he were dead than in what amounts to French custody. But if exile saves lives, then so be it.