Hostage Rescue

It would seem that today will be the day.
I can’t help thinking of this conflict less as a war, in the traditional sense, and more as a hostage rescue. The lunatic has holed up, armed to the teeth and surrounded by innocent bystanders who were unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. His henchmen stand by his side; some rabidly willing to die for the Great Man; others who long ago took what they thought was the path of least resistance, hoping against hope that it would never lead to this moment here. And many, many more who were dragged into the fight; told to place their body in front of his, else they and those they love would lose everything.
The lunatic continues ranting and raving, threatening to wreak havok if his own worldview is not confirmed as the only true one; if his demands are not met and his whims are not indulged.
The question is not whether the lunatic wins; it never is. The question is how many innocents die when the law finally comes to take him down.
Today, or very soon, we’ll begin to learn the answer to that question.
My best thoughts and wishes go out to the men and women of our military, those of our allies, and the innocent people of Iraq. And yes, in that order. And I fix my hopes on the remote possibility that, against all logic, we will not see reprisal attacks against innocents here at home and around the world — and if not, that they may be limited, and that the loss of life and property be small.
I have no prayers to give, but on days like these, sometimes I wish that were not so. But it is, and so to all those confronting the lunatic for this last time, I can say only: good luck to you.
PS – To those of you who are about to add a comment saying that my description applies better to George Bush: don’t bother. You’re just embarassing yourselves.
Update: Rand Simberg agrees