There is yet another report--rather more explicit than ones I have noted in the past (see my post of December 30)--that many Arab leaders are pressing Saddam to step down and go into retirement, it is asserted that "there will be a land for him," somewhere. The Saudis would like an opportunity, when war is imminent, of persuading him to go into exile. This squares with the way President Bush has been talking about there being no necessity for war, war is only the last option, etc., despite the buildup. There is also an implication in all of this that if he didnt step down there would be a coup by the military which, no doubt, we have helped orchestrate. So why the very public buildup? Well, because war is possible and because the buildup makes the necessity of war less likely. Also, troops will be needed in the area should Saddam pack it in. Some interesting possibilities, clarification due by the end of the month, mid-February at the latest.