|(posted Friday, Sept. 6)|
Iraqi troops withdrew from Kurdish territory in northern Iraq after two days of cruise-missile attacks by the United States. Spooked by Saddam Hussein's past resilience, analysts predicted he'll be back and theorized that he had subtly outwitted the United States (by regaining control of northern Iraq, besting Iran, and rallying his citizens against the Great Satan). U.S. officials admitted that by focusing retaliation on the south (bombarding military targets and expanding the zone in which Iraqi aircraft are forbidden to fly), they were, in effect, just using Saddam's attack on the Kurds as an excuse to cripple his ability to threaten oil supplies elsewhere. Some commentators denounced the United States for betraying the Kurds; others blamed the Kurds for bringing the tragedy on themselves by inviting Saddam into their internecine conflict. Observers noted that the 1991 Gulf War coalition had unraveled: France refused to enforce the no-fly zone; Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey refused to let U.S. planes use their bases or air space to attack Iraq. By Thursday, the Turks were free-lancing in the battle zone (bombing hostile Kurds), and the Washington Post warned there was "no end in sight."