British intelligence reports say Saddam Hussein is alive, but left his compound in an ambulance, after it was hit by a U.S. raid. Foreign Office Minister Mike O’Brien says,”We’ve received information that Saddam Hussein left the area in an ambulance. There was some talk that he had been injured, even some suggestion that he had been killed. It seems that is unlikely, that if he was injured it doesn’t appear it was a serious injury.” The information came from “at least one eye witness” to the strike. O’Brien says, “It appears he subsequently appeared on Iraqi TV but again there are question marks over some of those TV appearances. In essence, we don’t know for sure.”

Whether Saddam is alive or dead, he doesn’t appear to be giving much direction to his troops. British Air Marshall Brian Burridge says, “I suspect they are in significant disarray at the moment. Once the regime recognizes that its days are up, then they will crumble.”

It turns out that the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been secretly offering Saddam exile to the country of Mauritania in west Africa. Before the start of the war, Pierre Delval traveled to Baghdad several times to try to persuade Saddam to accept exile in the former French colony. Mauritania is now an Islamic republic that has good relations with Iraq.

It’s amazing what fanatic dictators can survive.

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