The extraordinary offer was revealed yesterday in a transcript of talks in February 2003 between George Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the President's Texas ranch.The possibilities are mind-boggling, but only under certain conditions. For example, what did Saddam offer as a replacement? Uday and Qusay? Would he have simply left a vacuum, resulting in the very same mess we're trying to clean up now?
The White House refused to comment on the report last night.
But, if verified, it is certain to raise questions in Washington and London over whether the costly four-year war could have been averted.
It's an interesting game of what-if. But that's all it is...and even then, only if it's true.
Update: I don't know how I missed this the first time around, but this paragraph would seem to bolster intelligence estimates on Iraq's WMD programs before the war:
"It seems he's indicated he would be prepared to go into exile if he's allowed to take $1billion and all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction."