Tuesday, March 18, 2003

From our prolific Atlanta Bureau Chief, RJGator, comes this quasi-legal analysis:
InstaPundit wrote last evening, "The big question: if Saddam makes clear that he won't step down, will we start before the 48 hours has expired?"

Looking at this from the perspective of a contract attorney, there is no legal reason why we should not. We made an offer: leave within 48 hours, and there will not be a war. According to the Atlanta news this morning, Saddam's sons rejected the offer. It is a fundamental rule of contract law that rejection of an offer kills the offer. Once the
offer is dead, it can't be revived: Saddam can't change his mind and accept.

As our colleague David Epstein colorfully put it, "If it is dead, we can't mess with it any more. It would be unnatural to mess with it. That would be necrophilia."

Thus, there is no longer any offer or other impediment on the table. The table being clear, we can run it.

It would be nice if the world in general ran according to basic principles of contract law. Hell, it'd be great if contract law ran according to basic principles of contract law. Heh.

One does wonder whether the Hussein rejection of the invitation to run [and did anyone actually think Saddam & Sons would really leave?] will lead to action before Wednesday night. I doubt it, because Bush seems to have guaranteed time for the UN folks and other neutrals to get out of Iraq. However, given that surprise still remains the most important tactical advantage in war, it's maybe not a bad idea to go sooner rather than later. I mean, between the Administration and the media, Saddam has basically our entire disposition of forces. The only thing left to surprise him with is when we go, and exactly how we go.

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