First we bomb the crap out of a major city in order to kill one guy (and a couple of his friends and relatives) ... then we let the guy we're trying to kill escape unharmed?
American officials have told ABCNEWS that even with today's bombing, secret talks have continued behind the scenes about a Saddam Hussein surrender and exile to, among other places, the country of Mauritania in west Africa.
Secretary of State Colin Powell hinted at the possibility of ongoing talks, saying: "There are a number of channels open to Baghdad. There are a number of individuals in countries around the world who have been conveying the message to the Iraqi regime that it is now inevitable that there will be a change."
Oh, and here's the best part -- guess the nationality of the person doing the shuttle diplomacy to try to make this happen:
One of the back channels goes through France, according to American officials aware of the negotiations.
Since December, ABCNEWS has learned, an emissary from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been in the middle of the secret offer of exile. American officials say the French go-between, Pierre Delval, an expert on counterfeiting, has repeatedly traveled to Baghdad to persuade Saddam to accept exile in Mauritania.