Early this year, when we had an incredibly powerful invasion force sitting at Iraq’s border, one of the things that didn’t make sense to anybody was the fact that Saddam Hussein wouldn’t try to make a deal, any deal, with the United States. Everybody knew that regardless of what else happened, as soon as US forces crossed the border Saddam Hussein was on his way out as dictator of Iraq. Surely the fact that he wouldn’t negotiate proved that he was utterly and completely insane, or so the thinking went. Well, as is often the case, there appears to be more to the story.

Update: there’s also a story behind the story. Slate’s Jack Shafer also looks into this.