1. The first is a dramatic last-minute concession to Hans Blix and Mohammad el-Baradei. This is what Saddam Hussein has always done with his back to the wall, and believe me there are people who are still impressed. They no longer include any members of the U.S. administration, so the trick is not going to work. Saddam will back down on spy-plane overflights (now that he has had the time to prepare for them), or offer up more scientists to be interviewed (privately, in Iraq, in bugged rooms), or even make a deathbed confession about certain hidden stockpiles (a small fraction of what he owns), in the hope of turning the tables on Mr. Powell. But that will no more sway the members of the "alliance of the willing" who are poised to strike him down, than Mr. Powell's chapter-and-verse presentation swayed Schroeder or Chirac. It will merely make whistling noises as it passes through the empty spaces between the ears of the liberal media. [Isn't this the funniest thing?]
2. The second is a major scare from North Korea. There may be a missile test (perhaps another over Japan), or a nasty incident at the DMZ (with GI casualties), or even a detectable underground nuclear explosion, I should think before next Friday. I would not be surprised to learn, eventually, that the regime of Kim Il-Jong was actually paid by Saddam in cold hard currency to perform such a stunt -- for it has a long track record of doing anything for cash. Those who think the present wild North Korean bellicosity is unconnected to developments in Iraq will be proved naïve.
3. A third possible surprise -- more likely from the week after -- will be a sudden missile attack or other attempt at a large-scale terrorist hit on Israel, directed from Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. This is a very substantial wild card, for whether its president, Bashir Assad, fully understands it or not, allowing this to happen would open a second front between Syria and Israel, either just before or after U.S. special forces have taken positions around Baghdad.
Is this guy good or what?