Sometimes You Have to Call a Spade a ClubBill Hobbs says Saddam and his henchmen were deluded into thinking they actually still had WMD:
WMD: The Weapon of Mass Deliverance
"Saddam, himself deluded, deluded the world into believing he had weapons of mass destruction. Hence the many UN resolutions that he must disarm. Hence the deadline. Hence the U.S. military rolling into Baghdad."Basically, it looks like what we did was call Saddam's unintentional bluff. He was working on a Royal Flush - 10, J, Q, and K of Spades down, Ace of Spades showing - but didn't realize the 10 of Spades was actually a 10 of Clubs. Oopsy! All his advisors and flunkies and bodyguards and sons and wives said, "But of course, your excellency - it is of course the 10 of Spades! Who would not think so? Those who say it is not will be shredded instantly, sir!"
After a while, even Saddam could look at the card and convince himself it was a Spade.
What does still trouble is, looking at the reflection in his glasses, we thought he had a 10 of Spades, too. If you're going to cheat, folks, cheat well. Our Intelligence community apparently relied only on communications and interviews with defectors, etc - not actually hands-on discoveries of WMD's. They relied on what the Iraqi's told each other (and covertly, the US) about the WMD programs. And hence believed what Saddam believed - that he had WMD and was prepared to use them (or sell them).
So we took a calculated risk and called the bluff. Saddam, smiling, laid down his hand and began to rake in the pot - only to be shown, forcefully, that ole' 10 of Clubs. The smile quickly vanished like a spider down a hole.