Saddam recalls children of diplomats

In a troubling piece in the Washington Times, Saddam has allegedly demanded that the children of Iraqi diplomats return to Iraq. U.S. intelligence believes this is an attempt to prevent defections of high-ranking envoys.
If this is true, and the Times piece says that some diplomats haven’t gotten the message so it might not be, this is another sign that Saddam is increasingly nervous over the survival of his regime in the face of pressure from the United States. Further complicating the situation, today at the United Nations, the U.S. pushed its own resolution on Iraq forward, with France indicating a willingness to negotiate. This leaves Russia as the main holdout on tough new language against Iraq, and I’ve been told America is working out a deal to settle Iraq’s $8 billion debt to Russia in exchange for the Bear’s support. Russia is dragging its feet not because of loyalty to an old customer, but because it’s holding out for better terms from the United States. That wiley Putin!
So Saddam is feeling the heat, but what the outcome of this multilevel chess game is, as yet, hard to predict.