The civilian militia, or home guard, is essentially a support force. In time of war it will be expected to help the government run public services and keep order. It will not be expected to fight any invader.
Any thoughts on the possibility of Saddam Hussein accepting exile or being overthrown by a coup d'etat?
Exile or coup d'etat would come only well into a war when it was quite clear that Iraq was losing.
You've been reporting from Iraq for a long time. Can you comment on the role of international press and how they interact with the Iraqi government?
Unlike most developing nations, the Iraqi government is expert at using the international media to advance their interests. The Iraqis realize that Baghdad is one of the most desirable news locations in the world because of the sense of crisis surrounding Iraq for the past 12 years. Journalists have been encouraged to visit ever since the gulf war, and hundreds are in the Iraqi capital today.
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