Notes: Which would you choose if you were an ordinary Iraqi: Face near certain torture and death for trying to overthrow Saddam, or face American bombing? It's not a great choice if you're simply an family in Iraq trying to get by.

This choice is based on the current feeling that Saddam Hussein will not go into exile although George W. Bush has said regime change is a requirement to stop his invasion. Thus, if Saddam is not overthrown, the war will go on.

We aren't hearing much about the tragedy of Iraqi civilians being killed. I tried to find reliable estimates of the number of Iraqi civilians killed during Desert Storm. The figures varied so wildly -- between 10,000 and 140,000 -- that you couldn't rely on them. Ironically, it's been reported that many of these ordinary Iraqis don't even like Saddam, but are unable to do anything about him.

This past week we learned of the strategy Pentagon types call "shock and awe." Though exact figures cannot be confirmed, the New York Times reported that during the first 48 hours of war, "3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles" will be unleashed on Iraq. In that story by Eric Schmitt and Elisabeth Bumiller, Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is quoted as saying that the best way to have a short conflict is to create "such a shock on the system that the Iraqi regime would have to assume early on the end was inevitable."

We've come down to Bush vs. Saddam. If the war breaks out, as usual, innocent civilians will die.