Ariel Sharon says he doesn’t expect Saddam Hussein to launch scud missiles at Israel in the coming conflict, because there’s no evidence of launchers being deployed in Iraq’s western desert. In the first Gulf War, when Iraq did fire missiles at Israel, Hussein had a much better weapons capability than he does now–so it’s perhaps no surprise that he lacks the means to threaten Israel today. This failure to target Israel also has another source: missile defense. Israel now has an Arrow missile-defense system, designed specifically to protect it against the likes of Hussein’s scuds. Although it hasn’t been tested in real combat, there’s every indication it would protect Jerusalem and other population centers effectively. Score one for the champions of missile defense–and against the naysayers who claim that such high-tech wizardry can’t be made to work.