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* WINNER? Iraq. It routed allied forces, humiliated the United States and its friends and forced President Bush to beg for a cease-fire, which Saddam Hussein generously granted.

Yes, we know that's a fairy tale. But it's what Radio Baghdad keeps saying. If anyone else seriously believes that line, they might be interested in buying some old uranium stock we'd like to sell.* WINNER: President Bush. With masterful diplomacy, he put together a unique alliance between the West and much of the Arab world. With uncanny timing, he knew when best to start the war and when best to end it. Lots of luck to anyone seriously thinking of challenging him in the next presidential election.

* WINNERS: Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Gen. Colin Powell. The commander of Operation Desert Storm and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff became heroes, dispelling Vietnam-era images of military incompetence.

* WINNERS: The many rank-and-file members of the American military, who performed like the well-trained professionals that they are. Particular note should be made of those who left civilian life on little notice to risk their lives halfway around the world.

* WINNER: American technology. The stunning performance of its super-sophisticated weaponry made everyone forget about the Pentagon's $600 toilet seats and gave a welcome boost to the reputation of American know-how.

* WINNER: Israel. By resisting the understandable urge to strike back in response to cowardly missile attacks from Iraq, the Israelis won respect for their restraint and pragmatism.

LOSER: No. 1 in the flop parade, Saddam Hussein. The Butcher of Baghdad turned out to be a blowhard with plenty of military manpower and hardware but little or no strategic prowess. Now Saddam himself may end up fulfilling the fate he forecast for his enemies by "drowning in blood."

LOSERS: Yasser Arafat and the PLO. By embracing Saddam, they made powerful enemies in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and face the loss of big financial contributions the PLO once got from the gulf states.

LOSER: Jordan's King Hussein. Long the most pro-Western leader in the Middle East, he lost clout with the West by bowing to Palestinians in his own country and speaking out for Iraq with excessive enthusiasm. Now that fresh supplies of Jordanian weapons are being found in Iraq, King Hussein has plenty of explaining to do.

LOSER: The Soviet military. USSR-made weapons failed so badly in the hands of the Iraqis that Soviet leaders are openly wondering about the reliability of Soviet military hardware.

LOSER: The anti-war movement. The campaign against Iraq was over before some protesters started waking up to the fact that they no longer have nearly the clout they possessed during and immediately after Vietnam. Now Americans clearly would rather wave flags than placards.