Ralph Peters argues that the death of the two sons of Saddam is more significant than the fall of Baghdad. While I am not so sure about that, I do agree that it is significant. It is the penultimate step in actually moving Iraq into a new regime; finding Saddam will be the last step. It is beyond question that people still fear Saddam and his regime; that fear will decline a lot with the death of these two tyrants. It will end with the death of Saddam and then the habit of fear will eventually end. Also, this apparently well executed action puts a temporary halt to the left/medias overly critical and pessimistic view of both developments within Iraq and the petty carping regarding Bushs sixteen words on uranium. This proves, among other things, that the special forces guys have been diligently seeking and killing the tyrants and criminals, and we are reminded of it. There have been no press stories on this in part because the special ops guys do not talk to anyone, and in part because journalists are too lazy and misdirected to do some real reporting and hard reporting on these matters.
The killing of the two sons clearly helps to refocus the conversation on more important things, even though some of the carpers must be dissapointed by the good news out of Iraq. Although you wouldnt know that from a speech that Gephardt gave yesterday in San Francisco, in which he said many stupid things, including this: "George Bush has left us less safe and less secure than we were four years ago, the Bush-Cheney bravado has left us isolated in the world." Gephardt is making a large mistake. I also saw Terry MacAuliffe on TV two nights ago saying (screeching, really) something to the effect that we cant trust Bush on anything now that we know that he mislead us on the Africa uranium issue; Bush misleads and lies on everything from taxes to medicare to Iraq, he said.
MacAuliffe, Gephardt and the others think they are smelling blood because Bushs popularity has been hurt by the recent and continuous carping, so they are going way over the top. This will prove to be a mistake, as Bill Kristol has pointed out.