Fred Barnes just punched out some instant political analysis regarding Democrats and Saddams capture. He thinks they have made some big mistakes on the issue of Iraq (pull Lieberman out of this one). CNN and Gallup ran a quick phone poll late today. Some of the results follow. An overwhelming majority -- 82 percent -- believed Saddams capture was a "major achievement." Of those polled, 62 percent agreed it was worth going to war. The previous high was 63 percent on August 25-26. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat confident that bin Laden would be captured. Markets are going up world-wide, and it is expected that the U.S. markets will also get a boost. An article in the Los Angeles Times maintains this: "The gasps that arose when Iraqis first saw Saddam Hussein filthy, ragged and in American hands could be the sound of the air leaving the insurgent movement.
The former soldiers and intelligence officers who were the backbone of the guerrillas in Iraq have suffered a stunning blow. People who have been sitting on the fence may now be less likely to join the resistance, and some may be emboldened to commit themselves to the U.S. vision for a new Iraqi state."
My quick opinion, for whats it worth is this: This is a momentous event. It will prove significant that this guy did not put up a fight. He proves to be a coward, a homeless, disheveled drone, one who still identifyies himself as President of a country, while a doctor looks for lice in his hair. His capture certainly has a bad effect psychologically on the bad guys, and not only in Iraq, but among Arabs in general. While that isnt everything, its not unimportant. It has propaganda value. If we keep adding victory to victory, pretty soon some will start talking about who is riding the strongest horse, after all. Yet, I will be surprised if the immediate effect is not more attacks, both in Iraq and elsewhere (even possibly including the U.S.). A dramatic attack or two would slow our momentum and would try to get air back into the lungs of prospective martyrs. Saddams capture should have an effect on both the tone and the substance of the Democrats criticism of the administration (didnt the rise in GDP do that too?).
Isnt it ironic that
Newsweek is reporting today that Dean got a large "Gore bounce"? Dean went from 16% of registered Demos supporting him a month ago, to 24% today.
Furthermore, there will be a lot of tip-toing around--since Saddam is a prisoner--there is always a chance that he will reveal something interesting about any number of things (WMD, the French, etc.). Even the question of how he ought to be tried (by an Iraqi court, The Hague, etc.) will become a bit of an issue; but it will be harder for the Dean-wing of the Demo party to make the argument that this justice (and honor) should be taken out of the hands of the Iraqis. The land-mines that Demos have to negotiate in American politics have just increased ten-fold. I guess you could make the argument that the election for the harts and minds of the American voter starts today. And Bush is off to a fast start. But lets not forget one thing: A vicious tyrant--one who has pillaged and raped and slaughtered--is formally out of business. Have you any idea what a relief this must be to ordinary Iraqis? I have a slight idea. After tyrants lose power, human beings sleep better, laugh louder, and walk in fear no more.