Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Quick thoughts on Saddam’s capture

Fred Barnes just punched out some instant political analysis regarding Democrats and Saddam’s 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 Saddam’s 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 what’s 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 isn’t everything, it’s 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. Saddam’s capture should have an effect on both the tone and the substance of the Democrats’ criticism of the administration (didn’t the rise in GDP do that too?).

Isn’t 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 let’s 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.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I am in total agreement with you. Actually, though, I have to admit that I was surprised at how much discussion there was about the election, Bush, Dean, etc. All of my initial thoughts were that it was a great day for freedom and self-government over totalitarian, genocidal, illegitimate government and state-sponsored terrorism. That makes it a great day for humanity.

Of course, it will be very hard for the Democrats to defeat Bush - of course, that’s always hard to do when you have a president who pursues a course of action, employs the methods necessary to achieve the goals, and prudently sticks with his objectives in the face of trouble and opposition. That, ladies and gentlemen, is just a classic bit of statesmanship. Maybe the UN & other international organizations and several countries who bugged out of Iraq at the first sign of danger could learn a thing or two about courage under fire and real peacekeeping and humanitarianism.

Tony Williams

"My quick opinion, for what’s it worth is this: This is a momentous event."

In the few seconds it took my browser to load the NLT site, I found myself contemplating what Schramm would have to say about Saddam’s capture... "momentous event," believe it or not, is what immediately came to my mind. I guess what this means is that my wife is right, I spend way too much time on the internet. :)

By the way, I had just read Safire in the NYT. He takes exception to finding "something interesting" from Saddam. He writes:

"Why did he not use his pistol to shoot it out with his captors or to kill himself? Because he is looking forward to the mother of all genocide trials, rivaling Nuremberg’s and topping those of Eichmann and Milosevic. There, in the global spotlight, he can pose as the great Arab hero saving Islam from the Bushes and the Jews."

My quick opinion, for what’s it worth is this: Safire’s right.

Otherwise, Saddam’s capture was indeed a very "momentous event."

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