Monday, December 15, 2003

Saddam's capture

Yesterday’s announcement of Saddam Hussein’s capture was indeed a spectacular accomplishment for our military. It’s clear that consistent effort in intelligence-gathering, coupled with discipline and a few lucky breaks led to the capture of the most wanted man in Iraq.

Regardless of your opinion of the merits of the war to begin with, one thing should be said of President Bush: he remained firm in his desire to end Hussein’s rule. Bush persisted in searching for Hussein after major combat operations were over, and now not only has Hussein alive in custody but has also caught or killed more than 70% of the original 52 most wanted Iraqis.

This commitment is laudable, and Bush’s leadership on this issue (not the war, but the pursuit and capture of Hussein) is commendable.

However, (you knew there had to be a however, right?) I don’t see how this materially affects the safety and security of Americans at home, nor do I think this makes our soldiers materially safer in Iraq. By the Bush Administration’s own admissions, Iraq is now a haven for terrorists of all stripes, many of whom (all of whom?) take their direction from individuals other than Saddam Hussein. Whether they’re directly linked to al Qaeda, or they’re Saudi, Syrian or Iranian nationals looking to sow unrest, or some other flavor not yet identified, the fact remains: American soldiers are targets throughout Iraq. And the fanatics laying the mines, aiming the rifles and driving truck bombs into buildings are not under Hussein’s command.

As a result, his capture will not end the terrorism in Iraq. And I believe that the country’s primary mission today should be fighting the war on terror — and Iraq was not a material element of the terrorist threat prior to our invasion and occupation. Consequently, I don’t see Hussein’s capture as dramatically lessening the terrorist threat in America or abroad.

I think we owe it to ourselves and our allies to show the same commitment to winning the war on terror that the Bush Administration showed in winning the war in Iraq. Taking Osama bin Laden out is a necessary step in that war, as is internationalizing the coalition in the war on terror so that the terrorists have fewer places to hide, fewer sources of funds, fewer suppliers of weapons, fewer advocates of hate.

DeanSkeptic asked in my comments how having France or Germany on our side would help: by marginalizing these fanatics and denying them the anonymity they require in order to operate. If every nation were cooperating with us in this war — cooperation that would yield intelligence, arrests, extraditions — we would dramatically increase our ability to flush them out and win the war.

We are stronger when our allies are stronger — and by marginalizing countries who failed to fall in line behind us (bribery does not a true coalition build), we’re weakening the ability of the civilized world to act as one. Working together as one requires compromise and it requires patience. We’ve demonstrated precious little of either commodity on the world stage, and I’m afraid our efforts in the war on terror have suffered as a result.

Once again, congratulations to the men and women of the military who shined this weekend. Saddam Hussein’s capture was indeed a triumph for the Iraqi people, and a necessary accomplishment for the Iraqis to move towards a lasting peace.


  1. I agree RICK! Let's join hands and forget about the Terrorist Training Camps in Iraq such as Salman Pak! Let's pretend that Saddam Hussein never had his military shoot at our Airplanes and shoot down one of our Drones.

    Let's pretend together and fantasize the Saddam never sent money to Terrorist Families of Palestinian Suicide Bombers.

    Let's pretend that the Czech Intelligence actually DOESN'T stand by their information on the meeting between 9/11 Leader Muhammad Atta and an Iraqi Case Officer.

    Let's ignore the recent MEMORANDOM dated in 2001 that shows that Muhammad Atta was Trained in Terrorism Skills in Iraq.

    Let's pretend that a Dictator with Billions of Dollars at his disposal couldn't possibly EVER have the ability to give away a single dollar to Al Queda or Osama Bin Laden or any other Terrorist Cell or Organization because afterall we had him contained.

    Let's pretend that the only reason we went to war was only because Bush had a 'Revenge' fix.

    Let's join hands and Celebrate the Capture of Saddam while also ignoring every single horrible thing Saddam Ever did that led up to the war.

    Let's also remember that Saddam had 48 hours to leave the country in order to stop the war AND HE REFUSED TO DO IT!!

    Let's forget that there were Anti-War people acting as Human Shields guarding Saddam's Baath Party Militant forces.

    Let's forget welll.... Everything so that we can sleep good at night and dream good dreams while still being capable of being Anti-War and Anti-Bush.

  2. My question is whether or not Rick waited to hear Howard Dean's response FIRST before coming up with his own response.

  3. "If he truly believes the capture of this evil man has not made America safer, then Howard Dean has put himself in his own spider hole of denial. I fear that the American people will wonder if they will be safer with him as president." - Joe Lieberman,

    If capturing Saddam Hussein does not make America Safer or is 'Insignificant on the War on Terrorism' .... Capturing a notorious evil dictator that is THE WORSE since Hitler..

    How on Earth is capturing Osama Bin Laden going to amke America Safer with this logic? Based on this logic there is absolutely NOTHING the American Military and President Bush can possibly due to satisfy Rick Klau and Howard Dean and make him question whether he is mistaken in his spiderhole of denial.

    I tell ya one thing. I can admit I am wrong. I have been a bit harsh here but I get passionate as heck when America reaches a gigantic milestone. I am wrong for saying the things I've said here.

    I am wrong for saying I would leave America if Dean was president. I wouldn't. I lied. I just wanted to Bait Rick (actually). My apologies.

    I am wrong about a lot of things really. But, not about this.

  4. Jeff,
    You really think the United States is safer today? Are our troops safer, yes. Is the Middle East safer? yes. Is DeKalb, IL safer? Not really.

    If we really had a reliable link between 9/11 and Saddam would we have waited as long as we did to go after him? No!

    If we had reliable information that he was behind 9/11 we would have and should have gone after him without waiting for any semblance of a coalition.

    “Capturing a notorious evil dictator that is THE WORSE since Hitler.”

    I don’t agree with you there either. I would argue the Jong Il’s of North Korea were and are far worse.

  5. Capturing Sadam is a great thing, and hopefully it will lead to more cooperation from Iraqi civilians who were still living in fear of him, but he was not coordinating the attacks on out troops. Hopefully his removal as a figurehead will have a larger impact than I think it will.

    I think the most important question is "is anyone safer now than before the invasion of Iraq?"
    I'm not sure if Iraq is any safer - the chaos following the invasion certainly hasn't left most Iraqis feeling safer.
    I don't think the Middle East is any safer - The invasion left scores of weapon depots looted, providing the raw materials for years of bombings around the Middle East, as well as providing some of the small arms that are being used against our troops. We've created the largest weapons black market in the Middle East.
    I don't think we are any safer - The Tuwaitha nuclear facility was looted, leaving a lot of radioactive material unaccounted for. This material is exactly what the Bush administration was so concerned about Iraq supposedly buying from Africa last year.

  6. Bask in the glow of the spiderhole of denial.

    One interesting thing here is that an evil dictator that invades 2 countries, kills 1 million people, gasses 10,000 or so kurds, starves towns and villages, and hates America is considered a 'Toothless Tiger' in comparison to Kim Jong Ill (who by the way is nothing more than someone who has chosen to toss words at America).

    Apparently, "I'm going to get you." is far more scarier than Fedayeen Aiming Missiles and Guns at our Planes patrolling the no fly zone.

    So much for 'caring' about the military over seas. You people are so fixated on Bush Hatred that you can't even put together any foreign policy that has any consistent logic.