Capturing Saddam is a great moment for our troops in Iraq. It vindicates them as “the best of the best” and I hope will provide a morale boost to those brave and deserving women and men.
Conjecture has already begun on whether this will or won’t assure Bush’s reelection.
I predict that come November, this won’t be a major factor, and that the capture of Saddam will be largely symbolic in the long run.
For one thing, Saddam could turn into another publicity-hungry pain in the rear like Slobodan Milosevic, who continues to remain unrepentant and defiant while using the International Criminal Tribunal as a bully pulpit.
Second, no one is going to be able to coerce information out of Saddam as they did with the lesser Baathists who “cooperated” in providing that “actionable intelligence”. Saddam has too much visibility and, videos of tongue depressors aside, he will be accorded a certain dignity. After all, he was a head of state and it could offend other Arab heads of state if he’s treated like street rabble.
He might end up like Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, cutting deals, maybe involving assets rather than people, to ensure a comfortable retirement in a nice prison somewhere.
Anyway, it sounded like Saddam was pretty well toast by the time our soldiers found him. Al Qaeda and the rest of the terrorists will regroup, assuming they haven’t already, so whatever Saddam knows or knew will be as useful as yesterday’s kitty litter.
Then again, I could be wrong.