The Reaction to Saddam's Capture

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The AP reports that Saddam may face the death penalty, according an Iraqi Governing Council offical. The trial may begin this summer.

Meanwhile on the Web and in the blogosphere, here's a slice of reactions to the capture of Saddam:

Jeff Jarvis on the "Coalition of the Pissy".

MoveOn.org has a link to their documentary about the "whole truth of the Iraq War."

The WSJ's Peggy Noonan is whistling My Fair Lady Tunes.

Joe Lieberman calls out Howard Dean.

Drudge is all over the story.

As is Instapundit.

And Atrios.

Discuss freely.

NEXT: Ace of Bases

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  1. “Not much of a ring to that one.”

    Hey, come on, be nice. I thought it was very clever, Kevin.

  2. I hate to be cynical with regard to our military’s capture of Saddam Hussein, but all we accomplished is finally reining in a monster the U.S. itself helped to arm and unleash on his people decades ago as an expedient counterweight to Iran. Like the arrest of U.S.-backed Panamanian thug Manuel Noriega on drug charges during the Reagan era, flushing the Iraqi dictator from his spider hole was simply the least we could do for the Iraqi people.

    The most cogent argument for internationalizing the situation in Iraq – indeed for more cooperative multilateral involvement in the entire Middle East – is that the U.S. and Europe bear historic responsibility for the unrest and instability there. Europe, particularly the U.K., in leaving puppet-kingdoms and unstable, artificial nation-states like Iraq in place of their former colonies, and the U.S. in playing one tin-horn dictator against another have done much to stir the pot in that most unhappy region.

    We and our allies need to be there not to foist our way of life on an unwilling people, but to undo the damage a century and a half and more of colonialism left behind.

  3. Let me repeat a comment from one of yesterday’s thread.

    I find it astonishing that warbloggers like Instapundit are talking about how scared France and the Euros must be at what we might learn from Hussein- it’s hard to imagine that Chirac could hold a candle to Reagan when it comes to complicity with the genocidal dictator.

    It’s not just that Iraq was our favored horse in the Iran/Iraq war. According to a NYT report, the DIA was providing Iraq with satellite info on Iranian troop deployments during a period when it was known that Iraq was using chemical weapons on the Iranians.

    There is also Reagan’s famous veto of the Prevention of Genocide Act, which would have imposed sanctions on Iraq following Hussein’s most notorious atrocity, the gassing of Halabja.

    Yes, I know Bush is not Reagan, but they share many of the same cheerleaders, not to mention staff, and it’s a bit hypocritical for the people who helped Hussein use chemical weapons to profess moral outrage 15 years later.

  4. A1 writes: “”this’ll show those damned anti-war people.””

    Uh, why?

    Capturing Saddam is necessary, but not remotely sufficient for the war to be considered a success.

    Nor will it bring back the hundreds of dead American soldiers, or heal the wounded.

    And it’s unlikely to free up resources for the real war on terror.

    How many people heard “they caught him”, and thought first of Osama? I did. Anyone else?

  5. who helped Hussein use chemical weapons

    You’re confusing outright assistance with a general unwillingness to step in. Halabja was a crime against humanity, and that the entire world – the U.N. included – did not at that moment intervene is a great shame on the entire world. That the rest of the world had an anemic reaction gave the U.S. the green light to take the bad with the good (dead Iranians) and go mum for a bit.

    However, that the rest of world was impotent and ignorant during what might have been a defining moment for humanity does not change the culpability that Hussein had then and yet has today for that action. That he had launched WMD against his own justified his removal that very day. By any measure of “justice” you people claim to support, Saddam’s entire administration since March ’88 has been on borrowed time. Do you need Bush to get up on television and tell you that before you buy into it, or can you actually form an opinion non-antagonistically?

  6. At this point, the importance of capturing Saddam Hussein ranks somewhere between shooting a guy with an assault rifle in Faluja, and blowing up a warehouse full of RPGs. Oh, gee, we’ve robbed the resistance of Saddam’s strategic and tactical brilliance. Whatever will they do?

  7. Don’t despair joe! Maybe he will escape, take kingship of Iraq and begin once again murdering the Kurds and Shiites. Then we can be happy once again.

  8. Why bother with all this boring Iraqistan stuff when the real news is over at CNN.com: Keiko the orca of “Free Willy” fame has died and been secretly buried in a Norwegian cow pasture. He apparently died of pneumonia contracted after being reintroduced to the wild (and being denied the veterinary care he would have received in a marine park like Sea World).

    Hey, you said, “Discuss freely.”

  9. I spent a good eal of yesterday evening sampling the blog buzz on Saddam’s capture. It was both enlightening and very very frightening.

  10. From one of the stories:

    We will get sovereignty on the 30th of June, and I can tell you, he could be executed on the 1st of July,” said al-Rabii, a longtime human rights activist.

    Between American bloodlust and Iraqi bloodlust (which of course didn’t exist until we showed up, because as we all know America is the Root Of All Global Evil), I get the feeling that it’s going to be a foot race to the gallows. A boon to countries that provided certain assistance to the regime after 1991 but would rather not be called out in an international setting. Whatever countries those might be.

  11. “You’re confusing outright assistance with a general unwillingness to step in.”

    No, the Reagan administration actively helped Hussein use chemical weapons- not in Halabja, but by feeding him Iranian troop deployments in the mid 80s knowing he would use the info to gas them.

  12. “Where is it Saddam, Where the hell is it!”

    “You mean some weapon of mass destruction?”

    “No. Where the fuck is my 87 billion dollars?”

  13. Pandagon highlighted the really interesting aspect of the pro-war spin on the capture: they’ve been less interested in celebrating the capture, than in monitoring the anti-war blogosphere to capture examples of less than sufficient enthusiasm. Their initial reaction was not so much “Woo-hoo! We got ‘im!” as “Aha! Take THAT, Howard Dean!”

    What was that the Emperor Mishra was saying about “using our troops” to score political points?

    What would you say Bush has been doing, then? “Using our troops” is just one example of a much larger phenomenon of incumbent advantage. An incumbent president can use all the trappings of his office, and his automatic, unpaid access to the organs of public opinion, to turn his whole administration into free campaign advertising.

    In this case, Bush has been “using our troops” as unpaid props in a “Bush-Cheney 2004” ad for the last nine months.

    When’s the Idiot Rottweiler gonna offer a mug for his head?

  14. Kevin is desparately trying to sweep the most vile anti-war comments under the rug with the “pro-war bloggers are just gloating assholes” meme – I want to know why.

    As I said on the Agitator today:

    I actually thought both, in order…

    “thank God that damned butcher is gone,”

    AND

    “this’ll show those damned anti-war people.”

    Sorry, but you are judged by the company you keep. I understand that you are not a pro-Baathist and have very valid reasons for your position. But you are a fool if you think that the Chomskys and Moores and InternationalANSWERs of the world are not vile cheerleaders of thugs and should not be exposed for totalitarians they are.

    If you share their positions on the war, then I am afraid it is YOUR resonsibilty to explain why you are different. We who value Reason will listen and evaluate.

    Death to tryants,
    A1

    http://www.theagitator.com/archives/009531.php#009531

  15. An incumbent president can use all the trappings of his office, and his automatic, unpaid access to the organs of public opinion, to turn his whole administration into free campaign advertising.

    You were expecting something different out of politics? In order to unseat the president you have to make the American people think you are better than what the American people think the president will be during his next tenure. The president will move to appear better than his candidate. How? By continuing to be president. This should not be a surprise to anyone who posts on a political subject. Or even a marginal chess player.

  16. Are you kidding A1? I’m so glad you’re hear to listen and evaluate whether or not someone’s anti-war stance puts them in the ANSWER/Leftist category. We would all be a drift without you.

  17. “Pandagon highlighted the really interesting aspect of the pro-war spin on the capture: they’ve been less interested in celebrating the capture, than in monitoring the anti-war blogosphere to capture examples of less than sufficient enthusiasm.”

    It’s inconsiderate, certainly, but maybe it wouldn’t be happening if there hadn’t been that “Where’s Saddam? Where’s Saddam?” chant on continuous repeat over the last 9 months.

  18. Angus Jung,

    The new chant, before long, is likely to be “Just Baathist bitter-enders, eh? Just Baathist bitter-enders, eh?”

  19. Not much of a ring to that one.

    Going to MoveOn.org for “the truth,” as Spinsanity pointed out, is like going to the podiatrist for a cavity filling.

  20. John H.,

    joe’s mental transcript watching the breaking news: “Let it be Osama. Let it be Osama. It’s Saddam. Oh, well. That’s good! I guess.”

    As for the politics, I expect Bush to demonstrate all the perspective and humility that was on display on the aircraft carrier. And the NRO ladies to start pawing themselves again.

  21. but by feeding him Iranian troop deployments in the mid 80s knowing he would use the info to gas them.

    What’s this knowing-he-would shit? Was his finger on the button? Hussein made the choice to launch. How far up a chain of events can liability be reasonably passed? Hussein is an adult head of state, and it was his responsibility not to use the CW agents. Not America’s responsibility not to let any of his problems escalate into a situation where he might be tempted to use them.

  22. “No, the Reagan administration actively helped Hussein use chemical weapons- not in Halabja, but by feeding him Iranian troop deployments in the mid 80s knowing he would use the info to gas them.”

    How did they know he would gas them? Historically, gas hasn’t been an effective weapon (which explains why it has been seldom used), and it is likely they expected a response like they would have launched–i.e., conventional explosives, etc.

    In any case, Reagan’s use of our enemy’s enemy worked well against the Evil Empire; much better than Carter’s decision to drop support for the Shah.

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