If you read the Rolling Stone article about the "kill team" you need to read Michael Yon's response.
Researchers at Harvard say that publicly voiced doubts about the U.S. occupation of Iraq have a measurable "emboldenment effect" on insurgents there.
I'm not going to question the patriotism of the politicians who take any opportunity they can to be negative, but I think it's pretty clear that their primary allegiance is to their own egos.
I found out about this site from someone in my bookclub this evening.
Let's Say Thanks, in partnership with Xeros, allows visitors to the site to select an image (selections are drawings submitted by children) and add a message. This will be mailed in care packages by military support organization Give2theTroops.com.
I sent a card and made a modest donation. (They take PayPal along with MasterCard and VISA.) I usually keep a few dollars in my PayPal account so I don't have to go searching for my wallet when I want to make an online transaction and donating here seemed more worthwhile than spending the money on another case of Bawls.
TakePride was founded by a group of friends who wanted to start a business and at the same time, try to do some good. Some of us have military experience, others don't but we all share the common belief that the more difficult the mission facing our military, the more deserving they are of our thanks and support. We feared, however, that to some extent, the opposite might be happening: That because of the duration of the conflicts, distressing news of casualties and frustratingly slow progress (especially in the case of Iraq) that some Americans were beginning to tune away from the story.
Our two goals were to help people re-connect to the experiences of those serving overseas and to create a symbol of support that people, especially younger Americans genuinely enjoyed putting on. T-shirts, we hope, allowed us to accomplish both. Each shirt design provides a glimpse into the life of a different US Service member who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Although we really admire the individuals we profile they are not in our eyes greater heroes than others. We think most everyone over there is a hero these just happened to be the people we knew or contacted and are meant to give a human face and be representative for all the Americans currently serving in war zones.
T-shirts are $20 to $22 each and payment may be made by credit card or through PayPal.
Earlier today I watched President Bush answering questions from the press about his trip to Iraq. One question struck me as particularly stupid. (I wasn't able to watch the whole thing so there may have been others that were equally dense.)
Bush was asked if the lack of notice that he was coming showed distrust of the Iraqi prime minister and his cabinet.
If the president didn't trust them, he wouldn't have gone at all. The most obvious reason to me that there wasn't earlier notification of the visit is that it would cause Iraqi officials to alter their schedules in way that might be noticed by those who aren't trustworthy. A change in routine would be a clear signal that something was in the works and could endanger both President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki.
I would never have succeeded in politics. I don't have the patience to answer stupid questions diplomatically.
I was still awake last night (early this morning) when the news of Zarqawi's death was announced. I was switching around among different news stations and it was interesting to watch the developing coverage. One mentioned that the announcement was greeted with "polite" applause from the media. The odd thing was that I had already seen the Iraq Prime Minister make the announcement on another station and the (Iraqi) reporters seemed pretty enthusiastic to me. (Later reports that I've seen changed this to "loud" applause.)
It didn't take long for the reports to begin adding speculation to the facts - this will cause an increase in violence by non-al-Qaida groups, it isn't that big of a victory because he wasn't as strong a force as he used to be since the Iraqi terrorists resented foreign terrorists coming into their country - just so we don't start thinking that this might actually be good news.
Pundits warn us that this isn't as great a victory as it might appear while the Iraqi police and citizens are dancing in the streets. We know that Zarqawi's death doesn't mean an end to the violence but as far as reactions to this news goes, I'm with the people who were targets of Zarqawi's attacks.
From Time Magazine - On Scene: How Operation Swarmer Fizzled
The press, flown in from Baghdad to this agricultural gridiron northeast of Samarra, huddled around the Iraqi officials and U.S. Army commanders who explained that the "largest air assault since 2003" in Iraq using over 50 helicopters to put 1500 Iraqi and U.S. troops on the ground had netted 48 suspected insurgents, 17 of which had already been cleared and released. The area, explained the officials, has long been suspected of being used as a base for insurgents operating in and around Samarra, the city north of Baghdad where the bombing of a sacred shrine recently sparked a wave of sectarian violence.
This huge troop movement began on Thursday and within only one day Time has decided that it "fizzled"? Was that because "there were no shots fired at all and the units had met no resistance"? Thirty-one suspected "insurgents" who remained under detention wasn't enough?
With the Interior Ministry's Samarra commando battalion, the soldiers had found some 300 individual pieces of weaponry like mortars, rockets and plastic explosives in six different locations inside the sparsely populated farming community of over 50 square miles and about 1,500 residents. The raids also uncovered high-powered cordless telephones used as detonators in homemade bombs, medical supplies and insurgent training manuals.
Over half of the 1500 troops were Iraqi (about 800 Iraqi, 700 U.S.). They found weapons and other equipment and, according to the L.A. Times, they captured "a leader of the group responsible for the bombing of the Golden Mosque".
It makes me wonder what it would take for Time to consider this a success. (Other than a complete change of editors and writers.)
Yesterday evening just before the State of the Union Address, Cindy Sheehan was removed from the gallery for wearing a protest t-shirt. Truthout has Cindy Sheehan's version of her arrest.
She begins by telling us how busy she was that day and how she hadn't really planned on attending. It sounds as if her wearing the t-shirt was just a matter of a lack of time for preparation.
I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up.
Who knew that t-shirts weren't appropriate attire? I mean, everytime I see the Senate on C-SPAN they're all, um, well they're all in business attire...but this is different, it's a special occasion. Removing the shirt at that point would not have been wise. There are some things that even Senators don't deserve to be exposed to.
But then she says, I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there, and I thought every once in awhile they would show me, and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George's speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable, that I would be arrested ... maybe I would have, but I didn't.
So it really wasn't a lack of time because her decision to attend was a last minute thing. She wanted to be seen on TV wearing that shirt but played her hand too early.
Update: The wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, told a newspaper that she was ejected during the State of the Union address for wearing a T-shirt that says, "Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom."
While I prefer her message to that of Sheehan's (2245 Dead), I still believe that this was not the appropriate time or place for wearing a t-shirt of any kind. For those that think we shouldn't concern ourselves with rules of etiquette, sloganeering and protesting in the Capitol is also against the law.
Phil Sands, a freelance journalist, was held by gunmen who ambushed his car in Baghdad. He was threatened with beheading and forced to record a video urging the British people to remove Tony Blair from office. He told The Observer that he had lost all hope and was sure that he would be killed.
Fortunately for Mr. Sands, he was wrong. He was rescued by American special forces. Certainly this is good news but the most interesting thing about this article isn't the news itself, but how it is reported.
First, there's this paragraph:
The rescue was a rare slice of good fortune in Iraq, where yesterday Rizgar Amin, chief judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein, quit in protest at pressure from the Iraqi government on his court, which has already seen two defence lawyers murdered and witnesses threatened.
Other than happening in the same country, just what does this have to do with the story that's being reported? It makes as much sense as it would to report a change in the board members of General Motors in the middle of an article about a traffic accident.
Then there's the statement by Sands that "he was not treated badly by his Sunni captors". If being taken from your car at gun point and having your life threatened isn't bad treatment, what is? Oh, wait, I forgot, bad treatment is having to listen to loud music with the air conditioning turned too high or too low.
Last but not least is the description of the rescue as part of a "routine mission". That's true in the general sense that the military does seek to find and capture terrorists but describing it as "routine" makes it sound as if there was little more than random fate behind the rescue. They may have been surprised to find a hostage but I doubt that the decision to make a middle of the night visit to the farmhouse was just happenstance.
“Laura and I look forward to taking the twins to Baghdad Disney in the summer of 2009,” the president had planned to tell Americans who waver in their commitment to a free, democratic state in the heart of the Arab world. “After we get done riding Mohammed Mountain at Disney, we’ll stop by the Green Zone — a massive shopping and entertainment complex arranged around a fantastic falafel food court.”
I'm not so optimistic to think it will be as early as 2009 nor so pessimistic to think they will have a Baghdad Disney, but I do think there is a kernel of truth in Scott's humor. For the past year or so I've been telling my kids that I wouldn't be surprised to see Iraq and other mideast countries that follow its lead into democracy becoming attractive tourist destinations.
Scott Randolph discusses the differences between the Left and the Right and brings up one of the things that bothers me the most about the anti-war protests.
Soldiers know, when they enlist, that it is entirely possible they will be shipped out and never come home. It’s part of the job. The fact that people still walk in to recruiters’ offices and sign that piece of paper make them heroes. To imply that they are simple kids who didn’t know what they were getting into, or even worse, that they died for no reason, or an immoral reason, does a horrible thing. It strips their sacrifice of the honor that it deserves. Even though those folks sitting out there in the Texas fields claim to honor and support the soldiers, they obviously have been blinded by their own selfishness as to the real way to support them.
Portraying everyone who joins the military as though they are stupid, naive, or have no other choice is beyond insulting. Stereotyping the military may have worked in the 70s but today it might just be doing more to alienate others who don't like the war but dislike the "blame America first" attitude even more.
The Washington Post reports on Sunnis defending their Shiite neighbors from attacks by followers of Abu Musab Zarqawi.
Along with threatening Shites, Zarqawi had issued threats to clerics who were urging Sunnis to participate in the next elections. Considering the concern the Sunnis have over the new constitution and the possibility of a separate Shite state, the Sunnis must be regretting not participating more in the past election.
A message for Cindy Sheehan from Mohammed at Iraq the Model.
Just for comparison, Cindy Sheehan's Veterans For Peace speech.
Update: An article in The Cincinnati Enquirer:
...they're not telling the whole story. And anyone who dares to try is attacked as "right-wing Bush lackeys who smear the Heartbroken Mom."
"Dead soldier's mom wants answers," the headlines say - but they don't ask tough questions.
"Bush refuses to meet with mother of dead soldier," they say - without mentioning that he already met with her.
...Their (New York Times) editorial Aug. 9 said: "Mr. Bush obviously failed to comfort Ms. Sheehan when he met with her and her family. More important, he has not helped the nation give fallen soldiers like Casey Sheehan the honor they deserve."
That's not just false. It's journalistic malpractice.
The first headline sounds like we're being tossed out, the second like we're cutting and running. The first was the headline for an AP news story, the second was the one from World Peace Herald that was presented by Google at the head of its collection of similar stories.
There must be a special "reading for content" class for people who write headlines because neither quite says what I got out of the stories. What I understood from them was that Iraq wants the U.S. to intensify training of its security forces and that any U.S. troop withdrawal be done in coordination with Iraq. No being tossed out, no surprise abandonment, but a continued partnership that lets Iraq assume greater responsibility. What am I missing?
In the op-ed by the soldier, he says, "I know that the war my men and I fought is a totally different war than the one I see being reported by almost the entire media." The troops aren't there just to fight the bad guys. They are working to improve living conditions in the country and try to protect the innocent civilians from terrorist attacks.
He ends with, "Don't pretend to support troops by trying to undercut their efforts at the same time. Just go to bed at night and pray for their safety and thank God that they are there to protect you and your family, no matter your beliefs."
The second piece is an article in the NYT asking "why is so little sacrifice asked of the nation at large?"
There is no serious talk of a draft to share the burden of fighting across the broad citizenry, and neither Republicans nor Democrats are pressing for a tax increase to force Americans to cover the $5 billion a month in costs from Iraq, Afghanistan and new counterterrorism missions.
There are not even concerted efforts like the savings-bond drives or gasoline rationing that helped to unite the country behind its fighting forces in wars past.
The idea of the NYT telling us that we aren't patriotic enough it is a bit odd and that some of the article's content came from "casual conversations" makes me wonder how wide spread this feeling is among the troops. I would imagine that the troops that don't have these complaints might tend to avoid reporters. Or be ignored by them.
I'm not going to argue that most of us have had any changes in our personal lives due to the war. It's something I've thought about before. I would like, and would support, something that requires more involvement by U.S. citizens. War bonds might be a good start but beyond that, I don't know what to suggest other than listen to the first soldier. If you say you support the troops, leave it at that. No ifs, ands, or buts and no "bring them home".
I don't think that bringing back the draft or rationing gas would be a good way to support the war unless these were necessary. Neither is raising taxes as long as there are areas of wasteful spending that could be cut. Asking people to sacrifice something can bring them together in supporting a cause as long as the sacrifice is justified. Asking them to sacrifice something when the need isn't obvious is political suicide.
Am I being cynical to think that this may be the NYT's goal here?
If someone has a good idea of something we can do to show support of our troops and belief in what they are doing, there are many of us who will be eager to do it.
In the AP report of recent terrorist attacks on Iraqi citizens:
Qadir said 30 people were killed and 35 were wounded, including about 15 who were in critical condition.
Like many other such recruitment centers in Iraq, Hawija's is located in a building surrounded by cement walls topped with barbed wire in an effort to prevent attacks by car bombs. Men often line up outside such centers early in the morning to apply for jobs at a time of high unemployment in Iraq.
Just so you don't get the idea that the men were standing in line to become police officers or soldiers because they want to do what they can to end the terrorism in their country.
This sounds like big news to me but (so far) it isn't showing up on the front page of many news services.
Iraqi state television aired a video yesterday showing what the U.S.-funded channel said was the confession of a captured Syrian officer, who said he trained Iraqi terrorists to behead people and build car bombs to attack American and Iraqi troops. He also said the terrorists practiced beheading animals to train for decapitating hostages.
Syria just better hope that PETA doesn't find out about them using animals for training.
I feel as though I woke up to a new world this morning.
Not that the voting has gone on without violence. There have been attacks and people have died for trying to exercise their new right to vote. But even the news stories that shout "violence", "bloodied by attacks", or list the numbers killed in their headlines go on to tell within the articles about the higher than expected turnout. Every article that I have read so far but one has told about the joy and pride Iraqis are feeling. The one exception is an article by Robert Fisk. No surprise there. There's a reason that taking apart idiotic rantings piece by piece is called "fisking".
Even Kofi Annan sounds, um, less than negative. Speaking in Nigeria, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Sunday's balloting "the first step" toward democracy. "It's a beginning, not an end," he said.
Last night I was listening to the radio report about the upcoming elections in Iraq. There was a Baghdad cafe owner who said that his customers were talking about the election but haven't seemed very excited about it.
I'm wondering if this isn't more a case of his customers practicing discretion. Before the presidential election in the U.S. there were Bush supporters who didn't want to advertise that fact when they were out in public for fear of being harrassed or berated by Kerry supporters. Iraqis showing strong interest in the elections or in any of the candidates have a lot more to fear than a little social unease.
I've tried imagining what I would be thinking and feeling if I were an Iraqi citizen. This is close to impossible for me, my ideas about freedom and democracy are too much a part of me to really be able to look at the elections from another point of view.
If I had grown up under a repressive regime, would I value freedom more or, not having experienced it, would I really not understand the value of it? Would I be afraid to vote since it could bring attention that might result in harm to me or my family? Or would I think that it's worth the risk, that by voting I would be taking a step to secure my children's future?
I don't know, but I am still optimistic about the upcoming election. Even if the turnout is low, some people will vote. The bravery of the candidates and of the people who vote won't go unnoticed by those who choose to stay home. It won't go unnoticed in neighboring countries such as Syria either. When people see that they can have a voice in determining the future of their country, whether they learn this by participating in the election or just watching it, I believe that more people will want to have that voice heard by voting in future elections.
“I am ecstatic to have passed through this experience at last. This (election) might cause a difference, not necessarily right away but eventually,” said Sara Masoud, a student who has lived in Syria for eight years.
After the 30th, when you try to decide whether the elections were a success or not, remember that it's the first free election that most Iraqis have had. Don't treat it as though it were the last.
The site isn't completed yet but it's still nice to see it online. Most of the links from the top menu go to pages with content but the ones from the menu on the left side of the index page are still blank.
One day before he was due to come home from Iraq for a two-week visit, Pfc. James W. Price was killed. He was a communications specialist but didn't feel right about staying in a back area while his comrades took the risks. Because of his concern for others, he volunteered to go out on the patrol which resulted in his death.
I watched his mother on the news last night. She spoke of the sorrow she feels losing her oldest son but also of her pride in him. She told of the sense of honor and the satisfaction he had in serving his country. It was clear that while Pfc. Price was not a tall man (only 5'6") he had the heart and spirit of a giant.
She said that his death was not only her loss, but a loss to all of us. This is true. He was our soldier.
Thank you for sharing him with us. His bravery and yours has not gone unnoticed and will not be forgotten.
Slow progress with Iraq reconstruction headlines a MSNBC article.
At least MSNBC is admitting there's progress. In the title anyway.
It doesn't sound good, "...the stuff (raw sewage) has been pouring into Iraq's main waterway since the U.S. military action to oust Saddam Hussein last year."
I question how efficient the sewage treatment was before last year. An Islam Online article from 2002 states, Treatment plants were targeted during the first Gulf War and chlorine was banned by the Security Council under the dual-use regulation. "According to UNICEF, 'access to safe water in urban areas has dropped to 94 % from 100 %, while the drop at rural levels was more drastic from 71% to 41%. Up to 250-300 tons of solid untreated raw sewerage is discharged directly into rivers each day. Only 25% of the population are served by piped sewerage systems. Power cuts of up to 12 hours a day have also severely disrupted services.'”
An August article in Water and Waste Water News discusses the work being done and it does sound as though progress is being made.
Points such as "Repaired hundreds of breaks in Iraq’s critical and long neglected water network, significantly increasing water flow." increase my skepticism that all was perfect before the invasion.
According to USAID, "The mechanical and electrical equipment from all three plants has suffered from looting, a lack of spare parts, and no preventative maintenance over the past two decades. The capacity of the sewage plants has been severely reduced by these factors resulting in untreated raw sewage flowing directly into the Tigris River which endangers the health of Baghdad residents and downstream populations. "
The goal is "to return essential services to Iraq, USAID is rehabilitating the Kerkh plant facilities to restore it to its original design capacity."
So, the problem was there to some extent before we got their the first time. I wonder if they ever operated at "design capacity".
A news analysis about the new Iraqi government in Sunday's Section A stated that outgoing administrator L. Paul Bremer III did not give a farewell speech to the country. His spokesman has since said that Bremer taped an address that was given to Iraqi broadcast media. The spokesman said the address was not publicized to the Western news media.
Oh, that explains it all. It wasn't publicized to the Western news media. All these years I've thought it was the media's job to go out and find the news when instead it's the duty of people who are making the news to inform the media.
You know, if the newspapers were talking about me using the same critical tone many have used when reporting on Bremer and Iraq, I wouldn't be eager to
do their job for them communicate with them either.
What I understand from this is that the LA Times thinks its job is to serve as a news aggregator. The only original content is the news analysis...because we're all too stupid to form our own opinions about the news.
If the people who are regular newsmakers put out RSS feed the only thing we would need the newspapers for is lining birdcages and housetraining puppies.
We quit taking our local paper about a year ago. The best use I ever got from our paper was using it to protect from spills when I was doing crafts with the kids but I found that old vinyl tablecloths work better (no tears or leaks and no newsprint gets on the "art work") and the tablecloth is reusable.
This all makes me think of Isaac Asimov's Black Widowers short stories. In the stories a group of men invite a guest to present a mystery or puzzle. Most begin with someone from the group asking the guest, "How do you justify your existence?" It's a question the news media might want to consider.
I won't hold my breath.
Garry Trudeau's comic strip next Monday will have a list of military personnel who have been killed in Iraq.
Memorial Day is the right time to think about the men and women who have lost their lives in wars. I'm not sure that a comic strip is the best venue for this list though. Since the writing will need to be very small to fit in all the names (I guess that's the point), they won't be easy to read so I don't view this as much of a memorial.
It's too bad that there isn't a list of all the people in Iraq who are alive today because Saddam is no longer in power. Listing them on June 30 would be a good way to celebrate the handover of control.
A group of people committed inhumane acts. Some people would like everyone to believe that this is how all the American military, or even all Americans behave. Isn't it ironic that these tend to be the same people who tell us that we shouldn't judge all Muslims or all Middle-Easterners by the acts of Islamic terrorists?
Anyone who takes the time to consider it will see that it is illogical to believe that the evil acts by one man (or group) should bring guilt to all others who share his race, religion, or country of origin. When anyone lets his prejudices define his thinking, he turns away from truth and reason.
Think that you could be doing a better job managing the War on Terror? Would you have killed or captured Uday and Qusay? Could you have protected the new Iraqi currency from insurgents? What about Al Qaeda in the Shah-i-Kot valley in eastern Afghanistan?
Kuma Reality Games gives you a chance to find out. It costs $9.99 a month to play and promises new missions based on current events.
This sounds interesting enough to almost tempt me. I usually prefer games more along the lines of Harvest Moon. I play to relax, I don't need any adrenaline spikes. I have three kids and three cats, I get enough excitement from them.
And from driving. Yesterday I had to go through the same intersection two different times. Both times when I had a green light, someone coming down the cross street ran their red light. I avoided getting hit both times, thankfully. Some idiot whizzing through an intersection at 50 mph wanting to t-bone me is really more excitement than I want. I don't need more from video games. Let me just tend my cows, sheep, and chickens.
A French journalist was kidnapped in Iraq on Sunday. On Friday the French foreign ministry had issued a warning that said, "risk is high that French citizens would be confused with those of member countries of the coalition."
Do you think that the problem is really one of confusion or is it more likely that the kidnappers just don't care where you're from? Originally two men were held but one (the cameraman) was released on Monday. He says he had convinced them that he was French so they released him. Could be that the kidnappers had just decided that the one who is in front of the camera was the only one worth keeping.
Kidnapping is an evil act. It's about fear and control. Just because you don't think you should be a target doesn't mean the terrorists will think the same.
On Road of a Nation I was reading about how things have changed in Iraq during the last year. The whole post is worth reading but one comment that I found interesting was:
Our teams are training. They won their first match against Oman, 4 –0 . We were very happy. Our next match is against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The amazing thing in this report was when Mr. Bremer appeared in the field, playing with the players, and supporting them!!
Pretty different view from yesterday, when our team would be preparing to go a match, and they were threatened to be punished, if they didn't win... Even if they couldn't give more than they had...
Now go read the rest.
Pvt. Dwayne Turner of the 101st Airborne Division was awarded the Silver Star yesterday.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Pvt. Dwayne Turner was inside his Humvee in Iraq when the grenade hit, the shrapnel eating into both his legs. He stood up bleeding. In the haze of battle, Turner, a combat medic, still managed to treat 16 comrades while gunfire kept coming.
Turner, 23, of Indianapolis, only quit when a fellow soldier saw him losing blood, pushed him against a wall and administered morphine. By then, Turner also had been shot in the leg and arm.
At least two of the soldiers he treated would have died without medical care. Turner said that he doesn't consider himself a hero, "I just figured everybody was going to come home and nobody was going to die on my watch."
He sounds like a hero to me.
We can't find any caches of WMDs. What does this prove?
Nothing. Lack of evidence of their existance is just that, it doesn't prove the opposite. It does not disprove that they existed at one time nor that there were plans to make them.
What evidence do we have?
Hussein used such weapons against the Kurds. He had people whose jobs were to research and develop such weapons. He failed to co-operate fully with inspectors and to comply with the resolutions that he provide proof of the destruction of weapons.
None of this proves he still had them. It implies that the weapons were there, or at least available to him...or he thought they were and made others think so too. If I decide to liberate your wallet from you and either through my words or actions imply that I have a weapon, I'm committing armed robbery. The police come along and arrest me but can't find any weapon. That doesn't prove I never had one. It doesn't really matter whether I did or not. The implication is enough.
We haven't had any more terrorist attacks in the U.S. This does not prove that Homeland Security and our war on terrorism is working. Unless you believe the multiverse theory and have a way of visiting a parallel universe where the U.S. decided to try to appease terrorists rather than fight them, you can't prove the decision to fight had any effect. Still, it does imply that our efforts are successful.
We don't have a control group universe to compare ours with so our actions can't be proven to be the right ones. Lack of evidence to the contrary isn't proof that our actions were the wrong ones. All we have are implications that this administration is on the right course to make us (and the world) safer.
Sometimes that is enough.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we got him. "The tyrant is a prisoner." - Paul Bremer, Coalition Administrator
"Where his rule meant terror and division and brutality, let his capture bring about unity, reconciliation and peace between all the people of Iraq." - Tony Blair
"Today is a great day for Iraq and the Iraqi people. This success brings closure to the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein will never return to a position of power from which he can punish, terrorize, intimidate and exploit the Iraqi people as the did for more than 35 years." - Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top American general in Iraq
"Saddam will stand a public trial so that the Iraqi people will know his crimes. He was arrested without resistance and there was enough time for him before that to commit suicide if he wanted but he did not." - Ahmad Chalabi, member of Iraq's Governing Council (Originally a trial in absentia was being considered. It would have been mostly to give "the Iraqi people the ultimate accounting for three decades of violence and repression" and Saddam would have had to be retried when he was caught.)
"With the arrest of Saddam, the source financing terrorists has been destroyed and terrorist attacks will come to an end. Now we can establish a durable stability and security in Iraq." - Jalal Talabani, (optimistic) council member
"I am overwhelmed with happiness and congratulate the Iraqi people" - Adnan Pachachi, member of the council
"I would like to congratulate the Iraqi people, the American people, the people of the world that this terrorist, Saddam Hussein the biggest terrorist on earth has been arrested, and he's behind bars. And he will be tried before a special court in Iraq soon, and a new beginning in Iraq with his arrest, the Iraqi people will begin a new life, and, hopefully, they will have a democratic and pluralistic system and no more mass graves, no more Saddam Hussein, and no more terrorism." - Hamid Ali Alkifaey, journalist
"We lost our only hope and now we are stuck with the Americans." - Abil Daoud,
asshole security guard employed by U.S. troops
"I would have liked Iraqi police to get him." - Hussein Jassem Gebara, Tikrit governor
"Things will be better for my son. My son now has a future." - Ayet Bassem, mother of six-year-old Zenalbadin
"I'm very happy. Life is going to be safer now. Now we can start a new beginning." - Yehya Hasson, Baghdad resident
''We are celebrating like it's a wedding. ''We are finally rid of that criminal.'' - '' Mustapha Sheriff, a resident of Kirkuk
''This is the joy of a lifetime. I am speaking on behalf of all the people that suffered under his rule.'' - Ali Al-Bashiri, Kirkuk resident
"Death to Saddam!" - Iraqi journalists
"There will be a reduction in operations sponsored by former regime loyalists, but this is not the full story because they are not the only group
involved. It's an intelligence prize because they can get information from him about cells working now. And it's a huge victory because he was the
head of the regime and not like anyone else on the list of 55 most wanted" - Mustafa Alani, Iraq analyst at London's Royal United Services Institute.
"It really destroys forever the idea of a return to Saddam for many who thought he was a kind of legend capable of resistance and carrying
the Iraqi flag again. Most important it will be an opportunity politically as he was caught alive to put him on trial and all the atrocities of this regime will be in the
open." - Abdel-Monem Said, director of Egypt's Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies
"Yaaah! He's the evil one." - Emma Buckner (age 7), my daughter
When I heard the news*, my first question was "what now"? Will he be tried in Iraq? In the Hague? In the U.S.? Will he die of some disease (bullet-in-brain-syndrome) before he can be tried?
According to Tony Blair, it looks as though Saddam will be tried by the Iraqis.
*If you're wondering what is going on in the second picture that is shown with the news article, they are taking a DNA swab.
ABC News has more information about the capture.
"America has made many sacrifices to create a viable democracy in Iraq," he (Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi) said. "Japan must be a trustworthy ally for the United States."
Iraq the Model has a post giving an Iraqi perspective on which U.
S. presidential candidate would be the best choice for Iraq's future.