Hussein’s Capture A Great Victory, But Only Future Will Tell Real Meaning
Saddam Hussein’s capture was a great victory for U.S. troops in Iraq, for our country and the freedom loving world, and for President George W. Bush in particular.
But it is too soon to tell the true significance and meaning of having the former dictator in the custody of our military and intelligence leaders rather than remaining at large.
As such, he was a strong symbol of the considerable military opposition our forces continue to encounter as we attempt to stabilize the tiny Middle Eastern nation and guide it in forming of a democratic government.
For Bush, Saddam’s capture provides him a major boost in the international community, as one of the principal objectives of the war effort has been achieved. It also strengthens, for the moment, the president’s hand on the national political scene, giving more credence to his war policy. But this, too, must await further developments.
But immediately ahead, Saddam faces intense interrogation regarding the continuing insurgency within Iraq, what his connections to Al Queda have been, and the mystery of weapons of mass destruction.
Under the best scenario, Saddam will be cooperative and forthcoming, and his revelations will confirm the president’s suspicions about Iraq attaining a nuclear weapons capability and military buildups which would justify the actions the president took in launching the preemptive strike. This could silence his opponents both in the United Nations and at home, and provide a great advantage to Bush’s re-election campaign.
But if our intelligence officials are unable to wring any significant and credible information from Hussein, it could be devestating for the president, both internationally and at home.
Another major question to be answered will be the effect of Hussein’s capture on the ongoing guerrilla war that has been taking a terrible toll on U.S. forces. The initial reaction from the president and military leaders was that Hussein had no major influence on the continuing insurgency and that we should expect the violence to continue.
If this turns out to be true and there’s no letup in the fighting, the Hussein capture will lose some of its importance.
What we are left with in real terms is that the capture of Hussein is a major event, a great morale booster for the soldiers on the front line and the rest of the country at home, with immediate favorable political impact for Bush.
But the true significance cannot be known until we have had the opportunity to hear from the formerly fearsome dictator and to observe the course of the military resistance now that the once powerful Iraqi dictator has become Prisoner Hussein.