Today’s capture of Saddam Hussein is a bipartisan day of joy for America. The powerful images of the Iraqi dictator should make every single American relieved if not happy. The reign of terror is officially over in Iraq and despite any differing opinions on the war this was a necessary step to accomplishing the common goals that all Americans should share at this point in the operation in Iraq, which is to finish building the country and get our troops home.
Today’s capture will undoubtedly ensure that Saddam Hussein will never again return to power in Iraq. He will never be allowed to run a cruel, terror-driven regime that relies on murder and intimidation to control a group of people. He will never be able to “cleanse” certain groups out of the population. He won’t be able to run torture chambers to keep intelligent Iraqis from challenging him.
This also increases the likelihood that an Iraqi government can be established sooner rather than later. Without having Saddam in custody, there was always going to be a tacit threat in the minds of some Iraqis that the previous practices could occur again in the future. Today, that is basically gone.
While these things are undoubtedly good for the Iraqi people, many selfish American goals are one step closer given today’s developments. Everyone in this country supports the troops on both sides of the partisan line. While it is possible and maybe even likely that violence will escalate in the coming months and weeks, an Iraq without Saddam strikes a blow in the hearts of many Saddam supporters. It may strengthen his supporters’ resolve in the short-term, but the overwhelming boost to all Iraqis who feared Saddam should be able to overcome that temporary lift.
What this should mean to our troops in Iraq is more willing sources of intelligence. Those who didn’t want to put themselves in harm’s way given the possibility for an eventual return to power should feel more freedom to give information. Hopefully this will further close the divide between American troops and Iraqi citizens. Iraqis who have been skeptical of American motives can feel strongly that the United States has done something to help a country that has been brutalized for far too long.
This, combined with a serious concentration on quick and successful rebuilding in Iraq will potentially create a country that is self-governing, self-sufficient and capable of being a great place to live. This is the goal of every American because I feel confident in saying that we all want troops to come home out of harm’s way. The best way to do that is to finish the job of establishing Iraq as a viable country. I know that there will still be a lot more time and commitment involved in the campaign in Iraq, but today is a clear step in the right direction to doing the job properly.
The United States has been divided since the war was announced. There is a clear anger and mistrust amongst groups of our citizens and the leadership of this country. These are some of the things that make our country great, but regardless of the different stances on whether the war in Iraq was moral and/or justifiable, it was a path chosen by the leadership. Given the fact that this decision was made, I am confident in saying that the events of today are a step toward accomplishing the goals that bind us all; a safe and quick return home for the United States military.