So they captured Hussein. Congratulations to the soldiers for a job well done but, in the big picture, all I can say is big whoop. The reality is that his capture will have little effect on the ongoing guerilla war in Iraq that has seen 317 American soldiers die since Bush declared an end to major combat back on May 1st. MAY 1st! That's 7 1/2 months of...minor (?) combat following the "war" that apparently lasted only 5 weeks! Fun with semantics, brought to you by the most illiterate President in our history.
And all the analysts and pundits that keep referring to Hussein as "a common thug" simply undermine their own credibility. John Gotti was a common thug. 50 Cent was a common thug. Hussein was a cunning and ruthless dictator and it took two wars with the most ridiculously-powerful military in the history of the world to finally defeat him. Capturing "a common thug" certainly doesn't merit the amount of attention Hussein's capture has received. So which is it? The most ridiculous thing I've heard in connection to this, though, is the speculation that holiday spending will now surge in light of his capture. As if Joe American was avoiding the malls this year because Hussein was still on the loose! "Sorry kids, but Santa's not coming this year because Saddam represents an imminent threat and, along with our civil liberties, we're giving up shopping." More like, "Sorry kids, Santa's not coming this year because Mommy and Daddy are broke and drowning in debt and, despite what the news says, this economy sucks for regular people like us. Oh, and those tax cuts that gave us $800 to get your new school clothes and that new TV? You'll be paying for them when you get a little older. Merry Christmas!"
The other annoying speculation is what effect this will have on the Democratic candidates vying for a shot at Bush. If the media ever decided to focus on actual issues instead of poll numbers and sound bites, it wouldn't have much effect at all, other than drawing attention back to Bush's flawed reasoning for this war in the first place. Unfortunately, it will have some effect, particularly for Howard Dean who's hung his hopes on hypocritically bashing Bush (and many of his fellow candidates) over the war without offering a solid platform beneath all of the bluster.
In kind-of-related news, as I was writing here last week that I was done moving for a loooong time, Salomé was receiving an intriguing offer of a well-paying job in San Juan, PR! This at the same time I'm joking elsewhere about pulling a Gilligan's Island if Bush wins again next year, as I fear he will if Dean gets the Democratic nod. She's not the least bit tempted by it but I certainly was. Imagine?