This guy at The Nation had something interesting to say about the capture.
The news accounts portrayed Saddam's hideout as a "spider hole", an underground ditch, but this little hideaway doesn't look half bad! It looks like a typical cozy one room apartment which might cost several hundred bucks per month in a big city. Sure, there aren't any windows, and there isn't much ventilation, but it appears to be fully equipped with a kitchen, running water, and an oven. There's also a bed, what looks like a couch, and an entertainment center! And considering Saddam had $700,000 cash in his bachelor pad, he could've thrown some extravagant parties! And is it just me, or does this picture remind you of Terry Kiser, A.K.A "Bernie Lomax" from Weekend at Bernie's (not to mention Weekend at Bernie's II)?
Seriously though, I'm a little put-off by the bloodthirstiness and propaganda surrounding Saddam's capture. I can understand why the Iraqi people would want to exact revenge on their former dictator, but when Americans gloat about ousting the dictator, it sounds more like cheering for the home team's touchdown than anything else. Even though he was a brutal tyrant, I wouldn't call for his head on a pike. What good would killing him do? In that picture I see an old man who just lost everything, including his two sons. That can't be a good feeling. Personally I hope he goes to jail for the rest of his short life, but ultimately it should be up to the Iraqi people to decide his fate.
So, although it isn't a popular thing to say, I have mixed feelings about his capture. It's good that he's "off the streets", but I doubt he was pulling any strings from his underground shack. Maybe now the Iraqi people can sleep with a little less fear though. On the other hand, I hope his possible torture and execution doesn't continue the violence he started. Two wrongs don't make a right. Just lock him up and throw away the key.
I wonder if those cheerleading Saddam's capture are also hoping for the swift toppling of Uzbekistan's own tin-pot dictator, Islam Karimov, a man who receives lots of aid from the U.S. and who happens to enjoy boiling his opponents alive. And somehow I doubt today's cheerleaders were making any noise when Saddam was a good buddy of the U.S.
Today's friendly dictator is tomorrow's bitter enemy. It's only a matter of time before every US subject is required to hiss and yell at a picture of Osama bin Forgotten for the "two minutes hate" every day.