Sunday, December 14, 2003

Saddam uncovered
...with a small arsenal, US$750,000, and by the look of him an unlimted supply of Special Brew.

His captors also uncovered a vat of Sarin, a comprehensive command structure of the al-Qaeda network and an application to join the Legion d'Honneur, countersigned by Jacques Chirac.

Well, no. Never mind. Let the wish fulfilment commence.

The urgent question is whether his capture will see the insurgency lose momentum. I've always taken the view that Saddam's freedom was an inhibiting factor for the insurgency. If he was a gangster followed by gangsters, why would the bring him back when they could grab power fopr themselves? The possibility of his return also helped keep the Shia in line. And I don't think that foreign jihadis would blow themselves up specifically for his sake.

In the early months of the insurgency, Mosul was considered something of a haven. It was certainly regarded as such by Uday and Qusay Hussein, before they were found and killed on July 23. Before that date, US forces suffered no casualties in and around Mosul. Since then, according to the Iraq casualty count, they have lost 36 dead and 62 injured.

So, the Iraqis are free of Saddam at last. But as a certain SecDef said, freedom can be messy.