WASHINGTON, D.C. -- American soldiers trapped him like a cornered rat hiding in a hole. And when he was caught, Saddam Hussein, the blustering, bloody tyrant who asked others to die for him, didn't even try to try to defend himself with the weapons at his disposal.
Just days before the capture, I interviewed Major Gen. Ray Odierno, commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division, for Fox News, who told me that his troops would find Saddam near Tikrit. They did. But what the general didn't predict was that the apprehension of this mass murderer would apparently drive many Democrats and their friends in the media around the bend.
The day after Saddam was videotaped being examined for lice by a U.S. Army doctor, Howard Dean, the front-runner among the nine Democrat presidential candidates, declared: "The capture of Saddam Hussein is good news for the Iraqi people and the world. Saddam was a brutal dictator who should be brought swiftly to justice for his crimes." All true. But then Dean, who once mused aloud about whether President Bush knew about the 9-11 attack before it happened, went on to say that he remains opposed to what we're doing in Iraq because, "The administration launched the war in the wrong way, at the wrong time, with inadequate planning, insufficient help, and at an unbelievable cost."
The former Vermont governor followed this intellectual inconsistency with a schizophrenic assertion that: "The capture of Saddam is a good thing which I hope very much will help keep our soldiers safer. But the capture of Saddam has not made America safer." How America could be no safer with the Butcher of Baghdad behind bars was not explained.
Unfortunately, Howard Dean isn't the only Democrat with a peculiar perception of Iraqi reality. Two days after Paul Bremer proclaimed, "We got him," Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., accused President Bush of manipulating the capture of Saddam for political purposes. McDermott told a Seattle radio audience that U.S. troops could have captured Saddam "a long time ago if they wanted." He went on to posit, "It's funny, when they're having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something."
Bizarre? No more so than Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's assertion to Morton Kondracke of Fox News, "Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?" Asked if she was joking, Kondracke replied, "She was not smiling."
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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