December 14th, 2003

Roger Lodge

Best night in a while

I don't even know really where to begin. Mostly because I'm pretty tired at this point. Sometimes, you just feel like you click. Like you fit in the universe. Socially, tonight did that for me. I want to thank everyone who was out tonight who talked to me. A couple of you will be getting your thank yous in person.

Logo

Saddam Hussein captured

One last entry this morning. All the news says Saddam Hussein was captured yesterday. Hopefully this isn't the first place you've heard about the event. I am extremely happy about this, because this presents the best opportunity for the U.S. to quell the growing violence in Iraq. We may yet mess this one up, but no longer having him as a centerpiece may remove a rallying point for Iraqi guerrillas opposed to the U.S. Either the security situation there will improve markedly, or it will get a lot worse as fractious militants become more independent of each other. Either direction provides a lot of opportunity for the U.S. Under the former, the territory can proceed much more smoothly to an elected Iraqi-sovereign government. Under the latter, the opportunity is for the U.S. to divide and conquer militants. I suspect the former will be the case, as militant Iraqis switch allegiance (everyone loves a winner), and ordinary Iraqis feel more freedom to turn over guerrillas, knowing Saddam will not return to power. The benefit for the U.S. is that Iraq was partially a cult of personality. Afghanistan and Al Quaida provided an enemy that adhered to an anti-Western ideal, not specifically in Osama bin Laden himself. My hope is that Iraq does not have the same. We could mess things up, tick off the Shiite leadership, and make the situation worse. I am hoping clearer non-ideological heads in the State and Defense Depts. prevail to get us out of the mess there. And having actually furthered some important U.S. goals in the region.