It’s interesting to see what happens when news breaks in, for Americans at least, the middle of the night. I’m in the Eastern time zone and an earlier riser than most, so I heard about this a bit after 6:30 as my local NPR station interrupted its normal Sunday AM coverage to bring the story. (Double bonus: I got this instead of WAMU’s “Stained Glass Bluegrass,” a bluegrass-gospel program.) Judging from the updates on the blogroll, few of my regular reads were awake: It was basically Command Post, Crooked Timber, and Acidman. The first two have contributors living overseas; the last is a country boy from Georgia who, like all good country boys from Georgia, gets up at the crack of dawn.

Chris Betram of Command Post was, as best I can determine, the first blogger on my blogroll to make note of the capture. He’s both thrilled about it and yet takes great pains to point out that there is no Saddam-al Qaeda link.

Rob Smith thinks the video demonstrates what a coward Saddam was. (Rob puts it a bit more colorfully, of course.)

Joe Katzman is even less impressed with Saddam than is Rob. He also links some excellent analysis of the SOF tactical planning behind the capture operation. (Incidentally, “Red Dawn” strikes me as an odd name, since it evokes Patrick Swayze chasing commies. Plus, it happened at 8 pm or so local time, not dawn. And no shots were fired, so no “red.” But I digress.)

KEvin Ayward quotes Joe Lieberman from Meet the Press:

“Let’s be real clear… If Howard Dean had his way, Saddam would be in power not prison.”

Quite right. I wonder if it’s too late to derail the Dean express train at this point.

Jeff Jarvis has been a bloggin’ fool today, with lots of posts. The most amusing is this one wishing for a news alert radio system to wake him up when stuff like this happens.

Laurence Simon notes that events like this show the usefulness of Command Post. Indeed. I seldom post there anymore but was going to cross-post my initial post on the Saddam capture there–only to see that I’d been beaten by nearly an hour despite my early start.

Glenn Reynolds, who apparently didn’t get the news of this until 8:57, has a roundup of his own.

Update (1445): Kevin Drum says Saddam looked like Billy Bob Thornton in “Bad Santa.”

N. Z. Bear has an extensive roundup of his own, divided by ideology.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Fred Boness says:

    A good operation name will give no information about the operation. Red Dawn was OK in that regard but, I think I would have picked names from say, The West Wing.

  2. James Joyner says:

    True. Usually there’s a randomly-generated code name for an op. Urgent Fury (Grenada-1983)is the last one of those that I can recall also being the publicly-released name, though. Usually, we go for something somewhat corny for that purpose–Just Cause, Desert Shield/Storm, Provide Comfort, Southern Watch, Desert Fox, Infinite Justice, etc., etc.