Army Times/AP

U.S. forces moved a step closer to the most wanted man in Saddam Hussein’s regime Wednesday, detaining his four nephews in a pre-dawn raid in the central city of Samarra.

Hours later, a car bomb exploded in front of a police station in Baqouba, northeast of Baghdad. Police said three people, including the bomber, were killed. The U.S. military put the death toll at five. About 30 people were injured. All the victims were Iraqis.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said soldiers killed eight Iraqis after their patrol came under fire outside Samarra on Tuesday.

In Ramadi, west of Baghdad, U.S. troops captured Khamis Sirhan al-Muhammad, a former regional Baath Party chairman and militia commander who was No. 54 on the list of 55 most-wanted figures, the military said Wednesday.

Clearly, the U.S. military has no understanding of the rules of drama. You’re supposed to capture the nephews early in the story, then the evil sons, and then–and only then–the patriarch.

Update (1515): A commenter notes that, despite the headline of the article cited, it’s actually the nephews of Saddam’s veep that were captured. Reading further down into the piece does give that impression. Of course, it makes my point about drama that much more spot-on.

Update (1626): My headline’s changed. Strangely, the site still has it “Saddam nephews captured.”

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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. Jem says:

    I thought these were Izzat “Irish Red” (hat tip to Allah) Ibrahim’s nephews. Are they also Saddam’s? I didn’t think Saddam and Izzat were that closely related.

  2. Steven says:

    NPR reported it at al Douri’s nephews this morning.

  3. pietro says:

    They weren’t Saddam’s nephews.. they were Ibrahim’s.

  4. melvin toast says:

    It pisses me off when journalists use dangling participles or whatever the hell that’s called in the first sentence of the excerpt. Journalists are supposed to know how to write. Isn’t that what they did in college for 4 years?

    I also hate it when I hear analysts/journalists on talk shows say something like, “This doesn’t affect you or I.” You write and speak publicly for a living and you can’t figure out when to use ‘I’ and ‘me’?