The capture of Saddam Hussein is, as has already been stated many times this morning, a surprising development. Not quite what I expected to hear of as I sat down with my cereal to browse the morning’s news.
It’s probably good news, too. Whether it will lead to a cessation of hostilities remains to be seen. It is certainly a slightly more plausible reason to declare the war over than we have previously been offered, but Hussein was not the lone commander of remaining forces and a country under occupation is unlikely to roll over entirely, particularly when supplies of its most common natural resource are being rationed to its own people.
Blair’s confirmation of the news seemed to throw the news agencies who were all set to speculate for hours, but once Bremmer’s press conference was under way it was clear why Blair broke the news first. He wanted some announcement before the USA spat in the face of the framers of the Geneva Convention. Not only did a US military spokesperson have the gall to address “my fellow americans” as the prelude to a speech given in Iraq to an international audience, but he then proceeded to show pictures of Hussein’s medical exam.
Does anyone remember the uproar when Iraqi TV showed pictures of US POWs? “Hypocrisy is the greatest luxury”.