My thoughts exactly

Peggy Noonan has a post from the Wall Street Journal that sums up my thoughts exactly on the capture of Saddam Hussien.

Some great excerpts:

Let’s not be boring people who Consider the Implications. Let’s not talk about the domestic political impact. For just a day let’s feel the pleasure history just handed us.

This is a great day in modern history. A terrible man whose existence had been for decades actively harmful of humanity was forcibly removed from power, run to ground, and has been captured living in a hole. … He has been utterly defeated and quelled. He can’t kill anybody now. He cannot gas women and children with chemicals that kill them; he cannot personally torture dissidents, or imprison them. He cannot tell his soldiers to throw opponents off the tops of buildings. He can’t impose his sickness and sadism on the world. The children of Baghdad dance in the streets. A nightmare is over.

America did this. American troops did this. The American people, by supporting those troops and this effort, did it.

What do we learn? Well, as Samuel Johnson said, “Man needs more to be reminded than instructed,” so what are we reminded of through the happy ending of this story?

That human agency works and is an active force in history. You don’t have to sit back and accept; you don’t have to continue to turn a blind eye; you don’t have to sit and do nothing, because all action involves choice and all choice invites repercussion. You can move forward. You can take action. You can go in and remove a threat to the world. You can make the world safer. You can help people. Just because they live in Iraq and we don’t bump into them every day doesn’t mean they don’t merit assistance and even sacrifice.

We are reminded, all of us, that patience is necessary, that nothing big can be accomplished without it. America and Iraq searched day and night for Saddam Hussein for eight months. And for some time they searched for a man half of them thought had already been obliterated in the early days of the war. But they didn’t know and they had to find him if he was alive. They had to find him even if he was surrounded by a thousand troops and explosives. So there was their patience, and there was the patience of Washington: political patience. If he’s there, we will find him. The administration’s foes had attempted to embarrass them for eight months. The administration simply said: If he’s there, we will find him; we won’t give up until we do.

And we are reminded that when you do what is right, you can be rewarded. When you summon the guts to take a controversial stand, and accept the price of that stand, and the price comes in every day, you can win. And that victory can make things better.

Next stop, Osama. May we find him in a hole. May we search his beard for lice and his gums for disease. May we see in the reflection of the light the mouth of hell, and may we close it for him tight.

All the journalists and politicians, they are always embarrassed to feel joy when something like this happens. … That’s why everyone on TV today is furrowing his brow. They know joy is the wrong thing to be feeling. It’s unsophisticated.

But normal people don’t have to be sophisticated. They can be normal. And happy. And say what normal Americans say when something great in history happens. “Thanks, God. Thanks a lot.”


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