SLUG: 7-38149 Saddam Captured-End of an Era
TITLE=Saddam Captured-End of an Era
DISK: DATELINE THEME [PLAYED IN STUDIO, FADED UNDER DATELINE HOST VOICE OR PROGRAMMING MATERIAL]
INTRO: Supporters and opponents of the war in Iraq have hailed the capture of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Acting president of Iraq's U-S appointed Governing Council, Adnan Pachachi, called the capture a joyous event. In this Dateline report, Carol Castiel examines the impact Saddam Hussein's arrest could have on bringing greater stability to Iraq.
DALET: CUT 1, BREMMER ACT
"We got him..." (cheers)
CC: That was U-S administrator Paul Bremmer in Baghdad announcing that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had been captured 15 kilometers south of his hometown of Tikrit
by members of the U-S Army 4th Infantry Division.
CC: Hours later, President Bush addressed the nation and the world from the White House.
DALET: CUT 2, BUSH
"December the 13th, at around 8:30pm Baghdad time, United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive."
CC: President Bush went on to say that the capture of Saddam Hussein marked the end of an era.
DALET: CUT 3, BUSH ACT
"In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived; all Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq."
CC: The commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Major General Ray Odierno said Saddam Hussein's capture stood in stark contrast to the opulent life style he enjoyed while in power. The former Iraqi leader was found in a three-meter deep dirt hole in the basement of the house where he was apprehended. Major General Ray Odierno.
DALET: CUT 4, ODIERNO
"Very interesting that in fact you could just about see some of these palace complexes from there. And I think it's rather ironic that he was in a hole in the ground across the river from these great palaces that he built where he robbed all the money from the Iraqi people."
CC: And despite being armed, Saddam Hussein surrendered without firing a shot. This, says Rudaina Melhem, a Washington-based free-lance journalist who covers Middle East issues, was a fitting end to the man who fancied himself a hero in the Arab world.
DALET: CUT 5, RUDAINA MELHEM
"And this bodes very well I think ultimately in the Arab world because Saddam Hussein will not be made into a legend. He will not have this mystique of a fellow who killed himself rather than surrendered."
CC: Ms. Melhem added that his capture as a haggard man on the run speaks volumes about his true character.
DALET: CUT 6, RUDAINA MELHEM
"The symbolism is extremely strong, this fellow did not die in a blaze of fire. He was captured like a lowly man."
CC: Despite the significant psychological and symbolic impact of this event, President Bush cautioned that Saddam's capture does not necessarily spell an end to violence in Iraq.
DALET: CUT 7, BUSH
"The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq. We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East. Such men are a direct threat to the American people and they will be defeated."
CC: Rudaina Melhem agrees that Saddam's capture does not mean an immediate end to the organized resistance against U-S led forces in Iraq. However, she is optimistic that his detention and subsequent trial will embolden Iraqis to come forward with much-needed intelligence, which will strengthen counter-insurgency efforts.
DALET: CUT 8, RUDAINA MELHEM
"We may see some rise in violence as a result of his capture initially. But, I think little by little it will diminish. I think people will be empowered to assist the coalition forces in terms of intelligence. People will feel more comfortable and relaxed now that he is gone. If they see something they can report it. It will definitely create a different environment amongst the Iraqis and that is very important for the stability of the Iraqi society."
CC: Washington's closest ally in the war, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said the capture should be used as a moment to bring about unity and reconciliation among all Iraqis.
DALET: CUT 9, BLAIR
"Let his capture bring about unity his capture bring about unity, reconciliation and peace between all the people of Iraq."
CC: But to what to what degree will Saddam's capture contribute to a more unified Iraqa country divided along ethnic and religious lines. I put that question to Edmund Ghareeb, Iraq expert and author of a forthcoming historical dictionary on Iraq.
DALET: CUT 10, GHAREEB
"Saddam Hussein is a man who led Iraq for 24 years and was a major player in Iraqi politics for several years even before that. And so there is a legacya record and that record combines people who respect him, people who feared him, people who hated him. But overall, he was somebody who many people saw as a divisive factor in Iraqi society. So perhaps his absence from the scene might push the Iraqi society to work together, to cooperate, to find a way and to remain a unified nation in his absence."
CC: While many analysts and policy makers hope that Saddam's definitive departure from the scene will have a positive effect on reconciling Iraq's diverse groups, others hope it will have a salutary effect on U.S. foreign policy and encourage greater international cooperation in Iraq. Senator Pat Roberts is the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
DALET: CUT 11, ROBERTS
"I do think that there has been a recognition on the part of our allies overseas and some of our critics that finally we are really coming to grasp with a better intelligence effort, a better military effort to provide stability in Iraq. If we do that then we can certainly encourage more international cooperation and that certainly would be a good thing."
CC: Edmund Ghareeb also believes Saddam's capture will enhance U.S. efforts in Iraq. But he warns that much will depend on how the event affects the overall conduct of U.S. foreign policy.
DALET: CUT 12, GHAREEB
"I think this will be a boost again in the short run for the United States, for the administration's policy in terms of perhaps gaining some cooperation. The initial reaction from government have been somewhat supportive even from some of the government that have been somewhat critical of US policy including some European governments. The only thing however remains, there is still concern about the policy of unilateralism and preventive wars. And that will remain. If the US continues on the same policy of unilateralism then this gain in the short- term may not translate in the long-term. But if the US begins to move out and begins to cooperate with the allies and with the international community then this might strengthen US policy and the US position in general.
CC: At the end of the day, journalist Rudaina Melhem says the long-term impact of Saddam's capture on overall stability in Iraq and on US credibility in the Arab world where anti-American sentiment is at an all-time high, hinges on holding Saddam Hussein accountable for his crimes.
DALET: CUT 14, RUDAINA MELHEM
"Saddam terrorized his own people. And once there is a credible tribunal---tribunalnot a shame, with probably oversight by some UN capacity or something, and Saddam is held accountable and there are witnesses and people start marching in and talking about the brutality of the regime, I think there will be a shift in Arab public opinion.
CC: For Dateline, I'm Carol Castiel in Washington.
MUSIC: ARAB INSTRUMENTAL
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