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SLUG: 6-130185 Saddam Captured
DATE:>
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=12/15/03

TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP

NAME=SADDAM CAPTURED

NUMBER=6-130185

BYLINE=ANDREW GUTHRIE

DATELINE=Washington

EDITOR=Assignments

TELEPHONE=619-3335

CONTENT=

INTRO: With few exceptions, United States newspapers Monday have editorials about the capture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and its implication. We get a sampling now from V-O-A's ___________ in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.

TEXT: Many papers are contrasting the sumptuous lifestyle of the former dictator with the tiny, dirty, underground "spiderhole" bunker in which he was found. South Carolina's Charleston Post and Courier quotes one of the Army's officers explaining the capture.

VOICE: . "He was just caught like a rat." There could have been no more fitting end to Saddam's infamy. The video showing him being examined by a U-S Army doctor revealed a transformation from a dreaded leader .into a bewildered old man being checked for lice .and opening his mouth for a DNA swab. . The indignity of his capture signals the end of the myth of Saddam as a brave survivor. In the Arab world, it was noted that he gave himself up without a struggle . cowering in a hole in the ground . His cruelty hid his pusillanimity.

TEXT: Part of a Charleston Post and Courier editorial. On New York's Long Island, Newsday says of the capture ". [he] was flushed out of hiding like a rat from a hole . a deeply satisfying and fitting conclusion to a despot's legendary reign of terror.

TEXT: "Above all," says Nashville's Tennessean, "yesterday was a great day for the Iraqi people," while in Minnesota, The Minneapolis Star Tribune ponders this:

VOICE: There have always been two separable questions about Iraq: Should the United States have invaded and will the United States be successful in launching a peaceful, democratic new Iraq? Saddam's capture gives hope for a positive answer to the second question, but it alone says nothing about the first.

TEXT: In Milwaukee [Wisconsin], The Journal Sentinel is fascinated by the details of his capture.

VOICE: Many Iraqis thought the man who ruled them with ruthless efficiency for more than three decades would try to martyr himself by fighting to the death as his two sons had five months ago. But in the end, Hussein proved no mythic figure: The bearded ex-dictator appeared "bewildered" when the Americans took him.

TEXT: In Wisconsin's capital, The State Journal says: "Americans and Iraqis alike . should pay gratitude to the soldiers who risked their lives during the lengthy and dogged dragnet. . The capture . no doubt will help win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis impatiently waiting for the chance to run their own country."

Kentucky's Louisville Courier Journal calls the capture "extraordinarily good news." while in Missouri, The Kansas City Star reaches for historical analogies to put the event in perspective.

VOICE: In Saddam Hussein's Iraq there were echoes of the Nazi Gestapo, the Soviet gulag, the killing fields of Cambodia, the ethnic cleansing operations of the Balkans.

TEXT: Turning to the Ohio River city of Wheeling, West Virginia, The Intelligencer suggests:

VOICE: When U-S troops captured Saddam Hussein . they eliminated a major threat to peace in the Middle East. Now, die-hard Saddam loyalists have lost a reason to fight occupation troops - - and most Iraqis have no reason to cooperate with the guerrillas.

TEXT: Pennsylvania's Greensburg Tribune-Review proposes that his: ". arrest will be a psychological blow to the insurgents." while in North Carolina's Fayetteville Observer, this summary:

VOICE: The U-S soldiers who lifted the cover of a spider hole to bring a tyrant from darkness also brought light to a nation.

TEXT: On that note, we conclude this editorial sampling of U-S press reaction to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

NEB/ANG/FC



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