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December 23, 2003

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as "The Kurdish Chieftain"

Posted by Mike on December 23, 2003 11:06 AM

Like Ed, I had more fun thinking there was some poetic justice involved in Saddam's apprehension. But Josh Marshall has picked at enough nits in the story that it's looking like "drugged, vendetta victim Saddam" needs to go on the ash heap of tall tales that aren't so after all.

Ed has updated the entry he made on the matter to reflect the debunking.

Josh could stand to re-look the item, though. Toward the top:

"So, I've had a slew of readers write in to ask, Is there something to this story?

"In a word? No."

But then toward the end:

"Let me be clear: I'm not saying there's nothing to this."

Personally, I don't think either version of the capture narrative is a particularly poor reflection on anyone, the administration included. If it was just good ol'-fashioned detective work that nabbed Saddam, then bully for the troops and congratulations. If it was a case of the Kurds actually not settling for just putting his head on a stick, then bully for them and spin points for the administration when it turns naked political opportunism ("We've got your boy... what's in it for us?") into "See? Even those most wronged by Saddam are able to put aside their hatred and need for revenge in the name of due process and the rule of law... now think how the rest of the Middle East will respond given time and a few select invasions!"