December 14, 2003: US learns of Saddam capture.
On this day five years ago it was a Sunday when our phone rang at 5:30 am. It was my sister-in law calling. Naturally, my mind assumed the worst. Were my in-laws sick? Did something happen to our nephews?
Instead, she told me that Saddam Hussein had been captured. Since I was awaken about two hours earlier than I had planned, I let it sink in. "OK, thanks for letting us know", I said. I hung up the phone when my gal asked what the call was about. "It was Donna. She called to let us know that Saddam Hussein had been found and captured." Literally three seconds passed when the gal and I leaped out of bed and headed downstairs to the TV. Sure enough, the haggled and disheveled Iraqi leader was in custody.
Since the fall of Baghdad had already occurred, capturing Saddam was merely an exclamation point on what had been, to that point, a resounding success in the Iraqi conflict. Unfortunately, things would take a turn for the worst over the next few years due to the US woefully underestimating the impact of an insurgency. Thankfully things have improved dramatically due to a change in strategy and the installation of Gen. David Petraeus.
Let's hope that Gen. Petraeus and the US military are allowed to finish what was thought to be wrapped up five years ago.