Valley rejoices with world over Hussein’s capture
December 16, 2003
Local reaction to the news that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was captured was elated in Carson Valley. Getting the troops home safely is a priority, especially for those whose loved ones are overseas.
Hussein was captured from a small hole over the weekend. Preliminary action has started for Iraqi leaders to convene a tribunal.
Sen. John Ensign of Nevada was in Iraq when Hussein was found. He had met with military from Nevada and was able to share the news with those servicemen and women.
“I am very happy they didn’t kill him,” Ensign said. “It doesn’t mean he won’t die.
“His capture has led to a lot of intelligence, which is better for our relations in the Arab world and better, all around the world.”
Ron Kruse, chairman of the Indian Hills General Improvement District, and a former U.S. Navy veteran, echoed Ensign’s jubiliation.
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“I am glad he was still alive,” Kruse said. “Myself, I think they got Hitler. He is in the same category as … a group of mass murderers.
“I don’t think the troops will get home earlier, but this should make life a little easier for them. The people there will now have a better shot at getting back to life. They know now what the free side is and have spent 30 years with the bad. It was their revolution … but I am glad they got him and will hold him up to the world court.”
Longtime Carson Valley legislator, retired Sen. Lawrence “Jake” Jacobsen, said the news of Hussein’s capture is positive.
“I am just tickled to death,” he said. “It is a blessing for his own people and for evrybody else. The Iraqi people deserve to have a new leader.”
Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Authority Executive Director Suzanne Rosevold’s son, Timothy Sands, 25, is serving in the U.S. Army northwest of Bahgdad, Iraq. She hadn’t heard from her son since the capture, but said the news is great.
“I am really happy Saddam was captured and not killed,” she said. “The world needs to understand how awful a man he was.”
Rosevold said the news should boost morale in the United States.
“I was worried about morale in America. It does impact the troops,” she said. “Timothy said the people there have a good morale because they have a purpose and a conviction. They are glad to be there serving. But as a mom, I worry about how the morale (against the War on Terrorism) was negatively impacting our troops or their jobs.
“My cheerfulness in Saddam being capture seems to bring some validity about my son being there.”
Ensign said the world won’t support a death sentence for Hussein, but an Iraqi trial may impose the death penalty.
“My perference is that the trial will be in Iraq, run by the Iraqi,” Ensign said. “I think it needs to be an international component.”
According to the Associated Press, members of the U.S.-appointed Iraq Governing Council said Monday the trial would be televised in the interest of exposing Saddam’s atrocities and beginning a process of national healing.
U.S. officials were just beginning to interrogate their captive on a laundry-list of subjects, including the insurgency that has killed hundreds of U.S. troops and his alleged weapons of mass destruction, the main rationale for the U.S.-led war. Iran, too, said it was preparing charges and expected Saddam to be tried before a “competent international court.”
Ensign said the capture makes the transition much easier in Iraq.
“The Iraqi’s will take over their own government in July and its impossible to predict (when the tropps will come home),” he said. “There are still a lot of deangerous people. Dead-enders, who have nowhere to go.
“We have to rebuild and open the hearts and minds of the people.”
– Regina Purcell can be reached at email@example.com or (775) 782-5121, ext. 211.