Got the motherfucker. The combined 4th Infantry Division/ Special Forces Operation Red Dawn, launched as a result of information from Ba'athists captured during Operation Iron Hammer, literally pulled Saddam Hussein out of his hole in Ad Dwar (10 miles south of Tikrit). "Laboratory [DNA] tests have proven his identity beyond any doubt," said an official. Here's the CENTCOM news release. Captured with a loaded pistol, but he never fired a single shot. What a pussy. As usual, "death before surrender" applies only to his Saddam fedayeen minions, not to him. If you want to understand the process that led to Saddam's capture, read our July 23, 2003 article "The Genius of Starting Small." Special Forces et. al. have of course played a significant role throughout, not just during the raid. This article explains their role developing intelligence within Iraq, and "Special Forces Growing Role" is a complete roundup of who they are and what they do. The bottom line? Saddam Hussein ain't comin' back. Iraqis can finally begin a process of closure over stories like these about his sons Uday & Qusay and other atrocities of his regime, from the mass graves and ecological genocides to the human rights abuses whose barbarity set them apart even in the semi-civilized Middle East. Good news, by any standards. I'm sure Instapundit and the good folks at The Command Post: Iraq will keep us all updated on breaking news... yup, great job from both blogs, as always. I wonder if the left side of the blogosphere will be able to muster any more happiness this time, as opposed to the gloom that greeted the fall of his regime? Because, you know, this will probably help George Bush. Or something. UPDATES: * Oh, man. You guys interrupted Saddam's blogging! * As Jeff Jarvis notes, the the Iraqi bloggers are happy, at least. Sic Semper Tyrannis. More links here, and Vodkapundit has a heart-wrenching story from an Iraqi journalist. * Bet we'll see some joyous rallies in Dearborn, Michigan too. Probably not half as big as the ones in Kuwait, though. * Lefties Da Goddess and of course Norm Geras have their heads screwed on right, but the usual suspects are running true to form. Jeff Jarvis fisks Atrios and Metafilter, and Prof. Cole as well. Dean Esmay points us to idiocy in the comments section at Howard Dean's blog, the Democratic Party nominee-in-waiting. Tim Blair offers other damning excerpts from that source, then serves up a rant from 'Traitor George' Galloway. * Not to mention the comments Banagor is hearing in San Francisco. * In fairness, Kos seems pretty measured. Hesiod still frets too much about the wrong things. * Still, Joe Lieberman is right. If it had been up to Howard Dean, Saddam would still be in power. * The Palestinians are gloomy too. Of course. Mass murder isn't an obstacle to heroism for them, it's a required qualification. Saddam was very qualified. * N.Z. Bear has a great question that absolutely deserves an answer. * Prime Minister Tony Blair is pleased. Interesting that he mentioned trial in Iraqi courts, rather than an international tribunal. I think that's the right decision. * Dean Esmay put President Bush's speech online, including a video link. * There have been a number of similar operations recently in Iraq. This Defenselink URL gives some details. * Best headline to date? Gotta be Eye on the Left's: "Ace in the Hole." * Oh Lord, Meryl is right - "Operation Red Dawn" really is derived from the over-the top 1980s movie. Just saw enlarged CENTCOM photos of the target objectives. Code name for the assault sites? "Wolverine 1 " and "Wolverine 2." Isn't association with that movie against the Geneva Convention or something?