EDITOR’S NOTE: As Americans awoke Sunday morning, news came from Baghdad that the Fourth Infantry Division had captured Saddam Hussein in a rural farmhouse near Tikrit. Here’s the announcement from Iraqi ambassador L. Paul Bremer.
Ladies and gentlemen, we got him.
Saddam Hussein was captured Saturday 13 December at about 2030 local, in a cellar in the town of al-Dawr which is about 15 kilometres south of Tikrit.
Before Dr Pachachi, who is the acting president of the governing council, and Lieutenant General Sanchez [the top US military commander in Iraq] speak, I want to say a few words to the people of Iraq.
This is a great day in Iraq’s history.
For decades, hundreds of thousands of you suffered at the hands of this cruel man.
For decades, Saddam Hussein divided you citizens against each other.
For decades, he threatened an attack on your neighbours.
Those days are over forever.
Now it is time to look to the future, to your future of hope, to a future of reconciliation.
Now is the time for all Iraqis to build a prosperous, democratic Iraq, at peace with itself and with its neighbors.
Iraq’s future, your future, has never been more full of hope. The tyrant is a prisoner.
The economy is moving forward. You have before you the prospect of a sovereign government in a few months.
With the arrest of Saddam Hussein, there is a new opportunity for the members of the former regime to end their bitter opposition.
Let them now come forward in a spirit of reconciliation and hope, lay down their arms, and join you, their fellow citizens, in the task of building the new Iraq.
Now is the time for all Iraqis — Arabs and Kurds, Sunnis, Shia, Christian, and Turkmen — to build a prosperous, democratic Iraq, at peace with itself and with its neighbors.