Just another drizzly Sunday morning, a week-and-a-half before Christmas.
I was up before the rest of my family and enjoying a cup of coffee and my morning paper in front of the fireplace -- enjoying the smell and the sparkling lights of the Christmas tree. My lovely wife, Lisa, joined me, fretting about the fact that she had so much shopping yet to be done, and we were about to flip a coin to see who would go upstairs and wake the kids.
Suddenly my oldest child, Jamie Leigh, came bounding down the stairs. I immediately knew something unusual was happening because Jamie doesn't bound, particularly at 8:30 in the morning -- even more particularly on a Sunday morning.
Then those three beautiful words came pouring excitedly out of her mouth.
"They captured Saddam!"
I said the same thing I always say when confronted with astounding and earth-shattering news -- and make no mistake -- this was astounding and earth-shattering news.
She repeated the joyous phrase: "They captured Saddam!" adding, "It's on the internet! They captured Saddam Hussein!"
"They" would be the United States Armed Forces, y'all.
We may have gotten a tip. We certainly used all manner of intelligence analysis. But make no mistake about this, either. The "they" is the United States Armed Forces and we caught one of the most evil men in the history of the world hiding like a rat in a hole.
I'll be very honest with you. I was ecstatic. I screamed. I shouted. I jumped up and down. I shouted again.
No need to go upstairs and wake up the other kids now. They came down on their own, rubbing their eyes and wondering what had happened to create such joy on this dreary December morning.
I turned on the television to confirm the news, and there he was, a doddering old man with a full head of hair and a bushy beard, having his teeth examined and his hair picked for lice. The fact that he was captured alive confirms what I've always known about this sadistic animal. He is and always has been a coward. The man who urged others to martyr themselves and fight to their own last breaths had several weapons with him in his little hole but did not go down fighting.
Even Hitler had the nerve to kill himself in the end. Saddam did not.
And I'm glad. I want to see him on trial. I want to see him punished. I want the Iraqi people to know that they never have to worry about this man having one ounce of control over their lives again.
The war in Iraq is not over. Our soldiers still face imminent danger far, far from home. In fact, analysts believe that there may be a temporary surge of attacks against our forces. But Saddam Hussein will not be calling the shots. Saddam Hussein is out of the picture and now many of those who secretly wanted to embrace the United States will feel much safer in doing so. Those who feared that the Americans would pull out and leave them at the mercy of a Saddam Hussein returned to power need worry no more.
Saddam is not a factor. Saddam's power is a part of history. He has been captured by the military force of the United States of America.
God bless America -- and may God, finally, bless the innocent people of Iraq.
Darrell Huckaby is a syndicated columnist, author and public speaker. His column appears periodically in The McDuffie Mirror. For more information on Mr. Huckaby, or to order a copy of his new book, "Need Four," please visit www.darrellhuckaby.com.