Saddam didn’t show up for his announced live TV appearance. Now, CENTCOM is preparing to give a 3:00 AM press conference. And military sources supposedly have said the announcement is good news and not about WMD.

Maybe Saddam was alive, and was finally going to make a live appearance to put down rumors of his death. Then CIA or Special Forces found out where the TV appearance was going to take place, and took him out.

We’ll see.

Update 18:54 1 Apr 2003

I don’t think they would call a 3:00 AM press conference to announce the start of the big fight south of Baghdad, if indeed it’s begun. And did anyone notice the moon? “What moon?” you ask. “Exactly,” I answer.

Update 20:19 1 Apr 2003

Although I’m thrilled about the rescue of POW Jessica Lynch near An Nasiriyah, I wonder if CENTCOM could have possibly done anything else to make this big announcement feel sort of like a letdown. I’ve been hard on the media for magnifying every single story of American casualties and making US progress (and much public opinion) seem like it hinges on these stories of individual people caught up in the war. Although these stories are important and need to be told, they are presented in a way that makes it appear that the US military situation hinges on them. This manuever by CENTCOM plays right along with that.

PFC Jessica Lynch rescued? Great! But unless she managed to smuggle out the plans for the Death Star, what effect will that heroic rescue have on the upcoming battles? Morale will get a boost, of course, but why call a 3:00 AM press conference? Morale would get a boost even if the troops and public didn’t hear about it until tomorrow.

I’ll admit that the second I heard about the upcoming press conference, I said it was either a) Saddam dead or captured, b) bin Laden dead or captured, c)WMD found or used, or d) I’m not sure what else it could be. Complete Iraqi surrender, maybe? The Big Red One beams down to the center of Baghdad? Robocop, the Terminator, and a platoon of Daleks conquer Iran in eleven minutes and head for Baghdad?

This snatch and grab was played like shock and awe. Good story, but not headline material. Let the media play those cheerleading games. The military should be focused on the fight. Especially if battle really has been joined at the Karbala Gap.

Criticism for being a heartless ogre is welcome.