Talk:Operation Red Dawn

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Headline text[edit]

I just removed a rather strange part that was added. Can we accept this? Seems very biased, and doesn't link to any sources. Just speculation!

    It is questionable whether it was actually Saddam Hussein that the American Forces captured, unrevealed sources say. It is possible that since American morale has been dropping in recent months, and with over 200 American soldiers killed after the war in Iraq had ended, the Bush administration needed a morale booster!
I think there should be some mention of the belief by some that Saddam has not been captured, but it may be more appropriate for the Saddam Hussein article itself, not this article. And I needs to be rephrased either way as the removed portion is obviously biased. --Flockmeal 22:30, Dec 15, 2003 (UTC)

I am intrigued by the surreal atmosphere about this entire war. There is a confusion between reality and fantasy: the names of operations, the rumors, the purpose. Every time a new story comes out, there is this question of conspiracy and confabulation. Any takes on why there is such confusion about this story and the others coming from Iraq?

Yup - the anti-war people don't want to believe it because it undermines their case that the occupation is failing... -- ChrisO 21:41, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)
True; for that, one need only read the headlines from Iraq (as opposed to briefings from the Pentagon). -- Anon.
It's probably mainly to with the growing lack of trust in the governments involved. -- Sam
How's it working out, ChrisO? :) Dave420 13:56, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I lol'd hard. - (talk) 05:36, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I've added the bit about the doubt of Saddam's identity. One more bit I was tempted to edit: the "orange-and-white taxi" which was apparently found with Saddam. Should it be specified, for clarity's sake, that it wasn't in the spider hole? Zake 23:24, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Wow, I cant believe no one that was actualy there has weighed in yet. I was there. Serving in C co. 1-22 Infanrty 4th Infantry Division. The article here is pretty accurate. I have talked to the Captain that was in command of the operation and thats pretty much how it all went down. In fact our company was on alert for 13 hours in case he wanted to fight like his sons. Also, the report about us keeping the news to our selves is true. We were not allowed to use the phones or internet (if we could find one) until after the announcement. Everyone who knew what had happened was ordered to keep it secret but becouse the soldiers knew that the only reason the we would be on alert for "Jackpot 1" was if they had Saddam cornered, and then the communications black out confirmed it. I dont know where that stuff about a rumor came from. 122regular

The nonsense below about conspiracy, staging, marines, etc. falls in line with those that also believe Neil Armstrong never walked on the moon and it is probably made of cheese. The version depicted here is accurate but special forces should read 'special operations forces.' Saddam was taken immediately by a small helicopter from the siteto his old palace complex in Tikrit until transferred to Baghdad that night. Very few people saw him, as he was in the small courtyard where the hole was and then covered up and walked out to the helicopter in a very short time. The comanders on the ground did not want to make a zoo out of him. He was hastily flown away to both secure him and allow for the process to notify President Bush before the news leaked. We were successful in that. I could not even tell my own troops involved in the operation that he had been captured, even though I knew it that night. Colonel Hickey's charge to his staff that was caught on film after the raid was for the same reason. We simply had to ensure that the national leadership learned the news first. Colonel Hickey gave strict orders to all of us in that regard and every one of his commanders accomplished that. The result was the electrifying news the next morning. It is absolutely foolish to believe anything other than Saddam being captured by a joint raid with special operations forces and the 1st Brigade, 4th Division. Steve Russell, Commander, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 1st Brigade, 4th Division, Tikrit, Iraq, 2003-2004.

We say that some folks theorise the captive might be a body double. My understanding is that a body double is an actor or actress whose body doubles for a more shy or less well-endowed lead (so that wasn't Julia Roberts' ass, it was Kathy Shower's). Given that it seems unlikely Saddam was planning on having any nudie pictures taken, I think this should just be a double. I didn't change it to double as that redirects to the poker term, nor to doppelganger, which is a terrible article (and not really correct anyway). Does anyone have any suggestion about where this should be directed? -- Finlay McWalter 01:04, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I recommend the term "decoy". Currently there's nothing in Wikipedia for it, so we could link it in the paragraph where "body double" is now, and write a broad definition of decoy, giving Saddam Hussein as an example there. --Flockmeal 01:16, Dec 16, 2003 (UTC)
I wrote a very basic stub for Decoy that needs work, and have linked Decoy into this article, replacing body double. Please leave any suggestions or objections here on the Operation Red Dawn talk page, thanks.--Flockmeal 03:23, Dec 16, 2003 (UTC)
Super. Actually, I was wrong about double - the search-service auto jumps one to the poker term, but a link itself is red. -- Finlay McWalter 03:27, 16 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Why do we need to include paragraphs detailing absurd anonymous conspiracy allegations? Who has said these things? What credibility do they have? Does any ridiculous suggestion made by anonymous people merit inclusion in a serious encyclopaedia? There ought to be a minimum credibility threshhold before anything is included. Adam 05:52, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I just wanted to say I thought this was a fine job by all concerned.

BTW, the latest rumor going out over Saudi mobile phones is that Saddam was captured a few months ago. They claim you can see ripe yellow date in the trees behind him in the photos.

Of course these folks think 4,000 Jews escaped the WTC.

Paul, in Saudi

I added a tidbit about the recent news that Saddam was actually captured by Kurds and provided a link from AP, which I think makes it valid.

ThaGrind 06:58, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)


This section leaves the reader hanging in the air a bit. Maybe I read too many Sherlock Holmes stories, but I would have thought that the dates thing was a smoking gun for the theory that the capture was staged to some extent. Hasn't anyone, anywhere tried to explain them? --Last Malthusian 10:48, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

[Note: I have been raising dates in the USA for 30+ years. It looks as though this palm is cultivated since there do not appear to be thorns on the fronds. It is possible that this one bunch was not pollinated. Palms send out their flowers over a period of time. If the pollination was too late for the first bunch (or to early for the last bunch) a whole bunch may not have been pollinated. This is not uncommon and would not be surprising in a war torn year. Unpollinated dates would still be yellow in Dec. They may not ever ripen or at best will turn color in Feb. or Mar. but never be good to eat. Since they are not palatable, they are often left on the palm and cleaned at the following year's dethorning when fruit stalks are removed. Any way, they will still be yellow in Dec. added 4/20/06 by]


Well, I checked the list of casualties and found no Marines died on 12 December 2003. That the capture was completed by an Army unit tends to discredit the claim of the alleged Marine. --Habap 21:46, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Disputed section[edit]

I put this here so that it will be out of the article until it's ironed out :) WhisperToMe 06:53, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Unexplained Discrepancies[edit]

{{TotallyDisputed-section}} There are numerous abnormalities and inconsistencies in the capture of Saddam Hussein. These have received little attention from the mainstream media.

A former U.S. Marine who claims he participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated. "I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said. "We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed." [1] No Marines were reported killed on that day, nor were Marine units involved in the action.

A special report on CNN shows what appears to be Col. Hickey explaining to his troops how Saddam was captured and ordering them to keep quiet about it].

Many are questioning why photos showing Saddam's "spider-hole" also show dates growing in the background. Dates in Iraq do not grow in December.[2][3]

Many are also questioning why a man with such a massive amount of money, power and support would hide in an underground hole after having spent most of his adult life in palaces. This supports the belief that the American administration intended to portray Saddam as having lost all power and any will to fight, thus increasing American morale both at home and in Iraq.

Some also claim that the United States authorities timed Hussein's capture to divert attention from controversial actions by the Bush administration. Washington's Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott has suggested publicly that the Bush administration timed Hussein's capture to their own benefit. In a Fox News article, McDermott stated, "It's funny, when they're having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something."

There were also press reports (which cite un-named British intelligence officers and Iraqi intelligence officers [4][5][6]) that American intelligence did not lead to the capture of Saddam, but rather that Saddam was betrayed by the Al-Jabour tribe and captured by Kurdish partisans. According to this story, the betrayal was revenge -- Saddam's son Uday had allegedly raped a woman belonging to the tribe -- and Saddam was turned over to the Kurdish Patriotic Front, who negotiated the ex-leader's handover to U.S. forces in return for a deal with the United States that would allow the party more power.

It'll be some time until the truth will be allowed to be revealed. But the question of whether this whole thing was staged, pure PR and propaganda is without question.


Yvonne Ridley and the Taliban[edit]

The Controversy section currently starts:

Journalist Yvonne Ridley reported in Sunday Express that Saddam Hussein was actually captured by Kurdish forces who then drugged him and abandoned him for U.S. troops to find after brokering a deal. She was imprisoned for 10 days by the Taliban.

What? When was she imprisoned for 10 days by the Taliban? Did it have anything to do with her report, or any connection at all to the topic of this article, Operation Red Dawn? 08:02, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Validity of this article[edit]

The entire wikipedia article chronicalling Operation Red Dawn and especially the reactions of other nations needs a great deal more sourcing. Either this webpage should be rewritten entirely, or deleted. As it is right now, it is all speculation and opinion.

Ulyssesm90 (talk) 17:12, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Why is Local and International Reaction so long?[edit]

Can someone explain why this section is so long and in depth? Can't this section be summarized and fulled explained elsewhere, such as "Reaction to Operation Red Dawn?" The same goes for the Trial of Saddam Hussein page.

Further, it creates problems in reading and understanding the "facts" regarding the Operation. The question you have to ask is, "would this be in an actual encyclopedia article? In this case, the answer is no.

I'd like to hear comments and further suggestions. If I don't hear to the contrary, I will change it myself. -- Jophus00 (talk) 22:21, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Those things do not belong in the article on the operation itself. There needs to be a seperate article on reactions to the operation and its outcome, as the reactions are notable in a contemporary context. I don't edit WP anymore, but if you or someone else would be so kind as to just move and reformat those sections, that would greatly improve the quality of this article.
Also, I read the presentation of the quotes as being a bit biased. Mixing together quotes and analyses makes it harder to evaluate the neutrality of the presentation, so the quotes should go on WQ and the analyses should be sourced, not synthesized. That would be a logical next step after moving the reactions-section to a seperate article. (talk) 19:46, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

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Books on the operation[edit]

Are there any books about the mission that can be used for this article?--Eaglestorm (talk) 02:57, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

U.S. military used social networking to capture Saddam[edit] Sole Soul (talk) 08:19, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Lack of content[edit]

Sorry but the article sucks. The title is "Operation Red Dawn," yet the section of the article titled "The Operation" is blank. -- (talk) 18:18, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Feel free to fix it, then. --Alan the Roving Ambassador (talk) 17:35, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Based on content, this article would be more properly called "List of international reactions to Operation Red Dawn". (Hohum @) 18:35, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

$750,000 in cash and a checkered cab?[edit]

I've removed information that Hussein had 3/4s of a million dollars and a taxi in the spider hole with him.[7] Certain arms were also mentioned:

Items confiscated during the raid include two AK-47 rifles, a pistol

which might be OK, but I couldn't find that information reflected in the given source. -- Kendrick7talk 00:52, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Bold proposals[edit]

As many have remarked over many years, this article is not good. Here are some ideas to improve it. Feel free to insert comments after each point.

  1. Move article to Capture of Saddam Hussein. The subject is larger than the American military operation and more accurately called Capture of Saddam Hussein. I further propose to remove the Infobox military conflict. The picture should stay in the article however. Remove Campaignbox Iraq War, the bottom of the article contains 2003 Iraq war Operations and Iraq War (2003-2011). - Mnnlaxer | talk | stalk 17:17, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
  2. Completely rewrite the lead. Besides shifting the focus of the first sentence to the capture and not the operation, where the name came from and a long sentence about what unit it was and who commanded the unit shouldn't be in the lead. Ditto naming two sites searched. Brief statements about Saddam going into hiding, the search for him, found in a spider hole, and what happened to him as a result of the capture are more appropriate. I would tackle this last, after the content of the article is improved.
  3. Background to the capture can be text about the Iraq invasion, Saddam disappearing, and discussion of his possible death from the bombing. Subsections can be the search for him and the location. - Mnnlaxer | talk | stalk 17:17, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
  4. Operation Red Dawn can be a section, although the current material needs sourcing. - Mnnlaxer | talk | stalk 17:17, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
  5. Done. Reactions are way too long and most are not relevant enough. I'll start cutting there now. - Mnnlaxer | talk | stalk 17:17, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
  6. Not sure what to do with the last two sections, but they need sourcing at a minimum. - Mnnlaxer | talk | stalk 17:17, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

Removed a lot of reactions. Waiting a for a bit for any feedback before moving the page. Added two articles for the basic facts at the time to be used in article, BBC and Guardian. They don't need to remain in External links. The Slate series should be used in the text and kept at External links. Added the Army history page to stay in External links and not be used in article. I don't think the FBI fingerprint image should stay. The capture photo can be used for the Operation Red Dawn section. - Mnnlaxer | talk | stalk 17:06, 31 December 2015 (UTC)


  • Schmitt, Eric (20 December 2003). "How Army Sleuths Stalked the Adviser Who Led to Hussein". New York Times.
  • "Saddam formally declared an enemy prisoner of war". NBC Associated Press. 10 January 2004.
  • Hess, Pamela (8 January 2004). "Saddam is a POW, says Pentagon". UPI.

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Was it the Kurds?[edit]


21:24, 4 October 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)