After the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, the U.S. military distributed decks of cards to soldiers stationed in Iraq. The 55-card decks – all face cards – were designed to help identify the country’s “most wanted.” Saddam Hussein’s photo adorned the Ace of Spades.
Nearly half the deck surrendered by the end of May, while Hussein continued to elude capture. The intense Operation Red Dawn culminated with the discovery of Hussein under a farmhouse near his hometown, Tikrit. President George W. Bush soon proclaimed to the world, “In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over.”