By Rachel Clarke
BBC News Online in Washington
War talk returned to TV screens across the United States on Tuesday as the military reported it had killed Saddam Hussein's two sons.
"They have been taken out," said an anchor on the Fox News channel whose gung-ho support of US troops was a feature of its war coverage.
Americans had reasons to cheer on Tuesday
CNN headlined its report: "Target: Saddam's sons" and talked of the "final showdown" for Uday and Qusay Hussein.
NBC News said it was hoped the elimination of the sons would "break the back" of the remnants of the Hussein regime.
The public had already been prepared for a day of jubilation with the final return home of Private Jessica Lynch, the teenage soldier captured by Iraqis and later rescued from a hospital.
News of the possible killing of the Hussein sons started to emerge during the American morning and was confirmed after many networks carried live coverage of Private Lynch giving her first public statement, saying she was proud to be a US soldier.
For days, all the news from Iraq has been bad. Soldiers have been killed on a daily basis and anger at extended deployments has been voiced passionately by troops in Iraq and their families waiting at home.
The row about the arguments put by the White House to go to war has also been raging, with the Bush administration coming under fire for allowing the president to use an unproven claim about uranium in a key national speech.
But suddenly, the TV pictures were of smiling commanders and officials, celebrating not just the Lynch return but the "trumping" of the sons who are portrayed as aces in the pack of playing cards used to identify the most wanted members of Saddam Hussein's regime.
A White House statement said the administration was "pleased" to learn of the military action against Uday and Qusay Hussein.
"Over the period of many years, these two individuals were responsible for countless atrocities committed against the Iraqi people and they can no longer cast a shadow of hate on Iraq," it said.
"US military forces and our intelligence community, working with an Iraqi citizen, deserve credit for today's successful action.
"While there is still much work to do in Iraq, the Iraqi people can see progress each day toward a better and more prosperous future for their country."
Paul Bremer, the US administrator of Iraq visiting Washington, said simply: "It's a great day for the Iraqi people and a great day for the American military, who once again showed their astounding professionalism in this operation."
But the Democrats who oppose President Bush appeared keen not to let the administration have a free ride on the back of the news.
But US soldiers like Jason Jordan continue to be targeted in Iraq
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said the operation against the sons was "a big win for the people of Iraq, our troops, and the
But he added that more had to be done to win the peace in Iraq - a key accusation now being levelled against the White House.
And the scandal over the claims that uranium was sought from Niger threatened to rear its head again with Mr Bush's number two national security adviser Stephen Hadley saying he should take the blame for the words getting into the State of the Union speech.
The return to the headlines of stories of victories and heroes may be short-lived.