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a picture paints a thousand words

photo from CNN



And oh yeah...that statue is coming down IN MY NAME.

"Oh people, this is freedom."
On one Baghdad street, a white-haired man used his shoe to beat a canvas depicting a smiling Saddam.
"Come see, this is freedom... this is the criminal, this is the infidel," he said. "This is the destiny of every traitor... he killed millions of us. Oh people, this is freedom."

To the Iraqi people: HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

I did not see the fottage, only heard about the event as I drove in to work, Someone correct me, please, if I have this sequence of events wrong. What I understand is that the Iraqis were unable to topple the statue of Saddam by themselves; American military forces (in the form of a tank) were required todo the deed for them.

Is this a correct summary? And does anyone else find this terribly symbolic?


Yes, that's correct. Via Reuters:

U.S. troops helped Iraqis pull down a 20-foot-high statue of President Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad on Wednesday and Iraqis danced on it in contempt for the man who ruled them with an iron grip for 24 years.

In scenes reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Iraqis earlier took a sledgehammer to the marble plinth under the statue of Saddam. Youths had placed a noose around the statue's neck and attached the rope to a U.S. truck.

I'd give anything to be in front of a tv for this.

Dave, it was every bit as good as it sounded. I got out a beer and raised a toast when the statue toppled. It is wonderful to see the jubilation of the Iraqis at the prospect of their liberation.

Yes. Yes! YES! Hell fucking YES!

Lyn, the Iraqis clambered up to the top of the pedestal, which was about 12 feet high, and put a rope around the neck of the statue. That obviously wasn't going to be strong enough to take down a metal staue, though, so the Marines helped out by putting a chain around the statue's neck, then used an M88 Tank Retriever to pull the statue down. They put the Stars and Stripes over Saddam's face, to the cheers of the crowd, then put an Iraqi flag up for a few minutes, before removing it to pull the statue down.

It was a wonderful thing!

BarCodeKing - I did the exact same thing (re: beer).

This brings back memories of Lenin's statue pulled down from the front of our Foreign Ministry building.

And the Iraqis taking sledgehammers to the pedestal brought back images of the Berlin wall falling.

Today we witnessed history. Another dictator torn down. I hope I live to see the last one fall.

Barcode, it may interest you to know that the news channel I was watching (and can you believe I already don't remember which one -- whatever national feeds into our local WB station -- I think it was Katie Couric) was making the HUGEST deal about the American flag being shown -- saying the Iraqis were not booing, but not happy about it, and that it was a "huge mistake" and a symbol of conquest rather than liberation.

Yes, that's right, our TV news folk. Ruin an otherwise perfect moment.

I was late for a meeting so I could watch in on a tv in one of our computer labs. It was BEAUTIFUL!

And the Iraqis were thrilled, even when the US flag was put up there. We put up a pre-Gulf war Iraqi flag as well. They took a few pictures and then took it down.

The most moving picture though was the ferver that the crowd had in kicking and bashing the statue.

It feels good to be right!

I think the American flag, then the Iraqi flag was a beautiful statement. It shows cooperation between the two countries.

I'm glad the Marine towtruck helped. Ted Koppel said that it took 17 hours for the crowd to hack down Lenin's statue. Glad the Marines risked negative press by lending a hand.

Meanwhile, on a rooftop in Baghdad, the Iraqi Information Minister was overheard yelling, "The Americans are no where near Baghdad! All is safe!!! Saddam is still in control and the Western Infidels will soon be completely wiped out. Is anyone LISTENING TO ME?!?"

In all seriousness, one of the 24-hour news stations (in America) today showed an Iraqi man in downtown Baghdad, witnessing the toppling of the statue, the symbol of evil and terror in Iraq, and he walked swiftly up to a U.S. Marine nearby, today, and put his arm around him. The Marine returned the gesture, and someone snapped a photo.

Happy Independence Day, indeed.
Let Freedom Ring.

Guys, the US flag was handed to the Marines by IRAQI BYSTANDERS. When removed, it was handed back to IRAQIs who DANCED AROUND the pedestal WAVING THE STARS AND STRIPES. The crowd was CHEERING. How symbolic...a quick display of our flag, replaced with a symbol of the Iraqi people. As a Marine, my greatest regret is that I didn't get to be there with our guys. I am more proud of my brothers today that ever before. Semper Fidelis.

It's been a great day for Iraqis, and for all of us who believed it's gonna happen this way. God bless America!

Personally, I'd like to see one of those 500lb concrete bombs dropped on one of those statues.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there are going to be any left. Ah well :-)

Fred, too bad the media doesn't report such things and instead uses them to further distort a great moment in history.

Fred, that US flag was initially folded in a regulation triangle, so I would be very surprised if the Iraqis gave it to the Marines. Several news sites have said that the Iraqis booed when it was put up, I believe the BBC said the Marines took it down because the crowd was displeased. I couldn't hear very well; I wish I knew what the truth was.

I did see the Iraqi waving the US flag at the base of the pedestal after it was taken down from the statue.

It occurs to me now that the whole flag dance thing was for the benefit of the cameras. At one point a great mob of people crowded onto the vehicle; almost every one was a photographer.

I saw it go from an Iraqi hand to a Marine. I heard the cheers. He took the flag down, and replaced it with an older Iraqi flag, at the direction of Marine officers on the scene. If you really think a young hard-charger would yield to the boos of the crowd, up yours. I read reports, not news reports, from the scene. What I didn't see, or read about, were payoffs, cajoling, or incentives for Iraqis to act in any way. I did see members of the media acting like asses, but that's pretty normal.

I know Marines. If you don't believe they do or can act altruisticly, then you don't know them.

The US flag was provided by an American soldier, Lt Chin, I believe. It had been at the Pentagon on 9-11. And yes, he does know it was not the Iraqis who attacked the Pentagon that day.

Doesn't anyone see this for what it was? A staged event. Look at how few people were there...in a city of 5 million people only 150 were at this event "reminscent of" the Berlin Wall? If the media were truly free to report what really happened we would hear that this event was staged and most Iraqis are concerned, at best, about America running the show now.

You do realize that the US participating in the destruction of this statue was illegal, right? Directly against the Geneva Conventions. Whever some other country defies the GC we bitch, but we do it regularly.

Not saying the Iraqis aren't happy, but this war was NOT about liberation (where are those WMDs by the way).

what a joke. a completely staged event with paid performers. just like the "rescue of jessica lynch"


what a joke. a completely staged event with paid performers. just like the "rescue of jessica lynch"