. . . a statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down on Wednesday, in
the most staged
photo-opportunity since Iwo Jima. . . .
. . . As the occupying power, America is responsible for protecting
embassies and UN offices in their area of control . . .
Every government ministry in the city has now been denuded of its
files, computers, reference books, furnishings and cars. To all
this, the Americans have turned a blind eye, indeed stated
specifically that they had no intention of preventing the
"liberation" of this property. One can hardly be moralistic about
the spoils of Saddam's henchmen but how is the government of
America's so-called "New Iraq" supposed to operate now that the
state's property has been so comprehensively looted? . . .
["The US flag that was put on the face of Saddam yesterday - it was
replaced by an Iraqi flag when the people shouted for that - was
the flag that was flying over the Pentagon on September 11."--Paul
Pentagon Flag Used To Cover Saddam's Face In Baghdad," BBC
(Baghdad), April 10, 2003]
["Rather than a spontaneous mass demonstration, the photo clearly
shows that only a couple hundred Iraqis participated in the largely
empty and heavily guarded Fardus Square. American tanks and troops
surrounded the square and one armored vehicle "helped" the Iraqis
pull down the statue."--Ivan Eland, "Just
Another Staged Baghdad Rally?," Independent Institute, April 12, 2003]
["The scene was marred by the presence of American tanks and
soldiers who, before reaching that square to help a few Iraqis
topple down the statue, had slaughtered many civilians and left a
trace of blood and destruction.
"Alas, tyranny is now replaced with colonialism. Let us not be
intoxicated by that image and let it erase the fact that this
"liberating" power itself was complicit in propping and supporting
Saddam throughout the 1980's when he waged his war against Iran and
killed one million Iraqis. All those Iraqis were not worthy of
liberation back then, because they were serving another function:
fodder for weapons and for containing Khomeini's Iran. I remember
seeing Rumsfeld shake hands with our oppressor on Iraqi TV back in
the early 1980's and both Bush I and Reagan supplied him with
weapons and military intelligence while he was gassing Iraqi Kurds.
No wonder it was difficult to topple him without his original
sponsors who came uninvited and with ulterior motives that have
become painfully obvious by now.
"Yes there were Iraqis cheering and dancing, but that should not be
(mis)interpreted as rolling out the red carpet for American tanks.
The crowd at Al-Firdaws square was a few hundred and no more.
Baghdad is a city of 4.5 million."--Sinan Antoon, "(De)liberation:
The paradise promised in Iraq has been lost," Al-Ahram Weekly
(Egypt), April 13, 2003]
["There was the CIA's man, an Iraqi fixer of the American stooge
Ahmad Chalabi, orchestrating that joyous media moment of
'liberation', attended by 'hundreds' - or was it 'dozens'? - of
cheering people, with three American tanks neatly guarding the
entrances to the media stage. 'Thanks, guys,' said a marine to the
BBC's Middle East correspondent in appreciation of the BBC's
'coverage."--John Pilger, "Journalism is rotting
away," pilger.carlton.com, April 25, 2003]
[A Reuters long-shot photo of Firdos Square showed that it was
nearly empty, ringed by U.S. tanks and marines who had moved in to
seal off the square before admitting the Iraqis. A BBC photo
sequence of the statue's toppling also showed a sparse crowd of
approximately 200 people--much smaller than the demonstrations only
nine days later, when thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of
Baghdad calling for U.S.-led forces to leave the city.--Sheldon
Rampton and John Stauber, "How
To Sell a War: The Rendon Group deploys 'perception management' in
the war on Iraq," InTheseTimes, August 4, 2003]