statue of Saddam, symbolic of broken
Posted By Philippe Khan
April 9th 2003 witnessed extraordinary
scenes in Baghdad, where the U.S.-led
occupation forces pulled down the
statue of the former leader of the
Iraqi nation, Saddam Hussein, with
height of about four men -- and one of
the symbols of Saddam's rule over
Iraq, in a staged demonstration
orchestrated by the military.
TV footage showed Iraqis tearing down
portraits of Saddam and throwing shoes
at the statue.
Many analysts and actually U.S.
officials referred to the event as
symbolising the overthrow of the
suppression of Iraqis.
But today, four years after the war
broke out, killing hundreds of
thousands of Iraqis, the nation sees
the fall of Saddam’s statue as a
symbol of the brutality of the
occupation and violence that has
become the new face of their country.
A sculpture representing
"freedom" has replaced the
old statue of Saddam in central
Baghdad's Firdos Square. But Iraqis,
according to an editorial on Middle
East Online, say the scuplture is
green and ugly.
"The sculpture of freedom has no
meaning," Middle East Online
quoted Nabil Ahmed, who owns a nearby
barber's salon, as saying.
"It does not reflect reality. One
lives here in constant insecurity.
Freedom has no meaning without safety.
The situation has gone from bad to
"When I see it, I see sadness and
desperation," Customer Qusay Taha
says as he gets a shave.
"Today there is nobody around
except American soldiers who take
photographs as they go by."
The toppling of the statue of the old
“dictator” marked the end of an
unjust regime and the beginning of a
new one, not less brutal.
"We were happy. At that time we
thought everything would get better.
In fact, the opposite has happened.
There is this insecurity. Today, when
I look at the statue, I feel
overwhelmed by sadness," Mona
Mahmoud, a 46-year-old mother of two
"The Americans must leave, they
are responsible for the situation
today. If they go, the situation will
become stable in one or two
months," Mohamed Ali, another
employee of the Palestine Hotel says.
"Yes, at the beginning, when we
saw the statue falling, we were happy.
The country was liberated,” the
editorial quoted an Iraqi who only
gave his name as Qais, as saying.
"We thought the fall of the
regime would bring freedom,
reconstruction but as the days passed
we saw it was lies. This new statue,
is of injustice, inequality. The fall
of the statue is now the broken dreams
But the U.S. still refuses to admit
responsibility for the chaotic
situation in Iraq. Four years of
bloodshed and violence are still
referred to by the American President
as years of noble struggle that reaped
relatively good results.