A Tale of Two Photographs

We all saw, and cheered, the image of Saddam's statue being toppled by jubulent Iraqis. Whatever your questions about the legality of this war, and the risks involved, finally a brutal dictator was toppled and a people freed. These images evoked echoes of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and were breathtaking, and historic.

They were also shot in close-up.

This picture below, borrowed from this website shows a slightly different image of the jubulent Iraqis cheering in Baghdad. This is the square where the Iraqi citizens were pulling down Saddam's statue, just after Saddam's statue was pulled down.


Hmm. Now, there's a good possibility that (a) plenty of the civilians that would have rejoiced had left Baghdad before the shooting started or (b) laid low and waited until they were sure that Saddam's minions were defeated. It's what I'd do. But this picture definitely puts a different face on the celebrations. Certainly not as "historic" and "breathtaking" as Donald Rumsfeld contends.

On the other hand, the Kurds of northern Iraq are genuinely happy, and returning to their homes in droves. They are, fortunately, not turfing the resettled Arabs out on their ear. This makes me a lot more optimistic about the long-term outcome of this war, although obstacles do lie in the path.

Keep reading Back to Iraq.com folks. This is the best journalism about this war. Ever.

Thanks to Ian King and Spacewaitress for the links.

Hey, hey! This is my 400th post on my blog!

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