Images of Liberation

I’ve been watching the fall of Baghdad. (I’ve had to watch CNN because I don’t get Fox here at work.) This is an event that I will remember vivdly for a long time. I still remember the Berlin Wall falling. These images feel the same way. I will remember the statue in the Square. There was a crowd around it, and a man — a strong man, heavily muscled — brought a sledgehammer. I immediately thought back to the Berlin Wall, and I have to wonder if the sledgehammer will become the modern symbol of liberation. He took several swings, the crowd cheering louder on each swing.

Then, he took the hammer, and he simply handed it to the man next to him, who was grasping for it. I had to leave at that time for work, and I think I missed what should be the image of the war. The scene was being described on the radio, and the announcer said that a boy, eight or ten, came up to take his swings. He was unable to lift the hammer; it was too heavy for him. One of the men stepped up and helped him swing the hammer. I hope that this image will be replayed so I can see it.

Their long supressed anger is an incredible rush for a lover of liberty like myself. I watched the Americans help the Iraqis pull the statue down, and then the Iraqis remove the head from the statue to drag it around the city. I am a little frightened by the viciousness with which the Iraqis strike at the statue, at any image of Saddam, from posters to statues to effigies, like a lynch mob — but I understand it. I am thankful that I have never had an opportunity to build up that degree of hate.

The people of Iraq want to be free. The reports from the troops still fighting in the city is that they are not fighting Iraqis anymore. They are fighting Syrians, and Saudis, and Jordanians, and Egyptians. These are the people who hate America more than they want Iraqis to be free. The Iraqis will remember this, and so will America.

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