An Iraqi poet celebrates the dictator’s fall

I hope that this soliloquy will survive on the internet like Gordon Sinclair’s speech:

Let me confess something: I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Saddam Hussein’s statue toppled in Baghdad.

I am a poet and know that eyes can, and do, deceive.

For three decades, part of them spent in prison, part in hiding and part in exile, I had often dreamed of an end to the nightmare of the Baathist-fascist regime. But I had never dreamed that the end, that is to say Iraq’s liberation, would come the way it did.

Again and again, I watched the footage showing the fall of the statue. It was as if I was afraid it might slip from the realm of my memory. But it was not until my sister, whom I had not seen for years, phoned me from Baghdad that I was convinced that “The Vampire” had fallen and that we were free.

“Hello Awad,” my sister said, her voice trembling. “The nightmare is over. We are free. Do you realize? We are free!”

It was not the mullahs of Tehran and their Islamic Revolutionary Guards who liberated the Iraqi Shiites.

Nor was it Turkey’s army that came to rescue the Iraqi Turkomans from Saddam’s clutches.

Amr Moussa, the Arab League’s secretary-general, and the corrupt regimes he speaks for, did not liberate Iraqi Arab nationalists.

Iraq’s democrats, now setting up their parties and publishing their newspapers, were not liberated by Jacques Chirac. Nor did the European left liberate Iraq’s communists, now free to resume their activities inside Iraq.

No, believe it or not, Iraqis of all faiths, ethnic backgrounds and political persuasions were liberated by young men and women who came from the other side of the world–from California and Wyoming, from New York, Glasgow, London, Sydney and Gdansk to risk their lives, and for some to die, so that my people can live in dignity.

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