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Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Folk Songs

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the evening
I'd hammer on Saddam
All over Baghdad
I'd hammer out chu-unks
And sell 'em on eeeEEEEbaay
I'd hammer out love between the Yankees and Iraqis
Aa-aall over Baghdad!

OK, the love line is sappy, but it's in the original. (Why's NIH listing folk song lyrics?)

First some Iraqis tried to knock down Saddam's statue with a sledgehammer. They made a valiant effort, but it's a big pedestal, and they had only one sledgehammer between them. (It looked like they were trying to chop down a tree.) So the Marines offered some mechanical assist.

I think half the crowd in the square was media. Most of the people swarming on the Marines' vehicle were photographers.

Fox wonders what Iraqi Information Minister Muhammed Sa'id al-Sahhaf (aka Baghdad Bob) will have to say about this, or whether he'll call in sick today.

I was a little worried when the Marines trotted out an American flag and put it over Saddam's face, but they took it down later. Just a little triumphalism is necessary for morale.

As Saddam's statue topples, Brit Hume wants to know what De Villepin and Chirac are thinking. The Marines manage to make the statue fold over, but it resists coming off its pedestal. Fox's female anchor (Brigitte Quinn, I think) says, "Well, they say Saddam will cling to power..."

Now they're dragging the statue's head through the streets.

More pictures linked when they're up.

The Yahoo slideshows are a crapshoot, since the URLs for picture plus caption are not static! The JPEG locations are, however, so that's what I'm linking to.

Here's a really nice picture of the square and the statue. Notice all the people on the vehicle; most were media photographers. I love the colors on the buildings, sky, and trees.

Here's a better view of the Easter Egg Mosque, as I like to call it, and here's even more detail on the dome.

After the Marines took down the American flag, they put up a pre-Gulf War Iraqi flag, which Saddam wore like a scarf for a bit. (Pre-GWI flags do not have writing on them.) Just before they pulled down the statue, someone crawled up and retrieved it. That's Cpl. Edward Chin of New York, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment, by the way.

Cindy, I swear! He meant nothing to me!

He had great, big, nasty teeth, but we pulled them.

This has nothing to do with statue-toppling; I just like it. It's the Martyrs' Monument. Yes, I'm sorry. I like fascist architecture, OK? Give me big, superhuman structures. It looks very spooky up close. By the way, try not to think of anything Freudian when viewing this monument.

Where's Tex when you need him? Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy! Harley! Those are Kurds in Sulaymaniyah.