Of Statues and Freedom
OK, I was working away this AM, and consistent with my focus on the work effort, I was listening to the local rock station instead of NPR, and WHAM, this station that never talks about the war says something about something happening in Baghdad. Well, I went over to an office that had a TV, and I have to say that I was floored. I kept thinking that here we are, this is what happens when people are inspired by a touch of freedom, freedom that they have not had. I was floored. I kept thinking, this is what it looks like.
James Taranto had a wonderful Best of the Web Today
, again, and he kept up the Scenes From the Liberation:
The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports from inside Amara, where the Marines were expecting a tank battle with an Iraqi armored division. But the plans went--well, whatever the opposite of "awry" is:
When the convoy approached this alleged enemy stronghold, the company was hit, all right--by an army of jubilant children that mobbed the Marines like they were rock stars.
"Mis-tah! Mis-tah! Bush good!" they shouted at the stunned Marines.
Charlie Company spent the next four hours wading through swarms of children asking for candy and men offering cigarettes--hardly what the Marines had prepared themselves for in the hours leading up to the assignment.
"This place is a zoo," company commander Greg Grunwald said as he tried to make his way through the crowd after they realized he was the leader.
After a little research, Grunwald discovered what had happened.
"There is no enemy," Grunwald said. "The general got shot yesterday and they quit."
Salon is up north, in the Kurdish city of Mahad, liberated from the regime on Sunday:
The men of the town saw us walking and led us, nearly carried us, through the crowd toward the Baath Party headquarters in the center of town. It is a building built of the same yellow stone of the temple on the hill, but in the style of an old crusader castle with round turrets. It was built without exterior windows. On the outside of the building are the words, "Saddam, our Jerusalem." The words were smeared with mud. The inside was packed with people.
The building has a courtyard and a second-story balcony that goes around it; the men of the town led us to the balcony where the crowd assembled below us. Hundreds more people were milling outside the castle chanting and shouting. They were saying "Bar-zan-i" and singing a song that was more like a chant. They chanted the name of the Kurdistan Democracy Party leader, Massoud Barzani, and when they caught sight of us, the chant and the clapping changed and they shouted, "Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka! Am-ri-ka!"
A couple of items discovered via Command Post: This one is a compare/contrast, protesters vs. freshly liberated, Tale of Two Cities
, San Francisco and Baghdad. And this one is a personal narrative
of a person who witnessed the demonstrations in East Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit with a large amount of Mideastern immigrants (exiles).