Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Monday, April 09, 2007
Four years on
Four years ago today, this was the headline in the decidedly non-"loyal Bushie" BBC News:

Saddam's symbol tumbles down

There have been jubilant scenes in Baghdad's main square as crowds of Iraqis gathered to celebrate after US tanks rolled into the heart of the city.
Elated Baghdadis in al-Fardus Square, in front of the Palestine Hotel, greeted the American forces with cries of support and bunches of flowers.

In an unprecedented show of disdain for Saddam Hussein a group of men scaled the statue of the Iraqi of the leader which dominates the square, securing a noose around its neck in an attempt to pull it down.

The metal plaque at the base of the statue was torn off and the statue's marble plinth attacked with a sledge hammer before US troops joined in the effort, using an armoured vehicle to pull the figure down. ...
The "demonstrators" and statue defacers were mostly unemployed Shiite men, who had been milling around Firdus Square when the U.S. troops took the city, according to press reports. Of course, it later turned out the entire statue toppling was a very well orchestrated hoax, but then, we are talking about the Bush administration...

Four years later, today's headline on the Beeb reads as follows:

Iraqi Shias protest in holy city

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shias have demonstrated in the holy city of Najaf, calling for US-led troops to leave Iraq.
The protesters were responding to an appeal by cleric Moqtada Sadr, who branded US forces "your arch enemy" in a statement.

The demonstration marks four years since US troops entered Baghdad and ended the rule of Saddam Hussein.

Baghdad has been placed under curfew for the duration of the anniversary.

A 24-hour ban on movement by all vehicles, for fear of car bomb attacks, began in the city at 0500 (0100 GMT) on Monday, where four years ago a giant statue of Saddam Hussein was torn down, symbolising the fall of his regime. ...
So, what is the Bush administration's response to the, er, spectacle?

Spokesman Col Steven Boylan said: "This is the right to assemble, the right to free speech - they didn't have that under the former regime."

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posted by JReid @ 8:04 PM  
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