'Extraordinary Symbolism'

Manila Bulletin, April 10, 2003 | Go to article overview

'Extraordinary Symbolism'


UNTIL at about ten minutes after six in the afternoon in Iraq two days ago, Saddam Husseins minister of information was deriding the American intrusion into Baghdad. But when an American marine pulled down Saddams mammoth statue, which many Iraqis gleefully and angrily trampled on, the world understood that everything was over with Saddam Husseins regime but the fighting.

World media called the act an "extraordinary symbolism," on par with the raising of the American flag over Iwo Jima in World War II. The "desecration" of the statue signaled the end of 25 years of a brutal regime.

Saddam, cried demonstrators, is "the enemy of God." With such an adversary, he didn't have the ghost of a chance.

But "God's allies" are not as complacent as the liberated Iraqis, for fierce fighting is still going on in some parts of Iraq. Counter-insurgency is expected. US and British troops have the additional problem of maintaining law and order because of the riots and lootings unleashed by liberation.

Two questions remain, one is whether Saddam will make a last ditch stand, especially in Tikrit, his home province. Another is whether he will use the chemical and biological weapons that the triumphant invaders have yet to display before an anxious world. …

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