Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Down goes Saddam ... symbolically? Like millions of people around the world, I just watched a statue of Saddam Hussein pulled down by Iraqis and U.S. engineers using a huge mobile crane vehicle. The glee and pandemonium that followed was heartening and sad at the same time. Heartening because the people seem genuinely joyful that their repression under Saddam seems at an end. Sad because after the singing, looting and dancing is done, the reality of tribal factions, power struggles and blackmarket economy will dawn in Iraq.
The people seem like children to me. They've lived in the dark for so long that this early glimpse of light is probably like a miracle to them. But one man's miracle is another man's burden and we'be definitely strapped the nation (ours) with an enormous burden - if we follow through with the promises enunciated by Bush and Co. Of course, our track record is a bit spotty in that department and we might choose the step back and let the factions fight it out until the most powerful emerge. At which point we might go back in with our military - having the very real excuse that the country will tear itself apart without a stabilzing force on the ground - and we then can handily ensconce our 'kind' of democracy there.
But today is like Mardi Gras in Baghdad and the people deserve their moment in the sun. I pray that they can make a lasting, peaceful, prosperous society once the fighting stops. I get this spooky feeling that the U.S. and Britain have some sort of black-ops deal with a select few Iraqis who once held some sort of administrative or legal position in the country. But that, perhaps, is just my propensity for suspicion when it comes to governmental machinations.
I must admit, watching that statue fall - though not nearly as dramatic as watching the Berlin Wall collapse - was exciting. But where Is Saddam? Where is the Republican Guard? Some are speculating that Saddam's whole regime was figment of his imagination and that the Republican Guard never really existed at all. What if it's so? My God, Disney World with torture and terror at its core. How weird is this world? VERY!

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