The image of Saddam Hussein’s statue falling in Baghdad is embedded in my brain.
It has been replayed on the news more times than any other image of the war.
We’ve seen every angle, slow-motion shots and zooms.
Yes, it symbolizes the beginning of regime change in Iraq, but the troops are instilling false hope in the Iraqi citizens.
Without confirmation of whether Saddam is dead, or even his whereabouts, they need to put down the champagne, get out of the palace chairs and start thinking rationally.
Things have started to change for the better in Iraq, but things could easily backfire.
There’s still some isolated fighting going on.
And there are also plenty of unanswered questions.
Is Saddam alive?
If he is, he’s not going to be too happy that his citizens, with the help of U.S. troops, toppled and destroyed his image.
Does Iraq have weapons of mass destruction?
If the military is sure that they do, but haven’t found them, we should all be a little worried.
But instead, we’re letting Iraqi citizens steal Saddam’s loot and drag his cement body parts through the streets of Baghdad, while the military looks on and smiles.
This is the peace and stability the White House has been telling us about.
Bush and Blair have taken over Iraqi airwaves with a new television station called Nahwa Al-Hurrieh, which means “Toward Freedom,” bombarding Iraqis with messages about the future of their country.
It’s too bad most of Baghdad is without power.
Also, forces have started circulating copies of Al-Zaman (The Times) in southern Iraq, making it look more like sweeps week than war time.
Perhaps, the networks are already casting for the Real World: Kirkuk.
But in reality, the Iraqi citizens have a right to be happy.
They have a right to feel liberated. They don’t have a right to feel hungry and thirsty.
It would be nice if instead of propaganda, aid was our first priority.
Maybe the Iraqis wouldn’t be looting if they had some food and power.
Marea Kasten can be reached at email@example.com.