Iraq comes full circle
December 14, 2008 5 Comments
I remember very well the excitement of the first few weeks of the Iraq war.
It was a crazy time, with news reporters “embedded” and reporting live from the backs of Humvees and Bradleys charging toward the capitol, where the Butcher of Baghdad and his elite republican guard awaited, possibly with their chemical weapons and definitely spoiling for a fight.
I remember shock and I remember awe.
and I will never forget the triumphant images of the American soldiers helping Iraqis pull down the statues of Saddam Hussein. It was a big moment, a triumph and, really, a good day for humanity. Whether you supported the war or not, there was no way around the joy and excitement that seemed to be pouring out of the Iraqi people actually did, for one day, treat us as liberators.
Of all the images, one of the things I remember specifically was the Iraqis beating the statue of Hussein with their shoes. Men ran up to the statue from all around Baghdad, hopping as they approached the fallen icon and taking off their sandals to beat the visage of Hussein with their shoes.
I remember the anchors and correspondents telling us that this was very significant because in Iraq, hitting something with your shoe was a terrible insult. It meant you were the lowest of the low, beneath even the soles of their feet and a tremendous sign of disrespect.
In Iraq, apparently, hitting someone with your shoe is like spitting on them while flipping them off AND calling their dead mother a whore.
It’s nasty stuff.
As you have undoubtedly seen, Baghdad has come full circle. Today, the man who “liberated” Baghdad (and who also plunged its residents into more than five years of terror, warfare and death) visited his catastrophic blunder of a legacy for the last time as Commander-in-Chief.
This morning at a press conference, an Iraqi threw both of his shoes at our president, who had no problem avoiding both shoes, after spending the last eight years dodging questions, prosecutions and the U.S. Constitution.
“This is a farewell kiss, dog!” the man allegedly yelled as he insulted George W. Bush in what newscasters once told us was the height of Iraqi condescension and disrespect.
The president was there, of course, on a “valedictory visit” and to tout the new security agreement and the, uh, progress that has been made in Iraq since we destroyed, invaded and occupied their country.
Where we were once seen as heroes, helping overthrow one hated leader, we have overstayed our welcome and because of the lack of a game plan from the president and his team of Neocon idiots. We have allowed their country to slip almost back to the dark ages, so now the man who helped free them from Hussein has taken his place as a hated dog of a leader, who has shoes thrown at him.
It is almost the perfect metaphor for the massive fuck up and idiocy in Iraq that not only was someone able to get into the press conference and do this, but that they felt the need to do it at all.
If there is any doubt, Mr. President, about how the Iraqis feel about the occupation of their country, this is it.
only 36 days to go.