Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The memory hole.

No doubt you will recall April 9, 2003, when the television newscasts all led off with film of a crowd of jubilant Iraqis pulling down a statue of Saddam Hussein, with the help of U.S. Marines. The front pages of all the newspapers had a shot of the joyous scene the next day, so reminiscent of the statues falling in the former Soviet Union, and the crowds hammering away at the Berlin Wall. Iraq had been liberated and was greeting the triumphant Marines as heroes!

Sadly, no.

Army report confirms Psy-ops staged Saddam statue toppling
by Jon Elmer

July 3, 2004 – An internal Army study of the war in Iraq has confirmed that the infamous toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square in central Baghdad on April 9, 2003 was stage-managed by American troops and not a spontaneous reaction by Iraqis. According to the study, a Marine colonel first decided to topple the statue, and an Army psychological operations unit turned the event into a propaganda moment.

At one point during the stunt Marines draped the statue of Saddam Hussein with an American flag. When the crowd reacted negatively to that gesture, the US flag was replaced with a pre-1990 Iraqi flag, missing the words "God is Great," by a sergeant from the psychological operations unit. The Marines brought in cheering Iraqi children in order to make the scene appear authentic, the study said.

Allegations that the event was staged were made in April of last year, mostly by opponents of the war, but were ignored or ridiculed by the US government and most visible media outlets.

So, what do we read today, on the third anniversary of this phony event?

The Associated Press

Iraq police and soldiers bolstered security in the capital to prevent attacks on "Freedom Day." The holiday marks the April 9, 2003 event in which a huge crowd of Iraqis cheered as U.S. Marines hauled down the statue of Saddam Hussein on Firdous Square, marking the collapse of his regime.

Don't believe anything you read in the newspapers, and TV news lies.

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