A U.S. Marine watches as a statue of Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein falls in central Baghdad April 9, 2003.
story by: Diaa Hadid and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated Press
photo courtesy of: lexfridman.com
Ten years ago, a statue fell in Baghdad’s Firdous Square. Joyful Iraqis helped by an American tank retriever pulled down their longtime dictator, cast as 16 feet of bronze. The scene broadcast live worldwide became an icon of the war, a symbol of final victory over Saddam Hussein.
But for the residents of the capital, it was only the beginning.
The toppling of the statue remains a potent symbol that has divided Iraqis ever since: Liberation for Shiites and Kurds, a loss for some Sunnis and grief among almost everybody over the years of death, destruction and occupation that followed the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces on April 9, 2003.
“Ten years ago, I dreamed of better life,” said Rassol Hassan, 80, who witnessed the fall of the statue from his nearby barber shop. “Nothing has changed since then for me and many Iraqis, it has even gotten worse.”
In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the overwhelming majority of Iraqis agree that they are better off today than under Saddam’s brutal dictatorship.
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