The problems in Iraq are ahead of us, but we’re doing better than people think. And a year from now, I’ll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush. There is no doubt that, with the exception of a very small number of people close to a vicious regime, the people of Iraq have been liberated and they understand that they’ve been liberated. And it is getting easier every day for Iraqis to express that sense of liberation.
~ Richard Perle – “Turkey at the Crossroads” Keynote Luncheon – September 22, 2003 – American Enterprise Institute
Let’s just face it.
This is about as close as he’s gonna get to that one.
Seriously, though, if I didn’t know better I’d say that some Iraqis are less than completely satisfied with our redesign of their country…
[Bush finally gets his Iraq monument.]
For the war-beaten orphans of the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, this big old shoe fits.
A huge sculpture of the footwear hurled at President Bush in December during a trip to Iraq has been unveiled in a ceremony at the Tikrit Orphanage complex.
Assisted by children at the home, sculptor Laith al-Amiri erected a brown replica of one of the shoes hurled at Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad.
Al-Zaidi was jailed for his actions, and a trial is pending. But his angry gesture touched a defiant nerve throughout the Arab and Muslim world. He is regarded by many people as a hero. Demonstrators in December took to the streets in the Arab world and called for his release.
The shoe monument, made of fiberglass and coated with copper, consists of the shoe and a concrete base. The entire monument is 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) high. The shoe is 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) long and 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) wide.
The orphans helped al-Amiri build the $5,000 structure — unveiled Tuesday — in 15 days, said Faten Abdulqader al-Naseri, the orphanage director.
This is from kids?! After all those painted schools? OK. So thse kids probably had parents before we invaded. And like many Iraqi children, I’m sure they know just how much they have to thank us for.
Hey Valerie, how about the kids you don’t see? Would you object to snapshots of the kids who are suffering war-related trauma? How about the kids who are suffering from cholera, and will for the next two years, because their cities and towns are swimming in raw sewage? How about the kids who are burned when they come across our left over WMDs? You might prefer pictures of schools being painted, but how about the children trying to learn in ruined schools; schools ruined as a consequence of our war, that is? How would you feel about pictures of the Iraqi children turned out into the sex trade, to relieve the grinding poverty our war plunged them and their families into? Would you be offended by pictures of the Iraqi children forced to sell their bodies as a means to support their families? If a picture of a dead two-year-old offends you, would you prefer a picture of a live 16-year-old boy, trapped in the Baghdad sex trade? Would you rather see a picture of the two dozen orphan boys found starving and neglected in an government run orphanage? (We can’t blame Saddam for this one, either, since this happened just last summer.) Speaking of orphans, How about pictures of the children whose parents have abandoned them, out of desperation for their own survival in the U.S. occupation of Iraq? If their owners will allow it, maybe we could get a snapshot of the children who have been sold by their families, just to get them out of Iraq and give them a chance at a better life.
And none of it had to happen. None of it was necessary. What’s happened to these children, their families, and the only world they’ve known was a matter of choice. Our choice.
And for that, none of us can thank George W. Bush nearly enough.But at least Muntadhir al-Zaidi tried. And that’s worth remembering.