In 2003, the destruction of one particular statue in Baghdad made worldwide headlines and came to be a symbol of western victory in Iraq. But there was so much more to it – or rather, so much less
The abiding image of the Iraq war in 2003 was the toppling of a statue of the country’s dictator, Saddam Hussein. It was an image relayed across the world as a symbol of victory for the American-led coalition, and liberation for the Iraqi people. But was that the truth? Putting up a statue is an attempt to create a story about history. During the invasion of Iraq, the pulling down of a statue was also an attempt to create a story about history. The story of Saddam’s statue shows both the possibilities, and the limits, of making a myth.
Operation Iraqi Freedom, as it was called by those running it, began on 20 March 2003. It was led by the US at the head of a “coalition of the willing”, including troops from Australia, Poland and the UK. President George W Bush claimed that the aims of the operation were clear: “to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people”. He continued: “The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder … It is a fight for the security of our nation and the peace of the world, and we will accept no outcome but victory.” This justification for war was hotly disputed at the time, and has been ever since.
from The Guardian https://ift.tt/36mPQSS
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