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by Robert Ditmar
10 April 2003

After a year of hearing the world continue to tell the United States and Great Britain that launching a war against Saddam Hussein to liberate the Iraqi people as nothing more than a cover to build an “oil empire,” the scenes out of liberated Baghdad should put those naysayers to total shame.

The scenes that were coming out of Baghdad Wednesday were nothing less than surreal. As American forces cautiously approached the center of the city, they expected to be greeted by fierce resistance by the Iraqi Republican Guard, Al-Qaeda and other foreign Arab militia, armed civilian loyalists, and remnants of Iraqi army regulars. What greeted them instead was embedded reporters and euphoric Iraqi Baghdad residents crowding into the streets to cheer and greet their Coalition (a.k.a. American, British and Australian) liberators. And the scenes were nothing short of pure joy and relief for both American soldiers and Iraqi residents.

After living under a repressive totalitarian Ba-athist Party dictatorship lead by the ruthless tyrant Saddam Hussein for over 25 years, the people finally realized that their freedom had really arrived. No longer must they recite forced chants in support of Saddam for television propaganda in the fear that demonstrating their true feelings would bring about harsh retribution from the regime’s authorities. Seeing unforgettable television news footage of a mob of Iraqis in the city center tearing down the large statue of the dictator and desecrating it to the cheers of Iraqi onlookers has vindicated, in front of the entire “world community,” the righteousness of the war. This same scene played out in Basra and countless liberated Iraqi towns, which further reinforced justification of this war.

Seeing Iraqi men and women hugging and kissing American soldiers and destroying portraits of Saddam is reminiscent of scenes from the liberation of Paris from the Nazis in 1944. This is ironic since Paris was one of the “coalition of weasel” nations that opposed this war at any cost. France, in fact, tried everything to stop the American determination to liberate the Iraqi people from the iron grip of Saddam and his henchmen. After all, the Chirac government had much higher concerns for their illegal U.N. resolution-busting business deals with Saddam than the freedom and dignity of the Iraqi people. So much in fact, that unconfirmed reports earlier this week brought to light France’s total support for the regime. The reports, coming out of Baghdad prior to its liberation, stated that France was busy supplying the Iraqi military with night vision equipment and weapons, along with military advice to coach the regime on fighting Coalition troops. France allegedly suggested ways the regime might create a humanitarian disaster to force an end to the war before Saddam could be toppled. This shows the French in their truest form. It demonstrates just how highly France regards the well being of the Iraqi people, not to mention international security. It is interesting to note that the French made much more pressing demands on their liberators in 1944. I am sure the French would not have approved of Britain or America collaborating with Hitler for lucrative business contracts while Frenchmen and Frenchwomen were being oppressed and exploited. France truly has a short memory and a total lack of self-respect.

Even more surreal is the United Nations, led by the esteemed Kofi Annan and keystone kops France, Germany and Russia. Their insistence that the “esteemed world body” must play the central role in postwar Iraq with minimal American and British involvement is entirely laughable. On Wednesday afternoon, the Security Council was already meeting to hammer out their vision of the administration of Iraq to make the war “legitimate” in their eyes. Of course this is entirely in the interest of international law and stability and not for fear of their own illegitimacy.

This “legitimacy” issue that Kofi and company have been throwing around prior to and throughout most of the war has been laid to rest quite boldly by the Iraqi reaction in the liberated streets of Baghdad. For this increasingly useless debating society to even make statements of legitimacy about the war is completely hypocritical in light of the evidence coming out of the torture chambers and prisons where Saddam had a field day with political prisoners. It is important to remember the United Nations, under Kofi, did not even bother to enforce its own resolutions going back to Gulf War 1. It was also the United Nations that, in the end, did not do anything to support the liberation of the Iraqi people. Had the United Nations, led by its French wing, had their way, innocent Iraqis would still be suffering summary executions, brutal tortures, and continued oppression. Kuwait would still be under threat of invasion and remain on Iraq’s map as its “eighteenth province.” Of course, France and Russia would still have their lucrative oil deals.

The United Nations did nothing make the situation better for the Iraqi people or the geo-political security of the region. They contributed nothing to the fight and suffered no casualties or losses. Instead, armchair diplomats, safe within the deep bowels of U.N. chambers, continued to bash the United States and were suspicious of U.S. war ambitions. Comparisons of old European empire building were compared to American desires to control Iraq for its oil. Worried French officials, knowing that American and British forces will eventually find out just how far Chirac had his arm in Saddam’s treasury, kept insisting the only way the war could be considered legitimate is if the U.N. leads the reconstruction.

Even little Belgium got in on the act. With its ridiculous law giving it jurisdiction over anyone, anywhere, on the issue of war crimes, Brussels yipped a few threats indicating that there will be an investigation of American officials and soldier’s “war crimes.”  All of this while American and British soldiers are spilling blood in Iraq while going out of the way to avoid Iraqi civilian casualties in the heat of combat and the fog of war. Belgium and the U.N. have not called for “legitimacy” or “war crimes” charges being brought against the Iraqi regime using their own civilians as human shields to hide behind. Again, The United Nations and Brussels miss an opportunity to demonstrate principled leadership, instead trumping up charges against the liberator forces. They are showing what a wasted bureaucratic waste they actually have become.

There has yet to be confirmation if Saddam and his thug sons, Uday and Quasi are actually dead. But there is absolutely no doubt that his regime and days of terror are dead. There is still fighting in the days ahead but the worst might be over. And there is no doubt that the Iraqi people are just starting to wake up from a long, dark nightmare.

Despite the best efforts of the peace-at-any-cost crowd at the United Nations and anti-American liberals everywhere to keep Saddam in business, the Americans and British are well on their way to bringing freedom and relief to the Iraqi people.

Grateful Iraqis and the world will always remember April 09, 2003, as Victory in Baghdad Day. It will forever be the day that Iraq was truly liberated by the principled leadership and focus of the leaders of America and Great Britain. It will become a textbook study of military professionalism and smart tactics on the part of the American and British forces.

Finally, it will be the remembered as the day that anti-American, anti-war liberal celebrities, the leftists, the defeatist United Nations, and countless pundits, armchair generals, and France all became obsolete and totally insignificant players.

Baghdad is liberated! Its time to dance in the streets!

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