• 36°

10-year anniversary of Baghdad fall to US forces

BAGHDAD (AP) — 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.
“Iraqis will remain grateful for the U.S. role and for the losses sustained by military and civilian personnel that contributed in ending Hussein’s rule,” he said.
“Iraq is not a protectorate of the United States; it is a sovereign partner,” al-Maliki said in response to the contention that Iraq has become more pro-Iran than pro-West. “Partners do not always agree, but they consider and respect each other’s views. In that spirit, we ask the United States to consider Iraq’s views on challenging issues, especially those of regional importance.”
In the past 10 years, Iraqis have seen the country’s power base shift from minority Arab Sunnis to majority Shiites, with Kurds gaining their own autonomous region.
“For Kurds there is no regret,” said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish legislator. “April 9 is a national liberation day for us.”
Ali al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Iraq’s Shiite-led government, said “April 9 is a day of contradictions: We ended the oppression of Saddam” but began the American occupation. Still, he emphasized that Iraqis were looking forward.
“Our fight is against terrorist groups that kill people and want to prevent them from tasting the freedom they had lost for 30 years (under Saddam).”

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures

Crime

Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police