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Old 03-21-2003, 11:26 AM   #46
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Here's the answer to the question:
'Saddam Is Done,' Marines Exult in Captured Town
Associated Press


Friday, March 21, 2003

SAWFAN, Iraq — U.S. Marines hauled down giant street portraits of Saddam Hussein in a screeching pop of metal and bolts Friday, telling nervous residents of this southern Iraqi town that "Saddam is done."

Milling crowds of men and boys watched as the Marines attached ropes on the front of their Jeeps to one portrait and then backed up, peeling the Iraqi leader's black-and-white metal image off a frame. Some locals briefly joined Maj. David "Bull" Gurfein in a new cheer.

"Iraqis! Iraqis! Iraqis!" Gurfein yelled, pumping his fist in the air.

"We wanted to send a message that Saddam is done," said Gurfein, a New York native in the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. "People are scared to show a lot of emotion. That's why we wanted to show them this time we're here, and Saddam is done."

The Marines arrived in Safwan, just across the Kuwait border, after Cobra attack helicopters, attack jets, tanks, 155 mm howitzers and sharpshooters cleared the way along Route 80, the main road into Iraq.

Safwan, 375 miles south of Baghdad, is a poor, dirty, wrecked town pocked by shrapnel from the last Gulf war. Iraqi forces in the area sporadically fired mortars and guns for hours Thursday and Friday. Most townspeople hid, although residents brought forth a wounded little girl, her palm bleeding after the new fighting. Another man said his wife was shot in the leg by the Americans.

A few men and boys ventured out, putting makeshift white flags on their pickup trucks or waving white T-shirts out truck windows.

"Americans very good," Ali Khemy said. "Iraq wants to be free."

Some chanted, "Ameriki! Ameriki!"

Many others in the starving town just patted their stomachs and raised their hands, begging for food.

A man identifying himself only as Abdullah welcomed the arrival of the U.S. troops: "Saddam Hussein is no good. Saddam Hussein a butcher."

An old woman shrouded in black -- one of the very few women outside -- knelt toward the feet of Americans, embracing an American woman. A younger man with her pulled her away, giving her a warning sign by sliding his finger across his throat.

In 1991, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died after prematurely celebrating what they believed was their liberation from Saddam after the Gulf War. Some even pulled down a few pictures of Saddam then -- only to be killed by Iraqi forces.

Gurfein playfully traded pats with a disabled man and turned down a dinner invitation from townspeople.

"Friend, friend," he told them in Arabic learned in the first Gulf War.

"We stopped in Kuwait that time," he said. "We were all ready to come up there then, and we never did."

The townspeople seemed grateful this time.

"No Saddam Hussein!" one young man in headscarf told Gurfein. "Bush!"
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Old 03-21-2003, 11:30 AM   #47
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Video shown earlier this morning - Iraqi residents in the southern port town cheered coalition troops as they tore down large murals of Saddam.
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Old 03-21-2003, 11:41 AM   #48
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These are nice stories. I hope to see more smiling Iraqis soon. That's the way it should be. Yes, I'm definitely trying to keep an open mind about all of this. It's only fair.
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Old 03-21-2003, 11:48 AM   #49
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I hope the food trucks roll in quickly. I'd like to see all Iraqi civilians and POWs being given plenty to eat.
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Old 03-21-2003, 12:09 PM   #50
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From the NY Times:
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Old 03-21-2003, 12:15 PM   #51
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A Iraqi town liberated, civilians dancing with joy!

Thank god the anit-war protesters didn't get their way. I just saw a news clip of a southern Iraq town that had just been liberated and the Iraqi people were very happy and smiling and dancing with joy! Now if this is going to be the type of thing we see million fold when Iraq is liberate, a grateful, happy population free from oppression then this makes it all worthwhile for me, I even had a lump in my throat as I watched!
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Old 03-21-2003, 12:20 PM   #52
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Let's hope the next English words they learn are "lobster" or "steak" or "Cocoa Puffs."

Thanks to the troops who are representing America's best intentions so wonderfully.
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Old 03-21-2003, 02:18 PM   #53
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how about "peppermint"?
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Old 03-21-2003, 02:22 PM   #54
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Or chocolate.

From MSNBC:

"One little boy, who had chocolate melted all over his face after a soldier gave him some treats from his ration kit, kept pointing at the sky, saying “Ameriki, Ameriki.” "
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Old 03-21-2003, 04:46 PM   #55
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It may sound like we're already Americanizing Iraq, but I'm sure the Iraqis would want to eat anything since they're so hungry.
It's great to see images like these. Hope there would be more.
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Old 03-21-2003, 06:14 PM   #56
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This greys things up a bit for me. I'm just on my way to a rally.

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Old 03-21-2003, 06:20 PM   #57
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It was for this reason that I didn't "knee-jerk" into the far left anti-war opinion, because I believed that Iraq would welcome the demise of Saddam.

At the same time, though, I still think it was dreadfully deceptive and dishonest of Bush to use the UN as he did. It was very clear from the start that "disarmament" was the last thing on his mind, and that war was an inevitability. He wished to turn the UN into a rubber stamp, and the damage that has been done to international relations still makes me ill.

Indeed, I agree that the people of Iraq and most of the Middle East would likely enjoy "liberation." It is the methods and the legitimacy that kind of make me cringe...

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Old 03-21-2003, 07:44 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


Indeed, I agree that the people of Iraq and most of the Middle East would likely enjoy "liberation." It is the methods and the legitimacy that kind of make me cringe...


I'm unbelievably happy to see images like this. I just hope things continue to improve after the war is over as well.
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Old 03-21-2003, 07:51 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
It was for this reason that I didn't "knee-jerk" into the far left anti-war opinion, because I believed that Iraq would welcome the demise of Saddam.

At the same time, though, I still think it was dreadfully deceptive and dishonest of Bush to use the UN as he did. It was very clear from the start that "disarmament" was the last thing on his mind, and that war was an inevitability. He wished to turn the UN into a rubber stamp, and the damage that has been done to international relations still makes me ill.

Indeed, I agree that the people of Iraq and most of the Middle East would likely enjoy "liberation." It is the methods and the legitimacy that kind of make me cringe...

Melon

Exactly. Same here. I've been trying to keep an open mind about all of this. I agree with you about the Iraqi people *and* the shenanigans at the UN and international relations. I just hope things are not too fd up after the war.
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Old 03-21-2003, 07:57 PM   #60
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the UN displayed itself to be a dysfunctional group and afraid to enforce its own resolutions.

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