SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

Staged "Liberation" media event?
by against occupation
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 2:47 AM
The photographs tell the story... media manipulation on a grand scale. Yes, the occupation has begun.
chalibi3.jpg
chalibi3.jpg

April 6th: Iraqi National Congress founder, Ahmed Chalabi is flown into the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah by the Pentagon. Chalabi, along with 700 fighters of his "Free Iraqi Forces" are airlifted aboard four massive C17 military transport planes. Chalabi and the INC are Washington favorites to head the new Iraqi government. A photograph is taken of Chalabi and members of his Free Iraqi Forces militia as they arrive in Nasiriyah.

April 9th: One of the "most memorable images of the war" is created when U.S. troops pull down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Fardus Square. Oddly enough... a photograph is taken of a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to one of Chalabi's militia members... he is near Fardus Square to greet the Marines. How many members of the pro-American Free Iraqi Forces were in and around Fardus Square as the statue of Saddam came tumbling down?

The up close action video of the statue being destroyed is broadcast around the world as proof of a massive uprising. Still photos grabbed off of Reuters show a long-shot view of Fardus Square... it's empty save for the U.S. Marines, the International Press, and a small handful of Iraqis. There are no more than 200 people in the square at best. The Marines have the square sealed off and guarded by tanks. A U.S. mechanized vehicle is used to pull the statue of Saddam from it's base. The entire event is being hailed as an equivalent of the Berlin Wall falling... but even a quick glance of the long-shot photo shows something more akin to a carefully constructed media event tailored for the television cameras.

More info on the propaganda ploy:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/duforum/DCForumID66/17554.html#1

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Amy
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 6:46 AM
Well I kneqw they had to be getting desperate to fly these people in and as a photographer and artist I agree it is definitely the same man in both photos. It doesn't suprise me. Look at the propaganda for WW2.
Just because america was behind that war doesn't mean the govt wasn't blatantly trying to manipulate every aspect of how people felt. They are bombing people who don't support what they want the world to believe.
by repost
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 7:18 AM
I doubt the Iraqis know that word.
by SMG
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 7:35 AM
Right, because they were never a British colony or anything.
by cp
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 7:47 AM
CNN or msnbc or one of those stations said the crowd was 1500. They must have been visiting the restroom, or the crowd was fluid, with people coming and going and hiding under eaves and umbrellas out of sight from that aerial shot.
by duh
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 8:05 AM
So where were the other 4,999,800 Baghdad residents? Did they stage a counter-protest in another part of the city? Are they showing solidarity with your anti-war cause in any way? Send pictures!

Quote of the day (from an Iraqi exile in Michigan): "Tell the protesters that America has ended a 30-year war in Iraq."

by Iraqi Resistance
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 8:49 AM
The staged "Human Shields Go Home" deal is so obviously a message from the CIA to US peace activists.

The CNNheads might be fooled but I doubt the Iraqi people are.

Good luck with the occupation.
by Isolationist
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 9:46 AM
I enjoy irony and even more so the short memory span of Americans. I can’t help but laugh at the similarities this has to the SF Comical picture count of the 2/16 Antiwar Protest. Funny how quick each side points to the others side and calls them propagandist, when in a way people are so wrapped up in trying to prove that they are right, that they themselves become the propagandist.
by nice young woman
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 10:00 AM
Where are the other Iraqis:

Well let's see:

As many as could get out are refugees in other countries. Over 10,000 are dead and probably 50,000 wounded. Another apx 100,000 are mourning and burying their dead. Probably a million or so are hiding out at home in fear for their lives.

I doubt the rest are staging anti-American protests as the tanks roll through their streets. Would you? And if they did, how many of the embedded journalists would report on it. Would CNN show it? I don't think so.
by rowdyann
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 10:07 AM
Good point: which demonstration (anti war or anti-Baathist) is each of these from:

"crowd was much smaller than claimed."

"even if the crowd was that size look how many people did not attend - they obviously don't believe in the demonstration."

"The signs are really stupid."

"These are the same people going to each demonstration."

"these demonstrators are paid by/gents for/lackey's of an outside power."

This set of postings is easily the funniest I have seen in all my time of reading IMC.

by duh
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 11:36 AM
You're right, most Iraqis fled the city a few days ago. Those few who stayed took part in the toppling of Saddam.

"I doubt the rest are staging anti-American protests as the tanks roll through their streets. Would you? And if they did, how many of the embedded journalists would report on it. Would CNN show it? I don't think so."

Yes I would demonstrate. People here demonstrate against Bush even though they say he is as bad as Saddam. Besides, there are still many areas outside of U.S. control. Why not demonstrate there?

And who cares if CNN would show it? There are plenty of Arab cameramen in Iraq who would be willing to show such a parade. Wankers go home, indeed.
by fernan
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 12:09 PM
This is allegedly “grafatti” found in Baghdad. Pics are from AP. Notice the scribbling down below the English message which is supposed to be Arabic writing. Wouldn’t an Iraqi know how how to write in Arabic?
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20030408/capt.1049839877.war_britain_iraq_safwan_nywd133.jpg
Look at blue graf in second pic, that is real Arabic writing. Also in second pic, notice the ‘Bush’ has been scratched.
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20030408/capt.1049839427.war_britain_iraq_safwan_nywd130.jpg
by noel
( noel [at] TreasonInc.com ) Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 12:58 PM
Considering the size of the ant-war, anti-bush demonstrations here in the U.S., (the real size, not 10% of the real size as seen on TV), I think bush's ouster would draw gigantic crowds of actual, spontaneous, patriots (not brainwashed flag monkeys like the "patriots" in the Government orchestrated "pro-War rallies). And what criminals wouldn't like to loot Dick Cheney's stuff? I don't think anyone would have to fake a huge crowd. Better watch what I say, eh? The Kurds celebrating look real.

I also think they will be happy to see the last of the U.S./British invaders in Iraq now that we have "toppled Saddam" and reduced the place to Afghanistan-like barbarism.
by Paul
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 2:22 PM
Also worth noting that this "uprising" took place right outside the famous Palestine Hotel - home to all the journalists. Convenient.

Today the Americans claimed they were too busy to protect the hospitals of Baghdad from lootings. As a result many were ransacked and women raped [according to UK cabinet minister Clare Short].

Priority it seems is being given to bringing down statues for our viewing pleasure over in the west...

Nice one.
by magicfrog
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 2:51 PM
Interesting, but too bad the wide angle statue shot is so fuzzy. Surely there are other photos which are more clear? Where did this one come from? Guess I'm a little sceptical.
by Dowie
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 2:58 PM
on the BBC world service this morning.
Iraqi man to Us Marine:

Quote:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
I want to excercise my right to free speech for the first time in my life. Please get out of my country.
by crunchy
( joe [at] usa.net ) Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 3:42 PM
Funny how the most "revealing pictures" are always the fuzziest. For all we know, this picture could have been taken hours before or after the "uprising". The tank near the statue doesn't resemble the tank that pulled down the statue at all. Nor is it in the same position. Plus it looks like nearly dusk in the picture, yet the footage was taken at midday when the sun was more overhead. As user Amy said "As a photographer and artist" I could probably sneeze and hit two Iraqi's that look similar. Show me some truly identifying mark. I would say that the top picture is a horribly out of focus picture at best and quite possibly a REALLY bad photoshop job at worst. But whatever.... CONSPIRACY THEORISTS UNITE! Hey, there's the Loch Ness Monster!
by squeege
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 4:16 PM
I need a better picture than that. It's not unbelievable but I'm not buying either story without better info.
by Palestine Hotel
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 4:31 PM
This is the center of the city. The same center of the city that journalists would stay to catch a story. The same center that was, until yesterday, the location of a 40ft statue of tyranny. Good journalists know where to stay. If journalists had been staying across town, would the CIA have moved the statue?

by StopWar
( webmaster [at] stopwar.cjb.net ) Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 5:41 PM
6635353_2.jpg"

Even if that's a different guy, and even if, say, the media ACTUALLY THOUGHT they were witnessing a genuine outpouring of pro-Americanism, there are NOT that many people outside in Baghdad. Don't tell ME they couldn't have known the US has "liberated" them. You don't need a phone or TV to know the US is bombing the SHIT out of you! And as for the "there were no mass antiwar crowds in California, chortle chortle", you obviously didn't see New York(pic above). Now look at the picture of Baghdad. Who's "in the streets"? Who's "expressing their feelings"? God, I think the CIA managed to find the only 500 or so FReepers who live in Iraq and gave them a Survivor\reality TV moment! Now, if you don't like Saddam and feel compelled to knock over his statue, I won't stop you. Hell, I'll JOIN you. But when the media sells it as people spontanoeusly coming out of their homes to knock it over(actually an American backhoe-like device), I get pissed. Say, "Long-time Hussein opposers were brought in to Baghdad by American forces. They destroyed the statue of Saddam as a symbol of their feeling of victory over his regime." There! Was that so hard? Honest, fair&balanced, no liberal or conservative could argue with that.

by the right right
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 6:15 PM
uhh, can I have a timestamp please. Is it possible this was taken a while after or before? If you are going to make conclussions about things, you need to have your facts together and organized!
by Margaret
Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 10:04 PM
reuters_statue_crowd.jpg
reuters_statue_crowd.jpg

This is not the same wide-angle shot as before (still looking for those on the Reuters site), but it is a Reuters picture taken during the uprising in question. Note the empty spaces.

Caption:
"A U.S. Marine M88 armored recovery vehicle pulls down a statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, April 9, 2003. Jubilant Iraqis tied a noose around a huge statue of Saddam Hussein in the heart of Baghdad and pelted it with shoes on Wednesday as the Iraqi president's 24-year rule collapsed in chaos. In scenes reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, crowds cheered as men climbed the huge statue of Saddam in the center of Baghdad and placed the rope around the neck in preparation to topple it." REUTERS TV
by Scott Anthony Seeley
( scott.seeley [at] verizon.net ) Thursday Apr 10th, 2003 10:16 PM
I don't think the military ever concealed the fact that the "psychological war" was going to be as important as the conventional war. Whether or not this was a staged event -- which it probably was to some extent -- is irrelevent. Propaganda works. It is a weapon. It is a tool. Both sides utilize this tool. In this age of technology, to fight a war without the supporting propaganda would be foolish. Fight fire with fire. Obviously, if the propaganda war can make it easier for the American soldiers to accomplish their mission, and for the controlling administration gain support domestically, only a fool wouldn't use this tool. The other side is: dismembered children, "there are no American tanks in the city ... those are just sound bombs", etc. The time to argue the war is over once the shooting begins. During the war, get on the team. Win. Use every tool at your disposal to win. Even if the reasons behind the war are specious, the soldiers are good Americans who believe in what they are doing. There'll be time enough for debate after the war is won.
by mrinfo
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 12:19 AM
Before you get too comfortable with your conspiracy theories... consider that Baghdad was swarming with Arab media. Forget CNN and Fox, etc. They were looking for any excuse to expose the supposed hypocrisy you're looking for -- but instead of making conjectures from a fuzzy picture, they were actually there?
So what did the Arab medi report?? That Iraqis were dancing and singing in the streets. Chew on that.
But don't let the facts bother you -- keep staring at the fuzzy photos.

mrinfo
by a human
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 1:55 AM
you forgot 1000,000 who will die of bad water, not to mention those premanently traumatized.
by Open your mind
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 2:53 AM
After reading this story, I can't be sorry about what just took place in Iraq. And take note it's in the NYTimes, all ye of little faith:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/opinion/11JORD.html?ex=1050638400&en=ea21e8c88feae21c&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE

If any of you truly represent the downtrodden masses, then you can't ignore this.
by history buff
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 3:07 AM
That's what Goebbles told the German people, right after the faked Polish "attack" on a radio station near the border.
by TommyZ
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 5:23 AM
Dear Freinds,
So - who are the real "Goebbels-types" in this war? Seems to me, that the now "disapeeared" Saddam Hussein Minister of (dis)"Information" pretty much subscribe to this definition...

OK - If there were 100, 1000 or 10000 persons attending the rally, where the Stalin-like Statue of the bloddy butcher Saddam came down - how come that so many people here in the West just can't ses, how an awful tyran this man was ?

Maybe some of you should pay a visit og respect to your local, say Kurdish, refugees... As I did Yesterday. Here all people are in a state of joy... Beacause their bloody butcher Saddam finallly was thrown away...

So, all in all: the real history of a 35-year old fascist regime with thousands and thousandsands of slaughterede innocent Iraqi opposition-politicians and ordinary kurds, marsh-arabs, etc. can not be "swept away" in any way.

You may speculate about "manipulated pictures" and so on, but please dont step on the feelings of millions of Iraqi peoples' aspirations towrds at better future.

Long live the fall of Saddam Hussein - one of historys reallyfascist-types of butcheres...

Best,
TommyZ
Historian, ph.d
Member of Amnesty International,
Copenhagen


Copenhagen

How on ea
by TommyZ
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 5:37 AM
Iraqi "Goebbeels"

by TommyZ

Dear Friends,

So - who are the real "Goebbels-types" in this war? Seems to me, that the now "disapeeared" Saddam Hussein Minister of (dis)"Information" pretty much subscribe to this definition...

OK - so whats the fuzz? If there were 100, 1000 or 10000 persons attending the rally, where the Stalin-like Statue of the bloddy butcher Saddam came down - how come that so many people here in the West just WON'T see, how an awful tyran this man was ?

Maybe some of you should pay a visit and respect to your local, say Kurdish, refugees... As I did Yesterday. Here all people are in a state of joy...!!!
Because their bloody butcher Saddam finallly was thrown away... !

So, all in all: The real history of a 35-year old fascist regime with thousands and thousandsands of slaughtered innocent Iraqi opposition-politicians and ordinary kurds, marsh-arabs, etc. can not be "swept away" in any way. "Staged or not"....

You may all the time you want about speculate about "manipulated pictures" and so on, but please dont step on the feelings of millions of Iraqi peoples' - and their aspirations towards at better future.

Long live the fall of Saddam Hussein - one of historys really fascist-types of butcheres... !!!

Best,
TommyZ
Historian, ph.d
Member of Amnesty International,
Copenhagen



by dgreenland
( anon [at] anon.com ) Friday Apr 11th, 2003 6:49 AM
this photo doesn't show all the extra iraqi's who came along after to support the coallition. the story by indymedia is the propaganda!
by NEY
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 7:55 AM
By and large, recent pro-war rallies haven't drawn nearly as many people as antiwar rallies, but they have certainly been vehement. One of the most striking took place after Natalie Maines, lead singer for the Dixie Chicks, criticized President Bush: a crowd gathered in Louisiana to watch a 33,000-pound tractor smash a collection of Dixie Chicks CD's, tapes and other paraphernalia. To those familiar with 20th-century European history it seemed eerily reminiscent of. . . . But as Sinclair Lewis said, it can't happen here.War itself must also be discussed in a complex and multi-faceted way. We need to start asking at every possible opportunity why this war is occurring. Rather than make the claim that war is always wrong, we need to address the moral dimensions of THIS war. And since this, as with the humanity of the people of Iraq, is a complex moral issue, we are best served without propaganda in addressing this issue. We should publicly accept that some people might reason that this war is moral and just. And then we should demand that they explain why. Our efforts should be to keep the issue framed as a moral one - we should be working the keep the discussion focused on the moral dimensions of this war. And to do this, we need to accept that it is possible for some people to consider wars as just and morally acceptable, rather than just reject these people as fools. The more we get people to think of this war as a specific case, the more likely they will begin to see why we find it to be unjust and immoral. But arguing against all war (in less you are a pacifist, in which case your beliefs mandate that you take this stand) weakens our case against this war. I think that our most powerful arguments are based on the reasons why this war is a mistake for the United States, in both moral and practical dimensions.

You might want to check the World Socialist Web Site, because much of NAZI party philosophy was dragged into the current socialist movement by De Mann and many of those involved in the 1968 Paris rallies, such as Derrida, who based much of their work on Martin Heidegger, the chief NAZI party philosopher. I don't at all care for socialism, but would still prefer that the fascist elements get purged from the current version. Here is a post on some of the intellectual ties to Heideggers works, links which weren't uncovered till the 1980's. It's on the world socialist website, so it's probably safe for you to read. After seeing the past few NYT and USA Today cover photos, it doesn't seem that images of death are going to be the force that turns Americans off of this war. Photos of dead Iraqis, some of "soldiers in civilian clothing" (or, in other words, people who look like civilians), have been front in center the mainstream image campaign for this war. Does seeing death and carnage provoke stronger support for this war? And if so, then how can the anti-war movement use the "death caused by war" argument to end this war?

I was standing in a line at a store in Oakland today and the woman standing in front of me said to the cashier, "I don't understand it; they say that they want peace but they are violent!" I interrupted her conversation and told her that the police are the ones being violent. She told me that she saw on the news someone pulling people out of a passing car and beating them up. I told her that it was probably an isolated incident that the press picked up on to sensationalize the protests. Someone else in the store line reported about the cops that are in the hospital after the demos today.

I am in favor of civil disobedience. I am in favor of direct actions and peaceful protest. I believe that it is an important part of our movement for peace. I believe that social change happens as a result of education, consciousness raising and social evolution. The actions that the public sees on TV and reads about in the daily paper has the potential to raise a lot of awareness. As a grassroots movement we can't pay for that kind of advertising and media coverage. I am also aware that the press will portray our movement in a negative way and will sensationalize, exaggerate and outright lie to serve their own interests. Many times I have seen first hand what has been completely distorted in the news. We can't rely on the mainstream press to tell the truth or portray our story in a positive or neutral way. Our actions must speak for themselves. I realize that I am probably singing to the choir here. I am sending out a call for everyone participating in peace protests to do everything we can to maintain peace and non-violence regardless of any actions that may be directed toward us and other protesters around us.

First, I think that many (perhaps nearly most) Americans do want to see Middle Eastern (at least Middle Eastern adult men) dead from the war. In the minds of many, these men are the enemy, and deserve to die. As one thirteen year old student in my class said the week war started when talking about why a man who looked like he was from the Middle East was harassed was because the man looked "like a terrorist." This description of the man was in lieu of saying he looked Middle Eastern. To my student like-a-terrorist was a word that meant Middle Eastern or Arab. I don't think that my student came up with this connection on his own; as I am sure neither would few reading this paper. For years, decades, Americans have had Arab and terrorist linked by coverage of political struggles taking place in the Middle East. And while analyzing the racist and political reasons for this connection are beyond the scope of this paper, I do think it is important to point out that for many Americans, Arabs are terrorists. For these people, terrorists killed the 3,000 in the World Trade Center, and therefore a war on terrorism involves killing Arabs.
by Trevor Goodger-Hill
( iwi [at] ivic.qc.ca ) Friday Apr 11th, 2003 9:34 AM
I have no quarrel with the idea that the toppling of the statue was a staged event within the larger staged event of the war itself. Capitalist wars are always sold by glorification of the nation state and a moral crusade.

In an interview with state radio in Canada however an Iraqi refugee in that country (who fled the country because as an art student he refused to paint a portrait of Saddam) claimed that the Iraqis who were dancing on the toppled statue were screaming that they could now create a religious Islamic state. I wonder if the American military realised what they may perhaps being unleashed.

by Paine Pill
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 11:36 AM
In 1948, the CIA began its "Operation Mockingbird" project to infiltrate all major US media. The TV portrayal of the statue-toppling and the timely importation of Ahmed Chalabi & his entourage to participate in it shows how effectively it's still working.
by SizZ
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 1:18 PM
muslims! What are we going to do!? Nothing wrong with islam just some of the people who claim to follow it.
by The truth
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 8:08 PM
Photos of Saddam's statue falling from the Egyptian Post. Hmmm.......looks just like what I saw on Fox and MSNBC.

http://www.reuters.com/slideshowNoCaptions.jhtml?showid=383&seq=2

http://www.reuters.com/slideshowNoCaptions.jhtml?showid=383&seq=2
by Paine Pill
Friday Apr 11th, 2003 10:01 PM
ABC's "Nightline" of April 11 closed with a report titled "The Art of Framing" by Robert Krulwich. The segment's opening shot showed tight framing of people jumping on the Hussein statue, and then pulled wide to reveal a mostly empty public square- just as you see in the photo posted on this page! This is a familiar tactic of the US networks- showing biased coverage 100 times, and then covering their butts by doing one quick "mea culpa." But hats off to ABC for their mea culpa- their CIA plants must have left early for the weekend.
by moflicky
( thericktator [at] yahoo.com ) Saturday Apr 12th, 2003 12:57 PM
If, as you say, it was all staged, why would al-jazeera toe the party line?

http://english.aljazeera.net/topics/article.asp?cu_no=1&item_no=2220&version=1&template_id=277&parent_id=258

it's really easy for a bunch of kids in san francisco to take a single photo and build an entire conspiracy theory around it.

by semper fidelis
Sunday Apr 13th, 2003 2:25 AM
Anyone with a brain in their head can realize from the mainstream media footage that the Marines did not just wander into Baghdad and suddenly everyone started dancing in the streets. That wouldn't even make a good movie, let alone remotely happen in real life.

That was clearly a media event. This is an information war as much as it is a conventional war. In any country, you can find people who will support a foreign invading army. This is true throughout history. It would happen here if this country was invaded for some reason (the people on this site are enough to convince you of that).

Its truly a shame that so many Americans, whether you support the war or not, are so programmable that they accept whatever simplistic logic offered to them by the TV and radio news. What's even more disturbing are the college-educated "journalists" who don't have any problems producing poor-quality infotainment as selling it as real news.

All in all, I'm depressed with the way this event has been received.
by I found this
Sunday Apr 13th, 2003 2:04 PM
debunk.jpg
debunk.jpg

After seeing this I can only conclude the wide angle shot was taken some time later in the day.
by Susan Saenger
( ssaenger [at] nc.rr.com ) Sunday Apr 13th, 2003 3:32 PM
I don't know how "staged" it was, in any formal sense. However, I do think the "happening" was over-hyped. It was clear to me as I watched that there was limited participation. Some of the enthusiasm seemed genuine on the part the a few Iraquis. that didn't seem unlikely. I did think it was probably inappropriate for the marines and their tanks to be lending a hand. And there was a BRIEF moment when a marine tied the American flag over the statue's face. It was quickly taken down and an Iraqi held up an Iraqi flag instead. But MANY newspapers all over the world carried a photo of the statue's face covered with the American flag, as if that were a big part of the event - which it was not! I'm sure the US media ran it intending a patriotic, victorious, subtext while others may have ran it intending a subtext of American arrogance.
by BarryBiz
Sunday Apr 13th, 2003 10:36 PM
The last piece on Friday's "Nightline" program on ABC showed a tight shot of Iraqis beating on the statue where the camera zoomed out wide to show that 90 percent of the area was empty. This is not to dispute the sincerity of the people venting their hatred on Saddam's statue. The key point is that the TV networks MISREPRESENTED the celebration by not including any of the usual wide "establishing shots" in their Wednesday coverage. They use the same "tight shot only" technique to exaggerate everyday violence in American cities, because it makes for more theatrical television.
by reason
Sunday Apr 13th, 2003 11:25 PM
If your conspiracy proposition were correct, the square would have been full of people (as you propose, people paid by the US to appear happy and US agents appearing to be happy Iraqis). If you're going to stage it, do it right.

In real life, things can happen spontaneously. This is what happened: A small group of Iraqis in the square were brave enough to attempt to pull the statue down. Bravery no doubt helped by the presence of the US military stationed in the square. The military offered to help, more people wondered into the square, and an amazing event -- literally the tipping point that symbolically ended the regime -- unfolded. Witnessed by a few hundred people in person, and billions around the world on TV.

Why would any of you expect the square to be full? There was a war going on. Just because only a few hundred people happened to be there, or saw it unfolding on TV and managed to get there in time, doesn't make it any less real or historically significant.

It was only two days before that event that many people on this forum were arguing that the US military was nowhere near Baghdad -- because the Iraqi Information Minister said so. Sometimes, the mainstream media (and every other media outlet who was there) gets it right.

by Joe M
Monday Apr 14th, 2003 12:33 AM
statue2.jpg
statue2.jpg

Another wideangle shot
by Anarchist
Monday Apr 14th, 2003 1:50 AM
Anyone who suggests that the media did NOT misrepresent what happened there that day is either an idiot or a liar.

For instance, the headline on the SF Examiner the next day said "Most Iraqis celebrate..."

Now, how can you extrapolate that MOST iraqis feel one way or another based on this ridiculous event, which was at least partially staged (where did they get the crane to pull down the statue in this "wartorn city"?) ???

Its absurd, and a testament to the corruption of the mainstream media. Of course, this should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention. The biggest indictment this year would have to be the so-called "rebellion" in Venezuela that pretty much nailed every single major media outlet in North America.

by reality
Monday Apr 14th, 2003 2:06 AM
stage_event03.jpgo16037.jpg
stage_event03.jpgo16037.jpg

Does this look like a "spontaneous event" you fucking moron????

This is a US MARINE, wrapping a US FLAG around the head of the statue you fucking idiot.

I don't usually resort to name-calling on Indymedia but witnessing your ignorance causes me to SNAP.

Get a fucking brain or consider seeking help for your condition of utterly repugnant self-deception.

by smed butler
Monday Apr 14th, 2003 8:19 AM
Anyone who has served with Marines knows that they LOVE to carry and raise flags - Iwo Jima and Hue City Citidal are just two examples. Although the media did seem to hype this event I don't think it at all unlikely that the Marines did this flag raising on their own.

I also tend to believe that both sides are making too much out of this whole thing. The Iraqis probably did come and cheer for real - just as they would probably cheer it being put back up or they would cheer a statue of Mickey Mouse being raised were DisneyLand to conquer them. And while I never heard a media comentator claim there was a large crowd, the photos could be read as claiming a large crowd.
by WhoWouldJesusBomb?
Monday Apr 14th, 2003 2:06 PM
Wow. This surprises even me. I watched this "live" on CNN. There were two statues, one on the left and one on the right. The one on the left was pulled down at about 7:30AMPST by a small group of people and reportedly a tractor knocked over the base. I saw this statue untouched in the background. This looks to me like a glorified re-enactment of the first pulling-down, stylized noose and all. I never noticed a flag on the first statue, but I wasn't taking detailed notes.
by gianni
( gabrielbon [at] hotmail.com ) Monday Apr 14th, 2003 5:30 PM
It is not by chance that one statue (there are many in Baghdad) of Saddam Hussein was destroyed just in front of the Palestine Hotel, where journalists stay, eventually can the American occupation forces show what they want to show, and I suppose the crane was not just on the spot by chance…
And it was not by chance the day before Reuters office at the same Palestine Hotel was hit by a tank shell, the same day Al Jazzira office was hit by 2 missiles (it was hit also in Kabul), a clear message to the independent press...
Most Iraqis were anyhow staying at home afraid to go out and trying to survive, as Americans have been shooting to anything moving in a vehicle. The day after even one ambulance carrying 2 wounded was hit…
The only ones who had complete freedom were the looters who, often under the complacent eye of the American soldiers, looted Al Rashid Hotel, Hospitals, shops, private homes and ministries….well except the Oil Ministry of course, well guarded by the invading forces.

It should be clear that this aggression has nothing to do with toppling Saddam Hussein, whom US and UK have been supporting in the eighties (the worst years), it is only part of the American strategy to control oil fields, to dominate the region and to dominate the world’s economy.

by Bubby
Tuesday Apr 15th, 2003 7:19 AM
I know this war was made up for oil . And its a shame that our troops have to die for bushs oil buddy's
by Mike
Wednesday Apr 16th, 2003 8:30 AM
The crane was part of the cavalry unit, it's used for repair of the tanks and such, it wasn't just that they "happened" to conveniently stumble upon a crane.
by rusl from Canada
Wednesday Apr 16th, 2003 9:49 AM
mcvictory.jpg
mcvictory.jpg

Also apparently the US flag was the same flag that had been over the Pentagon on 9/11/01 when it was bombed. it was a 'coincidence' that they spontaneously used this flag. Also they changed their mind after using the US flag for a bit and replaced it with an Iraqi flag. Apparently they thought that some people seeing the image of the US flag might not think the image they were creating was one of 'liberation' but 'occupation'

The US has frequently staged photo moments that 'capture the essence' of war. Think about the Marines raising the flag in that ww2 image, that was not a 'coincidnece' either.
by Jocelyne
( jmay1998 [at] aol.com ) Wednesday Apr 16th, 2003 2:49 PM
Beats me why you are so exercised about this piece of that action. As I watched this bit of miscellany, there were long- & tight- and wide-shots. [I was worried for a bit that the damn thing was going to land on the civilians. It was a relief to me when the tank hauler drove up & assisted.] A long drawnout media filler is all it was to me.
by aztc
( aztc [at] hempusflag.com ) Wednesday Apr 16th, 2003 11:21 PM
sadflag1.jpgh27782.jpg
sadflag1.jpgh27782.jpg

Indeed, according to John Podhoretz of the New York Post, the flag used had flown over the Pentagon on September 11th. This proves the event was staged and planned from the highest levels of US leadership, not the youthful exuberance claimed by network hacks working for the government.
Now, think this through, why would the US govt plan and execute such a thing? To piss off the Arab world, duh! I am sickened by the ignorance and apathy of the general population in america.
by Ferre, minister THC Ministry Amsterdam
( thc [at] thc-ministry.tk ) Thursday Apr 17th, 2003 1:45 AM
It's all very confiusing to me. Saddam has been a dangerous, sadistic maniac and every one is glad he dissapeared......BUT......
With all respect, the Bush administration could have send "James Bond" to do this "job", instead of sending in all those troops and bombing cities, leaving tons of depleted uranium to kill thousands of people in Iraq's future...

Duif%25201.gif"

by gemco
Thursday Apr 17th, 2003 6:35 AM
You are right. The fact that hte New York Times SAYSthe flag flew over the Pentagon on 11 Sept PROVES that the event was staged.
by WhoWouldJesusBomb?
Thursday Apr 17th, 2003 10:34 AM
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0316/mondo1.php

The US put him there to take out the last leader of Iraq. I don't trust the US's next "James Bond" to do any better, nor do I expect the current puppet government to turn out any different than all of the other puppet governments that the US has installed and "had to" later destroy thousands of human lives to remove.

Patriotism is more than repeating the lies of the criminals in the white house.

Why was it more important to investigate Bill Clinton's blowjobs than it is to investigate the possibility of BabyBush committing high treason and pushing a war for the profits of his friends and his father's friends? Why would this be called "Conflict of Interest" in any other sector, but here it's defended and any suggestion of wrongdoing is called conspiracy theory?
by hrrrmmm
( no [at] privacy.com ) Thursday Apr 17th, 2003 1:08 PM
from the BBC weblog on april 17th :

London :: Keith Adams :: 0030GMT
Ahmed Chalabi is the first major opposition leader to arrive in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime last week.
It was a significant day for him, returning after 45 years away. An aide said the first thing he will do is visit the house where he grew up.
Then he'll begin a round of meetings with community, religious and business figures. Mr Chalabi is leader of the Iraqi National Congress, and has many influential friends in Washington - more, some say, than he has in Iraq.

--- cut ---

I guess the BBC must have been co-opted!! Call the Blac Block!!

=darwin
by hrrrmmm
( no [at] privacy.com ) Thursday Apr 17th, 2003 1:11 PM
from the BBC weblog on april 17th :

London :: Keith Adams :: 0030GMT
Ahmed Chalabi is the first major opposition leader to arrive in Baghdad since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime last week.
It was a significant day for him, returning after 45 years away. An aide said the first thing he will do is visit the house where he grew up.
Then he'll begin a round of meetings with community, religious and business figures. Mr Chalabi is leader of the Iraqi National Congress, and has many influential friends in Washington - more, some say, than he has in Iraq.

--- cut ---

I guess the BBC must have been co-opted!! Call the Blac Block!!

=darwin
by pistol pete
Thursday Apr 17th, 2003 1:57 PM
why can't we all just get along?
-Rodney King ( a truly great American)
by Sitting Bull
Friday Apr 18th, 2003 1:00 AM
We fought WWII to stop a mindless expansion that justified the evil of war as national pride and defense of the Fatherland. Now we have the huberistic jingoistic mantra, hipnotizing well intentioned frightened Americans into justifying murder and imperialist modern day blossoming facism!
by Tilney
( tilneys [at] hotmail.com ) Tuesday Apr 22nd, 2003 8:53 AM
THE PROOF CAME LATER - THIS WAS NOT RIGGED

The early event described on this page showed a few brave individuals who were the first to come out of their homes.

Just look at the subsequent scenes and the allegation that this was rigged is totally spurious.
by aaron
Tuesday Apr 22nd, 2003 4:40 PM
<Just look at the subsequent scenes and the allegation that this was rigged is totally spurious.>

by 'subsequent scenes' are you referring to the weeks of blacks-outs and lack of potable water, demonstrations against US occupation, completely overwhelmed hospitals, and mountains of dead bodies?



by waywardwishes
( onehundred_waywardwishes [at] hotmail.com ) Saturday Apr 26th, 2003 12:57 AM
ummm i don't think so, where is this evidence that came later...this photo plainly shows that troops and tanks were actively blocking people and cars from access to this 'media zone' why are they blocking them if not to control the crowd and keep protesters and angry people off the camera..........?
hmmmmmmmm?



by Loki
Saturday Apr 26th, 2003 11:21 AM
Exept in Tikrit(Saddams home town),there were celebrations of people taring down the statues and pictures of Saddam all over Iraq.Even Al Jeezera admits this.So it was a small crowd,big deal.Did you see the old guy beating the poster of Saddam with his shoe?Al Jeezera did.Becouse of this many Arabs are rethinking about thier own freedoms and asking for reforms in their own goverments.
The so called "peace" movement is in total shock and denile right now.I guess the celebrations of Iraqi immigrints in Dearborn Mighigan was faked too?
Indymedia should to the responsable thing and apologize to the Iraqi community.
by Jeff Brookman
Saturday Apr 26th, 2003 3:58 PM
All these pro-U.S. rallies were staged. That
is beyond obvious. I could tell the minute
that I saw them on television. This website
and others I have found just provide more
proof of the obvious.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/duforum/DCForumID66/17554.html#1

http://www.arras.net/circulars/archives/000522.html

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=127&ncid=742&e=7&u=/ucru/20030417/cm_ucru/how_we_lost_the_iraq_war

http://www.inkywatch.org/inkynotes/03/04/14/1827242.shtml









by Rez-Zen
Saturday May 3rd, 2003 10:20 AM
Now in the first image, do you know how many tanks roll in a unit? Consider we were still at war. these units roll 4 to 5 deep to protect themselves.

Now the guy in the second photo; maybe he's just the big hustler for underground Iraq. Were the photos taken the same day? are you trying to say all Iraqis look the same? J/k Could be the same photo group and they met up with this man as he joined the American group, so if pictures of soldiers were seen in same instance with man, it could verify that thought.
Can't jump a band wagon thought without enough proof, then again we go to war without enough proof, at least from what the general public knows. Gotta go someone just got shot outside, gotta focus on first things first...
by G
Tuesday May 13th, 2003 3:53 AM
1. This photo could have been taken at any point of the day, before or after the event happened. The picture itself proves nothing, such as Colin Powell's satellite pictures proved nothing. That picture is not conclusive evidence, and to base a whole conspiracy on one photo, which doesn't prove anything, is ridiculous.

2. We can see from actual videos of the event that there were more people present inside the square than in the picture. Again, proves that the picture proves nothing, and is also used to mislead to the conspiracy.

3. Fact: the war was still happening when this event happened. Are you expecting half the population of Iraq to be present at a "spontaneous" event when they are still under siege? If this event was planned, wouldn't there have been lots more people present? How many of you can honestly say that you would run out in the streets of your town which has been bombed the past 2 weeks to join foreign tanks and foreign soldiers in tearing down a statue?
Based on this mere logical argument, one would not expect there to be a whole lot of people out and about in public no matter what.

4. Why did press photos and even the videos show that there was not in fact thousands of people at the event? The videos and "western" media photographs show that this was a fairly centralized and small event. The videos and photos themselves show that there was a small group inside the square trying to tear down the statue, with scattered crowds forming around the square. This is what the western media showed.
Why are you trying to say that they showed something else?

5. All you who have to latch onto every anti-USA and anti-war propaganda piece such as this are pathetic. Think before you talk. The pictures on this site prove nothing towards there being a staged media event. One could even go as far as to say that the main picture, the first one with markings, is propaganda because it takes things out of context. The picture could have been taken at any point before or after the event, you can't even clearly see whether or not the statue is still up. The lighting in the picture is very dim and dark, when everyone knows that this event happened in the middle of the day, in bright daylight.
Basing this whole thing on just that one picture, and then adding on other unrelated pictures and proporting that they are somewhat related... propaganda.
by G
Tuesday May 13th, 2003 3:54 AM
1. This photo could have been taken at any point of the day, before or after the event happened. The picture itself proves nothing, such as Colin Powell's satellite pictures proved nothing. That picture is not conclusive evidence, and to base a whole conspiracy on one photo, which doesn't prove anything, is ridiculous.

2. We can see from actual videos of the event that there were more people present inside the square than in the picture. Again, proves that the picture proves nothing, and is also used to mislead to the conspiracy.

3. Fact: the war was still happening when this event happened. Are you expecting half the population of Iraq to be present at a "spontaneous" event when they are still under siege? If this event was planned, wouldn't there have been lots more people present? How many of you can honestly say that you would run out in the streets of your town which has been bombed the past 2 weeks to join foreign tanks and foreign soldiers in tearing down a statue?
Based on this mere logical argument, one would not expect there to be a whole lot of people out and about in public no matter what.

4. Why did press photos and even the videos show that there was not in fact thousands of people at the event? The videos and "western" media photographs show that this was a fairly centralized and small event. The videos and photos themselves show that there was a small group inside the square trying to tear down the statue, with scattered crowds forming around the square. This is what the western media showed.
Why are you trying to say that they showed something else?

5. All you who have to latch onto every anti-USA and anti-war propaganda piece such as this are pathetic. Think before you talk. The pictures on this site prove nothing towards there being a staged media event. One could even go as far as to say that the main picture, the first one with markings, is propaganda because it takes things out of context. The picture could have been taken at any point before or after the event, you can't even clearly see whether or not the statue is still up. The lighting in the picture is very dim and dark, when everyone knows that this event happened in the middle of the day, in bright daylight.
Basing this whole thing on just that one picture, and then adding on other unrelated pictures and proporting that they are somewhat related... propaganda.
by aaron
Tuesday May 13th, 2003 3:51 PM
You're a day late and a dollar short, G.

Even the mainstream media now admits that the downing of the Saddam statue was a staged event attended by very few Iraqi's.
by G
Wednesday May 14th, 2003 10:19 AM
Sorry, I'm much too simpleminded to understand your post. I am but a neoconservative.
by TED BOHNE
( N321MM [at] MSN.COM ) Thursday May 15th, 2003 12:31 PM
The US ended NO thirty year war. The US DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR A FORTY YEAR WAR IN IRAQ. BUSHCO SHOULD BE ARRESTED AND EXECUTED FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. SADDAM HUSSEIN WAS A RANK AMATEUR AS A DICTATOR COMPARED THE THE BUSH CARTEL.
BUSHCO WAS NEVER ELECTED TO OFFICE, HAS PRODUCED THE WORST ECONOMIC DISASTER SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION, FUTHER ENLARGED AN ALREADY MORIBUND BLOATED ROTTED GOVERNMENT, AND ROBBED TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. THE BUSH CARTEL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WAR AGAINST AGRESSION AGAINST IRAQ RESULTING IN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DEATHS. THE BUSH CARTEL HAS ACCOMPLISHED THE VERY SAME CRIMES AS ADOLF HITLER DID BY INVADING OTHER SOVREIGN NATIONS. BUSHCO, AND OTHER REPUBLICANS BUILT SADDAM HUSSEIN. BUSHCO AND OTHER REPUBLICANS ARMED SADDAM HUSSEIN. BUSHCO AND OTHER REPUBLICANS ARE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HUSSEIN REGIME. GEORGE W. BUSH IS A COWARD IN THE EXTREME AS WELL AS IS THE PATHETIC HONORLESS CREW THAT FLUSHED INTO THE WHITEWHOREHOUSE WITH HIM. EVERY BREATH THESE TURDS TAKE MURDERS SOME PART OF THE WORLD. THEIR COLLECTIVE DEATH WILL BE AN HISTORIC GREAT EVENT OF ALL TIME.
GODDAMN GEORGE BUSH AND HIS CARTEL. GODDAMN AMERICA.
by Haneef
( justone53 [at] hotmail.com ) Monday May 19th, 2003 11:32 AM
I don't believe a word that the Bush Administration says! To look at this staged statue propaganda sickens me! But what sickens me the most is that the majority of the American people believes the "sincerity" of Bush and his reasons for having gone to war as well as the so-called democracy for the Iraqi people. It also sickens me to see how we who know better sit around and do nothing. We must challenge Bush and those neo-conservatives who want nothing more but to force feed their ideals on the world. I applaud all who speak out and voice their opposition to the slowly deteriorating democracy in which we live. While we are professing liberation and democracy around the world America is turning into a dictatorship.




by Ted Bachman
Saturday May 31st, 2003 9:00 PM
Unfortunately, it is true, these events were
staged. The U.S. also killed those journalists
on purpose so the truth wouldn't come out
about the war. It is a sad to be an American
today.
by Ted
Tuesday Feb 24th, 2004 8:08 AM
You can't possibly look at one micro event like this in isolation. Take a look in the round at the Iraqi response and you have all the evidence you need that the Iraqi population was indeed liberated.

Its a shame that so many people on this site take their own freedoms for granted and feel such a strong desire to thwart such actions just for their "establishment must be wrong" or "violence is wrong" autopinions.

At least you're giving your resistence publicly in the English language - and not in German, or Russian....