Army Admits Staging Toppling Saddam’s Schedule

Remember all the stink about if the Army had staged the toppling of Saddam’s statue and forever and a day they swore it was a totally spontaneous act. Think again.

An internal Army study of the war in Iraq has confirmed that the infamous toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square in central Baghdad on April 9, 2003 was stage-managed by American troops and not a spontaneous reaction by Iraqis.

In other news, the U.S. continues to censor coverage of Hussein’s trial – deciding what the world will hear in this crucial case. What are they so scared for the world to hear? Maybe all of our complicity with Saddam in the mid-80s?

16 thoughts on “Army Admits Staging Toppling Saddam’s Schedule

  1. thom

    The proof is in the movie Control Room where the Al Jazeera crew show how silly the staging was. Great movie. IMHO, much more important to see than F911.

  2. Andy

    I whole-heartedly agree. It takes a much more even-handed look at Al-Jazeera than you’ll get in an American news channel. Most opinions are it’s as imbalanced as Fox News and skewed the opposite way – but the Al-Jazeera channel was a lot more independent than I had first thought.

  3. Tim Z.

    The only news here is that the Army finally admitted it.
    It’s always been fairly obvious that there weren’t throngs of Iraqis pulling down the statue. But only a few in the media dared to point this out at the time.
    The news media, especially TV, served as little more than uncritical cheerleaders for the Iraq invasion. Being embedded with the troops was good, but being in bed with the administration was not good.

    Those who nitpick and split hairs over alleged inconsistencies in Fahrenheit 9/11 were busy putting on extra blindfolds and earmuffs in Iraq in spring of 2003.

  4. j.scott barnard

    I don’t get it. I watched this thing live on tv which showed then that there wasn’t a massive crowd and which showed then that the marines pulled the statue down using a vehicle. Where’s the new news? Are you incapable of seeing that video yourself to see that the marines toppled the statue?

    The children beating the statue with their shoes after it fell, were they paid operatives?

    Don’t drink the Kool-aid. Yes it was staged. Do you remember the famous footage of the nazi emblem being blown off the Reichstag? That was “staged” too. You’re using a word that’s meant to imply they were hiding something. They were in plain view of millions of viewers. Remember the American flag over the face of Saddam and then the exchange to the Iraqi flag? Did you not see for yourself that it was a U.S. Marine on top of the statue? Live on TV for the world to see? Tell me where the “staging” happened.

    Don’t let your partisanship cloud your senses. –scott

  5. Andy

    Um, I didn’t drink the Kool-aid. I heard that it was staged (from non-U.S. media sources). And now the Army finally admitted to it – sort of like the babies-in-incubators bullshit that got us into the first Gulf War.

    The staging occured in many details:

    The flag exchange you write about (albeit an old, out-of-date Iraqi flag).

    The guys coming in on the tanks were not speaking in an Iraqi dialect.

    It was not a spontaneous event of a repressed people finally set free from an oppressive regime – it was a calculated piece of theatre engineered to make us think that.

  6. Tim Z.

    And now the Army finally admitted to it – sort of like the babies-in-incubators bullshit that got us into the first Gulf War.

    Andy, the incubator bit was spread by Kuwaiti exiles, not by US sources.
    While I’m not crazy about military intervention, Saddam did invade Kuwait, and it’s difficult to condemn our invasion of Iraq while making excuses for Saddam’s unfriendly takeover of a peaceful neighbor.
    At least the first Bush had international law on his side as well as the unambiguous backing of the United Nations.

  7. Andy

    Kinda – the incubator story was in a testimony to Congress by a girl named Nayirah who would turn out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S., Saud Nasir al-Sabah. She had been coached by PR firm Hill and Knowlton Public Relations firm on how to give false testimony. A little online research says that yes, the Kuwaitis had 20 PR firms in tow – but I still don’t think that excuses using the story as the tipping point for the war. Nice article on Counterpunch: How PR Sold the War in the Gulf. Maybe not a perfect analog to the current situation but I think it is related to the Al-Queda/Saddam inferences that helped tip us into the current conflict.

  8. Andy

    By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever thanked all the commenters that fact-check my ramblings when it gets sloppy. In the rush to make a point I need to keep in mind the importance of true ‘apples to apples’ comparisons.

  9. Velociman

    I find the fact it was staged rather elegant. Shows the American talent for stagecraft, and showmanship. Think Busby Berkeley.

  10. Andy

    On third thought, where was that damned Mission Accomplished banner? And the plastic turkey?

  11. j.scott barnard

    Mission Accomp banner placed by ship’s crew…

    The turkey wasn’t plastic, it was real, and used as display.

    The few people in the square when the statue fell were not paid CIA operatives…they were Iraqis.

  12. graham

    Ok, so we all knew the statue toppling was staged, who cares.
    I think some of the comments above show the lack of understanding in the US media in general. Saddam claims he never invaded a “friendly neighbour” since Kuwait was always part of Iraq, at least until the british found oil there and decided it would be nice to keep it separate to ensure a good supply…good old british eh?? So then you have to ask yourself, which geographical boundaries do you respect? Just as the reason for the declaration of the Kuwaiti state was in britains oil interests, the ‘rescue’ of Kuwait during the Iraq invasion was in US oil interests. Saddam was not a pleasant man, but by waging an illegal war (whether you want to conform to international law or not, it is still international law, which US has used when it suited) the US has done more for fundamentalist terrorist organisations than all the oil money in the world could have done….
    Money doesn’t buy loyalty, but belief and faith does

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