"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." - T.S. Elliot.
It’s a quote that has been floating around the web for most of the day. There was that extraordinary footage of the crowd standing around the statue of Saddam. First a couple of guys tried to rip off the plaque at the base with their bare hands taking turns whipping the plaque back and forth so it would break off, then some one brought a sledge hammer and the men took turns bashing away at the base of the statue. Some of the blows broke big chunks off and some just bounced off harmlessly. I thought if they stayed with it they would work through the concrete and bring the entire thing crashing down. Soon a ladder showed up and three young men climbed the plinth and were tying the biggest rope I’ve seen around the figure and were trying to tie a knot in it. These were heroic acts of plain men doing their best to show they could topple a symbol with what they had on hand and have their day.
Then… Well then the American troops decided to get into the act. They brought up a tank with a crane arm and looped a heavy chain over Saddam’s head and proceeded to yank the statue off its plinth. It was no problem for a tank with a crane. It was America yet again not understanding the moment. If only the Iraqi’s had been left to their own devices I am sure they would have torn the statue from its perch and made the moment their own.
To be fair the soldiers had been fighting and dying up till then and were entitled to the relief of smashing a few things and to howl out loud. At least some one figured out draping the statue in an American flag was a bad idea and the old Iraqi flag took its place.
Each of these moments will be watched by the entire world. Peter Jennings actually got it and told his entire staff (on air) that he wanted no talking during the tearing down of the statue. It was the only footage on ALL the news feeds and he knew the world was watching. From now on the world will be watching the events even closer than the war itself.
“The end is where we start.”
If you are new to this blog you might read from the bottom to the top as the posts are placed in that order.