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Jason Holliston
Thursday, April 10, 2003  
The Stars and Stripes

This is just a quick observation. Like many people around the world, I watched live as the statue of Saddam was pulled down in the heart of Baghdad yesterday morning. It was wonderful moment in history, to be sure, and a poignant example of Man's need for freedom, liberty, and basic human rights. I'm not going to go on about this, as other's have spoken more eloquently than I can. I want to talk about the Marine that put the American flag over Saddam's inert head.

I think it's incredible that so many people have said how horrible this action was. How there must had been an audible gasp in the Pentagon when the proud soldier did it. Please. All these complaints leave two very important facts out -- facts that completely change the texture of the act. First, did you hear the cheers from the crowd of Iraqis when the Stars and Stripes were shown for the world to see? Cheers! That alone made my eyes well up in stark pride for my country. Second, within a few minutes, the Iraqi flag took the preeminent place high on the statue. Beautiful! The whole point of this war -- the liberation of the very willing Iraqi people -- was shown in these gestures. The people in Iraq showed that they do indeed know the nature of this war, the sacrifices that were made for them, and most of all, they know that we are their friends. That moment in history was the start of what I believe will be a long and enduring friendship between peoples.

How could so many people miss this?

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