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Marine to Marine Corps museum: You can’t have Saddam’s flag

Ten years ago today we watched as a U.S. Marine hung an American flag on the face of the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad’s Firdos Square. The image seemed to make good on the promise that President George W. Bush made standing atop the still-smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center, telling a grieving and revenge-hungry nation, “I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

Forget the fact that Iraq had no part in 9/11; the United States had planted its flag in the heart of the Middle East, from whence, roughly, the hijackers came. The media dutifully praised the symbolism of the moment as the Saddam statue was then toppled by an oversize military tow truck. On CNN, Bill Hemmer said the scene brought to mind “indelible moments like the fall of the Berlin Wall,” and Wolf Blitzer declared it “the image that sums up the day and, in many ways, the war itself.”

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