The Guardian Unlimited reports U.S. Marines,with a lot of help from the Iraqi people, toppled a huge Saddam statue in Baghdad today.

The crowd pelted the statue with shoes and slippers – a gross insult in the Arab world – while a column of U.S. armor sat in the square, a large roundabout ringed with columns in front of the blue-domed Shahid Mosque.

The crowd, however, appeared unable to bring the statue down, or unsure how to do it safely.

The Marines got into the act, climbing up to fix the winch’s cable in place. They waved the crowd back out the way.

The first pull brought the statue halfway down, dangling off the pedestal as cardboard boxes and other litter rained on it. Another tug, and it broke in half, leaving only the twisted metal of the feet with two rusted pipes sticking out of them.

Iraqis swarmed over the hollow torso, hitting it with sticks. Men dragged the torn-off head through the street with ropes, while children rode it and beat it with shoes.

Hilarious. Of course, I’m sure the French are miffed.

Marines sling a thick rope noose around the Iraqi leader̢۪s neck and drape U.S. flag over his head in what is seen as a new era of colonialism is taking over. Courtesy Islam Online

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MommaBear says:

    The rope had been hand-thrown by Iraqis who had scaled the plinth; the Marines ended up using the rope to pull a large chain around the neck to pull the statue down.