CBS News’ Dick Meyer reflects on watching history unfold on live television. Such a moment came today:
The whole world watched today as Iraqis and American Marines lynched and toppled the most prominent of BaghdadÃ¢€™s many giant Saddam Hussein statues.
It symbolized so much. The Iraqis couldnÃ¢€™t do it by themselves; they needed help from foreign troops and their machines. The Giant Saddam didnÃ¢€™t fall down all at once. And there was fighting just a few miles away.
But the live televised fall of that massive statue will be The Image.
It may not yet be entirely clear whether The Image marked the fall of Baghdad, the vanquishing of Saddam or something far more complicated.
It doesnÃ¢€™t much matter. It is indelible.
There may be much more fighting ahead. Saddam may join the ranks of Osama bin Laden and Eric Rudolph as an uncatchable villain. Or it could all be over by the weekend.
The next phase of Iraqi history may be a prolonged foreign occupation marked by terrorism and violence. Or it may be the beginning of IraqÃ¢€™s transition into being an open society, an inspiration to other Arab countries.
Whatever the eventual outcome, todayÃ¢€™s image is indelible.
Already The Image means different things to different people. Of course it does. Every viewer, from every place, has a unique perspective. And the thing about most peopleÃ¢€™s perspectives on the news and history is that they think they are objective. None are.
Indeed. I was at the office all day so didn’t see this unfold live. All I know is that Chirac and those who actively opposed this war are looking sillier by the moment.