As I sat in my living room Wednesday watching the events unfold in Baghdad, I couldn’t help but scream when I saw the people crowding around the statue of Saddam Hussein. I was full of joy and couldn’t stop myself from crying because I knew this was the moment of truth.
Just as the statue was falling, I realized it was over — Saddam is finally toppled. As I yelled at the T.V. with jubilation, my mother-in-law, who is 70 years old, clapped her hands in delight. The Iraqi people had spoken: “We do not want Saddam.”
I’m thrilled that the world saw the symbolic fall of Hussein, especially the antiwar protesters who claimed they were speaking on behalf of the Iraqi people. The two men in a Baghdad square holding a sign saying “Go Home Human Shields, You U.S. Wankers” summed up Iraqis’ opinion of that crowd.
The toppling and smashing of the statue represented the reality of the struggle of the Iraqi people. Everyone by now must understand that Iraqis have wanted and tried to overthrow Saddam, but their ropes and sledgehammers were too weak in the face of the dictator’s iron grip on the nation. It was the help of the United States troops that enabled us to bring him down. And it was the determination of the people of Iraqi Kurdistan to live in a democracy that echoed the true wishes of the people of Iraq to the world.
Saddam Hussein will no longer pose a threat to my people. His Baathist regime will no longer terrorize my loved ones. I join all those who have thanked President Bush for giving us, the people of Iraq, a glimpse of hope for a democratic future. And I want to thank all the young men and women in uniform who are helping the Iraqi people achieve their dreams of freedom from tyranny and peace, at long last.
— A Kurd from northern Iraq, Tanya Gilly is a member of Women for a Free Iraq.