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November 22, 2008

Perle Was Right and You Were Wrong!

By: Bernard Chazelle

The great Richard Perle, the man known as "Baghdad Dick" in the gilded halls of AEI and as "The Dick" everywhere else, ventured this prediction in 2003:

“And a year from now, I'll be very surprised if there is not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush.”

Well, well, today you sneer and jeer no more, you freedom haters! The Dick was dead right.

Iraqis could not contain their excitement yesterday as the old central Baghdad square was renamed after George W. Bush in a highly emotional ceremony. Following an ancient Iraqi tradition, an effigy of President Bush was held upside down as a show of respect and then burned to the ground. Collective jubilation reached its peak as the assembled masses broke into Iraq's new national anthem, "Bush the Babylonian Burning Man." Throngs of admirers were then allowed to show their gratitude by banging on Bush's head with their shoes. When the effigy fell head first into the crowds, adoring fans got a chance to pelt it with their own plastic water bottles and spit on it with their own saliva -- what a scholar at the Heritage Foundation has already dubbed "The Great Spit of Freedom." Thousands of grateful Iraqis held up giant signs that read "Death to America," obviously an innocent misspelling of the words "Our American Hero!"


Bush the Babylonian Burning Man

(Photo via

— Bernard Chazelle

Posted at November 22, 2008 04:25 PM

Shrub Square?

It’s a good thing we learned so much from Iraq. Now we’ll do the same thing in Afghanistan. It’s a good thing we have an endless supply of Dicks.

Posted by: Rob Payne at November 22, 2008 04:50 PM

I am speechless!
Amazing post Prof Chazelle!
Bringing down Saddam Hussein's statue was a photo-op. This is the real thing!
WOW! Who says, Iraqis do not know how to express themselves?

Posted by: Rupa Shah at November 22, 2008 05:39 PM

That's more than what WE will ever do.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 22, 2008 06:18 PM

It definitely came at too high a cost, but we do have to admit, don't we, that this sort of free, expressive behavior would not have been possible under the previous occupant of that pedestal, Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: Don Bacon at November 22, 2008 11:45 PM

Don Bacon: Just a guess---I don't think Sadaam would have minded a Bushburning very much. Hell, he might have even approved.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 22, 2008 11:56 PM

Fewer effigies, more voodoo dolls, please.

Posted by: abb1 at November 23, 2008 06:15 AM

Mike Meyer shoots, he scores!

Posted by: anon at November 23, 2008 09:05 AM

Don Bacon:
sorry, I beg to differ because, almost one million dead, 4+ million refugees and IDPs, total destruction of their country and now occupation by another country is UNACCEPTABLE price for any country to pay to be able to burn GWB's effigy. HE is not worth it.

ps I am not even including American lives lost (one can not put any price on lives lost, American or Iraqi ) and their families destroyed and billions of dollars our govt has blown on this horrible war.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at November 23, 2008 09:22 AM

Rupa Shah,
Are you reading disabled? "It definitely came at too high a cost"

Posted by: Don Bacon at November 23, 2008 10:23 AM

Mussolini copycats.
And the Duce was there in the flesh. Effigy Shmeffigy.

Posted by: donescobar at November 23, 2008 10:44 AM

Don Bacon:

Are you reading disabled? "It definitely came at too high a cost"

I did read, that you mentioned the 'too high cost' and I did undertand that. However, IMO, it was too high a price to pay for what you have expressed, i.e. but we do have to admit, don't we, that this sort of free, expressive behavior would not have been possible under the previous occupant of that pedestal, Saddam Hussein.

ps I did mention that the price was not ACCEPTABLE for what they could do. And yes, FYI, I do not have learning disability though I have to admit making typing mistakes as I never learnt that skill.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at November 23, 2008 11:17 AM

And here in Northern Cali Bush couldn't even get the sewage plant in San Francisco named after him. How quickly we forget the greatness of our soon-to-be-former leader.

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at November 23, 2008 11:35 AM

All Donne Go Home

Posted by: Pvt. Keepout at November 23, 2008 02:50 PM

Yeah, you have to watch those misspellings, they'll get you every time.

Posted by: catherine at November 23, 2008 04:17 PM

Don Bacon wrote: we do have to admit, don't we, that this sort of free, expressive behavior would not have been possible under the previous occupant of that pedestal, Saddam Hussein.

No. We don't. I haven't look into how free to protest Iraqis were under Hussein. If you have, fine, but it's not important now considering what the US has done to Iraq. The death and suffering caused by the US is far greater than that caused by Hussein. The numbers of dead caused by the latest US attack on Iraq (saying nothing of the preceding 12 years of deaths caused by US-instigated sanctions and bombing) was the top story among Project Censored's list of poorly covered news this year: well over a million dead AS A CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE. The research cited figured out how many of those dead were directly caused by the US military and it was a majority, with five thousand to ten thousand estimated to be being murdered monthly - yes, monthly - directly by the US military in the pre-2007/pre-Surge period, a figure that dwarfs anything Saddam ever did and one that is certainly higher since the Surge. The ten thousand figure translates to 300 people a day being murdered directly by the US military. Furthermore, those figures make up only 80% of the deaths during this period. The ones caused by the societal breakdown caused by the US invasion likely account for the remaining 20%.

But sure, freedom to criticize the murderous occupiers might be a little more in evidence than it was under Saddam's watchful eye (even though that doesn't make the least bit of sense), and oh how important such unsupported speculation is in the face of the destruction of an entire people.

Posted by: deang at November 23, 2008 08:03 PM