Something Wondrous from Iraq
I have not been able to verify this independently, but I received an e-mail from a most reliable source that tells me that the pictured statue is currently on display outside the Iraqi palace that is now home to the 4th Infantry division. It will, I am also told, eventually be shipped and shown at the memorial museum in Fort Hood, Texas, and was made by an Iraqi artist named Kalat. For years, it seems, Kalat was forced by Saddam Hussein to make the many hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam that dotted Baghdad, and the artist was so grateful for the American liberation of his country that he melted down 3 of the fallen Saddam statue heads and made a memorial statue dedicated to the American soldiers and their fallen comrades. Kalat, the e-mail tells me, has been working on this night and day for several months. To the left of the kneeling soldier is a small Iraqi girl giving the soldier comfort as he mourns the loss of his comrade in arms.
If this is true, it is interesting for at least two reasons. One is that there are Iraqis who feel such a level of gratitude to America and the coalition; it is so hard to get a handle on just how the Iraqis feel about the invasion. The other is that we just never hear about this sort of story from the news media. There are surely many reasons for that, but it is frustrating just the same.