Jubilant Iraqis greeted US troops with cheers, victory signs, and flowers. Weeping Iraqi elders kissed grinning US soldiers. A few Iraqi men, apparently caught up in the moment, rushed into the street clad only in underwear to greet passing US troops.
A lot of people have put a lot of effort into making sure everyone understands that the Iraqis hated us for being there. Some Iraqis, of course, did. But the predictions of being greeted with flowers by happily “liberated” Iraqis were right on the money in many areas.
Here’s a Murdoc post from the day after the fall (remember the good old Command Post?):
This post at The Command Post has an interesting note about Baghdad’s citizens’ view of the resistance in the Iraqi captial.
[Oliver North] also reports that the opposition was initially elements of the Republican Guards, but is now Fedayeen, which he says are being called “the foreigners” by local Iraqis, due to the fact that they appear to him to be almost exclusively non-Iraqis (Syrians, Jordanians, Yemenis, Somalis, Sudanese, Lebanese, etc.).
I think that it’s significant that Iraqis are pointing out to US Marines that these guys are “foreigners.” Although reactions will cover the spectrum, I think it’s safe to say that a good portion of the Iraqi population is glad we’re there and will give us help in “cleaning up” what many of them obviously perceive as bad elements.
As demonstrated by the suicide bombing at a US checkpoint that injured 4 Marines this morning, the struggle to control Baghdad is not over, despite tumbling statues and declarations of victory. Although we need to stay prepared for a protracted fight against irregulars and suicidal fanatics, we should all be relieved that the predictions of heavy US casualties in the streets of Baghdad didn’t turn out to be accurate. Our guys are performing SPECTACULARLY, and the planning couldn’t have been all that bad, no matter how much some people dislike Rumsfeld.