April 9, 2003


Iraqis Scramble to Take Horses From Govt. (ALEXANDRA ZAVIS, 4/09/03, Associated Press)
It was enough to make a Texan president's heart swell: Hassan Atiya, an Iraqi on horseback, riding off into the chaos of wartime Baghdad with a vigorous wave and an exclamation — "I love you, America."

And when it came to horse-wrangling Wednesday, he wasn't the only one.

As forces from the U.S. 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing claimed Fort Rashid, a sprawling compound in southeastern Baghdad, they found among their prizes a field filled with 40 Arabian-Appaloosa horses in brown, gray and glorious chestnut.

What followed was a scramble — a weirdly good-natured permutation of the looting elsewhere in Iraq this week.

Ordinary Iraqis took to the field and the stables beyond, corralling the horses suddenly available to them. Their scramble — filled with laughter and grins — began early Wednesday and continued late in the afternoon, testimony to the elusiveness of their equine quarry. [...]

Atiya was one of those who succeeded. As he prepared to ride off, he complained of a life with "no food and no rice" for his two children, his wife, and the third baby on the way.

"I love you, America!" he shouted before drawing his finger across his throat as he said one more word: "Saddam."

Then, bareback and barefoot, he pointed his horse toward the road and was on his way.

Think any correspondents filed reports after the liberation of Paris where they referred to the French as "weirdly good-natured"? It's strange how the freeing of the Iraqi people is demonstrating the Western elites' "soft bigotry of low expectations". Posted by Orrin Judd at April 9, 2003 1:20 PM
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