Iraqis rejoice at liberation [Guardian]

“US marines took Safwan at about 8am yesterday. There was no rose-petal welcome, no cheering crowd, no stars and stripes.

Afraid that the US and Britain will abandon them, the people of Safwan did not touch the portraits and murals of Saddam Hussein hanging everywhere. It was left to the marines to tear them down. It did not mean there was not heartfelt gladness at the marines’ arrival. Ajami Saadoun Khlis, whose son and brother were executed under the Saddam regime, sobbed like a child on the shoulder of the Guardian’s Egyptian translator. He mopped the tears but they kept coming.

“You just arrived,” he said. “You’re late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious. I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave.”

“For a long time we’ve been saying: ‘Let them come’,” his wife, Zahara, said. “Last night we were afraid, but we said: ‘Never mind, as long as they get rid of him, as long as they overthrow him, no problem’.” Their 29-year-old son was executed in July 2001, accused of harbouring warm feelings for Iran” MORE

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