Saddam Statue Toppling (micro blog)

I covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq for the New York Times Magazine and had the strange luck of following the Marine battalion that famously tore down a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s Firdos Square. In 2011, I published a lengthy narrative in the New Yorker that examined the toppling and the ways in which the event was shaped by the media. When the story came out (click here to read it), I also published a micro-blog with posts about books that touched on the toppling, photos that hadn’t been published before, and other miscellania from the event. What follows over the next few pages are those posts.

  • ‘The Toppling’ Wins Mirror Award
    Nice news—my New Yorker story about the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad has won the John M. Higgins Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting, given out as one of the Mirror Awards by the ...  (Read more)
  • Toppling Dictators in the Youtube Age
    The world’s first icons, predating the era of mass reproduction, originated in times when it was at least theoretically possible to smash every painting of a religious figure or tear down every statue of a potentate. That’s no longer possible. As the uprisings in the Middle East show, the ...  (Read more)
  • Tahrir 2011, Firdos 2003
  • The Literature of 3/4
    There are a number of books about 3/4, the Third Battalion Fourth Marines, which toppled the statue at Firdos Square. John Koopman, who was an embedded reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle, wrote “ ...  (Read more)
  • The Strategic Corporal at Firdos Square
    If Leon Lambert, a 35-year old gunnery sergeant, hadn’t been at Firdos Square, the statue of Saddam Hussein probably wouldn’t have been toppled on April 9. It was Lambert who gave a sledgehammer and rope to a handful of Iraqis at the square, thereby triggering the process that led to the ...  (Read more)
  • The Map to the Palestine Hotel
    The Marines who were dispatched to the Palestine Hotel were given a grid coordinate for an area that was a square kilometer large but they did not know where the hotel was located in that area; the hotel was not marked on the map they used. The map is posted above. The red circle, which ...  ...
  • Shelling the Palestine Hotel
    On April 8, the day before Marines arrived at Firdos Square, an Army tank on the Al Jumhuriya Bridge fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel, killing two journalists and injuring three others. Those killings increased pressure on the Pentagon to secure the hotel, so that no further harm would come to ...  (Read more)
  • Being There
    If you were at Firdos Square on April 9, 2003, you would end up in somebody’s picture. This photo was shot by Robert Nickelsberg of Time, and it shows Lt. Col. Bryan McCoy outside the Palestine Hotel, moments after he pulled up in his Humvee. McCoy is on the phone, and the guy on the ...
  • Inside the Palestine Hotel, 2
    On the fifth anniversary of the invasion, New York Times reporter John Burns wrote about the precarious status of journalists at the Palestine Hotel, and how he felt when Marines arrived at Firdos Square.
  • CBS News Coverage of the Statue Falling
    Lara Logan reports for CBS News on the statue being toppled.