Where Are the Extras?

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Another observation on the battle of the image: Neither side appears to have had much success in getting cheering crowds out into the street. Reader/blog poster Casey Tompkins suggests one reason why that hasn't been happening on the American side:

[A]t least some writers have commented that one reason that many Iraqis haven't been dancing in the streets (besides the fact that living under a Stalinist dictatorship can make you careful) is that a good number of folks took Bush Sr at his word back in 1991 and rebelled against Hussein, and got no support from us. This time they're going to wait and see. I can't blame them for that. My own bet is that once they realize that the Amis are here to stay this time, we'll see a lot more support.

Equally striking is what a hard time the Iraqis have had getting the same kind of street theater. There have been plenty of scenes of guys waving their fists in the air, holding up Kalashnikovs, and all that kind of crap. But it always seems to be about 20 guys, with the camera in close enough to give the impression of a dense crowd. Apparently, if you want dancin' in the street, Martha and The Vandellas are still your only sure bet.

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  1. http://dear_raed.blogspot.com/2003_03_01_dear_raed_archive.html#200036387

    “While buying groceries the woman who sells the vegetables was talking to another about the approach of American armies to Najaf city and about what is happening at Um Qasar and Basra. If Um Qasar is so difficult to control what will happen when they get to Baghdad? It will turn uglier and this is very worrying. People (and I bet ?allied forces?) were expecting things to be mush easier. There are no waving masses of people welcoming the Americans nor are they surrendering by the thousands. People are [d]oing what all of us are, sitting in their homes hoping that a bomb doesn?t fall on them and keeping their doors shut.”

  2. Maybe they’re not dancing because they know Hussein and the Baathists were put in power in a CIA-supported coup, and the CIA provided the Baathists with a list of suspected Communists, who were ‘dealt with’.

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