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thedrifter
04-11-03, 04:51 PM
COMMAND CENTER
Display of U.S. Flag Barred After Unfurling on Statue
By BERNARD WEINRAUB


V CORPS HEADQUARTERS, in northern Kuwait, April 10 Officers whooped and hollered in the Army's command center on Wednesday as they watched the televised scene of a United States marine draping an American flag over the face of a statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.

Then there were second thoughts.

Today, the Army, seeking to demonstrate that its troops in Iraq are liberators and not conquerors, barred any display of the American flag on vehicles, buildings, statues and command posts.

The order, which effectively halts the display of the flag anywhere in Iraq except the United States Embassy, said that flying the flag on buildings in Iraq would only reinforce the anti-American message that the military was "here to oppress the Iraqis."
In issuing the order today, the military tacitly acknowledged that it was deeply concerned about the perception, among Arabs and others, that American soldiers and marines in Iraq were an occupation force that would rule the nation for years. Displaying the flag would reinforce that image, officers said.

"It's an issue of perception," Gen. William S. Wallace, the V Corps commander, told his staff this morning. "It's an issue of decorum."

At the start of the war, the Coalition Forces Land Component Command at Camp Doha, near Kuwait City, ordered soldiers, marines and Air Force personnel not to display the American flag on vehicles or buildings. That order was loosely followed until Wednesday, when the marine briefly unfurled the flag on the face of the statue. The command center, made up mostly of midlevel and senior officers, seemed to burst into shouts and applause. Moments later, the marine removed the flag, apparently on orders from a superior.

Today, Brig. Gen. Daniel A. Hahn, the V Corps chief of staff, said it was natural for American soldiers to carry the flag and place it at various sites in Iraq.

"It's a source of great pride," he said."It's seen as like a gift to Iraq."

But General Hahn added that sensitivity to Iraqi pride and nationalism was foremost in the minds of the American military, as the United States helps Iraq reshape its government.

"We don't want to flaunt our power," he said.

General Wallace sent the message to Army commanders today after telling his officers that the "open display" of American flags in Iraq was "not appropriate."

"The Iraqi people should know that we're not here to occupy this country," he said.

The order sent out to the Army officers in Iraq and Kuwait said: "U.S.-coalition forces continue operations to remove/disarm the Saddam regime and liberate Iraq. Displaying the American flag counters the perception that we are liberators and allows enemy and other bad actors to use the images of our flags prominently displayed to reinforce their message that the U.S. is here to oppress the Iraqis."

"The pride and patriotism of V Corps soldiers is beyond question and the motivation to display our flag is understandable," the message continued. "In this environment the display of our flag is not helpful."


Sempers,

Roger

greensideout
04-11-03, 06:46 PM
Here we go!

Decorum is now defined to mean PC?

I think we need to continue to remind the world that it is with AMERICAN BLOOD that Iraq is liberated!

Will we occupy? Of course we will. There is no other hope for some symbolance of order in that country but the might of U.S. Forces. The new government cannot just wave their make believe democracy wand and hope that all will be well.

Throughout history, the only successful rule there was from a conquerering outside nation or a dictator.

I think our troops should proudly fly the flag lest the Iraqis and the world forget who "liberated" them.

Sixguns
04-11-03, 08:33 PM
Raising our flags was not going to fly with the politicians and leadership of the war. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that the U.N. didn't want to go along and the fact the U.S. stated it would go it alone to rid Iraq of Saddam if need be. Raising our flag looks like we had other motives and that we were not necessarily giving Iraq back to its people. Raising our flag symbolized Iraq coming under U.S. rule and govern. Not the picture we want the world to get.

SF,

Lock-n-Load
04-11-03, 09:31 PM
After the surprise amphibious success of the Inchon invasion..it was only days before the 1st Marine Div FMF was ordered by Mac Arthur to liberate the city of Seoul asap...when it was accomplished...a Marine Pfc on his own initiative, hoisted Old Glory on the battered City Hall building...he was soon ordered to take down our Colors and run up the United Nations flag and Mac Arthur ceremoniously turned over the city to Sygman Rhee, that done, the Pfc raced to the nearby US Embassy [vacated] building and run up Old Glory...it is an inherent tenet of the USMC in all wars to hoist Old Glory simply to let the combat Marines bask in military victory for all their blood, sweat and tears...it sent a shiver up my back...to see the Baghdad victory was no different nor forgotten by the modern/present US Marine Corps FMF at WAR...it was a US Marine Corps moment and all viewers who are ignorant of it and the ramifications it sent is...inconsequential and nil...God bless our US Marines FMF in the liberation of Baghdad and the US Marine who run up our National Colors twice in Seoul was...Pfc Jack Wright...George Company...5th Marine Regiment..1st Marine Division FMF.:marine:

lurchenstein
04-13-03, 02:16 AM
Since displaying the Stars & Stripes as a flag is banned in Iraq, maybe some comic relief is in order (one up on "Baghdad Bob").
A huge grocery bag with cutout eye holes (like the Unknown Comic) & red-white-blue color scheme is placed over the head of the Saddam statue. That probably wouldn't fly either, but it's amusing to think about. :evilgrin: