27 April 2003


Toppling King George III
King George III

Toppling Stalin
Joseph Stalin

Toppling the Shah of Iran
The Shah of Iran

Toppling Saddam
Saddam Hussein

Among the images of popular uprising above, the streets behind the statue of Saddam seem strangely empty. Zooming back the camera lens, it seems the event was largely staged for the media.

Unable to anticipate a clear surrender by the Iraqi government, on April 4 the Bush administration announced it’s vision of a “rolling victory,” “a strategy to declare victory in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein or key lieutenants remain at large and fighting continues in parts of the country.” Days later, the media run images of a statue of Hussein being toppled by U.S. marines and jubilant Iraqi’s.


A week later, protestors in San Francisco stage their own toppling of their own. A popular protest mimicking the Marines mimicking a popular protest, the protestors pull down a makeshift statue of President Bush in the style of Saddam Hussein’s.

Toppling President Bush


And a week after that, protestors in South Korea topple a cardboard cutout of a statue of Kim Il-Sung.

Toppling Kim Il-Sung


Update: On July 3, 2004 the Los Angeles Times confirmed that it was Army psy-ops that toppled the statue of Saddam Hussein, not the Iraqi civilians shown on television.

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