2003-04-12 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter
On The Beach With Beverly Baxter

Depending upon which channel you watch, whether the coverage is called "Operation Iraqi Freedom," or Showdown with Saddam," there is one theme that comes to mind and it comes from The Wizard of Oz.

Before the Iraqis, particularly the Shiites, can sing and dance in the streets, we have to give them "the broom".

Although senior military officials are rather confident that they targeted Saddam Hussein and his sons, psychologically, the Iraqi people will need definitive forensic proof of their demise. The notion that the regime has been nearly obliterated is simply not enough and it may be difficult to get that definitive evidence. We must ensure that he and his hierarchy are somewhere forever over the rainbow. As we have come to understand, even if we can deliver to the Iraqi people the broom of the wicked one, it will take some time for the Iraqis to trust that the iron curtain of oppression has been lifted and that they can now freely express and explore what kind of representational government they want. Only then will they be able to whistle that happy tune, "Ding, Dong the Wicked Witch is Dead."

For now, our troops will continue to remain in that far away place... saying, "there’s no place like home."

***With yellow ribbons and American flags, it was great that so many ventured the cold weather to come out for the "Support Our Troops" Rally last Saturday afternoon on the boardwalk and 116 Street. It’s sadly unfortunate that there are communities in this country that audaciously find that the display of yellow ribbons on state or city property to be offensive. Yellow ribbons are neither a political statement nor propaganda for the war; but rather, a show of support of our troops and hope for their safe return. If yellow ribbons for them can’t be displayed, then what or for whom are the fighting?

Congratulations to Rally Organizers Jimmy Miles, Margie Romanski, and Maureen Sammon; and their committee: Sheila Reen, Ann Marie, Carmel and Jimmy O’Sullivan. Father Vincent O’Connell officiated. Congressman Anthony Weiner, Democratic District Leader Lew Simon, and Councilman Joe Addabbo were among some of our elected officials who were in attendance.

***He’s alright. It’s just that the world’s all wrong! Happy Birthday wishes to the one and only Peter Keane! 

See You … On the Beach!

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