"Lance Corp. Shawn Hicks of Arizona gets a kiss Wednesday from an Iraqi man as they celebrate the arrival of American troops in central Baghdad."
"An Iraqi man puts flowers on the head of a U.S Marine in Saddam City in eastern Baghdad. Iraqis joyously welcomed U.S. Marines driving through eastern Baghdad . . . "
"Two U.S. special forces soldiers are seen atop their jeep, front, as Kurdish fighters pose for a group picture with flowers received from the Kurdish Students Union, near the town of Dibagan . . . in northern Iraq. The students' union presented them with flowers in gratitude for their war efforts."
"Samantha Sheppard, 28, from Plymouth in Britain, a soldier with the 2nd Light Tank Regiment, smiles as she receives a flower from an Iraqi man during a patrol on the streets of east Basra, southern Iraq."
No flowers for you, Diane.
These buoyant pictures of liberation are worth a thousand of the quagmirists' dreary words. But even as Baghdad crumbled and Iraqis rejoiced in the streets, the pockets of liberal media resistance persist.
ABC's Peter Jennings grumbled that the mass of Iraqi citizens gathered in Baghdad to cheer the toppling of a Saddam Hussein statue was "a small crowd." (A phrase better applied to the dwindling audience for Jennings' phenomenally biased nightly news broadcasts.) The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, downplayed the dancing in the streets, and instead amplified the seething resentment of the Arab media establishment -- citing Saddam's apologists at the Arab News and Egypt's Al Wafd newspaper -- to prove that "many see occupation, not liberation, of Iraq."
The surly opponents of Operation Iraqi Freedom can spin, but they can't hide the simple, Kodachrome-colored truth: Tyranny brings only misery. Liberation kindles joy.