Life

The Statue

There’s an email circulating that starts off with another of those typical “the media won’t tell you this” lines. In this particular case, the accusation is that the story “doesn’t have the shock effect.”

But as usual, there’s a little more to it than that…something that the “they” who composed this email really don’t want you to know.

The story centers on a statue of an American soldier, apparently grieving at the loss of a fellow soldier and being comforted by a young child. According to the email, the statue, which will eventually be shipped from Iraq to a military museum in Texas, was created by an Iraqi artist named Kalat.

This Kalat, the story goes, had suffered the torturous existence of being forced by Saddam Hussein to make “many hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam that dotted Baghdad.” The email then reports that Kalat was so grateful for “the Americans [sic] liberation of his country” that he melted three of the busts to create this memorial to fallen American soldiers and worked on the statue for many months.

Out of the goodness of his heart.

The email then asks and answers its own question:

“Do you know why we don’t hear about this in the news? Because it is heart warming and praise worthy. The media avoids it because it does not have the shock effect.”

Or so “they” want you to believe…while they deliver this little call to action: “But we can do something about it. We can pass this along to as many people as we can in honor of all our brave military who are making a difference.”

A quick visit to myth-busting website snopes.com, which, curiously enough, is the kind of place these self-appointed media-condemning “truth” spreaders never seem to bother to go, tells a somewhat different story about this Kalat and his artistic creation.

The website declares it a case of “real photograph, inaccurate description:”

“…the accompanying text is very misleading. The Iraqi sculptor was not ‘forced by Saddam Hussein to make the many hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam,’ he did not produce the memorial shown because he was ‘so grateful that the Americans liberated his country,’ and the monument was not his idea. Members of the U.S. Army paid the sculptor, who had previously worked on a few other Saddam statues, to create the work pictured according to a design of their choosing.”

And believe me, the tall tale only gets better — or worse, depending on your point of view — from there. Why did this Kalat really agree to build the statue, and how does he really feel about American soldiers? Read it for yourself…but be warned: the “they” who created this email certainly don’t want you to know!

I certainly have no problem with “supporting the troops” and honoring the men and women of our military. But there’s a big difference between paying tribute and spreading propaganda.

What’s on their agenda? What are they trying to get you to believe, despite what the apparent facts are? And why would they make false accusations while demanding the “whole” truth?

Why won’t the media really report this story? Maybe because it’s inaccurate, exaggerated and just plain false. Sometimes the media does gets it right.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.