The Man Who Toppled Saddam Has Second Thoughts

Says US rule is worse than Hussein's
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2007 9:52 PM CDT
Iraqis and U.S Marines pull down a Saddam Statue after the arrival of the Americans four years ago.   (Magnum Photos)

(Newser) – The former Iraqi weightlifting champion who used a sledgehammer to topple the infamous 20-foot-tall bronze statue of Saddam Hussein four years ago now feels remorse at his symbolic role in the US victory. "I really regret bringing down the statue," Kadhim al-Jubouri says. "The Americans are worse than the dictatorship. Every day is worse than the previous day."

At the time, al-Jubouri was reveling in vengeance for his mistreatment under Hussein's rule, including being thrown into Abu Ghraib for complaining when Hussein's son Uday didn't pay him for work he'd done to fix a motorcycle. Saddam, he says, "was like Stalin. But the occupation is proving to be worse."