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I'll never look at dinner napkins the same way, again.

Even as American officials were preparing to install an interim government in Iraq, the hoisting of the American flag over the statue's face was a brief but powerful reminder that unlike the Soviet empire, Iraq's regime did not implode from within. A closer historical analogy could have been the photograph of a Red Army soldier raising the Soviet flag over a bombed-out Reichstag in 1945.

That iconic picture by the Russian photographer Yevgeny Khaldei was carefully planned and posed. In Baghdad, the Stars and Stripes were hurriedly pulled down and replaced with a pre-gulf-war Iraqi flag, tucked into a chain around the statue's neck like a large dinner napkin. As one commentator on MSNBC said, "It looks like cooler geopolitical heads have prevailed."

I have no idea what that last sentence is supposed to mean in the context of the one that came before it unless it's just the Times slagging MSNBC. I include it only for the sake of thoroughness.

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Meanwhile, William Gibson cites ←  → Steve Bell : Drawing Fire