« | Home | »

A Lot Like Home

Tags: |

Saddam Hussein's Boots, Salt Lake City

This year’s Association of American University Presses conference was held in Salt Lake City. Between the panel discussions on social networking and the new Chicago Manual of Style – ‘Q: Can I use the first person? A: Evidently’ – I wandered over to the old Fort Douglas military base, which closed in 1991 and is now a museum.

There’s a photo exhibition of Utah service personnel in the Middle East entitled Utahns in Iraq: a young woman, who looked about 16, waiting to see a doctor at a forward operating base, dressed in civvies but with an M16 across her lap; a soldier talking to a Basra resident whose very young daughter had been hit by a rifle butt during a raid. ‘I guess it’s a lot like home,’ one of them wrote, ‘a bunch of churches in the middle of the desert.’ Also on display, rather more surprisingly, are the boots of Saddam Hussein, retrieved by Utahn soldiers as the former dictator was pulled from his spiderhole in 2004.

Comments on “A Lot Like Home”

  1. afsmith says:

    how bizarre. i wonder if the iraqis know they’re there?

  2. Martin says:

    Those boots – as much in their condition as in their unexpectedness – sum up Saddam’s appearance at the entrance to his spiderhole.

  3. steve says:

    hmm, the boots of evil.

    It wasn’t just grass they walked all over.

  4. pinhut says:

    Just like the Nazi regalia next to Confederate money down in Alabama that I saw. Americans can’t resist the trinkets associated with that thing they’re always busily rooting out, apparently – evil.

  5. can you imagine in those boots once stood a evil military dictator who thought he could rule the world.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • andymartinink on Reacher v. Parker: Slayground definitely next on my agenda. But to be fair to Lee Child, as per the Forbes analysis, there is clearly a massive collective reader-writer ...
    • Robert Hanks on Reacher v. Parker: And in Breakout, Parker, in prison, teams up with a black guy to escape; another white con dislikes it but accepts the necessity; Parker is absolutely...
    • Robert Hanks on Reacher v. Parker: Parker may not have the integrity and honesty of Marlowe, but I'd argue that Richard Stark writes with far more of both than Raymond Chandler does: Ch...
    • Christopher Tayler on Reacher v. Parker: Good to see someone holding up standards. The explanation is that I had thoughts - or words - left over from writing about Lee Child. (For Chandler se...
    • Geoff Roberts on Reacher v. Parker: ..."praised in the London Review of Books" Just read the article on Lee Child in a certain literary review and was surprised to find this rave notice...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

  • From the LRB Archive

    Chris Lehmann: The Candidates
    18 June 2015

    ‘Every one of the Republican candidates can be described as a full-blown adult failure. These are people who, in most cases, have been granted virtually every imaginable advantage on the road to success, and managed nevertheless to foul things up along the way.’

    Hugh Pennington:
    The Problem with Biodiversity
    10 May 2007

    ‘As a medical microbiologist, for example, I have spent my career fighting biodiversity: my ultimate aim has been to cause the extinction of harmful microbes, an objective shared by veterinary and plant pathologists. But despite more than a hundred years of concentrated effort, supported by solid science, smallpox has been the only success.’

    Jeremy Harding: At the Mexican Border
    20 October 2011

    ‘The battle against illegal migration is a domestic version of America’s interventions overseas, with many of the same trappings: big manpower commitments, militarisation, pursuit, detection, rendition, loss of life. The Mexican border was already the focus of attention before 9/11; it is now a fixation that shows no signs of abating.’

    James Meek: When the Floods Came
    31 July 2008

    ‘Last July, a few days after the floods arrived, with 350,000 people still cut off from the first necessity of life, Severn Trent held its annual general meeting. It announced profits of £325 million, and confirmed a dividend for shareholders of £143 million. Not long afterwards the company, with the consent of the water regulator Ofwat, announced that it wouldn’t be compensating customers: all would be charged as if they had had running water, even when they hadn’t.’

Advertisement Advertisement