Looting In Iraq

Of course the anti-war protesters were not worried about the US losing. To say that is to completely miss the point. They were worried about what would happen after the war, how unstable the region would become, what would happen to Iraq and its people. According to the most recent reports, soldiers were completely unprepared, or unwilling, to stop looting in Iraq. This is just one singular example at the beginning of the occupation, so there is no evidence it indicates a trend, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.

“We were ready for the bombs,” Amin said. “Not the looters.”

As she quickly walked through more than three dozen rooms, Amin did not catalog what was missing or damaged. There was just too much. But every few minutes, she would stop in front of an empty pedestal or a decapitated statue.

“This was priceless,” she sobbed as she pointed to two seated marble deities from the temple at Harta that had been defaced with a hammer. Later, after observing more damage, she broke down again. “It feels like all my family has died,” she wept.

Aid workers, Iraqis, even US officials all believe that this action was predicted by all and the US should have done something to stop it. And yet, our military, our very effective and powerful military, which did do a very good job of taking the country, was unprepared for this?

Privately, some U.S. officials involved in reconstruction have expressed concern that failure to quickly crack down on looting could have worrisome, long-term consequences for the transitional government that the Bush administration wants to set up here. “By not being more aggressive now, there is the risk of bigger problems later,” one official said.