Sunday, May 30, 2004
Mistake 1 – Looting!
People began to hear reports of widespread pillaging of food stores, government buildings, central malls…and even hospitals. Some of these places, including telephone exchange buildings that had not been bombed, were burned down!
In the absence of any police force, people had to resort to their own resources to protect themselves, their families and property. Within two days of Baghdad’s fall, a BBC reporter (I think it was Paul Wood) described Baghdad a “city of barricades”.
That was a truly amazing event: a city of more than 5 million people, without any means of transportation or communication made a simultaneous, uncoordinated effort to fight back the looters and to prevent the spread of prowling to their neighborhoods.
In almost every neighborhood in Baghdad, armed young men barricaded the approaches to their inner streets and stood guard night and day! In some places, they even started fighting back; attacking the looters (shooting them when necessary), locking them up in deserted police stations and taking back the spoils and depositing them in mosques!
Then reports that American soldiers were actually encouraging the looters and even ramming open some building doors for them began to filter through!
When asked about these incidents, Secretary Rumsfeld, took the whole thing lightly and explained it away as a manifestation of joy and freedom from oppression!
President Bush was talking about the end of military operations and that Iraq was now secure!