Sunday, April 13, 2003

Thanks for the thoughtful discussion on the looting of antiquities below. I hadn't been online since yesterday afternoon, and when I saw 22 comments attached to that post, I thought, "oh no..." but my fears were unfounded. A thoughtful discussion, to which I will only add...

there is no such thing as a cookie cutter "citizen of Baghdad." Looting hospitals and museums is not characteristic behavior for the citizenry, I would imagine. A city of 5 million can hold a lot of sociopaths and criminals.

But I still remain convinced that more should have been done to anticipate this. And - if we can spare Marines to guard the Oil Ministry, we can spare them to guard hospitals, as well.

I have no doubt that in the next week, barring some disaster on another front, aid will begin pouring into Baghdad and calm will be restored, at least in regard to the looting. The whole issue of the replacement of civil authority is going to remain an interesting one, though, what with the ties that pre-war law enforcement has to the Baath party, inter-religious strife, ethnic strife in the North, as well as the tension between the Iraqi insistence that since the Coalition brought this destruction and opened the way for this situation, it has a responsibility to see it through and fix it, and their negative feelings about an American presence, especially a ruling one..

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