The Art Of Looting
By Garner Ted Armstrong
While it is too early to declare victory – many pockets of resistance remain – it is nevertheless obvious that the war in Iraq is virtually won. Dramatic scenes of the toppling of a huge statue of Saddam Hussein in the center of Baghdad have been seen by millions.
What is not so well reported or plainly seen is the rampant looting of government facilities. One commentator said, "The Iraqis have made looting an art form." He said they were carrying off everything that is not nailed down. One report said a large gasoline generator was being dragged down the street, sparks flying from its metal skids. Chairs, tables, lamps, rugs, paintings, fixtures, furniture of all descriptions were being taken, or pried loose from the walls.
An "art form"? In the chaos following the toppling of Saddam's brutal, torturing regime, perhaps the Iraqis who are doing the looting feel it is "owed" them. Not so. Two wrongs do not make a right. Sin plus sin does not equal no sin, anymore than poison plus poison equals no poison.
But the biggest looters of all were meeting in Moscow a couple of days ago. And they are truly making looting into an art form. Like a skillful painter, creating illusions and impressions with his brushes and paints, the leaders of Russia, Germany and France have caucused together, working on how they might salvage something out of the post-Saddam era. In a way, they remind me of the anti-war protestors, the liberal media, and the UN. Like Hans Blix and all those who pled for more time; like so many tens of thousands who called this an "unjust war"; a war which would kill "tens of thousands of innocent civilians"; a war which would, according to Al Jezeerah Arabic Television and Assad of Syria, backfire on the Coalition, and result in a stalemate, with the US and UK forced to withdraw in ignominy. Like the Iraqi "information minister" who kept saying Iraq was victorious, and denying a single US soldier was in Baghdad, when they were only 200 yards away from his building, many of our media have also made lying and disinformation into an art form.
Suddenly, the cheering, waving, dancing, jubilant crowds in the heart of Baghdad gave the lie to all the protests. They, the UN, Hans Blix, the entire Islamic world, France, Germany, Russia and China were all wrong. Don't hold your breath hoping any of them will ever admit it.
Once local citizens began pointing out what was behind the door in Saddam's son's headquarters, and telling stories of hundreds of political prisoners being crowded into a small room; of tongues being cut out, of fingernails pulled; of electric shock; of chemical baths; of brutal, mindless, ghastly murder, there were a few (and only a few) who actually recanted. I don't know if they are repentant former liberals, but they (the few) recanted. Bully for them. And if it is too little, too late, at least they had the common decency and good grace to admit they were wrong.
Today, as I listened to a major nationally syndicated talk show (No, not Rush Limbaugh), I heard several such people, including some former Clinton Democrats – one of whom had actually been an anti-war demonstrator in the streets of San Francisco – call the host and say they were proud of George Bush; proud of our troops; disgusted with themselves and some of their friends. One man said, "When I saw all the pot smoking and booze being passed around (during the anti-war demonstration) I decided I could not be involved any more." You will not hear such statements from Hollywood "actors and actresses" who went on record as supporters of Saddam and his torture chambers. Nor will you hear such statements from such major newspapers in the US as the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times. They were all wrong, but it is to be doubted they will ever admit it.
Meanwhile, what do you suppose our reluctant trio of non-participants were discussing in Moscow?
Probably the conversations went something like this: Chirac might have said: "We French are, after all, owed a major part in the reconstruction of Iraq. We helped Saddam with his air force by supplying him with our Mirage fighters, his anti-ship missiles, his nuclear reactor, and many of his more exotic weapons."
Putin might have said, "We Russians demand an equal voice. Did not we supply Saddam with all his main battle tanks; his many MIG aircraft; hundreds of thousands of our Kalishnikovs; uniforms, supplies of all kinds? Our Ambassador and his staff were among the last to leave."
The German leader, not to be outdone, might have said, "Ach! Vos is los? Ve Chermans also helped Saddam. Ve buildt many of his underground bunkers. Ve supplied chemicals. Ve sent many Cherman businessmen to Iraq; ve helped mit his infrastructure, his communications, his transportation; ve sent many big trucks, all his Mercedes limosines!"
Probably, most of their conversation centered on just how to approach Tony Blair and George Bush.
How do they now begin to claim they knew the ultimate outcome; that they are thankful no further loss of life was necessary; that they are ready to "help with humanitarian relief"?
A particular kind of "art form" is required for this type of looting.
It will require deftness, illusion, suggestion, clever misdirection, prevarication, and a hypocritical facade. And it will work.
Sadly, the US and the UK seem all too ready to allow our three reluctant "friends" to get away with their looting, just like US and UK forces deemed it unwise to stop the Iraqis from stripping government buildings to the bare walls.
One could wish the US and UK, meaning Bush and Blair, would just ignore the UN. Pretend it does not exist. Treat it as utterly irrelevant. Never talk to Kofi Annan again.
Alas! The illusory false monster of "world public opinion" looms.
For, after all, are not Syria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Yemen, Qatar, the UAE, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines all members of the United Nations? And wouldn't it be wonderful if the UN – which along with our three reluctant debutantes, tried to sabotage the war – gave its blessing to the victory won with American and British blood?
What an ugly scene it will be when the oil which will begin to flow out of Iraq will be bought with euros as well as dollars. Iraq is about to be looted of much more than furniture.
What is truly sad is that the US and UK seem ready to be robbed of their victory!
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