Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

This is Not "Looting"

I have been watching the liberation in Baghdad and Basra, the people pouring into the streets, throwing flowers onto American tankers, ripping up pictures of Saddam, and hauling out of government buildings the possessions that have been stolen from them for 30 years. It’s just like Paris in 1944. Pity the French don’t remember. I’ve been impressed with Fox News for telling the truth about the "looting," namely that the target is not one’s neighbor but the tyrannical hierarchy. It’s completely different from the LA riots where a group of racists and thugs tore into their neighbors homes and businesses merely because they were vulnerable and Koreans. Calling both cases "looting" is a moral mistake.

Discussions - 4 Comments

I must disagree. My dictionary defines looting (or "loot," rather) as "To plunder; to carry off as plunder or a prize lawfully obtained by war."

As you can see, it’s very much an appropriate term to use in this instance.

So its looting. Sometimes looting is appropriate.

I have to agree with Dr. Tiel on this one. Bellow is the empirical evidence, that the Iraqi people themselves make a sharp distinction.

An Iraqi looter has been stoned to death by locals after stealing goods from shops in Basra. The man was part of a four-man gang caught by an angry mob amid widescale thieving in the city.

Details of the incident are scarce but a British Army spokesman said locals took retribution by stoning the gang and one of the men died at the scene. Captain Jodie Smith, of the Royal Logistic Corps, which is overseeing aid delivery in the city, said:

"Clearly we don’t condone looting and or vigilante action and this incident will be thoroughly investigated...The people here have been repressed for so long by the regime and often they are stripping official buildings and Baath Party offices. But clearly there is a line that the local population has decided shall not be crossed and it appears the men who were stoned had stepped over it."

On the other hand, if you want "loot" you can go to Ebay. Or check out this short article, for details:

News outlets are now reporting that the looting in Baghdad and other cities has now gone well-beyond government buildings. It’s now occurring in hospitals and shops.

This excerpt is taken from reporter David Willis’ blog (Willis is in Baghdad on assignment):

The situation is very chaotic here. A desperate situation in the city’s hospitals.

Initially the targets were government buildings but now it is also shops.

In some parts we believe religious leaders are trying to stop people from the looting.

Many people are staying in behind locked doors hoping the army will get the situation under control. They are petrified and remain without power and in some cases food.

Regardless of what you wish to call it, the comparison of looting in Baghdad to what occurred in Los Angeles Riots cannot be considered a "moral mistake."

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