Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Policeman to the World?
April 4, 2003 10:59 PM   Subscribe

Policeman to the World?
Andrew Buncombe in Nasiriyah reports on this "liberated" city "where looters run wild and death stalks the streets."
    "While much of the Iraqi army and Fedayeen militia may have been destroyed or forced underground, the city has been given over to lawlessness and looting. Yesterday, the Saddam Hospital itself was pillaged by a gang of 20 armed looters, who made off with a haul of drugs. They even looted several of the hospital's ambulances. What is clear is that Nasiriyah is neither safe nor secure. If this is an example of how the war will unfold in other cities throughout Iraq, it does not bode well.

posted by Dunvegan (12 comments total)

 
who made off with a haul of drugs.

If they grabbed some Oxycontin I can get 50 bucks a pill for it. Sounds like the first thing the US needs to do is hire Rudy G to clean up the streets of Iraq. I also have to ask, did anyone not expect some robbing, and stealing to go on? Hell we can't have the lights go out in this country without some good ol fashioned looting.
posted by jbou at 11:21 PM on April 4, 2003



The fact that each Oxycontin pill sells for such right rates is incredibly fucking ridiculous.

I spent some time doing drugs in college, and as an avid consumer of things legal and illegal, I can't believe the set price rates. Fucking incredible.. what someone will pay for a tiny pill of Oxycodone.. The Quaalude of the meeleneum (!)

posted by shadow45 at 11:52 PM on April 4, 2003


jbou-shadow45.

hahaha... you guys are funny. hahaha.


thanks for posting the sad article, Dunvegan, it sounds like afganistan is sliding back into chaos and it doesnt sound like the iraq mess is too promising as greedy (is there another word for these people) SOBs argue over the coming spoils of war.
posted by specialk420 at 12:25 AM on April 5, 2003


Nothing shoud ever be done anywhere unless it can all happen like a Disney movie.
posted by HTuttle at 12:31 AM on April 5, 2003


Anything can be done anywhere, no matter if it looks like a Arnold Schwartzenegger movie.
posted by 4easypayments at 12:38 AM on April 5, 2003


So just so I am clear....

1) I am supposed to be surprised or shocked that there might be lawlessness in a city that is currently the battleground for a major war.

2) The looting that is happening is supposed to dissuade me from the national interests that led us to war?

3) I am supposed to say "oh no! looting!" and then move to bring back the murdering dictator who kept some semblance of law while he oppressed the nation and tortured all who oppose him.

You must be kidding.

"... at least the trains ran on time!"
posted by soulhuntre at 12:44 AM on April 5, 2003


Nope, soulhuntre...just noting that we shouldn't forget that we'll need to backup soon and sweat the small stuff if this "regime change" thing is going to work.

Oh...and there also was this curious mental image I had of a Hunter Thompsonesque raid on the hospital, where the hooligans escaped past astonished Iraqi physicians with bulging hospital-issue pillow cases full of mind-altering contraband via jacked ambulance...careening down the cobblestones and alleyways of Nasiriyah, with their sirens bleating full-blast a discordant song of war angst, fear and loathing.
posted by Dunvegan at 1:02 AM on April 5, 2003


"Policeman, Fireman...I think we can both agree we'd have a big bushy mustache."

Steve Carell, The Daily Show.
posted by CrazyJub at 8:29 AM on April 5, 2003


The looting that is happening is supposed to dissuade me from the national interests that led us to war?

Well, since those 'national interests' (Saddam has weapons of mass destruction that he's ready to use; Saddam poses an immediate threat to the USA) appear to have been proved utter bullshit, you'd better believe that the US and British will be playing the 'liberation' bait-and-switch pretty hard. And when that 'liberation' turns out itself to be bullshit in several areas (Najaf, for instance, was bought up with suitcases of US dollars for local gang leaders) it's time to look out for a new justification.

Anyway, Bush goes to Northern Ireland on Monday. I fucking well hope he's taken up the Falls and Shankhill Roads, to see just what sort of situation he's going to be dealing with in Iraq for the next 30 years.
posted by riviera at 9:24 AM on April 5, 2003


I fucking well hope he's taken up the Falls and Shankhill Roads, to see just what sort of situation he's going to be dealing with in Iraq for the next 30 years.

You know, if it's going to be that bad, maybe Bush won't declare himself dictator for life after all! ;)
posted by kindall at 9:36 AM on April 5, 2003


Another perspective to explore: just cuz you can't see the bugs in the dark, doesn't mean they're not there. There is no evidence to suggest one way or the other that criminal activity just suddenly erupted out of nowhere once the Taliban fell. It's just that under a militant regime:

1) The penalties for being caught were more severe, so any black market activities would have been much more secretive under such government control, and
2) In some cases the illegal activities would have been under the influence or control of the government in power at the time, and therefore the distinction of lawlessness would be put into question, but not whether such behavior was immoral or unethical.

Without a controlling government, such illicit behavior goes unchecked and becomes more prominent, much like insects which live in the walls of a house and only come out in the dark. Though unseen during the day, the bugs are still there. Afghanistan suffered from lawlessness prior to the fall of the Taliban, in some cases the behavior was encouraged by the Taliban. The American presence there is not a catalyst to such behavior, but now that the ruling power of the country is in a state of flux, such illicit behavior is more prominent and will continue to be until there is an unopposed government influence in the region, at which point the insects of humanity will go back underground. Out of sight, out of mind.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:48 AM on April 5, 2003


Nope, soulhuntre...just noting that we shouldn't forget that we'll need to backup soon and sweat the small stuff if this "regime change" thing is going to work.

I agree entirely - winning a war is NOT the same thing as changing a country - especially one that has been under the dictatorship and oppression of a regime as brutal as the one in Iraw. But without winning the war the process cannot begin.

"situation he's going to be dealing with in Iraq for the next 30 years."

I doubt it seriously. I have very little reason to believe people will spend 30 years trying to make sure Iraq is put back under a totalitarian dictatorship.

You know, there have been a lot of nay-sayers ont his. People telling us we'll never get far, that we will be pulled into a battle with the whole Arab world, that the iraq citizens will rise up en masse and fight for their adored dictator, that we will face instant international sanction and so on.

None of it has happened.

Accept it - we're going to win, and it turns out that this is a good thing.
posted by soulhuntre at 12:48 AM on April 6, 2003


« Older SITE Environmental Design...  |  US forces 'move on Baghdad cen... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments