Skip to comments.Spin on looting depends on whether it's at home or away(grrrr)
Posted on 04/20/2003 7:49:46 PM PDT by chasio649
The looting in Iraq that the U.S.-led war spawned has a familiar look. It appears an awful lot like Los Angeles and other major American cities after the first verdicts in the police beating of Rodney King 11 years ago this month.
In Iraq, people have broken into warehouses, government buildings, shops and homes to take everything they could carry. That included TVs, computers, tools, furniture, toilets, air conditioners, plants, refrigerators, light bulbs, ceiling fans, food and money.
Priceless antiquities in museums and books in libraries in the birthplace of civilization have been stolen. The losses are among the high, needless price humanity pays for war.
But what also is curious is such acts were labeled lawlessness after the April 29, 1992, acquittals of four white Los Angeles police officers in the infamous videotaped beating of King in 1991. Police and troops helped restore order in Los Angeles and numerous cities.
In the last month, U.S. troops and relentless bombings destroyed order in Iraq, leading to the looting and lawlessness in that nation. But U.S. officials have colored what took place in Iraq differently from what occurred in U.S. cities.
In Iraq, officials said the looting was driven by pent-up hatred of ousted President Saddam Hussein as well as a craving of the impoverished people to take anything from the regime that had neglected their needs. But spin doctors could easily have blamed years of abusive police treatment of minorities and the government for not meeting people's needs for the disorder in 1992.
A report after the unrest at home said police had no plan to handle any fallout from the first verdicts in the King beatings. The Bush administration also failed to anticipate the lawlessness that the war created in Iraq.
Administration officials also are fumbling to develop a plan for a lasting peace.
The Vietnam War model of destroying a village to save it is still unacceptable. Reconstruction in Iraq must undo 12 years of sanctions and a month of death, destruction and looting that the U.S.-led war has caused.
Los Angeles and other cities haven't fully recovered from the '92 riots. Racial tension, joblessness, underemployment, deficient schools, crime and poverty remain crushing problems in cities nationwide.
Iraq is in horrible shape, too. War casualties have caused a massive brain drain.
The war also has crushed Iraq's infrastructure. A lot of what was left has been looted. Remaking this country into an enviable jewel of Middle Eastern democracy won't be easy.
Another area of need is Afghanistan. The U.S. war against terrorism there did not end the fighting and unrest.
Both wars, however, did create global expectations that America's influence would result in just, democratic governments in Iraq and Afghanistan and a lasting peace and prosperity for the Middle East. However, people of color have yet to enjoy those lofty ideals at home.
But that shouldn't stop Afghans and Iraqis from demanding what minorities in America have yet to receive. They should insist on good housing.
Factories and offices should be built so people can work in communities where they live. They should demand job security, universal health care and a living wage.
Afghans and Iraqis need quality schools, topflight teachers for their children and an affordable college education. That would pull those nations out of bombed-out, vacant lot conditions like those in many cities in America and ensure that the next generation has a productive future.
The Afghan and Iraqi people need representative governments free from the polluting influences of racism, corruption and money. They need elected officials who will respond to the people.
These are all of the things that Afghanistan and Iraq need to replace the lawlessness, despair and looting. But they also are what minorities in cities like Los Angeles and Kansas City are still waiting for at home.
I think the looting has been as traumatic and destructive as the war and I don't think it was anticipated. Now we have to respond to it and fix things up. It is our job. There is no media plot to make Bush look bad. The looting was just terrible and we have to face it and not blame somebody else.
This author's comparisons to the race riots in 1992, however, severely strain credibility:
But spin doctors could easily have blamed years of abusive police treatment of minorities
Where are the facts to back up this assertion? I don't mean to argue that police departments have never been touched by bigotry and corruption, but the above hypothesis is still very much disputed.
and the government for not meeting people's needs for the disorder in 1992.
Liberal brain rot. People are not the wards of the state.
Reconstruction in Iraq must undo 12 years of sanctions and a month of death, destruction and looting that the U.S.-led war has caused.
Did the author deliberately leave out the three decades of Hussein's brutal rule, Hussein's flagrant disregard for United Nations resolutions, etc.? I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but...
Racial tension, joblessness, underemployment, deficient schools, crime and poverty remain crushing problems in cities nationwide.
How, precisely, these very real issues compare to the suffering of a people living under a tyrant is something the author never explains. As for how he proposes to solve the above urban problems, well, I get into that below.
Remaking this country into an enviable jewel of Middle Eastern democracy won't be easy.
Who has argued that it will be easy?
They should demand job security, universal health care and a living wage.
All policies that have met with unmitigated disaster wherever they've been tried. Though I suppose part of me would be quite amused to see this author try to explain to the Iraqis, years from now, why they must now wait in line for heart surgery.
There's no thinking here- just the usual Democratic/Socialist/Communist talking points.