Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)
April 11, 2003

U.S. Troops Encouraged Ransacking

by Ole Rothenborg

Arab interpreters in the tanks told the people to go and take what they wanted in the building.

'The word spread quickly and the building was ransacked. I was standing only 300 yards from there when the guards were murdered. Afterwards the tank crushed the entrance to the Justice Department, which was in a neighboring building, and the plundering continued there'.


["UNITED NATIONS officials have rebuked British commanders for urging local residents to loot buildings belonging to the Iraqi Army and the ruling Baath Party. . . .

"Armoured units from the Desert Rats stood by and watched earlier this week as scores of excited Iraqis picked clean every floor and every room of the Baath Party headquarters building in Basra after it had been raided by British troops. . . .

"But UN officials said last night that such behaviour was against the Geneva Convention and bred a dangerous mood of anarchy."--Daniel McGrory, "UN and Army at odds as troops encourage looting," Times, April 5, 2003]

["The Americans have, though, put hundreds of troops inside two Iraqi ministries that remain untouched . . . . the Ministry of Interior, of course - with its vast wealth of intelligence information on Iraq - and the Ministry of Oil."--Robert Fisk, "Americans defend two untouchable ministries from the hordes of looters," Independent, April 14, 2003]

["General Tommy Franks is threatened with a Belgian war crimes trial alleging US troops failed to prevent looting in Iraq. BBC News Online uncovers evidence suggesting his soldiers even egged on some looters."--Jonathan Duffy, "US troops 'encouraged' Iraqi looters," BBC News Online, May 6, 2003]

Simon Robinson, "Coalition troops looted and vandalized the Iraqi airport that now must be rebuilt, Time Magazine, July 6, 2003

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