4,983. 4/21/2003

In April 2003, “after several days of euphoria following the arrival of U.S. troops in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital erupted in a frenzy of crime and looting. American soldiers, without orders, manpower or a plan to intervene, stood by while government facilities were stripped of everything from furniture and fine art to plumbing and electrical wiring. When the OHRA [Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance] team finally arrived on April 21 [2003], it found that seventeen of nearly two dozen government ministries had been completely destroyed. The Iraqi civil servants [OHRA head Jay] Garner had expected to call upon to restart the country–as well as the local police and military forces needed to restore order–had vanished. The telephone system no longer existed, and members of Garner’s team found themselves walking the chaotic streets of the city forlornly asking passersby if they knew anyone who worked for the government.”

 – Karen DeYoung, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell, Page 464

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