4,939. 4/9/2003

In Iraq, following the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003, and the looting that ensued, “CentCom [Central Command] ignored the call for the Coalition to have a strong military police presence in all areas falling under the Coalition’s control. When looters saw that the new authority was unwilling or incapable of projecting its power, all inhibitions previously constraining the looters disappeared. Nearly every ministerial building was systematically stripped of its contents, and fires were ignited in the buildings, both to hide the crimes and to burn down the hated symbols of the state’s power. Hotels, palaces, villas of the elite, embassies, hospitals, barracks, power stations, water works, were all targeted and mostly looted, vandalised and burned down. …Baghdad’s police force, normally 40,000 strong, had disappeared, and there were no firefighters to dampen the flames.”

 – Ali A. Allawi, The Occupation of Iraq, Page 94

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