Saturday, April 12, 2003
Days after the liberation of Baghdad and Iraq, it appears that the Americans were indeed true to their word when they promised to import to Iraq something that is pretty rare and uncommon in Iraq and the Middle East in general.
No, not democracy (not so far anyway) but crime, lawlessness and chaos.
The country has indeed descended in to chaos – widespread looting, retribution and murder in a cultural exchange program not reminiscent of Jeffersonian Washington but Harlem or South Central Los Angeles.
A BBC World Service radio correspondent described looting as being "on an industrial scale".
On BBC television, a correspondent reporting live from amidst the looting (outside a building in Baghdad), weaved his way around the looters as he did the customary on-camera walk, accidentally got in the way one of them and said "excuse me" to the interrupted looter.
Probably half ironically but how very British is that.