LOOTING AND LIES: Jonathan Foreman on what CNN, the BBC, et al, haven’t mentioned about the looting in Baghdad:
The hysterical tone of some press reports may reflect the fact that some of the reporters who have been sitting in Baghdad for months have lost sight of the nature of the Saddam regime: They are mystified by the exhilaration felt by so many liberated Iraqis.
But the failure of so many reports to mention the fact that many of the looted stores, institutions and even hospitals were linked to the regime is more troubling. These institutions were dedicated to the exclusive use of Ba’ath Party members – the ordinary public could not make use of them – or were owned and operated by known supporters of the regime.
It’s not clear if this whale of an omission reflects disingenuousness or genuine ignorance.
But it is telling that some of the doctors now being quoted about the horrors of looting are the same ones who furnished journalists those massively exaggerated reports of civilian casualties from U.S. bombing – a dishonesty that benefited both the regime they served and the journalists’ need for a dramatic story of American cruelty.
UPDATE: See also this InstaPost about who might be behind the looting of Iraq’s National Museum.