Saturday, April 12, 2003
Donald Rumsfeld damns reports of looting in Baghdad.
Calling rampant looting and lawlessness in Iraq an "untidy" period between war and freedom, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Friday condemned media reports that anarchy ruled in Iraqi cities.
Rumsfeld and the chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that U.S. troops were struggling to secure Baghdad and intervening when possible to stop looting two days after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's rule.
"It's untidy. And freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things," stormed Rumsfeld, his hand chopping the air for emphasis in response to reporters' questions at a Pentagon briefing.
Well done, Donald, you've now made what is quite possibly the stupidest and most morally vacuous statement of the entire war so far, and thank you for managing to undercut every law known to man in one fell swoop with those words. Free people are free to do bad things? Fine. I'm a free person. If the weather holds up tonight I might go out and kill someone because I'm a free person and free people, as you say, are free to commit crimes. That IS the logic of what you said, isn't it? Cos hey, if it's good enough for the people of Iraq who we've liberated, it must be good enough for the rest of us, yes?
Media reports from Baghdad and other cities overrun by the U.S.-led invasion have chronicled an orgy of looting, often by armed men, at government buildings but also at local shops, private businesses and hospitals, which have been stripped.
The secretary condemned the reports, which have marred the image of exuberant Iraqis welcoming the troops. The invasion ended more than two decades of brutal rule by Saddam.
He said television images of acts of looting and violence were played "over and over again" for sensational effect.
"The images you are seeing on television, you are seeing over and over and over, and it's the same picture, of some person walking out of some building with a vase," he said. [...]
"I picked up a newspaper today, and I couldn't believe it," he said. "I read eight headlines. And it talked about chaos, violence, unrest ... I've never seen anything like it."
"And here is a country that's being liberated. Here are people who are going from being repressed and held under the thumb of a vicious dictator. And they're free."
Yes, they're free all right... to loot banks and ravage libraries, to trash museums, to kill clerics and do suicide attacks on their liberators, shit like that... Just think, they never had the freedom to do these things before, did they? It's a beautiful thing, all right. Anyway, they're free, and if that's good enough for Donald that's good enough for me. If he doesn't care about how they're using their freedom, no reason why we should either. Obviously the media is what we should be complaining about; we don't need to stop the violence and stuff, we just need to get the media not to talk about it. Clearly the problem is not that scenes like this are happening:
The REAL problem is that the media are reporting these scenes. Damn them! Damn them to Hell! Just like those bastards in the media to do inconvenient things like report stuff, isn't it Donald? It surely is outrageous that they're reporting these events... it's just sad these events are happening in the first place.