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:: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 ::

This is a good example of what I was talking about.

US marine infantrymen sit blackened and exhausted after battle, eating popcorn and chocolate hearts under a defaced Saddam victory monument, one of many in Baghdad.

Just down the road, two young men steer a yellow and white grain harvester, straight off the showroom floor, past smouldering Iraqi tanks. The thieves wave and laugh at a US marine convoy taking a small group of journalists on a tour of Baghdad's so-called liberated south-east.

Here a man drives a new white forklift. There a family pushes a donkey cart laden with chairs from a military school. An old woman, wearing a black burqa, rolls a drum of fuel along the road. And a teenage boy struggles to carry an electric generator.

"Looting has got really bad in the past 24 hours," said US marine Warrant Officer John Collins, as the fight for Baghdad rages across the swirling dark waters of the Diyala River.

"It's out of control," he said. "But the shackles are off after years of repressive rule ... you can see, people are happy."

A good read.

:: Mark 11:55 AM [+] ::
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