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Those Iraqis: stepping right up

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Well-known member
Jul 4, 2005
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To loot and steal. You all remember this ceremony. The insurgents dropped a few mortar rounds close and all the guests scrambed for cover while the troops scrambled to find the shooters? Well, it's wonderful to see how well things are working out. Excerpts; link below; my emphasis.

"On Nov. 22, the top U.S. military and civilian leaders in Iraq handed over Saddam Hussein's most lavish palace compound to the safekeeping and control of the new Iraqi army and government, in a ceremony whose intended symbolism was as impossible to ignore as the military brass band.
"The passing of this facility is a simple ceremony that vividly demonstrates the continuing progress being made by the Iraqi government and their people," said Col. Mark McKnight, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, who handed the keys to the palaces to the governor of Salahuddin province.
But in the days after American forces and the Iraqi brass band pulled out of the circular palace drive on a bluff overlooking the Tigris River, local officials now say, looters moved in, ripping out doors, air conditioners, ceiling fans and light-switch plates from some of the compound's 136 palaces, leaving little more than plaster and dangling electric wires.
The culprits are some of the same Iraqi security forces and officials to whom Americans transferred control, police and the governor say
"Thank God we were able to save the walls from the looters, because everything else was stolen," Gov. Hamed Hamood Shekti said by telephone.

“Shekti, the governor, said in his remarks that day that the handover highlighted "many national aspirations and goals. The first aspiration is the day when all multinational forces will be able to leave Iraq. The second aspiration is convincing the court of world opinion that the people of Iraq are able to manage their affairs independently."

“In Washington, the Bush administration trumpeted the handover. "The Iraqi forces are becoming more capable on a daily basis, and so this was, I think, an important example of that process moving forward,"State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that day. "It was, I think, symbolically important that this was a handover of one of Saddam's former palaces that he built in his home town, and now Iraqi forces that truly represent the will of the Iraqi people are now going to have control of that palace."

“When Hiazza formally accused Jabara and some members of the provincial council in connection with the alleged looting, authorities abruptly transferred Hiazza north to Baiji, an insurgent hotbed. "The reason they transferred me is definitely I will get killed there," Hiazza said. He resigned instead.”


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