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How much looting would you permit yourself?

  1. Apr 14, 2003 #1
    If I imagine I'm an Iraqi in post-Saddam mode, I can see myself joyfully participating in the looting of his palaces and Baath party offices and ministries. I can even see myself smashing stautes of the "great" leader, taking a leak on his office floor, making off with a bag of $100 bills I'd found in his son's luxury apartment.

    But there is no way I could bring myself to steal light bulbs from hospitals, nor food from shops (unless my family was starving), nor even smash pottery in the museum.

    I would be a responsible looter in other words.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2003 #2

    FZ+

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    That's all nice to say now, but can you really do that with such restraint in reality? Never underestimate the capability of mob violence to get rapidly out of hand...
     
  4. Apr 14, 2003 #3

    arivero

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    I'd distiguish between looting and vandalism. I'd get things I could use.

    Also, after a couple days of chaos I'd call my workers union and suggest to go to restablish the water & electricite services &c. If only to avoid another dictator coming "to put order".

    But I'd enjoy looting. We did it once, after a old aunt died without a will. All the family went to remove every corner of the house, looking for lost money &c. Myself I got a comic book my aunt read me.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2003 #4

    russ_watters

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    I would distinguish too, but I think in the opposite way. Iraqis are looting because they are poor. I doubt they take much enjoyment from that fact. But they do (and I would) seem to take much enjoyment from vandalizing - when the vandalism is directed at symbols of Saddam's regime.
     
  6. Apr 15, 2003 #5
    People are social animals. Put them together, let a few break out in laughter and soon everyone is laughing. I think it is something akin to a feeding frenzy that sharks are noted for engaging in (I think they even bite each other sometimes while they are at it). Break a window, let off some steam, pocket something for your own personal greed, go a little bit crazy, live a little…haha.
    I imagine there would be a powerful urge to join in the festivities and perhaps the best way for avoiding your own involvement would be to lock yourself in a room and wait until it ended ‘cause if you get started you may not be able to stop. Why should the others have all the fun?
    Did not people loot in Los Angeles during some rioting they had over there some years ago? How poor were these people and did they take delight in the destruction they were causing?
     
  7. Apr 15, 2003 #6
    I don't know..I think some folks were looting for profit, and others were looting because they are angry.
     
  8. Apr 15, 2003 #7
    There must be lots of emotions at play, add to them poverty, follow the pack mentality, thieving and gangterism.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2003
  9. Apr 15, 2003 #8

    arivero

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    A deep point you are doing. Should the Revolution be an enjoyable event? At the current status, it seems that only a few theoreticians would get enjoyment of the looting, while most people will need other sources of joy, such as vandalism. Not very optimistic, this.
     
  10. Apr 21, 2003 #9
    If the IRAQI people are smart , they should especially return all the items that were looted from the museums. This can be reffered to during the french revolution when the French people after looting the Palace of Versailles , return all the items , even though most of them were very valuble. This move was a smart move on the part of the French people of the time because it ultimately helped them preserve their past and encourage a sense of nationalism which helped them through WWI and WWII.

    Most of these items from the Iraqi museums are not only from the Iraqi people's history but from human history as many of the artifacts looted were from the Babylonian and Assyrian time , who were one of the first people in the world to establish a civilization.
     
  11. Apr 21, 2003 #10
    Supposedly it's looking like the museum looting was a professional job.

    I wonder how many of the stolen artifacts will eventually end up on the Upper East Side....
     
  12. Apr 22, 2003 #11
    The looting of government ministries might also have had a Baath Party component, destroying documents about Iraq's weapons programs. Another reason why this problem should have been thought of in advance. It wasn't enough to guard the ministry of oil.
     
  13. Apr 22, 2003 #12
    ^^^ ??? If Ba'ath wanted to destroy its documents on weapons programs, they had a loong time to do it.
     
  14. Apr 22, 2003 #13

    russ_watters

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    Fortunately for us, criminal dictators generally keep copious records. I don't understand why, but they feel the need to thorougly document their crimes.
     
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