Martin Kramer at The Corner, National Review Online, here. Posted retroactively at Sandstorm.
The looters have had a free reign in Basra, and people are being ruined in the process. British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon made light of the looting of palaces in the Commons on Monday—as though the mob would stop there. It hasn’t. Basrans would have been grateful had the British fired warning shots over the heads of looters—and then made an example of a few of them by shooting a tad low. It’s a bad start, and reflects too dogmatic an adherence to the “Iraqi freedom” mantra—which, in these circumstances, translates into Iraqi lawlessness. The Iraqis will get their freedom later, when they are ready to assume it. What they need now is firm policing from a resolute army of occupation.