12 Apr 03. The harrowing TV pictures of looting following the coalition liberation of Iraqi cities is a sad result of liberation from a tyrant and not unusual, as Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday.
Cries from Relief organisations to bring order back to the cities have not been left unheeded but the coalition troops are still fighting in some areas and simply have not the manpower to control all looting and rioting. A curfew is being imposed in some cities and a police force being fielded in Basra and Baghdad.
Whilst these scenes of mayhem in Iraq make harrowing TV viewing, Europe is experiencing its own upheavals, with the recession in Europe claiming its first victims, with 30000 bankrupts registered this year alone in the UK. This will lead to the expected holocaust of divorce and family break-up and homelessness. Unpublished evidence suggests that over 250,000 men have lost contact with their families after being forced to leave their homes through Court orders or threats of eviction following allegations.
Antony Beevor’s excellent book, ‘Berlin’ quotes the frightening statistics that Berlin had 95-130,00 rape victims following the Russian occupation. Out of 100,000 raped at least 10,00 committed suicide. In total over 2 million women are believed to have been raped. The plunder in Berlin continued well into the occupation. On 3 August, three months after the surrender in Berlin Zhukov had to issue even tougher regulations to control ‘robbery’, physical violence and ‘scandalous events’. Out of a total of 33,00 hospital beds only 8500 could be used. A population which had stood at 2.2 milllion in 1940 was reduced to 193,00 at the end of May 1945.