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XyZspineZyX
07-07-2003, 05:15 PM
Grounding Planes the Wrong Way

Coalition troops looted and vandalized the Iraqi airport that now must be rebuilt

Posted Sunday, July 6, 2003

Much has been written about how Iraqis complicated the task of rebuilding their country by looting it after Saddam Hussein's regime fell. In the case of the international airport outside Baghdad, however, the theft and vandalism were conducted largely by victorious American troops, according to U.S. officials, Iraqi Airways staff members and other airport workers. The troops, they say, stole duty-free items, needlessly shot up the airport and trashed five serviceable Boeing airplanes. "I don't want to detract from all the great work that's going into getting the airport running again," says Lieut. John Welsh, the Army civil-affairs officer charged with bringing the airport back into operation.

"But you have got to ask, If this could have been avoided, did we shoot ourselves in the foot here?"

What was then called Saddam International Airport fell to soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division on April 3. For the next two weeks, airport workers say, soldiers sleeping in the airport's main terminal helped themselves to items in the duty-free shop, including alcohol, cassettes, perfume, cigarettes and expensive watches. Welsh, who arrived in Iraq in late April, was so alarmed by the thievery that he rounded up a group of Iraqi airport employees to help him clean out the shop and its storage area. He locked everything in two containers and turned them over to the shop's owner. "The man had tears in his eyes when I showed him what we had saved," says Welsh. "He thought he'd lost everything."

Coalition soldiers also vandalized the airport, American sources say. A boardroom table that Welsh and Iraqi civil-aviation authority officials sat around in early May was, a week later, a pile of glass and splintered wood. Terminal windows were smashed, and almost every door in the building was broken, says Welsh. A TIME photographer who flew out of the airport on April 12 saw wrecked furniture and English-language graffiti throughout the airport office building as well as a sign warning that soldiers caught vandalizing or looting would be court-martialed. "There was no chance this was done by Iraqis" before the airport fell, says a senior Pentagon official. "The airport was secure when this was done." Iraqi airport staff concede that some of the damage was inflicted by Iraqi exiles attached to the Army, but these Iraqis too were under American control.

The airplanes suffered the greatest damage. Of the 10 Iraqi Airways jets on the tarmac when the airport fell, a U.S. inspection in early May found that five were serviceable: three 727s, a 747 and a 737. Over the next few weeks, U.S. soldiers looking for comfortable seats and souvenirs ripped out many of the planes' fittings, slashed seats, damaged cockpit equipment and popped out every windshield. "It's unlikely any of the planes will fly again," says Welsh, a reservist who works for the aviation firm Pratt & Whitney as a quality-control liaison officer to Boeing.

U.S. estimates of the cost of the damage and theft begin at a few million dollars and go as high as $100 million. Airport workers say even now air conditioners and other equipment are regularly stolen. "Soldiers do this stuff all the time, everywhere. It's warfare," says a U.S. military official. "But the conflict was over when this was done. These are just bored soldiers." Says Welsh: "If we're here to rebuild the country, then anything we break we have to fix. We need to train these guys to go from shoot-it-up to securing infrastructure. Otherwise we're just making more work for ourselves. And we have to pay for it."

Source: time.com

Message Edited on 07/07/0312:48PM by V3-Dev

XyZspineZyX
07-07-2003, 05:15 PM
Grounding Planes the Wrong Way

Coalition troops looted and vandalized the Iraqi airport that now must be rebuilt

Posted Sunday, July 6, 2003

Much has been written about how Iraqis complicated the task of rebuilding their country by looting it after Saddam Hussein's regime fell. In the case of the international airport outside Baghdad, however, the theft and vandalism were conducted largely by victorious American troops, according to U.S. officials, Iraqi Airways staff members and other airport workers. The troops, they say, stole duty-free items, needlessly shot up the airport and trashed five serviceable Boeing airplanes. "I don't want to detract from all the great work that's going into getting the airport running again," says Lieut. John Welsh, the Army civil-affairs officer charged with bringing the airport back into operation.

"But you have got to ask, If this could have been avoided, did we shoot ourselves in the foot here?"

What was then called Saddam International Airport fell to soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division on April 3. For the next two weeks, airport workers say, soldiers sleeping in the airport's main terminal helped themselves to items in the duty-free shop, including alcohol, cassettes, perfume, cigarettes and expensive watches. Welsh, who arrived in Iraq in late April, was so alarmed by the thievery that he rounded up a group of Iraqi airport employees to help him clean out the shop and its storage area. He locked everything in two containers and turned them over to the shop's owner. "The man had tears in his eyes when I showed him what we had saved," says Welsh. "He thought he'd lost everything."

Coalition soldiers also vandalized the airport, American sources say. A boardroom table that Welsh and Iraqi civil-aviation authority officials sat around in early May was, a week later, a pile of glass and splintered wood. Terminal windows were smashed, and almost every door in the building was broken, says Welsh. A TIME photographer who flew out of the airport on April 12 saw wrecked furniture and English-language graffiti throughout the airport office building as well as a sign warning that soldiers caught vandalizing or looting would be court-martialed. "There was no chance this was done by Iraqis" before the airport fell, says a senior Pentagon official. "The airport was secure when this was done." Iraqi airport staff concede that some of the damage was inflicted by Iraqi exiles attached to the Army, but these Iraqis too were under American control.

The airplanes suffered the greatest damage. Of the 10 Iraqi Airways jets on the tarmac when the airport fell, a U.S. inspection in early May found that five were serviceable: three 727s, a 747 and a 737. Over the next few weeks, U.S. soldiers looking for comfortable seats and souvenirs ripped out many of the planes' fittings, slashed seats, damaged cockpit equipment and popped out every windshield. "It's unlikely any of the planes will fly again," says Welsh, a reservist who works for the aviation firm Pratt & Whitney as a quality-control liaison officer to Boeing.

U.S. estimates of the cost of the damage and theft begin at a few million dollars and go as high as $100 million. Airport workers say even now air conditioners and other equipment are regularly stolen. "Soldiers do this stuff all the time, everywhere. It's warfare," says a U.S. military official. "But the conflict was over when this was done. These are just bored soldiers." Says Welsh: "If we're here to rebuild the country, then anything we break we have to fix. We need to train these guys to go from shoot-it-up to securing infrastructure. Otherwise we're just making more work for ourselves. And we have to pay for it."

Source: time.com

Message Edited on 07/07/0312:48PM by V3-Dev

XyZspineZyX
07-07-2003, 05:44 PM
The troops, they say, stole duty-free items, needlessly shot up the airport

I have an explanation.

Since they were on duty they thought the items where free.

and dont tell me you never needlessly shot up the windows and walls while playing RVS.

on a serious note:

Isn't customary for the military to take suveneirs after winning the war?
maybe they went too far this time.



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XyZspineZyX
07-08-2003, 04:09 AM
After WWII, we stole a bunch of Japanese swords and sold them here on the USA. That's why there was a boom in Japanese swords and other Japanese things in the 50's, haha. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Oh, but it's worse and different now since it's Bush, I forgot, now it's not funny, just wrong and must be another effort to get their oil. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

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XyZspineZyX
07-15-2003, 04:18 AM
Hornet57 wrote:
- Isn't customary for the military to take suveneirs
- after winning the war?
- maybe they went too far this time.

thus the term, "spoils of war"

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XyZspineZyX
07-15-2003, 09:57 AM
WOW big shock.....


soliders STEALING stuff.


I'am so shocked.



but come on. That happens in every war.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that their country is telling them it's ok to kill someone so taking a few things on the way isn't that bad.



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XyZspineZyX
07-15-2003, 12:04 PM
Or maybe it has to do with the fact that the good guys arent supposed to loot the people they are liberating?

Its no excuse that it has been done before.

I also find the Japan analogy to be a bit poor. The war with Japan was not about liberating a people and finding WMD's (well, neither was this one, but that was the official line anyway). But I am glad to see that American peoples idea of liberating a people includes stealing their property. It makes much more sense.

If stealing watches, booze and other items is OK, then what could possibly be wrong with stealing oil?

XyZspineZyX
07-15-2003, 12:56 PM
I didn't mention anything about it being an excuse. Did I?

I gave a possible reason, the one I believe, why it happens.


Personal I don't think they, or any countries troops, should be over there killing other people.

I mean if noone killed anyone else we wouldn't have to worry about stuff like this. Or why it's ok.

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XyZspineZyX
07-15-2003, 01:45 PM
Spinnaker wrote:
- Hornet57 wrote:
-- Isn't customary for the military to take suveneirs
-- after winning the war?
-- maybe they went too far this time.
-
- thus the term, "spoils of war"
-

Not that I am concerned about a few stolen packets of cigarettes but from a broader perspective thievery is not justified just because it is conducted by an army. Vikings, bandits and the Nazi's also took spoils of war.

But more concerning than soldiers loading up on free confectionary is the looting of the radioactive storage facility inspected and secured by UNMOVIC. This facility was left unguarded, was broken into by godknowswho and enough material for hundreds of dirty bombs was stolen. Now we went into this war to prevent this stuff from winding up in the hands of terrorists right?

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<center><marquee>******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******<center><marquee>

XyZspineZyX
07-15-2003, 01:59 PM
MisterNiceGuy wrote:

- But more concerning than soldiers loading up on free
- confectionary is the looting of the radioactive
- storage facility inspected and secured by UNMOVIC.
- This facility was left unguarded, was broken into by
- godknowswho and enough material for hundreds of
- dirty bombs was stolen. Now we went into this war
- to prevent this stuff from winding up in the hands
- of terrorists right?

I am glad to see you finally agree there was something to guard MNG. And I agree, they should have guarded those facilities first.


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XyZspineZyX
07-15-2003, 02:48 PM
Its prolly because radioactive material makes great doorstops and paperweights.

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