The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Big looters in Iraq

Apr 28, 2003

After the bombing stopped, thousands of ancient artifacts were looted from Baghdad's National Museum of Antiquities – clearly a professional job. The thieves knew what to take, they knew which paper work to destroy to cover their tracks – and they had contacts on the world art market to fence the "hot" goods that legitimate museums wouldn't buy.

Other thieves with "connections" stole hospital supplies equipment. For an ordinary Iraqi, the only benefit from such stolen equipment and supplies would have been to keep them in Iraqi hospitals where they were desperately needed.

One of these looters worked for Fox Network – the number one propaganda center for Bush's war.

Then four other suspected looters were identified as members of the Iraqi National Congress militias, the troops of Ahmad Chalabi. Thesame day another four from the INC were stopped from looting one of Saddam Hussein's palaces.

Such actions are hardly surprising, given who Chalabi is. He not only comes from a wealthy Iraqi family living the last 45 years in exile; he added to the family fortunes by embezzling millions from a bank in Jordan. In 1989, Chalabi was accused of bank fraud and embezzlement. The Jordanian courts sentenced Chalabi to 22 years in prison. He left town and so did hundreds of millions of dollars.

But the biggest looters in Iraq are only getting started with their looting: the U.S. contractors with ties to the current Bush administration – Halliburton's Kellogg Brown & Root and Bechtel, with its long ties to the previous Bush administration. The U.S. oil companies – eyeing big Iraqi oil reserves – have probably torn up the contracts that France, Germany and Russia used to have for buying Iraq's oil.

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld told the press that liberation wasn't "tidy." For some, it sure turns a tidy profit.