What Is The Reason Here?

In the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq there was a great deal of looting in Baghdad and a number of valuable items were stolen. The country was in turmoil and the people resorted to crime. No one can condone the actions. These people were not taking food from a store because they were starving, they were stealing anything and everything including some of the most rare museum pieces in the world. The US military and the Bush administration were blamed for the looting and it was they, their critics said, who did not secure the city. I, on the other hand, believe that a bunch of people who had nothing in life finally saw their chance to get something for nothing. They resorted to crime demonstrating that they had very few moral fibers in their bodies.

Fast forward to this week and we have one of, if not the, most devastating hurricanes in the history of our country. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and scores killed. The city of New Orleans is under water with failing levees and no drainage. Thousands of people are being kept in the Superdome where conditions are poor at best. While millions of people in this country are donating time, money, and supplies to help those affected by the hurricane there is a small group of people who, like their counterparts in Baghdad, have resorted to crime in the aftermath of the devastation.

In New Orleans, around Canal Street, people are breaking into clothing and jewelery stores and taking what they want. Pharmacies are being ransacked with criminals filling plastic garbage cans and floating their booty down the flooded streets. These people are criminals and there is no rational person who could say otherwise. They feel it is their right to take this stuff and that they are entitled. One man was walking with about ten pair of blue jeans and was asked if he salvaging things from his store. His reply, “No, this is EVERYBODY’S store.” Another attempt to rationalize criminal behavior came from Mike Franklin who said:

“To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it’s an opportunity to get back at society.”

I hate to be the bearer of bad news Mr. Franklin, but there are people who are oppressed in this world who would not resort to crime as an opportunity to “get back at society.” I am sure there will be many who think this is perfectly OK. After all, these poor people have had nothing all their lives and now they have the opportunity to get something by screwing somebody else who worked hard. We only need to ask what would happen to these people if they took this stuff on any normal day. We all know they would be arrested and put on trial. Under these circumstances, these people need to be tried and given the maximum sentence allowed by law. They should have to make restitution. A perfect way would be to have them cleaning up the streets once the water subsides.

In Iraq it was the Bush administration and the military who were blamed for the acts of criminals. Who will be blamed this time? How about we take a novel approach and blame the people who committed the crimes. How about we hold them accountable for their acts and not make excuses for their behavior. And to head off this inane idea that the National Guard is in Iraq or this would not have happened let me say this; The Louisiana Guard has 66% of its people in the state. So two thirds of its military force is not in Iraq. Criminals and those with poor family values will commit crimes regardless. They do it everyday with the police around so who in his right mind does not expect them to do it when there is a disaster that makes it so much easier?

Fortunately, a tourist was there taking pictures of the looting. I hope they can use the pictures to capture these folks and prosecute them.

Read it here.



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