Revised liberation policy

Tim Dunlop drew my attention today to the new ‘get tough’ policy on looters in Iraq.

According to the New York Times, the new American administrator, L. Paul Bremer has announced that US forces in Iraq will have the authority to shoot looters on sight. The article notes that how Iraqis will be informed of the ‘new rules’ is not yet clear, although it is believed that officials will access the US-financed radio stations to broadcast the changes. No matter how I look at this, it’s difficult to see how such an action will win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis. Preventing lawlessness is obviously important, and I have bemoaned the lack of initiative shown by the liberation forces on this issue in the past, but shooting people is an act of lawlessness in itself.