Inexplicably, the looting in Baghdad was not halted after a few days, but went on for weeks. Hospitals, museums, ministries and even some of Saddam Hussein's palaces were looted and, in some cases, burned.
The U.S. inaction was bewildering and a source of great anger and frustration to most of the Iraqis I knew.they did not intervene because they had insufficient numbers of troops. There have been few public explanations from U.S. officials about this, but, off the record, senior U.S. military officers have told me
Today, most also acknowledge that this period of anarchy helped lay the foundation for the Iraqi insurgency by souring the perceptions of many Iraqis toward the occupation troops while simultaneously revealing the extent of U.S. intelligence weaknesses to the members of Iraq's fallen regime, who had melted away to watch and wait. It was not long before they began attacking Americans.
And at least some of the weaponry they have been using comes from unguarded arms caches like Al Qaqaa's.
By John Amato — October 30, 2004