I’ve seen pictures of Iraqi looters walking away with items from government buildings. The British or American soldiers look to be OK with this, and even seem amused watching it. (The nytimes.com website has a slideshow showing many looters walking away with all kinds of goods)
While I agree that the soldiers have more important things to worry about than stopping the looting, I still think that it sends the wrong message.
Sure, Saddam’s property should be given to the people of Iraq. But allowing the looting of it just demonstrates that might makes right. The stronger, faster people with the most resources (including criminally-inclined minds) will make out better than the others.
I consider this complete mis-management of the situation by the Coalition forces. If we are really trying to promote fairness, equality and democracy in a land that has never experienced these, then we simply can’t allow these principles to be compromised right from the beginning.