Reading Thomas Ricks’ hypnotic Fiasco (2006) removes all doubt that a pivotal moment in our millennium was that point in the Spring of 2003 after the fall of
As anyone can see today, this was a disaster from which so many other calamities followed. And completely avoidable: armies have been governing conquered cities as long as there have been armies. The Americans did it a hundred times in the wake of World War II.
Relief work. The destitute had been half-starved for days. A distribution of the damaged food from the Army storehouses was arranged. After that food must be provided for the general. The city might be starving in two days …
The routine feeding of the place needed the railway. Pointsmen, drivers, firemen, shopmen, traffic staff had to be found and re-engaged immediately. Then the telegraphs: the junior staff were available: directors must be found, and linesmen sent out to put the system into repair. The post could wait a day or two … The currency was horrible … .
Taken all in all, this was a busy evening.