Iraqi museum looted

Dreadful news: Looters sack Iraq’s National Museum of Antiquities.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 13, 2003 12:53 AM | Send

For several days I have been angry about this. Why weren’t American soldiers guarding the museum? This is the result of hysterical concern about civilian casualties, caused by excessive mostly ideologically driven media coverage and an ignorant public. There should be no media in Iraq, or in the whole region, just a one page press release on developments in the newspaper everyday. Ninety-nine percent of people lack the contextual knowledge or intelligence to interpret the biased information they’re receiving. They don’t need to be informed and mostly aren’t interested anyway. Also it represents an inability to understand Arabs, as an aggregate, are a different people to us, a realization which would have predicted looting unthinkable amongst more advanced people, and led the Coalition to take preventative measures. Instead, apparently BILLIONS of dollars of relics have been destroyed. Of course their worth can not be calculated monetarily. We were able to organize a special force contingent to rescue Private Lynch, who should not have been there in the first place, but cannot place a few soldiers to guard our common civilizational heritage. It is criminal.

Posted by: Dan on April 15, 2003 1:34 AM

Here’s an explanation of the museum looting (though not of our forces’ failure to stop it) by a member of the Iraqi National Congress who has just re-entered Iraq for the first time in 32 years.

The New Republic Online
April 14, 2003

… I spoke by sat-phone with friends in Baghdad. According to them, the breakdown of authority familiar to the world is getting better. Citizens groups are forming to keep order in the streets, and meeting little preliminary resistance. People want to be safe, and now that the ministries have been ransacked, it appears the worst of the looting has passed. In Basra, too, I understand these same groups are forming. One friend told me that the looting of the National Museum—something that cut deeply into me—was the work of newly deposed Baathist officials, who had been selling off our patrimony as they saw their days were numbered. As the regime fell, these (ex-)Baathists went back for one last swindle, and took with them treasures that dated back 9,000 years, to the Sumerians and the Babylonians. One final crime perpetrated by Saddam’s thugs.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on April 15, 2003 1:46 AM
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