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Iraq Museum gutted – the loss is shared by our planet

I’ve already mentioned my concerns about the looting of the library at the Basra Polytechnic College. The gutting and pillaging of the Iraq Museum of Antiquities has me seething. It took ten years to reopen the museum after the Gulf War in 1991, and now, two years later, it lies in ruins. When you read a little about what the museum held, you realize that what has happened rivals the destruction of the library at Alexandria. An estimated 170,000 items were destroyed or stolen! Where were the American troops (see next paragraph)? The responsibility for this sits squarely on their shoulders. The observation of this Al-Jazeera reporter says it best: “When mobs in Baghdad entered the Iraqi national museum and destroyed the artifacts, little did they know that they were wiping out large traces of history. Not just of Iraq, but that of the entire world.”

This is what I find most disgusting and abhorrent, yet predictable and expected: the US troops have protected only two ministries by putting troops inside the buildings and surrounding them with military vehicles: the Ministry of Interior (intelligence information), and – wait for it – the Ministry of Oil. Duh. Who woulda thunk it? What possible reasons could they have for being interested in these two minis – never mind.

3 Responses to “Iraq Museum gutted – the loss is shared by our planet”

  1. Jenny Says:

    I can’t agree with you more, Randy. This so-called war is truly humiliating – what a waste of lives, money, and energy.

  2. kelly Says:

    I don’t know if the responsibility of the museums sits on the soldier’s shoulders, to be honest with you.

    Does it not factor more greatly on Saddam for driving his people to poverty so much so that they feel the need to loot their own museums? Is the US Army supposed to set up a special “Museum Crew”?

    Just considering the other side to the story, although I too, was saddened by the events. I heard that the museums had only been reopened six months ago, actually.

  3. randy Says:

    Kelly: A good and valid point. I thought about that as well – desparate people driven to desparate times. Maybe many of the looters stole the artifacts to sell for money to buy food. Who will ever know? I know we’ll never know the real story about this event. The US Military is saying that by protecting the oil ministry, they are protecting the resources of Iraq. I guess they don’t consider living history to be a resource.

    Thanks for the different viewpoint.

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