Tuesday, January 25, 2005

 

The Horrors Of Looting

Most of you will recall the hissy fit that the MSM made about looting of priceless artifacts after the fall of Saddam. I think it was made in to such a huge story because at the time they could not very well complain that the war was too short. The coverage was wall to wall for several news cycles. Later, we learned on the net that the looting wasn't as bad as first reported, but the MSM all but ignored this. Now, a story about some artifacts returned to Iraq by the U.S. Customs Service. I predict that the SAEN will ignore this too:
Priceless Iraqi artifacts stolen from the Iraq National Museum after the fall of Saddam Hussein were returned January 18 by U.S. Immigration and Customs officials who discovered them hidden in a traveler's suitcase 18 months ago.

Three Mesopotamian cylindrical seals, estimated to date back to between 2340 B.C. and 2180 B.C., were turned over to Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, Samir Sumaida'ie, in a ceremony marking the first time artifacts taken from Iraq since 2003 were returned from the United States.

The selective memory of the people over at the SAEN is awe inspiring.

Comments:
While it is true that some of the initial reports of looting at the Iraqi museums were exaggerated, that does not mean that the looting was not serious. It was serious enought at the time that three cultural advisors to the Bush administration resigned in protest over the matter.
You can read an excellent summation here. There have been thousands of artifacts recovered since the invasion and you shouldn’t expect to read about every one of them in your local newspaper, but there are also thousands that are still missing.
Here is a list of the top 30 artifacts that went missing, some of which have since been recovered.
Of course the looting was also not just directed at art and antiquities. We also know that there was massive looting of arms and munitions, much of which is now fueling the insurgency.
 
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