Part of the frigging POINT of invading Iraq was so that matters of heritage -- whether economic, cultural, or personal -- would be preserved from the effects of being looted. (One of several reasons, shifting with the winds of responding to the media, but we won't get into that now.)
Standing by while these museums were looted, whether by plan or by opportunism, was irresponsible. Rumsfeld had far more soldiers and Marines guarding the glitz of presidential palaces. He also doesn't read the text of the Geneva Conventions that he and Bush were oh, so furious about Al-Jazeera supposedly flouting, for those same treaties obligate us under international law to prevent "pillage," described as early as 1907 as a crime against humanity.
And if the repositories of irreplaceable -- unlike oil -- artifacts and historical records are cleaned out, what kind of physical heritage will the Iraqis be able to offer when they are re-integrated with the rest of peaceable civilization?
Steyn is a swinish philistine. He's no different, in effect, from the caliph who said, before he ordered the torching of the library at Alexandria over a thousand years ago: "If these books say what is said in the Holy Qu'ran, they are superfluous. If they say what is not said in the Holy Qu'ran, they are pernicious." The caliph would have been right at home in an office next to Steyn at the National Post.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.