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.
They were long long gone by then.
Where was I when Bush and Powell described that as a reason for going into "frigging" Iraq? I don't remember Tony Blair mentioning that we were going to attack Iraq because we needed to save the antiquity!!!
Stop the frigging presses, you mean we weren't after weapons of mass destruction or to unseat a despicable dictator? Gosh, we need to make sure we tell the 3rd Infantry Division, the Marines, the 82nd and 101st Airborne and the air force that they were there for all the wrong reasons! I bet they never knew they were there to save the artifacts from Sumeria! (/sarcasm) Good Grief!
Could you point to where an administration official said we are going into Iraq to save their museum pieces?
I have been bemused by the recent descriptions of the treasures claimed to have previously resided in the museum in Baghdad. I have heard of the Louvre and the British Museum. I have heard of the antiquities preserved in Athens, Cairo and Rome. But until now, the treasures of Baghdad have somehow never made it into the headlines, and the Baghdad museum never made it into the Grand Tour of the treasures of antiquity.
But since the museum was looted apparently by insiders we are suddenly hearing about the tremendous treasures once found there. Well, forgive me for being skeptical, but I have also heard about the invincible Republican Guard, the implacable hostility of the Arab Street, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis slaughtered in this war, the bombing of hospitals, and all the other extravagant claims made by those who opposed this war. So put me down as undecided about the incredible treasures that are forever lost.
And, by the way, frigging is rather juvenile.
Pity, Pity. Steyn is perfectly right and you are ridiculous. When you get over your hissy fit, you might find the time to realize that museum pieces are just material objects. They do not carry the meaning of a civilization. Only human minds and spirits do that. At the time of the looting, the US forces were protecting the lives and material property that were valuable for the future of our country and Iraq. There were value judgments made as to what is important. Not all things can be done at all times, especially in war, and especially in the closing days of a war. Only silly dilletants would try to argue that, having to make a choice, the US command made the wrong choice.
Your deep angst only betrays another agenda. Oh my, you did not like this war even before this particular event, did you. Beware of your perception of events that convince you of your original premise.
It is a shame that it happened. I don't believe anyone in our government or military intended it to happen. If nothing else, they would know it would look very bad to the rest of the world. And I do believe that we will work with the Iraqis to recover their treasures.
Preserving museum artifacts wasn't even on the top 50 list of reasons to invade Iraq.
The US did not 'stand by' while the looting occurred. The troops weren't there vacationing.
Those artifacts aren't irreplacable. With a real economy and real ties with the civilized world, surely much more treasure will be dug up from the sand than under an impoverished, backwards psycho-state. Please consider all sides of the story.
You accuse Steyn of being the equivalent of a library burner....fortunately Steyn is doing more advancing civilization with his writings than you are dragging it down with yours.
1. To rob of goods by force, especially in time of war; plunder.
2. To take as spoils.
The American military is not pillaging.
The Iraqi people (by definition) are incapable of pillaging.
We have no obligation under the geneva convention to prevent the Iraqi people from stealing their own items.
We are only required to make sure that our troops do not pillage.
You're wrong. Buh-Bye!