Thursday, April 17, 2003

The more I read about the looting of the museum and archive library in Baghdad the more disheartening it is. Most disturbing now are the reports that our civilian leaders were repeatedly forewarned about the possibility of looting and destruction of these historical treasures and still they chose to do nothing to protect it. I don't blame our military forces who were simply following their orders and doing their best to keep from being blown away by snipers and suicide bombers. But it would not have taken much to secure the museum the same way that the Bush folks had the Oil Ministry building secured.
I remember reading about the tragic torching of the ancient Greek library in Alexandria many thousands of years ago and of all the original works by Plato, Aristotle and others that were lost forever. I remember being disgusted by the ignorance of the invading armies that destroyed these priceless treasures. Of course, I never thought that such a tragedy would be repeated today.

There was one piece of good news I saw today in the Wall Street Journal - a report that some of the museum's most valuable artifacts had been hidden away in vaults for safekeeping before the bombing started. But the did not expect the rampant looting that occurred, and the damage that was done cannot be overstated. Some comentators have referred to it as a lobotomy of our worldwide cultural heritage.

But then the Bush administration's overriding concern has always been about how to secure money, oil and power and keep it for the privileged few. We are currently undergoing our own "looting" right here in the U.S. with the Bush adminstration trying to give away millions of acres of nationally protected parklands to oil, timber and mining interests and the slashing of federal and state programs for the poor and elderly to pay for massive tax cuts for the rich.

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