On April 10, a day after Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed and Baghdad was in the hands of U.S. military forces, the National Museum of Iraq was ransacked. In a matter of hours, thousands of Iraqis, some thought to be working for art dealers, clambered into the museum that had been closed to the public for years. After two days of looting, almost all of the museum's 170,000 artifacts were either stolen or damaged. Ancient vases were smashed. Statues were beheaded. In the museum's collection were items from Ur and Uruk, the first city-states, settled around 4000 B.C., including art, jewelry and clay tablets containing cuneiform, considered to be the first examples of writing. The museum also housed giant alabaster and limestone carvings taken from palaces of ancient kings.
Coalition forces are trying to restore civil order in Baghdad, a city of 4.5 million, and the looting has almost ended. However, the pandemonium and destruction that occurred have cost the Bush administration credibility and trust in Iraq and across the Arab world. Silliman, who's now a law professor at Duke University and executive director of the Center for Law, Ethics and National Security, says the coalition forces may have violated the Fourth Geneva Convention, which calls for an occupying force to protect cultural property. Even if the coalition forces didn't intentionally breach the Geneva Conventions, he says, "the effect [of the looting] will be more in world opinion, than in legal sanctions."
It's amazing that we had troops stationed at the Ministry of Oil in Baghdad to protect it. There's no oil in that building, it's purely administrative.
Here we have literally thousands of years of culture being systematically disassembled and sold to the highest bidder while Rumsfeld chuckles and makes statements to the effect that boys will be boys.
The end of civilization