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Old 04-12-2003, 02:14 AM   #16
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how is rumsfield clueless? what do you want the troops to do? start shooting or locking up the looters? then what would you say?
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Old 04-12-2003, 04:12 AM   #17
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Rumsfeld claimed that there isn't really very much looting going on. Apparently it's all the fault of the international media. Apparently they keep showing the same footage of a guy running out of a building with a vase, over and over again. Rumsfeld thinks there can't be that many vases in Iraq.

I've watched the news for a few hours over the last few days and I've seen footage of hospitals being looted, of an air conditioning unit being pulled from the roof of a building, of people running through the streets carrying refridgerators, ovens, furniture and many other things. I've seen a spokesperson for the ICRC say that it's extremely worrying that hospitals and schools are being looted.

So I could say Rumsfeld's claim that it's all been exaggerated by the media is clueless. However, I'm sure he's perfectly well aware of the reality in Iraq, it just wouldn't do to let people know the situation in Iraq is less than ideal.
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Old 04-12-2003, 12:46 PM   #18
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OK, maybe Rumsfeld isn't clueless. But when hospitals and such are getting looted yes, you arrest the looters for committing crimes like robbery, assault, and any other laws they might be breaking. Come on, these things are *not* legal in Iraq. I don't give a damn who the government is. They need a police force. They currently don't have one. Life without the police? In this day and age that's about life without oxygen. Use the military for security until there is an Iraqi police force.
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Old 04-12-2003, 03:03 PM   #19
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Rumsfeld is not clueless, he just doesn't give a shit. He is only concerned with his agenda.
DW TV was interview the head of hte ICRC and he stated Coalition forces shot and killed on of their humanitarian people.
ICRC mourns delegates killed in Iraq and Afghanistan

The ICRC is in mourning at the recent deaths in the field of two of its delegates: Vatche Arslanian, in charge of logistics for the ICRC in Iraq, on 8 April in Baghdad, and Ricardo Munguía, a water and habitat engineer, on 27 March in Afhganistan.

This statement is also from ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger
The ICRC urgently appeals to the Coalition forces and all other persons in authority to do everything possible to protect essential infrastructure such as hospitals and water-supply and evacuation systems from looting and destruction. In areas under their control, the Coalition forces have specific responsibilities as Occupying Powers under international humanitarian law. These include taking all measures in their power to restore and maintain, as far as possible, public order and safety by putting a halt to pillage and to violence against civilians and civilian facilities.

Civilian facilities which have been damaged or destroyed must be repaired as soon as possible, in order to ensure that the basic needs of the population can be met. Water and electricity supplies are vital. Medical units and personnel must be protected and their work facilitated, and access to them by all persons in need, whether military or civilian, friend or foe, must be granted. In all circumstances, the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblem must be respected.

To the fullest extent of the means available to them, the occupying forces have a duty to ensure that the population has sufficient supplies in terms of water, food and medical care. As the temporary administrators of the occupied territory, the Occupying Powers must support public services and manage resources primarily in the interests of the population, without discrimination. If the whole or part of the population under occupation is not adequately supplied, the Occupying Powers must allow impartial humanitarian organizations to undertake assistance operations. However, the provision of humanitarian aid in no way relieves the Occupying Powers of their administrator's responsibilities towards the population under occupation.
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Old 04-12-2003, 03:31 PM   #20
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Seems there is not enough military in the liberated Iraq. So the situation is out of control, lots of robbery and plundering reportet, but i'm unable to verify it - just too much
Since the US military entered Baghdad, they have only protected one building: the Ministry of...Oil. Hospitals are being ransacked, doctors and hospital attendants are afraid to go to work, while there are a few thousands of injured people that need to be taken care of. Now people have also robbed the National Museum, stealing or destroying artifacts going back 7,000 years — predating even Babylon. Great, isn't it.

But I heard Iraqi police and US Marines are working together to put up police patrols, and 1,200 American police and judicial officers are being sent to Iraq. Let's hope this puts an end to the looting and robbing.
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Old 04-12-2003, 04:31 PM   #21
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It figures that they would guard the Ministry of Oil. I'm glad they are sending the police officers, they should be able to help stop this intolerable madness. I don't think Rumsfeld gives a , either. The politicos only care about their political agenda. I would argue that stopping the looting is even good politics, however. The toleration or ignoring of it is insane. Clean up the mess fast or we'll get blamed for a mess.
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Old 04-12-2003, 07:16 PM   #22
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fucking great...

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/13/in...partner=GOOGLE

Pillagers Strip Iraqi Museum of Its Treasure

By John F. Burns (New York Times)

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 12 — The National Museum of Iraq recorded a history of civilizations that began to flourish in the fertile plains of Mesopotamia more than 7,000 years ago. But once American troops entered Baghdad in sufficient force to topple Saddam Hussein's government this week, it took only 48 hours for the museum to be destroyed, with at least 170,000 artifacts carried away by looters.

The full extent of the disaster that befell the museum only came to light today, as the frenzied looting that swept much of the capital over the previous three days began to ebb.

As fires in a dozen government ministries and agencies began to burn out, and as looters tired of pillaging in the 90-degree heat of the Iraqi spring, museum officials reached the hotels where foreign journalists were staying along the eastern bank of the Tigris River. They brought word of what is likely to be reckoned as one of the greatest cultural disasters in recent Middle Eastern history.

A full accounting of what has been lost may take weeks or months. The museum had been closed during much of the 1990's, and like many Iraqi institutions, its operations were cloaked in secrecy under Mr. Hussein.

So what officials told journalists today may have to be adjusted as a fuller picture comes to light. It remains unclear whether some of the museum's priceless gold, silver and copper antiquities, some of its ancient stone and ceramics, and perhaps some of its fabled bronzes and gold-overlaid ivory, had been locked away for safekeeping elsewhere before the looting, or seized for private display in one of Mr. Hussein's myriad palaces.

What was beyond contest today was that the 28 galleries of the museum and vaults with huge steel doors guarding storage chambers that descend floor after floor into unlighted darkness had been completely ransacked.

Officials with crumpled spirits fought back tears and anger at American troops, as they ran down an inventory of the most storied items that they said had been carried away by the thousands of looters who poured into the museum after daybreak on Thursday and remained until dusk on Friday, with only one intervention by American troops, lasting about half an hour, at lunchtime on Thursday.

Nothing remained, museum officials said, at least nothing of real value, from a museum that had been regarded by archaeologists and other specialists as perhaps the richest of all such institutions in the Middle East.

As examples of what was gone, the officials cited a solid gold harp from the Sumerian era, which began about 3360 B.C. and started to crumble about 2000 B.C. Another item on their list of looted antiquities was a sculptured head of a woman from Uruk, one of the great Sumerian cities, dating from about the same era, and a collection of gold necklaces, bracelets and earrings, also from the Sumerian dynasties and also at least 4,000 years old.

But an item-by-item inventory of the most valued pieces carried away by the looters hardly seemed to capture the magnitude of what had occurred. More powerful, in its way, was the action of one museum official in hurrying away through the piles of smashed ceramics and torn books and burned-out torches of rags soaked in gasoline that littered the museum's corridors to find the glossy catalog of an exhibition of "Silk Road Civilizations" that was held in Japan's ancient capital of Nara in 1988.

Turning to 50 pages of items lent by the Iraqi museum for the exhibition, he said that none of the antiquities pictured remained after the looting. They included ancient stone carvings of bulls and kings and princesses; copper shoes and cuneiform tablets; tapestry fragments and ivory figurines of goddesses and women and Nubian porters; friezes of soldiers and ancient seals and tablets on geometry; and ceramic jars and urns and bowls, all dating back at least 2,000 years, some more than 5,000 years.

"All gone, all gone," he said. "All gone in two days."

An Iraqi archaeologist who has participated in the excavation of some of the country's 10,000 sites, Raid Abdul Ridhar Muhammad, said he had gone into the street in the Karkh district, a short distance from the eastern bank of the Tigris, about 1 p.m. on Thursday to find American troops to quell the looting. By that time, he and other museum officials said, the several acres of museum grounds were overrun by thousands of men, women and children, many of them armed with rifles, pistols, axes, knives and clubs, as well as pieces of metal torn from the suspensions of wrecked cars. The crowd was storming out of the complex carrying antiquities on hand carts, bicycles and wheelbarrows and in boxes. Looters stuffed their pockets with smaller items.

Mr. Muhammad said he found an American Abrams tank in Museum Square, about 300 yards away, and that five marines had followed him back into the museum and opened fire above the looters' heads. This drove several thousand of the marauders out of the museum complex in minutes, he said, but when the tank crewmen left about 30 minutes later, the looters returned.

"I asked them to bring their tank inside the museum grounds," he said. "But they refused and left. About half an hour later, the looters were back, and they threatened to kill me, or to tell the Americans that I am a spy for Saddam Hussein's intelligence, so that the Americans would kill me. So I was frightened, and I went home."

Mr. Muhammad spoke with deep bitterness toward the Americans, as have many Iraqis who have watched looting that began with attacks on government agencies and the palaces and villas of Mr. Hussein, his family and his inner circle broaden into a tidal wave of looting that targeted just about every government institution, even ministries dealing with issues like higher education, trade and agriculture, and hospitals.

American troops have intervened only sporadically, as they did on Friday to halt a crowd of men and boys who were raiding an armory at the edge of the Republican Palace presidential compound and taking brand-new Kalashnikov rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons.

American commanders have said they lack the troops to curb the looting while their focus remains on the battles across Baghdad that are necessary to mop up pockets of resistance from paramilitary troops loyal to Mr. Hussein.

Mr. Muhammad, the archaeologist, directed much of his anger at President Bush. "A country's identity, its value and civilization resides in its history," he said. "If a country's civilization is looted, as ours has been here, its history ends. Please tell this to President Bush. Please remind him that he promised to liberate the Iraqi people, but that this is not a liberation, this is a humiliation."
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Old 04-12-2003, 10:43 PM   #23
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This museum theft is a disaster. It's as bad as the fire in Alexandria, which burned much of the library during the reign of Cleopatra. These artifacts really have no set value. They're priceless and can't be replaced. This is one of the oldest continuous settlements on the planet. I knew all hell was going to break out, what with a war in Mesopotamia. I thought that the museum was going to be bombed. I had no idea it would be ripped off instead. What's next, one of the mosques? Please, no. This sucks. I'm upset.
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Old 04-12-2003, 11:37 PM   #24
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That is a huge cultural blow, not just for Iraq, but the human race.

Every time I see that clip of Rumsfeld saying that the looting consists of one guy stealing a vase, I feel slimy all over. This man is seriously descending into ridiculous propaganda territory with every passing day.

Then he cracks a joke about "how many vases are there in Iraq anyway?" (paraphrased). Yeah, they had vases there when your ancestors were still clubbing each other over the head in a cave, you ingrate. He makes my blood boil, I readily admit it.
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Old 04-13-2003, 04:52 AM   #25
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Originally posted by Electric Blue

Since the US military entered Baghdad, they have only protected one building: the Ministry of...Oil. Hospitals are being ransacked, doctors and hospital attendants are afraid to go to work, while there are a few thousands of injured people that need to be taken care of. Now people have also robbed the National Museum, stealing or destroying artifacts going back 7,000 years — predating even Babylon. Great, isn't it.

But I heard Iraqi police and US Marines are working together to put up police patrols, and 1,200 American police and judicial officers are being sent to Iraq. Let's hope this puts an end to the looting and robbing.
The US Army is protecting one hospital, a Christian one.
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Old 04-13-2003, 05:44 AM   #26
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Originally posted by anitram
Every time I see that clip of Rumsfeld saying that the looting consists of one guy stealing a vase, I feel slimy all over. This man is seriously descending into ridiculous propaganda territory with every passing day.

Then he cracks a joke about "how many vases are there in Iraq anyway?" (paraphrased). Yeah, they had vases there when your ancestors were still clubbing each other over the head in a cave, you ingrate. He makes my blood boil, I readily admit it.
EXACTLY! I was SO angry when I heard that Rumsfeld press conference. How DARE he act as though what's happening in Iraq now either is just being invented by the international media. How DARE he pretend it doesn't matter that hospitals are being looted and that vigilante gangs are going around beating and killing anyone they suspect of having worked for Saddam.

And what's happening with the museum being looted is just disastrous. Iraq was where the first civilisation developed, it's known as "the cradle of civilisation" - the contents of that museum is irreplaceable. It's just horrifying.
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Old 04-13-2003, 12:43 PM   #27
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Originally posted by anitram
That is a huge cultural blow, not just for Iraq, but the human race.

Every time I see that clip of Rumsfeld saying that the looting consists of one guy stealing a vase, I feel slimy all over. This man is seriously descending into ridiculous propaganda territory with every passing day.

Then he cracks a joke about "how many vases are there in Iraq anyway?" (paraphrased). Yeah, they had vases there when your ancestors were still clubbing each other over the head in a cave, you ingrate. He makes my blood boil, I readily admit it.

I couldn't agree more. They ripped off a Mesopotamian museum, dammit. That's not hype or exaggeration. It's a disaster. I'm quite angry about all of this.
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Old 04-13-2003, 02:35 PM   #28
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Originally posted by verte76
This museum theft is a disaster. It's as bad as the fire in Alexandria, which burned much of the library during the reign of Cleopatra. These artifacts really have no set value. They're priceless and can't be replaced. This is one of the oldest continuous settlements on the planet. I knew all hell was going to break out, what with a war in Mesopotamia. I thought that the museum was going to be bombed. I had no idea it would be ripped off instead. What's next, one of the mosques? Please, no. This sucks. I'm upset.
I agree with verte76. The looting of the museum is a real loss to the world, and especially the people of Iraq. Many of these items are from the days when Baghdad was part of the "cradle of civilization" beside the Tigris and Euphates (sp?)
river—these items displayed their rich cultural heritage.

Where will these treasures go now? My guess is the looters will sell them to private collectors for far less than they are worth, and they will be displayed in the homes of the wealthy instead of a place where everyone who visits can enjoy them. If any of these items make their way to auction houses like Sotherby's and Christie's, I hope they are confiscated and returned to their rightful home.
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