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Old 04-18-2003, 08:30 PM   #61
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


I think this statement can go both ways. There are some that may think this government (but I think it's more -this administration-) can't do anything right, but there are also those who believe they can't do wrong. You and I know they are both wrong.
I agree with this.

There are those on both sides that seem to have blinders on when it comes to this administration.

Peace
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Old 04-18-2003, 08:34 PM   #62
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Originally posted by Mrs. Edge




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I agree with this too verte
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:42 PM   #63
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
As a soldier....there is no way I signed my name on the line to protect a museum. As I said in my statement, put me in front of a hospital or a building vital to Iraq's future. Sorry, my life is not worth an artifact, nor is my children's life if they are in the service.
Ummm, I thought you protect what you're ordered to protect. I wasn't aware that soldiers had a choice in the matter?

In any case, it's sad. All of it. Everybody has a right to determine what they think is more valuable, and I'm not even arguing that a life is more or less valuable than an artifact - like Mrs Edge said, they're apples and oranges. What I take offense to is diamond's inane 'small potatoes' comment. It reeks of cultural ignorance.
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Old 04-18-2003, 09:47 PM   #64
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some would say that..

others would say the value of a human life supercedes the value of an artifact.

peace

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Old 04-18-2003, 10:17 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
some would say that..

others would say the value of a human life supercedes the value of an artifact.

peace

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I hear ya, and I'm sorry I acted like such a about the whole thing. I feel differently. Someone would have to kill me to get their hands on one of those manuscripts. I'm serious. I guess it sounds sick, but yes, if I had to give my life to save an artifact or an illuminated Koranic manuscript, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I can understand why some would find this morally objectionable. If I were married and/or had children (I'm not, don't) it'd be different. For someone who is not married this is not against Catholic moral teaching. For someone who is, it's different. As a practicing Catholic this is more or less my yardstick.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:37 PM   #66
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Verte,

Donít let them frame the argument.

It never was a question of a human life for an artifact.

Are they saying they would give a human life for a drop or barrel of oil.

The Kuwaiti oil fields could not be protected and were set ablaze. They recovered.

Oil is replaceable these items are not.

If you ask the Iraqi people what was important, saving their culture or some oil wells it would not even be close.

To protect these sites would not have required very much. There would have been no firefight. These were crimes of opportunity.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:39 PM   #67
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Originally posted by anitram


Ummm, I thought you protect what you're ordered to protect. I wasn't aware that soldiers had a choice in the matter?

Yes, soldiers do follow orders.....As far as soldiers having a choice, they are specifically taught in basic training that they must obey lawful orders. Guarding the museum would be a lawful order, but I tell you what, the asshole that gave it deserves a courtmartial if one soldier dies from that order.

If a soldier lost their life guarding a museum I am sorry, but that is not apples and oranges. If my child were in the service, you can bet that I would make certain that the people in charge thought twice in the future about risking American lives to guard a museum. Sorry, it is a no brainer, the life is more valuable than any artifact.

Funny how people are pointing the finger at the US over this, and not the stupid ass people who are acting the way they are.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:43 PM   #68
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"It never was a question of a human life for an artifact"

it could have been though.
the soldiers never gave the robbers the choice, now did they.?

As far as oil wells, Im sure the US Soilders were standing guard to protect the enviornment..





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Old 04-18-2003, 10:45 PM   #69
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Originally posted by deep
Verte,

Donít let them frame the argument.

It never was a question of a human life for an artifact.

Are they saying they would give a human life for a drop or barrel of oil.

The Kuwaiti oil fields could not be protected and were set ablaze. They recovered.

Oil is replaceable these items are not.

If you ask the Iraqi people what was important, saving their culture or some oil wells it would not even be close.

To protect these sites would not have required very much. There would have been no firefight. These were crimes of opportunity.
Come on Deep.....

You make this statement based on what? Please, give me the technical analysis. I want you to provide us with the # of Soldiers in the area, what they were doing instead of guarding the museum. I want you to tell me what threats they were allerted to. Give me numbers of soldiers in the area, and their MOS. Provide me with the expert analysis that it would not have taken much. Show me that the soldiers were off doing something far less important at the time the museum was being looted.

I also want you to tell me with a straight face that this board would not rip apart the USA and the Military if ONE Iraqi citizen were shot and killed looting. PLEASE!
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:04 PM   #70
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Dread just said it all.

You guys act like the US Soldiers were in the museums plundering and pillaging it.

Sure its a SIGNIFICANT LOSS, in War these things happen.

You would have a better arugment if a smart bomb accidently wandered over and accidently blew up the place

thank u
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:09 PM   #71
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now i remember why i quit posting in here.
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:20 PM   #72
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:34 PM   #73
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A cultural casualty of war
The U.S. military's failure to stop the looting of the Iraqi National Museum was a strategic blunder.
By Christopher Knight, Times Staff Writer

April 18 2003

One tank. That's about all it would have taken to prevent the wholesale destruction of the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad last week, where a stellar repository of ancient civilization was looted and trashed after American and British forces entered the city, toppling the ironfisted regime of Saddam Hussein. A mighty American tank or two, and a few watchful soldiers, strategically parked by the front door surely could have prevented the catastrophe, which was reportedly carried out with a blend of randomness and precision. A couple of dozen men, women and even children began the looting one day, hundreds finished it the next.

But, come on now. Let's be serious. Is anybody really surprised that Baghdad's great civic art museum didn't rate a measly tank? That the treasures of ancient Mesopotamia sat unguarded and exposed, ripe for the picking by local scavengers either amateur or professional? The horrendous event was not, after all, a dire outcome of "the fog of war." It was instead a routine example of the fog of the Bush administration, when it comes to matters cultural.

Today it is almost universally accepted that, in the long run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the United States did the dance of international diplomacy with two left feet. Diplomatic negotiation isn't just a matter of bare-knuckled, bottom-line horse trading that forces determined adversaries finally to agree. It's a nuanced give-and-take, an incremental persuasion that rises or falls on an understanding of social mores and the complex pageant of cultural sensitivities. There's a reason that diplomacy is called an art, not a science or a business.

Art is not this administration's long suit. Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked at a Pentagon press briefing this week whether the military had made a mistake in failing to defend the museum. (The House of Wisdom, Iraq's national library, where the country's historical archives are kept, was also severely damaged.) Noting that the museum was not considered of major importance when sporadic combat operations were still underway in isolated pockets around the sprawling city, Gen. Myers explained, "It's as much as anything a matter of priorities."

We know that, general; we know. Irreplaceable cultural artifacts dating to the dawn of civilization in the Middle East were not a Bush administration priority. That's the problem.

An office building in downtown Baghdad housing the Ministry of Oil was a priority, and a tank or two was dispatched post-haste to secure that hugely valuable site -- even as those sporadic combat operations were still underway around town. But an art museum? Please.

Oil is a one-dimensional asset. It's property that can be bought and sold. This, an administration composed of oil men understands.

Art, on the other hand, is a two-dimensional asset. It's property, yes; the looters know well that it can have significant commercial value, and the illicit trade in antiquities saw its leading indicators take a giant leap last week. But aside from monetary worth, art is also an intangible resource -- one that has immense use-value. It's a repository of meaning, a reservoir of social faith, a talisman of historical identity. Art has benefits that cannot be measured in dollars and cents alone. And it's a value that is critically needed now.

Why? Because whatever the horrendous atrocities perpetrated by Hussein's cruel dictatorship, Iraq today lies in ruin. We, having smashed it, are obliged to play a major role in fixing it. And for that monumental task we need all the assistance we can get. The Iraqi National Museum could have helped.

Not immediately securing the museum was more than just a cultural shame -- although it was certainly that. It was also a gross strategic blunder. The Bush administration squandered an instrument of extraordinary power for rebuilding Iraq, when it desperately needs every useful tool it can get.

Broad skepticism has been voiced around the world about America's capacity to impose democracy on Iraq, a country riven with ethnic, tribal, religious and political differences.

Whatever those manifold cultural distinctions might be, however, they all share one thing: The art, artifacts and archives housed in the Iraqi National Museum and the National Library comprise their common legacy. They're one thing everybody owns. They represent the deep roots of the great tree that spread out its multitude of limbs. And now those roots are severed.

Some of the looted sculptures, vessels, manuscripts and other objects might someday find their way back to the museum and the library. There is speculation, too, that certain critically important works may have been removed from the premises for safekeeping before the war began. And major archeological sites around the country, of which there is no shortage, seem for the moment to be relatively intact. American forces apparently took precautions not to bomb them.

But Baghdad is different. Baghdad is -- well, Baghdad. A thousand years ago it was the glittering cultural capital of an entire region, the extraordinarily productive seat of great art, literature and thought.

Today it's being advanced by a new U.S. foreign policy as another type of regional linchpin -- a catalyst for wider political reform in the Middle East. Baghdad is meant to be a vital hub.

Imagine what it could have meant for the prospects of that hellishly fraught task had foreign armed forces come together to save the cultural treasure that all Iraqis, regardless of affiliation, claim as their own patrimony. Imagine how the glory of one of the world's great art museums might have been useful as an international rallying point. Imagine -- but never mind. Now there is no point.
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:39 PM   #74
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I wasn't particularly thinking about someone giving their life to guard an artifact. I'm just upset about this horrible loss. It's like a death in the family. I'm sorry, I can't help it. Someone would have to kill me to get their hands on that artifact. Ordinarily security at a museum is by the police, not the military, and I understand that this is not the military's function. They're not trained for it. Dread, I don't mean to slam the U.S. The looters were Iraqis. Most Iraqis were nowhere near that museum; most troops were not. There could have been some plan to have police presence at the museum. This stuff was part of the country's economy because these museums used to be quite a tourist attraction. Now that's gone. Bush's own cultural advisers resigned to protest the situation after the looting. I would have done the same thing, resign. This has been extraordinary stressful and upsetting for me. I'm not going to talk about it anymore. It's too upsetting. It's like cutting my own damn throat.
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:32 AM   #75
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Verte-
Actually the looters were not Iraqis..

Please read-
Thursday, April 17, 2003
AP

PARIS ó Professional thieves, likely organized outside Iraq, pillaged the nation's priceless ancient history collections by using the cover of widespread looting -- and vault keys -- to make off with irreplaceable items, art experts and historians said Thursday.

The bandits were so efficient at emptying Iraqi libraries and museums that reports have already surfaced of artifacts appearing on the black market, some experts said. Certain thieves apparently knew exactly what they wanted from the irreplaceable Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian collections, and exactly where to find them.

"It looks as if part of the theft was a very, very deliberate, planned action," said McGuire Gibson, president of the American Association for Research in Baghdad. "It really looks like a very professional job."

Gibson was among 30 art experts and cultural historians assembled by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to assess the damage to Iraq's heritage in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion.

In Washington, the FBI announced Thursday it had sent agents to Iraq to assist in recovering stolen antiquities.

"We are firmly committed to doing whatever we can to secure these treasures to the people of Iraq," FBI Director Robert Mueller told a news conference at the Justice Department.

But it remained unclear exactly what was gone and what survived the looting and thievery. With many museum records now in ashes and access to Iraq still cut off, it could take weeks or months to answer those questions.

Establishing a database was a key to finding out what had survived, and tracking down what was stolen, the experts said.

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, said some of the greatest treasures -- including gold jewelry of the Assyrian queens -- were placed in the vaults of the national bank after the 1991 Gulf War. There was no information on whether those items remained inside.

The National Museum, one of the Middle East's most important archaeological repositories, was ransacked. But it was unknown whether one of its greatest treasures, tablets containing Hammurabi's Code, one of the earliest codes of law, were there when the looting began.

The pillaging has ravaged the irreplaceable Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian collections that chronicled ancient civilization in Mesopotamia -- the home of modern-day Iraq. Although much of the looting was haphazard, experts said some of it was highly organized.

"They were able to obtain keys from somewhere for the vaults and were able to take out the very important, the very best material," Gibson said. "I have a suspicion it was organized outside the country. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was."

Many at the meeting feared the stolen artifacts have been absorbed into highly organized trafficking rings that ferry the goods through a series of middlemen to collectors in Europe, the United States and Japan.

The FBI was cooperating with the international law enforcement organization Interpol in issuing alerts to all member nations to try to track any sales of the artifacts "on both the open and black markets," Muller said.

Ahead of the war, Iraq's antiquities' authorities gathered artifacts from around the country and moved them to Baghdad's National Museum, assuming the museum would not be bombed, Gibson said.

"They did not count on the museum being looted," he said.

The network of antiquities dealing in Iraq is well-developed, escalating far beyond the ability of authorities to stop it following the 1991 Gulf War. Thousands of antiquities had disappeared from the country even before the current war.

The trafficking feeds off of Iraq's poverty-stricken people, said Salma El Radi, an Iraqi archaeologist. "If you need to feed your family and the only way to do it is by looting a site, you're going to loot a site," El Radi said.

Much anger has been directed at U.S. troops, who stood by and watched as Iraq's treasures were carted off.

Koichiro Matsuura, director-general of Paris-based UNESCO, called Thursday for a U.N. resolution imposing a temporary embargo on trade in Iraqi antiquities. Such a resolution would also call for the return of such items to Iraq, he said.

"To preserve the Iraqi cultural heritage is, in a word, to enable Iraq to successfully make its transition to a new, free and prosperous society," the UNESCO chief said
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