Raiders of the Not-Lost-After-All Ark
I know it’s all blown over, which is why I’m bringing it up now: the “rape of the Iraqi museum” fiasco. Remember that? It had been initially reported that over 170,000 objects had been stolen, but we learned later that maybe 33 or so were actually taken. David Aaronovitch of The Guardian puts the hysteria very succinctly:
When, back in mid-April, the news first arrived of the looting at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, words hardly failed anyone. No fewer than 170,000 items had, it was universally reported, been stolen or destroyed, representing a large proportion of Iraq’s tangible culture. And it had all happened as some US troops stood by and watched, and others had guarded the oil ministry.
Professors wrote articles. Professor Michalowski of Michigan argued that this was “a tragedy that has no parallel in world history; it is as if the Uffizi, the Louvre, or all the museums of Washington DC had been wiped out in one fell swoop”. Professor Zinab Bahrani from Columbia University claimed that, “By April 12 the entire museum had been looted,” and added, “Blame must be placed with the Bush administration for a catastrophic destruction of culture unparalleled in modern history.” From Edinburgh Professor Trevor Watkins lamented that, “The loss of Iraq’s cultural heritage will go down in history – like the burning of the Library at Alexandria – and Britain and the US will be to blame.” Others used phrases such as cultural genocide and compared the US in particular to the Mongol invaders of 13th-century Iraq.
At the time, I’d said:
The press has been up in arms lately regarding the ransacking of museums in Iraq since Saddam’s overthrow. It’s important to note that this ransacking and looting is being performed by the Iraqi people, and not coalition forces. It’s also important to note that we are being blamed for the looting, as if in all the shooting and precision bombing of military targets, we were supposed to take men and women off the front lines to protect museums. There are several issues here, and I’m going to address them one by one. I’d like to make it known, however, that I find it extremely awful that artifacts dating from the beginning of civilization are being taken and/or destroyed. I know that they’re irreplaceable, and we are all much poorer for their loss. However, I’d burn every museum in Iraq to its foundation and every scrap of papyrus in it if it would save the life of a single coalition soldier. That’s just me.
There are many, however, that don’t feel the same way. They feel that chunks of carved stone are worth more than human lives, and are willing to say so without shame or equivocation. Their words can be found here. To get the full effect, however, you absolutely need to read some of the comments; they’re extremely telling. I must warn you, however: they’re not pretty. They’re from people who judge the liberation of an entire people not worth the destruction and theft of some artifacts. “Ivory Tower” doesn’t scratch the surface; these people are living on Mars.
I decided to re-visit the site that stated things like, “History lost. . . mention this to the blinkered ideologues who brought this about, and the arrogant blowhards who support them, and they’ll point to a picture of Saddam’s statue being pulled down and say something smug and self-righteous about the freedom of a people being more important. This is a good time to slug them.”
And, “How could people who believe so fundamentally in the depravity of man be so unprepared for a completely predictable consequence of invasion? Idiots! Fools! Vandals! Bastards!”
Oh, and, “A thousand years from now, this will be remembered. How could we even begin to explain this to Rumsfeld; as if your Liberty Bell, your Constitution, God knows what else were lost. Not even. Things ten times older than America in shards, scattered. What will be his sound bite for history? How will this be remembered…The Nazis stealing art, hell, Napoleon’s idiotes shooting the nose off the Sphinx, that at least was comprehensible, but this…I cannot begin to wrap my mind around this. And us all “chicken littles”, are we? You smug, arrogant fool, Rumsfeld. Bad enough that you might yet get us all killed, but these should have outlived your new and frightening American century and whatever myriad perversions you would warp America into. Long after the last star fell from the Stars and Stripes, these should have endured. I am sure you will die peacefully in your sleep, Rumsfeld, dreaming the peaceful dreams of Stalin and all those other zealots who remained convinced of their rightness and infallibility until their last breath. When Kissenger passes on, will he be troubled by the thought that he brought the Khmer Rouge to power? No, of course not.”
So I figured that now, these dumbfucks would at least be able to manufacture some level of shame. I mean, they were wrong. They believed that the U.S. army destroyed the cradle of civilization. If you can’t admit feeling ashamed, you should at least shut up, right? Wrong. Check this out:
Assorted ankle-high freepi have gotten the idea that this should be the occasion for a vast confession of left-of-center error and guilt. Wrong, wrong, wrong. No one owes anyone an apology for having believed a story that was reported by every major news feed on the planet. And if anyone were owed an apology, these pismires aren?t the ones it would be owed to; so what the hell are they doing trying to collect on it? Go away! Take dance lessons or something. Get a different hobby.
Actually, you total cretin, you do owe the rest of the world an apology. You and every other shitbag that compared this administration to Nazis. Not because you were wrong, but because you used what was then considered a tragedy to advance your typical anti-war, anti-U.S., Bush-hating stance. It was so easy for you to believe that not only had we let the artifacts be stolen, but that we’d likely encouraged such behavior. As usual, you took a situation that was bad and twisted it way, way out of whack to fit the axe you had to grind. If you’re not going to apologize for that, at least have the good grace to shut your trap.
Sound mean? I’m just sick to death of the left hijacking the moral high ground on every issue under the sun.