Yeah, I just saw the same story at BBC News.
"The Americans were supposed to protect the museum. If they had just one tank and two soldiers nothing like this would have happened."
It's too bad... all that history will be lost to the rest of the world because of a few greedy individuals.
Well, sh*t happens in a war.
Mind you, stuff like the museums etc should have been evacuated beforehand. I worry more about the attacks on hospitals at the moment.
The anarchy is the biggest failure in our war plan IMO - they should have sent 10,000 mp's into Baghdad 2 days after it was taken.
If people want to destroy their own history in the euphoria following the downfall of a dictator, let them. It's not the marines job to guard museums. No one put a gun to any Iraqi's head and said "Plunder the museum and smash some pottery".
But the fear is that the "euphoria" at the end of an dictatorship is becoming something else, an addiction to anarchy and a cynical tendency to derive profit out of chaos. Suppose tommorrow the government of the US falls apart. People would still be taking advantage of the confusion, whether they are in euphoria or not. The problem is that by encouraging the looting in the beginning, the US and UK armies have accentuated the problem when now they try to bring stability.
FZ, I agree and I would even go so far as to say that the British in Basra are doing a far better job than the Americans in Baghdad and elsewhere. I don't know whether this is because of the British military's experience from Northern Ireland or whether the British are more restrained and a bit more cerebral than the US Marines, etc. (In other words, the British are more sophisticated colonizers.)
The Americans do seem much more gung-ho and insensitive than the British: draping the American flag over Saddam's head was a daft thing to do, even if the soldier was temporarily elated and in high spirits.
It ought to be. They're the invading/occupying army. Who else is going to guard the museums -- the police? The Marines killed all the police!
Also, it's not just Iraqi history; it's world history. I remember where I first heard of the Tigris and the Euphrates...
Damgo, that's what marines are trained to do: kill people. You can't expect frontline combat troops suddenly to become a police force. As we're seeing, the Marines are pretty trigger happy. If it doesn't stop, they shoot it.
Policing is an entirely different skill from that required of commando soldiers. Bring in the military police or regular police. Perhaps this should have been part of the plan from the outset.
I know; I don't fault them for killing people. I do expect them to become a police force -- not necessarily a good one, but a police force. It's not really that hard: the military did a pretty good job of securing the oil wells and the Ministry of Oil building in Baghdad. They could have done the same thing they did there --send a squad or platoon to hold people off and shoot them if they ignored this.
Of course I don't blame the individual Marines/GI's on the ground... I blame their officer corps, and ultimately the higher leadership for not putting in a small effort to protect these sites.
My comment RE 10,000 M.P.'s was aimed more generally at the anarcy in the entire city.
I don't think its all about "the euphoria following the downfall of a dictator" as much as it is a response to their own poverty.
They didn't just loot their own archaeological artifacts, but basically robbed and destroyed the heirlooms of world heritage.
How ironic that among the booty was Hammaurabbi's code, millenia old code of laws.
40,000 years of the history of civilization. What shame that our country was in charge of the city during this.
Is it really the people who are destroying their own history? I believe it only takes a greedy few souls to loot and destroy thousands of years worth of history. Besides, it's not just a loss for the Iraqi people. It's a loss for all of humanity. Those lost artifacts represent knowledge that has been lost to humanity forever.
We, as humans, should strive to protect this legacy for the simple sake of preserving knowledge for those who wish to learn.
See, us war protesters were right! There did need to be more planning!! There needed to be international planning of a post-war plan, like many of us were saying...of course, we were shouted down as appeasers every time.
You war protestors were always against any kind of war and you were, and probably, will always be appeasers because that is your nature.
We predicted that you would jump on the imperfections of the conflict. But seriously, is that all you've got? A little post war anarchy for a country that's been bottled up and oppressed for 25+ years.
Do you really think anything less than 24,000,000 MPs could have quelled all of the 'anarchy'? Don't be foolish.
See, instead of reality, you resort to spin. You refuse to see what anyone says, and simply fill in whatever fascist right-wing propaganda allows you to not have to think to hard. I guess that the awards on my wall from my military service are proof of my appeasing nature, huh?
Oh please. Right about more planning? Rule # 1 of warfare: no well constructed plan survives contact with the enemy. That has been stated over and over (before the war even started. And since you didn't want the war fought in the first place, you CANNOT claim to have had any prior recommendation as to how it should be fought, much less what should happen in the aftermath. Its only AFTER the war started that the hippies started to discuss what should come after.
Look, continue to lie to yourself if it turns you on...I stated over and over again that I disagreed with the war AS IT WAS PLANNED...and you kept ignoring it. Your blinders are on tight, huh?
If you provide a link to a statement of yours, I'll retract that. And just to clarify, are you saying you AGREED that we should fight the war or that you disagreed with BOTH going to war and the way we fought?
Separate names with a comma.