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These events were, according to Paul Zimansky, a Boston University archaeologist, "the greatest cultural disaster of the last 500 years." Eleanor Robson of All Souls College, Oxford, said, "You'd have to go back centuries, to the Mongol invasion of Baghdad in 1258, to find looting on this scale." Yet Secretary Rumsfeld compared the looting to the aftermath of a soccer game and shrugged it off with the comment that "Freedom's untidy.... Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes."
Saddam Hussein was completely correct in calling the US bombing and invasion of his country the actions of [i]the new Mongols from the West.[/i] Baghdad was sacked by Hulagu Khan, grandson of Jenghiz Khan, in 1258 and burned but the horrific looting of global treasures following the US occupation was just as bad.
From Johnson's article ...
The main international legal safeguard for historically and humanistically important institutions and sites is the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, signed on May 14, 1954. [b]The U.S. is not a party to that convention, primarily because, during the Cold War, it feared that the treaty might restrict its freedom to engage in nuclear war.[/b]
And, after all, what's more important? Engaging in nuclear war or preserving the priceless treasures of humanity?
Before our invasion of Afghanistan, we condemned the Taliban for their dynamiting of the monumental third century A.D. Buddhist statues at Bamiyan in March, 2001. Those were two gigantic statues of remarkable historical value and the barbarism involved in their destruction blazed in headlines and horrified commentaries in our country. Today, our own government is guilty of far greater crimes when it comes to the destruction of a whole universe of antiquity.
Here's a fine example of the "Clash of Civilizations" that arch conservatives like Samuel Huntington drone on about ...
At the [b]6,000-year-old Sumerian city of Ur with its massive ziggurat, or stepped temple-tower (built in the period 2112 - 2095 B.C. [/b]and restored by Nebuchadnezzar II in the sixth century B.C.), [b]the Marines spray-painted their motto, "Semper Fi" (semper fidelis, always faithful) onto its walls. The military then made the monument "off limits" to everyone in order to disguise the desecration that had occurred there,[/b] including the looting by U.S. soldiers of clay bricks used in the construction of the ancient buildings.
USA! USA! How many civilizations did you destroy today?
[ 25 August 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]
In one of his rare moments of candor, Bush used the word "crusade" to describe what later became known as the War on Terror. Bush really meant [i]crusade[/i] in all that it implies. He and his co-crusaders have no problem with sacking Bagdad or any other Islamic area.