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Who loots the looters

Despite the constant attempts to play down the looting of the Iraqi National Museum, the full story is coming out. It is fairly clear, at this point, that a whole bunch of items were missing. It’s also pretty clear that many of them were simply hidden for safekeeping.

The lesson? We owe the Iraqis a debt of thanks for preserving the heritage of Iraq, since we were too busy to do so.


  1. Haws Haws

    The article you link begins:

    Almost all of the priceless items feared stolen from the Baghdad Museum when it was ransacked by looters have been found safe in a secret vault.

    Given the magnitude of the outrage directed toward the US over the false initial estimates of 170,000 items missing, Rich Lowry’s column is merely putting the looting in perspective.

    And we did protect Iraq’s historical sites from being damaged by bombs. It was Iraqis who looted the 3,000 minor value items from the museum. We owe them a “debt of thanks” because some of them took common sense measures to protect the 167,000 other items? They should thank themselves.

  2. Yes, we do. I don’t know how you were raised, but where I come from we try not to make more of a mess than we have to, and we thank people who help us out.

    It’s really not a political statement. It’s common courtesy. “Thanks for keeping those items safe; we didn’t have the troops to do it, and we appreciate your efforts.”

  3. Haws Haws

    I don’t know how you were raised, but where I come from we try not to make more of a mess than we have to, and we thank people who help us out.

    And Kodi thinks I’m snotty.

    Anyway, we didn’t make the mess in the museum, Iraqis did, and they were helping themselves out by stowing away the valuables, not us particularly.

    Is it good that they did that? Are we glad they did? Of course! And they should’ve. You seemed to be implying that we dropped the ball big time. Our military was there to win a war and everything else is secondary to that dedication.

  4. Update:

    On Saturday, a team of U.S. investigators from the Customs Service and State Department released a summary of a preliminary report that concluded that 3,000 pieces were missing. And more importantly, of the 8,000 or so exhibit-quality, world-class pieces of jewelry, statues and cuneiform clay tablets, only 47 were unaccounted for.

    Today, Iraqi officials at the museum confirmed the U.S. numbers, with a slight adjustment.

    “There are only 33 pieces from the main collections that are unaccounted for,” George said. “Not 47. Some more pieces have been returned.” Museum staff members had taken some of the more valuable items home and are now returning them.

    Maybe I’m just downplaying the “rape of civilization.”

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