Sunday, April 13, 2003


Friday 21 March: British and American troops pushed northward Friday into Iraq as amphibious Marine units spread out over the southern tip of the country, securing oil-pumping stations and pipelines - and suffering the first casualties of the war.
Tuesday 1 April: US Marines sent on mission to secure oil wells

Washington has said a top priority is to protect Iraq's oil wealth for its people.
Monday 7 April: U.S. forces in tanks and armored vehicles stormed into the center of Baghdad on Monday, seizing one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in a bold daylight raid aimed at demonstrating the Americans can come and go as they please.

In the heart of Baghdad, American soldiers who reached the gold-and-blue-domed New Presidential Palace used the toilets, rifled through documents in the bombed-out compound, and helped themselves to ashtrays, pillows, gold-painted Arab glassware and other souvenirs. The Americans also blew up a statue of Saddam on horseback in the center of the city.

"I do believe this city is freakin' ours," boasted Capt. Chris Carter of Watkinsville Ga
Wednesday 9 April: At first Iraqis, armed with only rope and a sledge hammer, attempted to bring down the statue - erected less than a year ago to mark Saddam's birthday. But it proved to be too tough for them.

The US army then sent in an M 88 tank recovery vehicle which, once a chain was placed around Saddam's neck, made short work of pulling down the statue.
Wednesday (cont.) Abdul Rehman Mugeer, a senior guard, was shaking with anger ... at the destruction. He praised the US for at least parking four tanks in front of the museum when they took control of Baghdad ... Wednesday. But they were later removed, leaving the museum to the mercy of rampaging Iraqis.
Thursday 10 April: An Iraqi archaeologist who has taken part in the excavation of some of the country's 10,000 sites, Raid Abdul Ridhar Muhammad, said he went into the street in the Karkh district, a short distance from the eastern bank of the Tigris, about 1 p.m. on Thursday to find American troops to quell the looting. By that time, he and other museum officials said, the several acres of museum grounds were overrun by thousands of men, women and children, many of them armed with rifles, pistols, axes, knives and clubs, as well as pieces of metal torn from the suspensions of wrecked cars. The crowd was storming out of the complex carrying antiquities on hand carts, bicycles and wheelbarrows and in boxes. Looters stuffed their pockets with smaller items.

Mr. Muhammad said that he had found an American Abrams tank in Museum Square, about 300 yards away, and that five marines had followed him back into the museum and opened fire above the looters' heads. That drove several thousand of the marauders out of the museum complex in minutes, he said, but when the tank crewmen left about 30 minutes later, the looters returned.

"I asked them to bring their tank inside the museum grounds," he said. "But they refused and left. About half an hour later, the looters were back...
Thursday (cont.) Much of the looting occurred Thursday, according to a security guard who stood by helplessly as hoards broke into the museum with wheelbarrows and carts and stole priceless jewelry, clay tablets and manuscripts.
Thursday (cont.) U.S. troops occupied the Oil Ministry. But the nine-story Ministry of Transport building was gutted by fire, as was the Iraqi Olympic headquarters, while the Ministry of Education was partially burned. Near the Interior Ministry, the office building of Saddam Hussein's son Odai stood damaged, its upper floors blackened.
Friday 11 April: ... 48-hour rampage at the museum ...
Sunday 13 April: U.S. Army troops and armor blocked access to the main palace grounds. The Oil Ministry also appeared intact with a heavy U.S. military presence inside. Also intact were some of the power installations, power stations and power grids.

And over at FreeRepublic, these comments:

This was not "their civilization" - it was rather the common heritage of humanity. No doubt there's more in the ground to be dug up.
This experience demonstrates why antiquities should never be left in just the home country - as discovered they need to be spread around so that a single event can't destroy all of the materials.
The looters will probably take as good care of the antiquities as did the museum keepers - maybe better! All we have here is a change of ownership - not the destruction of the materials, and appropriate funding plus information from the catalogs will enable the exhibits to be put back together (in time).
I'm of the opinion that if it was in that Museam and Saddam left it had zero value to anyone.
"Pillagers"- at last the reporters are referring to the Baath Party accurately.
Or perhaps the reporters have never heard of a planned museum robbery.
Ancient history museums are by definition traffickers in stolen property. Now somebody else has stolen the stuff. Turnabout is fair play. Life will go on, the sun will come up tomorrow.
When did it become a job description of our military to protect Iraqi property?
"This stuff is all plunder, many times over."
I second that
All that great stuff isn't worth the life on one soldier who might have died to protect it. Fini
Yup. Its our fault. The whole thing. < /sarcasm>
If the damned museum was so concerned, they could have moved the stuff someplace else. I am sure everybody there saw what was coming
CNN had a WINER on TV a few minutes ago talking about the loss of thousands of years of historical Items.
Please Liberal Whiners GIVE US A BREAK!
LIBERAL WHINERS DESPERATE to find something wrong.
Ever since Gulf War 1, the totalitarian-left dominated Cultural Anthropology establishment in the United States has cited possible damage to antiquities as a reason for avoiding any kind of decisive action against the Saddam regime. This has been a regular and very shrill theme in Archeology magazine and many others. Given that background, and with Al Reuters as the source, I think a healthy dose of skepticism is called for here.
The loss of the antiquities collection will be Saddam's one lasting legacy
The museum director and top staff should be prosecuted for failure to protect such national treasures.
More like Baghdads Iniquities museum
8 million pictures statues plaques and autobiographies of Saddam Hussein...
Shove it up your arse... our troops have more important things to do.
We must have our reasons to allow this lawlessness for awhile. When it ceases to serve our purposes, we'll stop it.
I'd guess we can find most of these treasures resting at the museum director's villas in Syria and France.
After most wars the troops of the victorious side would have looted the museum and returned the treasure to their home country and put a bullet hole in the head of the museum director.
This woman should count her blessings.
The treasures remain in country and will help to jump-start the economy when they are sold. ;-)
In any event I'm not particularly bothered by this.
This article makes it sound obvious that stories of all 170,000 items being looted or smashed are total BS. Should have been obvious from the get go.
I still think the Museum Directors are probably guilty.
But no worries, these artifacts were stolen to be sold and they will slowly make it back to collections, galleries and museums of the world.
Besides, not very many archaeology professors vote Republican ANYWAYS, so we're safe.
Yes, it will reverberate for 1000 years that we failed to act. The reason won't matter. It did not take a rocket scientist to anticipate the looting of this museum and prepare for it. Rummy and Myers have lost some of their luster in my mind and it grieves me to say that because I have been in total support of this war. I don't want to see Rummy's face for a while. This is bad.
>>>>>The Americans and British didn't raid the Museum, the Iraqi people did<<<<
True. But it is also true that occupying force is responsible to establish order and prevent exactly such events. From the article it seems that it was provided for 30 minutes and it did have effect.

1907 Hague Convention
Article 43
The authority of the legitimate power having actually passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all steps in his power to re-establish and insure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.

Article 56
The property of the communes, that of religious, charitable, and educational institutions, and those of arts and science, even when State property, shall be treated as private property. All seizure of, and destruction, or intentional damage done to such institutions, to historical monuments, works of art or science, is prohibited, and should be made the subject of proceedings.
Rummy and Myers have lost some of their luster in my mind and it grieves me to say that because I have been in total support of this war. I don't want to see Rummy's face for a while. This is bad.
I agree.
Priceless? They are rocks. Whoever took them isn't interested in having a "priceless" rock sit on his kitchen table. He's going to sell 'em on the black market, and they will eventually make their way back to a museum, where they can continue to collect dust.
There was far more than just "rocks" at that museum. Did you see the destruction in the pics?
Why do you think we preserve the original Declaration of Independence in Washington DC? Heck there is a picture of it in every civics book. Those artifacts dated back to the very beginning of civilization. In my book, this is a true disaster for all of us.


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