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Islamic State fighters capture an archaeological site, they're faced with a series of choices. Do they destroy it or sell its artifacts? If they decide it's idolatrous, do they extort protection money for it from the Shiite, Sufi, Yazidi, or other religious minority group that values it? Or do they demolish it right away and feature the demolition in their propaganda? If they loot it, do they ransack the place themselves or do they hire others to do it? Or do they tax the opportunistic looters who show up?
Actually, all of the above is going on. How the self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group approaches each site depends on a range of factors, including the area's land ownership system and the payoff of plundering the site, says Michael Danti, one of the archaeologists leading a U.S. government-funded effort to document the destruction and looting of the cultural heritage of Iraq and Syria.
originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: Mianeye
"People" with "guns" that murder and take territory are also looking for loot.
What about this whole scenario impresses you as noble, again?
Thousands of cuneiform-inscribed tablets, cylinder seals, and stone statues have illegally made their way to the lucrative antiquities markets of London, Geneva, and New York. Irreplaceable artifacts have been purchased for less than $100 on Ebay.
Beyond the loss of these precious objects, reckless digging has destroyed the ability of researchers to assemble a mosaic of meaning from the shards of ancient art and mud bricks buried in the ground. "Artifacts without context are decoration, nothing more. Pretty, but useless," said Reichel.
The United States military turned the site of ancient Babylon into Camp Alpha in 2003 and 2004, inflicting serious damage according to an exhaustive damage assessment recently released by UNESCO. Bulldozers leveled many of Babylon's artifact-laden hills. Helicopters caused structural damage to an ancient theater.
Why, then, are military helicopters still landing on the remains of ancient Babylon? Why are looters still bringing shovels to the cradle of civilization and stripping it bare?
The Buck Stops With Donald Rumsfeld
Remember Rummy? The former defense secretary's jaw-dropping insensitivity was immortalized by the Washington Post's Thomas E. Ricks, after Army Specialist Thomas Wilson complained to Rumsfeld that he and his comrades were forced to root through Iraqi junkyards to improvise armor for their military vehicles:
TW: "A lot of us are getting ready to move north soon. Our vehicles are not armored."
DR: "You go to war with the Army you have."
Rumsfeld was equally indifferent about the looting of more than 15,000 objects from the National Museum in Baghdad on his watch. "Stuff happens," he said.
originally posted by: Wide-Eyes
a reply to: kissy princess
I'm still more outraged about them capturing girls, gang raping them then selling them as sex slaves. But that's just me.
originally posted by: jimmyx
geez....do you think we can get through 1 page about ISIS without blaming the U.S.... nobody in the entire world is held responsible EXCEPT the U.S. right???...... it's to the point I simply ignore those that do this, and I'm a left of center democrat.