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Robbing the cradle of civilization, five years later

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posted on Mar, 20 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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Robbing the cradle of civilization, five years later


www.salon.com

March 20, 2008

Among the many unintended and unforeseen consequences of the U.S. occupation of Iraq that began five years ago this week was the wholesale looting of Iraq's museums and archaeological sites. Iraq has been called the cradle of civilization. Starting with the Sumerian civilization, which more than 5,000 years ago produced what may be the world's first examples of writing and math, the area centered on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and known as Mesopotamia has been home to a succession of cultures -- Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian. Many believe southern Iraq was the site of the biblical Garden of Eden. But within weeks of the first American airstrike, the cradle of civilization had been robbed. Baghdad's National Museum of Iraq, among the globe's premier repositories of antiquities, was ransacked over the course of a week in April 2003. Statues were dragged down the steps, artifacts six millennia old were carried off in plastic bags. American soldiers were not dispatched to protect the museum until the thieves were long gone.

It was partly in response to media queries about the unimpeded looting of Iraq's cultural heritage that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld uttered the infamous and cavalier rejoinder, "Democracy is messy." Five years after the sacking of Iraq, we decided to ask the experts how bad it really was, how many priceless antiquities have come back to their homeland, and what, if anything, has changed about the Bush administration's approach to protecting Iraq's history.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Mar, 20 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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Those concerned with the history of humanity should read this article featuring a round table interview with several people who have worked directly and closely with the preservation of Iraq's culture and history since the US led invasion began five years ago.

Speculation as to who is responsible for the looting of the Iraq's museums and archaeological sites range from organized crime to funding of terrorism. At this point it seems it seems that some sort of organized criminal element is responsible and links directly to terrorism remain unsubstantiated.

The bottom line is that even as I type this looting occurs in Iraq at its archaeological sites due to lack of a reasonable budget that would all for the manpower needed to secure the thousands of sites in Iraq in addition to its museums.

The lost of culture and history is often one of the first casualties when war is waged against another civilization. And as much as many would like to think of Iraq's history as Iraq's history, the truth is that Iraq's history is our history. It represents a part of the history, heritage, and culture of humanity, and we would do well to protect it so that we might one day come to remember who we are and where we come from.

Looters and private collectors should not be allowed to get into the position of selling for profit and holding for profit the memory of the human race. It's both a tragedy and a travesty.

Some artifacts that were looted from the museums have been recovered by US Customs and various other international security forces that are responsible for importation and border security. Museums have also seized Iraqi artifacts. Many important agencies throughout the world are aware of the problem. However, priority is virtually non-existent among those at the highest levels with the power to fund available solutions to the problem.

It's Iraq's culture and history in addition to being our own. Creating a wider awareness to this situation could lead to it being prioritized by the US government and military. The pillaging of humanity's history should never be less than one of the top concerns on any responsible government's list.

www.salon.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[EDIT: One can read the entire article for free by enabling cookies in their browser for Salon. com and sitting through and advertisement to get a Site Pass.]

[edit on 20-3-2008 by Areal51]



posted on Mar, 20 2008 @ 03:39 PM
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Areal51,

My understanding is that throughout human history this has been going on when an invading empire conquers a weaker one.

I wonder if this is just a continuation of that, or if it's an isolated case?

If it IS an isolated case, what did the museum have that was a threat?

If it's NOT an isolated case, who/what is making us destroy all ancient knowledge?



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 07:24 PM
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Nearly forgot that I posted started this thread. Anyway, I guess it's true that invading forces loot newly acquired territory to some extent. The thing about Iraq is that there seems to be forces other than the invading forces that is responsible for majority of the looting.

My concern basically comes from the fact that Iraq has the lions share of Sumerian artifacts. Many of them representing the earliest preserved written history of human civilization So the idea of looters targeting archaeological sites without taking the proper precautions to preserve the site and excavate properly is disturbing. In the process of taking what is obvious the looters could also be in the process of destroying priceless artifacts that are unknown both in value and historical significance.

As the article stated, because of sanctions, Iraq recently hasn't been staffed properly to take care of its museums and archaeological sites. Inventory records are incomplete for museums, and the archaeological sites have also been largely left unattended.

Just seems awful that Iraq with its important significance to human history is being ravaged by war, greed, and looters.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 07:48 PM
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maybe these "looters" and "private collectors" are having a much closer relation with the master-minds who "decided" to invade Iraq and were therefore allowed to freely loot and collect.

one would wonder if this looting and collecting is merely for the sake of monetary goals, although the art-market had boomed in the past three-five years, with prices up to over 20 times than before, but maybe there are some artifacts to be collected by certain interested parties....



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by IchiNiSan
 


Absolutely! And I suppose it's also possible that there are some artifacts that have yet to be introduced to the public. Artifacts that have been repressed that would have a profound impact on our understanding of human history. Some private collectors or interested parties might want those items to remain repressed.



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 12:27 PM
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There is also the theory that there is a "stargate" in Iraq. See undo's excellent thread about this for more information.

Could this be linked to it? Artifacts from thousands of years ago whose purpose we dont know yet being looted and taken to god knows where.



posted on Jul, 11 2008 @ 01:39 AM
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I was just about to post a question regarding this same thing. Is there an inventory of what that museum contained? I am sure there is somewhere. I may be wrong but it also stands to reason that every item had been cataloged with photos of each item as well. Researchers do collaborate across continents, no? To get a peak at such a list! Where would you even begin to look for it? Would you need to read and write in Arabic to even do a proper search?

(Damn, I'm lazy. Took me about two minutes to find this:
exchanges.state.gov... )

At the risk of sounding like a paranoid oddball, when Bush proposed that Iraq was behind 9/11 in some way and we would be going to war, everyone I believe, said to themselves, "WTF"? Then when we did invade Baghdad, one of the biggest stories aside from how easy it was, was that looting of the museum had occurred immediately upon our arrival into the city as it was an area not yet secured. When I heard this something inside me said "Ooooh, ok. That is why we invaded." For some reason it just popped into my head. Mind you I was not even remotely interested in conspiracy theory at the time, did not seek out web sites of the ATS variety. My only interests that applied were the connections I had made years earlier that there obviously was something more to "Flying chariots of the gods"etc., than the supernatural interpretations in so many religious texts.
I think there may well have been important relics related to our origins ie, the truth, as well as other secrets. What others these could be is open for speculation but given the objective and thorough nature of many researchers here on ATS, I would love to read what dots might be connected.
Any insights?

I would think that certain secret societies may have been very interested in what the "Cradle of Civilizations" museum contained, no?


[edit on 11-7-2008 by 1stearthwarden]

[edit on 11-7-2008 by 1stearthwarden]



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