after the antiquities, the books

The National Library in Baghdad has been looted, and priceless manuscripts have been burned or lost–this despite the lesson we should have learned from the looting of the Antiquities Museum. Robert Fisk provides a first-hand account of what it was like.
I was reminded of my junior high history teacher, in her tight bun and sensible shoes, telling us how the Mongols swept Baghdad and threw its libraries’ books in the Tigris, making the river’s waters black with ink for a month. Except this time, the invaders weren’t the looters. And yet, it doesn’t mean we’re not responsible.

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