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.


4 Responses to “after the antiquities, the books”

  1. Derek Says:

    I don’t think americans make very good police/peace keepers. They won’t put there life on the life for books or old artifacts. In a way I can’t blame them, but on the other hand the oil sure is well garded. Don’t let anybody fool you, US troops are all about first keeping themselfs alive and care about everything else second. They are not the bravest solders in the world. But being brave does not win you battles. Being ruthless and uncompermizing does.

    We are somewhat to blame for what was lost. Our leaders did not plan how to protect such things. Its was more neglect than intentional, but I am not really sure that helps much. What a time for to have such weak people leading us. Where is FDR, Chirchhill, or Lincoin to lead us? Nope, we get mister GW Bush.


    Tony Blair for president 2004!

  2. Big John Says:

    Sure, Churchill and Lincoln were exceptional, but please don’t include FDR among them. World events forced ‘greatness’ upon him. GWB, on the other hand, has taken the bull by the horns. For good or ill, HE did it. I happen to endorse his choices, and I resent you pooh-poohing his presidency. Compared to his predecessor, he is a paragon.

  3. erik Says:

    I can’t resist saying that considering who George W Bush’s predecessors were, it isn’t difficult for him to be a paragon by comparison.
    However, it takes a lot of guts to call someone a paragon who refers to members of other nations as “folks”, as in “the Iraqi folks”, and claims that more and more imports come to America from overseas, amongst other linguistic gems.
    I’m afraid dear old Bush has done a lot more to entrench the view of him being a man who juggles three brain-cells for it to go away because of one war.

  4. Big John Says:

    To Eric:

    Bush earned an MBA from Harvard. I suppose you think that was one of those ‘honorary’ doctorates? Nope, Harvard don’t play that game.

    I find it interesting how the left, and apparently you too, believe that speech mannerisms are more important than actions in office. Wasn’t that one of the slams against Reagan, that he was ‘just an actor’? Wasn’t Clinton incredibly good at public speaking? Sure got him elected, but what then? (expletives deleted)

    I use the word “folks’ alla time! On my website yet. No one has complained up till now…

    Besides, won’t the translators just change ‘folks’ into the appropriate term? Hmmm, now that I think about it, if it gets around that the US prexy is ‘folksy’ they might lose all respect for us! Horrors!

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