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Author Topic: It was never about oil. Never.
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 14 April 2003 11:58 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
US troops have sat back and allowed mobs to wreck and then burn the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information. They did nothing to prevent looters from destroying priceless treasures of Iraq's history in the Baghdad Archaeological Museum and in the museum in the northern city of Mosul, or from looting three hospitals.

The Americans have, though, put hundreds of troops inside two Iraqi ministries that remain untouched – and untouchable – because tanks and armoured personnel carriers and Humvees have been placed inside and outside both institutions. And which ministries proved to be so important for the Americans? Why, the Ministry of Interior, of course – with its vast wealth of intelligence information on Iraq – and the Ministry of Oil.

src: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2918.htm



From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
CyberNomad
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2926

posted 14 April 2003 12:07 PM      Profile for CyberNomad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What's Frisk complaining about? I am under the impresssion that, oil is an Iraqi "national treasure."
From: St. Catharines ON | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 14 April 2003 12:48 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And yet somehow the priceless antiquities in Baghdad's museums are merely booty to be sold to Western billionaires on the black market.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 14 April 2003 12:56 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How do you know they won't be sold to Japanese Billionaires??
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 14 April 2003 01:02 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sure. Could be Saudi billionaires too. Let's just call them "'91 coalition" billionaires then.
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redshift
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1675

posted 14 April 2003 01:03 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
have to watch ebay for a while.
From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 14 April 2003 01:17 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The artifacts we're talking about here will never show up on e-bay. It was targetted for theft months ago, and is probably already bought, paid for and en route...
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 14 April 2003 01:31 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Iraq's National Library went up in flames, too.
From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 14 April 2003 01:42 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I remember listening to some most intelligent and concerned archaeologists -- on both Canadian and U.S. TV -- during the first Gulf War, talking about Iraq's treasures, their importance to world heritage, and the disruption in important international work that the war would cause.

It is not as though no one knew that these treasures were there, in Baghdad and elsewhere. How hard would it have been for some political adviser somewhere to have given the army a short list of sites to protect?

We haven't had any news from the major archaeological sites in the south of the country. I'd love to know what state they're in now (no pun intended).


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 14 April 2003 02:08 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Before the invasion, the Pentagon had a series of meetings about Iraq's historical treasures. Curators and historians spelled out what was where, and received assurances the collections would be protected. This was not a simple oversight.

From February 26, 2003:

quote:
Researchers with long experience in Iraq say they are worried that postwar looting could cause even more damage to the antiquities than combat. They also fear that some art dealers and collectors might try to take advantage of any postwar disarray and change in government to gain access to more of Iraq's archaeological treasures. After the Gulf War of 1991, ancient treasures were plundered and sold illegally in international markets...

... Archaeologists have set aside their individual concerns and have tried to alert American officials to the cultural devastation that war and its aftermath could bring to the land of the oldest civilization, where urban life and the written word originated some 5,500 years ago.

Leading archaeologists and representatives of cultural groups have conferred with officials of the State and Defense departments, stressing the importance of compliance with the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

The treaty obligates combatants not to target cultural sites and monuments except where military installations have been placed on or next to them. The United States signed but did not ratify the treaty.

At the invitation of the Pentagon, archaeologists have provided military planners with the locations of hundreds of Iraq's outstanding ruins from antiquity. But the entire country, experts say, is an archaeological site.
.
"We've gone about as far as we can go," said McGuire Gibson of the University of Chicago, one of the archaeologists who met with Pentagon officials. "We reminded them that there are no natural hills in southern Iraq, and if you see a hill, in most cases it's the mound of a buried ancient settlement."

As a legal adviser to the Archaeological Institute of America, Patty Gerstenblith, a law professor at DePaul University in Chicago, participated in some of the discussions and said the Pentagon seemed "very receptive, at least in terms of taking our information."

"They realize that our attitude toward cultural and religious treasures is very important to world opinion," Gerstenblith said. "And it may be especially important in dealings with Iraq's neighbors in the Middle East."

After meeting last month with cultural and archaeological experts, including Iraqi expatriates, the State Department decided to add a panel on antiquities to the 16 working groups studying the future of Iraq. The panel is expected to begin discussions next month.

[ More depressing details are spelled out ...]

The experience in Afghanistan has been sobering, Russell said. The United States has provided little money for cultural reconstruction and protection there, he said, adding, "Afghanistan must be like a gold field for looters."



International Herald Tribune

From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 14 April 2003 02:21 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One afterthought: Although plunder, like rape and epidemic disease, has certainly accompanied every war everywhere in history, we also have many examples, even among the worst aggressor states and even before the Hague Convention, of care and respect for heritage sites.

During the invasion of France in 1940, for instance, the German army were ordered to surround and protect Giverny, the country home of painter Claude Monet, near Paris. Its famous gardens were one of his greatest works of art; they and his house remained under armed protection through the war, and flourish today.

(More portable treasures, it's true, tended to vanish into the Reich. )


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 14 April 2003 03:08 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The national library went up?

The fact that two Iraqi ministries have been held intact and safe is positive proof that the United States forces could have easily protected the entire Iraqi governmental apparatus and put in effect an orderly transition to a new government after population passions had cooled.

I just cannot believe that the US Government is so callous and so arrogant as to completely disregard what perceptions will be once it becomes blatantly clear they are protecting the oil, only the oil, and nothing but the oil.

I suppose they're counting on people in the USA to forget all about the horrible damage done to Iraq's cultural history once gasoline goes below a dollar a gallon permanently (or, well, as long as the oil lasts...).

What's worse is that the US apparently may have taken into account the possibility of public backlash against the obvious "protect-the-oil" orders. You see, my unofficial gauge of US public opinion is already sniffing that Iraqis must be "savages and uncivilized" if they looted their own museum of artifacts.

So people who oppose Dubya Bush have their sympathies weakened when the Iraqi looting is played up, not realizing that the US forces created an atmosphere that allowed this to happen, and the pro-war camp, if ethnocentric, gets to guffaw that the (insert derogatory word for Arabs here) are too stupid to protect their own museums.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 14 April 2003 04:20 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, I heard that one at work already today, these Arabs have no self-respect, look at them robbing their own museums... made my quite angry, but I was able to calmly point out that greed is also the organizing principle of our society as well, hell probably more so.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
writer
editor emeritus
Babbler # 2513

posted 14 April 2003 04:32 PM      Profile for writer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
More from the February piece:

quote:
Hawkins participated in the meetings as president of the American Council for Cultural Policy, a New York-based group of museum officials and prominent art collectors. Some archaeologists said they were suspicious of the council's motives because it represents the interests of private art collectors and museums and has advocated less restrictive laws governing international trade in antiquities. "That's absurd," Hawkins said of accusations that he had a hidden agenda in his meetings with government officials over Iraq. He said he thought Iraq's strict laws on antiquities should not be changed. Archaeologists and art collectors agreed that their greatest concern is looting after a war. In the Gulf War of 1991, damage to known ancient sites was slight, but looting afterward left museums and excavations in a shambles.

[My emphasis.]

Somehow, I do not think that scholars, historians, artists and academics around the world - let alone in Iraq - are going to let this matter drop.

[ 14 April 2003: Message edited by: writer ]


From: tentative | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

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