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Steal This Vase? Iraqis Get Some of Their Own Back
The Wall Street Journal ^ | Friday, April 18, 2003 | ERIC GIBSON

Posted on 04/18/2003 7:06:31 AM PDT by TroutStalker

Edited on 04/22/2004 11:48:44 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

We shouldn't have been surprised that, after the looting of Baghdad's antiquities museum last weekend, negligent Americans, not the looters themselves, got most of the blame. For much of the media, every bad thing since the invasion has been America's fault. So adding another charge to the indictment was an easy call.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antiquities; artifacts; insidejob; iraq; looting; museum; saddam

1 posted on 04/18/2003 7:06:31 AM PDT by TroutStalker
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To: TroutStalker
Looting and the media... HERE
2 posted on 04/18/2003 7:11:37 AM PDT by Davis
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To: TroutStalker
Thanks for finding another great article on this issue and posting it.

3 posted on 04/18/2003 7:16:25 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: FairOpinion
FYI!
4 posted on 04/18/2003 7:16:51 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: PhilDragoo
Phil,remember my question to you yesterday, where I wondered if Soddomite or his close thugs could have been responsible for the looting of this museum. Well guess what this article has noted:

"But "I would personally suggest it was done by Saddam's circle, and my prime suspect would by Uday," says Con Coughlin, author of "Saddam: King of Terror," in an interview. "Saddam and his family are basically cultural vandals. When he left Kuwait he trashed the place. So it makes sense that when he leaves Iraq he took the most valuable items." Saddam's family is essentially "a Mafia family, and Barzan [Saddam's half-brother], the guy arrested Thursday, was basically the bagman."

Saddam had been busy looting the museum long before the war began. A decade ago, Iraq Opposition Radio alleged that "several antiquity collections have found their way outside Iraq and been sold for the benefit of Saddam's family and his cronies." And in October the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that Saddam had started moving -- to a remote town in northwestern Iraq -- several truckloads of "gold bars and artworks from museums in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul."

But clearly he hadn't moved it all, and at least some of the looting, to judge by press accounts, was done by ordinary Iraqis on a spree. Again: Why? It's not as if there is an easy resale market in such things.

5 posted on 04/18/2003 7:21:56 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: TroutStalker
The truth is finally coming out, but a lot of the media still refuses to report it.

Many of us were saying this before, that if there was looting, it was done by Saddam's henchmen. This article also mentions that Saddam had been plundering the Iraqi treasures and keeping them for themselves and selling them, themselves.

BTW, there is a link from the article to another article in the WSJ, which doesn't work, here is the link & copy of the earlier WSJ article. Note that there are rumors spread in Baghdad, that the Americans did the looting. Just remember, there are still a lot of fedayeen around and that they are continuing their guerilla/terrorist warfare, which includes sabotage, vandalism, to try to foster anti-AMerican sentiments.

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB105053292455773900,00.html?mod=article-outset-box

Iraqis Say Museum Looting
Wasn't as Bad as Feared

By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Last week's looting of the Iraq National Museum, which saw numerous items disappear from a vast collection spanning eight millennia of Mesopotamian history, has provoked world-wide outcry -- and criticism of the U.S. military for its failure to protect Iraq's priceless cultural heritage.

But, thanks to Iraqi preparations before the war, it seems the worst has been avoided. Donny George, the director-general of restoration at the Iraqi Antiquities Department, Wednesday said his staff had preserved the museum's most important treasures, including the kings' graves of Ur and the Assyrian bulls. These objects were hidden in vaults that haven't been violated by looters.

"Most of the things were removed. We knew a war was coming, so it was our duty to protect everything," Mr. George said. "We thought there would be some sort of bombing at the museum. We never thought it could be looted."

In a city where frequent shooting occurs day and night and the telephones don't work, reliable information is often hard to obtain. Earlier this week, some museum workers reached foreign journalists to complain about an orgy of looting in the museum, saying that little of the collection remains. As secrecy long enveloped the museum -- where part of the collection had been siphoned off by Saddam Hussein's family and sold abroad -- it isn't clear whether these museum workers knew about the prewar preparations to hide the most-valuable artifacts.

A U.S. tank takes up position at the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad Wednesday, after looters last week walked off with antiquities or smashed what they couldn't steal.

Along with the destruction of ancient manuscripts at the Iraq National Library and other acts of vandalism throughout the city, the museum's looting has prompted a wave of anti-American anger. A belief often voiced in the streets of Baghdad holds that U.S. soldiers themselves stole the most-precious objects in the collection and used the looters to cover up the crime. Mr. George, standing side by side with the American commander in the area, Lt. Col. Eric Schwartz of the U.S. Army Third Infantry Division's Task Force 1-64, dispelled this view. But he said many valuable items are still missing.

Among the antiquities unaccounted for so far, Mr. George said, are the sacral vase of Warqa, from Sumerian times, and the bronze statue of Basitqi, from the Accadian civilization.

The museum compound was occupied Wednesday by a company-size tank unit, and a notice by the gate says the site is protected by the U.S. military. The museum floor is littered with debris, and access inside is forbidden because Iraqi specialists are working to catalogue what remains and to try to restore some of the items, Lt. Col. Schwartz said.

"There was a tremendous amount of looting just for destruction purposes -- and there were artifacts that were not destroyed at all," he said. "It was not as bad as I thought it would be."

Lt. Col. Schwartz, whose functions also include feeding the lions in the abandoned Baghdad Zoo next door, said he couldn't move into the museum compound and protect it from looters last week because his soldiers were taking fire from the building -- and were determined not to respond. There is an Iraqi army trench in the museum's front lawn, and Lt. Col. Schwartz said his troops found many Iraqi army uniforms inside. "If there is any dirty trick in the book," he said, "they sure used it."

6 posted on 04/18/2003 7:23:47 AM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: BOBTHENAILER; Miss Marple; Dog; Dog Gone; Howlin; All
I thought that you might be interested in the latest on the so called looting. What if the looting was coordinated by Soddomite and his inner circle?

"But "I would personally suggest it was done by Saddam's circle, and my prime suspect would by Uday," says Con Coughlin, author of "Saddam: King of Terror," in an interview. "Saddam and his family are basically cultural vandals. When he left Kuwait he trashed the place. So it makes sense that when he leaves Iraq he took the most valuable items." Saddam's family is essentially "a Mafia family, and Barzan [Saddam's half-brother], the guy arrested Thursday, was basically the bagman."

Saddam had been busy looting the museum long before the war began. A decade ago, Iraq Opposition Radio alleged that "several antiquity collections have found their way outside Iraq and been sold for the benefit of Saddam's family and his cronies." And in October the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that Saddam had started moving -- to a remote town in northwestern Iraq -- several truckloads of "gold bars and artworks from museums in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul."

But clearly he hadn't moved it all, and at least some of the looting, to judge by press accounts, was done by ordinary Iraqis on a spree. Again: Why? It's not as if there is an easy resale market in such things.

I thought that you might like to have this to use as a MOAB the next time some phoney conservative on Free Republic tries to blame our troops, Rummy and GW for the looting of the Museum.

7 posted on 04/18/2003 7:25:06 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: Grampa Dave
Thanks! Watching baby granddaughter today! Back during nap time!
8 posted on 04/18/2003 7:30:03 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: TroutStalker
Good find. FR is full of arm-chair generals who have been ripping the US a new one over our alleged failure to stop the looting.
9 posted on 04/18/2003 7:31:40 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Miss Marple
I can relate to that. Now my two grand kids go down at different times for naps and get up at different times. Grampa doesn't have as much free time watching them now.
10 posted on 04/18/2003 7:35:13 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: Rodney King
The articles yesterday and this article are like MOABS for the haters of GW on FR who try to push this looting thing as the crime of the century.

Notice how they never bring up the mass graves, children prisons and other terrible evils we are finding in Iraq.

These Hate GW 24/7 Freepers are stabbers in the back instead of arm chair generals.
11 posted on 04/18/2003 7:38:47 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: Grampa Dave
-- to a remote town in northwestern Iraq --

An article was posted on FR last night saying US Special Op Forces had some high ranking Iraqi officials (trying to escape to Syria) cornered in northwest Iraq.
12 posted on 04/18/2003 7:41:38 AM PDT by tangerine
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To: tangerine
Good tie in. Hopefully our Spec Ops will find a lot of gold, jewels, money and treasures in that NW town. Obviously, they were headed to Syria.

Makes one wonder how much of Iraq's treasures were on that Russian Embassy Convoy that went to Syria a few weeks ago.

October the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that Saddam had started moving -- to a remote town in northwestern Iraq -- several truckloads of "gold bars and artworks from museums in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul."

13 posted on 04/18/2003 7:46:56 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: Grampa Dave; A Vast RightWing Conspirator
thought that you might like to have this to use as a MOAB the next time some phoney conservative on Free Republic tries to blame our troops, Rummy and GW for the looting of the Museum.

Thanks to my FRiend Dave, here's a little further edification for the benefit of the vast right wing POSERS.

As the old poker saying goes AVRWC, "READ 'EM AND WEEP"

14 posted on 04/18/2003 7:51:52 AM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (Just like Black September. One by one, we're gonna get 'em.)
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To: FairOpinion
Here are a set of links to other articles posted here regarding the looting in perspective, i.e. articles that discuss the truth, which is slowly coming out: looting has been going on for years by Saddam, museum has been closed for years,nobody knows what's really there, some treasures were hidden by museum personnel, etc.

Here is a not necessarily complete list at FR:

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB105062922276805100,00.html?mod=weekend_journal_primary_hs

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB105053292455773900,00.html?mod=article-outset-box

http://www.news-register.net/edit/story/0418202003_edt02.asp

1996:
http://www.usfca.edu/~trembath/www-class/iraq-antiquities.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB10504503813207600,00.html?mod=special_page_iraq_3


http://www.thesundaymail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,6281650%5E25777,00.html

http://www.arab.net/iraq/iq_baghdadsights.htm

http://www.freep.com/news/nw/iraq/loot17_20030417.htm


And here is a set of direct links to articles( some were not posted separately at FR, just mentioned in posts of some other threads):


http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB105062922276805100,00.html?mod=weekend_journal_primary_hs

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB105053292455773900,00.html?mod=article-outset-box

http://www.news-register.net/edit/story/0418202003_edt02.asp

1996:
http://www.usfca.edu/~trembath/www-class/iraq-antiquities.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB10504503813207600,00.html?mod=special_page_iraq_3


http://www.thesundaymail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,6281650%5E25777,00.html

http://www.arab.net/iraq/iq_baghdadsights.htm

http://www.freep.com/news/nw/iraq/loot17_20030417.htm

http://www.thesundaymail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,6281650%255E25777,00.html

15 posted on 04/18/2003 8:04:05 AM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: Grampa Dave
Northwest Iraq? There's been a lot of smuggling through Syria and Turkey in recent years to evade the sanctions.

Got a link for the Welt am Sonntag article?

16 posted on 04/18/2003 8:08:11 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides
No, it was cited by this WSJ article which is the basis of this thread.
17 posted on 04/18/2003 8:11:54 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: FairOpinion
sorry -- I copied the list of outside articles twice, instead of the list of articleas at FR.

Here they are ( not complete)


Many others are looters
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/895649/posts

Experts: Looters had keys to Iraqi antiquity vaults
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/895129/posts

Looting not as bad, as feared
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/895267/posts

Iraqis selling antiquitites( 1996!)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/894176/posts

Churning: rethinking Museum Looting
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/894999/posts



18 posted on 04/18/2003 8:12:59 AM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion; BOBTHENAILER
Great Work, Fair Opinion!

Bob, here are more MOABs for your use in this battle with those who hate GW.
19 posted on 04/18/2003 8:13:28 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: FairOpinion; Grampa Dave; A Vast RightWing Conspirator
Great Work, Fair Opinion!

Since you started the Bush/military bashing with that piece of Hillary article you posted yesterday, Mr. A Vast Right Wing Conspirator, you should spend the rest of today reading EVERYTHING on this thread. You might get that IQ of yours a llittle closer to room temperature if you do.

20 posted on 04/18/2003 8:25:10 AM PDT by BOBTHENAILER (Just like Black September. One by one, we're gonna get 'em.)
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To: TroutStalker
Nightline last night was an abysmal hit piece on the Marines " failure " to protect the museum. They even edited Rumsfeld's light hearted comments to the press, last week about seeing the same video of one guy taking a vase and being shown over and over- to make it seem as if Rumsfeld was laughing about historic vases being taken. The vase that Rumsfeld was talking about was filled with plastic flowers and was being carted out of a palace. CBS news on the radio said it may not have been " the laxity of the Marines ", which caused the looting.
NO MARINE BLOOD FOR POTTERY !!!
21 posted on 04/18/2003 10:41:07 AM PDT by Wild Irish Rogue
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To: Grampa Dave
And he kept warehouses of food while his people--children especially--went malnourished, sickened and died.

Leftist propaganda machine will use Big Lie to slander Bush et al for "failing to protect vases"--

But, no vase "ever fed a hungry child".

Saddam built palaces and bought weapons while his people--especially the children--suffered and died.

The leftist propaganda machine continues to ignore this, blaming sanctions and Bush instead of Saddam.

As for Nightline slandering Bush--that's why ABC is in fourth place and going down--Jennings, too.

Can't dodge that karma forever.

22 posted on 04/18/2003 7:23:10 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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