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Mark Steyn: Looting Iraq's 'heritage'
Jerusalem Post ^ | 4-29-03 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 04/29/2003 4:39:16 AM PDT by SJackson

Douglas Anthony Cooper of Montreal chides me for a throwaway line in last week's column about the antiwar crowd's sudden interest in property crime: "Steal the photocopier from Baghdad's Ministry of Genital Clamping and they're pining for the smack of firm government."

"Some matters reside beyond the domain of comedy," writes Cooper. "The rape of the National Museum of Iraq and the torching of the National Library will be lamented by historians for centuries." He concludes, "A man of Steyn's sensibilities beneath the sneer I detect a partisan of Western civilization ought to find this an occasion of immense sorrow."

Cooper deserves a response. I am "a partisan of Western civilization," yet I do not feel "immense sorrow" at the fate of the National Museum. Clearly, many people do. My colleague Boris Johnson, editor of Britain's Spectator, was a-huffin' and a-puffin' about it last week and hinted strongly that it was all part of some Yank conspiracy to deliver the Iraqi people's birthright to "the guest washrooms of Floridian real estate kings."

I don't know what Boris has against Florida realtors possibly he was on the wrong end of some timeshare deal in Tampa but I wouldn't have thought a squatting Akkadian king of circa 2,300 BCE was quite their bag.

In any case, it appears the Western jurisdiction in which the first Iraqi artifacts have turned up is not Florida but Paris. Quelle surprise! The National Museum fell victim not to general looting but to a heist, if not an inside job, for which the general lawlessness provided cover. Am I sorry it happened? Yes, because it has given the naysayers, who were wrong about the millions of dead, humanitarian catastrophe, environmental devastation, regional conflagration, etc, one solitary surviving itsybitsy teeny-weeny twig from their petrified forest with which to whack Rumsfeld and Co.

It isn't enough for America to kill hardly any civilians or even terribly many enemy combatants or bomb any buildings or unduly disrupt the water or electric supply, it also has to protect Iraq's heritage from Iraqis. That assumption speaks volumes. But it also begs the question: What was this stuff doing in Baghdad in the first place?

Can you even get insurance for it? Purely by coincidence, at the exact time the treasure house was being emptied, I was rummaging around in Iraqi history for a speech I was giving in New York. The founder of the Baghdad Museum and the country's first Director of Antiquities was Gertrude Bell, who in her capacity as adviser to colonial secretary Winston Churchill can more or less claim to have invented modern Iraq. Gertrude Bell was one of those British colonial figures more native than the natives: she is believed to have traveled more miles by camel than any non-Arab before or since.

Before Miss Bell, it was taken for granted that anything unearthed by Western archeologists in the Middle East would be taken to the British Museum or the other great repositories of the past's glories. For all the casual slurs about "cultural imperialism" British imperialists were more interested in other cultures than anybody before or since, and, if they hadn't dug it up and taken care of it, we'd know hardly anything about the ancient world.

If you find archeology rather dry and dreary, you can get an easily digestible glimpse of the way it used to be if you buy a copy of Agatha Christie's thriller Murder In Mesopotamia, whose Dr Leidner is a thinly disguised variation of the archeologist Sir Leonard Woolley, drawn from Dame Agatha's experiences at the famous dig at Ur in 1928.

NOW WE know better, and so Iraq's past was entrusted not to the British Museum but to Saddam Hussein. I use the term "Iraq's past" loosely. Mankind's first experiments in agriculture and village life took place on the soil of what is now Iraq. Inhabitants of this land invented writing, and the first legal code, and possibly the wheel. But in the millennia between Gilgamesh, King of Nippur, and Saddam Hussein, President of Saddamland, any connection, ethnic, linguistic, religious or cultural, between the subjects of the former and those of the latter has withered to nothing. An Iraqi is no more likely than a Texan to be a descendant of Sumer, and the Lone Star State can stake a more plausible claim to Sumer's civilizational inheritance.

Present-day Iraq was home to the ancient cultures of Babylonia and Sumeria in much the same way that my property in New Hampshire was once home to NBC celebrity doctor Bob "Doctor Bob" Arnot. It would be foolish to come to me asking for advice on the side-effects of Rogaine: Doctor Bob's legacy is not to be found at my pad. Likewise, whatever the innovations in writing, law, agriculture and village life once pioneered by previous owners of the lot, modern Iraq has squandered: Writing? Banned. Agriculture? We drained the marshes. Village life? Do what we say or we'll kill you. Law? You gotta be kidding.

Mesopotamia may be "the cradle of civilization," but civilization learned to walk and talk and graduated to long pants in Greece and Rome and London and North America and Australia and India and Japan and St Lucia and Papua New Guinea, and what was once the cradle became, in the last four decades, the toilet of civilization a place incapable of inventing the industrial shredder but anxious to import them for the purpose of feeding human beings into.

Boris Johnson called the Iraqi museum's contents "the equivalent of the Crown Jewels, things that were meant eternally to incarnate the culture of your land."

But the Crown Jewels matter because they symbolize reality the peaceful constitutional order that the Queen's subjects have enjoyed for centuries. By contrast, the contents of the Baghdad museum symbolize everything that the monstrous reality of Saddam's Iraq rejected law, government, progress, innovation, vitality.

So a lawless regime preserved the records of the first legal code in a glass case, which for most of the last few years you couldn't even get in to see. The past was just another Saddamite plaything, appropriated for some useful regime-propping imagery but otherwise disposable. Before they got diverted into jumping on the Bush-bashing bandwagon, the students of antiquity were more concerned with Saddam's dam project at Makhul, which was threatening to submerge Assur, the old capital of the Assyrian empire. There's a fine image: civilization's cradle being thrown out by the Ba'ath water. As usual, it fell to British, American and European archaeological teams to plan to rescue as much of "Iraq's past" as they could.

Civilization's artifacts belong not to the real estate on which they were found but to the civilization they underpin. One day Iraq will be part of that civilized world: It will have not only a museum worthy of its past, but a present reality worthy of it, too. The desecration of Mesopotamia's legacy took place not in the last 10 days but in the last four decades. Baghdad's citizens merely helped themselves to the few things that were left, whether office furniture or potshards. What's important about a nation's past is not what it keeps walled up in the museum but what it keeps outside, living and breathing as every citizen's inheritance.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; baghdad; baghdadmuseum; clashofcivilizations; economic; gertrudebell; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; iraqinationalmuseum; looting; marksteyn; marksteynlist; mesopotamia; museums; steyn

1 posted on 04/29/2003 4:39:16 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
Wow! I'm a Steyn fan, but this one was especially good. Thanks for the post.
2 posted on 04/29/2003 4:46:07 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: Pokey78
Another Steyn

(By the way, I need to go off your ping list, at least for a few weeks.)
3 posted on 04/29/2003 4:58:50 AM PDT by Mr. Mulliner (HTTP 404 - File not found)
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To: SJackson
bookmark bump
4 posted on 04/29/2003 6:17:26 AM PDT by Democratic_Machiavelli
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I've rarely seen a more tortured piece of flimsy rationalization.

Part of the frigging POINT of invading Iraq was so that matters of heritage -- whether economic, cultural, or personal -- would be preserved from the effects of being looted. (One of several reasons, shifting with the winds of responding to the media, but we won't get into that now.)

Standing by while these museums were looted, whether by plan or by opportunism, was irresponsible. Rumsfeld had far more soldiers and Marines guarding the glitz of presidential palaces. He also doesn't read the text of the Geneva Conventions that he and Bush were oh, so furious about Al-Jazeera supposedly flouting, for those same treaties obligate us under international law to prevent "pillage," described as early as 1907 as a crime against humanity.

And if the repositories of irreplaceable -- unlike oil -- artifacts and historical records are cleaned out, what kind of physical heritage will the Iraqis be able to offer when they are re-integrated with the rest of peaceable civilization?

Steyn is a swinish philistine. He's no different, in effect, from the caliph who said, before he ordered the torching of the library at Alexandria over a thousand years ago: "If these books say what is said in the Holy Qu'ran, they are superfluous. If they say what is not said in the Holy Qu'ran, they are pernicious." The caliph would have been right at home in an office next to Steyn at the National Post.

5 posted on 04/29/2003 6:38:04 AM PDT by Greybird ("War is the health of the State." -- Randolph Bourne)
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To: Greybird
I can't help but believe that you don't understand what Steyn is saying. Basically he is slamming those who are critical of the U.S. for not giving the past priority over the present.  I can't help but agree.  Also, your Caliph example is somewhat suspect.  The legend that the volumes from the library took six months to burn is incredible.  Also, the evidence that there even was a library in the Serapeum are sketchy at best. More especially since the Serapeum had already been destroyed and rebuilt some centuries earlier - and the evidence of a library being there at that time was sketchy at best.

The best evidence we have for the destruction of the library is given to us by Livas, Florus and Seneca. They assert that it was common knowledge that Julias Caesar inadvertantly destroyed a warehouse containing some 400,000 volumes which was either on the docks or nearby.  This happened when Caesar set fire to an enemy's fleet to protect himself from a desperate situation.  However, it is now known if these volumes were being made ready for shipping or if were part of one of the actual libraries of Alexandria.
6 posted on 04/29/2003 7:55:19 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Mr. Mulliner; Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; ...
Steyn ping.

Mr. Mulliner, you have been removed. Just let me know when you want back on.

7 posted on 04/29/2003 8:10:42 AM PDT by Pokey78
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To: SJackson
Excellent!
8 posted on 04/29/2003 8:13:12 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Greybird
Do you really believe that the museum's truly valuable artifacts were still in the museum when the coalition troops entered Baghdad?

They were long long gone by then.

9 posted on 04/29/2003 8:22:02 AM PDT by dead
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To: SJackson
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/898753/posts

Posted under a different title last week. Good that more people get a chance to read it though.
10 posted on 04/29/2003 8:28:13 AM PDT by Poincare ((not a good time for a Frenchish screen name))
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To: Greybird
I would imagine that the Geneva Conventions prevent "pillag[ing]" by advancing or retreating military forces. I'd love to be shown otherwise. Until then, I would say that your comment is as far off-the-mark as your legal analysis.
11 posted on 04/29/2003 8:40:51 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Greybird
"...not Florida, but Paris. Quelle surprise!"

Yes, how philistine of him to speak bluntly. Swinish, even.
12 posted on 04/29/2003 8:45:07 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Pokey78; SJackson; Grampa Dave
Thanks for the ping!

In any case, it appears the Western jurisdiction in which the first Iraqi artifacts have turned up is not Florida but Paris. Quelle surprise! The National Museum fell victim not to general looting but to a heist, if not an inside job, for which the general lawlessness provided cover. Am I sorry it happened? Yes, because it has given the naysayers, who were wrong about the millions of dead, humanitarian catastrophe, environmental devastation, regional conflagration, etc, one solitary surviving itsybitsy teeny-weeny twig from their petrified forest with which to whack Rumsfeld and Co.

Marvelous writing!

13 posted on 04/29/2003 8:54:39 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Greybird
>>>>>>>>Part of the frigging POINT of invading Iraq was so that matters of heritage -- whether economic, cultural, or personal -- would be preserved from the effects of being looted. (One of several reasons, shifting with the winds of responding to the media, but we won't get into that now.)<<<<<<<

Where was I when Bush and Powell described that as a reason for going into "frigging" Iraq? I don't remember Tony Blair mentioning that we were going to attack Iraq because we needed to save the antiquity!!!

Stop the frigging presses, you mean we weren't after weapons of mass destruction or to unseat a despicable dictator? Gosh, we need to make sure we tell the 3rd Infantry Division, the Marines, the 82nd and 101st Airborne and the air force that they were there for all the wrong reasons! I bet they never knew they were there to save the artifacts from Sumeria! (/sarcasm) Good Grief!

14 posted on 04/29/2003 8:58:08 AM PDT by irish guard
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To: headsonpikes
The famous stele with the code of Hammurabi resides in the Louvre. Time for another Quelle Surpise!! The British Museum has tons of ancient Babylonian stuff too. I'd like to see an accounting of what exactly has been irreplacebly lost from this heist.
15 posted on 04/29/2003 9:08:38 AM PDT by xp38
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To: scholar; Bullish; linear
Ping
16 posted on 04/29/2003 9:15:20 AM PDT by knighthawk
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To: Greybird
Part of the frigging POINT of invading Iraq was so that matters of heritage -- whether economic, cultural, or personal -- would be preserved from the effects of being looted.

Could you point to where an administration official said we are going into Iraq to save their museum pieces?

17 posted on 04/29/2003 9:33:01 AM PDT by TomB
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To: Greybird
I see that others have already responded to your ersatz history and your equally fake rationale for the war.

I have been bemused by the recent descriptions of the “treasures” claimed to have previously resided in the museum in Baghdad. I have heard of the Louvre and the British Museum. I have heard of the antiquities preserved in Athens, Cairo and Rome. But until now, the treasures of Baghdad have somehow never made it into the headlines, and the Baghdad museum never made it into the Grand Tour of the treasures of antiquity.

But since the museum was looted – apparently by insiders – we are suddenly hearing about the tremendous treasures once found there. Well, forgive me for being skeptical, but I have also heard about the invincible Republican Guard, the implacable hostility of the Arab Street, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis slaughtered in this war, the bombing of hospitals, and all the other extravagant claims made by those who opposed this war. So put me down as “undecided” about the “incredible treasures” that are “forever lost.”

And, by the way, “frigging” is rather juvenile.

18 posted on 04/29/2003 9:45:01 AM PDT by moneyrunner
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To: moneyrunner
Actually, if you take his "rationale" (using that term VERY loosely) to its logical conclusion, since Sadam and his cronies were systematically looting the museum prior to the invasion, we were justified in our actions if for no other reason than to stop the "rape of the antiquities".

I think.

19 posted on 04/29/2003 9:56:46 AM PDT by TomB
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To: irish guard
Good day, Mark.

Are you as amazed as I am at the sudden number of art and history fans there are since the war has ended?

20 posted on 04/29/2003 10:02:17 AM PDT by TomB
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To: moneyrunner
Hey, I use "friggin" all the time. It circumvents the prohibition against profanity, which in my opinion, routinely is violated.
21 posted on 04/29/2003 10:06:18 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
Sorry, that does not make the term less juvenile.
22 posted on 04/29/2003 10:14:41 AM PDT by moneyrunner
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To: TomB
Hello Tom,

I cannot imagine what this person was thinking. No offense, but one of the last things on my mind, if I am Tommy Franks is to worry about the old jugs and pots in some museum. Sure they are on the list, but making sure our guys a$$e$ are not getting shot at is much further up the list. The day the "looters" hit those precious masterpieces, we were still under fire from the bad guys.

What a knucklehead this poster above is! Sheesh.

23 posted on 04/29/2003 10:14:53 AM PDT by irish guard
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To: Pokey78
Steyn bttt . . .
24 posted on 04/29/2003 10:19:00 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: moneyrunner
Small point, but are you suggesting the vulgar term instead? Can you direct me to a list of "adult" substitutes?
25 posted on 04/29/2003 10:37:23 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Greybird
Here's a token; the Clue bus is on the way.

Have you stopped for one minute to contemplate the value of FREEDOM? I estimate freedom to be more precious than any artifacts from antiquity. Their society has gone from an oppressive brutal regime to a potential of a much better life for all the inhabitants of Iraq. Would they be better off with their antiquities if they had to keep the prisons and torture chambers as well?

I looked at your home page. Obviously you consider the U.S. actions in Iraq to be a case of empire building. Try digging up some history along with those precious antiquities and you will get a better perspective on the current situation.
26 posted on 04/29/2003 12:57:42 PM PDT by webstersII
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To: moneyrunner
But since the museum was looted – apparently by insiders – we are suddenly hearing about the tremendous treasures once found there.

We sawon Foxnews people running out of the museum with stuff. And then they showed a lot of broken stuff.

I just hope all the clay tablets were not broken.

27 posted on 04/29/2003 1:33:38 PM PDT by carenot
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To: 1rudeboy
Small point, but are you suggesting the vulgar term instead? Can you direct me to a list of "adult" substitutes?

I don't think he was suggesting that. Since the adjective for which you are seeking a substitute has no real meaning that is not carried equally well by an exclamation point, there is no need for a substitute. Anyone who grew up in a time when that adjective was not in common use, has no problem expressing themselves without it. Someone who's never known a time when that adjective hasn't been a part of the general lexicon, is probably a juvenile by definition.

However, to help you find a substitute, how about "freaking?" Oh--never mind--that might be politically incorrect, since it might disparage freaks, and thus discourage diversity. Well, we'll just have to make up a new one... Let's see... How about "frixing?" That might do, since it doesn't have any real meaning either, but as soon as you start to explain for what you are using it as a substitute, people may just turn and say, "Silly rudeboy! Frix are for kids!"

28 posted on 04/29/2003 4:47:41 PM PDT by Excuse_Me
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To: Excuse_Me
Point well taken. But regular language has its limits in an internet forum. Sometimes I wish to express a level of frustration that is not easily presentable in high English.

Furthermore, and apart from the fact that the internet encourages colloquial language, the internet spawns its own cant, as is visible here everyday.

29 posted on 04/29/2003 5:07:24 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Greybird
"And if the repositories of irreplaceable -- unlike oil -- artifacts and historical records are cleaned out, what kind of physical heritage will the Iraqis be able to offer when they are re-integrated with the rest of peaceable civilization?"

Pity, Pity. Steyn is perfectly right and you are ridiculous. When you get over your hissy fit, you might find the time to realize that museum pieces are just material objects. They do not carry the meaning of a civilization. Only human minds and spirits do that. At the time of the looting, the US forces were protecting the lives and material property that were valuable for the future of our country and Iraq. There were value judgments made as to what is important. Not all things can be done at all times, especially in war, and especially in the closing days of a war. Only silly dilletants would try to argue that, having to make a choice, the US command made the wrong choice.

Your deep angst only betrays another agenda. Oh my, you did not like this war even before this particular event, did you. Beware of your perception of events that convince you of your original premise.

30 posted on 04/29/2003 6:37:25 PM PDT by ontos-on
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To: Excuse_Me
"Small point, but are you suggesting the vulgar term instead? Can you direct me to a list of "adult" substitutes? I don't think he was suggesting that. Since the adjective for which you are seeking a substitute has no real meaning that is not carried equally well by an exclamation point, there is no need for a substitute. Anyone who grew up in a time when that adjective was not in common use, has no problem expressing themselves without it. Someone who's never known a time when that adjective hasn't been a part of the general lexicon, is probably a juvenile by definition. However, to help you find a substitute, how about "freaking?" Oh--never mind--that might be politically incorrect, since it might disparage freaks, and thus discourage diversity. Well, we'll just have to make up a new one... Let's see... How about "frixing?" That might do, since it doesn't have any real meaning either, but as soon as you start to explain for what you are using it as a substitute, people may just turn and say, "Silly rudeboy! Frix are for kids."

The idea is that rather than resorting to crude obscenities, try to develop the ability to articulate what you mean. When you resort to obscenity, you betray your inability to ariculate your mind. This is the real reason why vulgarity is seen as juvenile. What it means precisely is that the one who uses vulgarity is undeveloped.

Honestly, the best suggestion to 1rudeboy is to try to learn the ability to articulate what you think or want to think. That struggle is rewarding in itself as it develops one's awareness of himself. Good luck.

31 posted on 04/29/2003 6:56:56 PM PDT by ontos-on
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To: Greybird
I didn't know that part of the reason for invading Iraq was to keep the artifacts safe. I was under the impression that we invaded to remove a dictator and a risk to the security of the people of the world from his mad plans.
I feel silly now, I guess I had the wrong impression of the war on terrorism. It is to keep the 'things" of the world safe, not the people is it?
32 posted on 04/29/2003 7:04:29 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: 1rudeboy
Point well taken. But regular language has its limits in an internet forum. Sometimes I wish to express a level of frustration that is not easily presentable in high English.

I beg to differ. Since this thread is attached to an article by Mark Steyn, I'd like to point out that he is quite capabale of expressing anything he likes, without ever using what some consider offensive words. The word "offensive" is subjective, of course, but I think it fair to say that use of such words has never promoted the thesis of an argument. Your desire to use them to express a level of frustration is similar to those on the Internet who think that capitalizing every letter makes their point stronger. To most of us, it is more reminiscent of the louder and louder shouting before a fight at the schoolyard. If the person with whom you are having a discussion is incapable of understanding your argument through the use of "high English", or as we oldtimers like to call it, "English," it is doubtful that shouting and using expletive substitutes will convince them of your erudition and the verity of your point of view.

Furthermore, and apart from the fact that the internet encourages colloquial language, the internet spawns its own cant, as is visible here everyday.

Apart from the fact that the Internet is a bunch of computers and routers and cannot encourage anything, I think that the "spawning of its own cant' is reflective of the breakdown in civility lately, evinced in everyday life from TV sitcoms to Free Republic to the U.S. Senate. That doesn't make it a good thing!

33 posted on 04/29/2003 7:44:12 PM PDT by Excuse_Me
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To: ontos-on
The idea is that rather than resorting to crude obscenities, try to develop the ability to articulate what you mean. When you resort to obscenity, you betray your inability to ariculate your mind. This is the real reason why vulgarity is seen as juvenile. What it means precisely is that the one who uses vulgarity is undeveloped.

Honestly, the best suggestion to 1rudeboy is to try to learn the ability to articulate what you think or want to think. That struggle is rewarding in itself as it develops one's awareness of himself. Good luck.

That is pretty much what I was saying in my first paragraph, albeit somewhat less bluntly. I have found that when addressing close family members you may be direct, but when trying to enlighten strangers, humor helps. So I added the second paragraph. When he posted his reply to my comment, I was more direct, since I had points of his to answer. Thanks for the comments, though.

34 posted on 04/29/2003 8:00:32 PM PDT by Excuse_Me
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To: Greybird
The Germans looted Europe. I guess we're responsible for that too.

http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Holocaust/stolen-art.html

The looters won't destroy their booty. They will just try too unload it. It will all come out in the wash.
35 posted on 04/29/2003 8:18:34 PM PDT by CaptainK
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To: moneyrunner
And, by the way, "frigging" is rather juvenile.

I try to respect the mores of where I am. It isn't accepted by most of the many Christians around here to even say "hell," let alone F@CK F@CK F@CK F@CK F@CK F@CK F@CK.

As Chesterton, I believe, said: A gentleman is one who never offends someone else unintentionally.

36 posted on 04/29/2003 8:48:39 PM PDT by Greybird ("War is the health of the State." -- Randolph Bourne)
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To: Excuse_Me; ontos-on
Don't be so sure that Steyn (who I worship as a god) would not use a colloquial expression to make a point. I agree that those of us capable should attempt to elevate the discourse. But sometimes, it's just friggin' necessary to be crude.
37 posted on 04/29/2003 9:02:44 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Greybird
I'm not sure the US expected the Iraqis to loot their own museums. Also, at the time of the museum lootings the US did not have full control of that section of the city, as I recall. Just don't think the situation is as clearcut and preventable as you seem to indicate.

It is a shame that it happened. I don't believe anyone in our government or military intended it to happen. If nothing else, they would know it would look very bad to the rest of the world. And I do believe that we will work with the Iraqis to recover their treasures.

38 posted on 04/29/2003 9:19:55 PM PDT by Calpublican
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To: Greybird
You are wrong on all counts!

Preserving museum artifacts wasn't even on the top 50 list of reasons to invade Iraq.

The US did not 'stand by' while the looting occurred. The troops weren't there vacationing.

Those artifacts aren't irreplacable. With a real economy and real ties with the civilized world, surely much more treasure will be dug up from the sand than under an impoverished, backwards psycho-state. Please consider all sides of the story.

You accuse Steyn of being the equivalent of a library burner....fortunately Steyn is doing more advancing civilization with his writings than you are dragging it down with yours.

39 posted on 04/29/2003 9:20:33 PM PDT by Monti Cello
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To: Pokey78
Mesopotamia may be "the cradle of civilization," but civilization learned to walk and talk and graduated to long pants in Greece and Rome and London and North America and Australia and India and Japan and St Lucia and Papua New Guinea, and what was once the cradle became, in the last four decades, the toilet of civilization a place incapable of inventing the industrial shredder but anxious to import them for the purpose of feeding human beings into.

Absolutely right on target!

40 posted on 04/29/2003 9:46:09 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Greybird
”As Chesterton, I believe, said: A gentleman is one who never offends someone else unintentionally.”

Exactly. And – he may have added – without vulgarity.

41 posted on 04/30/2003 4:50:47 AM PDT by moneyrunner
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To: xp38
. I'd like to see an accounting of what exactly has been irreplacebly lost from this heist.

Unfortunately the unwashed masses that looted the museum somehow thought to take time to destroy the documents that listed what was there. Pretty smart, if the unwashed masses wanted to cover up a major heist, but nonsensical if the were just petty thieves.

The only reason to shred the documents, was to cover the tracks of the final purchaser, a clear sign of the final purchaser being the operator of the heist instead of the unwashed masses.

42 posted on 04/30/2003 5:46:06 AM PDT by American in Israel (Right beats wrong)
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To: xp38
We have several large reliefs in the Brooklyn Museum that come from Mesopotamia...I think that Steyn makes a good point...the people kvelling about the lost antiquities didn't seem to mind the people being slaughtered by the Saddam regime...potshards over people?...not a very humane way of looking at things.
43 posted on 05/01/2003 2:36:45 PM PDT by foreshadowed at waco
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To: Greybird
He also doesn't read the text of the Geneva Conventions that he and Bush were oh, so furious about Al-Jazeera supposedly flouting, for those same treaties obligate us under international law to prevent "pillage," described as early as 1907 as a crime against humanity.

Pillage:
1. To rob of goods by force, especially in time of war; plunder.
2. To take as spoils.

The American military is not pillaging.

The Iraqi people (by definition) are incapable of pillaging.

We have no obligation under the geneva convention to prevent the Iraqi people from stealing their own items.
We are only required to make sure that our troops do not pillage.

They aren't.

You're wrong. Buh-Bye!

44 posted on 05/02/2003 4:03:52 PM PDT by Isle of sanity in CA
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To: SJackson; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs
Just adding this to the GGG homepage, not sending a general distribution.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.

45 posted on 07/21/2004 7:23:45 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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