Saturday, January 15, 2005


More Whining From Across the Pond

You would think that America deposing a homicidal dictator and attempting to bring democracy to Iraq to prevent more terrorism would be a good thing. But not for some eternal malcontents across the Pond:

LONDON, Jan. 15 (AP) - American-led troops using the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon as a base have damaged and contaminated artifacts dating back thousands of years in one of the world's most important archaeological sites, the British Museum said Saturday.

For example, military vehicles crushed a 2,600-year-old brick pavement, and archaeological fragments, including broken bricks stamped by King Nebuchadnezzar II, were scattered at the site, a museum report said. The dragons at the Ishtar Gate were marred by cracks and gaps where someone tried to remove their decorative bricks, the report said.

John Curtis, keeper of the British Museum's Near East department, who was invited by the Iraqis to study the site, said in the report, "This is tantamount to establishing a military camp around the Great Pyramid in Egypt or around Stonehenge in Britain."

He acknowledged that at first the American presence protected the site from looters. But later work - including covering large areas with gravel to provide parking lots and helipads - was damaging, he said.

My oh my!

But to me, what's even worse is that the U.S. military is worrying about freaking ruins at a time like this:

The United States military says that all earth moving has been halted and that it is considering relocating troops to protect the ruins.

Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, an American military spokesman, said that all engineering work was discussed with the head of the Babylon museum. "An archaeologist examined every construction initiative for its impact on historical ruins," he said.

This British Museum seems to value ancient artifacts more than the well being and lives of coalition troops and Iraqi citizens. As far as I'm concerned, we should not be kowtowing to them.

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