Upon being questioned by a reporter as to what the U.S. “plan” was to protect Iraq from looting & civil mayhem after victory, Donald Rumsfeld came up with elegant disquisition on the price of freedom:
They [American troops in Iraq] know what they’re doing. And they’re doing a terrific job. And it’s untidy. And freedom’s untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They’re also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that’s what’s going to happen here. . . .
Untidy indeed. Baghdad’s museum, one of the world’s finest archaeological museums, stripped bare of 170,000 priceless artifacts, some going back 4,000 years in a mere two days–while U.S. troops were begged to intercede & instead did almost nothing. That’s certainly untidy. In fact, I’d say that this was an act of colossal negligence and worthy of severe condemnation from any group, organization or government that cares about the world’s cultural patrimony. If anyone believed before this that the U.S. had an actual plan to govern Iraq after victory, I should think that this sorry event puts that notion to rest.
A country’s identity, its value and civilization resides in its history. If a country’s civilization is looted, as ours has been here, its history ends. please tell this to President Bush. Please remind him that he promised to liberate the Iraqi people, but that this is not a liberation, this is a humiliation.
–Raid Abdul Ridhar Muhammad, Iraqi archaeologist and would-be defender to Baghdad Museum from looting today’s New York Times
Eloquent words. But alas, Mr. Muhammad, I am sorry to tell you that you have an entirely too gullible disposition to believe that George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld actually care about actual Iraqis and the actual nation of Iraq. To them, you are mere guinea pigs in an ideological experiment. Iraq only exists as an extension of U.S. interests. Whatever does not advance those interests (& an archaelogical museum certainly does not) is not relevant. Does either care a whit for Iraq’s history, culture and civilization? Do they even know what a nation’s history (especially a foreign nation’s), culture and civilization mean to its people?