Tuesday, May 06, 2003
# Posted 9:50 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
Over at WSJ Online, James Taranto points out that while the media were playing up the Museum story, Qusay Hussein was benefitting from the proceeds of some much more serious looting. In fact, he stole so much cash from the Iraqi Central Bank (about $1 billion) in the last days before the war that it took three whole tractor trailers to cart it off.
Now why am I so pissed off? Because I thought the media would've learned a lesson from its premature criticism of the invasion plan. But no, it has decided to go ahead and wreck its credibility even more by showing that it is hunting for American failures rather than reporting the news. While this sort of fiasco may sound like a Republican wet dream, the fact is that we need a credible media because sooner or later something is going to go seriously wrong in Iraq and someone in the US government (possibly a Democrat -- lies, are after all, non-partisan) is going to try and cover it up.
Now let's go back to the Museum for a minute. It turns out that it was, in fact, the victim of serious looting. But those who broke in decided to steal the furniture and desks from the Museum's offices rather than take the antiquities. Huh? Does that mean that despite all their suffering were still too proud to steal what belongs to the people as a whole? Or were the looters so desperate that a chair had more significance in their minds than thousands of cultural artifacts that have no immediate, practical value? I just don't know.
By the way, it also seems that those objects which are missing were probably taken by professional thieves, not looters. So you can't exactly hold the US armed forces responsible that. Still, as a friend pointed at the pub a couple of hours ago, it still might've been a good thing to place some American guards outside the museum. Yeah, that's probably right. Still, grrrr! (0) opinions -- Add your opinion
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