Remember the first MSM-touted “scandal” of the Iraq occupation — the looting of artifacts from the National Museum of Iraq. We should have known then that, in at least one sense, Iraq was going to be a hard slog, inasmuch as the MSM saw an outrage in the fact that (a) looting occurred at the end of a war and (b) the U.S. didn’t think to deploy soldiers to protect an art museum. (It’s not clear, however, whether soldiers could have protected the museum from itself — museum officials eventually admitted that much of the thievery was done by insiders).
Today’s Washington Times reports that roughly half of the 15,000 looted items have been recovered thanks in significant part to U.S. efforts. Some items, the Times says, were found in the hands of journalists.
The museum’s director, Donny George initially was quite critical of the Americans, and I certainly understand why he, as opposed to the American MSM, was so upset. However George now praises the American effort not only to recover artifacts but to rebuild the museum itself. When asked whether America has apologized for failing to guard the museum, George noted that U.S. assistance allowed his staff to rebuild the museum’s offices and galleries, install new security systems and create computer networks where there had been none. “I will take that as an apology,” he said.
Let’s see whether American media outlets other than the Washington Times will echo, or at least report, George’s sentiments.
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