Monday, 28 March 2011

Death of Donny George #iraqwar #archaeology #antiquities #looting #civilisation


I was against the US invasion of Iraq: the first one and second time around under George Bush Junior even more so.  I was one of 100,000 Australian citizens who marched, thronged, crowded the streets of Sydney and were ignored by the Australian Government under John Howard.  

What particularly enraged - not just angered but enraged - me was the unfettered, unimpeded looting that occurred in Baghdad.  Looting in time of catastrophe is a function of dehumanisation of community, of fellow-feeling.  

In Baghdad, hospitals were looted - just how low can someone go but to take the means of healing away from the healers and the suffering.  The other looting venue which angered me was the looting of antiquities at the National Museum of Iraq.  In war and other catastrophes, looting is always a distinct possibility.  Were USA military forces unable to recognise this and so prepare and provide for this contingency?  Some suggest that looting was not prevented but permitted.

Iraq is the cradle of urban human civilisation.  As such the Iraq National Museum is important to the citizens of the world who value the human story.

To-day, there is news of the sudden death in Canada of Donny George. Go here to learn more of Donny George as he became the international face of the plight of ancient sites and artefacts in Iraq.  Many of us who didn't know Donny will want to mark his passing in gratitude for his work and his efforts in time of war and great insecurity.
(Donny's picture is from here)

Another reason for highlighting Donny and his work is to alert modern human communities of the ravages of war and other forms of human and communal disturbance.  

Looting occurred at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo during the recent demonstrations for democracy. The well-organised protestors had not forgotten the museum and provided security around the museum.  The looters evaded their best efforts and entered from above.  Such people are no more than opportunistic cannibals, in my view.  They are deserving of severe punishment by their community.

Further reading:

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