Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stuff Happened

Laura Bush --

Iraq's cultural heritage organizations were once the best in the Middle East. But travel restrictions, diminished resources, and violence under Saddam Hussein's regime made it impossible for them to sustain this excellence.

The trick seems to be either to imply that the notorious April-June 2003 looting was just an appendix to the Saddam regime, or that everything was so bad under Saddam that nothing was worth saving. Anyway, she was announcing a new Iraqi cultural preservation initiative. Its only concrete manifestation in Iraq is an institution in relatively safe Erbil, northern Iraq. Everything else is an exchange program with US institutions and a vague promise to open the Iraqi National Museum soon -- the one that US troops ignored in deference to the need to defend the Oil Ministry in 2003.

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