Author Topic: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq  (Read 319 times)

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Online flowers

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ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq
« on: July 07, 2014, 12:48:06 PM »
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/07/isis-is-about-to-destroy-biblical-history-in-iraq.html

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Soon afterward the minions of the self-appointed caliph of the freshly self-declared Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, paid a visit to the Mosul Museum. It has been closed for years for restoration, ever since it was looted along with many of Iraq’s other institutions in the wake of the culturally oblivious American-led invasion of 2003. But the Mosul Museum was on the verge of reopening, at last, and the full collection had been stored there.

“These groups of terrorists—their arrival was a brutal shock, with no warning,” Iraqi National Museum Director Qais Hussein Rashid told me when he visited Paris last week with a mission pleading for international help. “We were not able to take preventive measures.”

Indeed, museum curators and staff were no better prepared than any other part of the Iraqi government. They could have learned from al-Baghdadi’s operations in neighboring Syria that a major source of revenue for his insurgency has been the sale of looted antiquities on the black market. As reported in The Guardian, a windfall of intelligence just before Mosul fell revealed that al-Baghdadi had accumulated a $2 billion war chest, in part by selling off ancient artifacts from captured Syrian sites. But the Iraqi officials concerned with antiquities said the Iraqi intelligence officers privy to that information have not shared it with them.

So the risk now—the virtual certainty, in fact—is that irreplaceable history will be annihilated or sold into the netherworld of corrupt and cynical collectors. And it was plain when I met with Rashid and his colleagues that they are desperate to stop it, but have neither the strategy nor the resources to do so.

“We as Iraqis are incapable of controlling the situation by ourselves,” Abbas Qureishi, director of the “recovery” program for the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, told me. It’s not just a matter of the museums, he said. Mosul is in the middle of 1,791 registered archeological sites, including four capitals of the Assyrian empire. “The Iraqi army will be obliged to conduct operations next to these archeological sites,” said Qureishi. The jihadists “will destroy them and say the Iraqi army bombed these sites.”


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Re: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 01:03:50 PM »
Be grateful for the corrupt and cynical collectors. At least there is a chance these treasures will resurface some day. Unlike the usual fundie habit of destroying anything that doesn't fit their world view.

Baghdad once had the finest library outside of Alexandria. The Muslims invaded and dumped every last book into the Tigris, which reportedly ran black with ink for days. I'd rather they sold them than destroy them - the past is the one thing we can't get back.

(Note- The Great Library at Alexandria was destroyed by Christians for much the same reason. Got one book, who needs any more?)
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Offline Chieftain

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Re: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2014, 01:31:52 PM »
Be grateful for the corrupt and cynical collectors. At least there is a chance these treasures will resurface some day. Unlike the usual fundie habit of destroying anything that doesn't fit their world view.

Baghdad once had the finest library outside of Alexandria. The Muslims invaded and dumped every last book into the Tigris, which reportedly ran black with ink for days. I'd rather they sold them than destroy them - the past is the one thing we can't get back.

(Note- The Great Library at Alexandria was destroyed by Christians for much the same reason. Got one book, who needs any more?)

yah....I've walked some of the ruins of Alexandria....its staggering to imagine what was lost there...

As for Iraq, we'll be lucky if the whole country doesn't end up preserved under fused, radioactive crater glass.....

 :smokin:

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Re: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2014, 01:53:42 PM »
400,000 books, which was pretty much every book ever written at the time. Egypt had book collectors, who would go to other countries and find books for the library. Every trading ship or caravan - customs were not looking for smuggled goods, but for books, which were copied. Centuries of oral tradition, painstakingly written down by scribes. It is painful to think what was lost.

One example - the Emperor Claudius wrote an Etruscan dictionary, by talking to the last few people who spoke it. He gifted a copy to the library, then when he was assassinated, his writings were removed. The very basis of Latin, the ideals of the Republic, and an entire culture - gone without trace.

The Baghdad library had the same philosophy. Take a copy of everything. When I die and am sitting at the gates of hell, I have one request of the Devil. To be able to beat the crap out of these people who did it for all eternity.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 03:31:11 PM »
once again, better to keep one's eggs in more than one basket.

Offline olde north church

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Re: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2014, 06:10:34 AM »
yah....I've walked some of the ruins of Alexandria....its staggering to imagine what was lost there...

As for Iraq, we'll be lucky if the whole country doesn't end up preserved under fused, radioactive crater glass.....

 :smokin:

Yeah.  There are so many world leaders with the balls to do that.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

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Re: ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2014, 06:20:52 AM »
Yeah.  There are so many world leaders with the balls to do that.

I'd sort of rather they didn't.

There are only two places I'd be happy seeing a nuke hit. Iran's enrichment facilities and NK's. Even then, I'd prefer conventionals.
The fastest way to a man's heart? Inch to the right of the breastbone, between the fourth and fifth rib.

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