June 18, 2003


Remember these guys?

Three members of the White House Cultural Property Advisory Committee have resigned to protest the looting of Baghdad's National Museum of Antiquities.

Martin E. Sullivan, Richard S. Lanier and Gary Vikan, each appointed by former President Clinton, said they were disappointed by the U.S. military's failure to protect Iraq's historical artifacts.

"The tragedy was not prevented, due to our nation's inaction," Sullivan, the committee's chairman, wrote in his letter of resignation.

Sullivan appeared on Australian radio a couple of days ago, chatting with P. Adams. He sounded about as embarrassed as you’d expect, but at least had the grace to say he was glad to be proven wrong about the tragedy that never happened. “Me too!” bellowed Phil. “I’m happy to eat crow.” (By the looks of him, Phil is happy to eat anything). Another guest mentioned the destruction of museums in Afghanistan under the Taliban. This seemed to take Adams by surprise. “One forgets that the Taliban had ideological objections to much that was contained in the museums,” he said. (I’m paraphrasing; go listen to the audio for the full load of crap.) Strange how little is made of the Taliban’s artistic “criticism”, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, museum action continues in Baghdad:

Iraq's national museum, home to many priceless artefacts which were thought to have been looted after the fall of Baghdad, has been plunged into a new crisis because of a revolt by staff.

More than 130 of the 185 staff of Iraq's state board of antiquities office in Baghdad, which runs the museum, have signed a petition demanding the resignation of its directors.

Staff said they believed that some of the thefts from the museum were an inside job. They also accused Dony George, the board's head of research, of arming them and ordering them to fight US forces.

And Robert Corr smites Phil’s latest column. Fine smiting it is, too.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 18, 2003 02:51 AM