April 16, 2003
The Library

Robert Fisk: "First came the looters, then came the arsonists. In what can be seen as the final chapter in the sacking of Baghdad, the national library and archives - priceless storehouses of Ottoman historical documents - were turned to ashes."

CBC: "The Library houses all books published in Iraq and antique manuscripts, some dating back a millennium to the Ottoman and Abbasid periods... More than 170,000 historical treasures were stolen or destroyed, experts say... The stolen articles included some of the first art and writings known to history."

Alexander Cockburn: "They put US troops round the Oil Ministry and the headquarters of the Secret Police, but stood aside as the mobs looted Baghdad's Archaeological Museum and torched the National Library. It sounds like something right out of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, only here the troops protecting the American Petroleum Institute are lobbyists and politicians, lobbing tax breaks over the wall."

Counterpunch: "The man who ordered his tanks to open fire on the Baghdad offices of Al Jazeera, Abu Dhabi TV, and Reuters is Major General General Buford "Buff" Blount III."

Patrick Cockburn: "The downfall of Saddam Hussein has exacerbated, to a degree never seen before, the ethnic and religious tensions between Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shia Arabs, the three great communities to which almost all Iraqis belong."

Counterpunch: "Bush, Secretary of Defense Cheney, and General Tommy Franks have all claimed that they did not have the ability to intervene. Evidence suggests they knew what would happen, or should have known, and had the ability to stop it."

Laurent Van der Stockt: "With my own eyes I saw about fifteen civilians killed in two days. I've gone through enough wars to know that it's always dirty, that civilians are always the first victims. But the way it was happening here, it was insane."

posted by dru in war