Pacific Tides
My name is Thomas Sturm and I'm a programmer, photographer and writer.

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History Is A Harsh Judge

Babylon, first mentioned as a capital of a kindgom on a clay tablet 4500 years ago, can truly be called a world heritage. Thousands of years of history are encapsulated in its ruins and it is a site that should inspire awe in all of us.

Babylon is part of our common history.

These things really matter. It is how our historical memory works. Only very few people make it into our common history, some kings, a few heroes and villains... but we all remember the places, palaces and treasures. Babylon is one of these places and that makes it i-m-p-o-r-t-a-n-t.

Should you by any chance invade a country that holds a world heritage site, you should try and protect it (it's another one of those pesky international treaties that are also US federal law), or at least stay away and keep your hands off the place.

Not this US government. Oh no...

The morons in charge of this fucking circus had the glorious idea to build an army camp in and around the site of ancient Babylon. It just blows my mind how they could do something so incredibly stupid.

I've been in the military and I can guarantee you that if I ever want to preserve an ancient archeological site, the very last thing I could come up with would be to make it part of a military encampment. You could as well command the Three Stooges to protect the place.

So guess what. The military did what it is really, really good at. They made a mess.

Here's a few quotes from the article in the Guardian that made all archeologists on this planet go into cardiac arrest:

Among the damage found by Mr Curtis, who was invited to Babylon by Iraqi antiquities experts, were cracks and gaps where somebody had tried to gouge out the decorated bricks forming the famous dragons of the Ishtar Gate.

He saw a 2,600-year-old brick pavement crushed by military vehicles, archaeological fragments scattered across the site, and trenches driven into ancient deposits.

Vast amounts of sand and earth, visibly mixed with archaeological fragments, were gouged from the site to fill thousands of sandbags and metal mesh baskets. When this practice was stopped, large quantities of sand and earth were brought in from elsewhere, contaminating the site for future generations of archaeologists.

and

He found that large areas of the site had been covered in gravel brought in from outside, compacted and sometimes chemically treated to provide helipads, car parks and accommodation and storage areas. "The status of future information about these areas will therefore be seriously compromised," he said.

Archaeologists were horrified by the confirmation of reports which have been filtering out of Iraq for months.

Yep... that sounds exactly like what I would have expected.

Now I know there is more important things going on in Iraq right now, like the US trying to extract 150.000 of its soldiers from this deathly snake pit that they dug themselves.

So yeah, just a bunch of old colored tiles... but do you remember when the Taliban blew up the Buddha statues at Bamiyan? They showed the world that they are culturally inept barbarians. Does the United States want to be judged along the same lines?

© 1998 - 2019 Thomas Sturm