The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum [NOOK Book]

Overview

On April 10, 2003, as the world watched a statue of Saddam Hussein come crashing down in the heart of Baghdad, a mob of looters attacked the Iraq National Museum. Despite the presence of an American tank unit, the pillaging went unchecked, and more than 15,000 artifacts—some of the oldest evidence of human culture—disappeared into the shadowy worldwide market in illicit antiquities. In the five years since that day, the losses have only mounted, with gangs digging up roughly half a million artifacts that had ...

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The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum

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Overview

On April 10, 2003, as the world watched a statue of Saddam Hussein come crashing down in the heart of Baghdad, a mob of looters attacked the Iraq National Museum. Despite the presence of an American tank unit, the pillaging went unchecked, and more than 15,000 artifacts—some of the oldest evidence of human culture—disappeared into the shadowy worldwide market in illicit antiquities. In the five years since that day, the losses have only mounted, with gangs digging up roughly half a million artifacts that had previously been unexcavated; the loss to our shared human heritage is incalculable.

With The Rape of Mesopotamia, Lawrence Rothfield answers the complicated question of how this wholesale thievery was allowed to occur. Drawing on extensive interviews with soldiers, bureaucrats, war planners, archaeologists, and collectors, Rothfield reconstructs the planning failures—originating at the highest levels of the U.S. government—that led to the invading forces’ utter indifference to the protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage from looters. Widespread incompetence and miscommunication on the part of the Pentagon, unchecked by the disappointingly weak advocacy efforts of worldwide preservation advocates, enabled a tragedy that continues even today, despite widespread public outrage.

Bringing his story up to the present, Rothfield argues forcefully that the international community has yet to learn the lessons of Iraq—and that what happened there is liable to be repeated in future conflicts. A powerful, infuriating chronicle of the disastrous conjunction of military adventure and cultural destruction, The Rape of Mesopotamia is essential reading for all concerned with the future of our past.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

On the list of things that went wrong with the Iraq War, the wholesale destruction of that country's archeological inheritance often goes unmentioned. The average newspaper reader may recall that the Iraq National Museum was badly looted in the aftermath of initial hostilities, but very few realize how entirely predictable the looting was, how negligible the Bush administration's efforts were to prevent it and how far beyond the museum the thefts extended, and still continue. In this "autopsy of a cultural disaster," Rothfield (Vital Signs) breaks down the disaster into its discrete parts, using the looting as a perfect metaphor for the failures of planning and execution that have characterized the conflict thus far. Referencing Colin Powell's famous "Pottery Barn rule" ("You break it, you own it"), Rothfield writes, "The barn door knocked in by the Americans remains wide open, and Iraq's cultural heritage is being broken day by day.... [T]he loss is not just to Iraq but to us all." It may not carry the bombast and thrill of other war accounts, but this book serves as a frightening cautionary tale. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Rothfield (director, Cultural Policy Ctr., Univ. of Chicago; Antiquities Under Siege: Cultural Heritage Protection After the Iraq War) here recounts the tragic and disastrous events that befell the Iraq Museum following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. His sobering account shows not only how fragile a nation's past truly is but that national history is typically at the bottom of the list when collateral damage from military operations is being considered. The museum's demise and the continued downward spiral of Iraq's national heritage following the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime strongly indicate that the country's cultural legacy does not figure largely in plans for postwar reconstruction. VERDICT Rothfield's investigations into the demise of the Iraq Museum and how it could have been avoided had allied American and British military and political officials paid attention is a curt yet serious indictment of our post-9/11 age. Appropriate for both general and more scholarly readers, especially those interested in the interrelationships between politics and culture.—John E. Dockall, Prewitt & Assoc., Inc. Austin, TX


—John E. Dockall
Chicago Tribune

"A lucid, well-researched book [that] explains why the sacking of the National Museum of Iraq and the ongoing looting of archaeological sites throughout that country matter so much, and what could have been done to prevent the tragedy."--Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune

— Julia Keller

Marginal Revolution

"The definitive book on its topic."—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

— Tyler Cowen

The National

"Rothfield puts into play some critical--and until now largely ignored--questions about the role of cultural expertise in 21st century warfare.. . . It is one of the merits of Rothfield's meticulous account that it shies away from a simple explanation. Instead, The Rape of Mesopotamia shows, again and again, how mutual suspicion between archaeologists and museum officials prevented the formation of a more unified front for dealing with the byzantine Washington bureaucracy."--The National

— Hugh Eaken

San Francisco Chronicle

"Rothfield's mournful probe blends fact-finding and distillation of published work. Short and terse, it's a manual for policymakers about a colossal failure, and a reminder that enforcement could have minimized looting of the country's cultural treasures."--San Francisco Chronicle

— David D'Arcy

The Toronto Star

"A blow-by-blow account, unsparing to most of the players while praising a very few, The Rape of Mesopotamia builds its own kind of momentum as we watch the unfolding of yet another appalling crime against humanity's common heritage."
Times Higher Education

"The Rape of Mesopotamia is an important book and one that should be read by anyone interested in the Iraq War, US foreign policy or modern history, as well as by members of the cultural heritage community. The book is not primarily about cultural heritage per se, but is above all a political history of an important event in recent world history, and as such should be of as much interest to the general as to the academic reader."

Harper's

“[I]t . . . completely upends the heroic World War II narratives that still shape our notions of the inevitable benevolence of American military interventions.”--Benjamin Moser, Harper's

N+1

"Lawrence Rothfield has produced an expose tha
— Alexander Bevilacqua

The Star

"Its blow-by-blow account, unsparing to most of the playerss while praising a very few, builds its own kind of momentum as we watch the unfolding of yet another appalling crime against humanity's common cultural heritage."

— Hans Werner

Al-Ahram

"While Rothfield's book recounts a mostly sorry tale of official failure and insouciance, he is to be thanked for his own painstaking work of historical reconstruction."
THES

"An important book and one that should be read by anyone interested in the Iraq War, US foreign policy or modern history, as well as by members of the cultural heritage community. The book is not primarily about cultural heritage per se, but is above all a political history of an important event in recent world history, and as such should be of as much interest to the general public as to the academic reader."

— Johan Franzen

Times Literary Supplement

"Rothfield tells this story with clarity and precision. . . . Even today there are those who deny that anything of value was lost or that sites were significantly damaged, despite the overwhelming objective evidence to the contrary. . . . This books shows that the claim that the damage could not have been anticipated, and the refusal to believe it actually happened, are inexcusable."--Times Literary Supplement

— Paul Zimansky

Mounir Bouchenaki

"The Rape of Mesopotamia is both a testimony and an appeal. It is a testimony to the cultural disaster which occurred in April 2003 under the eyes of millions of TV viewers. Lawrence Rothfield has carried out what he thought was his duty as a scholar and presented the facts and figures to the reader on what happened to the cultural heritage of Iraq. The book is also an appeal to the conscience of humanity, because the situation in Iraq has, unfortunately, led to continuous looting and destruction of works of art. Because the antiquities of Iraq are still unprotected, this book is coming at the right time to awaken those who are responsible for returning this country to a normal life."

Kenneth W. Dam

“The tragedy of the 2003 U.S. armed invasion of Iraq is endlessly debated. But in decades and centuries to come, perhaps the greatest lasting tragedy will come to be seen as the looting of the Iraqi National Museum and especially the ensuing pillaging of archaeological sites, erasing cultural history vestiges of great civilizations. Lawrence Rothfield in his impressively detailed analysis explains not just what happened but why it happened and why it is likely that similar tragedies may well accompany future conflicts in other archeologically rich countries."

Colin Renfrew

Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum lies a tale, told with brutal candour by Lawrence Rothfield, of gut-wrenching negligence and astonishing incompetence by American (and British) politicians and military leaders, and of their disastrous outcome. He documents in incriminating detail the scale of the disaster, the unsuccessful attempts by archaeologists to avert it, and the crass unconcern of official responses. The lasting and bitter legacy remains a telling indictment of the two allied governments. I defy any citizen who reads this disquieting book to do so without a sense of shame at the failure to avert this predictable and preventable disaster.”
Marginal Revolution - Tyler Cowen

"The definitive book on its topic."

Chicago Tribune - Julia Keller

"A lucid, well-researched book [that] explains why the sacking of the National Museum of Iraq and the ongoing looting of archaeological sites throughout that country matter so much, and what could have been done to prevent the tragedy."
The National - Hugh Eaken

"Rothfield puts into play some critical--and until now largely ignored--questions about the role of cultural expertise in 21st century warfare.. . . It is one of the merits of Rothfield's meticulous account that it shies away from a simple explanation. Instead, The Rape of Mesopotamia shows, again and again, how mutual suspicion between archaeologists and museum officials prevented the formation of a more unified front for dealing with the byzantine Washington bureaucracy."
San Francisco Chronicle - David D'Arcy

"Rothfield's mournful probe blends fact-finding and distillation of published work. Short and terse, it's a manual for policymakers about a colossal failure, and a reminder that enforcement could have minimized looting of the country's cultural treasures."
N+1 - Alexander Bevilacqua

"Lawrence Rothfield has produced an expose that is all the more powerful for its calm tone. . . . His conclusion: Americans in positions of power and responsibility are collectively culpable for the destruction of the Iraqi cultural heritage, a 'pervasive policy failure.'"
The Star - Hans Werner

"Its blow-by-blow account, unsparing to most of the playerss while praising a very few, builds its own kind of momentum as we watch the unfolding of yet another appalling crime against humanity's common cultural heritage."
THES - Johan Franzen

"An important book and one that should be read by anyone interested in the Iraq War, US foreign policy or modern history, as well as by members of the cultural heritage community. The book is not primarily about cultural heritage per se, but is above all a political history of an important event in recent world history, and as such should be of as much interest to the general public as to the academic reader."
Ambassador Brandon Grove (ret.)
"The Rape of Mesopotamia is a sobering account of the looting of antiquities in Iraq. I well recognize the depiction of obstacles encountered by various actors trying to prevent this disaster from happening. Rothfield's description of the mind-numbingly bureaucratic civilian/military setting is deftly handled. I did not previously appreciate the competing interests of various private organizations in this area, and the glaring conflict of interest on the part of those in the private sector who seek to keep looted antiquities flowing their way. Rothfield has performed an invaluable service in writing this book.  One can only hope that the next time around (god help us!) vastly greater attention on the part of planners and occupiers will be paid to the need to protect and safeguard our common heritage no matter where it may be threatened."
Times Literary Supplement - Paul Zimansky

"Rothfield tells this story with clarity and precision. . . . Even today there are those who deny that anything of value was lost or that sites were significantly damaged, despite the overwhelming objective evidence to the contrary. . . .  This books shows that the claim that the damage could not have been anticipated, and the refusal to believe it actually happened, are inexcusable."
General Anthony C. Zinni

“One of the many tragedies that resulted from the arrogance and poor planning that preceded the Iraq invasion was the lack of foresight in protecting the irreplaceable artifacts that represented the rich millennial culture of Iraq. Lawrence Rothfield has written a remarkable account of the looting that occurred and the efforts in the aftermath to recover the invaluable representations of an important historical culture that may be lost forever. This is a must read for all those who value our heritage and the need to preserve it during conflicts that threaten it.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226729435
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 228
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Lawrence Rothfield is the former director of the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago and associate professor of English and comparative literature. He is the author of Vital Signs: Medical Realism in Nineteenth-Century Fiction and the editor of Unsettling "Sensation": Arts Policy Lessons from the Brooklyn Museum of Art and Antiquities under Siege: Cultural Heritage Protection after the Iraq War.

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Read an Excerpt


The Rape of Mesopotamia

Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum


By Lawrence Rothfield
University of Chicago Press
Copyright © 2009

The University of Chicago
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-226-72945-9



Chapter One "Nobody Thought of Culture" War-Related Heritage Protection in the Early Prewar Period

Much has been written about the U.S. military's failure to prepare adequately for the post-combat phase of the 2003 war and about the disastrous impact such shortsightedness had on virtually every sector of Iraqi society. The failure to take steps to prevent the looting of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad-and the less publicized, though far more devastating, ongoing looting of Iraq's archaeological sites-must be understood within this larger short-term context of failure to protect any number of arguably more important assets. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's well-documented desire for invading forces to go in lighter and faster required jettisoning supposedly inessential forces from the first wave, and this meant there simply would be too few boots on the ground in Baghdad to be able to spare tanks to guard buildings, including but by no means limited to the museum. Undoubtedly, too, the rush to war meant that postwar planning would be foreshortened and truncated, in ways that made it difficult for cultural heritage protection-and any number of other important postwar tasks-to even get onto the planning agenda, let alone included in operational orders.

But it would be a mistake to assume that Rumsfeld's strategic preference for speed, the rush to war, or even the tactical decision to punch into Baghdad were the only factors sealing the fate of the museum. There were also deep-seated, longer-term structural impediments, within both the military and the Bush administration, that blocked the development of assets capable of being deployed to protect museums and archaeological sites, had Pentagon policy makers or United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) planners wished to do so.

Soldiers consider themselves warriors, not police, and the American military in particular has traditionally placed a much lower value on the mundane tasks of patrolling or guarding areas than on combat operations. Peacekeeping and stability operations are thankless jobs, lacking the glory associated with the phrase "Mission accomplished." The military's relative indifference to this aspect of their work is reflected in the failure to establish standing units of civil-military officers or trained units of paramilitary police, even after the Gulf War, Bosnia, and Kosovo made clear that such troops were needed. Although it was obvious to any analyst of these conflicts that the U.S. military needed, at the very least, the capacity to train indigenous police as well as other specialized civil-military units, policing within the military continued to be funded in an ad hoc manner, through cumbersome supplementary budget requests coming from the State Department. As Robert Perito notes, while the military engaged in serious lessons-learned reviews that improved combat operations, "no similar effort at efficiency on the post-conflict side was made by relevant U.S. civilian agencies and executive-branch departments [nor, one might add, by the uniformed military]; they simply had not adopted post-conflict stability as a core mission."

In this the U.S. military differed considerably from its NATO allies, for several reasons. First, our European counterparts had experience operating national police and paramilitary security forces and were comfortable with their functioning in tandem with regular military. In contrast, America has never permitted the development of a national police, reflecting the distrust of centralized power that has characterized America since its founding.

But U.S. constabulary functions at the start of the Bush administration were also less robust than our allies' for a second set of reasons having to do with NATO war-fighting strategy developed for the Cold War era. As policy analyst Scott Feil explains:

NATO doctrine called for member nations to take care of their own populations in the event of conflict with the Warsaw Pact. Since the expected conflict would take place largely on the continent, the U.S. military was somewhat absolved from the responsibility for large-scale governance and reconstruction duties. Those would be handled by the NATO allies' governments, and U.S. military responsibilities were to conduct war according to the accepted law of land warfare. That meant moving civilian populations out of the way of conflict, taking due care not to unnecessarily create civilian casualties or destroy non-military targets, etc. But the large-scale governance, constabulary, and reconstruction capabilities that existed at the end of WWII were, to a substantial extent, allowed to atrophy.

The uniformed military's congenital predisposition against policing, the absence of a national police, and the historically ingrained war-fighting posture of American forces all contributed to the neglect of postwar planning for securing sites. None of these conditions, however, would have been as debilitating as they turned out to be, had they not dovetailed with the Bush administration's pre-9/11 desire to get the military out of the business of peacemaking operations. Bush's foreign policy team, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell, came into office suggesting they preferred civilians to handle post-combat policing, a desire that meshed nicely with Rumsfeld's vision of a leaner and more mobile military. The president's first national security directive accordingly nullified all interagency groups, including the Peacekeeping Core Group that the Clinton administration had set up in an effort to grapple with the problem. Clinton's policy directives on peacekeeping were suspended pending review, leaving no clear policy on what assistance the United States should provide for restoring public order, who was to be responsible, how interagency programs should be coordinated, or where funding should come from.

In this environment, responsibility for policing fell to the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), in particular to a small group of midlevel officials acting with almost no oversight and no standing forces upon which to draw. Recruiting for UN peacekeeping missions was therefore contracted out to a firm that hired police officers looking for some easy money and adventure, leading to a scandal in Bosnia when several American officers were accused of involvement in sexual trafficking.

The devastating effect America's abdication of responsibility for peacekeeping could have on cultural heritage was demonstrated in Afghanistan, where an international security force authorized by the UN began to deploy only in January 2002, a month after the establishment of an interim government. But even this deployment was limited to Kabul, with responsibility for maintaining security elsewhere left to the Afghans. The Afghan Northern Alliance already had a 4,000-strong police force that was dispatched to Kabul when the Northern Alliance occupied it. The long-term goal was to train 70,000 police officers. Citing the Marshall Plan in a speech on the issue, Bush raised hopes that the administration had recognized the necessity for nation building. But the U.S. policy was immediately clarified by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Both men remained opposed to using American soldiers as police and envisaged building a national Afghan army and police force, using international peacekeepers in Kabul, and sending Special Forces teams to work with regional warlords.

The European Union nations did have experienced peacekeeping forces that might have done the job. Moreover, they also maintained specialized paramilitary units trained to deal with cultural heritage protection, in particular the Italian Carabinieri (a standing force), NATO's smaller CIMIC Group North Cultural Affairs unit, and national reservist teams from the Netherlands and Poland. Iran also might have been able to provide militarized cultural guards, if this had not been a nonstarter for obvious reasons. But with the UN initially restricted to Kabul, instability growing in the countryside, and tensions growing with Europe over American unilateralism in other policy areas, European countries resisted the United States' suggestion that they should take primary responsibility for peacekeeping on far-flung archaeological sites, where looting had increased a thousand-fold under the Taliban. German forces assisted civilian experts in the heartbreaking task of conserving what was left of the Bamiyan cliffs and niches, under the auspices of UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), but the remainder of Afghanistan's sites remained unsecured.

By December 2003, the news from UNESCO on the situation in Afghanistan was grim:

Positive signs of more vigorous international cooperation [in post-Taliban Afghanistan] face one major challenge in reversing the tragic process of impoverishment of Afghanistan's cultural heritage, namely the continuous looting of archaeological sites and illicit traffic of cultural property outside of the country. The Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan estimates that ongoing looting and illicit traffic are of an amplitude comparable to that endured during the Taliban regime. Means available to counter looting remain limited, especially in provincial areas where the security situation is still volatile. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Information and Culture requested the deployment of five hundred armed guards at the most exposed archaeological sites in the country. So far, resources available to restore law and order throughout the country have been insufficient to meet this demand.

Much of the disaster being suffered by Afghanistan's archaeological heritage can be laid to the policy decision to permit warlords to police their own areas in lieu of a robust coalition military policing presence. On one important newly discovered site, the local warlord banned government officials while his troops plundered it. When the government sent police officers to another site that was also being looted by a warlord, four were murdered. Consequently looting in the countryside has reportedly grown completely out of control: between 2004 and 2006, the British government seized three to four tons (!) of plundered items smuggled into the United Kingdom from liberated Afghanistan.

UNESCO's monitoring of the travails of Afghan heritage protection efforts reflected the international organization's commitment, formalized in the 1972 World Heritage Convention, to work through governmental agencies to induce militaries to reduce war-related harm to antiquities. Unfortunately, despite the ratification of the UNESCO Convention by the United States, there was little UNESCO could do on its own to affect an indifferent military. Any influence would have to be exercised indirectly, through interlocutors within the State Department or other American agencies that might have a stake in cultural heritage protection.

Identifying precisely whom that might be, however, was no easy matter. Such was the degree of disorganization and disinterest about cultural heritage issues inside the government that it puzzled even so astute and seasoned a policy player as Arthur Houghton. Houghton was one of a very small number of people with inside experience of both Washington bureaucracy and the higher levels of the cultural sector. A blueblood scion of the founder of the Corning Glass Works, he had spent thirteen years in the State Department as a Foreign Service officer and six years as an international policy analyst in the White House under both George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. But he also had served as acting curator during the early years of the Getty Museum (where he had suffered the unfortunate experience of purchasing a kouros later determined to be fake), and as a member of the president's Cultural Property Advisory Committee. His own collecting passion was Seleucid coins, on which he is one of the world's leading experts.

In late spring 2002, Houghton was approached by Ashton Hawkins, the former executive vice president and counsel to the trustees of the Metropolitan Museum-and, like Houghton, a proponent of liberalizing antiquities laws to make it easier for antiquities to be exported from countries of origin. Hawkins asked his friend to nose around Washington to find out what was being done by officials and heritage advocates in preparation for what was looking increasingly likely to be a war against Iraq.

Houghton had assumed that there would be an office somewhere in the Defense Department or State Department where the war-related dangers to Mesopotamian sites and the National Museum in Baghdad were already being thought about. "What I discovered," he recalls, "was, lo and behold, nobody was handling the issue, there was no one I could find who was tagged with the responsibility for dealing with the protection and preservation of culture, material culture in Iraq, anywhere in the U.S. government."

In an earlier epoch, someone like Houghton-Harvard educated, urbane, and well connected-might have been able to bring the concerns of Hawkins and others to the attention of policy makers at the highest level simply by calling a few friends in the power elite to warn them that attention must be paid to cultural heritage protection. As Lynn Nicholas shows, this is how it was done in World War II in the run-up to the Normandy invasion: the director of the Metropolitan Museum, after consulting with colleagues in Boston, met over dinner with the board of the National Gallery in Washington, which just happened to include Chief Justice Harlan Stone and the secretaries of state and the treasury. The chief justice offered to serve as chair of a national committee and sent a memo directly to Roosevelt, who responded in favorable terms.

But the old-boy network was a thing of the past, and Houghton found it necessary to hunt through the bureaucracy for months in search of someone who would pay attention. His long quest for an interlocutor inside the government over time would bring him in contact, directly or indirectly, with the Defense Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, State Department elements such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as various think tanks.

Houghton and Hawkins were not wrong, however, to assume that somewhere there was already some group pulling together plans for postwar Iraq. In May 2002 the Middle East Institute (MEI), a Washington think tank with close ties to the State Department, was beginning to serve as the administration's unofficial host for the Future of Iraq (FOI) Project. And the Future of Iraq Project itself was the outgrowth of months of work. With clearance from the Pentagon and the vice president's office, the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs had begun thinking about the aftermath of a "transition" in Iraq as early as October 2001, cobbling together a list of postwar jobs and topics to be considered. The idea was to ask Iraqi exiles to craft a future set of institutions and policies for post-liberation Iraq. In March 2002 the Middle East Institute announced the lineup of working groups to develop plans for Iraq's public sectors.

But even with the green light from Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, this initiative still faced stiff opposition from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and especially from its chair, aging archconservative Jesse Helms. Helms wanted to promote Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC) above the dozens of other exile groups solicited for experts by the FOI Project. At Helms's insistence, Congress had forbidden any official involvement with exiles by the State Department; housing the project at the Middle East Institute was a way of getting around that stricture, but it was also a risky venture. For that reason, the FOI Project's organizers-Ryan Crocker, later to become U.S. ambassador to Iraq but at that point serving as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs; Thomas Warrick, a senior advisor on Iraq serving under Crocker; and David Mack, director of the MEI-made sure the project kept a very low profile. They buried their announcement in the midst of a news cycle dominated by Afghanistan and pulled working groups together quietly-so quietly that the project's existence remained essentially unknown to anyone from the cultural heritage community. Even Houghton, who had at one point served on the Middle East Institute's board, knew nothing about the initiative.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from The Rape of Mesopotamia by Lawrence Rothfield Copyright © 2009 by The University of Chicago. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1  Cultural Heritage Protection in Iraq before 2003: The Long View

2  “Nobody Thought of Culture”: War-Related Heritage Protection in the Early Prewar Period

3  Getting to the Postwar Planning Table

4  The Meetings

5  A Punctual Disaster: The Looting of the National Museum of Iraq

6  The World Responds

7  The Slow-Motion Disaster: Post-Combat Looting of Archaeological Sites

8  Deathwatch for Iraqi Antiquities

Coda

Appendix: Interviews

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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