Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Looting, Revisited

"Heavy suspicion remains that failure of the US to protect heritage sites, more than negligence, was a deliberate oversight designed as a kind of cultural 'shock and awe' that would devastate a sense of shared culture among Iraqis, leaving a blank page for the imprint of the US occupying force and the reconstruction to follow," contends an article by Stephen Smith which reconsiders the looting of cultural sites in Iraq. "If proven, this would be cultural genocide not witnessed during this civilization and indeed rarely experienced over the 7,000-year time span of these lost collections."

Smith's piece draws heavily from Jean Baudrillard's essay, "The Despair of Having Everything," which, while being a bit theoretical, is also worth a read.