A correction for today, Dawkins:
THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION began at the wane of the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, in the so-called Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and the Euphrates. This is the cradle of human civilisation whose irreplaceable relics in the Baghdad Museum were vandalised in 2003, under the indifferent eyes of American invaders whose priorities led them to protect the Ministry of Oil instead.(The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution
By Richard Dawkins :27) (Emphasis added)
Invasion and action, it all seems so very invasive to Leftists like Dawkins, those who clearly have the urge to merge.
Reality is most likley a little more shaded inbetween the Right and Left, e.g.:
On April 15, 2003, in the Iraqi city of Basra, an enraged British journalist whose name has been lost to history stormed up to a US marine colonel and his men and denounced them as "macho assholes". The colonel had been looking for weapons and cash left behind by the ousted Iraqi regime, but this reporter believed fiercely that he should be more concerned that "the finest museum in the world has just been looted".(The Guardian (London) - Final Edition
By a peculiar turn of fate, she had stumbled on the one person in the whole of modern Mesopotamia who both cared deeply about the cultural calamity at Baghdad's Iraq museum and possessed the expertise, determination and clout to do something about it. His name was Matthew Bogdanos - a Greek-American classics scholar and a New York prosecutor, whose toughness and tenacity had earned him the nickname "pit bull" even before he went off to fight the "war on terror".
Colonel Bogdanos cannot remember the name of the reporter who vented her frustration at him, but she appears to have set off an extraordinary train of events. Five days after the encounter, he had overcome the objections of his superior officers and was at the gates of the Baghdad museum, heading a mixed bag of volunteer soldiers and investigators, ready to hunt down Iraq's lost legacy.
What followed over the next two years was an epic feat of wartime sleuthing which took Bogdanos along a trail from pitch-black underground chambers and submerged bank vaults in Baghdad to the sleek antiquity dealerships of Madison Avenue, in pursuit of lost treasures with Harry Potterish names, such as the Sacred Vase of Warka. Along the way, more than 5,000 artworks, including unique pieces from the first fluttering of civilisation, were recovered. Bogdanos left active duty in the marines last month, but he is still on the hunt for the thousands of objects still unaccounted for. When he returns to the Manhattan district attorney's office, where he worked before the September 11 attacks, he has permission, he says, to set up a new arts and antiquities unit.
The story so far is told in his new book, Thieves of Baghdad, the royalties from which will go back to the Iraq museum.
All the acclaim notwithstanding, Bogdanos gives the impression of boiling with anger from the first hello. He launches into a tirade against media reports of the looting (including the Guardian's account) which exaggerated the number of stolen objects, claiming 170,000 were missing. According to Bogdanos the figure was less than a tenth of that. And he is still infuriated by the suggestion that, as he puts it, "Coalition forces stood idly by as looters ransacked the museum." That, he insists, "is simply and undeniably factually inaccurate".
Between April 10 and 12 2003, when most of the thefts took place, Bogdanos says the museum was being used as a redoubt by Iraqi Special Republican Guard troops. "It simply could not have been secured without a battle that would have been devastating, or blood loss that would have been criminal on the part of the commander on the ground," he says.
On the other hand, and with an equal measure of outrage, Bogdanos holds the US forces responsible for taking four days to arrive at the museum after the management's appeal for help on April 12. "It's not sinister. It's not evil. It's inexcusable," he says. In those four days, he says, the museum's Iraqi curators kept the thieves of Baghdad at bay themselves, but much of the damage had already been done.
Half an hour into the interview, Bogdanos is still fighting mad, and it is clear that enraged bellowing is his default mode of communication. A truly accurate transcript of our interview would have to be entirely in capital letters, punctuated with multiple exclamation and question marks, and occasionally hyphenated to show where he slows down, as if instructing a raw teenage recruit. Is he always so hot under the collar? "Injustice always angers me," he replies.
November 21, 2005
Guardian Features Pages, Pg. 12
HEADLINE: G2: The hunt for Iraq's lost treasure: When thousands of antiquities were looted from Baghdad's Iraq museum, US marine Matthew Bogdanos pledged to get them back. After two years of sleuthing, he has become a national hero.
Byline: Julian Borger)
Note: "On the [Left] hand...Bogdanos holds the US forces responsible for taking four days to arrive at the museum after the management's appeal for help on April 12. 'It's not sinister.'"
I think I would minimize the sinister view from the Left here if all that can be said is that it took four days for the Right to set things right.
Some of the specifics bear repeating, Dawkins: "This is the cradle of human civilisation whose irreplaceable relics in the Baghdad Museum were vandalised in 2003, under the indifferent eyes of American invaders..." vs. "...he is still infuriated by the suggestion that, as he puts it, 'Coalition forces stood idly by as looters ransacked the museum.' That, he insists, 'is simply and undeniably factually inaccurate.'"
What use has the Leftist mind for facts, logic and evidence, though? Apparently Dawkins has set out to prove that one can write a 500 page book that avoids empirical facts or abuses facts to fit his type of mentally retarded psychological dynamics.