Monday, June 09, 2008

What does the new Status of Forces agreement mean for the future of Iraq's already-devastated archaeological sites?

With the Bush administration rushing to finalize a Status of Forces agreement defining relations between the U.S. military and Iraq , chances seem good that no one will raise -- much less push for -- a more robust collaboration between our forces and the beleaguered site police working for Iraq's State Board of Antiquities and Heritage. The Iraqi site inspectors are short of almost everything they need to do their jobs: vehicles, gas, weapons, helicopters, walkie-talkies. To support the Iraqis in protecting what is after all not just their but also our heritage would be quite easy and inexpensive, and would be a public relations plus.

Unfortunately, like so many other opportunities, this one is likely to be missed, and the pillaging will continue.

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