A new phrase for you: "the world's cultural catastrophe" ... and the Secretary of State waved his hands in the air, mocking, "Henny Penny! The sky is falling! You see a clip of a guy stealing a vase twenty-one times ... how many vases do they have?)
Well, Rumsfeld, you prick, the number is something like 200,000 ... that's the number of items lost, with more smashed. I had been saying 50,000. I was wrong.
CentCom spokes "One Star Vince" said nobody expected the antiquities to be looted (very neatly including the phrase "by the Iraqis themselves" ... another prick!), so we can add this young officer to the list of liars: UNICEF had long ago made arrangements for security; more recently, SecState had been approached, but those arrangements went nowhere; the museum curator in Baghdad pleaded with forces on the ground, at the time ... and was ignored.
A detail: there is a UNICEF accord against trade in antiquities of this sort ... Uncle Sam decided he didn't need such an obstacle to business, and did not sign.
On what does the USofA base its claim to legitimacy, apart from armed might ... anything at all? Ohhhh yes ... there's always marketing. And bribery. And fraud. And Enron accounting. Those are legitimate, right? right? right?