Saturday, April 19, 2003

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage Not just the museums have been hit by looting. Even the zoo has been emptied by people, with animals being stolen or simply let loose to roam the streets. The only animals left are the lions and tigers who are starving to death because the zoo vet has no money to buy food for them. Each of the animals needs 5 kilos of meat a day, a total of 40 kilos per day or about 100 lbs. I would think that surely the army could help out. What were the Americans thinking of? That the army would walk into Baghdad and find everything in place and a welcoming population? No thought in advance.

Friday, April 18, 2003

U.S. Gives Bechtel a Major Contract in Rebuilding Iraq Anyone who believes that the US is acting in the best interests of the Iraqi people needs to consider such actions as this awarding of contracts to US firms and their non-defense of the Baghdad museums that were looted and destroyed. Any fool could have predicted such destruction and prepared for it. And this way, with the awards to Bechtel and Halliburton (can anyone see Dick Cheney here?) the cost of rebuilding the Iraq that the US destroyed will not only be born by the Iraqi people, but will enrich the US. There are perfectly good construction firms in the Middle East that are not American...but the whole point has nothing to do with helping the area, only the US. Am I bitter and cynical? You bet....and with damn good reason.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Abdellatif Laâbi - The Academy of American Poets My daily life is not one of ease, trying to deal with businesses left leaderless by my husband's death three years ago. I turn from the work beneath me to the world around me and find that it is preferable to think about the immediate problems with the disasters facing us regionally. Every now and then something comes along that helps to ease the burdens.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Pillagers Strip Iraqi Museum of Its Treasure Many years ago I was a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley, and not having a strong sense of what I wanted to study, I spent a year studying ancient Middle Eastern Art History. I remember spending hours pouring over wildly expensive books full of beautiful photographs of statues, jewelry, and other artifacts. We had to know the name of each one, who it represented and where it was found. Today, reading this article in the New York Times, I can see that many of the pieces I studied in awe so many years ago are now lost, mostly due to the irresponsibility of men who go in to wage a "war" in which they face little or no opposition and who don't stop to think about the consequences of destroying the local legal forces. Again, the Americans show themselves to be so utterly ignorant of other countries and cultures.