SAMPLE EXCERPT:

S. Force responsible for the destruction of their museum and believe that they should provide recovery aide and help get the stolen artifacts back. But the chances remain slim that these value artifacts will ever be returned to their rightful home and consequently, the Iraq national Museum will never be the same again.

According to National Geographic (2003), "Some of Iraq's most significant sites, such as the ancient Assyrian capital of Nimrud and its gold-filled royal tombs which were uncovered in 1988, show serious signs of stress. Bullet shell casings have been discovered on the ground and slabs from the walls of one of the palaces had been stolen. American soldiers now guard Nimrud."

Other sites have not fared as well. Ninevah bore the scars of sledgehammers in the palace and several holes dug by looters seeking gold and ivory artifacts. At the sites of Khorsabad and Tell Billa, the area was littered with unexploded bombs and abandoned military equipment. The Mosul Museum was not as lucky as its counterparts and was the victim of considerable bombing damage, with several shattered windows, which left its artifacts in full view for looters. Bronze reliefs and inscribed bricks were among the missing.

One site that remained intact was Nippur known as the holy city of ancient Mesopotamia, where scribes went to school to learn to read and write and protected by Iraqi tribal guards (National Geographic News, 2003).

In the capital city of Babylon, U.S. troops have taken over Saddam's palace and use it as a central headquarters. Not far from the palace, the museum lies in ruin and the library has been burned and looted. Both represent more desecration to the cultural foundation of Iraq.

Even royal cemeteries and temples have been damaged and are now occupied by Coalition forces. Additionally, many other gardens and palaces have suffered similar fates and most of them continue to be threatened by the elements and the lack of resources to repair them.

It has been widely noted that U.S. Force are now providing support to protect cultural sites and archaeological digs that have not been totally destroyed or looted and the FBI has agreed to help in recovering stolen objects.

The war has inflicted scars on Iraq that many may not see. But anyone who knows the value of a country's history and it's contribution to civilization knows that more has been lost in this war than makes it seem worthwhile. Hugh temples and ancient monuments are no more and the remains of the artifacts of war have taken their place.

Bibliography

http://www.news.nationalgeographic.com."Ancient Iraqi Sites Show Theft, Destruction." National Geographic News. June 2003.

Iraq: For Many, Destruction of Cultural Sites The Most Devastating Aspect of War." Zamira Eshanova. Radio Free Europe Reprint. 2003.