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i'm not done yet

Apparently I am not done with my previous post yet. I keep getting pissed about it.

I am not pissed off at the people who are mourning the loss of historical artifacts. What I was railing against was people who left comments like this one:

From Vera Nazarian, posted on April 14, 2003 02:49 PM: This may sound horrible, but given a choice between saving a museum and saving a baby, I would probably run and save the museum. Better yet, I would probably offer them a choice of shooting *me* if that means the historical artifacts remain unharmed.

I strongly agree with what Jo Walton said upstream. Yes, the destruction of one human life is a tragedy, but the distruction of a historical memory is an unforgivable crime against all of humanity.

One person dies and the tragedy affects those who are near and dear and those who are aware of the loss. One historical treasure is lost, and it affects all of us, unto the future generations.

I guess I just can't get into that mindset. I don't care how valuable the "things" you want to save are. To choose a material object over a human life - a baby, yet, with obstensibly a whole life to live yet - is unthinkable to me.

As Stacy said, Goddamn, Vera, remind me to never have you babysit.

UPDATE: See Robin Goodfellow's excellent commentary on this subject.

Comments

Much as i appreciate the humanitarian sentiment, if i ever have to choose between my Sandman collection and a threatened human life, I'm afraid the population's gonna have to make do with the reduction in numbers...

And as for my CD collection, forget about it. There'd better be some of those freaky human shield protestors about, cos they aint getting no sypathy from me.

Hehe

Did that sound cold? Complain if you want, I'm sure that I can drown you out with 'Superunknown' easily enough.

Mmmm, stuff rocks.

Hey, Crimson, is this just your way of getting out of babysitting? I just use the phrase: "I love having children for dinner!" For some reason no one ever asks me to babysit...

Okay, seriously -- I actually confronted the woman who said that, and she posted back that it was a "tough question" Wh-uh... huh? Tough as compared to what? Hey, I don't have any kids, never wanted them -- but I also know that I can reorder my Sandman collection off of Amazon.com. You gonna get a replacement baby that way?

No, but i bet you can get one on eBay...

People are more valuable than things. That said, did you notice that none of the vaults had been blown open? Either they weren't locked or the people that opened them had the combination.

My bet is that most of these cry babies has a little prehistory at home right now, waiting for the fuss to die down. The museum was looted by its own staff.

I cannot even begin to
wrap my mind around the
concept that a "thing" can
be more valuable than
a life.
on the flip side
If your talkin a life like
that of any of the Hussein clan
Well... i'll get back to you.
Just don't hold your breath while you're waiting.

No smaltsy....but, how much shit have you had in your past that you don't have now?
C'mon, I LOVE my "stuff" but geeze, glad I don't have these types to depend upon if caught in a fiery inferno!
AND, BTW, there is no documentation of any kind that I'm aware of that there were any "looters" of the museum artifacts. Makes ME think.

"I ate a baby." -F.B.

"One person dies and the tragedy affects those who are near and dear and those who are aware of the loss. One historical treasure is lost, and it affects all of us, unto the future generations. "

If we value 'things' above human life, we've already lost what little humanity we claim to have.

Any loss of human life is tragic. But to compare a human life to an object is even more tragic. What places us above the animals is that we have a spirit, a soul. By placing us on the same level as "things" we are placed below the animals. To alook at it another way: if a fire breaks out in the barn is a cow going to nudge her calf or her hay/water/feed out the door? Of course, the calf is the choice of the cow; I've seen it happen. Perhaps animals are not below some of us...

Artifacts carry the past, sometimes to teach or sometimes to warn.

A child carries the potential to build the future, and since we're going that way anyway...

For a more upbeat "analysis" of the looting phenomenon, see this post:
"LIKE, MAN, IT'S SO, LIKE ... SURREAL!"(Monday, April 14, 2003).

Michele,
Just put the photo I sent you of that babe's hooters up ("Hug that flag!"), and everyone will immediately forget all about priceless Babylonian artifacts.
'Cause a prime rack trumps everything else.
I guarantee it .

She's a fucking freak. Get used to it, nature doesn't make us all sane, nor does it make us all intellegent. Those human's who are both sane and intelligent probably won't be both for their whole lives.
That's just the human condition sweet heart.

Pop Quiz: On the one hand, your captor has the last original copy of the Constitution. On the other hand, he has one of your children, bound but not gagged. You'll have to watch one of them burn. Choose quickly, or lose both.

The amazing thing about this war is that it has brought home in no uncertain terms that real people are actually having to make choices like this in hell holes all over the world. Part of what makes our intervention right, is that it freed millions of people from having to make those choices every day of their lives.

We made that choice when we invaded Iraq, knowing that there would be loses like this.

They weren't even our kids. They weren't even Christian. Heck, they weren't even WHITE.

We thought they were worth saving from the fire anyway, if only because we knew that if we didn't save them, they'd be our kids in the fire next time.

In MY name, damnbetcha.

What datarat said.

Fortunatly 99% of people have more moral sense than here--- which isn't hard, considering that reptiles have more sense than that psychpathic bitch.

Jesus.

All the artifacts will be on ebay in a week anyway. Not the end of the world. People weren't looting that stuff to bust it up, but to sell it. There's a major trade in artifacts on ebay--- somehow the stuff makes its way from Iraq and other places and ends up in America (and elsewhere). Those people were just bagging some of the better loot. IF they start a buy back program and give good prices, 95% of the stuff will be back in a month.

What Refugee said.

While there is perhaps and understandable root to the looting, I fail to see how this is yet another thing to blame on the Americans. The protestors now say "get out now" and had anyone listened to them the looting would occur anyway and worse. The protesters say "do not occupy" yet the police action they claim should have been taken would surely be taken as a sign of occupation.

Can't win for losing. Can't appease the people who will, regardless of what is done in the name of humanity, find ways to claim humanity is being destroyed.

hmmm...

baby?
dusty old pottery?
baby?
broken statue?
baby?
scroll i might be able to sell to a university?

hmmm...i'm going with baby.

I got yer commentary right here. I think it's good, go read.

Sure, there are prolly many out there having a death and rebirth experience over the destruction of ancient artifacts. But they'll get over it. One lesson of many religions is to relinquish attachment to material objects, and it is wise to follow this path. Material reality is transitory -- one must carry values in one's heart and mind.

Ok, that's my little Eastern philosophy lesson for the day.

A few lives to save millions, the argument could go on forever. The USA had to deal with it to gein their freedom, didn't they? We woudn't know that without history, without stories passed down.

The Declaration of Independance? The Constitution?

Those parts of our history make up who we are, just as the Iraqi items stolen from museums not only make up who they are, but they also represent items representative of world history (as you may know, Iraq is one of the oldest areas of the world, some believe the oldest) Some of that stolen history was biblical, by the way.

These "things" that we are so selfish to worry about define lives and make a civilization what it is now. They represent how they (or we) all got here, where we came from, our struggles to exsist.

What would your attitude be if it were The Constitution or the Declatration of Independance? 9/11 anyone? If every photograp taken of your life was suddenly stolen tomorrow, wouldn't that effect you at all?

To deny someone their history and memories makes their exsistance useless, and seems a bit disrespectful, IMHO.

Yashar - I would let the Constitution or Declaration burn if I had to make the choice between that or saving someone's life.

To deny someone their history and memories makes their exsistance useless, and seems a bit disrespectful, IMHO.

This kind of thinking is alien to me...I am not defined by the past. I learn from it, in some cases draw strength from it...but it no more defines my existence than does my SUV.

This is the same thinking that allows the EU to wallow in "glories" past and refuse to join the freakin' 21st century. Have fun in the past fellas...we'll send you a postcard from the Mars Colony.

Once again, Rummy's obsession with low casualty numbers comes back to bite him on the ass!

NO BLOOD FOR OIL
YES, BLOOD FOR OIL PAINTINGS

By the way, the best suggestion I've seen so far is that U.S. soldiers could have prevented the looting AND avoided killing more civilians by... shooting looters in the foot. I think he was serious.

What's so funny -- in the way that people suffering from utter cognitive dissonance are funny -- is that these "artifacts over babies" comments are coming from exactly the same people who argued that removing Saddam Hussein from power was not worth a single innocent Iraqi life. Not even one.

I'd go with human lives.

On a seperate point, the question of "the Constitution or the Declaration"...these are merely the shells of abstract ideas and ideals. It's the ideals and ideas, the expression of human thought and reason, that is valuable, not the paper that they're printed on. Those items are transitory, while the concepts are timeless and indestructable.

"Pop Quiz: On the one hand, your captor has the last original copy of the Constitution. On the other hand, he has one of your children, bound but not gagged. You'll have to watch one of them burn. Choose quickly, or lose both."

Pop Quiz, my ass. You watch too much tv. Your idiotic strawman might show up on a Philosophy 101 final, but it has nothing to do with the real world.

That anyone here would take this bullshit seriously is not surprising, given that somehow the choice between "human life" and "artifacts" is already a foregone conclusion. Can y'all pinch yourselves, before it's too late?

And I truly wish someone gives that moral wasteland the chance to give up her life for a fucking piece of clay.

Vera, you make me sick. You have no right to devalue the lives of other people. If you are personally ready to give your life to save a piece of mankind's history, then I applaud your conviction.

But that's not the case - you, instead, shrug off the deaths of innocents so that things may survive. You are exactly the kind of monster that Hitler and Stalin were. Never mind the broken eggs, as long as you get your omelet. What difference is there between sacrificing innocent humans for the Communist Ideal, sacrificing innocent humans for Lebensraum für das Herrenvolk, and sacrificing innocent humans to save a museum?

The ONLY justifiable reason for sacrificing human lives is SAVING more human lives.

I do not devalue human lives.

What I do is raise the value of cultural memory. And yes, those of you who say I make you sick, may have missed that in my original post I said that I offer my life instead of the life of the baby OR the museum.

Vera