We've heard about Iraqis looting some of their country's ancient treasures and how U.S. troops either didn't try?or were unable?to stop them. Now there's news that our troops have been doing some of the looting themselves and have vandalized one the world's most ancient cities?6,000-year-old Ur in southern Iraq?by spray painting graffiti on the ruins.
The land next to Ur is being turned into an airfield and military base, so there are plenty of U.S. soldiers in the area. Ur is believed to be the birthplace of the prophet Abraham and was the religious center of Sumer, the civilization that ruled the area starting about 4,000 BC. The wheel, writing and mathematics were invented here long before the rise of the Egyptian, Greek or Roman empires. The most famous Sumerian poem is the epic Gilganesh, one of several ancient documents telling of an ancient flood.
The huge U.S. airbase, which will be permanent, is being built next to an ancient ziggurat (stepped pyramid), so the view from the top of the pyramid, which has been unchanged for 6,000 years, will be now permanently altered.
Soldiers have been stealing some of the ancient bricks used to build the city as well. The graffiti is mostly patriotic slogans, such as the Marine Corps motto "Semper Fi," meaning Always Faithful.
What these guys need an education in what's really important.
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