Sunday, 28 September 2014

Syria and Iraq: Heritage Training for Fighters?

Larry Rothfield ('Protecting heritage in Mesopotamia Redux: Will the US military get it right this time?', The Punching bag Saturday, September 27, 2014) focuses on the suggestion (see here) of Bonnie Burnham of incorporating heritage protection training into American efforts to train Syrian rebels and Iraqi military personnel. All well and good, and yes, please. The problem is that I have a nagging suspicion that all the media attention to heritage destruction in the region recently and all the heritage rhetoric we heard at the Met in Kerry's speech is really a front, a 'vanilla' way to whip up outrage (the 'Bamiyan Effect') and does not in any way represent the real priorities driving the renewed US intervention in the region. It's like the Colin Powell anti-Saddam UN speech with a phial about the fearsome WMD-which-never-existed.

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