Peter Tompa habitually rejects comments sent to his blog which expose the flaws in his argument. After all, he is paid to defend the indefensible no-questions-asked antiquities market and cannot let his sponsors see that his arguments are perceived as weak and hopelessly out of kilter with the facts.
In pursuit of this aim on Friday, August 21, 2015 he decided to exploit the vicious murder of a Syrian heritage professional to disrupt debate on the market and its connections, giving it an ironic title: 'Exploiting a Tragedy?'. There were five comments on his blog. I have discussed one of them here 'Dealer Maupin and the Killing of Khaled al-As'ad' PACHI Thursday, 27 August 2015.
In reply to Tompa's dismissing of the points made by Larry Rothfield (August 27, 2015 at 10:44 AM) - ending his comment with "I think we should just leave it at that", I sent a comment raising a few points he seems to be overlooking in his desire to ... well, what? What he is doing is certainly not really cultural property observations, just sniping. This is my reply which he refused to publish:
Perhaps you would prefer to cut the discussion short when you are challenged as usual, but it is the function of a paid lobbyist and spokesman to effectively present the case for their industry's differing position on issues like this, especially when the bulk of the media is informing public opinion of a different version. Why give up so easily? Truth surely is what is important here, and not only for the sake of the memory of the dead man.
If, as you say, Al-As'ad was arrested for being known as a former member of the Ba'th party and "his work for the regime" (as a museum director) then there was no reason to hold him for questioning a second time, this time for a month. They'd have taken him straight to the town square and killed him as they did those "numerous other Syrians", straight after Tadmor fell. But they let him go after his first arrest with his son (even though they knew who both were), and his family attests to them being questioned then about antiquities. And then they arrested him a second time and held him a month before executing him. Why?
How many other captured museum personnel have been murdered by ISIL for "their work for the regime"? We have reports of at least one (in the Mike Giglio story which you have still not commented on) not only being let live but asked to work for ISIL - looking for buried antiquities until he escaped to Turkey.
Why is it so difficult for you to admit that ISIL are interested in valuable antiquities? Who is "exploiting" this story and for what?