A prominent Egyptian economist and history commentator has accused the United States of committing a "heinous crime" against Iraqi civilisation.
Writing in Al-Ahram newspaper under the headline "Civilisation destroys civilisation", Gamal Amin pointed out that the criminal acts of the US in Iraq are destroying its rich Arab and Islamic heritage. Just one month after the US-led invasion in 2003, said Amin, the National Museum in Baghdad was attacked and its priceless contents destroyed or stolen. Two days later, he added, the looting spread to the National Library and the specialist library of the Ministry of Religious Endowments, which contained some ancient Qur'anic manuscripts.
Amin noted that the Professor of Archaeology and Ancient History at Boston University, Paul Zimansky, has described the looting of Iraq's artefacts as the "biggest cultural disaster of the past five centuries." He also cited the Professor of the History of Mathematics at Oxford University, Eleanor Robson: "One has to go back in history to the Mongol invasion of Baghdad in 1258 to see a similar looting like the one happening now."
American historian Chalmers Johnson is the author of "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic". According to Amin, he makes the claim that the United States will suffer as a result of its military expansion beyond its borders.
Chalmers described the panic that spread among American academics who have spent their whole lives studying Iraq's ancient civilisations. Some were so devastated by the scale of the destruction wrought by America and its allies on Iraq that they wrote to the US government and Pentagon officials to point out the seriousness of what they were doing to the country. The then US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, responded by saying that, "Free individuals also have the freedom to make mistakes and crimes."