(The consequence of dancing
with wolves - A hard lesson for all those who seek America's
assistance in their internal fighting)
The following are the excerpt of a report
by Nada Bakri of WP Foreign Service titled Babylon's Ancient
Wonder, Lying in Ruins, published on 29 July 2009, and
Maytham Hamzah cast his eyes toward the remains of King
Nebuchadnezzar's guest palace in Babylon, one of the world's
first great cities. He smiled, bitterly.
"They destroyed the whole country," Hamzah, the
head of the Babylon museum, said of U.S.
forces in Iraq. "So what are a few old bricks and
mud walls in comparison?"
forces did not exactly destroy the 4,000-year-old city, home
of one of the world's original seven wonders, the Hanging
Gardens of Babylon. Even before the troops arrived, there
was not much left: a mound of broken mud-brick buildings
and archaeological fragments in a fertile plain between the
Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.
But they did turn it into Camp Alpha, a military base, shortly
after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Their 18-month stay
there caused "major damage" and represented a "grave
encroachment on this internationally known archeological
site," a report released this month in Paris by the
United Nations' cultural agency, UNESCO, says.
The ruins stretch over a rectangular area measuring 2,100
acres along the western banks of the Euphrates. The site
consists of Nebuchadnezzar's palace, which then-President
Saddam Hussein rebuilt in the 1980s; the remains of the Temple
of Ninmakh; and a palace for royal guests. In addition, there
is the Lion of Babylon, a 2,600-year-old sculpture, and the
remains of the Ishtar Gate, the most beautiful of the eight
gates that once ringed the perimeter of the town. It still
bears the symbols of Babylonian gods. According to the report,
which comes after five years of investigation by a team of
Iraqi and international experts, foreign troops and contractors
bulldozed hilltops and then covered them with gravel to serve
as parking lots for military vehicles and trailers. They
drove heavy vehicles over the fragile paving of once-sacred
The report also says that forces built barriers and embankments
to protect the base, pulverizing ancient pottery and bricks
that were engraved with cuneiform characters. They dug trenches
where they stored fuel tanks for their helicopters, which
landed near an ancient theater. Among the structures that
suffered the most damage, according to the report, were the
Ishtar Gate and a processional thoroughfare. Experts also
say troops filled their sandbags with soil from a site that
was littered with archaeological fragments.
"The damage was so great," said Maryam Mussa,
an official from the Iraqi state board of heritage and antiquities,
which is in charge of the site. "It would be so difficult
to repair it, and nothing can make up for it."
"They are occupying forces," said Sabah Hassan,
a 41-year-old resident of Hilla who owns a cafe near the
ruins. "Nobody can tell them what to do."
Tallest A-Shaped Bridge Towers
a Bunch of Liars