I question the destruction.

Destruction in war to be expected

The military incursion in Iraq, for brevity lets term it a war (though the Congress hasn’t declared it such, they did give President Bush the blank check to act as such) can be expected to cause much destruction. Much of the munitions being used are very good at minimizing collateral damage to both human life and property. But when a 1000 pound bomb explodes in your neighborhood, you have to expect a bit of damage. It’s war, that happens, lets get some oil money in there to fix it.

What I don’t understand is the mindless need for destruction. Not by looting hoards, which, as distressing as it may be, is typical human behavior. The mindless destruction that is bothering me is that being performed by our troops.

The largest one was big news and seen by many throughout the world. It was the US troops helping the local celebrators to topple the Saddam statue. Certainly, it holds great symbolism, just as the downing of the Berlin Wall, and that destruction is one I can handle, as I’m sure many can. And with it the many other, possibly nice works of art save for their content, portraits and statues of Saddam. It would be nice for some museum somewhere were to have a piece or two of any particularly nice work. Just as there are Holocaust museums throughout the world, there will need to be museums that remind us of this part of history and let us take lessons from it. But even destroyed art of Saddam can be used for those.

There is a line we should not cross

Some other destruction that has occurred is less clear in its value. Many of the palaces, which now belong to the people could one day be great museums. They should be preserved wherever possible. Some were lost in early days of the war because they sat atop bunker systems. Their destruction may have added to the Shock and Awe of the initial days, but we can never be certain if their destruction was required in the big scheme of things.

A luxury yacht of Saddam’s was bombed into oblivion. There was likely no pressing reason it should have been targeted, and I would wager that a troop of navy seals could be dropped in the water nearby and take it without scratching the finish. The new government could decide to dispose of it for the cash, or provide public, free cruises on it. It would make a nice wedding reception boat and income for the state. Does it’s mere ownership by Saddam require that it be destroyed? How much of the country must we tear down only to rebuild it?

Saddam Hussein's luxury yacht, the al Mansur

This attack and destruction was certainly decided at a higher level and they should be the ones who could answer if it is necessary. There is other destruction that I’m not sure at what level the decision is being made. The “bush doormat” at the Bagdad Hotel. It was an intricate tile mosaic in the entrance intended as an insult to the “West” and the first President Bush. It was recently destroyed and replaced with a Saddam portrait.

Bush Doormat in Baghdad Hotel Dismantled (full story)
Fri Apr 11, 5:29 AM ET

By CHRIS TOMLINSON, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq – There was a bit of unfinished business left over in Baghdad from the 1991 Gulf War. The U.S. Army has taken care of it.
At the Al-Rashid Hotel, President Bush the elder — father of the current American chief executive who ordered this year’s invasion of Iraq — is a doormat no more.

U.S. soldiers visited the battered Al-Rashid on Thursday night wielding hammers and chisels, and dug out the intricate tile mosaic of the former president that was used for years as a state-sponsored insult….

A mosaic is no small feat and from the accounts this was no small mosaic. It would have been much easier to just cover over the mosaic with the picture of Saddam, and at some other time have art historians remove the mosaic. It would have been a great “trophy” for the current president to present to the presidential library of his father, amending the exhibit and information which no doubt exists in reference to the first gulf war. But, we tore it up.

I know there is a primal urge for destruction, you see it in most toddler to adolescent males on the planet. Part of becoming a Man is overcoming your primality to benefit Mankind. We need to see more of that in Iraq in the days to come.