Markos Zúniga links, shockingly, a Guardian report of a lady who takes her work seriously:

An American archaeologist yesterday urged her compatriots to kill the looters who are pillaging archaeological sites in Iraq.

“I would like to see some helicopters flying over these sites, and some bullets fired at the looters,” Elizabeth Stone, head of archaeology at Stony Brook University in New York, said in London yesterday. “I think you have got to kill some people to stop this.”

Markos thinks this might be a bad idea, given that the looters are almost certainly armed (to which I’d add likely better shots than the archeologists).

One also wonders what Stone’s position on the war was. It’s hard to argue that preventing looting is worth the use of force but not prevention of mass executions and other tyrannies, unless one believes antiquities are more valuable than innocent lives.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Katewerk says:

    Ah yes, a juxtaposition I noticed in criticism about US priorities during the media frenzy over the museum looting. As I pointed out to someone at the time:

    What we have learned so far:
    1) Lives are more important than oil.
    2) Pottery is more important than lives.


  2. Katewerk says:

    And speaking of things I’ve said in the past:

    It is still more dangerous to take a ferry in Bangledesh than it is to be an American soldier in Iraq.

    This is so much easier than having my own blog.