Iraq

U.S. Troops Trash Historic Site

Sure, it may have been an exciting place to set up headquarters, but was it really necessary? Iraqis are outraged at the destruction of one of their most important landmarks, the ruins of ancient Babylon, where King Nebuchadnezzar built the legendary hanging gardens and ruled over one of the most spectacular cities ever known. A report by UNESCO documents some of the poor decisions by U.S. troops, including bulldozing hilltops and covering them with gravel for a parking lot, driving heavy vehicles over "once-sacred pathways," and the destruction of numerous artifacts. Many locals in the area told The Washington Post they have not been to the site since the troops left in 2004 because they cannot bear to see the damage. The head of the Babylon Museum summed up his anger: "They destroyed the whole country, so what are a few old bricks and mud walls in comparison?"