Article Overview:    Baghdad museums have been looted of priceless antiquities.   Many cry in sorrow over the loss of great historical artifacts, and rightly so.   But what about the loss of the greatest of all antiquities--the legacy of wisdom and knowledge passed from grandparent to grandchild?  Who is protecting that great artifact?


Friday, February 20, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 891
Terrorize Culture:
Kill History

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 20, 2004 -- The Beast of Terror loves to rip and shred culture, to destroy the legacy between the past and the present.
         He's doing that in Iraq.

Marine Colonel Matthew Bogdanos is the head of the artifact recovery team in Iraq

One of the great treasure chests of the world is Baghdad's National Museum which was the vault for the artifacts illustrating the invention of written language, the world's first laws and the birth of city life.
         In the first few days of the Iraqi War, an estimated 170,000 priceless artifacts were reported to be looted or destroyed.    The destruction of some of history's most valuable antiquities was called by Marine Col. Matthew Bogdanos, the "second coming of Genghis Khan.
          Bogdanos volunteered to head up a recovery team comprising CIA and military investigators.   A Manhattan prosecutor, Bogdanos is known as a "pit bull," who latches on and shakes until whomever he has in his jaws surrenders.
            When he surveyed the situation in Iraq, he found that many of the reported "stolen" or "destroyed" artifacts had been secreted away.  More than 40,000 ancient manuscripts were hidden in a bomb shelter, and 7,400 artifacts were locked in the vaults of Baghdad's Central Banks.  Another 8,400 are held by curators in secret places.
            The final "loss," "stolen," or "destroyed" number was in the range of 13,500.   Bogdanos growled, lowered his head, charged and over the past year his team has recovered 4,300 pieces.   That leaves 9,000 yet to be found.
            Terrorism has a habit of erasing history, or, marring it.
            War and violence often reduce civilizations to rubble.   One of the principles of inducing Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into people by modern Terrorists is targeting their icons...blowing up or defacing their monuments.
             From the Statue of Liberty to the Great Buddha, Terrorists seek to prove to "civilized" people their utter disregard for the treasures of history.

The attack by Terrorists on culture is an attack on the children

            The attack by Terrorism on culture is not an attack on the adults, but on the children.    History belongs to the children.  It is their roadmap to both the future and the past, for history points to a path.    It shows how, over time, good always conquers evil, right always triumphs over wrong, hope always shines brighter than dismay.
              Terrorism wants to destroy such legacies.   It wants to rape the children of their history so they might be blinded by the present.    If one were to look at the world today as a mere slice of life, one might wonder how far humans have come in the evolutionary process.

We are struggling to all hold hands as one world

             But, if we look at the history of our evolution over thousands of years, we see a different picture.    Fewer wars are being fought, fewer deaths are being recorded, longer lives are being lived, more compassion is being issued for one another, the strong are seeking to help the weak, and we are struggling to all hold hands as one world as never before in time.
             Most importantly, today, in the 21st Century, our number one enemy is not ourselves, but Terrorism, and those who would issue it by intent or accident.
             Today, the world cries when 35 Russians die in a subway bombing.   A few hundred years ago, they would have never known it happened.
             All this is part of history.   
             Terrorism seeks to destroy such history.

Native American children were robbed of their grandparents and put in Eastern boarding schools

            In America, children of the Indian tribes were taken from their parents and put in Eastern boarding schools in an attempt to cleave the culture, to steal from the children the legacy of their past.   By destroying the link to their language and culture, the belief was the "uncivilized redskin" could be tamed.   
             Fortunately, it didn't work.
             But it did create havoc.
             There is a similar Cultural Terrorism we face in America.   It is the splitting of families.   With more than 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, there is a break in the passage of cultural legacy from grandparents to children.
             Divorce fractures the paths of passage of information.  Often it litters the road with bitterness and anger, causing children to shy from embracing one side of the family more than another for fear of being accused of "favoritism."  
            Grandparents walk on eggshells, not wanting to do or say anything that might injure their rights to see the grandchildren.
            All this caution tends to lock up the legacy of the child's heritage.  Who were their great grandparents?  Their great great grandparents?   What did they think?  What did they do?  How did they act?
             Fixed museums show us a collective history of our past, like the Museum of Man in Manhattan.  It is filled with things you cannot touch or feel, locked in glass cases that seem distant and forbidden, but yet belong to us all.

Our grandparents are our Living Museums

             Living museums are our grandparents, great grandparents.   They house the life and blood of our legacy, defining in many ways who we are and why we are.  They contain wisdoms that reach back hundreds of years.   If their grandparents shared the legacy of life's living with them, that would represent 80 years for grandma and 80 years of legacy for grandpa, a total of 160 years.   Double that because ideally there are two sets of grandparents.  That makes 320 years of historic gifts delivered to a grandchild by just one set of grandparents.
             Confusing?  Not really.   If each grandparent carries 80 years of artifacts around--the history of their family--and there are four grandparents, that's (4x's 80) 320 years from just the current grandparent generation.   Go back one set of grandparents, to the great grandparents, and you have another 320 years.    If the grandparents today include in their legacy of family history and informational wisdom the legacy from their grandparents, a current grandchild will receive 640 years of history from just the living artifacts from grandparents' and great grandparents' experiences in life.
               If there is a real crime today, it may not be just the looting and destruction of ancient artifacts from Baghdad's museums.
              The real crime might be when a grandparent doesn't share with a grandchild the wisdom and history of his or her life.
              If a grandparent is reluctant to share the inner wisdoms of life with a child for any reason, he or she is locking the Museum of Vigilance's door to the child.   All of us live lives of mistakes.   We learn how to make the fewest possible, sometimes at great expense to ourselves and others.
             History is about teaching the present how to preserve the good and avoid the bad.  History is a map through a mine field.    It is also a sextant, guiding us into the unknown, urging us to go over the "edge of the world" and explore the limitless potential.
             But, that history can be snuffed by the Terrorism of Divorce, or by Grandparental Selfishness.    Grandparents can avoid and duck their duty to share the wisdom of life with their grandchildren.  Many do.   
              Grandparents who consider their lives to be open books of knowledge and wisdom for their grandchildren to read and learn from, are handing their children's children one of the great artifacts of life--living wisdom.

Be a grandparent.....

       A grandparent who denies access to the grandchild, is like the Terrorists who loot the museums.   He or she deprives the child of their rightful history.   He or she blinds the child to all the lessons of life, and puts the child at great risk to be attacked by the Beast of Terror.
         Such a grandparent is not a Sentinel of Generational Vigilance.

....of Generational Vigilance

    What can grandparents do today to insure their role as Grandparents of Vigilance and avoid being a Grandparent of Terrorism?
               First, spend lots of time with the grandkids.    Earn their trust and respect by playing their games, sharing in their imaginations, building bridges of confidence.
               Second, share your wisdoms with them, in relation to their concerns.    Pass on the values you have learned, and explain how you might held one viewpoint and then changed it.     When my grandson wanted to know why I was against killing in war because I was a Marine, I told him I had changed.  I had learned that life is precious over time.  And when I was young, I did not see what I saw when I was older.  

Keep the Legacy of Life alive

            "Oh," my grandson said.
            In a simple way, I illustrated the ability to change from a Beast of Terror to a Sentinel of Vigilance.  I didn't have to go into great detail.  My wisdom was that "we can all change."
             While artifacts in museums may be priceless treasures, there is no price on the living wisdom given from a grandparent to a child.
             Become a Grandparent of Vigilance.   
             Take the Pledge of Vigilance today.  Keep the Legacy of Life alive.

Feb 19--Exhaling Terrorism

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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