Our Fault, as Usual

It now appears that the first wave of looting at the National Museum of Iraq may have been carried out by professionals, who obtained keys to locked vaults and carefully sliced through class cases to remove artifacts undamaged. Many of those artifacts are now believed to be in the hands of black market art smugglers.

But that means the looting was driven by the same exact passions that are now driving the outrage over the looting. These antiquities were stolen because there are collectors who will pay good money for beautiful and ancient objects. But those collectors are just following the same love of our species's collective heritage that led to the creation of the National Museum.

Depressing, isn't it?