Friday, June 22, 2007

This news that playing cards showing antiquities have been sent by the Pentagon to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has been bouncing around the Internet for a few days now. Here's an extract from one version of the story from the International Herald Tribune. I figure that if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for Tony, although it does somewhat fry my logic circuits:

The Defense Department is sending another deck of playing cards to troops in Iraq — this time showing some of the country's most precious archaeological sites instead of the most-wanted former regime officials.

Some 40,000 new decks of playing cards will be sent to troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan as part of an awareness program so troops can help preserve the heritage of those countries, said Laurie Rush, archaeologist at Fort Drum in New York.

It is aimed at making troops aware they should not pick up and take home artifacts and to avoid causing damage to historic sites, such as an incident after the 2003 invasion of Iraq when U.S. troops built a helicopter pad on the ruins of Babylon and filled their sandbags with archaeological fragments from the ancient city. Each card in the deck shows an artifact or site or gives a tip on how to help preserve antiquities.