Thursday, October 4, 2007

DoD: 40,000 decks of "Mesopotamia Antiquities " playing cards for our troops

Do you remember the US military "Iraq Most Wanted" playing cards? Well, they've done it again. This time with good intentions, but 4 years too late. This week the US military will unveil the "Mesopotamia Antiquities " playing cards for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 40,000 new decks of playing cards are a product of the Defense Department's Legacy Resource Management Program which attempts to raise the "historical awareness" of our troops while in Babylon. After all...nobody likes a soldier who 'loots' and 'pillages' a sovereign country, right?
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.
featuring the monuments and antiquities of Iraq and Afghanistan, with exhortations to military personnel to safeguard them. The packs will be distributed to U.S. troops in the region throughout the autumn.
The same motif is featured on the packet and the back of every playing card, a terracotta Assyrian tablet with cuneiform markings on a black background. Below that runs the logo "Respect Iraqi and Afghan Heritage," which is repeated, around the pictured tablet, in Arabic and the Afghan languages Darri and Peshto. At bottom in English is "Support the Mission . . . Show Respect." On the front faces, the cards feature artifacts, ancient sites, or GIs on location.
In the background of each card is a ghostly fragment of a graphic, like a watermark, which clicks into a complete image when all the cards in one suit are pieced together.Melik Kaylan
Examples of the tips and slogans...
"A looted archaeological site means that details of our common past are lost forever."

"This site has survived for 17 centuries. Will it and others survive you?"

The jack of diamonds shows the Statue of Liberty and asks, "How would you feel if someone destroyed her torch?" Melik Kaylan

“Drive around, not over, archaeological sites"
But of course the Defense Department doesn't want our troops to "tread too lightly" so all cards also carry the slogan
"ROE first!"--telling you that Rules of Engagement, namely not getting killed, precede other considerations. Melik Kaylan

“Obviously we have to put our soldiers’ safety first.. but they would consider whether there might be a way to return fire without harming the site. Dr. Laurie Rush
I highly suggest you Download the entire deck of cards and check them out for yourself.

Same Players. Different Scandal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This stuff is absolutly, positively, FUNNNY! I have studied art from this area, and never have I seen this kind of approach. My advice: Use it for yourself and PRINT IT OUT!!!