Protest on Baghdad war damage
by Joan Williams The AGM of the Australian Society for the study of Labour History (SSLH) (WA Branch) unanimously passed a resolution protesting to Prime Minister Howard on Australian participation in the destruction of historical and archaeological features of the city of Baghdad in the present war. History is nearly always written by the victors — the culture of the defeated and its artefacts destroyed the language lost, the mover of the resolution said. Iraq was the cradle of writing with a system of symbols 6000 years ago, shared with Egypt, Crete and Balkan countries. The treasures held in Baghdad endangered by the present war include clay tablets for writing, dated 2300 BC. The State Museum of Baghdad had ancient records, laws, science and historical texts and archaeological finds valuable to the whole world. In 1938, a German archaeologist, Dr Wilhelm Konig, employed by the State Museum of Baghdad, found 2000-year-old pots excavated in a village south east of the city — a find that drastically altered all concepts of ancient science. The configuration of copper, iron and acid and other features made plain they were ancient electric cells. The mover asked: Are such treasures to be lost in the recent war in which Australia plays a part? Many of history's missing pages were torn out in calamitous invasions over the centuries. The President's and other reports showed the big projects for the history of labouring people, such as the preservation of the Midland Railway Workshop, together with the community, had been a great success.
* * *Annette and Duncan Cameron and Vic and Joan Williams were given Honorary life membership for their work in the foundation of the SSLH (WA).