Iraqi student Zeidoun Alkinani protesting the posession of ancient Iraqi artifacts by Germans at the Babylonian Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum of Berlin.
Prior to World War I, German archaeologists excavated large numbers of ancient artifacts across what is today Iraq and shipped them to Germany as part of a larger phenomenon of cultural pillage by European archaeologists across the Middle East that continued for decades.
In 2002, Iraqi officials asked for the return of the Gate, to no avail. A year later, the US invaded the country.
Walmart and fast food chains, with their low prices, convenience and addictive high-fat, high-sugar content, are really just a part of a much bigger picture - one that includes the looming “trade agreement” called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, something that makes job-exporting NAFTA look benign. Walmart is one of the huge corporations pushing the TPP hard, because it would then be able to move more of its factories into countries like Vietnam, where the minimum hourly wage is 36 cents. (The TPP is another whole ball of wax, to which we should be paying close attention because it will affect our lives directly and unremittingly.)