Mo Money, Mo Problems

Ah, that’s all we need: Another excuse to re-fight the road to the war in Iraq.

The Washington Post’s culture critic Philip Kennicott is coming under some fire for his recent review of “Thieves of Baghdad” by Matthew Bogdanos with William Patrick. The book is a memoir by Bogdanos, a Marine colonel who “helped sort out the looting mess at the Iraq Museum after the fall of Baghdad in 2003.” His efforts were rewarded by President Bush with a National Humanities Medal.

The New York Post’s Richard Johnson, writing in Page Six, spoke with Bogdanos, who was none-too-pleased with the review.

    He says Kennicott uses him as a scapegoat for everything the critic loathes about the White House.

    “You can’t tell [from the book] who I voted for in the last election,” Bogdanos fumes. “You can’t tell what my position is on the Iraq war – and that was entirely intentional. The point of my book is that you can’t politicize our cultural heritage.”

    Kennicott’s positions are much easier to decipher. “Those who are already enamored of military culture and still believe in the Iraq War will probably nod in agreement with [Bogdanos],” his review sneered.

    “Those who question that war – and question war in general – may find Bogdanos a repellent figure, symptomatic of a new hubris in certain military and political circles.”

    “Repellent? A new hubris?” the author rages. “If Kennicott ever left his cave, he’d know that nobody in this country hates war more than the people who actually get shot at. You think I wanted to be there? I missed the birth of my fourth child, for crissake.”

and

    “In 2 1/2 years, I recovered over 5,000 ancient artifacts from eight countries. What has that man [Kennicott] ever done for ‘culture?'”

Bogdanos previously served as a Manhattan District Attorney and prosecuted Sean “P. Diddy” Combs in 1999. So you think Bogdanos would have heeded P. Diddy’s famous caution: “Mo Money, Mo Problems.