Young John McKean is right (AJ 1.5.03) (he was even young, if not right, when we worked together at the GLC in the early 1970s). British imperialism invented Iraq, bombed the Kurds for their oil and purloined much of the region's heritage.
But I do not recall them smashing it up and putting it on the black market, or that it was supposed to be protected by an occupying power. Hell, man, there's only so much history you can get in to a topical cartoon.
Regarding the cow shed, didn't old Alexander Pope say something about butterflies and wheels?
But then you would be too young to remember, I suppose.
Louis Hellman, London W3